Q&A: Low Sexual Desire – How Do I Get Interested In Sex Again?

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QUESTION: My boyfriend and I have been together for a few years. Our sex life was really good in the beginning and I understand that as relationships grow that the sex might decrease some but we are to the point that if we have sex once a month. I don't enjoy myself, my body gets tense and I just want it to be over. Obviously, it's not good for my boyfriend either. I have absolutely no desire anymore. I've asked my doctor and he’s done blood tests but everything came back normal. Is there anything else that I can do?

Although it is true that couples usually have less frequent sex and lower levels of sexual desire as they stay together longer, if you are bothered by your level of desire or the quality of sexual intimacy with your boyfriend, then it is worth taking a look at.

Many couples find that, if they are both willing to work on their relationship and are able to be caring and compassionate toward each other throughout the process, that their sexual life together can indeed be improved.

Many Factors Affect Sexual Desire

Sexual desire is incredibly complex and it is not your “fault” if you don’t feel like having sex, nor does it necessarily mean that anything is wrong with you. Most people have periods of time when they feel less interested (or not at all interested) in sex.

Sexual desire can be affected a range of things including medical conditions, medications (over the counter or prescription), fatigue, stress, anxiety, and mood/depression. Quite often, too, relationship dynamics – or a way that a couple interacts with each other – contribute to sexual problems too.

These may be common issues that most people experience at one time or another but sometimes they get in the way of sexual desire and intimacy – for example, issues like jealousy, feeling hurt, feeling betrayed, trust issues, or feeling like you can’t express your true feelings to your partner.

It may be that the way your partner approaches you for sex, while okay at first, makes you feel taken for granted (even if he doesn’t mean that), dull (in a routine) or that his approach makes you feel “available” to him more than it makes you feel desirable. And it may be that you have such feelings but haven’t found a way to communicate it to him.

Low Sexual Desire In Women

Here at The Kinsey Institute, we are involved in research related to low sexual desire among women (learn more on our web site at kinseyinstitute.org) as it is a topic that scientists are still trying to learn more about.

Next Steps

There are, however, steps that you and your boyfriend can take to address this issue.

The book For Yourself by Dr. Lonnie Barbach may be helpful at helping you to explore both your body and your own feelings and thoughts in a way that helps you to feel more pleasure and desire. Dr. Barbach’s For Each Other: Sharing Sexual Intimacy may be a useful resource for you and your boyfriend as you try to reconnect sexually in a way that doesn’t feel pressured, forced or fake.

In addition, many couples find that they are helped by receiving information, guidance or support from a sex counselor or sex therapist. Locate on near you through the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (aasect.org).

Kinsey Confidential

is a service of The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University. Sexual health experts answer your questions and provide newspaper columns and weekly podcasts.
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