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8 Times It's Okay to Have Sex When You're Not In the Mood

Take Sex Off Your To-Do List

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We've all been there: You love your partner deeply, but sometimes you're not interested in having sex. It's just that between work, kids, chores and all the other things women juggle daily, you're tired and overwhelmed by the end of the day. So when your man shows up horny at bedtime, it can take everything in you not to throw your hands up in the air and yell "what, you too?!" at his crotch.

Sex, however, should not be just another item on your to-do list, explains Wendy Walsh, Ph.D., relationship expert, author of The 30-Day Love Detox and the host of The Dr. Wendy Walsh Show. If you genuinely don't want sex then you should definitely not have sex—period. (See: 5 Signs You're Having Sex for the Wrong Reasons.) But if you're just kind of not feeling it, it might be worth trying to make the mental shift from "chore" to "score." Not only is sex good for you physically, says Walsh, but it can also be a powerful tool in building your relationship. Here's how.

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To Improve Communication

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Good communication is the number one trait of super-bonded couples, Walsh says, and that definitely includes sexual communication. "The body speaks when you have no words," Walsh says. Whether you're trying to say "I'm sorry" or "I love you," or "you're important to me," a good romp can speak louder than a thousand words. (Psst...Check out these 5 Embarassing—But Normal—Side Effects of Sex).

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To Try Something New

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Perhaps one of the reasons you're just not feeling it is that the sex has gotten a little, well, boring. Women actually have a higher desire for sexual novelty than men do, Walsh says, so your ennui is the perfect reason to go out of your box a little. And you don't need to run out and buy a sex swing; even little changes like a new outfit, a new position or a new room of the house will help.

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To Invest In Your Relationship

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We're all busy and we're all tired. There's no getting around this major side effect of our modern lifestyles. But no matter how tired you are, Walsh says it's important to remember how valuable this person and this relationship is to you. And just like anything else of great value, you want to invest in it and take care of it. "Instead of thinking, 'this is something I need to do for him,' think of sex like a community property you both invest in," Walsh says. "Stop talking about 'his needs' and start talking about 'our sex life'."

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To Bond

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Oxytocin has been called the love hormone, the cuddle drug, and the bonding hormone—for good reason. This powerful brain chemical is released during sex and its whole purpose is to create a tight, loving bond with your partner. And you don't even need to have full-on intercourse to reap the benefits, Walsh says. Even just a tight hug, a passionate kiss, or some skin-to-skin contact can get it flowing. "It's fine to tell your partner 'I only want to do X, Y & Z tonight' and stop there, or if you're into it after all, keep going," she says.

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To Make Up

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"Make up sex is great!" Walsh says. "It's hot, steamy, passionate and the best part is that it lets the relationship win instead of one person." She explains that relationships are strengthened through this pattern of rupture and repair. While she doesn't recommend having sex while you're still red-hot mad, she does say it's a good way to reconcile and re-bond after an argument. "Sex is a powerful way to see your partner as a human being again," she adds.

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To Look Forward to Time with Your Partner

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Walsh explains that some of the most powerful sexual encounters rely on teasing and titillation to build excitement. And she's not talking about 15 minutes of foreplay right before the deed but rather hours or even a full day of sexy moments. "Leave each other aroused all day and finish later when you have the time," she says. "You'll be amazed at how sexy that can be." Sexting, anyone? (We have 5 Sexting Tips Every Woman Needs to Know.)

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To Relax

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Orgasms can be incredibly relaxing and a perfect way to unwind. Unfortunately, getting past all the stress and anxiety of the day to a point where you even want to think about taking off your clothes can be incredibly difficult (unless it's to change into yoga pants). But sometimes, all you need is a few quiet moments to think about why you do like sex and remember how mind-blowing an orgasm can be. "Women don't usually get turned on like a light switch the way men do," says Walsh. It's a process. (Here's How to Achieve Multiple Orgasms.)

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To Have Fun

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Once you let go of the idea that sex needs to be a three-ring circus every time, it becomes less daunting. Allow yourself to be silly and playful with it. "Lots of people aren't good at talking about sex, but it can be funny. Having a pillow fight, playing a funny game or just cracking each other up can do way more to get you in the mood than any amount of porn. It's all about finding that connection that made you fall in love with that person in the first place," says Walsh.

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