Do you find yourself hoping your partner’s already asleep when you crawl into bed? Finding it hard to muster up even a whiff of desire to make love? Worried your sex drive has dried up and disappeared forever?
This is a very common problem (one I’ve experienced for myself after the birth of each of my children), so I’ve invited Maj Wismann, a leading Danish couples therapist and sexologist, to give you some sound advice on this often sensitive subject.
Maj helps women and men to have a better sex life, as well as incorporate more love, closeness and intimacy into their relationships.
Here are Maj’s words of wisdom when it comes to identifying why you’ve lost your sex drive – and how to get it back.
1. Are you a new mom or do you have young children?
Bingo! There’s your cause. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you. Quite the opposite really. Funny as it may sound, a lack of sex drive is actually a sign that your body is doing its job.
A reduced sex drive at this stage in your life is exactly what you would expect from a healthy body. It’s incredible that the two of you have created this new little life – and yep, that’s what this is about.
Being a new parent is a huge responsibility that comes with lots of worrying and adjustments. It’s no longer just the two of you and it takes time to adapt to your new roles, new habits, new rhythms… All these adjustments require massive amounts of energy.
If you’re breastfeeding you’re producing the chemical called Oxytocin which is what helps strengthens the relationship between yourself and your baby. However, it does have the opposite effect on your ‘sex drive hormones’. The same story goes for Prolactin, another hormone you produce while breastfeeding. Prolactin is the chemical which is released after an orgasm and which makes you want to go back to sleep and not have sex again.
Sleep deprivation and exhaustion also play big roles in all of this. Pretty much all mothers with young kids are seriously sleep deprived.
So it’s no wonder that you’re having difficulties feeling a spontaneous and active sex drive! It’s important to stop worrying about it and to shift your mindset into a proactive desire to slowly improve things.
The good news is that you can still kick-start your sex drive! (see number 4.)
2. If you’re not a new mother, is it a lack of sex drive in general or a lack of sexual attraction towards your husband?
There’s a pretty big difference.
If you’ve lost your lust towards your partner, but still feel turned-on when you’re watching a Hugh Jackman movie, or when you’re reading ‘50 Shades of Grey’, or if someone’s flirting with you, then we’re dealing with something else.
It’s time to be completely honest and ask yourself, ‘Why do I no longer feel turned-on by my partner? Is there something he does that pushes me away?’
Maybe you’re missing him being present? Is he stressed or hard to connect with?
Maybe he’s stopped showering before bed? Perhaps he’s put on a lot of weight?
Maybe he’s stopped ______ (fill in the blank).
There can be so many reasons and before you speak to him about this, it’s important that you really think about it.
Work out what your responsibility is too; what part do you play? Are you stressed or worried? Is your body image making you feel unsexy?
A clear answer may not manifest immediately – relationship issues that ruin the sex drive have often been simmering for a period of time.
Maybe you haven’t insisted on things changing? Been honest about what your needs are?
Ask yourself, ‘What is my responsibility and what is his?’
Please remember that you can communicate these things in a nice and loving manner – and if you’re missing your sex drive, he might be too!
Sit down together and talk about the changes each of you can make and then agree that NOW things will be different.
3. Have you lost your sex drive in general, as in NOTHING is happening down there and you aren’t getting any signals from your body?
Then we need to take a look at you; not your relationship.
Hormones such as the pill can affect or even completely diminish your sex drive. Are you on medicine? Are you depressed? Are you suffering from anxiety? Have you undergone changes – externally or internally – that are affecting your surplus energy or your physique?
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you’ve identified the sinner and you can now set up an action plan. Write down, step-by-step, what you want to change to get your body back to a state of surplus energy so that it can start sending you those lovely, lusty signals again!
Read: ”3 Natural Ways to Increase Libido in Women” (Very easy and doable.)
4. It’s time to kick-start your sex drive!
You’ll need to make an effort to get turned on because you don’t want to neglect this very important part of your life and your relationship.
Here are some ideas to give your sex drive a bit of a boost.
Kiss more than you normally would. Kissing longer and more deeply boosts arousal.
Flirt with him.
Send him a sexy text.
Touch him gently when he passes by.
Give each other a massage.
Light a candle on your bedside table and wear something nicer to bed than that old t-shirt.
Read erotic literature by yourself or to each other.
Watch a sexy movie.
Plan a lovely, erotic evening. Spend a long time touching him, treating him with your hands, your body, your mouth.
Find some inspiration to spice up a dull sex life. Try the Danish designed game Erotic4real.
Shop online for some classy sex toys and clothes.
Remember too that sex is a lot of things; it’s not just having intercourse. You can absolutely lend your husband a ‘helping hand’ every now and then when you haven’t got the energy to make love. The effect of turning your partner on will often kick-start your own arousal.
Finally, I encourage you to stick with it. Persistence beats resistance. Don’t give up. There’s always one (or more) reasons to why your sex drive is low. As soon as you identify these causes and ‘remove’ them from your life, your sex drive will return.
In the comments below, share what you think about Maj’s advice here. She’ll be reading and replying to your comments, so don’t be shy about asking her questions. Type Anonymous or use a different name if that makes you more comfortable.
Mixing practicality with self-awareness, Kelly helps mothers get on top of their endless to-do’s, set goals and improve their lives one small step at a time.
Grab her free Life Wheel Tool for discovering what needs your focus first.