Q: So, I’ve had a boyfriend for over 6 months now. I really love him and find him sexy, but for some reason I have zero sex drive right now. I know it shouldn’t be a big deal, but I think he’s getting a little mad that I never want to do anything. I will sometimes hook up with him because I feel that I should want to and that maybe I’ll get more in the mood, but it’s never good. I’ve been on the same pill for 2 years, so I don’t think it’s that. Is there a reason why I have this change or any ideas on how to fix it?!
A: Sex drive in women is a complex beast. While men may need little more than a pretty smile to get them in the mood, most women require more. Factors that can contribute to decreased libido include (among others):
- Feeling tired or stressed
- Side effects from medications such as birth control pills/patch/ring or anti-depressants
- Feeling unsafe or unloved in your relationship
- Hormonal imbalance
- History of sexual abuse or trauma
- Chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes
Unlike men, who may pop a Viagra or put on a porn video to get in the mood, a woman’s libido is fussy. Do you masturbate? Does that still feel sexy to you? Are you able to orgasm, either by yourself or with a partner? If masturbation is still fun and you’re able to orgasm, chances are that it’s more psychological than physical.
If decreased sexual arousal distresses you, talk to your doctor, who can investigate whether there’s a medical reason for your low libido. Ask your doctor whether switching the brand of your birth control pill or trying another form of contraception might help. If your doctor gives you the clean bill of health, here are a few tips you might try to give your libido a boost.
- Schedule intimate dates. If you’re waiting until 11pm to think about hooking up, your body might have other ideas. Plan morning dates or early evening dates to give your body the chance to feel stimulated.
- Try Laura Corn’s 101 Nights of Grrreat Sex (or Grrreat Romance, if you’re not as daring). This book includes tear-out pages of fun seductions For Him or For Her. Some are pretty risqué, but all are sexy. Just the simple act of planning a seduction can be a turn on.
- Experiment with erotic film, books, or magazines. Keep an open mind and check out whether anything turns you on.
- Have a hey day at a sex toy store. You never know what might get you in the mood.
- Try erotic role-playing. Maybe you’ve always wanted to hook up with a cop. Perhaps your boyfriend would play along.
- Try sexual arousal aids, such as Zestra, a sexy botanical oil that may be just the trick for you.
Keep in mind that every woman in unique, so no one thing works for every individual. But the more you set the intention to spice up your sex life, the more likely you are to succeed. Do you want your sex drive to improve? Say so. Talk to your girlfriends. Write in your journal. Commit to it. Then, with an open mind, set forth. You just might be surprised.
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