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Why do I feel insecure about my high libido?

WORDS BY KAYA MARTIN

“Our society likes to think it’s super sex-positive, and it is in some spaces, but a lot of the time we still fall into the same narratives.”

In this confusing and complicated world, it can be difficult to figure out the strategy by which you choose to live your life. My code of conduct is quite simple: I just want to feel good as much as possible. And it just so happens that sex is something that feels good. Logically, I know there’s nothing wrong with being a woman that enjoys getting a little frisky.


For more sex talk, head on over to our Life section.


But I find that feelings of insecurity and weirdness on the topic of female sexuality still slip through the cracks. Even some of my most progressive and open-minded girlfriends have confessed to being shy with what they want in the bedroom. To try to get to the bottom of these messy feelings, I spoke with sexologist and sexuality educator Lauren French

Differences of desire 

Lauren says in her experience, it’s often a misconception that men have higher libidos than women. More often than not she works with couples with the opposite predicament.

“I find it kind of hilarious because I feel it’s such a societal[ly] accepted thing that men have really high sex drives and women have headaches and want to avoid sex forever,” she says.  “I feel that’s just coming from a place where as a society we accept men’s sexuality a lot more than women, particularly historically.”

Studies on the subject have come to varying conclusions. While some research has found that men do tend to have a higher level of sexual motivation than women, others surmised that this could be related to our own internal biases.

One study looked at the self-reported sex lives of college students in three different conditions. The first group was told that their answers would be shared with their peers. The second group believed their answers would be private, and the third group was hooked to a lie detector machine and told their answers would be checked for truthfulness. 

They found that women admitted to far less taboo sexual behaviour, such as masturbation and exposure to erotica, when they thought their answers would be publicised. But when they were hooked to the lie detector, self-reported differences between genders were insignificant. While it’s hard to get a clear picture when it comes to the differences in our levels of libido, it seems a lot about female sexuality is left under the covers.

Stuck in the past

“Our society likes to think it’s super sex-positive, and it is in some spaces, but a lot of the time we still fall into the same narratives,” says Lauren, “And a big narrative of that is women’s sexuality is not a good thing or it should be something that’s completely tied to their partner, or it’s just about procreating.”

She says in the past, women were not supposed to enjoy sex, and those who did were seen as “sluts”. Sure, we have our sex-positive celebrities that lead the charge for horny girls everywhere; Cardi B, Megan Barton-Hanson, Cupcakke and Chloe Cherry are a few that are open about their high libidos.

Stuck in our social media bubbles, it can feel like we’re making strides toward a culture that celebrates female sexuality. But the recent reversal of America’s Roe V Wade made it clear that it’s still a highly contested subject for many. Conservative ideologies and echoes of religious views still have a significant hold on culture.

Bad news in the bedroom

Internalised insecurity around high female sex drives can also cause rifts in heterosexual relationships. When the reality of the situation doesn’t match up with preconceived ideas of how libido should be, it can create some friction – and not the good kind.

Lauren says if a male partner isn’t comfortable with their own sexuality, he may feel intimidated or emasculated by their partner’s high libido. “There can be kind of this pressure to make yourself more sexual, or that there’s something wrong with you – that it’s demasculinising,” says Lauren. 

“It can be really hard to distance themselves from what they might see as their own failings or what they might see as a reflection negatively on them, rather than just celebrating the fact that they’ve got a partner who enjoys their sexuality and experiences.”

In these types of situations, she recommends seeking professional help to unpack the root cause of the discomfort. Even though having a high sex drive as a woman is not uncommon, residual cultural beliefs and social norms can have a strong influence on how we see ourselves. 

To those who are still feeling uneasy, I suggest repeating this Samantha Jones affirmation: “I will not be judged by you or society.”

For more on sex drives, head here.

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