Why do couples stop having sex?

Loss of libido in longterm relationships can lead to unsolvable rifts. Let's look at this loss of libido and how we can rekindle that flame.

Loss of libido in longterm relationships can be unnerving, frustrating and sad. Here is a comprehensive guide to reigniting that fire!
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INTRODUCTION

Have you been with your partner for what feels like forever? Are you having explosive sex at least three times a week? Do you spend your days thinking about all the naughty things you could do to your partner and lust over their every move? Is your body bursting with sexual energy from morning till night?

No? Then don’t worry. You’re not alone. You’re not broken. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you.

Around 30 percent of all women between the ages of 18 and 59 show a lack of interest in sexual activities.

However, you’re not here to hear about your problems or worries. You want answers. The good news is, there’s hope. Your sex drive (or libido) is a complex system of blood flows, psychology, hormones, sociological factors and more. If tweaked here and there, you can find a balance that works for you and allows you to feel all those spicy things and persuade your pleasure back into your life.

If you could wave a magic wand on your sexual relationship, what would you wish for?

I just want the return of some level of interest at least some of the time….
(Statement of a mother, 37 with two kids in a 17 year long relationship)

What does this say about libido in longterm relationships?
It can be difficult. It can be exhausting. The sexual heat may have faded. Perhaps it’s gone entirely. This isn’t something anybody tells you when you are in that happy go-lucky honeymoon love bubble. Also, hardly anyone tells you how to change, what to do. You are labelled with a “loss of libido” and nobody wants to talk about it.

Well, I am here to tell you about it. Let’s analyze the ups and downs (which I like to call seasons) and the work it takes from both sides to find a balance.

The truth about libido in longterm relationships is that there is no normal. There is only what suits you and your partner. However, having said that; it takes two to tango. And no, your partner probably won’t just “adapt” to your loss of libido. This can turn out to be a proper can of worms and so; communication is of essence.

But let’s break it down bit by bit for you and give you a broad overview on how to cultivate a healthy sexual relationship with your partner.

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Firstly, a little about me:
I’ve been with my partner for 13 years and our sex life was kink, charm, love, explosive. Until we had kids. It had a short crescendo when we “made” our second kid but since then, it’s been a struggle for me. Not just for me, ofcourse, also for my partner. Hence my quest to increase my desire, find more of what I like and reignite that flame. My loss of libido will not cost me my relationship!

One thing I will tell you (and treat it as a secret whispered to you in the dead of the night by a shady looking witch):

Stressing about your loss of libido will not get it back…

My biggest take-aways since accepting my lack of libido (and in case you don’t read on, let it be known):

  • Take sex off the table (that’s right, forbid yourselves from having it for a little agreed time to ease the pressure)
  • Grieve the loss of your sexual relationship with your partner (talk about it, call it by it’s name. Not only will it mean you actually talk about sex but it shows you are involved emotionally in your partner’s situation. It’s called bonding!)

In my interviews with women regarding sex in long-term relationships (particularly mothers) they lamented the loss of their libido. It seemed like another to-do on their lists and I can honestly understand. The following sentences echoed in my mind for days and I believe it will resonate with many others:

“(Sex is) non-existent since kids.”

“(It) just got boring. I used to feel sexy and excited to please and tease my partner. Nowadays it’s the least important thing to do.”

So, this blog post is an overview of the frequency of sex in long-term relationships, how to keep sex interesting, communication and understanding, tips and tricks to help you on your way and overall a mood boost to let you know that:

  1. You are not alone.
  2. There are ways to help you.

HOW DOES SEXUAL DESIRE WORK?

Why does a woman lose sexual desire?

Can I just say, reading this blog post is the first step to rediscovering your pleasure and finding a way back to your version of a healthy libido.

One of the first things we need to look at is why your libido might have gone astray. Bearing in mind that there may be reasons such as hormone imbalances, the influence of certain medications such as contraception, illness or psychological factors, let’s rule out bodily difficulties and mental health issues on a larger scale and investigate the finer reasons why. Please see your OBGyn or doctor for help in all other areas mentioned.

