If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’ll know that I’ve experienced issues with my sex drive for nearly three years now (You can read more about my experiences here).
From my journey I’ve realised that there are seven main culprits behind your lack of want to have sex.
I’ve called these “the seven thieves of desire”.
Do you recognise any of these desire thieves impacting on your sex drive?
Never having discovered (or losing) your sexual identity
We’re not taught in sex ed at school about sex PROPERLY.
Sure we’ve put a banana on a condom, but do you *really* know about female pleasure?
This section is for you if you’ve struggled with the erosion of (or perhaps never having found) your sexual identity.
This is your sexual self- the part that feels sexy, is confident in the bedroom and is able to ask for what she wants.
- you aren’t sure how your sex drive works
- you don’t know what turns you on or how to ask for what you want
- you feel empty, disconnected, flat
- you never feel sexy, or used to but don’t know how to get that feeling back
- you don’t ever really think about sex or fantasise
- you feel shame or embarassment around sex or your desires
Not knowing how you work or being disconnected from your sexual identity is THE number one thief of your desire!
Knowing how to get her back (or find her in the first place) can feel an insurmountable or intimidating task- often shame, fear, mis-education or embarrassment hold us back from becoming the true women we’d like to be in bed. But, this is one of the most important journeys you can go on and discover for yourself.
2. Sex just doesn’t feel good
Lets face it, if sex doesn’t feel nice- there’s very little reason to want to do it!
If sex (or the build up to it) feels distressing, painful, unexciting or makes you feel bad….. it’s not going to be very appealing for you in future.
This might be because sex makes you anxious, worried about how you look, reminds you of other things, triggers you from past experiences, or it plain hurts/feels uncomfortable.
So the plan is to change this, by any means necessary, because you deserve great sex.
Read on for how to improve how sex feels here.
3. Struggling with your emotional well-being
Your mental/emotional well-being is central to your sexual health firstly because feelings of anxiety and depression are evolutionary wired to close down any desire you have for sex.
Learning more about how they can impact on your sex drive, and how to mitigate against them, is vital for improving your desire.
4. Feeling stressed/having a busy lifestyle
You don’t want sex if a tiger is chasing you.
Therefore, you’re not going to want sex if you feel like deadlines, responsibilities, demands and expectations are chasing you either.
Stress is a massive issue for many women. Our lifestyles have become so super busy (read: work, kids, socialising, hobbies, chores, caring responsibilities- the list is endless) and they’re so overloaded that stress- the evolutionary off switch for desire- is flipped.
Essentially, this thief is time.
Read on to find out more about exactly how and why stress is biologically driven to shut down your libido here. This section also includes things like the importance of sleep, how being busy can make sex fall to the bottom of your to-do list, and how shaking up your routine to reduce stress can really help.
5. Low self-esteem or poor body image
For many women, worry about our bodies and what we look like can impact on our enjoyment of sex, leaving us feeling anxious, unable to relax and enjoy the moment.
We’re bombarded by ideas from the media about what we should look like or how we should perform, and this can leave us feeling like we’re not good enough/sexy enough/thin enough to be sexy. Find out more about how to increase your body image and enjoy sex.
6. Physical/medical health issues
Your physical health is also a major factor in your libido.
Things like hormones, STD’s, hygiene, medication, amount of sleep, your period cycle, nutrition, illnesses and physical trauma (e.g. childbirth, surgeries) can all steal desire in different ways.
Having a good basic biology is the foundation of a good sex drive, and understanding how even everyday factors like sleep and nutrition play a part in the thievery are part and parcel of having a good sex drive (and giving ourselves a break!).
7. Relationship issues that are a cause of (or caused by) a low sex drive.
This final desire thief is one that is potentially the most complex.
Our relationships and how we feel within them can have a huge effect on our desire. Resentment, loss of control and lack of physical contact can really impact on how attracted we feel towards our partners. We can get stuck in patterns we haven’t noticed or can’t see around initiation and rejection, so as we continue in the relationship a low sex drive can CAUSE issues as well as be a result of them. So we get stuck into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
There are five smaller thieves hiding under this category that can all wreak havoc and rob us of our sexual attraction or want for sex:
- Lack of warmth or affection between partners: feeling cold towards your partner, because of unresolved conflict, anger, resentment, hurt, or a general lack of affection outside of the bedroom, can lead to problems within the bedroom. For many women, their desire doesn’t exist within a vacuum and (who’d have thought it?) often how they feel about their partner governs how much they might like to have sex with them. Solutions for this category involve communication, learning how to resolve conflict and using things like the power of the snog (your secret weapon. Thank me later).
- No attraction towards your partner: this one probably isn’t rocket science. For many of us, sex requires attraction, and without this element we might be robbed of our desire. All isn’t lost though- often this is so closely tied to warmth and affection that increasing the former can impact on the latter.
- Having boring, predictable sex is a sure fire way to kill a sex drive. Always having sex in the same place/position/process (e.g from naked, in bed, at the end of the day etc) mean there’s no excitement, no intrigue, and nothing to look forwards to!
- Losing control and feeling stuck in a cycle: Control is sexy. A lack of control, and getting stuck into a “he/she initiates I reject/give in” cycle is the least sexy (and most disempowering thing) possible. We often slip into this pattern as the relationship continues, so what reared its head as a problem when you shied away from sex a few times has become a self-sustaining problem that adds fuel to the fire and drives a wedge between you the more it carries on.
- Partner just doesn’t know how to turn you on: This is something we can all learn from, and is arguably the most widespread desire thief of all women everywhere. The golden rule is: if sex doesn’t feel pleasurable, it’s not going to inspire you to want it. So, learning more about how your partner can also make you feel great is SO key for getting good quality sex. This includes how he can initiate sex, and turn you on!
Throughout our lives, these thieves will steal more or less of our desire depending on how strong their influence is.
I don’t believe that getting back your sex drive is a cut and finish case of “before” and “after” or “recovery”, but rather, it’s a constant balance of sexual self-care in the face of the ups and downs of life.
So the power in reclaiming your libido lies not in it never fluctuating, but rather in a deep understanding of your own way of managing each.
Now you know the kinds of things that can drain your desire for sex, how about learning the secret to fixing it?