It’s a Friday night with no plans, and the kids are in bed early. Your partner snuggles close to you and kisses your ear . . . and all you can think is that sex would be okay and all, but there’s some great TV you’d rather watch.
Sound familiar? If it does, you’re not alone. Plenty of women have lower libidos than their partners, and they often find that they either feel guilty for not having sex as often as he’d like or resentful for being treated like a sex machine instead of a partner.
However, there are ways that you can not only boost your libido, but also take better basic care of yourself in the process.
Get More Sleep
It’s hard to be in the mood when you’re too tired. You can’t summon the energy to have sex, and your exhaustion can transform minor stresses into enormous libido-killing monsters. If you’re like most people, you know that you need more sleep but have trouble making it actually happen; consider upping your libido with a new motivator.
Turn off your screens at least half an hour before bed and engage in a relaxing bedtime routine. If you usually have sex with your partner in bed after lights-out, try cuddling on the couch and reading or talking as part of the bedtime routine to prime the pump for physical contact.
If you’re getting eight hours of sleep a night, you might still have trouble getting your libido going, but at least you’ll know that fatigue isn’t the cause.
Get Some “You” Time Earlier In the Day
You have a demanding job outside the home, and when you come back you just want to collapse on the couch and relax with a good book. Or you’re a stay-at-home mom, and after the kids go to bed you need some time alone with your thoughts and possibly a movie that wasn’t made by Walt Disney.
It’s fine to want time to yourself, but if the only time you can get to yourself is also the only time that you’re alone with your partner, it’s going to interfere with your chances to have sex. What’s more, you’ll end up resenting him if you give up your “you” time for sex.
To avoid this problem, find a way to schedule an hour or so of “you” time earlier in the day. If you work outside the home, take your lunch break by yourself, away from your desk, with no co-workers around demanding your attention, so you can read, go for a walk, watch cat videos on YouTube, or whatever else recharges your batteries.
If you’re a stay-at-home mom, try a gym that offers free day care, or arrange for your older children to have “quiet time” in their rooms while the little ones are napping.
If you have an hour during the day that’s all yours, your batteries will feel more fully charged in the evening when you’re with your partner, and you also won’t feel as though he’s intruding on those precious scraps of personal time.
Have Conversations With Your Partner
Sometimes it feels like your husband only wants to talk to you when he’s begging for sex. If that’s the case, the two of you need to have other conversations, and if he isn’t initiating them, it falls on you.
Make some time to talk to your partner about your day. Ask him to dry the dishes while you wash so you can chat during chores. Go for a walk together. Sit down with him in another room while the kids are watching TV and have a conversation.
The great thing about conversations outside, during chores, or while the kids are nearby is that sex is basically off the table. If your husband only wants to talk about sex, he can’t expect anything to come of it while you’re strolling through the park or hearing Elmo giggle through an open kitchen door.
Having conversations with your husband will make you feel more like his wife and less like his mistress. By making you feel more generous and affectionate toward him, it will put you in the mood for sex.
Communicate What You Want . . .
If you’re having trouble saying “yes” to sex because you’re so stressed and overworked, your partner needs to pick up the slack with the chores. Sit down with him and explain how you feel.
Give him a few chores that can be his job – if you cook, maybe he needs to do the dishes or vice versa, and if you handle 95% of the parenting, maybe he should give the kids their baths while you relax.
Don’t be afraid to give your partner a “honey-do” list if you look at all the chores you need to do and want to cry from stress. Sharing the load with your partner will help you be more relaxed and will also make you feel less resentful and more loving in general.
. . . Including In The Bedroom
Sometimes, you avoid sex because your partner just isn’t very good at it. A gentle and honest discussion about what you do and don’t enjoy can work wonders. Of course, you don’t want to open with “Honey, you’re a terrible lover”; instead, suggest one or two new things you’d like to try this time.
When you’re making love, be loudly enthusiastic when he does things right; that lets him know to keep doing them. Gently redirecting him if something isn’t working can also work; don’t grab his hand and move it, but urge him with things like “Oh, please, touch me over there.”
Making him feel like you really want sex will help ease any sting over the fact that what he’s doing right now isn’t working.
Make A Date Night – And Think Sexy
There’s a joke that the brain is a woman’s biggest sexual organ, and like many jokes it’s rooted in truth. If you’ve spent all day worrying about work or trying to decide on your weekend plans, you’re going to have trouble redirecting your brain to sex when the time comes.
What’s more, while spontaneous sex is a great spice for your love life, it can be hard to make the mental leap over to sex if you’ve been thinking of something else all day.
Try augmenting your love life by making the occasional date night that you plan to end in sex. During the day, think sexy thoughts. Think about your partner and how much you love him.
Remember some really steamy times you had together. When you make love after your date night, you won’t be redirecting your brain – you’ll be sending it in the direction it’s been going all day, which will help you to enjoy the moment more.
An added bonus: if they’re regular, date nights can help you forestall sex if you aren’t in the mood. If your partner knows you’ll be making love on Saturday, he’s less likely to be resentful about a “no” on Friday.