The Mysteries of the Female Libido: How to Get Her in the Mood

image of a couple with the text 'mysteries of the female libido'Does she want sex? Doesn’t she? If not, why not? All important questions, I’m sure you’ll agree.

But the female libido is a complicated subject, as you’re about to find out. Not to worry though, I’m going to lead you through the maze.

Just how do you get her in the mood?

Libido: female vs. male

Your libido is quite simply different from mine. Studies have shown that men under the age of sixty tend to think about sex at least once a day, whilst only 25% of women think about sex that often.

Men want more sex, more often, with more partners than women do. There are all kinds of cultural and biological reasons for this. Basically it’s your job to create as many kids as possible, and it’s mine to be pregnant for nine months and then raise a child for several years.

The simple truth is that we’re just different.

Yes, there are women that want lots of sex, just as there are men that don’t. But it’s important to understand that as a general rule, your partner’s sex drive is likely to be quite a bit different than your own, at least “on paper.”

This doesn’t mean that you’re going to be completely mis-matched though. You just need to take into account some differences. For a start, females tend to be mental rather than physical.

Libido: mental vs. physical

Think of the example of Viagra. Designing a drug to help men have sex was relatively easy. All researchers had to do was find a way to get more blood down into the penis so you could get an erection. Once that erection is achieved, you’re good to go.

Designing a drug for female libido was a lot tougher. Simply encouraging lubrication or blood flow to the genitals really isn’t enough, which is why studies show that the so-called “female Viagra” hasn’t been much of a success.

Women need more than the physical – they need the mental aspect too. They need an emotional connection (for the most part).

What does that mean in reality for you?

Well, it means that if your partner isn’t in the right mental state she’s unlikely to want to have sex. It’s that simple. I’ll discuss some factors that influence sex drive below. But for now know that a woman’s brain is as important as her body.

Getting over that mental hurdle might not be as difficult as you think though, since women tend to be responsive rather than spontaneous.

Libido: responsive vs. spontaneous

Sexologists, and some biologists, consider women’s libido to be responsive, rather than spontaneous like men’s.

What does that actually mean though?

In very basic terms, it means that once the action starts, women get into it, even though they might not have been in the mood before you started.

As a guy this can be tough to understand, particularly if you’re looking for your partner to take the initiative sometimes. It’s not that she doesn’t want you, it’s that she doesn’t know she wants you, if that makes sense.

By beginning the seduction process (with some great foreplay) she starts to get turned on. Her mental state changes so that suddenly she does want sex (whereas beforehand she might have been ready to settle down to a TV series for the night).

Responsive libido is a bit of a minefield, and we need to be careful here. This doesn’t mean that all women want sex, or sex with you.

Forcing a woman into sex is rape, and isn’t at all the same thing as persuading your partner to have sex. No does mean no.

However, from a practical point of view, it’s always worth a kiss or a caress or some foreplay to see if your partner may change her mind.

And other than the actual nature of libido itself, there are other factors that can affect female sex drive strongly.

image representing libido

What affects female libido?

Let’s assume that your partner is attracted to you, and likes to please you, but she still doesn’t feel like having sex.

What’s going on?

There could be any number of reasons that she’s not getting in the mood:

Her menstrual cycle

Where a woman is in her cycle, and which hormones are pumping around her system at any given time, affect how much she wants sex.

This varies by woman, but most tend to want sex more right before their period or during ovulation (which is when she would be able to conceive, so this makes sense).

You don’t need to be stalker-y about it, but having a vague idea of your partner’s cycle can help explain mood changes as well as libido changes.

Birth Control (and other drugs)

Because birth control changes a woman’s hormone levels, it can also change her libido (in either direction!).

If the problem is serious, a change of medication can do the trick. Other meds, like anti-depressants and even cold medications can also affect her libido quite strongly.


Remember that women’s libido is more “mental” than a man’s? That means that stress and tiredness are likely to lower her libido, since she can’t get into the right mental space to get going.


Having a child is likely to decrease the amount of sex in your relationship by around a third, according to at least one study.

This could be down to tiredness and stress, though new fathers are also partly to blame, since they suffer a drop in testosterone and therefore libido.


Finally, there are cultural things that affect a woman’s libido too. These include her level of education, whether she goes to church, her group of friends and their attitudes to sex, and the kind of family she grew up in.

All that seems like a lot of information, but I warned you that female libido isn’t simple…

On the bright side, when your partner does turn you down, at least you know that there are plenty of potential reasons (which have nothing to do with you personally!).

Can libido change?

A woman’s libido certainly does change over time. I’ve already mentioned factors that affect her libido, and most women will experience at least a few fluctuations in sex drive during their lives.

Maybe the real question that you want to ask is whether you can make her libido higher so she wants more sex, and the answer to that is a qualified yes.

There are some medications that help improve a woman’s libido (mostly based on testosterone and all require a prescription).

Hormones play a huge role in libido, so if low sex drive is a problem, a doctor’s visit might be in order.

And due to the responsive nature of female libido, many women find that the more sex they have, the more they want.

None of these are guaranteed low libido solutions, but they’re worth a shot.

The best thing you can do if libido has become an issue is to open up the paths of communication. Explain your feelings on the matter without placing blame on her, so that you can both work to solve the problem together.

It’s a touchy subject, so be careful. Try starting with something like: ‘I find you very attractive and I would like to make love more often. Is there a way we can make this happen together?’

Libido: the bottom line

So, what’s the take home message here? Well, female libido is complicated, and her desire to have sex or not often has nothing to do with you personally.

A woman may be more responsive, so if you take the initiative she may change her mind about having sex. But the real message is understanding and communication.

A woman’s libido is different to yours, so you can’t judge her by your own standards. That doesn’t mean that you have to settle for less sex or no sex though. Like with most relationship issues, a little communication goes a long way.

I can’t tell you what all women want, but I can tell you that understanding things like her libido will get you a long way in building a successful sexual relationship.

You might also like

Continuing from the theme of this article, I highly recommend checking out my tips for good foreplay.

You might also find it helpful to read about the top mistakes men make in bed. If your partner has a low libido, even though there can be many reasons why, it’s still good to check if there’s something you’ve missed.

Finally, I also recommend checking out my article discussing ways to give a woman great oral sex. There are lots of practical tips there, both from me and other readers.

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  1. Nice article. I want to bring some fantasy roleplay to my relationship but like you say I don’t feel right doing some of the things my partner has said she likes. But I want to do it for her. Your article has given me some good ideas for approaching it though so maybe we can take it one at a time and see where we go. D

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