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How To Reduce My Libido (3 Natural Ways)

A lion with low testosterone and a low sex drive..
Systemic-level solutions often have systemic-level side effects.

Libido, or sex drive, is a natural energy that operates according to biological, social, and environmental processes. Libido motivates people to pass on their genes and connect with others. While a strong libido can be evidence of good health, the opposite is often true of a low libido. Healthline identifies low testosterone; medications; restless leg syndrome; depression; chronic illness; sleep problems; aging; stress; too little (or too much) exercise; low self-esteem; alcohol and drug use, as common causes of low libido.

Why, then, would anyone ever want to lower libido?

The desire to lower libido is actually not uncommon. People who are not in a place to pursue a serious relationship may not see the upside of having a strong sex drive. A strong sex drive, with no healthy sexual outlet, can become a source of temptation to watch pornography, masturbate, or hook-up. At best, people may see it as an unwelcome distraction or source of frustration. Independent of relationship status, people may want to lower their libido if their sexuality is hyperactive and not in balance with other areas of their lives.

According to Healthline, libido is a function of three major causesbiological (testosterone and physical health), psychological (stress, mental health, self-esteem), and social (relationship status and cultural sexual norms).

In this section, I address three natural ways to reduce libido, and the pros and cons of each approach.

3 Natural Ways To Lower Libido:

1. Take An Anaphrodisiac (?)

You may have heard of aphrodisiac, a word derided from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. An aphrodisiac is a food, herb, or substance that people consume to increase their libido. An anaphrodisiac has precisely the opposite effect of lowering libido. Aphrodisiacs and anaphrodisiacs are intended to address the biological factor of libido. These substances work by altering testosterone levels and/or other biological parameters that control sex drive.

The problem is that biological parameters serve more than one purpose. For example, lowering a man’s testosterone levels to control libido can have side effects, including reduced energy, reduced drive, lowered self-esteem, diminished athletic ability, and even feminization. Yikes.

Just because a substance is marketed as “natural,” that doesn’t mean its preparation isn’t artificial. Many powerful herbs on the market today are sold in potent concentrations enabled by advanced technology. And just because a substance is “natural,” that doesn’t mean its consumption is healthy or side-effect-less. Any substance, for example, that alters the stress hormone cortisol, without altering the stress that regulates it, can create chemical imbalances; these, in turn, can trigger a host of mental, physical, and emotional side effects.

Another thing to keep in mind is that high testosterone is often not the culprit of an out-of-control sex drive. Many people who struggle with compulsive sexual behavior have normal, or even lower-than-average testosterone levels. If you really care to know, then get your levels checked. However, what this means is that psychological and social factors often play an outsized role in the process.

2. Change The Way You Think

Number two is the most natural way to reduce an out-of-control libido. In the first place, we have to ask ourselves, when did my libido become out-of-control? And, what were the contributing factors? Many people with an out-of-control libido have a history of compulsive sexual behavior. Pornography is often a huge culprit here, as it leads people to think in hyper-sexual terms. Mainstream consumerist culture is another contributing factor. The median social media user is bombarded with sexual stimuli from morning to night in the form of ads, memes, and innuendo.

Eliminating pornography and insulating oneself from hyper-sexual cultural influences can go a long way toward reining in an out-of-control libido. How we think, as it turns out, is as much a function of our environments as it is internal processes.  

When scientists analyze people who appear to have tremendous self-control, it turns out those individuals aren’t all that different from those who are struggling. Instead, “disciplined” people are better at structuring their lives in a way that does not require heroic willpower and self-control. In other words, they spend less time in tempting situations.

James Clear in “Atomic Habits”

3. Practice Abstinence For An Extended Period Of Time

This one is not relevant for everybody, and no two people’s bodies respond exactly the same. Many people who abstain from PMO find that their libido progressively increases in the following days and weeks. However, that build-up typically flatlines before stabilizing at much more manageable levels.

The drop in libido associated with abstinence is twofold. First, sexual interest positively correlates with exposure to sexual stimuli. Take away the latter and the former is likely to decrease. Second, going a long time without sexual activity may motivate the brain to divert sexual energy into non-sexual pursuits.

The sad fact is that many people who grew up in the digital age have never gone weeks without watching pornography or masturbating. They simply have no reference for how their brain, body, and emotions will respond. Fortunately, one effect of the reboot/recovery process is to bring an outsized libido under control.     

Finally, I leave you with a famous quote from Napoleon Hill in Think And Grow Rich on the possibilities of sexual transmutation. Libido is a kind of sexual energy; his premise is that when it isn’t being used for sex, it can be channeled into other constructive pursuits.

Sex desire is the most powerful of human desires. When driven by this desire, men develop keenness of imagination, courage, will-power, persistence, and creative ability unknown to them at other times. So strong and impelling is the desire for sexual contact that men freely run the risk of life and reputation to indulge it. When harnessed, and redirected along other lines, this motivating force maintains all of its attributes of keenness of imagination, courage, etc., which may be used as powerful creative forces in literature, art, or in any other profession or calling, including, of course, the accumulation of riches.

Napoleon Hill

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An intellectually curious millennial passionate about seeing people make healthy, informed choices about the moral direction of their lives. When I’m not reading or writing, I enjoy hiking, web-making, learning foreign languages, and watching live sports. Alumnus of Georgetown University (B.S.) and The Ohio State University (M.A.).

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