It can sneak up on you without you even consciously realizing it. Maybe you're too tired at the end of the day to even think about sex. Maybe you find yourself resisting your lover's advances out of habit without considering the reason why.
However it presents itself, at some point you might think to yourself... "I just don't want sex!" There are many reasons women may not want to have sex-- but lack of intimacy in a relationship can lead to serious repercussions. Before you give up on your sex life, consider these common causes of a low libido. You may be also to easily identify and fix the situation.
1. You might be angry. You could be angry with your partner over something he recently did or didn't do. You could also have built up an entire reservoir of anger over the past several months or years. Women aren't socialized to express anger comfortably, so when we feel angry we might not know what to do with it. You might feel a flare up of anger, then stuff it back into your subconscious. If I asked, "Are you angry with your partner?" you might tell me no. But the subconscious mind doesn't forget, and this repressed anger will prevent you from making sexual overtures or responding to his. To determine if you're subconsciously angry with your partner, notice how you feel when he starts to be amorous. Anger is often felt as a tightness in the solar plexus, so pay attention to the messages your body sends.
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2. You could have uterine fibroids or dry vaginal walls or one of many "female problems." Of course it's wise to see your doctor for a checkup if you experience these or other symptoms, advises sexologist/healer Goddess Judicci, but also remember that you can never use too much lube or go too slowly. And, it's important to realize that vaginal sex isn't the only way to receive or give pleasure. Remember the sensuality of bygone years when "heavy petting" was such a turn on? Cuddling and tender stroking can be sensuous and fun.
3. Your hormones could be out of balance. Thyroid, estrogen and progesterone all impact sex drives. Hormones change as we age; about 26% of women in or near perimenopause (mid 40s usually) are diagnosed with some type of thyroid dysfunction, with hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid being the most common. Estrogen decreases as we age, which can cause vaginal dryness and decreased sex drive. You may not realize this, but women produce testosterone as well, and testosterone is also linked with higher sex drives in women. As you approach menopause, both estrogen and testosterone levels decrease, lowering your libido.
4. You could be clinically depressed. According to Maria Merloni, MSW, sex and relationship therapist, "Depression can, and often does, lower sex drive for a number of reasons. Very often there is a decreased interest or pleasure in activities in general, and that can include sex. Also, low self-esteem can be one of the symptoms of depression; chances are any insecurities you have about your body will be exaggerated at this time. And finally, depressed women are often tired, and since sex takes energy, it's probably not on the top of your 'to do' list."
5. You might be bored with the same sexual script. Variety is the spice of life, and that's especially true when it comes to sex. No matter how talented your lover may be, if he does the same thing every time, you'll become desensitized to it. Remember: sexual arousal lights up the brain the same way drugs do. If you were a drug addict, you would need more drugs over time to achieve the same high. Although that's not a sexy comparison, it's a good one. Your brain requires different stimulation to become sexually aroused with the same person over time. Luckily, this one is an easy fix. Even changing up one part of the sexual script can increase arousal. He can kiss the back of your neck from behind or straddle you on the bed while he ravishes your breasts.
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6. You don't feel sexy. Maybe you've gained weight or gotten out of shape. It happens to the best of us at some point, unless you're so self-critical you never let yourself slack... and that's not sexy either. Fixing this requires a new mind set, and you might need some professional help to get started. If this is true for you, there are two important things to understand. First, sexy is a state of mind, not a dress size. Skinny doesn't equal sexy; self confidence equals sexy. Second, you are probably much harder on yourself than your partner would ever dream of being. Studies have shown that the overwhelming majority of men (85%) prefer women with a little meat on their bones over women who are underweight.
7. You're too busy. When your brain is overwhelmed, certain pleasure responses in the body shut down. To counteract this, sexologist/healer Goddess Judicci advises that you "Remind yourself that you deserve to be satisfied...put down that never-ending "To Do" list, take a few deep breaths, get in touch with your passion, and give yourself permission for JOY. If you must organize yourself with a list, put pleasuring, pampering and satisfaction among the top five items and schedule the time on your calendar, just like you would for a doctor's appointment." Also, don't forget to schedule time to yourself for meditation and exercise, both of which will alleviate brain overwhelm and increase your sex drive.
Last of all, know that while there are valid reasons for a decrease in sex drive, the mind remains the largest sex organ. If you decide that sex is important, you'll figure out ways to increase your libido.
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