Why have I gone off sex?

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  • Being with your partner a while, as well as getting older, can change your sex drive dramatically.

    It’s hard to know what a normal sex drive should be too.

    Here are ten reasons why you might have gone off sex and top tips to boost your libido.

    1. You’re too busy

    Between work, kids, the school run, catching up with friends and housework, sex probably sits at the bottom of your ‘to do’ list.

    It’s not like when you’re younger or when you first get together and you have sex whenever you can get it. When you get a few spare minutes nowadays you’re more likely to want to catch up with the soaps or get a little bit more sleep – not having sex!

    Sex, though, is an important part of a relationship. It’s a way of showing love to each other and a lack of it can turn some relationships into friendships.

    Choose a night or two a week to spend some quality time with your partner. You could even make a game of it and take turns to act out fantasies or try different positions. By planning ahead you’re saying to your partner and yourself that you’re committed to making the relationship work and that’s sometimes the hardest part.

    2. You feel stressed/anxious

    Just like when we’re busy, being worried about things means sex is usually the last thing on our mind! It’s hard to feel sexy when you’re thinking about mortgage payments or problems at work.

    Being worried about the sex itself definitely doesn’t help either. If you’ve had a bad experience in the past with someone or you’re worried about STI’s, getting pregnant or even how good you are it means it’s sometimes easier not to do it and not to have to deal with any consequences.

    The key to beating this is to try and combat the cause of the stress or anxiety. This does sound easier said than done but if it’s money worries, remember that sex puts you in a better mind-set to deal with any problems, and it’s free! Putting off sex isn’t going to make the worries go away so why deprive yourself of it?

    Eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, sleeping at least 7 hours a nights and exercise can all give you a healthy body and mind and boost your energy levels. And try writing all your problems down or talking them through with your partner or friends – a problem shared is a problem halved after all!

    3. You’re bored or stuck in a rut

    After years together it’s perfectly normal to feel bored by your partner. This doesn’t mean you don’t love them anymore it just means that feel like you’ve done it all or have forgotten about other sex positions.

    Many people find themselves having missionary sex once a week – same time, same day and although this means you’re still fitting it in a little bit of spontaneity never hurt anyone! If you always make sure you have sex on a Tuesday, for example, that doesn’t mean the sex has to be the same.

    Try different positions, use sex toys, talk about things you like and don’t like and maybe even dress up. You might feel embarrassed at first but if you’re both open minded it’ll get easier.

    And having more interesting sex can’t be a bad thing for either of you.

    5. You don’t like your body

    It might be that your body’s changed since you’ve been with your partner – once you’re content you don’t worry so much – or that you’ve never really liked it. Either way your body hang ups could be affecting your sex drive.

    A recent goodtoknow poll found that 63% of didn’t like your belly, 17% of hated your thighs, 7% would change your bum and 6% of you were unhappy with your bingo wings.

    So if you don’t like just one of these things the idea of getting naked and letting someone you love see these bits is enough to turn most people off sex.

    In an ideal world, the best thing to do is lose weight and tone these areas up but a lot of us struggle to fit having sex into our lives let alone losing weight in order to have sex. A lot of the time you also replace sex with chocolate or wine to cheer yourself up and that doesn’t always help!

    Try to not focus on your bad bits and focus on your good bits. Also remember that your partner loves you just the way you are and during sex they just enjoy being close to you. Chances are they’re unhappy with parts of their body too but you love them just the way they are right?

    6. You’re at a certain age

    Getting older seems to make your body and mind change in all sorts of ways and your sex drive is no exception.

    If your hair’s going grey, you’re getting wrinkles or you’re worried about getting a middle-aged spread you’re not always going to feel as sexy as you did when you were younger.

    And the menopause can have an impact too. When you go through puberty your hormones go through the roof and during the menopause they can take a nose dive, dramatically lowering your sex drive. Physically you might also be losing sleep or be suffering from vaginal dryness.

    Try not to dwell on the negatives about getting older and concentrate on the positives. When it comes to sex you’re experienced and mature and you’ve learned what you like and what you don’t, you’re in a really lucky position.

    And for the physical problems, read our guide to getting better sleep or use lubricant for vaginal dryness. There’s always a way around these things and you should take advantage of the position that you’re in!

    8. Have you recently had a baby?

    If you’ve recently given birth, have a young baby or have suffered a traumatic birthing experience like a stillbirth or miscarriage, your sex drive might have gone downhill.

    This could be because your hormones are still all over the place or if you’ve been suffering from post-natal depression it could just be the fact that you now look at sex in a completely different way.

    Before you have children, or think about having them, sex is about having fun and being together but once you give birth it can change the way you think about it in the future. For some people it can seem suddenly dirty or nasty to have sex when you’re not trying to get pregnant. The same goes if you’ve suffered a miscarriage or if fertility treatments haven’t worked.

    All of these reasons need to be dealt with differently. Post-natal depression is a serious problem which needs to be discussed with your doctor.

    Your hormones should settle down after a while but if you’re worried speak to your doctor.

    And if you’ve changed how you see sex and don’t want to do it immediately, take things slowly. Being intimate without having sex can help you take one step at a time and can even bring you and your partner closer together.

    9. Do you eat a lot of junk food or drink a lot of alcohol

    Chocolate, crisps and wine can have a huge impact on your energy levels.

    They can really boost your energy straight after eating them but then you get a dip and this can make you feel lethargic, tired and irritable – all feelings which can put you off sex and lower you libido.

    This isn’t the only problem with it though. They can mess with your hormones and moods and can make you put on weight. Two other reasons that make you go off sex.

    That’s not to say you can’t eat or drink them just make sure they’re part of a balanced diet. Chocolate after all is an aphrodisiac so it’s not all bad! And drinking more water can boost your energy levels in a more healthy way all of which will make sex a lot more appealing to you.

    10. Medical problems

    There is a disorder called female sexual desire disorder which can make you go off sex, but did you know that loss of the libido can be related to a thyroid condition, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome a hormone deficiency or a metabolic disorder?

    Anything that affects your metabolism, including an eating disorder, an accident, a trauma or an illness will affect your sex drive.

    If you’ve exhausted all other options about why you’ve gone off sex it might be worth speaking to your doctor just to see if it is a medical condition. It is rare but if none of the other reasons apply it’s worth considering.

    Where next?Help and advice on eating disorders
    Have a look at our top 20 sex positions
    What stage is your relationship at?
    Put the spark back into your relationship with our romance tips
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