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If your sex drive is much higher than your partner’s, then going to couples sex therapy can help you get more in sync with your partner.
Anti-depressant medicines like SSRIs are also helpful for lowering sex drive since serotonin has an impact on sexual desire.
This article was medically reviewed by Rosara Torrisi, LCSW, CST, MSSW, MEd, PhD, Certified Sex therapist at the Long Island Institute of Sex Therapy (LIIST).
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Whether you are single or in a relationship, having a very high sex drive can be hard to deal with. While there is no such thing as a “normal” sex drive, you may want to lower your sex drive if it doesn’t match with your partner or distracts you from everyday tasks.
Here are several ways you can decrease your sex drive.
Couples sex therapy
If you have noticed that your sex drive is much higher than your partner’s, then you are not alone. Around 80% of couples regularly experience a sexual desire mismatch.
But having an uneven sex drives doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed: “Sometimes people with differing sex drives can make a relationship work through good communication,” says Sarah Berry, a psychosexual and relationship therapist in the UK.
One way to achieve better communication is by going to sex therapy together, which may help you get more in sync with your partner. Sex therapy is a specialized form of therapy that focuses on issues with sex and intimacy.
“With couples, it isn’t just a case of neutering the person with a high sex drive,” says Berry. Rather, sex therapy involves looking at your relationship as a whole and investigating what you both want from sex.
Couples can also work on their connection and increase physical affection to help shift some of the focus away from a typical understanding of sex and more toward intimacy.
Individual sex therapy
Single people can benefit from sex therapy for a high sex drive, too.
If your sex drive is very high, you may become preoccupied with sex in a way that affects your general wellbeing, Berry says. For example, “you might develop an escort or porn habit that eats into your social, sleep, and work time as well as your finances.”
She adds that people may become overly focused on sex when they feel a lack of control in their lives, and these issues can be addressed in sex therapy.
Another type of therapy, called cognitive behavioral therapy, focuses on changing unhealthy beliefs and behaviors, and has also been shown to help reduce unwanted sexual thoughts and behaviors. Treatment for Out of Control Sexual Behaviors is also possible in sex therapy.
If therapy isn’t helping you, your doctor may recommend taking a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medication.
SSRIs work by changing the way serotonin, an important brain chemical, moves through your brain, so that more of it is available. SSRIs are usually prescribed for mental health disorders like depression, since serotonin plays a large role in your mood.
However, serotonin also works to lower sexual desire and keep your body from getting as physically aroused. For this reason, some physicians will prescribe SSRIs to help people reduce high sex drive.
Anti-androgens are a class of drugs that block testosterone from working in your body. Testosterone regulates the sexual response in many people’s bodies, and taking anti-androgen medications may help to lower sex drive.
Your doctor may prescribe anti-androgen medications like cyproterone and spironolactone if other treatments are not working.
However, these medications can have negative side effects like tiredness, depression, or increased breast tissue. For this reason, they are often only prescribed in more severe cases.
While some people may choose to take medication to lower their sex drive, Berry says that this should not be the first line of treatment. “I would never recommend pills before/over therapy and behavioral advice,” Berry says.
Many people struggle with having an unwanted high sex drive, but there are remedies available to help. Berry recommends first trying therapy to work on these feelings, whether it’s with your partner or alone. If you want to try a medical treatment, reach out to your doctor to explore your options.
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