Sex is the last thing you want to feel like a chore. If you or your partner start to notice major wane in sensual spark, it’s likely you’re feeling a bit frustrated. But fear not—sex drives tend to fluctuate throughout our lives and it’s not unusual for one to wax and wane. Here’s what you can do if you’re looking for ways to increase your sex drive.
The Lowdown on Low Sex Drive
In general, your sex drive is something that can naturally change over time. Between different phases of life, wonky moods, bad habits, exhaustion, and so much more, there’s a host of understandable reasons why you may experience a dwindle in desire from time to time. However, if it’s a consistent pattern and/or source of distress in your relationship, you’ll want to start doing a little bit of research to figure out what’s going on.
Since both physical and mental health play a huge role in one’s sex drive, it’s no surprise the list of libido killers–for penis and vulva owners–is quite lengthy and potentially surprising. Because of the integral part that hormones have in every aspect of sex itself, certain birth controls, antidepressants, and other mood disorder medications that affect those levels can sometimes decrease libido. In a similar vein, changes in hormone levels as a result of thyroid disorders, aging, or major life events like pregnancy and menopause can have a hefty (though not necessarily permanent) impact as well.
In addition to hormones, one’s environment can also make a sizable difference. Like many things, sex is all about the mind-body connection. If your physical and emotional well-being isn’t at its best, it can have a serious domino effect. Any time a person’s feeling particularly stressed, anxious, or depressed, they’re apt to have lower amounts of energy, which doesn’t exactly set the scene for rockin’ sex life.
Other relatively simple causes can include having a different schedule from your partner, juggling kids, or feeling otherwise disconnected from each other. Ultimately, it’s just as important to assess any and all possibilities to best treat your specific situation accordingly.
Talking to Your Partner
When low sex drive becomes an issue within relationships, it’s definitely good to talk about it with your partner. Regardless of how awkward, bummed, or self-conscious the idea of the conversation might make you feel, a lessened libido affects your partner too. It’s only fair to be open and honest with one another in order to healthily navigate the situation together.
While having the conversation, it’s also important for both partners to know that a low sex drive is not an inherent indicator of dissatisfaction or disinterest in the relationship. With so many potential causes, some controllable, some not, you want both sides to be patient and avoid taking things personally.
How to Increase Your Sex Drive
As previously mentioned, talking to your doctor is typically a great place to start. Especially if you suspect it could be a result of a health condition, medication, or birth control you’re taking, they can weigh in with an expert medical opinion and safely adjust any prescriptions as needed.
If you think the low sex drive is more so a matter between you and your partner, finding ways to get on the same page (and possibly spice things up) could be the only Rx you need. Having candid conversations about each other’s likes/dislikes, new acts or toys you’d be open to exploring, potentially scheduling sex, and what you can do to mutually maximize pleasure overall are excellent jumping-off points for gradually increasing drive. After all, desire can be responsive as opposed to purely spontaneous, so you might be surprised at what a simple tapping into each other’s turn-ons can do to rekindle that sexy flame.
In the end, one of the biggest elements of boosting sex drive is prioritizing pleasure, period. As with any other activity or expertise, intimacy needs time, attention, and effort in order to nurture it to the fullest. If it’s an issue of physical or mental health that’s causing your libido to fizzle out, of course, it needs to be treated accordingly. But once your body gets back on track, it’s amazing how just a few steps can possibly have you feeling closer and more in sync than ever.
Despite several potential factors for making your sex drive take a temporary tumble, there are even more ways to help combat them. As long as you stay in tune with your body, aren’t afraid to consult professionals, and keep it 100 with your partner across the board, you can reclaim the power of your own sexual desire.
Alex Anderson is an LA-based lifestyle designer proactively raging against the cultural grain. By day she works in television production, and by night enjoys writing, sewing and seeking guidance from the stars. She also finally has an all-black kitty named “Cher.” You can follow her alt-lifestyle blog MSFT Living and on Instagram!