How do you get you and your partner's sex drives back in sync? #Relationships#sex November 30 2012 | Offbeat Editors offbeatbride Custom Stepped Headboard, King Size © by Posh Living, LLC, used under Creative Commons license. We've all been there some time or other: you and your partner have been together for several years and things in the hay have begun to take the backseat to more "important" things like work, hobbies, hanging out with friends, cleaning the house, etc. Maybe the relationship itself is great, with long conversations, cuddles and whatever floats your boats, but sex is something you save for Saturdays and New Year's Eve. My partner and I really want to conceive a child, but as we know, the more you have sex the bigger chance it is to conceive. We are working on getting our mutual sex drive back, but right now it feels like a chore. How do you get the intimate part of your relationship back? -Fern Hell, I know that even the child-free, non-married couples in the audience need advice in this area at times. So Homies, whatchu got for us as far as rekindling intimacy in long-term relationships? Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS 3 steps to vintage-ifying a brand new dresser NEXT Kids these days have all the luck: light-up shoes are so much better in 2012 Show/Hide comments [ 155 ] You could try changing things up to get you both (more) interested. For example: toys, dress-up / role-playing, ropes, different locations, oils of both the baby and/or massage variety, watching porn together, dirty talk… What also might help is just being extra nice to each other during the day; Holding hands, kisses / hugs for no reason, doing that extra set of dishes for them because you know they don't like to do it, etc. Also, easier to say than do I know, is try to not think of "why" you're doing these things (ie. conceiving); it takes a little pressure off. Reply So as a Sex Therapist in training, I have a couple of things I'd like to mention. First off, it is in fact really, really normal for the mutual sex drive of a couple to diminish/ get out of wack after a couple of years. Neuro-biologically speaking, the way we store memories of our significant other actually changes after we've been with them for about 18-24 months. We go from the "OMG can't get enough of each other" romantic love (stored in the mid-brain or limbic system, responsible for emotional memory processing), which is intense and sexy, but a little overwhelming, to the longer-lasting pair-bonded love (stored in the frontal cortex where we think about preferences like 'I love purple')-that is more manageable long term… so you can go an hour without texting/daydreaming/fantasizing about your partner, but sadly a little less hot and heavy. So that being said, there are things already talked about here- mixing up routines, making sure you're getting enough rest, "me" time, have hobbies that are your own/for your own pleasure, have a good diet and maybe get some exercise too- which are very helpful for run of the mill lulls in your sex life. However, sometimes people find that when they've left the aforementioned sexy-times window of early relationship bliss, they discover that, in fact, they have a different level of desire than their partner. Other times, people may be struggling with physical issues (not enough hormones/hormone imbalances, erectile difficulty, difficulty with orgasm), mental health issues (stress, anxiety, depression, body issues, etc.), or relationship issues beyond lower sex drives (dealing with affairs, trouble with communication styles or fighting styles between partners, differing expectations about what constitues "sexy"), to name a few. If your trouble is more like in one of these categories, please look up a certified sex therapist for a consultation– AASECT, the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists is the accrediting body for Sex Therapists in the US, and they have a lot of resources for folks in North America: http://www.aasect.org/default.aspx We are here to help with exactly this sort of thing, and we're trained mental health professionals, so we can talk about the down-and-dirty details of sex and sexuality, as well as complicated questions of relationship issues. If you're having on-going trouble, I highly recommend seeing someone professionally, as well as doing your own trouble shooting! Reply I have had a rough couple of years with respect to sex drive so I'll be watching this thread closely. I had a major surgery and got pregnant during recovery. After the surgery, I was taking Maccha to help balance out my hormones, and it helped increase my sex drive too. I was also charting because we were trying to get pregnant, but also because the surgery resulted in me losing an ovary and I wanted to have an indicator of when I was ovulating (every month or every other month). The maccha was great for my sex drive, but the charting was not. In any case, we got lucky, but my sex drive isn't what it used to me and I would really like to get that back. Reply I've been charting my cycle and temperature for almost two years and you're right – something about it really kills the sexytimes! You're def. not the only one. Reply VERY related post: How to track your cycles and chart your fertility without going super insane Reply Thanks! I read this article back when it was first published, but it's helpful to read again. And OMG YES… Fertility Friend is the website that time forgot. Reply Yes! I loved this article when it came out and it really helped. Reply So what is maccha? Do you just mean the powdered green tea or is this something else. I'm at the point where I am willing to take something if it will give me my sex drive back. Reply Lepidium meyenii, known commonly as maca, is a Peruvian root used often for medicinal purposes. It is available as a dried loose powder or in capsule form in most health food stores. Maca is unique in that it is hormone balancing for both men and women. *WARNING* – If you have estrogen-dependent tumors or cysts (like PCOS – polycystic ovarian syndrome) DO NOT TAKE MACA! I ended up in the emergency room with the largest, fastest growing ruptured ovarian cyst my doc had ever seen after taking maca for less than one month. Ladies with PCOS get all excited about anything that balances hormones… Didn't find out about the contraindication until after it was too late. However, my husband takes maca and has an increased sex drive and more energy with no negative side effects. I have several female friends who use it to boost their libido, regulate their cycle, and control acne (much like being on birth control pills does, but it's safe while breastfeeding or trying to conceive). Reply Recommended sources, please? I don't have PCOS and have totally lost libido due to two years trying to conceive, so this sounds GREAT. Reply Interesting – my naturopathic doctor was ok with me taking it after my ovarian tumor. We don't know what caused it, but she's usually super cautious. I'll be asking her about this when the baby is born and I'm trying to get my libido back (again). Reply I've had luck with metformin balancing my hormones with my PCOS. It helps me feel normal, less angry and snappy—makes my partner happy too. Reply Me too! Reply I think we all run into sex-drive issues at certain points right?? But we never really talk about it…For me, just knowing that what I'm feeling is normal, and not abnormal makes all the difference in the world. Reply so, if it was me trying to conceive, first of all, babies would be off the table to discuss. no "do you feel any different today?", no "can we go get some pregnancy tests this month?", no asking about my period, ect. as for just getting into the routine of having sex more, i think you just need to make it into a routine. my boyfriend and i have had a pretty set every-other-day "schedule" (used loosely) and it has worked out well. so, we will have sex one day, not have it one day, have it the next, ect, and its just a routine, a part of your everyday life. now, of course, there will be things that interfere, sometimes you just wont be in the mood, ect, which is why i use "schedule" loosely, but overall, if you create some sort of routine i think that it works nicely. also, on the days you know youll be doin it, you have that to look forward to all day! Reply It's hard to say because we don't know you, but are you getting enough exercise? sleep? nutrition? I never had a problem with my sex drive until I had a baby and now toddler who doesn't sleep, plus I don't get as much exercise as I used to. So for me I pretty much know what the problems are. Sorry I don't have much advice, but I think once you get going again, it will be something you are just used to doing. It becomes a regular part of the day that you look forward to. Try not to make it a "chore" and I think it will be a habit you can keep up. Some people think that every day is too often, but in my opinion, it's the best way to start. You both know to expect it at some point that day. Good Luck! Reply I'm watching this with some interest; I'm currently heading towards the end of my first trimester of my first pregnancy, and my sex drive has just vanished and been replaced by near constant nausea and weariness. I'm hoping that once that goes away, the sex drive will return again, but just in case… Reply This won't necessarily be the case, but many women feel a rush of second trimester energy and drive! It could be just around the corner for you… here's hoping! Reply so wish this were me. after about a year and change struggling to conceive (including scheduled sex which totally was difficult to make into anything other than a chore after months on end,) we were successful, with the help of a reproductive endocrinologist, injectable drugs and science! my first trimester i spent with zero energy feeling like all the barfs in the world wouldn't help the nausea (though i didn't throw up.) zero sex drive. i was looking forward to that 2nd tri energy +/- increased libido……. nope. and now, here i am, feeling big and sluggish and still nothing. my husband, he is a patient, patient saint. Reply Mine too. 24 weeks in and finally my energy is returning, but I am getting whole chunks of time