“I would be okay if I never had to have sex again”
“I feel like sex is becoming a chore, it’s something to check off my to-do list”
“I feel like something is wrong with me, I just don’t get excited anymore”
If any of the above sound familiar, this blog is for you! A lack of interest in sexual activity is one of the most common reasons that women seek out sex and relationship therapy. In fact, it’s one of the most common complaints I see in my practice. Low sexual desire can create significant personal distress and relationship difficulties that impact women’s sexual satisfaction and self-confidence.
Sexual desire (otherwise known as libido) refers to your level of interest in sexual activity. Each person measures their sexual desire based on what they consider to be “normal”, so what is considered a healthy level of sexual desire will vary from one person the next. The answer to understanding what impacts your libido is complex, just like you are! Sexual desire can change throughout your lifespan and is influenced by a wide range of biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors. Some of the most common concerns that impact libido in women include
- Body Image
- Relationship Satisfaction
- Stress Levels
- Physical and Mental Health
- Lifestyle Patterns
- Co-occurring sexual dysfunction or pain
- Sexual values and beliefs
Other factors to consider include recent transitions or stressors. I often work with women who experience changes in their sexual response cycles after pregnancy or postpartum transitions, experiences with infertility, loss and trauma, or unexpected medical diagnoses.
If you’re noticing a change in your libido it’s important to check in with yourself and assess what may be going on in your life that’s impacting these changes. Learning more about your own sexual response cycle can help you to build awareness of different factors that impact your sexual desire… and create changes that lead to more fulfilling sexual experiences!
If you’re noticing concerns about your level of sexual desire, ask yourself the following questions to help explore what may be contributing to your concerns.
Have I taken care of my Mental and Physical Health today?
The way you take care of your emotional and physical health plays a big role in your sexual health. Have you provided your body with enough rest, hydration, and nutrition today? Give yourself space to rest and recharge. Engage in self-care. Move your body. Take your meds. Prioritize taking care of you!
How am I feeling in my body?
Likewise, the way you feel about your body plays a big role in your sexual health and your sexual response. Check in with your internal dialogue and how you’re speaking to yourself about your body. Are you feeling comfortable and confident in your body? Are you setting realistic expectations about how your body should be feeling or performing?
How am I feeling towards my partner?
Notice if you’re feeling connected and heard in your relationship. Perhaps you are seeking something other than physical intimacy from you partner. Is there something you aren’t communicating? Something you need but aren’t receiving?
What’s been going on in my world that’s consuming my energy?
Notice where your energy is going. Do you feel like you have the bandwidth for connection and intimacy at the end of the day? How can you “turn off” or unwind? What would help you feel like you had more energy to give to yourself or your partner?
Do I understand what brings me pleasure?
Understanding how to feel and express pleasure is an important part of feeling sexual desire! If you don’t understand what brings you pleasure or feel comfortable experiencing pleasure, it can be hard to connect with your body or engage in experiences that create pleasure. When was the last time you experienced sexual pleasure? What were the factors that helped you to experience it?
Want to learn more about your own desire?
As a therapist I support my clients as they create authentic, empowered sexual experiences. You deserve to stop “going through the motions” and begin to enjoy your sexuality and relationships. I would love to talk with you more about how I can support you. Reach out to me for a free consultation today!