©iStockphoto.com/Goldmund Photography Image by: ©iStockphoto.com/Goldmund Photography
Relationship expert Trina Read says that sex often goes to the bottom of our to-do list when we have many responsibilities in our day-to-day lives.
"A lack of sexual desire -- the thoughts and actions you have around sex -- is the number 1 reason couples in North America stop having sex," she explains. Here she offers five ways to ramp up your sexual desire.
1. Don't be negative about sex
If you have negative thoughts about sex before, during and after a sexual encounter, they will profoundly dampen your desire to have sex again.
"I call it the ‘oh crap' phenomenon," says Read. "‘Oh crap, do I have to have sex tonight?' or ‘Oh crap, you want sex now? Can't you see I'm exhausted?' To get back your sexual desire, you need to start having positive thoughts toward sex," she explains.
How can you go about doing that? Think about something that is an indulgence, such as a bath, a professional massage or reading a book uninterrupted for an hour. You look forward to this time because it is all about you.
Similarly, "when going into the sexual experience you should feel that it's all about you," says Read, " and that your needs, wants and desires do matter and will be attended to."
She also suggests building the anticipation by giving your lover a hint about what he or she can expect, whether by sending a "sext" message, writing a love note or whispering something suggestive in his or her ear.
2. Find ways to be intimate with your partner
"Having an orgasm is about 5 per cent of what sex can be. Therefore, you need to refocus your attention to the sensual side of sex," says Read.
She suggests looking for ways to show each other how much you care. "Small, affectionate gestures done every day can help create intimacy outside and inside the bedroom," she explains.
Her suggestions? "Kiss each other before you leave the house and then kiss each other when you return," she says. "Turn off the TV, computer and phone, and give each other your full attention. Call or text during the day just to say you're thinking about them."
Over time you'll see how these small gestures will add up to an incredible amount of happiness.
3. Deal with any unresolved issues
Don't stop asking for what you want as your relationship develops. "Sex becomes less satisfying if you don't discuss that your sexual needs have changed and are not being met," explains Read. "To enjoy sex again, women can no longer take a back seat. Nothing kills your libido like being angry."
According to Read, putting off your wants and needs will create further resentment. "Ask yourself: ‘What are the facts -- not emotions -- around any sexual challenges? What are the reasons for the anger, resentment or withholding?' Until these issues are dealt with and resolved, it's almost impossible to connect in a deep sexual way. If you're at an impasse, seek out a counsellor's help," says Read.
4. Know what you want
If you're not happy with the way sex is in your relationship -- such as experiencing a lack of sexual desire -- then you have to figure out what you do want out of your sexual experiences.
"Generally, many women want to be nurtured. That's why every sex expert under the sun professes foreplay, foreplay, foreplay," says Read. "Unfortunately, too many women skip foreplay because they just want to get the sex over with. You're never aroused enough during sex because your sexual needs aren't being met, and you have zero sexual desire because you are never aroused enough during the sexual experience," she explains.
Read suggests teaching each other new sexual techniques. "The best way to start is to separately write a list of things you want to try and then let the other read it. Bonus points to those couples who take turns 'surprising' each other with what's on their partner's list," she says.
5. Get in touch with your body
Women often live inside of their heads. "A woman must allow herself to bask in her amazing senses -- taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing. Not only that, be OK with unabashedly taking sensual pleasure from the sexual experience. Your body is an absolute wonderland that invites you to enjoy sex," says Read.
So, try to be present in the moment. "Touching is one of the easiest ways to create intimacy outside of the bedroom. Make it your goal to affectionately touch your partner every day and see where it leads. I'll bet my mortgage you'll be much happier as a person and as a couple," says Read.
Getting your sexual desire back doesn't have to be difficult or time consuming. "It does, however, mean you have to sit down and take an honest assessment of why you don't desire sex," says Read. "Once you figure it out, moving into a sex life that you look forward to is quite easy."