where I just dont.want.to.be.touched. Especially not in that way. Thankfully, even though my sex drive has not returned, my willingness to participate has resurrected itself from the dead. Hubby is glad of this much at least! Reply Every person is different during pregnancy. I seemed to regain my drive during the second and even third trimesters. In fact I think I was hornier, but now I have a new baby it is almost non-existent. Not in a "I'm really tired" way, but more in a I have none of those hormones way. Its hard though because I still emotionally want that intimacy. Reply I'm dealing with a similar issue, and I've found that working out helps me. Somehow feeling physically exerted makes me feel super sexy for the rest of the day.Do more of what makes you feel sexy! Cooking, reading, crafting, gardening, fishing(??), whatever that is for you. Reply And also, just preparing for some seduction with lighting some candles, putting on sexy music, putting on something that makes you feel sexy. That all helps too because it takes you out of whatever mode you've been in. Your brain is the most important sex organ you have so stimulate it! It can be harder to just spontaneously be on the same page so putting in some effort to set the mood can be good. Reply Just to add to this flow of logic, if you have time to do things like freshly shave, put on some perfume or do other personal grooming that makes you feel in top form, it can add to the sexy momentum. Reply I'm on medication that, while not preventing me from climaxing, makes it difficult for me to get in the mood. I find that just asking if I want to have sex will usually result in a "no", but fooling around, setting the mood, maybe lingerie, and some good foreplay gets me more excited and willing to say "yes". Reply Fifty Shades of Grey has become such a phenomenon, but there's one super-sexy move that a lot of people AREN'T employing: ask your partner to read it to you. Even if erotic literature isn't your partner's thing, your partner will probably get on the same page (har) soon enough. Make it a before bedtime nightly ritual. Set aside whatever time you can… 30 minutes should be plenty. If it leads to sex, awesome. If it leads to falling asleep, that's fine too! And remember. Just because you're trying to conceive does not does not does not mean you shouldn't masturbate. I find that some couples make the mistake of thinking that they have to hop, skip and jump straight to the deed. Masturbation can quickly progress to sex, but it doesn't even have to every time. My "over the line" advice… if the partner delivering the semen delivers it outside of the womb-haver, it was not a waste. You had a sexual encounter, and that's still a win. (And seriously, you can still use that if you want to. Not romantic, but having babies is a messy process.) Reply When my husband and I are having a little dry spell – I read my own sexy books to myself. Whether it's on the couch while watching TV, or in the morning (because I woke up first) I get myself excited and then I jump him!! He's excited by my excitement and aggression, and isn't bothered or jealous that it didn't originate with him. We're both just happy we had good sex, and that excitement lasts for a while. Reply Whenever I need a sex drive jump I'll read the smut I have on my bookshelf too. Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty books are always entertaining to read, I've even turned it into a party trick for friends who don't believe books can be porn (pick a page, any page and I'll read you something dirty off it) Reply Are you me? I do this too! I always pull one out for friends and tell them to start reading any random page at all. I love seeing the looks on their faces. Reply ABSOLUTELY. I read my naughty romance novels in bed, and even if I don't finish by the time he falls asleep, I just wake him up for sex. He's never once complained, so it works for us. 😛 Nothing has ever been able to get me in the sexytimes mood like books. It works especially well if your partner is gone while you read, IMO – you just get all kinds of keyed up and then as soon as he/she returns – jumping! Reply And the Dootsie-prah strikes again. And remember there are other romance novels other than 50 Shades of Grey that don't use "Oh my" 80 times in a sex scene. I think I need to adapt this in my own home. ….and now I have re-read Doots comment in an Oprah voice and giggle at Oprah saying masterbation. Reply Awesomely enough, this comment comes because my boyfriend started reading Fifty Shades of Grey aloud in alternating Bill Compton and awful over-the-top accent voices because we both found it so hilaribad. But when he's reading something normally, he's got one of those voices… it just works for me. He sometimes reads poems to me aloud. Not even love poems, just ones he was familiar with so he could read with gusto and inflection. Totally what attracted me to him in the first place. And now I'm Googling my little heart out for a clip wherein Oprah says "masturbation". 1000 internet points to anyone who finds it. Reply FYI: There is a video circulating the interwebs featuring Gilbert Gottfried reading 50 shades. Reply Do NOT mention something like that and not link it! 😉 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5K1RcKJVbHA Favorite part: when he reads about "stroking the front wall of my vagina." Reply And just in case Gilbert Gottfried doesn't do it for you, maybe Stephen Hawking does: Bahaha! "Holy shit this is hot!" Fifty Shades of Takei: Further reading- Any Nancy Friday books- compilations of women's fantasies (and one of men's fantasies also) Also, this book is highly relevant and highly recommended: The Sex Diaries by Bettina Arndt- "Based on extraordinary intimate diaries of ordinary couples,The Sex Diaries shows the tensions caused by mismatched desire' Reply I introduced my husband to literotica.com and we enjoy sending each other links to our new favorite stories throughout the day on our smart phones, in case you want some non-Grey erotic literature. 🙂 Reply Me and my SO have definitely had our highs and lows in the frequency department. The best tip I could possibly recommend is keep talking about it, stay positive, and be honest. Celebrate the victories, a little "Hey, good fuckin' last night!" always makes me smile. We also found switching up the scenery once and a while can do loads to refuel the tank. We try to take a trip at least once a year just dedicated to relaxing and intimacy, on whatever scale we can afford. Trust me, a good fucking vacation will be worth every penny in Big O's! Reply "Hey, good fuckin' last night!" i. just. died. Well done. My husband's favorite "we're done" move is a great high five. Nothing celebrates a good fuckin' like a high five, and it kept things from getting to "omg will this time make a baby" serious when we were trying to conceive. Reply My dude's fave is "By the power of Greyskull." We both laughed super hard the first time he said it. Reply We don't really have an ending gesture, but if I had a nickel for every time one of us went for his zipper and I heard "RELEASE THE KRAKEN" I'd have a small fortune. Reply I have tears of laughter. This is the best thing ever! "Roll Tide" may or may not have been uttered in my bedroom at such a time. Viking either sings or puts on "I Just Had Sex" afterwards a lot. Never fails to make me laugh. Reply I'd like a dollar for every time I've heard "Sated, cannot benefit from blood lust for…15-20 minutes." Reply I think all men like a good high five, especially after a rather good screw. Mine often high fives me post-coitus and it usually ends up in a tight hand grip and kissing hands. He has also taken to Facebooking "Hulk smash!" I am dreading the day someone figures out why! Reply We do the "Hey… remember what we did yesterday?" and then giggle together like we are 16 again. Sometimes we will even just text it to each other. Reply Not trying for babies, but I'll also be watching the responses. This has been a problem for us for a while but he's very conservative about things like sex. My attempts at humor or even just to get him talking about it usually backfire. These days we're both affectionate but sexless. Reply I know the feeling. Mine is not really conservative, but its hard to talk about varying things up or trying something a little more adventurous because he takes it to mean he's not satisfying me. He also doesn't understand why I, as a very strong, independent woman, enjoy some lite bondage, and I feel a little weird about it myself. Reply OMG. Me too…. Thank goodness some other women out there are the same! Reading the other comments, I was starting to think that maybe I *AM* a nympho or "weird" and hubby is "normal"….. which would scare the hell out of me, quite frankly! Reply same boat here. we're decidedly child free. We work different shifts (8am to 5pm, and 3pm to 11pm), with me rotating days off, so we only see each other awake for a few hours per week most weeks. Our sex drives don't match up most of the time now, and the ONE time I tried to get him to watch porn with me it did not go well at all. It does sometimes work out that he can wake me up for sex when he goes to work, and then I can go back to sleep for a few hours before I have to get up. Reply Ah i know this feeling. My sex drive has been at the centre of a few arguments and tears in the past little while. Right now, even if we wanted to do it more often, our weeks are so busy we don't even have the time! I have late exercise classes twice a week, and my husband has squash one or twice a week (these things are all on different days too), which usually only leaves us Friday-Sunday, and sometimes Thursday. Here's what helped us: – changed birth control. Obviously you won't have this problem…but in case any other ladies do. I found my pills were making me feel like a robot. 