When Does Female Sexuality Peak?

I remember clearly being told that I wouldn’t come into my fully bloomed sexuality until I hit the age of 35 as women didn’t peak sexually until they were older.  As I was enjoying myself then, I didn’t really think about when I might ‘peak’.

As I started seeing more clients who wanted help with their sexual lives, this was a topic I thought more about.   I see women in their 30’s who have not yet experienced a sexual peak.  I also see women in their 30’s who feel their best sex is definitely behind them.    So I began to wonder if the idea that women don’t reach their sexual peak until their mid-30’s was a myth.

Unless it is in the consulting room or amongst really close friends, when people talk about their sex lives they talk of the best times.  I listen to lots of people wearing rose tinted spectacles, looking at only the positives in the past, present and for the future.     Clients come to me and talk about their struggles with sex and sexuality so I had their stories to draw on.  Close friends were willing to talk more frankly too so I had their stories to draw on.


Research seems to suggest that actually sex for women in their 30’s is extremely conflicted.    In fact, sex for men and women in the 30’s age group is often problematic.    There is a difference between married (or partnered) women with children and single women.  Female sexual drive is very connected to hormone levels.  When women are in their 30’s they are right in the middle of their child bearing years.  The biological clock is no myth!  The intensity of the drive to procreate should not be minimised.  Many ‘accidents’ occur in the 30’s.  Many single women suddenly become partnered (and often inappropriately so) and find themselves pregnant.

The drive to have lots of passionate sex is highest at ovulation.  For married women and women with children,  after ovulation passes there is little hormonal drive.  It appears that things may be a bit more stable over the month for unpartnered women.  Once women have children, the additional stress can cause a severe dip in libido.

Why am I talking about libido?  Because libido is what drives us to seek out sexual experiences.  If you have no or low libido, you may not even think about sex.  You won’t seek sex out.  When libido has completely gone, you probably won’t be upset by not having sex or opportunities for sex.  Low libido can be caused by stress, a number of health problems, various medications (some antidepressants, some blood pressure medications), low testosterone (in men in particular) and low oestrogen (in women).  Low libido is a big problem for menopausal and post-menopausal women that is rarely talked about in detail.  With most causes, there is a lot that can be done to bring libido back and when libido comes back so does the possibility of an exciting sex life.

When does female sexuality peak?

For women, sexual desire and sexuality is intimately linked to emotional elements.  Research continues to highlight that women become turned on more via their minds and emotions than by a pretty/hot/sexy visual.  Women who are stressed lose interest in sex.  If there are emotional issues in the relationship, women will find it really hard to connect sexually.  Women find men who are emotionally available very sexy, for example.    Many women find intelligence very sexy.  This isn’t to say that men don’t also find these things sexy but rather that men tend to look at the physical form first.  Also many men will use sex to create emotional closeness whereas many women need to feel emotionally close in order to become physically close and have sex.     As a result, it appears that women have a variety of sexual peaks during their lives.  Rather than have a sexual prime in the 30’s, many have one in the 20’s and then another in the 40’s and 50’s.

Scientists don’t agree about the depth or description of ‘normal’ sexual response in women or whether women even have a sexual peak.  Rather than being upset by this information, I encourage you to see it as liberating.  This means that however you are is fine.  Seek help if you are not happy with your sexual drive, desire or any aspect of your sexual life.  Seek help if you and your partner are not well matched or are having sexual issues.

when does female sexuality peak?

There are currently no particular drugs to increase female libido.  There is no equivalent to Viagra for women. A number of researchers have suggested that lower levels of testosterone after menopause are responsible for the drop in desire.  Lots of drugs are being trialled but thus far nothing has worked well enough with few enough risks to be brought to market.  However, there are quite a few doctors who are prescribing testosterone off label to increase female libido.  I know a number of people who have taken testosterone for this reason.  They have all reported increased sexual desire. They have also reported a variety of side effects including some increased facial hair growth, some increased hair loss, increase in anger and acne.  It is thought that part of the reason for high levels of side effects is that the dosages are too high.

