You are here:

Effects of ADHD on Sexuality

What Is
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that
causes a person to have impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, and difficulty
paying attention.

This disorder can have significant effects on adult life. For
example, a person with ADHD may have a poor self-image and difficulty maintaining
a stable relationship or job.

What Are the
Effects of ADHD on Sexuality?


The effects on sexuality by ADHD can be hard to measure. This is
because sexual symptoms may be different in each person.

Some sexual symptoms can lead to sexual dysfunction. This can cause
significant stress in a relationship. Understanding how ADHD affects sexuality
can help a couple cope with relationship stress.

Some common symptoms of ADHD include depression, emotional
instability, and anxiety. All of these conditions can have a negative impact on
sex drive. For instance, it can be exhausting for someone with ADHD to
constantly maintain order and organization. They may not have the energy or
desire to engage in sexual activities.

Two common sexual symptoms of ADHD are hypersexuality and hyposexuality.
If a person with ADHD experiences sexual symptoms, they’ll usually fall into
one of these two categories.

Hypersexuality and ADHD

Hypersexuality means you have an unusually high sex drive.

Sexual stimulation releases endorphins and mobilizes the brain’s
neurotransmitters. This gives a feeling of calmness that reduces the
restlessness often caused by ADHD. However, promiscuity and consumption of
pornography can be sources of relationship strife.

Some people with ADHD may engage in risky sexual practices due to
problems with impulsivity. People with ADHD may also be at increased risk for
substance use disorders, which may further impair decision-making and result in
sexual risk-taking.

Hyposexuality and ADHD

Hyposexuality is the opposite­: A person’s sex drive plummets and
they often lose all interest in sexual activity. This can be due to ADHD itself.
It can also be a side effect of medication — particularly antidepressants — which
are often prescribed for people with ADHD.

Sex is no different from other activities that present a
challenge for someone with ADHD. They can have trouble concentrating during sex,
lose interest in what they’re doing, or become distracted.

Are the Treatment Options for Overcoming Sexual Challenges?


Women with ADHD often have trouble reaching orgasm. Some women report
being able to have many orgasms very quickly, and at other times not reaching
orgasm, even with prolonged stimulation.

People with ADHD are hypersensitive. This means a sexual activity
that feels good to a partner without ADHD can be irritating or even painful for
the person with ADHD.

Smells, touches, and tastes that often accompany intercourse can
be repulsive or annoying to someone with ADHD. Hyperactivity is another obstacle
to achieving intimacy for someone with ADHD. It may be very difficult for a partner
with ADHD to relax enough to get in the mood for sex.

Mix It Up

Trying new positions, locations, and techniques can decrease
boredom in the bedroom. Discuss ways to spice things up before sex to ensure
that both partners are comfortable.

Communicate and Compromise

Discuss how your ADHD may affect intimacy and your sexual
expression. If your partner has ADHD, be considerate of their needs. For
example, turn off the lights and don’t use lotions or perfumes if they’re
sensitive to light or sweet smells.

Don’t be afraid to seek help from a qualified sex therapist. Many
couples coping with ADHD greatly benefit from couples counseling and sex


Work on being in the moment. Get rid of distractions and try
doing calming exercises together, such as yoga or meditation. Make dates for
sex and commit to them. Making sex a priority will ensure you don’t get

Posted by: Dr.Health

Back to Top