What can I do to increase my sex drive?

Emily Nagoski
Emily Nagoski on behalf of Good In Bed
If you feel that your desire is low -- i.e., you don’t often just WANT sex, out of the blue or with only a little incentive -- try this:

Instead of aiming to desire sex, aim to be willing to have sex.

Say you’re not actively interested in having sex tonight. Okay. Would you be willing to have sex, if it were important to your partner?

If you’re not sure that your body will respond, but you’re willing to try, you can tell your partner, “I’m not sure I’m in the mood and I might really not want to have sex, but we could just canoodle for a few minutes and see what happens, if you want. But I might end up saying no, so just be aware that this could end with you alone in the bathroom with a box of tissues and a vibrator.”

Or similar. Just let your partner know you’re willing to try but you’re not making any promises, and get their assurance that whenever you say stop, they’ll stop.

Let your partner warm you up gradually, lovingly, affectionately. Spend 10 or 15 minutes on foreplay stuff -- no genitals -- and see what happens.
Our partners can be remarkably out of touch with understanding what gets us in the mood. Instead of limiting seduction to fancy dinners and bottles of wine (which may be more likely to put you to sleep), suggest that physical intimacy on any given night is more likely if:
  • You are touched during the day. A lingering kiss in the hall, a hug, even a neck rub can all help get your head out of the laundry room and into the bedroom. If the only time you are ever touched is when your partner wants sex, it can be a turnoff rather than a turn-on.
  • You get help with household chores. Partners who cook dinner, clean the kitchen, check the kids' homework and take out the garbage, for example, give you some downtime. You may want to unwind in a bath and pamper yourself as a reminder that you're a woman, first and foremost, not just a household manager.
  • Intimacy is planned. Both partners should take responsibility to set times and dates to make love. Putting it on the calendar (like any other appointment) helps you mentally prepare for sex rather than having it sprung on you before you have a chance to get in the mood.
  • Your partner comes to bed clean and smelling great. Clean is sexy.
  • Your partner shares something intimate. Few things turn on a woman as much as hearing her lover open up and talk about feelings.
However, you can't put all the responsibility for your sexual desire onto your sexual partner. You have to take some responsibility for your own libido and help out a little. For instance:
  • Talk about what you like. Do you prefer to be touched here but you cringe when you are touched there? Do you want to have sex more often? Less often? Talk about it. Remember, no one can read your mind.
  • Surprise your lover -- and yourself! Every now and then, break out of your comfort zone. Be the one to initiate sex. Wear something (or nothing) totally unexpected in an unexpected setting.
  • Practice. The tissues of your vulva, vagina and clitoris, as well as your pelvic muscles, need regular circulation and exercise to be their best. Practicing with pelvic floor muscle or Kegel exercises, masturbating regularly and using vibrators and fantasy to improve physical arousal all can increase blood flow and keep your genital area healthy and responsive, improving orgasm and lovemaking.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.