Most couples go through phases of being less interested in sex, but when these phases persist for months on end then this is a sign that there is a more substantial underlying problem. Sometimes that problem is physical, but at other times it is psychological. The following fourteen factors are all incredibly common causes of a lowered interest in sex, but if you adhere to the advice below then you and your partner stand a good chance of regaining your sexual spark.
1) Relationship Problems:
If either of you is unhappy with some aspect of your relationship, this is likely to make you feel less close to each other and therefore less inclined to have sex. Successfully fixing this reason for a reduced sex drive will depend on identifying the sources of conflict, and on trying to meet your partner’s unsatisfied emotional needs. For some couples, simply admitting that there are problems and being willing to discuss them openly will constitute a huge step towards improving the situation (as many couples are inclined to repress their dissatisfaction in order to avoid rocking the boat. Be honest with each other, be gracious about apologizing if you are at fault in any way, and work together to draw up a plan to make things better. If you find that this is not sufficient, try making an appointment with a relationship counselor to gain a valuable external perspective on your troubles.
2) Low Self Esteem:
If you feel like your body is ugly and unappealing, you are unlikely to feel passionate and sexy when your partner tries to seduce you. Sadly, many people hate their bodies in spite of the fact that their partners genuinely find them extremely sexually attractive. If you have low self esteem, try to do things that make you feel better. For example, most people find that working out gives them a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence, regardless of whether they are overweight (and working out also happens to produce chemicals that are likely to increase your sex drive). If your partner is the one with low self-esteem, make sure to sincerely compliment them on the things about their body that turn you on, and help them to understand that you have your own insecurities as well.
3) Decreasing Levels of Testosterone:
High levels of testosterone correlate with high sex drive, but these levels start to dip as men age, and this can cause a lessened interest in sexual activity. If you think that this might be the reason for your own lowered sex drive, talk to your doctor about investigating this, and about the possibility of testosterone boosting therapy. Make sure that you explain this physical reason for your change in sex drive to your partner as well, so that she knows that there are no interpersonal problems and that you still find her very attractive.
Just as aging often causes a dip in the male sex drive when testosterone levels decline, many women who are going through the menopause begin to feel decidedly apathetic about sex. Part of this is often due to certain physical symptoms (such as vaginal dryness) that can make sex uncomfortable or even painful. However, a lowered sex drive during the menopause can also relate to hormone related mood swings, and self-esteem problems caused by the feelings of inadequacy that sometimes accompany the knowledge fertility is dwindling. It is fairly easy to treat the physical problem of vaginal dryness with a good lubricant, or with prescription treatments if necessary. The psychological problems are more complex. The mood swings may be helped in part by antidepressants or HRT drugs if the depression or anger is severe, and counseling can help a woman come to terms with her absent fertility or any increased awareness of her mortality.
If you have been with your partner for many years and do not tend to vary the nature of your sexual encounters, you may become less interested in sex overall as a result. It is easy to fall into a routine of repetitive love making, so a lot of couples are victim to this problem. The best way to fix it is to confront it directly. Sit down with your partner and tell them that you really want to have more sex and to try more things. This is flattering, and will not put your partner on the defensive (unlike telling them that you are bored with your sex life). You may be hesitant to suggest new things, so it might be a good idea to look to a book or the internet to find lists of ideas. Discuss which ones you find acceptable, arousing, or outright offensive, and then start experimenting. You might discover fascinating sides to your sexuality that you were never aware of.
6) Drinking Too Much:
Although drinking alcohol does reduce your inhibitions and has the potential to make your sexual behavior more free and spontaneous, it also tends to reduce how much pleasure and pain you feel. This means that you may not find your body responding to your partner’s usually arousing ministrations. Alternatively, you might find that you are turned on and ready for sex, but that your sober partner doesn’t find your drunken persona and clumsier sexual skills very appealing. In addition, drinking alcohol can also psychologically impact your sex drive by making you more argumentative and combative (which often leads to fights with your partner).
