"I've lost interest in sex."
I used to love sex but for some reason over the last couple of years I have lost all interest and our sex life has got very predictable and boring. I’m lacking confidence in my body and we both work shift work so I’m always tired. I don't want this to ruin our relationship. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do to spice things up or get my libido back?
Let me reassure you first up: this is entirely normal and it’s also fixable. What’s needed is a dash of realism. Desire does wane over time and no matter how much you love sex and your partner, the love and sex hormones that keep you feeling nicely aroused with little effort, wear off over time when we’re exposed to the same person.
We expect desire to tap us on the shoulder years in but when you’ve been with someone for a while, you need to create desire. It doesn’t happen spontaneously. Add the other sex saboteurs into the mix - being tired, going to bed at different times because you work shift work, putting on a bit of weight - and it’s no wonder your sex drive is low.
So it’s entirely normal to feel the way you feel given the length of time you’ve been together and the pressures of life you’re under. The trick to getting it back on track is to set realistic goals and pinpoint what turns you on. A good plan is to aim for a mix of two ‘quickie’ sex sessions a week and one longer session once a fortnight.
Stop thinking of sex as being intercourse. Snatched oral sex sessions (both take turns) keep you connected sexually but aren’t difficult to find time or energy for. Letting him use a vibrator on you is another quick way to up your orgasm quota. The more sex and orgasms you have, the more your body craves them. Simply having more sex will create the desire to have more sex.
For the longer sessions, think about what used to turn you on. Read erotic books, watch sexy films, go through a good, general sex book and mark things you’d like to try and get your partner to do the same. People hate the thought of planning sex sessions but if you plan new things to try, it can be arousing talking about what you’re going to do. Anticipation is just as heady as spontaneity if given a chance. It also takes the pressure off and removes that ‘We haven’t had sex for ages’ guilt hanging in the air.
Do all of this for a month or two and you should find desire returns. It will feel like an effort at first but stick at it. Talk to your husband about how you’re feeling and what you’d like to do to fix it: this is an issue that most couples face and best tackled together.