Although there are many things that can take away our desire for sex, not feeling clean is one that we don’t talk about much.
Poor personal hygiene is something that many of us experience- perhaps more often than we’d like to admit.
Much as we’d like to imagine ourselves as fresh as a daisy, we can all slack off on the self-care front…
Surely I’m not the only one to work from home or have a lazy Sunday in which the basic tenets of cleanliness are neglected and sport unwashed birds-nest style hair, furry teeth and all-day PJ attire?
I’m know I’m not exactly winning any prizes for feeling sexy on those days.
And it’s exactly that- not feeling sexy– that is the issue.
Not washing can (funnily enough) have a big impact on our desire to have sex.
We might recognize the feeling when our partners come home and we avoid their advances like the plague simply because we are NOT feeling fresh.
More often than simple CBA-ness, its hard to take care of ourselves because we might have a lack of time, be busy/stressed, feel depressed or unwell, or be experiencing low self-esteem and not feel we deserve to look good.
Cleaning and cleanliness become arduous and demanding tasks on these occasions.
For other, it’s being in a long-term relationship and “forgetting” to keep ourselves as fragrant as we should.
We all know how it is.
Once you’ve been together for a while the showers before sex start to slide (or fall away all together as the case may be) as we’re less fussed about what our partners think (or less worried about how we present ourselves).
We get comfortable, try a little (or a lot) less, and we might even get a little loose with our daily showers too (!).
This can be part of taking each other for granted in a relationship and a lack of desire to present ourselves as attractive as we’ve already “bagged” our partner.
The impact of not having the time, desire or energy to self-care is that we’re probably not showering or taking care of ourselves on a regular basis.
And it is this infrequency that can have a huge (and often unspoken about) impact on our desire for sex.
To be clear, I’m not talking about things like painted nails, waxed fannies or silky smooth legs to feel in the mood for sex here- they are beauty constructs that only some women choose to follow (and the message should NEVER be that you need to do these things to make you feel sexy).
Nor are we saying that vagina’s need to be freshly washed before your partner will go anywhere near them- everyone is unique and our lady parts do smell, that’s normal and natural. Lots of men also do like a bit o’ musk- being unwashed turns them on more! (within reason).
No, this is basic personal care… showers, baths, brushing your hair and cleaning your teeth.
This is about washing yourself enough so that you feel presentable. Confident. Sexy, even.
Because if your partner comes a-calling and you’re feeling more dirty than flirty, you’re more likely to avoid their advances for two reasons:
- Being self-conscious: We’re worried about how we smell, whether we’re fresh downstairs, what the hair situation is, what we look like, if our partners will judge us, and this anxiety discourages us from wanting sex.
- Effort: Or, it’s the energy it takes to get ourselves ready for sex- sometimes, if you know you need to get washed, dressed, wax and pluck and shave (optional) and all the rest, can you really be bothered to do ALL of that and THEN have sex? It’s effort! Especially if you’re knackered.
Sound familiar? I found two ways to help combat this if this is you too.
Work out what bit you need to clean to feel sexier (hint: sometimes it’s not all of you!):
Poor personal hygiene doesn’t exist in a vacuum- it’s similar to our sexual desire in that it is impacted by how we feel and what’s going on in our lives.
I found that by making an unsexy list (basically listing the things that make you feel unsexy) I identified how I felt if I didn’t feel clean and what my problem areas are.
It was helpful to see what my triggers were to know what I needed to remove from my week in order to feel sexy. And when I felt good, I also noticed my desire increase.
I realised things like “having my hair up” didn’t make me feel sexy (mainly because if I did tie it up it was because my hair was like a greaseball). So I knew I either needed to wash my hair more regularly, or crack out the dry shampoo a bit more!
Or worrying about bad breath was another- a simple tooth brush solves that so I didn’t need an all out cleaning friendly!
Sure, these are cutting corner hacks in an emergency, so it’s important to also do the below….
Combat the self-consciousness:
Bring in a regular routine to your self-cleaning schedule and try to make sure there isn’t too long a gap between washes.
So instead of running around to have a shower or clean up before sex (and this becoming a barrier to getting you bonk on), feeling clean is your natural state of being.
Easier said than done, but I’ve often found that either showering first thing in the morning as standard, or building in a frequent exercise routine to force you to wash, could be the solution.
I’m not saying you need to get dressed and smarten up all the time. But feeling clean means it’s one less worry on your mind so it becomes easier to relax into sex.
Regularly washing and feeling fresh is also part of a much wider conversation around self-care and self-esteem (which will also be boosted by this process of looking after yourself).
Because feeling sexy isn’t about shaved fannies and colourful toe-nails- it’s about what makes you feel good.
And what makes you feel good is more likely to lead to feeling in the mood for sex.
If you’d like to read more, here’s two great resources on personal hygiene and your sex drive!