Let’s talk about sex, baby! With a name like Crazy Sexy, you’d think I’d be tackling this topic more often. Media, advertisements, TV and film, magazines, Facebook, billboards—sex is everywhere. But have you ever looked at how sex is portrayed and thought, that sure as heck ain’t happening in my bedroom? Pretty normal, since it’s far from most people’s reality. I know that many of my readers struggle at times with this part of life (I do too!)—whether it’s a lack of desire related to a health issue, exhaustion due to a packed schedule, responsibilities, stress, kids…or depression and sadness that stems from trauma or unresolved issues…the list goes on.
Today I’m kicking off a 2-part series on S-E-X. I want to encourage you to really honor this aspect of your life, whether you have a partner or you’re flying solo. And since sexual desire (our level of attraction to others, pleasurable thoughts, etc) and sex drive (our biological urge to have sex) is often tied to our general health, I brought in my dear friend, Aviva Romm, Integrative MD to answer some questions.
Aviva is a Yale-trained MD and Board Certified family physician, midwife, and herbalist who is focused on helping women not only heal their bodies and minds, but transform their lives. She has worked with countless individuals to help them get on a path to a positive and fulfilling sex life, and now she’s here to help us do the same. In part one we’ll look at the main causes of low sex drive and possible solutions. Next week, we’ll be back with Aviva to go even deeper and reveal some of the foods, herbs and supplements that can help boost your sex drive. Ready? Let’s get started!
KC: Do a lot of women struggle with sex drive?
AR: The numbers may surprise you:
- 30% of women age 18 – 44
- 45% of women age 45 – 64
- 80% of women 65 – 80 (and older)
These sex drive dips are tied to more than just sexual desire. While for most women, lulls in sex drive have to do with the lifestyle issues you mentioned (high demand on personal time that leaves them feeling less than rockin’ in the bedroom) some women experience a lull between the sheets because of something else going on with their health. This can lead to things like lowered libido, difficulty with arousal and trouble orgasming. And once pleasurable sex goes out the window, it tends to make sex drive issues even more challenging to work through because negative associations can pile up from stressful encounters.
KC: What are the top causes of low sex drive?
AR: Keep in mind that low sex drive is not always related to health issues. It could just be that your focus is elsewhere, like an intensely creative project or sending your kids off to college. But there are many common health challenges that can impact sexual health. Here are some of the biggies:
- Depression, anxiety
- Adrenal fatigue, general fatigue, stress
- Hormonal imbalances
- Thyroid problems
- Medications such as: anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, blood pressure, oral contraceptives, and many others.
Also, these additional issues can have a huge impact on the feelings of sexual desire and satisfaction beyond just sex drive:
- Low self-esteem, poor body image
- Unhappiness with partner
- Pain from anything from vulvodynia and vaginismus to vaginal dryness
- History of sexual abuse
- Urinary incontinence
KC: What are some of the things women can do to improve their sex drive?
AR: One important thing to do is get in touch with whether your sex drive is low or whether you have “Samantha from Sex in the City” expectations about what your drive should be. Are you comparing yourself to others rather than focusing on what makes you and your partner happy? This sex quiz can help you get in touch with your unique sexual health and how to get it on track if needed.
Sex Quiz Questions & Recommendations:
1. Are there other symptoms that suggest a medical issue? For example, have you been gaining weight in the past few months? Are you more tired than usual? These particular issues could be low thyroid. Hormonal imbalance, blood sugar, and other factors can also affect your sex drive. If you have unexplained symptoms cropping up, book an appointment with your doctor.
2. How’s your relationship with your body? If you’re struggling with body image, you’re not alone. Over 97% of women have body hate thoughts every single day! Working with a therapist or counselor, reading books such as Wild Feminine by Tami Lynn Kent, or the work of Mama Gena, for example, can help you to learn to love and respect your body and yourself.
3. How’s your relationship with your partner, and if you don’t have one, with self-pleasure? Many people are in relationships where their partner may be a little lacking in the giving pleasure department. One of the first steps is being able to speak honestly about this. Another is having strategies to get through the challenge. Check out The American Association of Sex Educators and Therapists‘ (AASECT) list of therapists. Or pick up Women’s Anatomy of Arousal by therapist and midwife Sherri Winston, voted by the AASECT as the best book on discovering women’s sexual pleasure.
