Why is My (Male) Sex Drive So High Lately?

Medically approved by
Dr Earim Chaudry
Last updated
22nd November 2021

In 30 seconds

Sex drive fluctuates naturally, and differs from person to person, with some people desiring sex every day, and others never desiring sex at all. However, if you are experiencing sexual urges which you struggle to control, or which adversely affect you, you should consult a doctor.

Why is My Sex Drive So High Lately?

If you’re a little curious about the state of your sex drive, that’s fair enough. It can come as a shock to notice significant changes in your libido, particularly when you cannot attribute these changes to a specific cause.

However, there is no need to worry: changes in your sex drive can occur for a number of reasons – and the majority are entirely normal and natural. 

In this article, we’re going to look at what some of these reasons may be – and what to do if you feel like your libido is getting out of control. We’ll take a look at how to manage an increased sex drive too.

Is there a “Normal” Sex Drive?

Your sex drive is a complex thing – and, really, there is no normal when it comes to libido. Whilst some people may desire sex a few times a day, others may not think about it at all.

There are lots of personal differences that are the result of all manner of different variables – from culture to diet, from exercise to mental health and age. Simple biological differences can have an effect too. For example, some men have more testosterone than others, which may affect their sex drive.

Why is My Sex Drive Changing?

Sex drive differs from person to person. But, whilst someone may have a sex drive that they consider “normal”, this can vary considerably – depending on changes to lifestyle and health and the variables that we mentioned above. Alcohol consumption, for example, can dramatically affect your libido, whilst stress or relationship issues are known to dampen your desire as well. All of this is perfectly normal.

Whilst these are things that tend to bring your sex drive down, normal changes can boost it too. Sleeping well and feeling well-rested, for example, can increase your libido. And, if you’re starting out on an exciting new relationship, you may well find that you’re thinking about sex more than usual as well.

Ultimately, only you can know what constitutes a “normal” sex drive for you. If you are experiencing morning wood much more than usual, or you are thinking about your new partner whilst you are at work, this is most likely to be just a fluctuation in your libido that is itself normal.

What is Hypersexuality?

Whilst changes in your sex drive are completely normal, if your sex drive is really high – and if you feel as though you cannot control it – you may have a medical condition known as hypersexuality.

Alternatively known as compulsive sexual behaviour disorder (CSBD), hypersexuality disorder, or sexual addiction, the condition can be identified by an inability to control sexual urges. Similarly, you might find that your sexual impulses and behaviours are affecting your life adversely.

People with the condition do have an increased sex drive. However, this alone is not sufficient for you to be diagnosed with the condition. According to the World Health Organisation, who define and categorise diseases, to be diagnosed with CSBD you should have experienced a failure to control your sexual urges for a period of six months or more. Again, a brief increase in sex drive is not sufficient.

Other symptoms of CSBD and hypersexuality include engaging in sexual behaviours as a response to depression or stress; sex being accompanied by feelings of guilt or remorse; and pursuing sexual behaviours despite knowing that you are potentially harming yourself and others.

What Causes Hypersexuality?

As mentioned above, an increased sex drive can result from a range of normal processes – from your diet and your lifestyle to your relationship status and stress levels. These aren’t enough to cause hypersexuality, however.

Hypersexuality, rather, is a psychological condition whose roots are deeper. It can be caused by chemical changes in your brain, by medication, and potentially by sexual trauma experienced when you were a child.

Serotonin and dopamine levels are believed to be related to our ability to control behaviours. When these levels are affected – through dopamine treatment for Parkinson’s disease, for example, or just naturally – CSBD can, in some cases, result.

Meanwhile, people with depression are much more likely to develop compulsive disorders such as CSBD, whilst a recent study found a significant link between childhood abuse and the future development of hypersexuality.

How to Manage a High Sex Drive

If you feel like you have a high sex drive, there are a number of things that you can try in order to manage it.

Talking to someone is a good place to start. This can be a professional – but doesn’t need to be. If you are in a relationship, talk to your partner about any changes in libido. You shouldn’t feel ashamed about your sexual impulses and preferences – but it is important to be aware that your partner might not feel the same as you do.