6 attempts later, I settled on Yaz which made me feel the most normal. I've been off of my pills for a while now (same reason as you, good luck!), so my drive has kickstarted. – make a daily reminder somewhere to think sexy thoughts about each other. I made a reminder in my Outlook at work to use any spare time to think sexy things about my husband. This helps put me in the mood for later. – Try new things. I'm not the experimenting type (I tend to laugh and not take it seriously or get embarrassed…but i have done new things at my own pace), but we have found new things that keep in interesting…whether that's a new lube (the Yours and Mine from KY is very good), or a fun new prop/toy…it can definitely help. – Make a schedule. Yes this sounds totally lame, and it kind of is. But if you're in a real funk like I was. Sometimes forcing it can help regain a rhythm. My husband and I designated specific days for fun time, and then before we knew it…we were doing it more often. – No pressure. Try not to think about why or how often you are doing it. Doing so will make you feel worse about it. I know I cried many times because I wasn't being "satisfactory"…even though my husband didn't mind. If you beat yourself up about it, it'll make things worse. – switch up the time of day. This REALLY helped us. I found i was more in the mood in the mornings, whereas he was in the mood…well…whenever. We started going at it in the mornings more (sexy wake up call anyone?), and that really helped jump start things. So relax and take things slowly. Loudly proclaim to the other partner you're "just not feeling it" that day, if it's really feeling like a bother. Try and do things you did together when you first starting seeing each other to try and rekindle that feeling that made you go at it like bunnies. Reply I agree that changing your birth control can make a difference. Years ago I went through a spell of low-libido (this was well before I started trying to get pregnant). Around the same time I switched birth control for unrelated reasons and… WHOA. I was like a tiger. I was so randy I sometimes scared myself. Of course, I was also a hormonal hot mess, but I was a hot mess having a lot of fun in the sack! Reply Seconded on the birth control. I was on low dose generics for a long time and never had a problem but when I switched to the 3-month cycle type, it all went down hill. Now I'm doing the Depo shots and though they took 9 months (ie, three shots) to even out in my body, I feel lot a better over all. Plus, I don't have to remember to take a back of pills with me every time we stay overnight somewhere! Reply ooh had complete opposite with Depo, turned me into an unemotional bitch! I was on it for about 3 years but it took 2 to realise it was the Depo making me wierd. Emotional side effects weren't mentioned on the leaflet! Back on the pills and its much better now. Reply I had the same problems on depo-provera after being on it for about a year. It made me feel like I was neutered; I got super dry and sex was physically painful because it was like my body just totally shut down anything sex-related. Gaining weight was the one typical side effect that I didn't have. Everyone reacts a little (or a lot) differently to different types of birth control. I've been on just about every kind trying to find the one that works best for me. Since I have endometriosis, I can't ever just go off it (unless I'm planning to get pregnant immediately). The schedule thing sounds weird but it totally works. When my hubby says… "Could we schedule some 'husband and wife' time on Wednesday?" It makes me feel super sexy, and it also gives me time to get my head in the right place so I can enjoy myself. Reply For my partner and I It's important to let eachother know when we're in the mood. Our mood do not always sinc up, but the positive sexual attention is very healthyne wants to be wanted and its always ok to say mayblater. Also lots of kidding Reply I think this is our biggest problem/solution, too. We want sex during different times of the day, mostly due to our very different work schedules. In the middle of the afternoon, I'm randy and he's trying to unwind after work (which often does not include sexy times, bless his little introverted heart). By the time I'm falling asleep in bed, he's ready to go. We talked about it and decided to screw being responsible adults. We made the conscious choice to act like horny teenagers more often. "We could have sex, or we could finish laundry and do the dishes…" * We got in a rut by making the 'responsible' choice. By making the pact to choose sex, we're both happier. The chores can wait! "[thinking] I'm really horny, but you're busy on the computer. My little kisses and touches aren't being noticed but I don't want to bother you…" * Bother me. Don't wait until we're both too tired. I like you — that's why we got married. Be blunt. I promise, the shock of distraction may take me a minute, but I'll be happy as a lark once your buttons come undone. "We both got absorbed in our books and forgot to have sex." * Hobbies are great, especially when shared. But before settling in to enjoy whatever it is, embrace the freedom to have a quick romp just because. I'm already mid-chapter when the thought strikes? Distract me. That's what bookmarks are for. Let's have a quick roll for the simple pleasure of it. Then we can cuddle naked and keep reading. By making the choice to be 'irresponsible,' we're actually being excellent adults by valuing the health of our sex life. Reply This was very helpful. My fiance and I are soooo in a rut right now and I'm trying to figure out how to get out of it. These opposite work schedules and being "responsible" are killing our sex life. But you gave really great suggestions. So glad I read this! 😀 Reply Since Himself and I have been trying to make little Ourselves for almost a couple years, sex definitely occasionally feels like a chore – especially during that One Special Day when I ovulate and SEX. MUST. HAPPEN. But I've found that, much like with holiday spirit, I can "fake it 'til I make it." I might not be in the mood, or I'm tired, or sad that we have to go through another month of this, but if we just plunge in (har) I usually find myself getting really into it after a few minutes. Try tricking your mind. Acting the way you want to feel can often make you feel the way you're acting. If you want to feel like a randy sexkitten, act like one and your body might respond. It may feel ridiculous at first, but then you end up feeling ridiculously good. Reply I would suggest to look back at what used to make you randy in the past. What are those moments you get excited just thinking about? Take yourself back to that moment. Rocking out to an awesome concert, sharing a bottle of wine on the kitchen floor while laughing your heads off, dancing at a club and all the way back to your car, etc. Sometimes if you put yourself back into that carefree moment you might find yourself falling back into it naturally. On the note of babies, most of the babies I know were conceived on a whim without the pressure of trying often with a few drinks in the system. As a mutual orgasm results in your best chance of fertilization, sometimes just not trying to prevent it anymore and see what happens can work too. Reply I was waiting for someone to mention booze. Not that I need to be drunk to get uninhibited, but it just generally gets me in the mood much faster and more effortlessly. Hubby isn't much of a drinker so I hadn't been tipsy as often. A few concerts with deliberately drinking to the point of warm and buzzing just before heading home, and we had fantastic sex and conceived in 2nd month of trying. Then came 1st tri nausea/bloating, but happy to report all is well now! Reply lol, I suspect this is how we got pregnant as well… Now I would give anything for some drunk, uninhibited sex, but my pregnant body just feels too bloated and ugly and I really cant put that aside! With that in mind, Definitely recommend perhaps thinking about putting off trying to get pregnant until you have got this sorted, as those hormones WILL do wierd things to your desire and your image of yourself. Reply If one is searching for the perfect drink to make one tipsy and horny, may I suggest mead (honey-wine)? Before we started making it, we heard a friend call it panty remover, and I laughed. But every single time I drink it, we end up having sex that night. It really really is an aphrodisiac. (It's not so bad that one can't drink it in company, it's not a heavily mind altering substance which will cause you to loose all inhibition and have wild orgies you didn't plan, but it definitely makes me horny.) Reply My fiance and I make mead too! We took a few gallons to a weekend long event back in Sept and I'm sure a few people got sexy time after we shared a few glasses with them. I agree that it tastes good and loosens you a little, but not so much that you get sick or crazy. I am also totally stealing the idea of calling it 'panty remover'! Reply We're experiencing a major dry-spell around here with the new baby (3 months old now) sleeping in our room, right next to the bed. Add in our combined tiredness (I'm up with her 2-3 times a night and he moves furniture) and there is just not a lot of sex happening. Finding the time and energy just isn't happening, and we're looking at only having sex on the weekends now when it was 4-5 times a week. Reply Hang in there, it gets better! Reply Something that I've kind of found, is that sex begets more sex. The more sex we have, the more my drive goes up (which can get pretty sluggish sometimes) and if I can just muscle through the chore phase, over time my drive will go back up, but if we just don't, it NEVER does. So I guess I would second Kissa's fake it till you make it suggestion, but I find that it's helpful over the long term as well. Reply 25 this,s wow. So it is true. Don't feel pressured to climax every time! There are many different pleasures of sex. Closeness, fulfillment, an energy boost, a good back stretch. Reply I am totally one who feels pressured to climax every time, and it's physically painful if I hit a certain (relatively low!) point of arousal and don't orgasm, to the point that I get violently angry if I don't. Worse yet is that my IUD has made it difficult to orgasm, then my partner is prone to following a script/getting in a rut with the same stuff, and getting kinda greedy/nonreciprocal the longer he goes without sex. So this all has resulted in a really pissy, sexless Me. After one bad encounter, I gave the ultimatum: Happy orgasmic