Spontaneous vs. Responsive Desire

Desire is context-dependent and certainly not consistent or fixed. We differentiate between spontaneous (this is when you literally get turned on immediately by something and act upon it) and responsive (this is when you need direct stimulation or touch to arouse your brain before you can become sexually aroused).

If you see yourself, and most women do, as more responsive in your desire, it means it takes a little longer to get into the mood. Many will instantly perceive this as low libido. On the contrary, you are in tune with your body and know that if you are not in the right headspace, it won’t work. If you don’t feel good, sex won’t make you feel better.

In short, recognizing this responsive desire in yourself means being prepared. Perhaps certain situations or places make you uncomfortable. Maybe you need self-pleasure to get you started. There are many sociocultural and psychological factors that play into getting freaky and so, improving your overall health will see changes in your libido.

It’s normal to grease the wheels of your desire. Most people feel this way:

“(Sex has) improved since weaning my last child, but I’m not usually in the mood when I initiate sex.”

Our brain is the biggest sexual organ and so we need to get in there first and turn the heat up! So whether it’s porn, erotic literature (you can start here) or your own mental stimulation, if you have switched off from your everyday routine you can make space for that sexiness!

Basson’s nonlinear model of sexual response seeks to more accurately depict the components of desire and the underlying motivational forces that trigger it.
Basson’s nonlinear model of sexual response seeks to more accurately depict the components of desire and the underlying motivational forces that trigger it.

Asexual spectrum

Whilst I will not give a full explanation of the term (if you feel you may be on this spectrum, here is a great article to explain more), in short it is someone who does not experience sexual attraction towards anyone. Not to say you have no libido, it just means you experience desire and attractions differently.

Should this resonate with you, I suggest a healthy google search and finding like-minded people in forums etc.

Physical or mental distress

If any part of sex causes you distress, obviously you’re not going to want to have it. Bearing this in mind, we ofcourse want sex to be pleasurable. Think about what you like and don’t like. Sex isn’t just about penetration.

Consider acts like kissing, cuddling, a massage, snuggling or foreplay as something that gives you pleasure and work with that. As soon as you find something else you may enjoy, you open yourself for potentially more. It is essential that you feel comfortable. Intimacy can be so much more than just humping. 

Depathologize Desire

Likewise, your libido is part of you in whole. If any part of you is unwell, you may experience a loss of libido. You are not broken. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Communicate openly with your partner about how you’re feeling.

Don’t allow yourself to be put under pressure and take your time in finding what feels normal for you. In my self-experiment MUMMYS_COMING I look at a holistic approach to my libido and analyse all areas of my life to improve my well-being.

Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is the most prevalent form of female sexual dysfunction (FSD). HSDD is a medical condition that manifests as the persistent or recurrent deficiency or absence of:

  • Spontaneous desire (including sexual thoughts, fantasies, stimulation)
  • Desire to initiate or participate in sexual activity

In addition to low sexual desire, clinically significant personal distress is central to the diagnosis of HSDD. Distress is defined as feelings of frustration, grief, incompetence, loss, sadness, sorrow, or worry. Source: herhsdd

Find out more on their page including screening tests and more.

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Can sexual desire be restored?

Firstly, you may think it is impossible but there are indeed ways to win back your desire. It is about evolving and establishing new mental patterns. We need to investigate ourselves and what gives us pleasure again. This sounds incredibly exhausting and anything other than sexy but I can tell you it is worth it. 

Secondly, it all starts with you. Your desire is important. Your fantasies, needs and what gives you pleasure must be established in order to find new levels of the relationship where you feel comfortable in the exchange of intimacy. 

What does this mean in a precise example?
If you feel under pressure with planning a date night, perhaps solo masturbation to which you then invite your partner is easier. More spontaneous and based around your lust levels. Or maybe you need concrete planning to lead up to the event. It’s up to you to find this out and communicate it to your partner. They should be just as invested in your pleasure as theirs.

80% of the women I asked said they wished for more variety, spontaneity and communication in their sex lives.