The majority of people are able to control their sexual urges. So, remember that you don’t have to indulge your sex drive every time you feel its impulse. Much like cravings for a cigarette, your desire for sex will pass if you occupy your mind, go for a walk, or focus on something else.

Finding satisfying sex can reduce a continuous desire too. Whilst this might be difficult if you are single, there are ways to meet people for casual sex that might help you to scratch the itch.

Importantly, though, if you feel that you are experiencing the symptoms of hypersexuality or CSBD, speak to a doctor. They will be able to refer you to a specialist who can help you.

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Key Takeaways

So, why is your sex drive so high lately? There are a number of possibilities – from normal fluctuations caused by changes in diet, sleep patterns, and lifestyle, to more serious psychological developments including hypersexuality.

In both cases, there are methods available to manage your symptoms and impulses. Talking to someone is your first step. Your GP will be able to refer you to psychosexual counselling if needed – alone, or with your partner. 

FAQs

What is a normal sex drive?

There is no ‘normal’ sex drive or level of libido. Some people desire sex every day, whilst others (including some of those on the asexual spectrum) never desire sex, or are physically repulsed by it. All sex drives tend to be normal and healthy, so you shouldn’t worry unless you find you can’t control your urges.

Why is my sex drive changing?

Your sex drive fluctuates naturally in accordance with various factors, including: mental health, relationship status (for example, most people experience increased libidos at the start of new relationships), diet and physical health, stress levels and alcohol consumption.

How do I know if my sex drive is too high?

A really high sex drive sustained over a long period of time may indicate a condition known as Hypersexuality, or compulsive sexual behaviour disorder (CSBD). However, in order for you to be diagnosed with CSBD, you must exhibit an inability to control your sexual urges for a period of six months or more. If you experience a really high sex drive, but are in control of your urges, then probably there’s nothing to worry about!

How can I manage a high sex drive?

If you struggle with a high sex drive, then the best thing you can do to manage it is to speak to someone, whether it’s your partner, a friend, a doctor or a therapist. Advice should always be your first port of call. Other options include occupying your mind with walks or exercise when experiencing strong sexual urges, and communicating clearly with your sexual partner(s) in order to achieve more mutually satisfying sexual experiences.

References

  1. Naomi M. Gades, Debra J. Jacobson, Michaela E. McGree, Jennifer L. St. Sauver, Michael M. Lieber, Ajay Nehra, Cynthia J. Girman, George G. Klee and Steven J. Jacobsen (2008). The associations between serum sex hormones, erectile function, and sex drive: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2586969/

  2. Bijil Simon Arackal and Vivek Benegal (2007). Prevalence of sexual dysfunction in male subjects with alcohol dependence: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2917074/

  3. NHS – Loss of libido (reduced sex drive): https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/loss-of-libido/

  4. Jae Wook Cho and Jeanne F. Duffy (2018). Sleep, Sleep Disorders, and Sexual Dysfunction: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6704301/

  5. The Conversation -How do I increase my Libido: https://theconversation.com/how-do-i-increase-my-libido-118341

  6. Compulsive sexual behaviour disorder – https://icd.who.int/dev11/l-m/en#/http://id.who.int/icd/entity/1630268048

  7. PubMed – Dopamine agonist: pathological gambling and hypersexuality: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19536937/

  8. Marios Politis, Clare Loane, Kit Wu, Sean S O’Sullivan, Zoe Woodhead, Lorenzo Kiferle, Andrew D Lawrence, Andrew J Lees, Paola Piccini (2013). Neural response to visual sexual cues in dopamine treatment-linked hypersexuality in Parkinson’s disease: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23378222/

  9. Vladan Starcevic and Yasser Khazaal (2017). Relationships between Behavioural Addictions and Psychiatric Disorders: What Is Known and What Is Yet to Be Learned?: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5383701/

  10. Yaniv Efrati and Mateusz Gola – The Effect of Early Life Trauma on Compulsive Sexual Behavior among Members of a 12-Step Group: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/332974446_The_Effect_of_Early_Life_Trauma_on_Compulsive_Sexual_Behavior_among_Members_of_a_12-Step_Group

While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

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