T Nation

High Sex Drive, Low Test Levels?


is it possible to have high sex drive but low testosterone levels?


Sure, why???

If you think your low get a test done dont try and guess/self diagnose. :slight_smile:


well hopefully its not the case as Im only 24

I wonder because I have a high sex drive yet I find that my results in the gym are far less than my gym partner (who I train)

he reports having quite a low sex drive and even though he a. sleeps less than me b. drinks more than me and c. eats worse than me (not necessarily even adequit calories or protein) he still manages to beat me to any goal we set. ..

I dont know if you can blame testosterone solely for those things but I just thought it was odd and wondered if anyone had any thoughts on the issue of sex drive and testosterone levels. ..




Sex drive for the most part is modulated by dopamine, DHT, and estrogens. I said mostly because if your adrenals are fatigued or you're hypothyroid that can also contribute to loss of function.

It's possible your friend may have higher bioavailable testosterone but less favourable values for dopamine, DHT, and/or estrogens. Of course testosterone isn't the only variable that governs muscle growth. There are many other independent factors.


hmm.. . all very interesting but unfortunately none of that can help me get stronger and build muscle better. ..

thanks for the insight. ..


Are you sure that you are working as hard as he is? I have found when I am working with other people, my amount of work seems to slack off a bit. Maybe that last 2 reps which are kinda hard for you are murder to him. He may have started in a lower level of conditioing than you, and of course will begin faster. Maybe he puts more of his energy and focus into it, where you let it drop. If you are eating better, and of normal health, I would believe that this issue is training related. Work yourself harder for a couple weeks and see what happens.


Ive considered this often.. . and Im not sure.. . he seems to respond well and preform better with higher reps and intensity.. . I certainly give him more verbal motivation as we go to get more out of him and he agrees it helps.. . I know I need more of the same from him but I dont think thats all there is.. . it could simply be that I have not learned to manage stress. ..



Out of curiosity, does that mean that higher estrogen levels could/would contribute to higher sex drive in males? I always thought the opposite was true . . . .


Well then you need to be your own motivation, push yourself harder, and make it happen. Another item, is you said you eat better. You may not be eating enough to fuel your body and fuel the growth that you are looking for. It requires a lot of energy to make the body change, and for it to workout. Keep this in mind when you choose your diet. Lastly, try a completely new program. If you are not gaining at high reps, try lower. Use your stress as fuel to fire you up and work harder.


Actually no it doesn't. There's a mid-range that is optimal. Going too low will down-regulate dopamine receptors, as well as affecting many other processes.

When estrogens get too high they start competing with testosterone reducing it's anabolic/androgenic affects. High estrogen also raises prolactin which dampens dopamine levels as well although through a different mechanism.

High estrogens also negatively effects the feed back loop to produce more testosterone resulting in down regulation. This is one of the mechanisms through which athletes in post steroid cycle recovery bring their gonad function back online. By reducing estrogen to mid-low ranges it tricks the body to produce more LH thus increase your natural testosterone production again. The body uses excess estradiol as a sign that too much testosterone is being produced since estradiol is a metabolite of testosterone. That's not the only method for down regulation but it is one of the major ones.

Too low of estrogen can cause depression, fatigue, bone and collagen problems, as well as being a risk factor for Parkinson's, so it's not something someone should shoot for.

Hopefully that wasn't all too confusing. :slight_smile:


Great info, Bri. Thanks!