SEASONS, CHAPTERS & DEVELOPMENT:

Is it normal to have less sex and lower libido in longterm relationships?

Sex changes in long term relationships for a multitude of reasons:

  • Age (Bodily changes, illness, chronic disease)
  • Natural libido levels (menopause, hormone fluctuations etc.)
  • Communication & status of the relationship

Let’s be honest; those rose-tinted glasses can’t last forever. Like I mentioned in the introduction, relationships go through seasons. These are based on certain factors that each partner is experiencing. Stress, family, career and so on affect your desire and mood. Ideally, a relationship is deeply rooted in mutual respect, love and friendship. A sexual relationship can vary over time. But if the foundations are there, you can communicate openly about your sexuality.

How often do married couples make love? Is once a month a sexless marriage?

Eesh. Before I give you my honest opinion, let’s have a look at some statistics:

Average Number of Times Couples Have Sex Per Week
A study published & carried out by the General Social Survey in 2019 shows the following:‌

About 47% of married couples have sex less than once a week.‌

Some say you should have sex once a week and if you’re having it less than ten times a year it qualifies as a sexless marriage.

Now this is where I get my knickers in a twist. Not only does it irritate me that anybody should decide over how often I have sex but also that they have the audacity to label my marriage as sexless. Who decides the definition of sex?

For me, quality is just as important as quantity. Who is to say that slow, sensual sex once a week is less valuable than two quickies a week? To clarify, nobody gets to decide what sexless means. Nobody gets to decide what normal is. YOU and your partner define the right balance.

A sexless marriage happens when you stop being interested in each other’s lives. It takes active work to keep that initial spark alive. You need to communicate with your partner. Unfortunately, society has us believing that marriage is where sex dies. 

So in conclusion, it is not normal to have less sex in long-term relationships but it is common. Partners cease to communicate, become comfortable, complacent even. Libido in longterm relationships ebbs and flows. Embrace that. Accept it. Make it work for the both of you!

Libido in longterm relationships - Stairs of life
https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/gettingonbetter/stages-changes-relationships-parents

PHYSICAL & EMOTIONAL NEEDS:

In the beginning, sex is often omnipotent in creating that bodily relationship. We need to smell each other, explore our bodies, discover new areas of our desires. Over time, the relationship may change, adapt. Sex can, however, become a source of frustration. Often couples have an imbalanced need for sexual relationships. If left unspoken about, this causes rifts.

Why does intimacy fade?

There are many reasons why intimacy changes or rather evolves over time. Intimacy is a driving force not only in the bedroom. When we connect with our partner outside of the bedroom and successfully navigate choppy waters in times of crisis we can also master challenges in our sexual relationship. If we allow the day to day and routine of life to decide our fate with each other we are setting ourselves up to fail. Yes: again, it takes work.

You can’t make something out of nothing.

Establish the safety and consistency outside of the bedroom and maintain that emotional intimacy in the smaller moments and the conversations about sex will flow more freely.

In conclusion:

How important is sex in a relationship?

Let’s distinguish what “important” means.
Sex is not just about penetration (I think I’ve mentioned that already). Sex means connection, bonding and the release of many happy hormones. It can lead to more quality time with your partner (even if it is planned and structured), a place for love and romance and reduced stress.

Sex per se is just a word to describe an act, emotional intimacy is much more. Remain connected to your partner and take time for each other to listen, touch, explore and establish trust.

Here are some of the things the women in my interview said helped them establish emotional intimacy:

Porn, massage, dirty talk, date nights, conversation, cuddling; masturbation of one, then the other one joins in, tight cuddling.

Esther Perel speaks of the fact that commitment isn’t a given in a long-term relationship. Our partners are not “til death do us part” forced to comply with our wishes and desires. We evolve and change and it is up to us to communicate with our partner and make an active effort to facilitate the growth and strengthening of our bond. Once you realise that they can walk away at any given moment, you recognise the necessity of working towards a future together.

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COMMUNICATION:

Does sex ruin relationships?

