The sex drive (or libido) is very important to overall health. The sexual drive that influences the mental, physical, and social behaviors of an individual is driven primarily by the levels of testosterone or dopamine hormones (although others are a factor) that are created in the adrenal glands and reproductive organs. To question whether testosterone therapy will increase your libido, ie. “make you hornier” rests on a combination of factors. Where testosterone is the primary sex and steroid hormone that attributes to male reproduction and physical attributes, females are sensitive to it (like males are to estrogen). To make a long story short, testosterone does have a direct correlation to female vaginal arousal and as genital arousal increases, there are small increases in testosterone until orgasm. Further investigation into this concept has led to testosterone therapy for females suffering from sexual dysfunction. Sexual thoughts also change the level of testosterone but not the level of cortisol in the female body, and hormonal contraceptives may affect the variation in testosterone response to sexual thoughts [Goldey, 2011].
Physiological and Social Factors
As I said before, a combination of factors determines whether testosterone therapy will make you “hornier”. The woman’s menstrual cycle is a very influential factor in understanding her sex drive. Testosterone levels will increase in the female as she approaches ovulation making her more interested in sex; however, there is no determination that treatment will multiply the outcomes. Factors like smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, poor diet, and lack of sleep and exercise are counterproductive to testosterone production and dangerous to treatment. Although treatment improves sexual function and desire, poor mental health and depression are counterproductive as well. It would be more accurate to imply that testosterone improves and maintains sexual function and desire in people who practice healthy behaviors and are in good mental AND physical health. The libido is identified as the totality of psychic energy, not limited to sexual desire, and denotes a desire or impulse which is unchecked by any kind of authority, moral or otherwise. It is an appetite in its natural state (Gay, 1989 & Sharp, 2011).
Testosterone therapy should not be treated as an aphrodisiac, but as a medical intervention to address critical health disparities. Though women tend to exhibit less frequent and intense sexual desires as a result of hormonal dysfunction such as hypothyroidism, testosterone therapy is not the intention to increase the woman’s libido. Testosterone will make you hornier especially when there is a definite need for replacement, but unnecessary levels could lead to frontal balding, uncontrolled acne, an enlarged clitoris, increased muscle mass, and infertility typically in women with ovarian cysts. The American Medical Association has estimated that several million US women suffer from a female sexual arousal disorder, though arousal is not at all synonymous with desire, so this finding is of limited relevance to the discussion of libido.
Goldey KL, van Anders SM (May 2011). “Sexy thoughts: effects of sexual cognitions on testosterone, cortisol, and arousal in women” (PDF). Hormones and Behavior. 59 (5): 754–64. doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2010.12.005. hdl:2027.42/83874. PMID 21185838. S2CID 18691358.
P. Gay, Freud (1989) p. 397
Sharp, Daryl (15 October 2011). “Libido”. frithluton.com.
“The Concept of Libido,” Collected Works Vol. 5, par. 194.
“Lack of sex drive in men (lack of libido)”. Retrieved July 28, 2010.