sexy times for me next time regardless of whether he gets any pleasure, or no more me around. Heat of the moment, not thinking, afterward I felt like a heel, and I couldn't take it back because while it felt childish to have said it, I couldn't say I didn't mean it. Needless to say, The Pressure Was On. For a month, with no sexy times and Not Talking About It (which is amazing for us over-communicators). My solution was the only thing I could think of, don't give it time for the pressure to be on. Thanksgiving we were waiting for the roast to cook but couldn't prep other food yet, half the house was taking a nap and we had a friend over… I tossed the friend the Xbox controller and told him to make himself at home, grabbed my Mister, dragged him off and demanded an orgasm. Didn't give us time to over-think it. Not proud of the ultimatum, and don't condone it as a rule. But definitely condone taking the pressure off to avoid overthinking it and initiating a quickie. I know for me, the more I have sex the more I want it, the more attractive and desirable I feel when it's not pressuring me to have sex the more I want it when there's time. Increasing our public displays of affection has done wonders for the "wanting it" factor, and making a regular date night helps to ensure our emotional intimacy is tended to. I've found through the years that without these things in sync, my sex drive tends to bottom out. Our situation right now is pretty stressful, so we have a lot working against us, but we're both renewing our commitment to tending ALL parts of our relationship and not letting the sex fall by the wayside again. Reply The "sex begats more sex" comment is spot on, but to address that AND the issue of difficulty climaxing during sex, I have one word for y'all: Masturbation. Seriously. Try it. Get some toys if you like 'em (I do), watch some sexy stuff if you want to, but no matter how you do it, the important thing is having that very special "me" time with your OWN body. I am by no means trying to say that it will solve all your issues, but I know that it does solve a lot of women's issues. From personal experience I can say that my sex life is like 10x more happier, and I actually have a lot more sex, if I masturbate every 1-3 days. I am more quick to get turned on, think sexy thoughts more frequently, and IMO my overall mood is better too. Reply Also, women need to know they can cum many many many times! I didn't find out until I was 22 that women have that ability. Hubs won't stop until I cum at least 7 or 8 times. Alone I can easily do 20-30 reading a good book. For sure focus on the other positive aspects of sex aside from orgasm. I don't always get there, but my husband always does. Sometimes I get upset that I didn't get mine, but most of the time I just have to enjoy having made him feel good because he's an awesome husband and he deserves it! Reply Oral sex or he can use the vibrator on you after he comes! Everyone wins! Reply I think all of the advice has been really good. The only thing to add is "don't fear the quickie." Sure, often it's nice to make it a whole big thing, but sometimes you look at the clock and it's 11pm and you have to be up at 6 and you're anticipating being tired, etc etc. 20 minutes of lovin' on Thursday will likely make you much more open to a longer go on Friday. It's like that really cheesy line – sex is like pizza. Even when it's bad, it's pretty good. Reply Yep. 20 minutes trumps zero minutes every time! I'll add to both comments above with similar advice… say yes! If you're on the fence about do I want to or not, choose yes. Once the choice is made, it's usually a good time. 🙂 Reply I've had a lot of conversations recently with friends (of both genders, and both gay and straight) about sexual inertia. This is my simple truth: A genital at rest prefers to stay at rest. A genital in motion prefers to stay in motion. Sometimes you just have to get things moving however you can (quickies, scheduled dates, etc) just to get the juices flowing again. As my gay friend who just got over a 3-year-dry spell recently said, "I didn't really miss cock at all during that time, but now that I've gotten a taste… I WANT IT ALL THE TIME AGAIN." Fight sexual inertia: get your genitals in motion however you can, and then see what unfolds as you get things going again. Reply I wish to start the movement for "Don't Fear The Quickie" and "A genital in motion prefers to stay in motion" t-shirts. Reply TOTALLY.!!! Reply This is a weird suggestion that's probably not for everyone, but make stupid sex noises. Say one of you wants to have sex or it's on the schedule, but the other person's not really feeling it. Have a moaning contest. Not during sex or foreplay. Just sitting on the couch, have a moaning contest. See who can make the most outrageous sex noises. It's silly and dumb and it takes the pressure off. Plus it usually goes: this is stupid > I can totally top that > uncontrollable laughter > actually that was kind of hot > Take. Me. Now. Reply I realize the question asker is trying to make babies, but this is my advice for all y'all, especially those who have penetrative sex. Expand your definition of "sex." I have issues with my ladyparts and also other parts, which leads to penetrative sex being anywhere from a ridiculously complicated multi-stepped process to painful to downright not-happening-at-all. But I still have a fantastic and satisfying sex life because we don't see "sex" as putting the P in the V (or the A) and banging away, and everything else as a lead up to getting to that point. And, most importantly, not getting to the bangy-bangy point is Not A Failure. So, maybe one of you wants sex and one doesn't. You can masturbate while the not-horny partner kisses/cuddles/moans at/flogs/whatever you. Yay, you had sex! Or you can do oral. Or mutual masturbation. Or masturbate together. Or just make out and maybe fool around without any pressure of needing get to "the next step" or even the pressure of the expectation of coming. It can all be sex. And good sex. Yay sex! Reply Read this earlier this week, and it's very related – I sent this post to a couple friends. :p http://theblackleatherbelt.com/thinking-outside-the-envelope-for-better-sex Reply So I'm totally going to plug a book written by my favorite intelligent, campy sexologist EVAR! Dr. Sprinkle's Spectacular Sex by Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D. I have kept it by my bedside for years, and every. single. time. my partner and I have said to ourselves "Wow, we are a little out of sync. It's been too long," and have turned to this book, it has been hugely successful. The book is super empowering and body-positive, and my favorite two pages are **Dr. Sprinkle's Prescription to Reincarnate from "Bed Death": A Seven Day Treatment Plan**. The basic premise is that you promise yourselves that you won't have sex for seven days (to remove any pressure and help you to relax), and do daily things starting from verbal appreciation and moving on to sensual touch and mutual masturbation on subsequent days. We always just go for a long sensual massage (promising no sex) and then end up jumping to day 7 and having a raucous romp in the hay!!! Reply For a long time we had a problem where we both wanted to, but neither of us were good at or wanted to initiate. We both always waited for the other to make the first move, which does not work very well. Because we both want the other to get things going, we have literally started taking turns initiating. There is a post the runs across the top of our headboard and I have tied a ribbon to it. We move the ribbon to the side of the bed of who is 'in charge' next. Having the visual cue really helps, and is kind of playful. It has also helped make it easier to talk about (I've noticed the ribbon has been on your side for a while now…). And of course we are more than welcome to go out of turn- but this has helped keep things regular and feeling like we are both responsible for our sex life. Reply I highly suggest visiting your local sex shop. Buy a new toy, some erotica, anything. Look around and let your imagination wander. Talk to the staff, if you feel so inclined. Ask about workshops-my local sex shop offers all kinds of workshops and classes on a variety of topics, including one on getting your groove back after baby. I personally found it easier to start having sex with my partner after I reconnected with myself-finding what turned me on, rediscovering what makes me orgasm, all on my own. It took the pressure off before I started being intimate with my partner after we had our daughter. Reply Since this is talking about both having more sex and trying to have a baby, I will say that the times my husband and I took a break from trying to conceive increased our interest in having sex. Of course, a LOT (in fact, ALL) of that has to do with infertility stress, so for us having a cycle of non-structured no-pressure time was really, really helpful. So if you're just starting out, if you DO get burned out on having scheduled charting sex for a while, take a cycle off as a breather and it might rev your engines a bit. It helped to have the time, as we relished not scheduling anything, and that sudden uptick in general morale/actually-totally-feelin'-it-sexyteims carried over when we started scheduling things once more. *(Note: I'm not saying taking a break will increase your chances of having a baby because you "won't be stressed" — that is absolutely not my message there, and I mean that sincerely, not in a sly internet winkyface sort of way. Taking a break did not work for us baby-wise but it absolutely absolutely helped us feel sexy again.) Reply I second the "take a break" idea. It's been my experience that absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Although I agree with Ariel that "genitals not-in-motion tend to stay not-in-motion", so it is difficult after a dry spell to get going initially – once you DO get going, I usually find that first or second time to be much more exciting, like I didn't know I was anticipating it so much until I just started doing it. Everyone is different, of course, but for me personally, having sex every day or even every other day would actually make it less exciting for me then if there's some space/room for the anticipation to build (whether or not I know it's building, haha) Reply 2 months away from having our first kiddo, who took months and months of hard work, and some amazing sex. 