When libido is not being negatively influences by low testosterone or low oestrogen, there is evidence that many women who have decided not to have children and/or are post-menopausal experience a sexual prime.  Sex is not related to procreation at this stage and is primarily for pleasure, love, power or other motivations.  Cindy Meston and David Buss found 237 reasons in their 2009 book Why Women Have Sex.    Is this THE sexual prime for women?  After listening to women and looking at the research, I think not.

The idea of one sexual peak or sexual prime is outdated.  After all, this idea came out of research on married couples in the 1940’s and 50’s.  Dr Kinsey’s research was ground breaking at the time.  There had been almost no research on sexual behaviour.  Relationship behaviour has changed significantly since then.   There is evidence from an evolutionary perspective that suggests an additional reason for women to have more sex in their mid 30’s to mid 40’s.  Pregnancy is much harder to achieve as women move past the child bearing prime of the 20’s.  In order to achieve pregnancy, often much more sex is necessary.

Women have more than one sexual peak and the peaks are influenced by evolution, hormones, emotions, relationship and family status and stress.   Orgasm creates more sexual desire.  So in times where stresses contribute to decreased desire, I often advise clients to push through the indifference and either masturbate or have sex with a partner.  Reaching orgasm will almost always create a desire for more orgasm which means more sex.  The feel and look of women’s sexuality changes over the life span so rather than looking at peaks perhaps looking at it as a wave with ebb and flow creates a clearer picture.

If you want to explore the tides of your sexuality, email me here or schedule a free 30 minute strategy session with me here.

  • Andrea says:

    I’ve always been at my sexual peak and I’m 46. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been married or I’m just a freak, either way it goes I constantly want sex‍♀️‍♀️


      Hi. I’m 47 and at my sexual peak too. Your not a freak hon.. women have several sexual peaks throughout their lives. Do not be ashamed! Find a partner and enjoy the ride. Pun totally intended lol…

  • Holly says:

    I’m 48, and I would say I’ve had 2 sexual peaks and one is going on right now, my husband doesn’t even know who I am… but isn’t complaining!! I’m just confused why now. I’ve been reading some really good books, not all about sex but w sexual tension and it has definitely helped. Could that be enough to make a difference?

    • Dr Lori Beth says:

      Yes that can be enough to stimulate desire. As long as you are both enjoying it, keep doing what you are doing!

      • Sonya says:

        I am 47 and I think I have hit my sexual peek I’ve been married 8years for the last 2years I haven’t really had the desire like I do now I though it was a myth about sexual peek but I see now that it is not I’m really glad because I love my husband very much but the last 2 years was really a stain on him I believe wondering why I was never in the mood but now maybe I can up to him

  • Kc says:

    I’ve always had a good sex drive and then in my 40s it kind of fell off now I’m 51 and seem to want sex every day and even two or three times but my partner doesn’t feel the same way she is only 34 so I’m trying to figure out is it me she isn’t attracted to .so am I to understand she just isn’t as horney as I am. Because I don’t really see how she could have even close to the stress I have she doesn’t work and all the bills are paid so how hard could she have it.mabie I just don’t do it for her any more any suggestions would help

    • Dr Lori Beth says:

      Thanks for commenting. Unfortunately, I can’t possibly know if her desire has dropped, if she isn’t into you anymore or if something else is going on without hearing from her. If you don’t believe what she says, then it is time to get some help together to look at your relationship. Join me on Patreon Patreon and become a patron at $40 per month to get 30 minutes per month with me at the lowest possible fee (apart from my one off 30 minute free session).

