5 Common Libido-Crushers to Avoid
Common Reasons Your Sex Life Is Lacking
The honeymoon stage won’t last forever. But if you’ve been feeling less than charged lately you may wonder: How often do these dreaded “sexual plateaus” occur once you’ve tied the knot? Unfortunately, more than you might assume: 16 percent of married couples haven’t had sex in the past six months to a year, according to a report from The Kinsey Institute. But don’t blame monogamy—many sexual roadblocks are easy to divert if you (and your man!) put in the proper preventative work. Here are five common libido-crushers and fixes for each.
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You're Skipping Foreplay
The average man takes anywhere from three to seven minutes to climax, while the average woman requires anywhere from 10 to 20—this missed connection is considered the arousal gap, explains Laurence A. Levine, M.D., professor at Rush University Medical Center. If your needs are not being met—i.e. he gets off before you even get close—chances are having sex won’t top your priorities list, he explains. The fix: proper foreplay. “Men need to put in the extra effort and women should not feel ashamed that the stimulation is needed,” explains Levine. Whether it’s oral sex or manual stimulation, try to withhold from penetration until you’re nearing climax from foreplay.
You're Always Plugged In
When routine tasks (your job, running errands, hitting the gym) dominate your day, you’re bound to feel less frisky in your free time. “Always needing to be on the go leaves couples exhausted,” says Karen Sherman, Ph.D., a relationship psychologist and founder of MakeYourMarriageWorkNow.com. When you’re drained, the thought process becomes "there’s always tomorrow night." “But the more you fail at prioritizing intimacy, the more the bond suffers,” she explains. Aim to have one night per workweek where you unplug and enjoy your partner. “Simple things like laying on the couch and having him play with your hair communicates the still bond matters,” says Sherman. What’s more, simple acts of intimacy are proven to reduce stress levels in couples, a Psychosomatic Medicine study suggests.
You're on Autopilot
Sexual routines are not only predictable—they’re boring. So couples must prioritize their sex lives by expanding their erotic repertoire, says Emily Morse, a dating expert and host of the "Sex with Emily" radio show. Step outside the box by having sex anywhere but your bedroom, or simply experiment with a new position or sex toy. And keep in mind that solely limiting your affection to behinds closed doors is a major mistake. “If your sex life is stalling, go back to basics—hugging and holding hands,” says Morse. [Tweet this quote!] These sweet nothings often fade off. Yet keeping up with the affection activates endorphins, which help make you feel more connected in the long haul, says Morse.
You're Skipping the Gym
Gravity will get the best of all of us at some point, but “neglecting to take care of your body is not only bad news from a health perspective, it may also play a major role in your attraction to your partner,” says Levine. Rather than coming right out and calling attention to his beer gut, try signing up for a 5K together or breaking a sweat as a couple more often. A little bit of exercise can go a long way—it can increase his testosterone, which helps his sex drive, says Levine. A study from the Kinsey Institute also found that women who routinely frequent the gym have a better time in bed.
Your Life Revolves Around the Kids
Once kids enter the picture, free time usually revolves around them, explains Sherman. That means less time for you, and even less time for you and him. The solution may simply be prioritizing time in the sack. Research from the University of Pittsburg found that women who rank sex as "important" are more likely to stay sexually active throughout their marriage. “The idea of ‘date night’ may sound like a dated idea,” says Sherman. But saving one night each weekend for the two of you—or perhaps even taking weekend trips every other month—will work wonders for your sex life, she says.