When Desire Dies: Revving Your Sex Drive (cont.)

"Many women are scared to even consider their relationship as the cause of their desire issues because they are afraid it means the marriage is over, but this is not usually the case," says Sadock.

Indeed, she says, most often it's not the catastrophic divorce-level problems that are standing in the way, but rather a compilation of small but very "fixable" issues that have just piled up over time.

"If you feel neglected, or taken for granted, if you're angry because he spends more free time with his brothers than with you, if you think that the only time he's nice to you is when he wants sex, these are often the kind of thoughts that eat away at a woman's sexual desire," says Sadock.

Amaru agrees and adds, "When I finally get patients to open up about what is bothering them, I often find they are simply overloaded in their life -- too much work, too many responsibilities, too much on their shoulders, with too little help and acknowledgement from their partners."

If, in fact, you can identify feelings of resentment or even anger, the next step is to talk to your partner -- but not in an accusatory way.

Experts say avoid phrases like "You make me feel lousy" or "You turn me off when you ... ." Instead, start by assuring your partner that you find him attractive and let him know this is about rekindling the great sex life you once had together.

"Few men can resist the opportunity to rev up their partner's sex drive," says Sadock.

Now that you've got his attention, let him know how much his affections matter to you and how sexy you feel when he tells you're pretty or shows his appreciation for the little things you do.

"Let him know that you need to feel he cares for and appreciates you all the time -- not just when he wants sex," says Sadock.

Also important: Spend time together alone away from the kids, the phone, the computer, the TV, even for just 20 minutes a day. The goal, says Sadock, is to relate to each other as man and woman -- not just mommy and daddy, or even husband and wife.

One of the sexiest things you can do, she says, is make a date for lunch. "It's an interruption of the business day, and it takes real effort to put other things aside even if you're just going for a pizza, it can be a powerful turn on for the both of you."

Sex Drive & Desire: Use It, Don't Lose It

For many women, taking these few steps can have an amazing and immediate impact on their libido. For others, it may take some time to get the mojo started again. What can you do help the process along?

If you enjoy sex once it's been initiated, remind yourself of that and go with it even if sexual desire isn't apparent at the start, advises Amaru.

"This is not about forcing yourself to have sex when you don't want to. This is about recognizing that once you get started you enjoy it, and helping yourself to get over the barrier so you can enjoy it." The more often you do that, she says, the more likely you are to reconnect with your desires.

Finally, if self-esteem is the problem, do whatever it takes to make yourself feel sexy and pretty again. "Buy the lingerie that camouflages what you don't like, get a spa treatment that makes you feel good, color your hair, go for the make-over, do what it takes," Sadock says.

Moreover, Sadock offers us this encouraging thought to keep in mind: "It is a psychological fact that when a man looks at a woman he has known for a long time, his mind blends how she looks at the moment, with how she looked when he first met and fell in love with her. So even if you see all the lines and creases and bumps and bulges, he really doesn't. You actually look a lot better to him than you look to yourself."

The fact that he wants to make love to you, says Sadock, tells you that he finds you attractive. So hold that thought and go for it.


Rebecca Amaru, MD, a gynecologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, Virginia Sadock, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry, NYU Medical Center, New York City; Christiane Northrup, MD, author, "The Wisdom of Menopause" (Hay House); Laumann, EO, International Journal of Impotence Research, (2005) 17, 39-57; (http://www.ldc.upenn.edu/myl/llog/Laumann2005.pdf)

Reviewed on July 28, 2010

© 2007 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.

Last Editorial Review: 7/28/2010 3:35:27 PM