Question: I have not had sex since the beginning of the pandemic. I just don’t feel like it. It’s like my desire has just turned off. I had always had a healthy sex life. I feel sad that such an important part of who I am and what I need as a woman seems to have disappeared. I am also a little lost on how to talk to my partner about this.
Answer: Thanks for raising the sex question in relation to what is going on in the world right now. You are not alone. This is important because sexual health is an important component of health regardless of what is going on around us.
Let me assure you that you are not alone. I speak with women every week who are hesitant or don’t know how to talk to their partners about sex or their friends or their health care providers. All important conversations that so many find difficult to have. This is despite knowing that a healthy sex life no matter your definition is an important part of our quality of life, stress management, self confidence and positive mindset – all of which are so very important right now.
How can I talk to my partner about sex?
Discuss the potential root cause. There is no magic wand to fix our libido it is important to look for the root cause just as it is for any health concern. Some possible causes of low sexual desire are fluctuating hormones, Vaginal dryness, or pain with sex and other culprits could be stress, burnout, depression and trauma. Please know you are not alone in dealing with low desire, one in 3 women at some point in their life, and stress often the cause. There are things that can help, research shows helpful solutions include practicing mindfulness, diet, movement, laughter, social interaction and sleep, and also some therapy techniques such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).
Use your largest sex organ. Whether it is reading romance novels or erotica or watching a show like Outlander, they can be used to stimulate your largest sex organ, your brain. Experimenting with masturbation is another way to stimulate desire. I understand that some will find this hard or awkward but discussing sexual desire, what turns you on and what doesn’t, again you are not alone but take heart good communication takes practice and courage. If it is hard to get the words out in a conversation try journaling first.
Find out what is true and what is not.For some of us it is not about learning new information it is doing the work to unlearn what we have been taught previously that is just untrue. What is your definition of sex? What is your partners definition? It is so important for couples to check in with each other to ensure you both share the same definitions and ideas around sex.
What is your definition of sex? Is it with a partner? Does it involve penetration? On the surface it seems like a simple question. However there are so many cultural and social perceptions that influence our thinking what sex looks like. These influences can limit our thinking about sex and for some it can confine them to this limited way of thinking through the life span. The truth is that our definitions and desires are going to change over the years and decades, so taking the time to reframe our definitions of sex as we grow and change is important.
For more tips on having these conversations or redefining sex you can access the course we have created in partnership with Nya Wellness or read these articles in the Bliss Journal.
Do you have a question about sex, sexuality, toys or anything related? write to me Jodie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jodie West is the CEO and Resident Sexologist at Bliss. Jodie is known for initiating Taboo conversations about women's health & sexuality. Her own health challenges & the changes they brought about in general life & sex life were the catalysts for taboo smashing projects that have made & continue to make changes in the landscape of women's health in Australia.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this document should be read as general in nature and is only to provide and overview of the subject matter. Please read product packaging carefully and follow all instructions. Seek advice specific to your situation from your medical professional or mental health professional. Safe - Sane - Consensual