Throughout your relationship, you may encounter lulls in your sex life. Times when you feel like you’re more interested in intimacy than your partner. It can get frustrating, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. According to sex therapists, having partners who seem to have lost interest in sex is a common occurrence.
Here are some tips from sex therapists to help you hurdle the occasional dry spell.
1. Come clean
Being honest with your partner about your needs is one of the first steps in opening up a way to solve the issue. Be sure to discuss specific obstacles you’re facing. Are they too tired or stressed out?
“See how your spouse responds,” sex therapist Keeley Rankin tells the Huffington Post. “Listen to what they say, feel and say they want. You never know, they may want more closeness as well.”
Elizabeth McGrath, a therapist who specializes in Somatic Sex Therapy, believes that couples need to address “emotional and physical barriers” which might be causing a decreased libido.
2. Seduce with no pressure
It’s important to know that pressuring your partner can backfire, causing them to become even more disinterested. Seduction is all about savoring; it’s not about sex, writes Pamela Madsen on Psychology Today.
“See if you can find out what turns them on the most and try seduction,” suggests sex therapist Danielle Harel. “Try saying (and really meaning), ‘It’s fine if we don’t have sex tonight but would you be willing to just open up to see if you start to get turned on? Just because you start, doesn’t mean you have to go all the way. Make sure you have this agreement with your partner.”
3. Take turns initiating action
Therapist Isadora Alman shares that partners respond in different ways. Some may prefer words–sweet talk or sexual–while others will prefer seductive touching and stimulation. She suggests starting with something as simple as a compliment or something more straightforward like telling your partner what specifically turns you on.
Don’t be afraid of rejection, but instead focus on making your partner feel wanted, even if they might reciprocate later on.
4. Go back to basics
Intimacy isn’t just intercourse. Sometimes simply making out or touching one another can create a much needed spark in the bedroom. Try to engage in the “basics” without feeling pressured to go all the way.
“Oftentimes, when people are asking for sex, a lot of what they want is just enthusiastic, loving connection,” author and sex therapist Celeste Hirschman said, adding that couples need to remain enthusiastic and not simply have sex for the sake of it.
5. Keep expressing gentle sexual energy
Therapist Seth Meyers writes in Psychology Today that sublimating your sexual energy into other physical activities can help you endure a lack of intimacy if you are the partner with a higher sexual desire.
Author Ian Kerner shares that higher-desire partners can often feel rejected, which may negatively affect their feelings toward sex. It’s important, whether you are the higher-desire partner or not, to keep on bringing sexual energy into your day-to-day life.
Keep kissing and complimenting your partner. Sometimes, a simple touch can spark a flame.
READ: “My husband and I haven’t had sex in six months. What should I do?”
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