Sex as it is should not have the power to ruin a relationship if spoken about in an honest, consensual, adult manner. Your relationship becomes vulnerable when you detach and allow the frustration and anger to fester. This will indeed lead to resentment and possibly infidelity or separation. 

57% of the women I asked said the loss of libido had caused difficulties in their relationship.

As I mentioned before: the focus should not be on quantity but on quality. Be gentle with each other, find new ways to meet in the middle and explore intimacy. The more you both enjoy it, the more frequent it is likely to become.

It can be difficult to end a sex drought but there are many ways together and on your own to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

Here are a few long-term strategies on how to keep romance alive and seduce in a long term relationship:

Lower expectations

There is nothing worse than planning a date night and your partner thinking they’re going to get fireworks and everything they’ve been missing out on. There is a vast wilderness you both need to get through before you reach orgasms and full blown sex sessions. By lowering your expectations you can both agree on the goal of giving each other pleasure in whichever form is desired.

Erotic intimacy

Connect when times are rough. We tend to close ourselves off when the road is rocky. This hinders the emotional intimacy toward our partners and loses the connection. We all have it: we want to curl into a ball and retreat. But bodily contact will actually release happy hormones and help us.

So although you want nothing more than your peace and quiet, consider for just a moment to use it as a point of connection. I promise you, it won’t do you any harm. On the contrary, it might help heaps!

TIPS & TOOLS:

How to keep sex interesting and libido high in a longterm relationship.

SOLO EXPLORATION

Let’s first take a look at you. What can you do to increase your sex drive or libido?

SELF-LOVE: easing back into pleasure

For many of the mums I asked there were issues such as a change in physical sensations or vaginal dryness following birth. After a long time out of the game, you may want to explore yourself first. Consult a professional and buy what you need to help yourself experience pleasure again. The better you know what works, the more you can communicate to your partner. Love yourself and know your pleasure points!

FREE YOUR MIND: Mental Stimulation

If you are a woman, like me, you may have trouble switching off from all the to-dos in your life. Finding a mental headspace for sex was often very difficult for me. I felt under pressure to perform and that stress made me shut down completely. I feel you. 

But clearing that space is possible.

The brain is our biggest sexual organ. There are two types of sexual arousal and if the physical side is not working for you, the mental is where to start. It’s easy to fall into a routine in long-term relationships. Reconnecting with your inner fantasies fills your head with new ideas. 

Some things to try are: 

  • Erotica (try my newest story When in Rome…)
  • Porn (there are some good pages out there such as Bellesa)
  • Audio (try Dipsea)
  • Visual stimulus

Make sure you are undisturbed, will stay undisturbed. Find a comfortable place; create a sensual environment. Make sure all your basic needs are met first (food, drink etc.) and then settle in, close your eyes. And just allow your mind to relax. You may lose focus every now and then, that’s totally ok. Meditation practices teach you to acknowledge the other thought and then move your attention back to the mental stimulation.

Experiment whether perhaps a warm bath or shower helps you relax or some candles, a glass of wine. Whatever you need to switch off, go there consciously.

Not only will this give you some time to delve into your mind and perhaps freshen up your sexy vibe, it will also get the ball rolling and perhaps make your loins fizz!

Welcome the cues from your body, indulge in a little masturbation (or a lot). Tap into that sexual fire and learn all the things that make you gasp!

NEW IMPULSES: New toys

When did you last treat yourself to something new? Do toys get you inspired? Is there something you’ve always wanted to try but feel shy about?

Where browsing the internet and online sex shops can be very exciting, I fully recommend visiting a store. The staff are 100% open and do not judge. (Trust me, I used to work in a sex shop). They can inform you about all the different toys and give you in-depth knowledge regarding most practices. They can also point you in the direction of local offers in the erotic world (such as certain workshops or tantra offers).

Perhaps you find yourself venturing into something that gives you pleasure that you would like to enjoy with your partner. This is the best way to get started! YOU!

