How to Handle a High Libido in Women
Reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Written by Rachel Sacks
Matching libidos are about as rare as simultaneous orgasms — wonderful when they align but pretty uncommon. And the longer you’re with your partner, the more likely it is that you’ll encounter times where one person will be inching towards the bedroom while the other is inching deeper into the couch.
Mismatched libidos in a couple certainly happen, and in some, the woman is the one with the higher libido. But while women with high libido shouldn’t worry you, some guys wonder if they need to improve their sexual performance.
Whether you’re concerned you might have a low libido or you just want to remove any stress in your relationship, there are ways to handle a high libido in a woman. Keep reading for signs a woman has a high libido and what to do when you’re dating one of these women.
The Challenge of Mismatched Libidos
When libidos don’t line up, the situation feels like one person will always lose. Either one partner doesn’t get what they want (having sex at that moment), or the other does something they don’t want to do (have sex).
We also can’t help but hear and believe the stereotypes about each of the gender’s respective sex drives — men are the ones with higher libido and women’s libidos are on the lower end. Men are supposed to always desire sex, while women are supposed to always be able to turn their men on.
A high libido in females isn’t the conventional norm but the truth is that libido or sex drive goes through ebbs and flows in all people.
Your desire for sex can be changed at various points by internal factors, like hormonal changes and sexual arousal, as well as external factors like stress and relationship issues. Just like your preferences in the bedroom, your sex drive is also highly personal.
And just as we should normalize that libido can change for many reasons, it’s also important to remember a high libido in women is completely normal. There's a whole lot of chemistry involved with making our bodies tick, and sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone, which can have a strong impact on sex drive, are present in all people to varying levels.
For example, studies have found a strong connection between testosterone levels and men’s libidos, with lower testosterone resulting in a lower sex drive.
Meanwhile, a 2016 report found that estrogen therapy for menopause is a cause of higher sex drive in women.
However, a smaller study noted that testosterone in women increased their sexual desire — but when they were alone as opposed to desiring sexual activity with a partner.
But is there a way to know if your partner’s sex drive is high? What are the signs a woman has a high libido?
Signs a Woman Has a High Libido
Let’s start with a basic question: what is female libido?
Libido reflects the constant fluctuations in a person’s sexual arousal, desire, reward and inhibition. In other words, libido is a person’s sex drive or desire for sexual activity. Female libido is just that, in females.
Is there such a thing as a normal sex drive? The short answer is no. A healthy sex drive means that you have a desire to engage in sexual activity that feels satisfying and fulfilling for you, but there’s no one “normal.”
But since there’s really no Goldilocks standard of a normal libido, it’s difficult to define exactly what a higher libido is — it’s different for everybody. It’s simply that a high libido is an increase in desire for sex, while a low libido means just the opposite.
While most of the research on women’s libido focuses on lower sex drives, there are some signs a woman has a high libido.
According to a 2009 study published in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, women with high libidos reported:
Engaging in more sexual communication
Having more sexual thoughts and fantasies
Being more sexually adventurous
Higher levels of sexual self-esteem
Better body image
This study also noted that women with high libido held more positive attitudes about casual sex, watching porn and masturbation.
There’s also proof that being sedentary or overweight can lead to sexual dysfunction (like erectile dysfunction in men), while regular exercise not only improves sexual function but can also boost women’s libidos.
And while another 2011 study of over 280 college-aged men and women found that men thought about sex more often — the median was 19 times a day, compared to the women’s 10 daily thoughts — they also thought about food and sleep more often than the women.
Of course, because “normal” is an elastic term and there’s no baseline for a normal libido in females, this is all subjective. Even what defines sex varies — is oral sex still considered sex, or does it have to be penetrative sex?
But if you feel like you’re trying to keep up with your partner’s seemingly sky-high sex drive, the below tips for dating a woman with a high libido may help improve relations.
6 Tips for Dating a Woman with High Libido
Now that we’ve established that a high sex drive in women isn’t really out of the norm (despite a “normal” sex drive changing all the time), what do you do when you’re dating someone with a high libido?
Sometimes, looking at the factors that affect libido in men and women can help you and your partner get on the same page sexually. Other times, you may just need to improve certain skills, like communication with your partner.
Whether you’re married, in a long-term relationship or just casually dating, these tips will benefit both you and your partner.
Give yourself time
To get in the mood, that is. Before you turn down sex, ask yourself this: can you get to a point where you’d want to have sex? Of course, if you’re really not feeling in the mood for sex, you don’t have to go through the motions or do something you don’t want to.
After all, we wouldn’t tell a woman to have sex with her partner if she was reluctant. The same applies to guys as well.
But there’s a difference between “I’m not feeling it” and “I’m not feeling it at this exact moment.”
Maybe all you need is a little time, or a little help (many of us have been there). Maybe you need to disconnect from work stress or digest more after a meal. Or maybe just a little more time of her playing with you to get you going.
And even if you think you know everything, this guide on how to get turned on is full of helpful tips that may surprise you.