🙂 When you are in conceiving mode it is really hard to remember sex is fun, not something you do because a calendar or your iphone app said too (though seriously, the fertility friend iphone app, get it) Things that helped us get through the months with libidos and self esteem relatively intact: – naughty cards 🙂 Nekkid ladies and "Let's fork, then spoon" are always good for a laugh, and put you in the mood. – along the same vein, naughty texts, preferably sent when the other party is on their way home from work. – Super important, sex when it is the absolute wrong time to conceive. That way you remember sex is really great fun, not just about making a baby. In our case, the mister sometimes had some "stage fright" right at the time of ovulation, so don't tell, just give a range of good days. Reply I. Need. Help here. Newly married, sex still hurts, and some days I think if I never had sex again, where can I sign? My husband is patience incarnate, but the pressure and guilt of being sexless is defeating. Ha….do I sound like I need professional help yet? It's just really nice to know I'm not alone. Reply Do you master bate? Reply Were you a virgin before you got married? It takes a long time for sex to be just awesome, it takes lots of talk and experimenting and being honest with yourself and him. Reply http://offbeatbride.com/2010/04/wedding-night-virgin Here's a link to an Offbeat Bride article with comments you might find helpful. I second the masturbating, and also would like to add in foreplay. Sex should be less painful once you're warmed up and wet down there. If it continues to be painful, don't be afraid to talk to your OB/GYN! Reply And if your OB can't help, try another one. It might just be a process of figuring out how you two work together, but there could also be an underlying issue like vaginismus. Reply There can be soft tissue points that cause pain, tigger points. It is definitely possible. Never give up finding an answer and the great sex you deserve! Reply 1. Use lube. Use more lube. Seriously, there have been days when I've used literally half a bottle of lube and went from "Ow, damnit, stop it" to "Oh hell yes." 2. Talk to your OB/Gyn. Get detailed. (When does it hurt? Where does it hurt? How does it hurt?) Rule out anything purely physical going on. 3. Have more non-penetrative sex. Yes, it is "real" sex, and can be just as awesome for both of you. Also has the side benefit of you learning more about your body, your spouse learning more about your body, and potentially making penetrative sex better too. 4. Hey, professional help may actually, you know, help! There are therapists who specialize in sex who could be a fantastic resource in a) figuring out what's "normal" pain and what isn't, and b) offering suggestions of ways to deal with and/or change it. Reply If it doesn't get better talk to somebody soon. It may be vaginismus, you seem to have similar symptoms to what I had. Hopefully you just need a little more time. Reply Been there! I have three tips, some of which are echoed above, but in combination usually serves to get both of us on the right track again. 1. Just say yes. When one of you is in the mood, go with it. Yes, there will be legitimate times when you don't feel well or you have to be up at 4am the next day, but if your excuse is "there's another episode of Friends on right now"….have sex. No really, do it. Even if you didn't start out in the mood, chances are you'll end up happy you did. 2. Switch up the time of day. Instead of having before-bedtime sex, have just-got-home-from-work sex. Or morning sex. Or noon quickies. This has been a struggle in the past for both of us, as we like to chill out after work, which turns into us zoning out in front of the TV/computer, which leads to bedtime with no sexy times. 3. "Sex" doesn't always have to be intercourse. Do oral and leave it at that. Make out. Dress up but don't do anything physical at all. Send sexy text messages. For years, my husband had health issues that resulted in some serious ED. We still "had sex", just not of the baby-making variety. If you're not ovulating, have non-sex sex. Then the actual sex will the culmination of all that teasing you've been doing at other times. Reply Make out!!! Yes!!! We realized that it had been forever since we made out, and we went at it, and it was SMOKIN. It brings you back to a place of horny teenagerdom. Reply My boyfriend and i haven't had much sex in years and I'm pretty desperate to fix it myself. I have seriously low esteem and no confidence, and i tended to sleep with aggressive and dominate males. He is more sensual and its a huge turn off for me. He wants to kiss a lot and I always have to turn away because its so damn annoying. I have tried many times to talk to him about it but then he wants me to give him directions in the bed, and that doesn't inspire me. None of the suggestions have helped us but I'll be keeping an eye on this thread. Reply I had a similar thing with my hubs, he's a little… submissive for me at times. Finally one time I got a little frustrated and told him "Quit having sex with me, I want to fuck, I don't care if that makes it a quickie." I still get frustrated at times, he thinks it's cute but will usually finish things up how I want it. Another thing you might want to try is take charge. Tell him you don't really want to give him directions in the heat of the moment but this time will be you making sex how you want it so he can see & feel what levels of dominance you are wanting. You don't want to kiss as much as he does? Don't let him, tell him you're the boss and you didn't give him permission to kiss you. Put on a bossy dom persona to get through. Who knows, he may like it and you can trade off on who gets to be submissive. Reply Sometimes I ask mine, "Would you like to just have sex at each other real quick?" Reply Giving directions in bed doesn't work for me, but giving directions in advance does. Also finding things to say "I like it when…" rather than "I don't like it when…" makes it easier for him to take the suggestion. Reply Between opposite schedules and both of us being prone to bouts of low self-esteem, depression, and high levels of stress… weeks and weeks, sometimes months go by for us. Which makes initiating even harder. Here's my advice, which works for me when I feel like I can't stand the dry spell any longer and CHANGE MUST HAPPEN: 1. Masturbate. Even if your partner isn't around, getting yourself into the mood on a regular basis can help for later. 2. Keep sex in your thoughts… if you make a conscious effort to think about it, it's more likely to happen. Send sexy texts to your partner, leave love notes around the house. It will get him/her to think about it too. 3. Be positive. Be kind to yourself and be kind to your partner. Go out of your way to spread good feelings. Especially about self-image. Compliment your partner AND yourself. 4. Be prepared. Whatever makes you feel sexy. For me, it's shaving, vanilla lotion, sexy underwear. Even if I don't think we'll have the time or be synced up, at least I know I'm ready to feel good about it! I don't want to feel self-conscious. 5. Just get naked. Even if you're not in the mood, but you know you want to have more sex, just wear less clothing at home. Not easy if you already have kids, but snuggle up on the couch in just underwear and a tank top. Go to bed naked. Even if my partner isn't in the mood, that definitely helps him think about it. Hope that helps! I should be taking my own advice more often. Reply I've also had these challenges and my therapist had some great advice: always have a plan B in mind. Such as, "If we have sex tonight, great, but if he's not in the mood, I'm also excited to catch up on my Netflix." That helps ease the disappointment when sex doesn't happen, which keeps negative feelings away from sex. Reply nothing to do with baby making, and most people aren't open to this but…if you and your long term partner are in a serious dry spell and you feel you've lost your mojo… opening up the relationship to include experiences with other people can certainly infuse some new life into an old relationship. I realize it's controversial…but as no one brought it up yet I thought I'd be brave and throw it out there. Reply Yes, this. My husband and I had so much more sex when I also had a piece on the side. I was the object of desire for two men and contantly revved up. There was nothing about the situation that wasn't awesome. I miss that time in my life. Reply That is hot! Reply sometimes it doesn't have to be actually seeing another person, just going out with friends to a bar and flirting with someone new can spark the "I want my partner" feelings all over again when you remember that they're the best partner ever (hopefully!) Reply I realize it's controversial…but as no one brought it up yet I thought I'd be brave and throw it out there. Totally not controversial in these parts! 🙂 All of the Offbeat Empires sites feature poly content. 