There are two types of people when it comes to sex droughts. There are those who go with the flow and are even comfortable with their occasional sex breaks. And then there are those who panic, roll around in misery like feral cats in heat, and desperately try to find ways to get over the sex drought.
Both types can take comfort in knowing that sexual dry spells are a natural phenomenon in all long term relationships. They also usually end. If there's anything I learned during my time as a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate and Planned Parenthood Certified Responsible Sexuality Educator, it's that relationships have their own rhythm. Emotions, closeness and sex ebb and flow based on tons of factors, like stress, health, kids, money, and other life stuff.
There's no specific time frame for when you should be back to your normal sex life, but if it's been a while, there are some things you can do to try to re-ignite the spark. The first is not to jump to conclusions. The seconds is to communicate. I've talked to so many couples who thought they were to blame because they weren't attractive anymore or they were bad at sex, when in reality, their partners were just tired or stressed. Once you've had that chat, try some of these tips below before you resign yourself to the sexual desert.
1. Explore Self-Love
Masturbation is an important tool for answering some big questions about your sex drought. It can help you learn if your body is responding to stimulation and feeling desire like it used to. It can clear up whether or not you've lost interest in all sex or just sex with your partner. It helps you determine if you still fantasize or yearn for orgasm. It can also help you find new things you like that you take with you into the bedroom.
2. Share Your Feelings
Sex is deeply tied to connection. Couples who don't have a lot of sex report not feeling as connected as they once did, according to Michele Weiner-Davis, author of The Sex Starved Marriage: Boosting Your Marriage Libido. Sharing your feelings with your partner, even if you're not talking about sex, can help rekindle the feelings of closeness and connection that make you want to be intimate. You're basically getting emotionally naked with each other.
3. Have A Bunch Of Sex
I know, I know. You don't want to have sex, so I'm suggesting you have more sex. Doesn't seem to make sense. But there's some merit in having sex to jumpstart your sex life, actually, even if you're not really feeling it. Having sex releases chemicals in your body that make you want to have more sex. You'll feel closer to your partner after a good tumble, which also helps you want more sex. And sometimes, you might feel so busy and stressed that sex is the last thing on your mind, but once you start getting into it, you find you're really glad you did.
4. Sleep Naked
When you sleep naked and cuddle up with each other, you get all that great skin-to-skin contact, which releases stress and makes you feel close to your partner. You get reminded of your partner's naked body. Sometimes all it takes to get out of a sexual dry spell is a little reminder that sex is an option. You might also find that you feel enough of a spark of desire to fully engage. I mean, you're already naked... and in bed... and close together.
5. Don't Plan For Sex
Planning for sex works for some couples, but it's kryptonite for others. When you plan for sex, or even casually mention that you want to have sex later with your partner, sometimes that adds a feeling of expectation and pressure that kills the spontaneity. Plus, if you end up too tired later on, you could feel guilty that you didn't keep your word, even though you meant well at the time. If you're thinking of sexing your partner later on, there are ways to let them know you're thinking about them and find the sexy that don't equate to making plans. Suggestive texts or even just loaded glances can communicate that you were thinking about your partner in a sexual way.
6. Make Two Doctor's Appointments
Most couples go through an occasional dry spell and it's usually more about stress or relationship problems than your health, but your health can play a major factor in your sex drive. Women and men alike can experience hormonal fluctuations that basically put your libido in the toilet. Sometimes undiagnosed high blood pressure, diabetes, and other common, treatable health conditions are the culprit. Sometimes it's a medication side effect that's causing your drought. The point is, it's just good adulting to stay on top of your health anyway, so get you and your partner to the doctor.
7. Catch Up On Sleep
Sometimes not having sex can be a good thing. If you're feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or overworked, you need some good sleep to calibrate physically and emotionally. Getting enough sleep and dealing with stress are both critical to a healthy sex life. Sometimes you're just in a rut because you are dealing with everything you can possibly deal with right now. In that case, it's OK to communicate to your partner that you want to take sex off the table for a short time to focus on getting some rest and getting through your tough time. communicating also lets your partner know that it's just situational and not personal.
Just remember that sex droughts are normal, but they should go away at some point. If it's been a really long time and things don't seem to be getting better, you probably have a much bigger problem than a dry spell.