C’mere, I’m gonna tell you a secret. It should be an obvious fact, but it’s still weirdly taboo and many people don’t accept it. Here’s the thing… There will be times in your life when your sex drive will wane. Even if you are typically a pretty libidinous person. And that does not necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with your body or your mind.
Granted, sometimes it does. As I’m sure you know, certain health conditions and life circumstances can contribute to a sag in passion. Sometimes it has to do with the expectations a partner places on you, or that you place on yourself. (Emily Nagoski has a lot to say about that in her book.) Sometimes your relationship structure doesn’t excite you, and that affects your lust levels. (In which case, I prescribe Esther Perel’s book and some soul-searching.)
But sometimes it just happens for no damn reason. And that’s okay too.
I’ve been singing “Where did my sex drive go?” for the past week. A week wouldn’t seem like a long time to go without desire or orgasms for some folks, but for me, it’s suspicious. I’m chalking it up to a combination of things: a confusing crush that’s occupying a lot of my heart-space, a recent disastrous encounter that left me feeling resistant to touch, and just general life-busyness. It’s all added up to me feeling pretty unsexy, and unmotivated to do much about it.
But there are things you can do to reactivate your appetite for the sensual, even if you’re still avoiding the sexual. I have some suggestions for you; they might make you want to have sex again, or they might not. But either way, they’ll be the gentle self-care you need at times like these, and they’ll help you get out of your head and into your body a little more. And that’s something we all need!
Moisturize and massage your body
Hey, the saucy definition of “touch yourself” isn’t the only definition!
Moisturization can be a meditative practice if you let it. Scoop up some coconut oil, cocoa butter, or other loveliness of choice, and start rubbing it into a part of your body that needs some love. Make it your goal to cover your whole body, slowly but surely.
You can make this a very focused, present practice by thinking about each body part as you moisturize it – what you like about that part of yourself, what achievements that body part is capable of, what it means to you. Or you can kind of zone out, by listening to some music during your self-massage and just letting your mind wander. Do what feels needed.
Meditation is proven to make you happier, and this is a low-pressure, easy way to do it. Self-massage also helps you get back in touch with your body, literally and figuratively. And hey, even if you don’t notice any of those benefits, at least you’ll have super soft skin by the time you’re done.
It’s common wisdom that cardio can boost your libido, but of course, there are other reasons to do it.
For one thing, in the absence of sex or masturbation, you might be feeling antsy and full of stymied energy. While you could force yourself into not-fully-wanted sexual activity to help burn off that bounce, that might not be the best option for you right now. Exercise can help.
In cases where your flagging libido is related to depression, moving your body can also help by brightening your mood somewhat. It’s not a cure-all, but it might ease your sads a bit.
Make yourself look good
I sometimes view lipstick as a prescription for my lethargy. I make myself put it on when I’m sad, even when I don’t really feel like it, because it always lifts my spirits. Not a lot, but maybe enough that I can leave the house.
Sometimes a drop in sex drive can result from feeling undesirable. If that’s how you’re feeling, maybe some gussying-up is in order, to help restore some of your confidence.
Do whatever kind of appearance-finessing is most in line with your gender identity and/or sexual persona. That could be anything from lipstick and winged liner to moustache wax and a bowtie. See if you feel a little hotter once you’re done. And if not, that’s cool too.
Lose yourself in music
As Jim Carrey well knows, music can help us connect to our more primal selves. When I’m having a bad day or a bad week, few things work as well to shake off my misery as a night out dancing in a dark bar somewhere. It’s such a physically-focused activity that I really don’t have the energy (or even the desire) to think about whatever’s bugging me.
While dancing might help you for the same reasons I outlined when I talked about exercise above, even just listening to music can have therapeutic effects. If it’s music you love, the familiar comfort and joy of it can lift your mood. And some music is so sexy that it might get your hips grindin’ and your heart poundin’, and we all know where that can lead.
Use a vibrator non-sexually
My Magic Wand is the only sex toy in my collection that gets used regularly whether or not I’m feeling sexy. That’s because it can bring pleasure to just about any part of my body, not only the sexual ones. Sore muscles, blocked sinuses, even just the apathetic numbness I get when I’ve been sitting around too much – a strong wand vibrator can ease it all.
If you use a vibe on non-sexual body parts for a while and then decide you want to move it onto your genitals, you might find it more agreeable than using your hands to masturbate. Sex toys can give you some psychological distance from your sexuality that you might prefer if you’re feeling unsexy.
What do you do to rekindle a sex drive that’s stopped cold?