I posted a tweet this morning that my libido is like a feral cat, but that I fed her from my hand this morning and I hoped she would be back for dinner (I do).
It’s a fairly transparent metaphor, and it works pretty well, except for the fact that my “feral cat” can be coaxed and seem tame for quite some time…and then go right back to her feral ways without warning.
It’s beyond aggravating and causes no end of grief for both myself and my husband (whose libido is pretty steady and much higher than my own).
The biggest problem with my low libido is that because I do not desire sex regularly, I do not desire him regularly.
Yes…and that, my dear friends, is hard on a marriage. It’s probably harder on him than it is on me, but I honestly do feel guilty about my lack of desire.
I’d fix it in an instant if I could.
Speaking of which, recently, someone made reference to another blogger’s comment (wish I could remember who they were) about a libido being like a tree/plant and that we needed to water it or it would die.
The problem with this statement is that, for some of us, even if we water it, it doesn’t revive. And that just leads to more and more guilt…like WHY CAN’T I BRING THIS BACK FROM THE DEAD???!!! What’s wrong with ME!!!!!
It’s not a good train of thought and it does little to make the situation better, really. Saying a libido just needs to be fed is like telling a person who has trouble with reading to read harder. In a way, it sort of blames the person for NOT doing something, rather than taking the whole picture into account.
I’m not a doctor, and I’m not an expert on sexual health, but I’ve been studying this issue long enough to know a few things that can cause low libido: hormones, thyroid issues, certain medications, drugs and alcohol, mental health, stress, relationship issues.
I have control over some of these things (stress, alcohol, physical health), and I’ll openly admit that I’ve not been so good at managing them. Others of these things (hormones, medications, mental health), I’ve had no control over, and they’ve had a huge impact on me (and my libido) over the years.
The problem with low libido is that, like a food allergy, it can be caused by so many things, it’s hard to know where to start with the “fixing.” And when things do or don’t work, it’s hard to know what it was, if you aren’t focusing on one solution at a time.
For example, right now, I’m working on improving diet, drinking less, exercising, hydrating, and taking vitamins and supplements. I guess if my libido improves, it doesn’t really matter what caused it, but if it slides again, knowing what brought it back could come in handy, right?
I’d love to pinpoint what positively impacts my libido. I know I am better when the stress is lower. But that doesn’t necessarily mean when I’m not working or busy…because sometimes that leads to a drop. I’m one of those people who needs to be busy and productive or I tend to slide into a depressive state. So I need a balance (which can be hard to achieve and maintain).
I’d also love to pinpoint what negatively impacts my libido. I know weight and self-image play a part, as do stress and mental health. I’m sure my hormones are involved. As someone who had a hysterectomy early in life, it’s tough because I have no idea when menopause will hit, or if it already has, because I do not have periods (I still have my ovaries).
What I can say for sure is that I feel like I’ve been betrayed by my own body. I want to feel sexy and sexual, and yes…watering that plant by reading and writing sexy things and doing all the stuff I know helps (i.e. working out, eating well, keeping my mental health in check, masturbating) does improve it. But it doesn’t guarantee it.
If it were just about me, I don’t think it would matter much. I’d probably let it go and just say c’est la vie, pulling out a vibrator when the need surfaced.
But, I’m not alone in this journey, and my low libido actually hurts someone I love.
Anyhow, I’ve been taking this supplement called “In the Mood” for just over a week now. And maybe my early morning interest can be traced back to that.
Or maybe it’s that and a host of other things. I mean…we are now coming to a close at work, so there’s less stress. I’m able to get more sleep because I can sleep in on some days. And, like I said, I’ve been doing well keeping up with regular exercise and an improved diet. Even if my libido does start to resurface, I’m not sure I can attribute it to the supplement. I’ll likely keep taking it, though, if my libido improves…just in case.
For those of you who, like me, are struggling with low-libido issues, I can say that I’ve tried ALL.OF.THE.THINGS. And none of them have really worked for me, other than simply trying to live a healthier life (both mentally and physically). I have tried both counseling (including marriage counseling) and hormone-replacement therapy. And what it comes down to for me is this…living more sensually and mindfully on a daily basis is about the only thing that helps. So maybe that is just “watering the plant” or “feeding the cat”…knowing full well that sometimes the plant will still wilt (and maybe die) and the cat will decide to take off for a few days, and I’ll maybe need to start the process of taming it all over again when she returns.
So maybe that other person’s comment about watering the plant was more about being mindful. I might not be able to control my libido (and I do understand that it naturally ebbs and flows), but I can be thoughtful about living in a way that encourages it. And I can be cognizant about avoiding what harms it.