How to fight sex drive killers?16-11-2009
Is your low libido lethal on your sex life? We reveal the four most common sex drive killers and how to resolve them.
Top of the list for a low libido has to be that old favourite: stress. You're working so hard that you barely have the time, let alone the inclination, to even think about sex as anything other than a fond and distant memory. Too much stress is a guaranteed and most common passion killer!
There are only two words that help – chill out. Easier said than done, we know, but the key to achieving relaxation's Holy Grail is to step off your hamster wheel and… just… stop... Make time for yourself, first and foremost. Meditative activities such as yoga are great for getting in touch with your body and mind. Even a candlelit bubble bath with a glass of wine and your favourite magazine, if that's what does it for you. Once you've made time for yourself, you can start to think about setting aside time for the two of you.
Relationships therapist Ester Perel notes that whenever her clients talk about feeling desire for their long term partner, it's always in a situation when their partner is distanced from them. You might notice your other half's attractiveness from across the room at a party or function, say. Or perhaps you're impressed with his skill and authority while watching him do something that you might otherwise take for granted or have forgotten he can do. Whatever it might be, what Dr Perel is saying is that over-familiarity kills lust .
Familiarity is far more likely to breed boredom than contempt, as the old saying puts it. And boredom, fed by habit and cosy old routines, is one of the great passion killers. Dates aren't just for singles and new romantics; arrange regular nights out with your partner where all talk of bill-paying, childcare and household chores is banned. On the other hand, Vernon Kay once remarked how he's never seen wife Tess Daly get ready or put on her make-up; she just appears to him in a vision of loveliness. The point is to keep some sense of mystique alive.
A glass of wine can be a great way to relax, but the line between relaxed and pie-eyed is one that many of us find hard to negotiate. Alcohol is a great social lubricant, but too much booze kills your sex drive stone dead. Even if the mind is willing, the body quite often fails to come up with the goods.
This is one situation where the answer really is as easy as it looks: lay off the booze. A glass or two helps to set the mood but if you've already reached a point where you can't even imagine having sex when you're sober, it's probably safe to say there's wider trouble afoot. If you and your partner can't sit down and resolve why booze has become your constant bedmate, then it might be worth a visit to a good relationships counsellor to try and find out what's going on.
Although sex is a physical act, we all know that how we're performing between the sheets has a lot to do with our confidence outside the covers. With really good sex often the line between an emotional connection and a physical one is quite blur. It's no surprise that being physically naked all too often leaves us feeling emotionally naked too.
Try to work out where the current blow to your confidence has come from. If you're not feeling at your physical best, for example, it's hardly surprising that the idea of getting jiggy might be filling you with performance-restricting dread. A little strategic mood lighting and a thorough acceptance of the truth that, when it gets right down to it, your partner's thoughts are likely to be engaged on subjects other than the finer points of your muffin top, might be all it takes to quell your nerves. Ask your partner for some positive reassurance – it's almost a guaranteed cert that he's still finds you attractive in ways you can't even imagine.
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