I'm a 27-year-old woman and I've been sexually active and on birth control since I was 16—almost always on the pill. I recently switched to the NuvaRing, which I had a bad reaction to: I had no libido at all and extreme mood swings/bouts of depression I could not live with. My boyfriend and I decided it would be a good idea to go off hormonal birth control for a while, just to see what would happen. We've been together for almost four years, so we agreed condoms would be fine, and I would try the route of no more supplemental hormones. I stopped a couple of months ago, and it's been a mix of good and bad. The good is that my moods are more even. Another good thing is I feel like I'm having a sexual awakening. But the bad thing is... my libido came back in a way I wasn't expecting. My sexual appetite is insane. I want to have sex with everyone! Men, women, friends, colleagues, acquaintances. My boyfriend has been amazing through all of this. He's agreed to let us open up our relationship under specific terms. I agree with the terms we placed, but I still feel like my urges are going to get me in trouble. My question is one you get a lot: Is this normal? Can removing a cocktail of hormones from my life really change me this much? I don't want to blame it all on the birth control, but I can't help but feel it to be true since it was the only variable in my life that changed in the last couple of months. I want to be faithful to my boyfriend, who has been great and understanding—allowing us to open our relationship to casual encounters with strangers. But I'm feeling sexual connections to so many more people now, and often to people I've known for a while. I see this all as mostly positive, but the adjustment to the new sexual hunger has been strange and difficult to wrap my head around.
Suddenly Horny And Going Gaga Isn't Normal
"I'm so glad to hear this woman sees the increase in her libido as positive," said Dr. Meredith Chivers, an associate professor of psychology at Queen's University, a world-renowned sex researcher. "At the same time, I understand how overwhelming these urges can feel, especially when they are new."
Luckily for you, SHAGGIN, you're with someone who's secure enough to let you feel the fuck out these new feelings. Whether or not you act on them is one thing, but not having to pretend you aren't suddenly interested in fucking men, women, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances is a real gift.
"It's difficult to say what is and isn't normal when it comes to the effects of hormonal contraception (HC) on women's sexual interest," said Dr. Chivers. "To my knowledge, researchers have not specifically examined the question of what happens to women's sex drive after stopping HC."
But lots of women have stopped using hormonal contraception for the exact same reason you did.
Since you definitely experienced an increase in sexual desire after you removed your NuvaRing and started using condoms, SHAGGIN, Dr. Chivers was comfortable saying... that you definitely experienced an increase in sexual desire and that might be related to going off HC.
"Given that she has been using some form of HC since she became sexually active, my guess is that she's never had the chance to experience her sexuality while naturally cycling," said Dr. Chivers. "Part of her process could be learning about her unmedicated hormonal cycle, her sexuality, and the variations in her sex drive. For example, does her sexual interest fluctuate over her cycle? She might want to consider collecting some data with a cycle tracker app like Flo, Clue, and Period Tracker. This might help her notice patterns in her libido, attractions, and sexual pleasure—and help her to develop strategies to manage, and perhaps even capitalize on, her sexual desires."
As for your boyfriend, SHAGGIN, and your desire to be faithful to him: So long as you honor the terms of your openness agreement, you are being faithful to him. But check in with him more than once before you fuck someone who isn't him.
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