Five things to remember when you don’t feel like having sex

So you don’t feel like having sex. Guess what - that’s fine. 

Not feeling like having sex - for any amount of time and any (or no) reason is not only okay, but, for lack of a better word, absolutely “normal”. But what if it’s creating issues within your relationship or causing you personal distress? Let’s talk about it. 

Here are five things to remember when you don’t feel like having sex. 

  1. You’re not broken. 

Considering all of the factors that can contribute to not feeling like sex, it’s honestly a wonder we ever have it at all. Energy levels, medication, mood, diet, trauma, illness, hormones, relationship stress, self-esteem… these are a fraction of the reasons you may not be feeling horny - and they really only scratch the surface. Even if you can’t pinpoint a reason, it’s important to note that there is no such thing as a normal libido. Your libido, like everything else in your body, is in a constant state of change throughout your lifespan. Let it be. 

  1. There’s not just one definition for sex. 

All too often when you hear the word sex, people immediately think of penetration - most commonly penis-in-vagina. It’s high time we broadened our horizons in this space - and definitions. Sex can be literally anything you want it to be. We won’t even be prescriptive about it beyond that; if it’s consensual, and all parties feel good, you’re doing it. And doing it well. 

  1. It’s okay to be Asexual. 

If you feel as though you never experience sexual attraction to other people, you could be Asexual. Asexuality is a healthy and, again “normal” sexual orientation, and doesn’t limit your ability to forge relationships, even romantic ones if you so desire. 

  1. Communicate openly with your partner/s. 

As important as it is for you to understand that your libido - in whatever state - is healthy, you may want to have a conversation with your sexual partner/s as well. Feeling guilty, stressed or pressured can be negative byproducts of a lower libido in a relationship, but open and frank conversations can often help. You might find a partner needing a bit of reassurance - that’s okay. Do some research together; a lower libido is natural, and often not personal. You are not in control of your libido, so don’t let yourself feel guilty about it. 

  1. You NEVER have to have sex if you don’t want to. 
This is extremely important. Sex should always be consensual - in or out of a relationship. Pressure to have sex does not make you feel like having it and having performative sex with a partner will not likely be rewarding for either party. If your partner wants to have sex but you don’t, talk about it. Suggest they masturbate, even watch them if you feel so inclined. There are lots of healthy ways partners can have their sexual needs met within a relationship - having sex with someone who doesn’t want to isn’t one of them. 

Low libido - or not wanting to have sex at all - is not a medical issue or cause for concern. Of course, if you are finding sex physically painful, or feel as though there may be underlying biological factors preventing you from feeling sexual, a GP visit is never a bad idea. Sex or couples therapists can also be a valuable avenue to explore if you’re experiencing persistent difficulties in a relationship.

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