Find other ways to be sexually intimate
As we mentioned above, sex can mean something different for everyone. So why not reframe what you consider sex?
If you aren’t up for the aerobic workout of penetrative sex, how about lying on your sides and 69-ing?
Or if you don’t feel like being touched, how about kissing her while she touches herself? That way, she still gets the orgasm and connection to you she seeks without you doing anything you don’t want.
Or you can use this as a time to try new things. The point is, the possibilities are endless. If you’re looking for some inspiration, these tips on how to please a woman or ways to spice up your sex life are great ways to bring some fire into the bedroom.
Reassure her when you turn down sex
Sometimes you just won’t feel sexual at all, which is okay. You shouldn’t push through just to please a partner. But how you respond affects how she will interpret the situation (and, in turn, how she feels about it).
First, reassure her about what’s really at play. Make sure she knows it’s nothing to do with her or your relationship — and if it is, well, that’s a different conversation that you should have ASAP.
You don’t need to give a reason beyond “I’m not feeling it” but elaborating can really help squash her fears. Whatever the reason — too stressed, tired, etc. — let her know.
Then, figure out what her motivation for sex is. Sometimes, it’s about more than sex. If she’s seeking stress relief, watch a comedy show while you massage her shoulders. If she wants an orgasm, encourage her to play with herself while you do something else. If she wants affection, cuddling could do the trick.
The most beautiful thing about intimate sex with someone you care about is that it fills a lot of different roles in our lives. With a bit of intentionality, you’ll be able to find a way to meet her desires while also respecting your temporary lack of desire.
Figure out the cause of your libido being low
There are two important things to remember here: however you’re feeling about sex is okay and your sex drive can go through ups and downs.
However, if you notice that this is more than a momentary or temporary thing, it may be worth seeing a doctor. Low libido and reduced sex drive are indicative of some potential health issues, including (most commonly) low testosterone in men.
Hormone levels aren’t the only health conditions that can affect sex drive. Sexual health issues like premature ejaculation, for example, may make you feel embarrassed about your performance in the bedroom and have less desire for sex.
And just like working out can boost female libido, your physical fitness can also play a role in the bedroom — there’s a potential connection between working out and sex drive for men as well.
While we can’t control time passing, it’s inevitable for many men to notice a connection between age and sex drive, with your libido dropping as the years climb higher.
Other low sex drive causes? High stress levels and mental health issues, as well as some of the medications used to treat various conditions. A common symptom of depression, for example, is a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities, including sex.
What’s worse is that some of the antidepressants used to treat depression, particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are on the list of medications that might lower your libido, along with beta-blockers for blood pressure, the hair loss treatment finasteride and more.
You can use these tips to improve your sexual confidence by understanding what’s going on in your head and rocking your confidence and libido (but not in a good way).
Explore ways to increase your sex drive
If low sex drive is something you’ve had trouble with for some time, it may be worth seeking out professional help. There's nothing wrong with how you're feeling, but perhaps talking with a sex therapist could help work out some underlying issues.
Or if you’re concerned that health issues may be the cause of low libido, seek medical advice from your healthcare provider. They may recommend several options, such as changing medications, improving your diet or testosterone therapy to improve erectile dysfunction and libido.
And while the research on some of these options is a bit murky, it may be worth checking out pills that claim to increase sex drive.
ED treatments, delivered
No matter the treatment plan, the best place to start is somewhere.
Address relationship problems
Not having sex now and again doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. But for some, mismatched libidos may just be the tip of the iceberg of relationship issues.
If you and your partner are sleeping on opposite sides of the bed more often than not — and not just because the AC is broken and it’s too hot outside — you may need to take a step back and examine the relationship.
Poor communication, anger, hurt feelings, infidelity and even boredom in long-term relationships can all lower your sex drive.
Or if you feel like your partner is pressuring you to have sex or even crossing boundaries and disregarding your feelings, taking a step back from the relationship or leaving it entirely may be the healthiest thing to do.
The Final Word on High Libido in Women
In a perfect world, you and your partner would have perfectly matching libidos (and have simultaneous orgasms every single time you had sex). However, we very much live in a world where sex drives don’t always align.
Despite stereotypes, high libido in women can and does exist. Your libido, or sex drive, is the desire you have to engage in sexual activity and can fluctuate due to several circumstances, such as hormones, stress, lifestyle habits and more.
When a woman has a high libido, she may communicate more about her sexual desires, have more sexual fantasies, be more sexually adventurous and have better self-esteem.
If you’re dating a woman with high libido and are struggling to keep up, you can reframe what sex is, be patient with getting turned on, reassure her why you’re not interested in sex or reexamine the relationship.
Mismatched libidos in partners can create significant stress in a relationship. If you’re concerned you have a low libido, it can be helpful to figure out the root cause and find ways to increase your sex drive.
Not wanting to have sex when your partner does isn’t the end of the world. But whatever happens, the most important thing is that someone who’s the right person for you will try to understand and at the very least, be respectful of your feelings, wants and needs.