Dear Dr G,
I'm emailing you out of frustration. I'm a 28 year-old man who is reasonably fit and healthy.
All right, I admit I may be a bit overweight and lazy to exercise. I guess this is what happens to half of the urban population.
Don’t get me wrong, I am still able to rise to the occasion, and getting morning erections on a regular basis.
I have been married for two years.
Every year, when we return to my hometown, I'm always asked when we are having a baby.
I used to feel sorry for my wife when facing the interrogations. This year, I am feeling the strain myself.
The fact is that we are hardly having sex these days.
The last time I recalled having intimacy with my wife was two months ago, during the Christmas period, when we were away for a break!
My wife is not complaining. She understands I am having a stressful job and making ends meet.
She also trust that I am not having any “out sourcing” in the bedroom matters.
I hope to put Dr G on the spot to find out why my sex drive is dwindling.
Can you enlighten me the ways to boost the drive for the New Year.
I am fully aware the reason why we are still childless is because we are sexless!
Let's hope Dr G can give me some tips to unleash my libido for the year of the Dog and get a baby before the next Chinese New Year.
On that note, wishing you Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Sex drive, also known as libido, is a person’s overall sexual desire for intimacy and intercourse.
This is an intricate interaction of biological, psychological and social factors.
Biologically, the integration of sex hormones and associated neurotransmitters such as Dopamine and Testosterone, act upon the nucleus accumbens to regular sexual urges.
Social and psychologically, factors such as work, family, personality, societal values and stress can also influence that desire for sexual intercourse.
In reality, illness, medications, lifestyle, relationship issues and age also play huge roles in exciting or dampening that involuntary urge for sex.
Frequency of sex as the barometer of libido may not be necessarily accurate.
A person may have the desire for sex, but refrain from acting on that desire, due to moral or religious reasons.
On the other hand, a person can engage in sexual activity despite having no actual desire for it!
However, the frequency of sex is the only measurement of the urge we have!
Society and sexual health experts define “hyper-sexuality” in a person who has extreme frequent sex drive, and the opposite “hypo-sexuality”, as abnormal.
However, the true “acceptable” sexual drive and frequency is completely undetermined and undefined!
Regardless of once a year or twice a day, among couples, the “right” level of sexual desire is often an important factor in the formation and maintenance of intimate relationships.
Lack of sexual desire or the changes in libido, if sustained and unresolved, often leads to trust deficits and problems in relationships.
Some quarters have claims of certain lotions and potions to have the quick fix abilities to restore the diminishing desire in men (and women).
Many of them really do not withstand stringent scientific scrutiny!
Although little evidence supports the effectiveness of certain measures, there is really no harm in trying out some natural food and vegetables.
Figs, bananas and avocados, for example, are considered aphrodisiacs as they contain vitamins and minerals enhancing the blood flow to the genitals.
According to one study, chocolate also promotes the release of phenylethylamine and serotonin that enhance sexual urges.
Lastly, herbs such as gingko biloba, basil and garlic are known to have high levels of allicin to enhance the desire.
Although it may be the placebo effect that drives the desire, however, it’s better to have the drive than none!
Many men use sex to relieve stress, but stress relief by other means such as exercise, meditation and yoga are more sustainable in enhancing the mood for love!
Needless to say, getting adequate sleep and rest are well recognised to boost the sexual desire and drive in general!
Lastly, keeping the “health” of the relationship in check by constant communication with one's partner can outline the likes and dislikes between the sheets, to revive that loving feeling in the bedroom!
Sigmund Freud defined libido as: “The energy, regarded as a quantitative magnitude of which those instinct have to do with all that may be comprised under the word 'love'.”
In reality, libido is difficult to define, as it comprises the complex integration of desire, self-confidence and values.
When Dr G is put on the spot for a quick fix for the dwindling libido among urbanites, he advice is simply: “The quest for sexual libido is a long journey of self-discovery of harnessing the inner energy. Only through healthy living can one unleash the quantitative magnitude of inner instinct, to do with all that may be comprised under self-love!”
On that note, Dr G wishes all readers abundance of health to unleash the inner energy of love, over the Chinese New Year!
Dr George Lee is a consultant Urologist and Clinical Associate Professor whose professional interest is in men’s health. The column “Ask Dr G” is a forum to help men debunk the myths and taboos on men’s issues that may be too “hard” to mention. You can send him questions at firstname.lastname@example.org