7) Having Children:
The business and tiredness involved in having a baby or raising a child can reduce your interest in sex, or simply push sex rather far down the list of priorities. If you think this is the problem, tell your partner that you really do want things to improve in your sex life, and then brainstorm solutions that will allow you to have more intimate time. One good idea is to have a friend, family member or babysitter take care of your child at least one night a week so that you can have a few hours to focus solely on your romantic relationship.
8) Sleep Problems:
If you are not sleeping at the right times (or are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis), your desire for sex may be reduced by tiredness and lethargy. In some cases this problem can be solved by being stricter about your sleeping schedule (for example, you might ignore the temptation to stay up watching movies until 3am). In other cases, there will be a medical reason for your sleep problems and you will need to see a doctor. If you have insomnia or find that even the right amount of sleep still leaves you feeling drained, this should prompt further medical investigation.
Unfortunately, a great number of otherwise useful medications come with the side effect of a lowered sex drive. Common examples include antidepressants, oral contraceptives, cancer treatments, blood pressure medications, and antihistamines. If you think that a new drug has caused a noticeable dip in your libido, talk to your doctor about the problem and see if he or she can tell you about any alternative drug that might not impact you in this way. However, no matter how severely a drug impacts your sex drive, it is crucial that you not stop taking it without the permission of a doctor.
10) Erectile Dysfunction:
Although erectile dysfunction itself has nothing to do with a psychological lack of sexual desire, if a man knows that he might struggle to get or maintain an erection then this can reduce his interest in sex due to embarrassment and anxiety. If you think you are developing this problem, talk to your doctor about the treatments that might be available. In addition, remember that you can still sexually satisfy your partner in other ways even if you are not always capable of taking part in intercourse. Explain your situation to your partner, and tell her that you wish you could make love to her and do still strongly desire her.
It is hard to feel attractive or particularly interested in sex when you are drowning under the weight of things like illness, deadlines, and financial problems. Stress attacks your sex drive from both angles—being tired will reduce your responsiveness to stimulation and your ability to become aroused, while being emotionally unsettled will make sex seem like a rather minor or superficial concern. Try to set aside particular blocks of time devoted solely to relaxing and trying to unwind. Learn how to meditate, start reading for pleasure, or listen to your favorite songs. You can also combine stress reduction with seduction by taking a romantic bath with your partner, letting them cook you a delicious meal, or learning how to massage each other. However, if your stresses are becoming truly unmanageable on multiple fronts, try talking to a counselor or to your doctor.
The dice are loaded against your sex life if you have depression, because the condition and the medication are both related to a lack of interest in sex. When you are clinically depressed, you are likely to feel a lack of interest in many other regular activities as well (such as socializing, hobbies, and eating). Not everyone experiences sex drive problems while being treated for depression, so it is definitely worth trying to take medication if you are diagnosed with depression. If the medication makes your situation worse, return to your doctor to discuss trying a different type.
13) Being Overweight:
In addition to the fact that being overweight can psychologically lower your sex drive by making you feel self-conscious and unattractive, it can also cause problems with sexual stamina (making you worry that you will not be able to properly satisfy your partner when you have sex). If you think that your weight is having a negative influence on your sex drive, try to lose weight healthily by combining a more nutritious diet with plenty of exercise.
14) Impersonal Sex:
If your sex life feels impersonal, mechanical or unaffectionate, this is highly likely to reduce your interest in any repeat performances. The best solution to this problem is to relearn how to appreciate each other in other ways. You will be a more intimate couple if you have long and deep conversations, laugh together, and sometimes cuddle without sex being an expectation. These affectionate behaviors will heighten the intimacy between you, and your sex drive should be boosted along with the intimacy level.
Remember, the source of your sex drive problems might be multifaceted—perhaps several distinct items on the above list are weighing on you and your partner. If you are having issues with a lack of desire in your sex life, the most important thing to do is to be and honest about how it makes you feel and about what you are willing to do to fix it. Further, don’t forget that many relationship counselors are also skilled in helping their clients with the psychological issues that can contribute to a lack of physical intimacy. There is no need to feel embarrassment or shame if you feel like you cannot tackle sex drive problems alone.