🙂 Recommended book for those considering this as an option: Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships Reply I'd try some mindfulness as well – essentially about being in the moment, not worrying about later or before. especially if it is a case of 'oh theres no time' 'but we need to go shopping' 'ah I just want to veg out and watch tv' 'I'm too stressed out to enjoy this'. There is a bit to mindfulness, and it does take practice. But then once you've got the technique, instead of someone making a move and the other being like 'not now', you just stop, be in the moment, enjoy the feeling of the other person and remember that oh yeah, sex is awesome! and totally worth being late for work/ family visits for! Reply I recently read that working out with your partner can increase your sex drive, and I find its true. We get all sweaty at the gym, and then will often have sex before we get into street clothes, either before or after showers. Reply Two words: Naked Yoga. Reply If I don't feel attractive or sexy, it makes me unwilling to initiate, yes, but also unwilling even to simply receive, so my own lack of confidence is often the cause of our dry spells. My first go-to when it's been too long is just to resexify myself. Everyone's methods will be different according to what makes them feel sexy, but I shave my legs and paint my toesies; sometimes I'll go get a new haircut or color; I might buy a new outfit I feel really confident in. Also I try to engage in activities I feel really proficient at – since reminding myself I'm good at a lot of stuff also helps make me feel sexy again. On all occasions when I happen to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and really like what I see, I make sure to stop for a minute and pay attention – not to search out flaws, but just appreciate this moment when I feel totally self-assured and sexy. Making a point of constantly doing this really helps me mentally get past those other times when I'm not so happy with what I see (and when that happens I just walk away from that mirror as fast as I can!) I'm not in any way saying it's you or it's your fault – but I often find starting with myself, with the things I can directly impact, makes me feel more in control of the situation. So yea, to sum up, Confidence and Control – I need to get my mojo back before I can get my mojo on! Reply Ok…..what do you do if you have a certain condition where sex was really painful? For me it depends on the day, sometimes, it's horribly painful….and sometimes….it's okay. I've actually gone to physical therapy for this issue, but had to stop when it got too expensive. For me, my sex drive is bad because 50% of the time I'll be in severe pain. Reply Continue your pt at home as much as you can! Some pt,s will give you exercises for home if you can't afford to come in. If pt was helping research what else you can do, tell your doctors, keep asking. Is it possible self massage would help? Like perennial massage. Can you develop a test to figure out if it's a good day or bad day without getting all amped up first? Are you easily overstimulated? Reply Sounds like maybe vulvodynia or vulvar vestibulitis? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulvodynia 1) Don't have sex when it is painful (even if you got started thinking it wouldn't hurt, stop if it does). 2) Find other sexual activities to do on the days you are in pain — probably non-insertive. Sex isn't only intercourse. 3) Start keeping records of when the good days are and when the bad days are — it may be less random than you think and have something to do with your menstrual cycle. The good days may be mid-cycle. Or it may relate to stress. Good luck, I know it sucks when sex hurts! Reply Reminder, you guys: please try to avoid giving medical advice. Feel free to link to resources, but as a publisher, I get really squeamish about hosting any sort of advice about medical conditions. It's a liability issue for me. Ultimately, if someone's in physical pain, they need to speak to a doctor (which it sounds like MountainGal has already done). Reply Sorry, Ariel. I wasn't even thinking of this as medical advice, but I am definitely not a medical professional and these are my own thoughts. MountainGal, you might want to check out the National Vulvodynia Association: http://www.nva.org Reply More ideas, Turn the heat up, the temperature in the house. Or add another blanket at least. Sometimes cold makes for very unsexy. Sleep naked! Good for self esteem, trust and intimacy. Take it out of the house. Change of scenery perhaps? Scream out the frustrations of baby making together, I mean those darn feelings. Practice some PDA, sorry world. Dancing? Or Go somewhere people are definitely not trying to have sex to make a baby. Girl time / guy time with friends instead of mixed couples. Reply I'm just… Commenting here so other comments get sent to me. Because I am curious about answers, yet unwilling to delve into details. Reply I agree sex begets sex but you don't have to have sex with someone for that to work! If I want to increase my libido I spend some quality time alone, guilt free. I say guilt free because while trying to conceive I felt like if I was horny then it had to be intercourse or I was wasting my horniness. It's not wasted time, and it can really help! Reply I'm watching this waiting for some sort of idea or clarity! I have run into the same problem with my husband as well. It's not something that sexy undies, or games, or switching it up can change. He just doesn't want to. He feels "pressured" if you try to initiate, but if you give him space you'll be on day 8 (like me right now) of nothing and no action in sight. Even when it's definitely time to get in gear, he's hesitant and often just won't do it. He says he doesn't feel like it. He says he's tired, stressed, busy, he wants to ride his bike, he wants to watch a movie, etc.. I've asked him what I can do different thinking that I wasn't pressing his hot buttons but that's not it. I've asked him if he's sure he wants to have kids "Yes! I'm really excited to be a dad." is what he says. His actions suggest otherwise though. He's otherwise very affectionate, sweet and kind. Nothing to suggest that he'd be so uninterested in sex. While I can't offer any advice (and boy have I sought it), I can offer a kindred spirit! Best of luck to you!! Reply Just wanted to give a solidarity fist-bump. 🙁 It's soooort of helped to talk really specifically with my husband about it… Like, "Ideally I would want to have sex every 2-3 days. How often would you ideally want to have sex? What do you think we should do to get both our needs met?" It's been helpful in that I feel less angry at him after we talk, but hasn't got me more sex yet. The other thing is I just try not to take it personally. I try to believe him when he says I'm attractive and he does find me sexy. I try not to turn "we haven't had sex in a week" into "he never wants to have sex with me". Again, doesn't help me have sex more, but helps me feel a little better about it. Reply Dunno if this will help anyone, and it´s a bit (A LOT) counterintuitive, BUT… I find that if I become non chalant (i.e. NOT interested in hubby), he usually comes around (sexually and otherwise), though I do have to wait it out a bit (sometimes more than others). Kind of in line with the "missing your partner" thing someone said above, but more of a face to face "oh, hi, I forgot I was sexual at all, aren´t we just kissy roomates?!" kind of thing. Reply I'm currently freaking out over our first dry spell. We've been regular every-other-dayers forever, even all thru the first 8 months of my pregnancy. But now I'm in the last few weeks, and am uncomfortable and tired and miserable, and my body is just so cumbersome, and I feel as sexy as a bag of moldy potatoes, and hubby looks at me with more pity than lust…. So yeah, dry spell Which, I'm sure is normal at this stage, but I'm scared about when will it get better, cos the impending baby's sure not gonna help things… Sorry that was a bit off topic. On topic: I've never had the highest libido, and agree with "do it till you want it". The more sex I have, the more I want. 🙂 (except when I'm the size of a blimp) Reply I'm currently freaking out over our first dry spell. We've been regular every-other-dayers forever, even all thru the first 8 months of my pregnancy. But now I'm in the last few weeks, and am uncomfortable and tired and miserable, and my body is just so cumbersome, and I feel as sexy as a bag of moldy potatoes, and hubby looks at me with more pity than lust…. So yeah, dry spell Which, I'm sure is normal at this stage, but I'm scared about when will it get better, cos the impending baby's sure not gonna help things… Sorry that was a bit off topic. On topic: I've never had the highest libido, and agree with "do it till you want it". The more sex I have, the more I want. 🙂 (except when I'm the size of a blimp) Reply I'd also like to say a few things about my experience with painful sex, as a few comments have brought this up. With my ex, who was my first, penetrative sex was always painful. For all 5 years. One thing that was discovered is that I'd developed an allergy to latex, which of course made condom use horrible. Burning! Ugh! But even when that contributing factor was removed I still found sex painful. The first time we did it we couldn't do it, because i was so tense. Second time powered thru and I was left bleeding heavily for days. And even though it got better than that, i was left scared of sex and found penetration awful. This changed when I split up with the ex and had sex with other men. Turns out it was all about tension, and since my ex was a nasty, abusive, a-hole, I never felt relaxed and comfortable with him. But I managed to figure it out with others and rarely have problems with penetration anymore. So, for me, being relaxed, comfortable and happy about sex is key. The more i worried about pain, the more painful it got. Reply This website can be really useful for looking at some of the relationship dynamics that can lead to lack of sex in relationships: http://www.thedirtynormal.com/ I had a bit of a 'baskets' moment when I read her posts about responsive and spontaneous desire. We'd got into a bit of a terrible cycle where 'woman with responsive desire' + 'man with spontaneous desire' + 'overly simplistic ideas of enthusiastic consent' = almost never having sex. Having a feminist scientist expert explain that some people need to start doing sexy stuff to feel like doing sexy stuff and those people will have a lot more sexy fun if they're willing to give it go when they don't feel that sexy and see whether they get into it as they go along. Reply I wish I had a sexy cure for the BF. My sex drive is – well, not too wild, but I could do with a little naughty time two or three times a week. The BF, on the other hand… if I did not remind him every now and then, he would go for months without. As soon as I try to talk about it, he claims he feels pressured. So no talking, not much couple sexy time – at least I've got my own fantasy to keep me company. (It may make things wors that he was my first guy. Heck, I don't even know if that is normal behavior, or if I am doing anything wrong.) Reply Woah, the talking = pressure thing throws up big red flags for me. I mean, there are definitely ways to talk about it that are full of pressure ("Why haven't you jumped me this week? Do you think I'm ugly?") but it's not good if a reasonable adult can't say to another reasonable adult "Hey, I'd like to talk about our sex life (or any other important topic), is now a good time or would you prefer after dinner?" without being accused of pressuring. Other good ways to have pressure-free conversation: use "I" statements like "Ideally I'd like to have sex about two or three times a week." Avoid saying "should". Ask for help before proposing a solution ("what do you think we should do to get both our needs met?" instead of "let's have sex more often"). And if he still won't talk, talk about why he won't talk. 