A lot of people want to know how to enhance their libido. In fact – as a clinical sexologist, this is the most common question I get asked in online sex therapy and coaching; of which there are a lot of different answers. One way of wanting sex more, is learning to communicate effectively in your relationship.
Communication can seem like an odd solution, as a lot of us believe libido is a basic biological drive. Something that’s solely affected by our hormones.
But this is the old way of viewing libido. And it’s one that offers very little hope to those who have low libido or feel like their sex drive has vanished.
Sexual desire isn’t actually something you either have or don’t have. It’s more like a feeling that you can affect both positively and negatively – and one way is through communication. Knowing this can make all the difference.”
Sexual desire is complex, because its existence is dependent on a lot of different things, besides our biology. It reacts to:
psychological factors, like mood and anxiety,
relationship factors, like conflicts and irritation,
and, even cultural factors, such as the beliefs we have about sex and gender.
Because the way we react and respond in relationships can have such a huge impact on our libido – making changes to our relationship behaviours can help us go from no sex drive to lots of it.
One of these behaviours, is improving communication in your relationship.
When you know the ways of improving communication in relationships – you can leverage the skills in both your day to day communication, as well as in your sexual communication.
These skills are an essential part of what makes a good sex life. In fact, research shows that couples who communicate about sex – are more satisfied sexually.
As a sex therapist, I talk about communicating about sex all day, every day, no matter what the presenting sexual difficulty is. The thing is – even if I talk about it all the time, I know a lot of people don’t want to talk about sex.
The mere idea of having to talk about sex feels:
We’re taught, from a young age, that good sex, just like our libido, occurs spontaneously. That if we’re really meant to be as a couple, or that if we’re truly in love – the sex will be great, and most importantly, it will be constant throughout our relationship or marriage.
Not only is this not true, most of the time, it’s also a cultural ideal that sort of ensures unsatisfying sex and low libido in long relationships.
If you don’t know what your partner desires or if you don’t know how to fuel your own fire – you more easily fall prey to low libido and unfulfilling sex.
Not always wanting to sleep with your partner or masturbate doesn’t have to be a bad thing. However, feeling like you have no control and no idea of how to actually increase your sexual desire, can turn no sex drive into a harrowing problem.
It can take a toll on your self-esteem and self-confidence, making you feel like there’s something missing.
Some of my clients even refer to their loss of an appetite for sex, as feeling dead inside.
By learning to communicate effectively in your relationship about sex, you can take ownership of your sexuality and get your sex drive back. It really is possible.
My free resource The Desire Test helps you take that first step towards an increased sex drive, by understanding your decreased desire.
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There are lots of ways to communicate about sex. But before you delve into what to talk about when discussing sex with your partner, and how to do it, it’s good to learn about one important way to make the conversation about sex a little less awkward.
Address the awkwardness.
It might sound a little too simple. When things are difficult we often look for complicated solutions – because we feel the easy route doesn’t match the complexity of the issue. But when it comes to communicating about what we do in the bedroom, it really can be this simple.
When you broach the topic, let your partner know exactly how talking about sex makes you feel: shameful, awkward, embarrassed.
By putting your feelings into words, you’re helping yourself process the emotions – and this is the only way of moving through the feeling and letting it pass.
Getting rid of negative feelings is something we all would like to do, but we can’t, and more importantly, we shouldn’t try to. Because when we do, the feeling tends to grow and expand – and sticks around even longer.
By addressing how awkward talking about sex is for you, you’re allowing yourself to be in the feeling and also, to move through it and let it disappear.
You’re also inviting your partner to share your feeling and to validate you.
Awkwardness around sex often has its roots buried in shame. Sexual shame is unfortunately a common staple in our society and has a lot to do with preconceived ideas about how we think we should feel, what we should get off to, and how sex should work.
When we feel shame about sex – our partner’s support means everything. And this is where learning to communicate effectively in your relationship is essential.
Because even if your partner finds the topic of sex shameful too, talking about it and connecting about the awkwardness – will help you both feel better about the conversation in the long run.
Low libido is normal – but this doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it. If you want to, you can work on increasing and regaining your sex drive, so you can have sex that feels good and increase intimacy. One of the ways of doing this, is learning to communicate effectively in your relationship. It might be a little awkward at first, but it’s a sure fire way of creating the sex life and relationship you want.
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With 11 years of experience in the helping profession - Leigh helps her clients create stress-free, shame-free, pressure-free sex lives, through her unique combination of sexological science, & psychotherapeutic & coaching tools.
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