Call it low libido, a temporary loss of the erotic self, or just feeling like you need to sit on the shelf for a bit – our sexual selves can often go through peaks and troughs. Whether single or partnered, sex can be tricky business and for some reason, we tend to give ourselves a hard time if we just aren’t feeling in the mood. Sometimes it's fine to sit in the slump if you need time, but for those looking to recast a sexual spell, here are our tips for taking your libido out of that lull…
Pleasure Starts With Self
Learning to self-pleasure is one of the ultimate tools of eroticism. When we are able to explore our own bodies and to know the where and how of what we love, this can become an amazing starting point for achieving the pleasure we want when other people are involved. Self-pleasure also teaches us about our own desire, helps us to tap into deep fantasy, and means that we don’t have to rely on anyone else if we are feeling like it isn’t time to invite another into our sexual world.
Time to Re-Educate
Many of us have come up in a society that doesn’t always have healthy answers and attitudes when it comes to sex. From performing for the male gaze to the idea that sex is a prize, that sex slaps a label on you, or that sex has to look and feel a certain way can truly affect our relationship to getting down. From heightened pressure of having to know what to do in the bedroom to not fully understanding our own consent, it really helps to take a look at our own belief systems around sex and to re-educate to recalibrate. Podcasts, books and articles from sex therapists are available across the web and are well worth a look.
The Art of Touch
It’s part of the modern world that the last thing we touch at night tends to be our smartphones. For those who are sharing a bed with another person, its time to put away the technology when it comes to bed as it can truly hinder your intimacy levels and lead to distraction and disconnection. Having televisions in the bedroom can also lead to disrupted sleep patterns and affect libido levels. Try and make the last thing you touch at night and first thing in the morning be your partner, we aren’t even talking about in a sexual way – a light brush of the shoulder, or a stroke of the cheek – it all adds up to better intimacy. For those who aren’t sharing their bed, simply place that last and first touch on your own skin.
Check Your Vitals
Lack of sleep, lousy diet, and heightened stress across the world – not just in our daily lives but in our politics, this can all have a knock-on effect when it comes to libido. If your drive is in a slump it may be because you are out of gas. When we feel physically and mentally crappy, it's hard to get into gear. Start with the basics; do the things that make you feel good. Get enough rest, go for a brisk walk and let the wind whip colour back into your cheeks, take a night to dance with friends; the small pleasures lead to the grander pleasures and getting your drive back means making space to play.
Know Your Cycle
For women who menstruate it's worth noting that often your sex drive can follow a cycle. We are being relatively generic here but the tip may be of use to many. Since the Victorian age we have followed a system of having sex on the male clock (for hetero couples), but it may be time to consider another shift and work to the female cycle when it comes to sex. Keeping a period journal or even just using a period app to record your cycle, hormonal shifts, and moods can really help you to track when you are feeling hot and bothered and when you are feeling dead and bloated. This knowledge helps you to regain control over your libido and to understand when sex is going to work for you and when it's not.
How do you pull yourself out of a sex slump? Share your ideas and thoughts in the comments.