4. Are you eating in a way that makes you feel energized, clear-headed and healthy? Low blood sugar, bloating, and feeling irritable aren’t a recipe for getting “in the mood” (and your mood can negatively affect your partner’s as well). Keeping your blood sugar balanced and healing your gut boosts your spirits and gives your sex life a lift!
5. Are you sleeping 7-9 hours per night? Poor sleep affects your sexual desire and drive. If you’re exhausted at the end of the day, sex before bed is probably going to go out the window. Getting more sleep is important for your heart health, mental health, weight—and sex life!
6. Are you taking time for relaxation to replenish your spirit and well-being? I know that when I’m burned out, the thing I want most is time to myself—not canoodling with someone else! Taking time to nourish YOU will put you more in the mood to connect with your partner.
7. Are you making space for romance in your relationship? So often our intimate partnerships become business relationships: “I’ll pick up the kids, you get the takeout.” “I’ll get the dry-cleaning, you take out the dogs.” And so on. We forget that intentional romance is an important and stimulating prelude to satisfying sex. It’s pre-foreplay! Often we’re just waiting for someone else to create romance. But we can do it, too. Think candles, nice scents, strawberries, and chocolate (hint: chocolate triggers the release of serotonin, increasing feelings of relaxation and pleasure).
I hope you’ll take the time to work through Aviva’s sex quiz and embrace some of her phenomenal recommendations. It’s all connected, my friends. When we nurture our sex lives, our entire well-being benefits and vice versa!
Your turn: What’s going on in your sex life? Are you struggling or are you feeling satisfied? Share your thoughts or tips here. We women (and men) never want to feel alone or isolated. Let’s break the taboo and have a good ole honest conversation about sex.
Peace & pillow talk,
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My fiancee and I used to have a great sex life but now it seems that when I want it he’s tired and when he wants it I don’t. We fight about it and I don’t know what to do. I feel that there may be something wrong with me but I don’t know. Please help.
Hi my name is ally I’m 33 years old every since I had my tubes tide cut and burnt off almost nine years ago I have a very very low I mean low sex drive and I stay dry down there all the time I’m very attracted to my husband and I love him dearly I need help
I am 18yrs old and at my age you normally have sex a lot. I haven’t had sex in over a year and a half and I’m worried why. I don’t seem interested in anyone, and when I am it’s not enough for me to feel comfortable to go any further. I think I am ashamed of my body but i have put on a little weight since the last time I have sex. If I tried to go there with someone I would just go really shy and get a mini anxiety attack. I don’t know what to do?
Hi I’m 27 years old recently found out I have hyperthyroidism I have 3 small kids under the age of 5 I work and I have no interest in having sex with my partner anymore I don’t know what’s wrong with me I’m just completely not interested. And when I know my partner is in the mood I try to avoid him as much as possible and fall asleep I feel like having sex is just like another chore I have to do around the how is there something I can do differently, I’ve heard hypothyroidism causes low sex drive but haven’t read that hyperthyroidism cause it too any suggestions?
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Im only 19 years old and me and my boyfriend fight over my non-existent sex drive a lot.
Maybe if I show this to my boyfriend of a year and half he’ll understand why my sex drive has been non- existent for almost 8 months. Thank you for this
I’ve always had a reasonably low sex drive but ever since the birth of my second child a year ago my sex drive has become non existent! My husband is great with the kids and helps out when and where he can. I know we are both tired (as he works shift work) but sex is the last thing on my mind at the end of a day. I’m going to try a few of the things suggested in the article but if I don’t feel any different I think I will be heading off to the Drs.
Hi Kris 🙂 Great article! I love the Sex Quiz Questions & Recommendations – holistic healing is the go! Please check out my new website specially for women where I sell my award-winning Cleopatra aphrodisiac tea and hot chocolate! I look forward to reading more greatness from you.
Thanks for the infor still I need you to to educat me more how to enjoyed my sex life am not enjoying at all I can go in only once or two’s at last three time I will be ok pls
maybe one of these explanations is an answer for my problems. thank you so much Kriss
I’m a 40 year old woman who was sexually abused from 6 until 19. Traumatizing, yes. However, being sexualized that young, sex always seemed like a constant addiction, something I’d chase and chase, whoever wanted me or gave me any attention, I always thought all I really had to give was my body. I was masturbating at 14 and seemed obsessed with sex and exploring taboo fantasies with my partners when I felt comfortable enough. Two years ago I met the love of my life and we in the beginning had the most amazing sex life coupled with a very deep and profound unconditional love. For once I felt like sex wasn’t something I was chasing or exploiting. I just wanted to feel what it was like to be loved. Without feeling like 2-3 times a week or whatever’s in the news today is normal and anything less than that wasn’t. This is our normal, whenever we feel like it. If that’s every 2 months or twice a day or week, that’s us. We’re completely fulfilled in every other way. It’s nice to love myself physically completely and think I’m beautiful all on my own. It’s nice not to think me being sexually desired is important anymore. That’s all I have to say about it. Libido on hold or not.
