If you’ve been with your partner for a while, you might find yourself desiring sex less often.
Maybe you’re just super stressed, really busy, or you’ve been spending too much time with your partner… or maybe none of those things are true, but you’re still feeling the lack of desire.
Even if you’re single, you might feel like “Hey, where’d my sexual self go?! I miss feeling that way.”
Our sexual energy is our life-force energy. It’s our creative energy. It’s the amount we feel “turned-on” by life.
If your sexual energy is lacking, you won’t feel as connected to yourself, to your body, or to your creativity.
You won’t feel as alive.
And since you’re here, you probably want to feel completely alive, turned-on, and fully expressed in this world – and that’s why reconnecting to your sexual desire is important.
A simple analogy to keep in mind
An analogy that comes from Daoism and is super useful is that women’s arousal is like a boiling pot of water, while men’s is like a fire.
Often, men can get aroused incredibly quickly, getting an erection immediately (not always, and not if he’s experiencing other issues that are outside the scope of this piece).
Women, however, often take a while to become fully aroused. You have to go from a pot of water that’s at room temperature to a pot of water that’s fully boiling.
The key, then, to being able to become more quickly aroused will come from keeping your “pot” at a sexual simmer – and even more importantly, removing the things that are getting in the way.
8 Ways to Increase Your Sexual Desire
1. Bring pleasure into your everyday life.
Pleasure does not only include self-pleasure – at it’s core, pleasure is about having a deep connection to your senses and the presence to enjoy it. Most people think about pleasure as if it’s something that comes later – for example, saying, “Oh, once I get all this work done, then I’ll be allowed to take a bath.”
But you can actually have pleasure all throughout your day. A question I ask myself often is, “How can I make this moment even more pleasurable?”
That might include sipping a cup of tea, eating a piece of dark chocolate, going for a slow walk where I stop to look at all the flowers, booking a massage, taking a bath in the middle of the day with candles and music, slowly putting lotion on my body, wrapping myself in a fuzzy blanket… the list goes on!
When we deprive ourselves of pleasure throughout the day, we’re a lot less likely to desire to drop fully into our bodies to have sex. If your own pleasure cup isn’t full, you’re probably not going to feel like engaging with your partner.
You don’t want your partner to have to fill up your cup – you fill up your own cup, and then share the overflow with your partner.
2. Self-pleasure more often, and differently.
This relates to what I said above, but it also depends on the way you self-pleasure. If you self-pleasure in a way where you’re trying to make yourself come super quickly, you’re kind of detached from your body, you’re watching porn/fantasizing, or you exclusively use a toy, you might not find that that increases your desire for sex.
This is because you’re teaching your body to orgasm while not actually experiencing that much pleasure – basically, you’re capping the amount of pleasure you can experience and are willing to experience because you’re not fully connected to your body.
None of those ways of self-pleasuring are bad, as long as they’re not the only way you self-pleasure. Instead, try setting aside to self-pleasure where you’re using it as time to feel pleasure from all of your senses.
Touch your body slowly, gently – stroke your hair, your arms, your belly, massage your feet. Touch your body from a place of curiosity.
Instead of trying to force your body toward the goal of orgasm, get curious about what you feel from different types of touch.
Connecting deeply with your body in this way will help your body experience pleasure as relaxing and nourishing. It’s also a great way to overcome any built-up resistance you have toward sex.
3. Have more sex.
I see this show up in my own sex life with Jordan: if we don’t have sex for over a week, my sex drive will start to dwindle. I’ll become busy with other things, I won’t want to focus on it. If he tries to initiate sex, I’m a lot more likely to say no.
On the other hand, once we break through that and we finally have sex, suddenly my sex drive is back through the roof, and I want to have sex daily.
If that doesn’t happen, my “pot” drops in temperature. If it doesn’t drop too far, it’s easier to get back up. But if too long goes by, we’re back to room temp.
Obviously, your partner might not want to have sex daily. You also might not even have a partner, and you might not want to self-pleasure daily! Both those things are completely okay – there is nothing wrong with letting your sex drive relax a bit.
It’s just good to be aware that if you haven’t had sex in a while and aren’t feeling that desire, it might be as simple as getting yourself warmed back up again.
If your body is truly a no, though, then you want to listen to it. Which leads us to…
4. Say no more often.
This might seem counterintuitive, but if you’re someone who continues to have sex even when you don’t feel 100% into it, this tip can help a lot.
