Is your love life losing some of its fire? It’s a pretty common problem, actually. According to a study by Harvard, one in eight adult women are distressed about the quality of their sex life. A recent article published in the Washington Post by a family physician reveals some interesting information about women and their sexual response, and also provides some of the strategies she has used to help women make sex fun again.
The doctor notes that many women come to her in their 40s, when the combined effects of job stress (both the woman and her partner’s job stress), parenting demands, and concerns about aging and menopause all contribute to a lack of lust at home. However, losing interest in sex isn’t limited to middle-agers. Many young women report losing interest in sex after the initial “fairy dust” of a relationship wears off, which can be anywhere from 4 months to 2 years into a relationship.
Going to a sex therapist is one strategy that works for many. You don’t have to sign up for extensive counseling; often just a session or two will do the trick. I speak from experience, and can even share a strategy my therapist offered me that worked wonders:
Don’t feel guilty about your fantasies, even when you are with your partner. Your mind is your most powerful erotic stimulant: don’t limit it!
Other common and effective strategies the doctor has recommended include more exercise for both partners, because it gives you more energy to do more, including have more sex. There are a number of books available on rekindling the flame, but they will require some trial and error to see what works – and of course you must have time to read!
Another area of medicine that has had success for some women is hormone therapy, which is not, as many believe, just for women going through menopause. Hormone therapy must be coordinated with your doctor, and may include testosterone. The doctor who wrote the article points out that there are no guarantees with hormone therapy: some women with naturally low levels of testosterone have great sex lives, and others will excessive testosterone are unhappy with their sex lives. Since female sexual response is a complicated interplay of hormones, sex organs, mood and social circumstances, a lot of experimentation is usually necessary to find the right combination of techniques to re-inspire her sexuality.
For some couples, an open relationship can provide the sexual stimulation needed to keep the fire alive. This recommendation comes with some serious warnings, however. In particular, the following holds true:
Adding more people to a bad or unhappy relationship will not fix the relationship.
The open relationship strategy works best for happy, compatible relationships that only have a problem with mismatched sexual libido. If there are additional problems, such as self-esteem issues, constant arguing (about something other than the amount of sex), jealousy, or imbalanced commitment levels, adding people by trying an open relationship is a recipe for disaster.
Recently, sex researchers have uncovered a new strategy for women that, over the last few decades, has proven useful to many. This strategy involves changing your understanding of how sexual desire works. Unlike what we see in movies or read in romance novels, apparently many women do not experience sexual desire until they are already doing it. In other words, if you find that you are not all that interested at the outset of a romp, but then enjoy it once you are involved, that is normal and indicates no dysfunction. Your strategy would be to smile and give it a go, and make use of the mental fantasy strategy above. Enjoy!
Another thing to try is to make the problem specific, so that you can address it. Rather than simply “not being in the mood”, ask yourself, “What is interfering with my state of mind?” Depression has specific and effective psychological and pharmacological treatments, pain during sex can be treated medically, and partner problems can often be helped with couples counseling. If you have problems with self-esteem or body image, those too can be helped with individual counselling.
In other words, don’t give up and don’t ignore the problem. Take the steps you can to improve your love life, because you (and your partner) deserve it. There is no reason to fear seeking help for this particular problem because many people suffer it – and it will be worth it in the end to find a solution that works for you. By making small, incremental changes, most women can find the joy in sex again and enjoy the accompanying benefits of improved mood, improved self-image, and a lot more fun in the sack. Making sex fun should be a priority if you want to avoid a dwindling love life!