How to use a vibrator alone or with a partner. Spruce up your love life and loss of libido in longterm relationships with some pleasure in toy form!
https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sex/how-to-use-a-vibrator
FEELING GOOD: Sexy outfits

Feeling sexy is a whole thing in my opinion. It’s so much more than feeling turned on for “that moment”. So if your everyday life leaves you feeling powerless, helpless, unwanted, unhappy or anything less, then there is only a very slim chance that you will feel like a sexy goddess when the time comes. 

Whilst it is essential to work on the aspects of your life that are making it unhappy, things like an empowering outfit, feeling fine and looking at yourself in the mirror and liking what you see are imperative for you to be the main protagonist in those fantasies in your head.

Go shopping with a friend, browse online. You’ll be amazed to find that there are outfits out there that don’t break the bank. It’ll give you a whirlwind of a thrill!

FOOD FOR THE SOUL: Nourishment

There are also some particular foods that can help boost your libido (check out Nutrition in MUMMYS_COMING) and alternatively there are supplements that can help. Be sure to check with your doctor when taking any libido boosting supplements though. Maca root, ashwaganda, red ginseng, fenugreek, saffron and gingko beliboa are some additional foods to try but please consult a professional if you are already taking medications.

And so, in conclusion:

It can be a struggle to feel sexy under pressure and in the moment. The more you incorporate small moments of sexiness for yourself, the easier it will become to want desire on a more regular basis. Does meeting friends make you happy? Dancing? Painting? Solo masturbation? Once you get yourself thinking about pleasure and desire on a more regular basis, your mind will be flooded with happy hormones more often.

Happy makes us happy! So by reading all this, you’re already well on your way to that headspace! Let eroticism flow into your every day. Following some hot instagram profiles will help too for visual stimulation and new ideas (I suggest @pleasepinchmehard ofcourse!)

Find out what works for you, heck write it down even! And then initiate a conversation with your partner.

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COUPLE STRENGTHENING

If you eat nothing but cereal every day all day for years on end, you’re going to get bored, am I right? In long-term relationships, it can also become monotonous and lose novelty. Keeping it exciting is often another to-do on your list but it doesn’t have to be. If you tune into your own pleasure, you can find ways to initiate new ideas with your partner.

Having said that, here are some different ideas to try:

TAKE IT SLOW: Step by step approach

Let me frame this with an example: you’ve not been to the gym for a while. When you go back it is hard work and you’re thinking to yourself you’re definitely not going to be running as far as you used to. Over time, it gets better again.

It’s the same with sex. If you’ve been out of the game for a while, don’t expect your body to go from nothing to 100% immediately.

The step by step approach suggests taking sex off the table entirely and reintroducing intimacy bit by bit. So say you start by just holding hands for a few days. Then maybe some kissing. Followed by touching over the clothes but not the genitals. And so on and so forth. It gives you a chance to reintroduce pleasure slowly and in a steady manner.

COURTING: Date night

Many will think this means hooray, an evening just the two of you, take-away and a steamy session. Nope. Sorry to burst your bubble. Again, this puts pressure on you to squash all the intimacy into a short window of time. Use date night to connect emotionally.

If you go out to a restaurant, flirt with each other, hold hands, stare into each other’s eyes a little longer than normal. Tell your partner how much you are enjoying their company, use loving language with each other. The emotional intimacy will strengthen your connection.

TOUCH ME: Sensate focus

This is a technique used to improve intimacy and communication between partners around sex, reduce sexual performance anxiety, and shift away from ingrained, goal-oriented sexual patterns that may not be serving a couple. Source: SMSNA

It happens in steps where you concentrate on temperature, texture, and pressure whilst you massage your naked partner. At first there is no genital touching, then with consent you introduce genital touching, then lube or lotion to change the sensory awareness particularly around the genitals, then mutual touching. You can swap who is being touched throughout and the pressure of sex is completely off. At no point should there be the goal of sex for either partner. Communication is encouraged to tell your partner what feels good and what you perhaps don’t like.

Ultimately, this is a wonderful way to explore each other and what feels good. It doesn’t have to happen all in one session. You might leave the lube/oil step for another day and ease in slowly. It can, however, have you craving sexual intercourse after such intense intimacy.