When we continually say “yes” to sex when our bodies are a “no,” it creates a dissonance in our relationship with ourselves.
Your body won’t trust you. You won’t trust yourself. You won’t enjoy sex to the depths that you could, and there will always be a deeper, lingering feeling that you could be enjoying it more.
And because of that, you won’t desire it often. Why would your body desire sex when every time it says no you force it into doing it anyway?
Learning the nuances of this is a process, because we’ve been conditioned our entire lives to not pay attention to what our bodies want or need. You might need to set specific boundaries around how you feel like engaging sexually on that day. You might be a no to everything, you might be a yes to some things.
If you learn to hear your “no,” your body will give you a clearer, louder, “yes.”
5. Expand your definition of sex/stop making sex about orgasm.
For most people, being sexual with their partners means having penetrative sex. If they’re not going to have penetrative sex, then they aren’t sexual at all.
This is deeply sad!! There is an entire range of sexual interaction possible between “touching” and “penetrative sex.”
Instead of following the same pattern toward penetrative sex as you usually do, see if you can take the idea of the end goal out of it completely. Allow space for exploring each other’s bodies slowly, gently, without needing to “make” the other person have an orgasm.
Allow yourself to experience pleasure in each moment. Notice how you feel in each moment.
For women especially, having a sense of full permission to be able to stop being sexual at any time can actually be the most freeing thing that will unlock your true desire to have sex.
When you feel like there is absolutely no pressure, you’ll be way more likely to want to open.
And for all partners, engaging sexually without having a goal of “penetrative sex” or “orgasm” will bring more intense pleasure.
If this feels confusing or difficult, consider taking both of those things off the table for a week or two. No penetration allowed, no orgasm allowed for either of you.
How would you explore each other’s bodies if that were the case?
6. Add more polarity into your relationship.
No matter what the genders of you and your partner, one of you likely has a more “dominant” type of energy, while one of you has a more “submissive” type of energy. I’m going to refer to these as masculine and feminine energies, even though they don’t have to align with your gender.
This polarity – literally, each of you being on one end of these “poles” – is what creates sexual charge and tension. If you’re naturally more feminine, but you find yourself living from a masculine place, that will depolarize the relationship. If you’re naturally more masculine, but you start acting more submissive and soft, that will depolarize the relationship.
You can create more polarity by shifting into the energy that is most natural for you. If you feel like both you and your partner are more neutral (this is very unlikely, but is possible), you can play with the different energies and choose one on purpose. BDSM is great for this and can immediately introduce a dom/sub dynamic.
But even if you aren’t into that, you can introduce polarity in little but hugely significant ways, like by communicating with your partner in a more feminine way, or connecting more with your feminine energy.
7. Clear out things between you and your partner.
Sometimes, what’s getting in the way of us desiring sex is coming from the dissonance we feel with our partners. If you’ve been building up things you feel resentful about, or you had a conflict that was never resolved, it’s going to show up in your sex life.
Your body will not be able to fully open to a partner that you don’t deeply trust and feel completely safe with.
Healing this might be as simple as saying the thing that you’ve been preventing yourself from saying. Or it might involve you doing a communication exercise with your partner so that you can “empty the bucket” of everything you’re holding onto (Jordan and I do this every week, and it’s one of the most important things we do in our relationship).
Your body will feel more of a desire for sex when you feel completely met and satisfied by the quality and depth of your relationship.
On the other hand, if you aren’t feeling met or satisfied in your relationship, and you’ve felt that way for a while, your lack of desire for sex could also be telling you that your body doesn’t want to be with your partner.
8. Examine how turned-on you feel in your life.
Though your lack of sexual desire will impact your life, it’s usually not the lack of desire that is the root of the problem.
If you are constantly stressed, if you hate your job and it drains you, if you have trouble setting boundaries with your family and friends, if you have built-up emotional pain you haven’t processed… it will show up in your sex life.
If you close your eyes and ask your body what’s really getting in the way of you having more of a desire for sex, you will probably find that your body already knows the answer.
If you liked this piece, you might also enjoy:
– Doubting your relationship? 6 simple questions to ask yourself
– You can get wet every single time you have sex
– Creating safety during sex: the moment of disconnect & the importance of the pause
– It’s not your fault: how past sexual experiences limit your sex life today
– 51 real-life examples of how I set boundaries & ask for what I want during sex