Sex should definitely be more than just another item to cross off your to-do list. But with the busyness of work, kids, and day-to-day living, sometimes you’ve got to make a plan of attack to, well, make it happen. And it’s easy to let the little things get in the way. Hey, we’re all guilty of some of these.
First things first: you need to understand that a woman’s body changes sexually as you get older. But don’t see this as a bad thing, it’s just a matter of getting used to new aspects of sexuality.
Cuddling up next to your iPad in bed
Yes, sometimes it’s hard to close out of Pinterest or not binge-watch the newest season of Orange Is the New Black. But gadgets can steal time, desire, and emotional energy. “Many women say that there’s no time for sex, but admit to checking Facebook an hour before bed,” reports Andrea Syrtash, relationship expert and author of Cheat on Your Husband (With Your Husband). And sending that last email before lights-off means that your attention is focused on what you’re writing — and not on being in bed with your partner. “In other words, emotionally, you’re somewhere else,” says New York-based marriage and sex therapist Dr. Jane Greer. (Having a bedroom TV also doesn’t help: A recent study shows couples end up having sex half as often!) Both experts suggest powering down an hour before you hit the sack to minimize distractions.
You bring your tech to the bedroom.
This could be your television, laptop, tablet, even your phone; but you’re curled up in bed paying attention to something digital instead of your partner.
You Can’t Relax
It’s no wonder that stress kills the buzz, so in order to heat things up in the bedroom try and resolve issues to keep anxiety to a minimum. Meditation and breathing exercises can really help with this.
Eating too late or too much
Stress and busy schedules both contribute to late dinners, midnight snacks, and overeating, Dr. Rachel A. Sussman, LCSW, says. “Those habits can make us tired and full and not feel good about ourselves.” And you know what happens when we don’t feel good about ourselves? A whole lot of nothing. Her tip? “Think about sex as your dessert,” Sussman urges. “If you eat lighter, there’s a really good chance that you’re going to have more energy and want to have sex later on that evening.” (Plus, you can always have something sweet after.)
Pouring that extra glass of wine
Alcohol consumption is another sneaky culprit that may be snuffing out your passion. “People often drink to combat stress, but it can backfire, making them tired or grouchy,” Sussman explains. Why? Because alcohol is a depressant. Not all liquor is a bad idea, though — just know how much to drink. “A small amount can turn you on,” adds Sussman, “but too much can absolutely kill a sex drive and make it difficult to orgasm.”
You’re Bored With Sex
If your sex life is feeling stale, it’s no wonder you’re backing off. If sex is no longer pleasurable and mundane then a loss of libido can very much be expected. Use communication and intimacy to work out with your partner new things you might want to try or where you want to the focus in the bedroom to be.
You Don’t Communicate
It’s not always comfortable being open about sex, but it’s so important that communication with your partner is spot on. You need to be able to voice your sexual concerns and work out any bedroom issues out together.
Waiting for the right moment
Just do it. Seriously. As women age, their estrogen levels drop (this also happens after pregnancy), which can lead to vaginal dryness and lack of desire. But even if you’re not completely in the mood, starting to kiss and fondle anyway can actually get you turned on. Try it and you can thank us later.
You Have Issues With Intimacy
We’re not talking about snuggling and kissing here. It’s often the relationship outside of the bedroom where work is needed. Intimacy can come in all forms, and sometimes it’s just about truly finding out what the other person wants.
Skipping the gym
Confidence doesn’t mean you should just let it all go: “A moderate amount of exercise helps you build up stamina, it energizes you, and it is also a good way of releasing anxiety,” says Sadock. The less energy you’re spending feeling anxious, the more you have left to get excited for sex. Added bonus: Post-workout sex can be amazing, according to a University of Florida study. Why? Even if you haven’t lost any pounds, you have more confidence and end up freer. Science says so.
Criticizing your body
Everybody probably has a “problem area” they don’t like, but self-criticism wreaks havoc on the libido. Not to mention that it’s not the sexiest thing to do in front of your partner. “Giving yourself negative messages about your body every time you look in the mirror can bring down your mood and well-being and deplete your energy,” Clinical Psychologist and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist Dr. Shannon Chavez explains. Instead, think positive about your shape — and get busy anyway. We promise you’ll feel better afterward.