Low sex drive (or low libido) is such a common occurrence in women, men, and people of all genders and sexes—but still there seems to be so much shame and secrecy surrounding it. We're getting much better at talking about masturbation and female/vagina-having pleasure. But weirdly many people still feel ashamed to speak up when they're feeling not so into sex.
There are obviously loads of reasons why you could be experiencing low libido, from medications you're taking, to your hormones, to stress or just having 10,000 other things going on in your life. One Reddit user posed the questions on AskWomen, "What do you do when you have low libido but want to be more excited about sexy times?" So this is how they increase their libido...
- "I suggested scheduling sex to my husband a month ago, and it has worked wonders for us! I was recently diagnosed with some mental health stuff, and along with that, I also have difficulty with changes in schedule, routine, etc. It really helps knowing when sexy times are planned on happening. Sure, it's not the most 'romantic' thing to schedule sex, but it's worked really well." [via]
- "I just engage. And give myself time to feel in the mood. I've sometimes watched porn or read erotica before engaging. I will tell them I need quite a bit of foreplay. I also encourage having a partner who doesn't get bitter that after foreplay and you're still not in the mood." [via]
- "Erotica is EVERYTHING. I recommend it to every woman I know. It turns out it was the key to unlocking my libido. I think something about the way we consume sexual content makes us uniquely responsive to reading porn vs watching it. Or maybe it's that it tends to be written by women and porn tends to be made for/by men." [via]
- "Slow, gentle touching on your leg like hours before or laying their hands on your waist when moving around you and saying small compliments that are meaningful and not just like 'you look hot' or something. I had no libido from medications for years but that helped a ton." [via]
- "I'm almost 10 months postpartum. My libido has been pretty much non existent since the birth. But, my husband can lay down with me and just rub my back really softly with the tips of his fingers. A few minutes of that and his hands start to wander then boom, I'm suddenly in the mood. It forces us to slow down a little and is actually really nice, especially since I feel like I never get to slow down anymore with the baby." [via]
- "My boyfriend and I do subtle dirty talk. He makes jokes about tying me up or something, and it turns me on well before we start." [via]
- "Read a book called Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski, which talks about identifying desire accelerators and brakes. It's a great book." [via] "HOLY SHIT, I'm so happy to see someone else recommending this," another user agreed. "Totally saved my ass when I was coming out of depression, and totally changed the way I approach sex." [via]
- "I had nearly nonexistent libido for over a year postpartum but I still wanted to have that relationship with my SO. I communicated with my SO about my needs and we found that really slow foreplay was the ticket. Like gentle kisses and words of affirmation hours before any clothes come off. That kind of slow. The slowness gave my brain and body time to get into the mood." [via]
- "If I'm having a low period of time I genuinely try to think sexy! Dress myself cute, look at attractive people and think about them naked, watch porn, read a dirty story... even if it's not what I want immediately, it gets me there eventually." [via]
- "When I'm regularly not feeling excited, it's usually down to a confidence issue for myself, an underlying relationship issue with my partner that we haven't cleared the air on yet. For confidence, working out regularly has been the biggest helper there. Even though my body doesn't look the way I want it to yet, I still get confidence and an increased sense of self worth from working hard towards my goals. For the relationship issues, the biggest help for me has been practicing mindfulness and recognising when that's the issue. I used to shove those feelings down and try to convince myself that I just wasn't in the mood. Now, I'm getting better at recognizing that I'm feeling negatively towards him for something and communicating about it to clear the air and prevent resentment." [via]
- "I look around sex toy shops and fantasise about using ones I don't have. I have a huge thing for girth and texture for toys, I often end up firmly in the mood just browsing the dildos and vibrators online." [via]
- "Masturbating actually turns me on more. I have multiple orgasms with my vibrator and doing it before sex primes the pump because I get more aroused, not less." [via]
- "I find that unless I've had time to relax and decompress after work, I have a low chance of wanting to participate in any sexual activities with my boyfriend. He knows this so he (usually) remembers to let me take some time for myself so that I can stop thinking about everything I've had to worry about at work. I'll usually take a long bath and watch some YouTube before I feel good enough for sexy time. Also, I've noticed that if I haven't had enough water throughout the day I feel terrible and unsexy." [via]
- "I'm really into erotic lingerie and have gotten some of my friends into it as well. One of my friends told me that buying and wearing nice lingerie really made her feel sexy again and definitely made her want sex more, which she had often struggled with in the past." [via]
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.