When I first realized my sex drive was nowhere to be found, I scoured the internet for a solution.
A common piece of advice given by both dodgy websites and well-known sex therapists is to schedule in sex.
Book it in, they said.
It’ll be great, they said.
Yes, we know it doesn’t sound the most romantic thing ever, but it’ll mean a space every week where you know you are going to have sex, *insert falsely cheery tone here* so….. you’ll avoid a sexless relationship.
Genius, I thought, as I hastily scribbled some dates in my diary.
A few weeks later cut to me, shitting myself as a sense of impending doom and dread rose ever higher as the shag date approached.
I felt even more worried than before about bonking.
What if I was tired/ill/annoyed/didn’t fancy it?
My choice felt removed and it seemed like I would be letting us down if I wasn’t up for it- then I knew there’d be some form of disappointment or argument if I said no.
It felt totally wrong.
And that’s when I thought…. fuck you.
Schedule sex for who- me? As it ain’t doing me any favours.
For him? Why?
It sounded like the modern day equivalent of “lie back and think of England”- just do it to keep him happy.
No way. I wanted to WANT sex.
And more bad sex* was NOT going to make me feel any better or want sex more.
It’s stupid advice (IMO). Surely I want to be focusing on increasing the quality not quantity?
If I liked it and it felt good, the more I’d want it…. It’s a simple thing, no?
So, instead of scheduling in sex (this idea, quite honestly, get in the bin) the solution i personally found super helpful was to schedule in time to *think about sex*.
Not actually bonk.
Rather, spend time reminding myself what sex was, who I was, and what I liked.
That sexual side of me had become totally buried under my PMS, stress, anxiety, losing control, resentment and a whole host of other issues (yes I was in trouble).
So the aim was for me to use this time to cultivate a sense of sexual identity, and generally just bring the idea of sex back into my brain when it had been gone or dimmed for so long.
And the way I chose to do this was by reading erotica.
Why erotica helps?
“A crisis of desire is often a crisis of the imagination”- Esther Perel
Good old Esther Perel helped me stumble on the naughty writings, because she talks about the idea that a loss of desire correlates with a loss of fantasy. And it made sense!
I NEVER fantasised about sex- to be honest, I never ever thought about sex until my partner was initiating it.
That side of my brain- the spicy bit- had been totally flooded with the grounding reality of everyday life and organizing, planning, getting shit done (and generally being fabulous).
There was no room for creativity, imagination, or sadly, sex.
So I knew I needed to fire myself back up, and I was in it for the long haul. And because I’d already begun the blog (and was so luckily linked in with some amazing bloggers who wrote erotica), I had a little look at their work.
And my first fanny gallop in living memory (ok slight exaggeration) was this story about knickers being shoved in someone’s mouth. I know, right?
For that brief moment, my vagina flickered back into being.
She puffed out as quickly as she started, but I knew I was on the right track. So I started devouring more. And more. And more.
And so I went further. I found gifs too- video snippets of a sexual encounter in which you can fill in the blanks of before and after.
And I realised that being exposed to sexy writing/paintings/images/sculptures and ideas were stirring something inside, which was my sex drive waking up.
The feeling of my desire kick starting itself, even momentarily, is a feeling I’ll never forget. So I knew I was on to a winner.
My imagination started to flourish and I found myself building scene after scene of dialogue, action, delicious endings.
I realised that my ability to fantasise had been crippled by modern life because of my smart phone- we’re spoon fed pornography and not encouraged to build our own pleasure.
Instead, erotica felt so intimate- even the author can’t access the way you’re imagining it, so it’s totally built by you.
Erotica helped me to warm up to sex, get it back on my radar so that I began impulsively thinking about sex even after I’d finished reading. I began to think abut fantasies I might never try out in real life, or new ideas for things in the bedroom.
Gradually, my sexual identity was moved into the foreground of my life so that intimacy just prioritised itself.
I found myself naturally wanting sex more, because I was thinking about it more. And I felt more connected to myself and my desires through erotic fiction- almost like practising flexing it like a muscle.
So although it wasn’t the only solution, it was one that had me heading in exactly the right direction to reclaim my sexuality. And honestly, felt like it saved my relationship and me from myself.
Where to find the good stuff
At the beginning I felt silly seeking out erotica- I imagined it to be either cringy authors writing the equivalent of the bad sex awards (check this out here) or some kind of Mills and Boon style cheesy romance that didn’t turn me on.
But there is SO much out there, whether you want some serious literature with a sexy twist (aka Birdsong), quick erotic stories, or deeper novels.
Some of my favourites (crowdsourced by some of the best sex bloggers on the net) are….
Or you can go directly to the following bloggers for a variety of different types of sexy writing:
Bellesa– some great free erotic fiction on here.
Frolic.me– a great site with links to some very saucy literature!
If you want to reclaim your sex drive, get into the habit of bringing erotica into your everyday, get twitter updates or sign up to mailing lists.
Instead of watching porn do this instead when/if you masturbate.
It might help you uncover new fantasies, or even reinvigorate old ones. For more information on making time for fantasy, read another of my posts here. Good luck!
I’d love to know whether this works for you? Or have you got any recommendations to share about other great erotica bloggers/sites or resources?
*P.S. my bad sex wasn’t really about my partner’s ability in bed- it was more that my anxiety and stress meant having sex felt so distressing I ended up stressing because I couldn’t get wet and oh it was a nightmare. You can read more about my experiences with sex and anxiety here.