It’s a myth! Is there a concept of “different libidos” in partners?

In a new article by the Women's Health School, gynecologist Natalia Silina debunks another myth about the different libidos of sexual partners.

Natalia Silina

Are libido and sexual desire synonymous? Or not? And what about libido and sexual character? Let’s analyze another myth together with the Dr. Silina School of Women’s Health.

The myth of “different libidos” in partners was formed due to gender stereotypes and ignorance of what libido is.

What is libido and what does it depend on

Everyone’s libido is different, unique, and depends on a bunch of factors, like:

  • The amount and quality of sleep;
  • Proper functioning of the thyroid gland, ovaries and testicles, adrenal glands;
  • Understanding your anatomy and your needs;
  • The amount of protein and healthy fats in the diet;
  • Lack of certain vitamins and minerals;
  • Stress resistance, work and rest regimes.

Libido and sexual character

It is the latter that can really differ. Sexual character is a set of stable biological properties of an organism. They are formed under the heredity and developmental conditions in the prenatal period and early childhood. The sexual constitution determines the individual level of sexual needs, the limits of sexual activity and the resistance of the sexual sphere to environmental stimuli. It is one of the aspects of a person’s general construct and determines the intensity of sexual manifestations, i.e. sexual temperament.

The individual resistance of sexual function to the negative effects of a number of factors, including chronic stress, depends on the sexual character.

There are three types of sexual character, regardless of gender: strong, medium, and weak.

Thus, a woman might have a strong character, while a man can have an average or a weak one. Important! A weak sexual character does not mean a weak erection. It’s about the need for sexual arousal and its realization.

They are determined by considering anthropometric, physiological, and social characteristics. But to curb any preconceptions that may arise after these terms, I will explain.

лібідо либидо libido
A weak sexual character does not equal a bad sex life

Once again, I want to emphasize that people with a weak or average sexual character can be equally satisfied or neglected in their sexual life as people with a strong one.

In a very schematic way, the types of sexual character reflect how often a person needs sexual arousal and release. According to researchers, most often, when people form a couple, they have, if not the same, then similar types of sexual character. Of course, it is much more difficult for people with polar characters to maintain a relationship.

However, it is scientifically proven that the interaction of a couple is that it adapts one type to the other. As a result, we have an “average pace” that will be acceptable to both. This “adaptation” usually takes three to five years, sometimes up to seven. But no matter how unscientific the following definition may seem, scientists, with their heads down, answer the question “how can one hold out for so long before adapting?” with just this: love, mutual interests, goals, and movement in the same direction.

Libido and the copulatory cycle

The copulatory cycle is the whole complex of manifestations that a person experiences during intimacy. In women and men, it differs slightly in terms of its component stages and, ultimately, in terms of duration. This is due to the peculiarities of physiology and neurohumoral regulation.


In a man, the state from the onset of sexual dominance (the beginning of an erection) to the point of no return (after which ejaculation happens) normally lasts three+ minutes. In a woman, arousal begins with preliminary caresses, and normally lasts 11–16 minutes to the same point. Moreover, even after orgasm, a woman remains aroused for some time. She can return from this state to orgasm again and again if she’d like. For a man, after ejaculation, there is some time of inability to be aroused, at least for a while. How long it will last depends on the man’s age and sexual character.

More answers about women’s libido and sexual pleasure can be found in my webinar Honest answers to intimate questions about sex and your pleasure.

More about your health and body is in the courses: A girl becomes a womanAll about you. What it’s like to be a WomanAll about you 35+.

I’m eager to file all of these courses in English, just send me a request to dr.silinaeducation@gmail.com.

You can always choose your doctor at the Lior Medical Center.

To all 💗

Sincerely, your Natalia Silina,
expert on sexuality education at UNFPA

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