I Never Get Horny Enough! The Reasons Why You Might Not Be Feeling Turned On

If you feel like you rarely have the urge to get off, there are several reasons why. But just know there’s an ebb and flow to desire.

I Never Get Horny Enough! The Reasons Why You Might Not Be Feeling Turned On

I Never Get Horny Enough! The Reasons Why You Might Not Be Feeling Turned On

I Never Get Horny Enough! The Reasons Why You Might Not Be Feeling Turned On

6 minute read

Sometimes, it can seem like everyone around you is obsessed with sex, because sex is everywhere — in television, movies, songs, etc. It can feel alienating if you’re not super interested or feel like you never get horny enough. You may feel even more alienated if it’s your partner(s) who is really into sex and you aren’t.

While there are certain things that can cause a low sex drive, it’s important to understand there are many variations to people’s sex drives, and some people just desire sexless (or not at all), and that’s totally normal.

Here are a few reasons why you might never get horny, and what you should know about having a lower sex drive. 

Reasons you never (or rarely) get horny

Sexual desire is incredibly personal and not very well understood, sex therapist Lawrence A. Siegel tells O.school. 

“We don’t really understand the mechanism of desire,” Siegel says. However, experts agree that biological, hormonal, emotional and social inputs are all at play when it comes to getting turned on. If you feel like you never get horny, there can be a variety of reasons. 

Physical and biological reasons can explain your sex drive

First, consider biological or physical reasons. Certain medications can inhibit your sex drive, Siegel says, possibly because they change the way your body processes neurological signals. Major physical events like an illness or injury can also leave you feeling like sex is the last thing you want to do, Siegel says. 

Then, there are the major hormonal shifts during life, including menopause and andropause, pregnancy or chest feeding. During these periods, you’re experiencing a change in hormones, which can affect your sex drive. As your hormone levels rise or fall, you might feel more or less horny. 

“As things change with us biochemically or physically we may see differences in desire,” Siegel says. 

Social reasons you never get horny

There’s another major social reason you might never get horny: stress. 

“Stress hormones will reduce sexual desire,” Siegel says. If you’re worried about finances, work, relationships or anything else, it may take a toll in the bedroom. 

The culture around you can also play a role in how horny (or not) you feel, Andrew Aaron, tells O.school. If you’re in (or have close ties) to a culture that represses or shames sexuality, you might find it hard to get turned on. Working with a professional to break down your internalized view of sexuality can help address that if you’re interested in making changes to how horny you feel.

Emotional factors that might leave you never feeling horny

Some partnerships also lose sexual desire over time, Siegel says. Being in a secure, trusting, well-established relationship is what many people aspire to have, but that can have a real impact on your arousal. 

“Sometimes it’s a little too safe,” Siegel says. “There’s an edge that sexual desire lives in.”

Relationships thrive on a combination of intimacy, commitment, and passion, Siegel says. Unfortunately, as the first two qualities build over time, it can damper down the passion for many people, since passion needs some level of tension and unpredictability, he explains. Usually, this affects one partner more than the other and can lead to a difference in sexual desire. 

To combat that, it’s important to have open, honest communication. From there, you can work toward a solution. Oftentimes, trying something new together, like date nights or a new sexual activity, is enough to make you feel horny again.

“Trying something new to both of you can help focus your communication and attention on each other and the slight discomfort may be just the tension needed to help rekindle desire,” Siegel says. 

Is it normal to never get horny?

Human sexuality is a spectrum, and that’s true with levels of arousal as well, sex therapist Amanda Pasciucco tells O.school. 

“Sexual drive is different with all people,” she says. “It’s totally normal.”

In her practice, Pasciucco uses a chart that outlines the spectrum of sexual arousal. It outlines four levels that may fall under the “low sex drive” umbrella. Here they are listed in descending order of sexual desire.  

  1. People who have no desire for sex at all and who are averse to even talking about sex. 
  2. People who are not averse to sex, but don’t care about it or don’t feel they need or want sex. 
  3. People who masturbate, but aren’t interested in partnered sex. 
  4. People who are occasionally interested in partnered sex, but not enough to initiate it. 

People who feel these ways might also consider themselves asexual, or without desire. 

“There are people who don’t seem to have any foundational desire for sex, orgasm, or that erotic connection,” Siegel says. However, these people may still enjoy intimacy and physical closeness, without sex. 

Can you still get horny when you’re asexual?

People who identify as asexual, or without sexual feelings, can still get turned on, Aaron says. However, they might identify the feeling differently. 

“A person who defines his or her sexuality as asexual may have sexual desire, or be horny, but does not identify it as a sexual sensation or sexual desire,” he says. 

In short, people who are asexual can still get horny, and just because you never get horny doesn’t mean that you are asexual. Having low or no sexual desire is entirely normal — as long as there’s no underlying trauma that is causing your lack of desire. If you’ve experienced a traumatic event that may be inhibiting your desire, seeking professional help is critical, Siegel says. 

How can I tell my partner I never get horny?

There’s no such thing as a “normal” sex drive, Siegel and Pasciucco say. However, if your partner wants to have sex, but you never get horny, that can create tension in your relationship. Consider talking openly about the levels of desire in your relationship with your partner, or seeking the help of a sex therapist to help mediate that conversation if it’s difficult for you to talk about it. 

“The only standard we can use is how comfortable are all parties involved with the level of desire,” Siegel says. 

If you and your partner have mismatched desires, try talking it out to see if you and your partner might be able to come to an agreement and set expectations and boundaries that you are both comfortable with. If you’re not interested in partnered sex, you might enjoy watching your partner masturbate, or engage in mutual masturbation, for example. 

Some people who aren’t horny very often enjoy tantric sex, says Pasciucco. In tantra you build sexual sensations very slowly, using the whole body, not just sex organs. The goal is to experience the sensations in every area of your body, without a focus on orgasm. That can take the pressure off of people who don’t feel super turned on. 

If you and your partner still have mismatched desire levels, talking with a sex therapist can help you reach an agreement that works for you. 

Accepting changes in desire

While it’s totally normal to have a low sex drive or to have your sex drive decrease with age and/or various phases of life, that doesn’t mean you have to accept a low sex drive if that isn’t what you want. To help increase your sex drive, talk to a health care provider to rule out some factors that could potentially be affecting you, such as medication or hormonal imbalances. Then, talk about some next steps you can take to get to a place you’d like to be. 

“Desire is fluid,” Siegel tells O.school. “There’s going to be an ebb and flow. People need to be able to normalize those changes. That’s okay. That’s part of what is a typical course of activity for most people.”

O.team

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

The O.school team is here to provide you with the most medically-accurate information around sex, sexual wellness, pleasure, relationships, and dating. Every article we publish is vetted by our medical review board, ensuring that readers are provided with answers you can trust.

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