It’s very common for couples to find themselves in a place where they don’t have spontaneous sexual desire. This can happen for many reasons – from physical pain or an injury to mental health issues.
Cosmo would have you believe that increasing libido is all about lime-flavoured lube and complicated new positions, but it’s usually more involved than that.
1. Talk to your partner.
If you want sex but your partner isn’t feeling it, try having a conversation. This is an important step in making things better for both of you, especially if you’re still on good terms. This might be uncomfortable, but it’s worth the effort to get to the bottom of the issue.
Having a face-to-face conversation with your partner is the best way to discuss sexual issues, says sex therapist Debra W. Soh, Ph.D. She suggests trying to bring up the subject when both of you are calm and not distracted by anything else going on in your lives.
Before the talk, she recommends preparing by thinking about what you’ll say and how you’ll approach the topic. Try to be as open and honest as possible, but also listen carefully to your partner’s responses. If they seem defensive, it might be a sign that they’re not ready to have this conversation.
When you’re having the conversation, it’s a good idea to be direct and let your partner know that you want to have more sexual intimacy in your relationship. If they seem receptive, you might want to talk about ways to create more desire in the bedroom. This could include using arousal-enhancing lotions, reading sexy books, or watching erotic movies. You might also want to consider talking about other physical touch that doesn’t involve sex, like back rubs or hugs.
2. Try something else.
It’s not unusual for sex desires to increase and decrease at different times in your life, and it’s totally okay to refuse intimacy when the timing or feelings aren’t right. If you’re in a healthy relationship, your partner should respect that and find other ways to be intimate.
If you and your partner get stuck in a sexual rut, try some new activities that can bring back the spark. Cosmo would have you believe lime-flavoured lubricant and spicy new positions are quick fixes, but these tactics are just bandaids over a bigger issue: you and your partner have become bored with each other.
A lack of sexual desire can sometimes be linked to your diet, so cut out the junk and go for healthier options. A diet high in salt can cause you to retain water and bloat, which will make it harder for you to have sex. Instead, go for fruits, veggies and lean proteins.
Bubbly beverages like soda and seltzer also cause bloating, which can lower sperm count. Instead, opt for unsweetened tea, which will boost your energy and focus and help with circulation.
3. Try something outside of the bedroom.
Selina* has a hard time getting in the mood for sex, especially after a long day at work and being a mom. She and her partner have decided to try something different to spice things up. “We’ve talked about having sex outside the bedroom — we can have a pillow fight, cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie or tell spooky stories, anything really,” she says.
Having fun and trying new things can help a lot of people feel more in the mood to have sex. If you don’t want to go all out, start by taking sexy selfies together. You can even set up a little studio in your home and take pics from every angle! Then you can look at them later when you’re both feeling horny.
Many things can affect a person’s libido, from exhaustion to certain medications. There’s a societal expectation that people are always in the mood for sex, and it can be devastating when one partner doesn’t. That’s why it’s important to talk openly about what’s going on and not to take things personally.
If you’re having trouble communicating, a therapist can help. They can give you tools to express your wants and needs in a healthy way and teach you and your partner how to have a productive conversation about your sex life.
4. Talk to a therapist.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that if you and your partner aren’t interested in sex at the same time, something is wrong with you. However, it is perfectly normal to have different libido levels and there are many reasons why you might feel less amorous than your partner.
It’s also possible that one or both of you have sexual frustration, which is a common problem in relationships where the two partners have mismatched desires. This can lead to tension, anger and resentment. To combat this, it’s important to identify what’s causing your lack of interest in sex. Is it due to internal health conditions, like erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation? Or is it due to external factors, such as stress from work? Once you know what’s causing your low libido, a sex therapist can help.
Sex therapists are specially trained to deal with relationship problems, including sexual ones. They can help you discuss your feelings and set clear boundaries for sex in your relationship. They can also help you address the underlying issues that may be contributing to your sexual frustration, such as past trauma or chronic health conditions.
There are even sex therapy apps that can help you and your partner resolve your sexual frustration without the need for face-to-face sessions. These apps, like Blueheart, combine touch, learning and talking to address your sex challenges. They’re also a great way to build your confidence in exploring your sexuality and improve your communication skills.