Sex Drive: The Bell Curve of Human Sexual Desire

Humans by their very DNA and biology are sexual, but as with everything in life, there is a bell-curve range to their compatibility of sexual desire.

Our sexual drive is individually unique based on the amount of sex steroids our body makes (e.g. levels of estrogen and testosterone). We can imagine a benefit for human communities to have a mix of people with high and low sex steroids, and therefore high and low levels of sexual desire.

The Bell Curve of Sexual Desire

The bell curve of human sex drive
Image Credit: Brianna.Lehman via Flickr

A few people are outliers—having very low or high levels of whatever we are measuring (e.g. sexual desire). But most people are average for the population. The “normal” (average) people make the large cup of the bell, and the outliers make the flared edges of the bell.

This bell curve of desire is good. Our ancestors needed people who “lived for sex” to keep procreation of the species going even through fighting, famine and floods. Yet, they also needed people who would prioritize hunting for food or inventing a new spear over having sex.

Most of the people in these early villages had a normal amount of sex. But that didn’t make either the high or low outliers in the group “bad” or “wrong” or even “abnormal” in a pathological sense.

Sex was sex, people had sex as much as they needed, wanted, or could get within their social hierarchy.

But when humans brought culture, marriage and religion into the equation, things changed.

Instead of a person with a high sex drive seeking out a willing partner to fulfill their sexual need at the moment, now two people who were contractually partnered had to negotiate each other’s different sexual desire levels for life!

Often, inevitably, one or the other of the couple might have sexual needs that were outside of the larger bell part of average human sexual desire while the partner was average.

- Dr. E

Science can help us nurture and enjoy our sexual selves. 
sexscienceandnature.com

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