😉 ("Hey, I'd like to talk about our sex life, but I don't want you to feel pressured. What do you think we should do about that?") Reply Great tip about "I" Statements!! Another great "I" Statement goes like this: "I feel _____ when _____ because ____." You just need to fill in the blanks with your feelings. This puts your feelings on you instead of blaming your partner and (for me) is a much easier way to start a difficult conversation. Watch your tone of voice – it should sound like your asking for help. Here's an example: Example: I feel distant from you when we don't have sex because sex is an important part of our relationship. Or Example: I feel the opposite of sexy when we're trying to make a baby instead of being more spontaneous because I'm thinking about being a Mom. Maybe that's not a good example for everyone – but you get to fill in your own blanks. This works with ALL of my arguments by the way. Example: I feel unappreciated when I clean by my self because it's a big, lonely, thankless job. Notice on this one, I didn't say "when YOU don't clean" – that would be blaming him… Or go the other way and give a complement about sex to start the conversation off on a different tone. Example: I feel amazing after I orgasm because it makes me feel closer to you. Use your own words because this is your statement about how YOU feel. And I plan just that statement ahead of time and let the conversation flow naturally from there. They can't ask you "What does that mean" because you just said what it means. They can't say "That's not MY fault" because you didn't say it was. It's an opening to ask for help, or change, or to help someone close to you understand you better. And that's my usual follow up question when he sits there in silence absorbing what I said, and I KNOW he FINALLY heard me. Follow Up: "What can we do about this together?" This has worked wonders for me and as long as I DON'T BLAME HIM with my statement, it's never backfired. Reply While I appreciate that this ought to be something that reasonable adults should be able to discuss without feeling pressure, I'd like to complicate the idea that it's got to be a "red flag." In my relationship, I am that person. That pressure-feeling sex-avoiding person. And it sucks. I have no idea why it's happened (though I've always been less libidinous than my husband) and I have no idea how to fix it. I've been off hormones of all kinds for years (and my numbers all seem to be in order) and have been in therapy for just shy of a year. I exercise, eat decently, do all the things I'm supposed to. But I'm just a sexual camel. I may always be a sexual camel. I'm starting to suspect that this is my new normal; this is my default. Once a week would be a lot of sex for us these days. Usually it's a couple of times a month, usually clustered fairly close together when I've gotten overwhelmed with guilt at what a "bad" wife I've been in this regard. It can often go longer. I feel tremendous pressure, mostly from myself, to fix this. (Then sometimes I get mad that I've been deemed broken. I like my sex drive! It's fine with me. If it weren't not fine with my spouse, I'd be entirely uninterested in addressing it.) I know the lack of sex hurts my husband, who has been nothing but kind and loving and supportive for years. (He's awesome, really.) I cannot tell you how many times I've cried about this. What does all this mean about pressure in conversations? I am really, really, really emotionally fragile about our libido issues. REALLY. It's very easy for my fears about being a bad partner to leap to the forefront of my mind when my husband brings up the subject. And those fears can equal me feeling pressured. Should they? No. Do I try to not let them? Yes. But I'm only human (and a very worn out one at that), and sometimes I let them anyway. I like to think that I'm a grownup and that I can handle a conversation about an important part of my decade-old relationship. But this is a very tender spot for me and I don't always react with the grace that perhaps I should. I suspect that I am not the only less-libidinous partner out there who struggles with shame and defensiveness about the issue and therefore can feel pressure where none is necessarily intended. Reply I previously posted here as Anon because I wasn't really willing to bring up my sexy laundry online, but you just summarized pretty much my current relationship with sex. And well, I think you deserve a hug, because it sucks, and it's not cool, and it hurts. And also because calling it a red flag really didn't do much more than feed into all that insecurity myself. So, internet hugs and solidarity fist bumps for you, for saying what I was too embarrassed to say myself. Reply Hello girls! I am the one that sent in the question and am amazed by the response and all the good advice! Since I sent in this question (some weeks ago) we are actually crawling out of our dry-spell, but have used many of your advice (even before you sent it, I must be a telepath,hehe). We have forced ourselves to have sex every other day (because,the more you eat candy, the more you want it, y'know), played with our selves both with and withour our partner, done it every time we want, not "I shall just empty the dish washer first" and now sleep naked. And as an extra bonus: I HAVE GOTTEN IMPREGNATED!!! i GOT THE TEST TODAY! Now we just have to keep up the good work without the pressure 🙂 Thank you for all the great advice! Reply Congratulations! Reply I'm not sure many here can relate to my problem. My husband and I have been married only 3 years. We've been living together for 7. When it comes to sex drive, it seems like its always the woman who isn't into it. In my situation, my husband never makes an advance for sex. Ever. When months go by with out us having sex, it takes a toll on my self confidence and I shut down too. We are fairly young and I'm in my early 30s and he just turned 40. No kids, but we want them… which is going to be difficult in our current situation. I know there is therapy, but that is expensive. I'm thinking about trying a doctor to see if something is wrong with him, and me. Reply Revel in the small things – brushing hands while sharing a bowl of popcorn, hugs from behind while cooking/washing dishes, kisses – even ones that start out as perfunctory smackers – go back in for seconds, linger, enjoy tongue again… close your eyes and trace faces or hands… it doesn't have to go to full on intercourse, but those brief touching moments will build so that when you do have time for the whole shebang – you have more inclination and sensations from which to draw. Reply Has anyone had issues with thyroid disorders affecting their sex drive? I was diagnosed with a thyroid tumor and auto immune thyroid disease, and will be getting radioactive ablation in a couple of weeks. My diagnosis was a year ago and since then (and even before when I was sick and didn't know it), my sex drive has gone away. I don't even think about it because it's like a part of me that doesn't exist anymore. I'm ok when my man initiates but I hardly think about it so I don't initiate which of course leads to problems. Both of us would give anything for things to go back to normal but I just don't know if/when that can happen. Perhaps I might try the Maca mentioned earlier in the comments sigh. Reply The things that have helped us when we're in a dry spell are: – Sleep naked. All the time. Get another duvet if you have to. – Spend more time together in general. I found that when I put down my laptop and he switched off the xbox and we curled up to watch tv together or eat meals together instead of being half distracted like usual, we ended up having much more sex. – When you say no to sex, think about why. Are you saying no because you don't feel like it? Fine, don't have sex right then. Are you saying no because it seems like a lot of effort/you don't want to get sticky/you're in the middle of a good bit of your book/you have to work in the morning? Screw it, have some fun. Life is short. Basically, try saying yes more often even if you're not immediately into it, unless you really definitely don't want to. Reply I'm also one of those commenters that just want to be kept up-to-date. But I will say this: I've been thissing these comments like it's nobody's business. Our dry spell is well underway (and will have to stay that way for a few days at least while I'm all fertile for egg donation – so I plan on implementing these all next week or so), and I just wanted to say this thread is a perfect example of why I keep coming back to Offbeat – so much love. So much community. No judging, no shame, just warm fuzzies. Reply This is pretty much not AT ALL related, but my slight dyslexia had me reading the title: "How Do You Get You And Your Parent's Sex Drives Back In Sync?" And had a EWEWOMGWHYWOULDIWANTTOFREAKINGDOTHAAAT??? moment. Just thought I'd share XD Reply Remember he thinks you are sexy pretty much all the time. Next time he notices you took off your shirt, do a little hips wiggle and tease your way undressed. Feeling sexy helps you feel more sexual. I agree with all of the above – I started thinking about when should we be having sex and we started to ONLY have sex then for a couple months. Not good. I had to get myself back onto the "sex is fun" and "we have nothing better to do than each other" mindset. So read