Libido is another term for sex drive, which is the passionate desire for sex. Libido can be classified as high or low but it is actually more complex than how often a person desires sex. It has elements including what triggers arousal and what dampens it, the importance of sex compared to other parts of a relationship, the meaning of sex for each individual and what is pleasurable during sexual activity.
Sandra Pertot, Psychologist and Sex Therapist has outlined 10 different Libido types, which are very helpful in understanding where each of you is coming from, and what might be your sexual expectations.
- The Sensual Libido Type
This type of lover values emotional connection above sexual performance.
Sex is an important part of a relationship, but it is more important for them to know that their partner is happy to be physically intimate with them as an expression of their love and commitment to each other than what is actually done during sex.
- The Erotic Libido Type
This type believes sex should be intense, varied and passionate, at least some of the time.
Mild Erotic lovers can cope with periods of “vanilla” sex, provided there are regular opportunities for adventurous and sizzling sex, while strong Erotic lovers believe that intense erotic sex is the cornerstone of a good relationship and they will get little pleasure out of low-key sex.
- The Dependent Libido Type
These types need sex to cope with life on at least a daily basis.
Typically the Dependent lover has used masturbation in the teenage years to cope with bad feelings such as stress, boredom, or anxiety. As an adult, the Dependent lover may not recognise this and interpret the partner’s unwillingness to go along with sex whenever he/she needs it as lack of love and caring.
- The Reactive Libido Type
This type of love gets most satisfaction from pleasing their partner during sex.
There are two sub-types here: The first subtype has low sexual needs but gains genuine pleasure from keeping their partner happy; or, secondly they need to see their partner aroused in order to become aroused him/herself.
- The Entitled Libido Type
This type assumes that it is their right to get what they want in their sexual relationship.
Some Entitled lovers are influenced by the idealisation of sex in our society and believe that everyone is having hot, daily sex so they are entitled to it as well. Others don’t think much about sex other than to expect that they have what they want when they want it.
Disinterested, Stressed or Detached lovers may also feel entitled to have the sexual relationship conform to their wishes.
- The Addictive Libido Type
This type of lover finds it difficult to resist the lure of sex outside their long-term, supposedly monogamous relationship.
The essential characteristic is that the behaviour has control over them rather than vice versa; some feel distressed by their actions while others feel that what they are secretly doing is acceptable.
- The Stressed Libido Type
This type of person feels under pressure to perform and constantly worry that they are sexually inadequate in some way.
The Stressed lover increasingly avoids sex for fear of failure, even though he/she may still feel sexual desire, which some find easier to satisfy with masturbation.
- The Disinterested Libido Type
This type may be lifelong or acquired. Typically the Disinterested lover says “I wouldn’t care if I never had sex again.”
This type may develop from a Stressed Libido type.
Sometimes this is associated with little or no pleasure if they do have sex, but for others, they can become aroused and enjoy sex once they get into it.
- The Detached Libido Type
This type usually feels desire but is too preoccupied with other life issues to seek partnered sex, and may masturbate regularly.
There are usually no performance problems.
The Detached lover’s withdrawal from partnered sex may be the result of a sense of overwhelming stress from financial or work pressure although the relationship is good, or it may reflect unresolved issues in the couple’s relationship.
- The Compulsive Libido Type
This type has one main sexual object or ritual that triggers sexual arousal.
In its mild form, this lover may co-exist with a partnered sexual relationship where the object or ritual is not required; in its stronger form, the Compulsive lover can only be aroused using the sexual object or ritual.
Some compulsions involve another person(s), some exclude a partner.