Why do couples stop having sex? An exercise called sensate focus can help!
https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/sensatefocus/
LET’S PLAY: with the help of a kinky card game

Perhaps I don’t need to say it, but I will. Schedule a time, sit down, and talk. An absolute favourite of mine is an adult card game which facilitates having this conversation:

KnKPlay.me – your kinky card game

If, like in many long-term relationships, you’ve found yourself in a rut, then perhaps it’s time to dive into some deeper fantasies. This can be daunting and exciting all at the same time. Maybe take some time to look through the cards on your own individually beforehand in order to investigate your own desires. 

The game itself is simple: there are four areas:

MOOD | PLACE | RULES | TOOLS

  1. You each choose two topics and pick three cards (it can be at random, it really doesn’t matter).
  2. Then one of you lays one card, then you, then them, then you so you have four cards covering the four areas. Either you are laying the cards you really want to explore or like myself, you lay them based on what your partner has presented you with (I’m wild like that!).

These cards should have you both reeling with ideas (they are, after all, your fantasies). If not, that’s also ok. Talk about why you put those cards down. Once the ball gets rolling, it’ll get easier, I promise!

I love that there are cards with no suggestions as in certain setups I find myself wanting a different tool or place (we have kids, the bedroom is not always an option!!).

You can either lay your cards and prepare for the scene (lead up to it with some dirty talk or sexting) or you can do it there and then (spontaneous desire).

They also offer instantly downloadable products with kinky questions (link here).
Check it out, it may ignite a flame in you you’ve never known about!

TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT: Dirty Talk

This is still a favourite of mine. Dirty talk isn’t just about saying naughty things to each other, it’s about voicing your desires. Read my article on dirty talk here.

You can also try and get inspired already by reading a story featuring some dirty talk here.

ADD TO CALENDAR: Scheduled sex 

Many might think this is the ultimate mood killer. Fact of the matter is that our lives are often very busy. Scheduling a time when we can be together and share a space of love and intimacy is important. There are also ways to make it less planned and actually quite spicy. 

For example, by introducing anticipation. If you have an evening planned, you may want to dress up nicely, wear perfume you don’t normally wear, send saucy messages beforehand, read erotica to get you in a sexy headspace or cook something special.

Planning sex is more than just a time when you will perform sexual acts. It is a time when you connect with each other, a sacred space for yourself and your partner. That space itself should be loaded with sexual energy due to the close relationship you have established.

FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES

If you’ve not come across the five love languages before, this will be interesting for you. The five love languages are five different ways of expressing and receiving love: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. 

How is this relevant? We all express our love differently and like to receive it differently. Once we are aware of our love language (and also that of our partner) it becomes easier to connect with each other. It’s like going to the supermarket with a list from a recipe. You know what you need to buy. By knowing your partner’s love language, you know what they like and can better express your love so they understand.

This article has all the information and also the test to establish your love language:
mindbodygreen :: Love Languages

Gary Chapman - The Five Love Languages
https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/the-5-love-languages-explained
EROTIC BLUEPRINT

It’s being spoken about in all current media due to the new Netflix series: Love, Sex & Goop by Gwyneth Paltrow. Whilst I was very reserved about watching it, because I’m not such a big fan of steaming or of the word yoni (each to their own, please), I am three episodes in and I can wholly recommend it.

Here’s the outline of the erotic blueprint and how it can help you better understand your libido in longterm relationships (and how to understand that of your partner):

Your erotic blueprint, according to Somatic sexologist and educator Jaiya, is “a map to your own wiring and your own turn-on… People speak different erotic languages, and we can learn how to speak any of them.”

So where you express your love with a love language, you express your desire and arousal differently yet again (bear with me, when you figure yours out, it’ll all make sense). The results will see where your highest arousal stems from and the remaining will also be listed. Hence you could be 40% of one and a little of the others.

There are five different erotic blueprints (abbreviated version, please see the goop page for specifics):

The sensual type is someone who’s turned on by all of their senses being ignited.

The energetic type is someone who is turned on by anticipation, space, tease, longing, yearning.

The sexual type is someone who is turned on by what we think of as sex in our culture.