  • 1motorpsycho says:

    About to turn 50 and men are having a hard time keeping up (regardless of their ages). I thought it was loneliness but after reading this, I know there’s more to it. Just getting out of an engagement effected by ED, I never knew what it would be like to have to live without it. It is miserable. Now I’m afraid that I want it too often compared to the men in my life and that it comes across as emotionally needy. It is on some level I suppose because the thought of sex with strangers is repulsive to me. Yet, a warm body and sensuality is a huge turn on. Happy to know that I have time to find the right partner and there’s no need to panick. In the meantime, I am pulling my hair out and “wasting what could be my last sexual prime”.

  • Pat says:

    Hello. I am 31 and my girlfriend is 26. We have been seeing each other for about 4 years. Before her, I was seeing a girl with sexual desires as strong as mine – we had sex very very frequently, which made me a very happy person. While I do love my current girlfriend very much, her sexual desire levels don’t compare to mine. I believe we have sex maybe once a month at most. For me, that is far too little for a couple of our age. Sometimes I think she believes she’s doing me a favour when we do have sex. We have talked about it and she will always blame it on stress. She is doing a Masters degree so I understand. But even if we’re on vacation, our sexual frequency doesn’t even come close to satisfactory for me. I feel like I am dating a robot in a woman’s body. My desires have gone unsatisfied for so long that it has made me depressed I want to abandon ship. Do you think there’s any hope for us? Or are we incompatible as I suspect.

    • Dr Lori Beth says:

      i couldn’t possibly tell you if there is hope for you based on a short paragraph! If you want to make this relationship work, spend the time to see a coach and discuss these issues fully. Then work out a plan together and go from there. If you are incompatible it will become obvious in the sessions and you can make decisions at that point.

    • P says:

      Seems that she might have some emotional blockade or perhaps trust or no emotional safety with you…. or just in general. This seems like a deep cause of it.. or maybe she wants different delivery of sexual pleasure tgan you serve…could be… talk!!! Try to help each other and rediscover each other’s needs. Maybe they are clashing niw. Remember bith need to feel pleased not one side, no matter which side. It has to be both.

  • Miss K says:

    I’m not in a relationship and not into “hooking” up, but I am going insane with arousal. My mind in dream state or awake is constantly dredging up intensely passionate sexual fantasies and I make a number of trips to bathroom to dry up the arousal if you catch my drift. I have even had orgasms in dreams that seem to manifest in waking life. I’m 33 with kids and under a lot of stress. Shouldn’t the stress be making my libido lower? Is there something wrong with my brain?

  • Lillian K says:

    Hi, I had my second child at 32, emergency c-section. My only c-section. The Dr. butchered me. I was diagnosed with endometriosis 2 years later. When i was just hitting my sexual peak. After a complete hystorectomy and 4 additional surgeries. All in a 3 month period. I have suffered several complications. I literally gave up on going back to the obgyn since. I was made to feel like a hyprocondreact. So my obgyn sent me to a specialist surgeon, who literally told me he wouldn’t touch me with a 10 foot pole. I am now 44 and i hate sex! I hate my desires got ripped away from me!!! I feel sexually incompetent, my poor husband suffers. Theres a little pill called Libby Girl, it helps. But after, I hurt for several days. I suffer n live with it. Is there any help for me out there? I took estrogen 2 years, it only helped night sweat’s. So i quit taking.

    • Dr Lori Beth says:

      For the physical, testosterone may be of help. It can improve libido and also improve pain. Also if you have no ovaries, oestrogen is important too. For the rest, some trauma therapy around the birth, the endemetriosis and the hysterectomy and other surgery. Once you have done that, some coaching to help you get back into sex.

  • Cherry says:

    Help needed! I’ve hit what I’d call a huge sexual peak. Young 43, never married, no kids. For the last few months I’ve been out of control aroused, pretty much permanently. My mind and body are constantly thinking about sex and I can’t get enough. To the point I’m bordering feeling obsessed with it and it interferes with my daily life. Recent hormone test showed high oestrogen and low progesterone and I’m seeing naturopath to balance these out. Cycle is spot on regular. What is causing this?