some romance novels, watch some romantic chick flicks with sex scenes, masturbate and finally pounce on him for no good reason other than sex. Then he more likely to give you a hint when he is thinking about it. And then you have to act on it. Even if it is just making out in the car. You add intimacy and heat that will be rewarded later. So you end up 20 or 40 minutes late to a party. Or the laundry isn't folded right away. Or dinner gets cold. Or you get a little less sleep that night. Make being intimate a priority and more sex will follow. Reply Oh I wish I saw this post sooner…I could have gotten in on the conversation. I have had horrible libido for many, many years. It became non-existent with my ex, which I attributed to the fact that our relationship was horrible and failing. When I met my now husband, my libido was pretty good originally but then slowly creeped away and I have been back in the dry spell for a few years. We have a great relationship, aside from the sex, so I know it can't be my original reasons with my ex. Perhaps my anxiety, depression, horrible sleep schedule…who knows….Im sure the list could go on. Maybe it's the fact that he is overweight (which doesn't bother me in the attraction dept) but it does hinder a lot of positions and frankly I'm bored with the 2-3 that we can do and I miss being able to wrap my legs around someone. Talking to him about weight loss is so difficult as he takes it very personal. But I'm not even sure if that would fix anything…maybe it is just me….and seeing a sex therapist sounds expensive :-/ I cringe when he even asks for sex…I've tried to schedule it, to force myself, and it really just turns out to be an un-enjoyable chore at that point. And I worry that it may cause some big problems later on down the road…. Reply My fiance and I have been together for 3 years now. My 1st husband and I had NO sexual relationship past the first year. We have a daughter together and for the 3 years after she was born, we had sex maybe twice a year. So I was worried that the same thing would happen with my fiance. The attraction between us is very strong and that really helps. In the beginning, my sex drive was insane. I went from 2x a year with my ex-husband to sometimes 2-3 times a day with my fiance. So it was great. Then it started slowing down after a few months but it was still great. A couple times a week and we were both happy. Then after about a year and a half, it almost became scheduled. We both worked full time and were too busy and stressed out with work and my daughter so the only time we had sex was on the weekends…and usually just once during a 2 day weekend. And then we started going 2-3 weeks without doing anything, and when we did do anything, it was always the same thing/routine. Even on some of the days that we said we'd do something, we'd end up not. So this past Christmas, on a long 16 hour drive back to TN from TX, we had a very LONG talk that lasted for the remaining 5 hours of the trip while my daughter slept in the backseat. We discussed advancing our sexual relationship and opening up to new things that we hadn't tried before: toys, positions, dirty talk, anal, etc. By the time we got home, it was 5am. We unpacked the car, put my daughter to bed, and were so turned on by our talk that we had immediately had sex before sleeping. It was amazing and for the past 2 1/2 weeks it has continued to be amazing. We both have our sex drives back. We've purchased a few toys and have tried a few new positions. We're having sex about every other day now. I can't explain how having that conversation and being really open about what each of us likes/doesn't like, what we'd like to try, etc., has helped us become close again intimately. I didn't feel uncomfortable at all during the talk, nor pressured or rushed. And there were a few things that we weren't both in agreement with, but we both promised to work our way to that point and at least try things once. So, I said all that to say this, my advice would be to just talk. Have an open conversation (or 4 or 5) with your partner. Let them know that you'd like things to be better and let them know what ideas you might have and things you'd like to try, etc. Even if you tell them things that you don't like or things that you want to change, most of the time your partner won't be upset because you are communicating to them and they will generally be wanting the same thing. I had been wanting to have that conversation with him for the longest time but wasn't sure how to start it. Thankfully he did and it has changed our relationship so much! I'm now even more excited to marry him and to see what the future holds for our sexual relationship! Best of luck to all of you! Reply Best advice yet. I totally forgot that this would work for this topic just as much as it does for any other problem. And also that it's one of the things I treasure about my husband. I'm absolutely teary-eyed inspired! Thank you! Reply When I first read this article and the subsequent comments, my husband and I were in a drought causing much unhappiness. I was inspired by all these tips, and the following helped me: 1. We decided to prioritise sex. Not schedule it per se, but we said "Okay, let's try every day." (That didn't work) We revised it to every second day (that also didn't work). So we eventually settled on making an effort to have sex two or three times a week. This works perfectly for us. So finding the best amount for the two of you is important. 2. Compromise. My husband loves sleeping naked. I do not. We used to sleep naked together which led to fun happy sleepy sex at 3am, but I started wearing pjs because I just don't feel comfortable sleeping naked. So, our compromise was this: I'll sleep in nighties. I still feel covered enough to be comfortable, and we can still have sleepy sex at the drop of a hat. 3. Also, and I feel like I'm betraying feminism by admitting this, losing weight has made me feel sexier, and more willing to have sex. Reply Patti, about #3, don't worry! Feminism is OK with you making the choices that make you happy. You didn't say "fat people aren't sexy" or "losing weight will make you feel sexy," you simply said what's good for you. Reply Since I've been on my anxiety medication, my sex drive has become non-existent. My partner has never had a high sex drive and during the rare times he would initiate, I'd be willing to go! My sex drive has always been higher, until now. :\ He has initiated three times now, and I've turned down every single one. It makes me feel like a bad partner, but I just can't get in the mood now. I'm thinking we're going to have to try harder than "want a quicky?" now if any magic's going to happen. Any ideas? Reply So after a miscarriage, I was terrified to be touched. We had some rough times, had a couple of intimate moments in moments of whimsy, then started trying for our daughter – honestly, trying for the kiddo helped me feel more comfortable with sex. Not terrible comfy with sex while pregnant, though we explored other intimate options. Healthy daughter was born, and suddenly sex became this thing that we kinda had to pursue whenever we found the chance. Half the time, it was interrupted by a crying baby. But it was… better somehow. I guess the advice for getting in sync is changing things up, however that works best for you. Try new things, try timed things, just… try. Don't be afraid to look at him while you're doing the dishes and say "Now." Because now is the time that you have to pursue all of your whims. Reply "Because now is the time that you have to pursue all of your whims." So beautiful and so true. Reply I've been married for 2 years, together for 12, and we've definitely had dry spells. There's ups and downs, and that's fine. Work schedule and health are big parts of that, and I wholeheartedly agree with Ariel's brilliant "genitals in motion" comment. For me, I think wanting to have sex or even wanting to kiss or touch comes from a place of love, so doing the things that remind you that you're in love and not just friends is a good place to start. Go on a date! Dress up a little, go someplace you haven't been before, try something you haven't done, learn something new together. Take the long way home or walk around a new place. If you go to movies a lot, try doing something else. I find, for me, that doing something fun together reminds me how much fun I have with my husband and how much I love him, and makes me want to kiss him. And kissing generally leads to more kissing. And that leads to more sex, hopefully. We're not trying to baby-make just yet, but if you know your schedule it might help to plan ahead for a fun date during your ovulation so that it doesn't feel forced. Reply http://www.amazon.com/Slow-Sex-Craft-Female-Orgasm/dp/0446567183 ^This book helped us tremendously during a low point! I thought it was a bit ridiculous at first, but it offers a good way to physically connect that is rewarding (whether or not it leads to intercourse.) Going off of birth control pills also helped…I did start charting, mostly just to put my mind at ease that I do ovulate, but we`re careful not to discuss the chart anywhere near sex time. We`re very open with eachother, so he actually loves to "help" check my CF. Other than that, find a way to be comfortable talking about it. Text the other person to thank them for how awesome yesterday`s romp was (it ensures both of you are thinking positive, sexy thoughts). Communicate about why your desires are lower/higher; he puts more value on physical affection than I do, so if I turn down sex, I now make an effort to touch him more in general and we are both happier for it. We both like literotica, but since it is user submitted, some of it is good and some of it is not our cup of tea…so we can talk about what we do AND don't like in it (offering a great way to suggest new things to try, as well as ways to explain what you don't like without criticizing your partner`s performance.) Most of all, make the physical side of your relationship a priority (make changes to the other aspects of your life if you "just can't find the time".) Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. 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