There are tons of great resources and experts talking about how to improve your libido online, but sometimes finding them can be tricky!
To save you from hours of googling (and bad advice), below I’ve put together a list of the seven best professionals speaking out about desire.
It’s taken me over two years to find them, and they all bring something different (and equally useful) to the table when it comes to finding your desire.
I’ve summarised the kinds of theories or advice they each promote but do take a look around each of their sites to find out more, as each one has tons of other things on offer including free resources, online courses or coaching on desire issues.
So without further ado, I’ll introduce the seven people you need in your life to help improve your sex drive…
The seven sex drive experts:
Coming in at number one is the incredible Emily Nagoski.
She is the author of “Come As You Are” (the bible for those of us with a low libido).
In the book she goes into detail about a different type of desire called “responsive desire”, which is different to the story we usually hear about desire where we’re told we should feel turned on first and then want sex.
Instead, responsive desire is where you only experience a want for sex after becoming physically aroused. Or another way to look at it is- you might start having sex and only then feel turned on.
This model can be really helpful for some women because responsive desire is totally normal, and it might give you some insight into yourself and your needs for sex. Nagoski also explains lots around our brakes and accelerators– the things that close us down or open us up to sex. Knowing more about what yours are means you can begin ridding yourself of the things that turn you (and therefore your libido) off- winning!
Finally, Emily also does a brilliant job of explaining exactly how stress shuts down desire, so if you think that might be an issue for you, do check her out!
Esther does quick a few TED talks (like this one) which are bite sized versions of her brilliant theories about sexuality. But if you fancy getting your teeth into something a bit juicier, her book “Mating in Captivity” is excellent. In it, Perel describes two factors that might be useful to improve your libido.
Perel states that we often think that for good sex we need closeness, safety, communication, stability. But in fact, whilst these things are good for relationships generally, they can be suffocating for passion! She instead recommends space as an antidote for low desire- cultivating eroticism by bringing back intrigue, mystery, danger and risk. Creating separateness and closeness at the same time is the secret- living like you never own the other person. Interesting!
Perel’s other theory is that she believes sex is a place you go, not something you do. This idea takes sex away from the physical action and focuses on the psychological nature of the erotic. It’s about imagination, who you want to be in that space, about trust and letting go.
The next expert came quite recently on my agenda but is definitely worth a mention for those of you who struggle to stay present during sex. Dr Lori Brotto is a mindfulness and women’s health expert, and in “Sex and Mindfulness” she has combined the two issues of low desire and meditation to create an excellent guide and informative resource on improving your libido.
Brotto highlights how we’re often distracted by our thoughts, multi-tasking, disconnected from our bodies. Practising mindfulness instead can connect us back with touch, sensation and importantly, pleasure. Brotto uses plenty of scientific studies and her own research and practise with women to illuminate the book with examples of practical exercises and is well worth a read for anyone struggling to stay present during sex.
The next person- Jaiya– I discovered through a film called “Sexology” I watched a couple of years ago and I’ve been hooked on her work ever since.
Jaiya coined the concept of “sexual blueprints”– we each have a blueprint about how we like to be seduced or have sex. Knowing what your blueprint is (and your shadow print- the opposite-) can be incredibly helpful as it gives you a language in which to express what you want and need during sex.
If you’re struggling to know what feels good, why the sex you’re having isn’t floating your boat, or how to tell your partner what you want, Jaiya is your woman!
Irene Fehr is a sex coach who has personal experience of a low libido, and she often talks about her own journey and relationships in her work which is a refreshing read!
Irene has a number of resources which are incredibly helpful when wanting to improve your libido, my favourite of which is where she talks about the importance of seduction to increase desire. Fehr describes desire as being “evoked not asked for” and emphasises the need for exploration and build up rather than the “instant turn on” idea we’re often told is how it should be.
Bez Stone is another sex therapist and woman with experience of a low sex drive that really resonated with me. If you’re struggling with sex being boring or feeling pressured to have it, Bez’s works are the way to go!
She writes about “round the bases sex” AKA the usual story of foreplay, sex, orgasm, and how this can stop female desire in its tracks because its predictable and isn’t focussed on female pleasure.
Once of Stone’s most important theories is around what happens when sex becomes pressured- e.g. you’re feeling hounded to have sex because it’s become an issue not having it. Instead of batting your partners hand away, Bez suggests actively stopping having sex and bringing back touching, fun, pleasure. It sounds counter-intuitive but really works!
The final expert to mention is Maj Wismann.
I’m struggling to come up with just one thing about Majj Wiseman to write about but to be honest, her whole site is excellent! Check out this page where she talks about the reasons behind a low libido which is a really great introduction to the general issues involved. Her easy to understand analogies and friendly tone can be really helpful to learn about what might be causing a lack of desire, and she also has tons of other resources and free e-books etc on offer that are rich sources of information and advice.
Is that all?
I hope you’ve found this list useful and some of the above ideas resonated with you. Is there anyone I’ve missed from this list that you’d add?