The kinky type is someone who is turned on by the taboo.

The shapeshifter type is someone who’s turned on by everything the sensual, sexual, kinky, and energetic types are turned on by.

The test is available as a basic version and a paid version here.

Before you wander straight over there, remember, it is also important to establish your partner’s erotic blueprint. And then it’s about talking to each other to see where you can meet in the middle.

Perhaps you are more kinky, and your partner is absolutely not. That’s fine. There are kinky things that may appeal to them if they are willing to open themselves up. Try a yes-approach in order not to instantly shoot each other down.

TOO MUCH IS JUST ENOUGH: Syncing desire needs

Now hear me out, this might sound crazy. But couples have shown in experiments that scheduling regular sex (I mean like three times a week) not only got them out of a rut, but it also made them appreciate the “off” days a lot more.

If you manage to keep it up for two to ideally three weeks, you will probably find yourself getting a little bored of the lack of spontaneity and want to initiate it yourself (this is pro level though so stay clear if you have tiny tiny kids where something will change your plans at the drop of a hat!).

PLAY WITH ME: Toy shop visit

If you’ve already taken some time to explore which toys you like, maybe visiting a toy shop together means adding a whole new level yet again. There are fantastic starter sets out there nowadays whether it’s BDSM, bondage, role-play, anal and so on! Let yourselves be inspired and talk to a professional about different ideas!

THREE’S A CROWD: Relationship models

Should this freak you out, just skip to the next section. Sometimes couples choose to go on flirtatious excursions with consent from their partners to get a little jiggy with a third party.

Let it be known, however, that threesomes or polyamory are not a way to spice up your relationship. It is a serious decision and commitment involving the emotions of another human being.

Tread lightly here and remember communication and consent is key. Play with the idea. Noone said monogamy is the be all and end all but stay open to your partner’s justified feelings.

Why do couples stop having sex? Loss of libido in long-term relationships can be tricky. Have you talked about polyamory?
https://globalnews.ca/news/4320857/what-is-polyamory/
WATCH WITH ME: Porn & Erotica

Have you been browsing porn lately and found something you enjoy? Share your arousal with your partner. Have you read a story that entices you, that you might want to act out. Read it to them. By sharing what turns you on, you create a bond with your partner. 

42% of the women I asked said watching porn gets them in the mood. Followed closely by 35% who said social media i.e. visual stimulus.

SEE A PROFESSIONAL: Couple/Sex Therapists

Should you feel you’ve reached the end of your rope, it is completely normal to visit a professional. Sex therapists are discreet, do not judge and find ways to help you express your sexual struggles. Whether it’s feelings, intimacy or functions, they are trained to help you work on compulsive behaviours, lack of libido, dysfunctions, physical or psychological issues. There is no shame. Seeking professional help means your relationship is important to you. 

Now I hear you: it sounds like so much work. Let me tell you, it’s a holistic approach you need to take here. You can’t be the sexy, constantly horny person if you are sad, hungry, tired, unmotivated or unhappy. So:

  1. make changes to your life to incorporate a healthy diet, exercise, mental health nourishment, good sleep, social interactions and whatever else it takes to be in a good headspace.
  2. Dive into the next stage: your pleasure! Find out what arouses you, gives you pleasure, where do you like being touched, what fantasies would you like to explore. And only then (only then) can you 
  3. Meet your partner on a basis of mutual trust and communication and reignite that flame with the exercises and tools listed above.

Talk to your partner, do your research for a therapist and if you don’t feel comfortable with someone then be sure to change your therapist.

IN CONCLUSION

It’s a challenge keeping the romance alive in a long-term relationship. Anyone who tells you otherwise has either been incredibly lucky or is putting in the work unconsciously.

Best case scenario, it becomes a habit. As soon as you rediscover your own pleasure you will find yourself craving it. With tiny, baby steps you will slowly begin incorporating more physical touch, lustful looks and psychological longing.

Finally, once you have dusted off that lust and got back on the bandwagon, don’t wait too long to initiate your desires again. It’s like riding a bicycle, you need to get right back on it!

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