Thanks for sharing this blog & important too
Sexual problems are a common issue among females due to change in their lifestyle and increasing age. This is a great post having detailed knowledge about how to increase sexual desire. Thank you for sharing this as it will be beneficial for women.
Hi Kris: I’m 58 and don’t ever recall a sex drive. I have been divorced over 25 years now. I have dated many since that time. I have met some really wonderful men in my lifetime and never been in a relationship with an abuser or negative state. Now at 58 years old, I met who I thought was the man I wanted a long term relationship with. I tried for 9 months and I just couldn’t do it any longer. He desires to be intimate, I would oblige because I felt like it was the least I could do. He is a wonderful man/gentleman everything I wanted in a man, but I am not attracted to him at all (physically or any other way). I was hoping over the 9 months we have been dating I would have become attracted. I thought or think its me. But come to think of it I have never had a high libido even in my younger years. In my life time I can probably count on both hands how many times I have had them in my 58 years. Yes, I have been a great actress at pretending. Now after meeting this wonderful man I must question me. I am the common denominator in this situation. Do you have any suggestions? What’s up with me? Thoughts? Guidance… Thank you, L
Hey I’m Jesse, I have been having a lot of thoughts going on about not really wanting sex with my boyfriend i don’t really remember when it started. I just I don’t know how to describe it honestly it’s like I’m almost anxious of it i guess. I don’t want to have sex I just haven’t felt in the mood. I’m so scared it could be bc I just don’t want to be with him anymore and that scares me so much. He recently had lied to me about something and lost my trust. He also has a very bad home life and so he has his problems and I have my own and it stresses me out. We’ve been going through quite a bit lately. I feel depressed and anxious a lot and my mom doesn’t even believe me she says it’s just my attitude I need to fix…not all of this is about not wanting sex. I just need to reach out bc I have really been needing somebody to reach out to to help me to see if anyone can possibly help. I have had a lot of thoughts like do I still love him, do I really see a future with him, do I really like being with him, thoughts that I’ve never had before but now I can’t get rid of. My mind is so scattered I can’t really sit down and answer those questions myself bc my mind is just a mess, but one of the questions is do I find him attractive have I lost interest could this be why I haven’t really wanted to have sex? I’ve looked for weeks for answers but am still scared he’s just not meant to be. I want him to be I think deep down I do love him and that I’m just having stupid unrealistic thoughts and over exaggerating. I don’t know but I really really need help I’ve been crying everyday for weeks about this and I would love some help please!?
Am to stressed & My man is just so irritating when he has done something I will ask him about it then he lies then that will just become the issue then I get angry & forget or punish him
I am 64 years old, i have not had sex in 12 years. It started out with menopause. Then I started having some issues with fissures on my rectum, which I’m sure turned my husband off., now he is having sex with his 30-year old Secretary and has not touched me and all this time and I am ready to get back out and I just don’t feel the desire down there and I want to get it back.
Hey! Thankyou, this advice was so refreshing. Most articles give 5 obvious tips on increasing sex drive that are really shallow but this was great. I blog about having a low sex drive and how I’m recovering over at thepearldiariescouk.wordpress.com
I understand that being a mother or wife is not an easy job. Most women ended up having no desire for sex due to tiring work. I think women should maintain their healthy lifestyle and should get some rest too so that they can still have time for their man.
My relationship with my partner is at breaking point over sex. I have a very low libido (always have) and could easily live without sex, however like many women, I also have body image issues and suffered with an eating disorder for many years.
Presently, I try hard to force myself to have sex with my partner a couple of times a month; I don’t enjoy it and he knows that. Sex is really important to him.
Our relationship is wonderful in every other aspect, but this is a deal breaker for him.
Is there a way of increasing my libido? Or is this just the way I am?
I’m 35 and would dearly love children with this man. I’m so sad that I might have to sacrifice everything.