Hormones: The base coat paint.

Plain and simple, hormones seem to be the base coat paint for our sexual functioning. They have such a significant impact on who we are and how we react to things that when they are low or missing or if we have too much, nothing really seems to go right. We can get anxious, moody, depressed, lethargic, overly excitable and can lose our sex drive. Exactly how hormones work on the brain, how they interact with each other and what specific quantities people need to “work right” is still being studied. There’s so much we don’t know. But for those of us in the field of sexuality it is becoming clearer and clearer that without a proper hormonal profile the odds that sexual problems will present themselves go way up.

Sometimes people are skeptical. How can hormones really matter that much? Especially with sex, people are very quick to say “oh, that’s ridiculous. It’s all about the relationship. “ Or they believe it’s all about the person’s confidence, or emotional make-up.

But that is simply ignoring basic truths that we understand about our bodies. Consider this:

When kids go through adolescence we expect that they will all of a sudden have an interest in sex. Or, if they were a young child with an early interest in sex, we expect their interest will increase significantly, after all they are “going through puberty.” Hmmmm…What exactly is puberty? It’s an increase in those hormones that make you interested in sex! And what is our immediate reaction when we see an 18 year old boy ogling a girl? We are amused, and assume that his “hormones are going through the roof.” In so many ways we acknowledge that hormones are the engine that powers the sex drive. We are okay with that. And we understand it to be true.

But somehow, as soon as it comes to understanding the adult libido, we seem to change our tune. Now it’s all about relationships, conversations, sexy underwear. Maybe it’s time we rethought the issue and accepted that, yes, hormones play a significant, significant role in our sex life.

Don’t get me wrong. Our relationships, our confidence and even sexy underwear can play an important role — but hormones seem like a starting point that just can’t — and shouldn’t — be ignored.

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