Picture this – you’re curling up on the couch with a glass of wine after a long day, ready to play the next episode of the latest bingeable Netflix series. Your partner is playing video games upstairs. Or maybe he’s watching his show in the other room. Or perhaps he’s scrolling through his phone in the recliner on the opposite side of the room. Then it hits you:
When’s the last time we had sex?
When’s the last time we kissed deeper than a hello/goodbye peck?!
How the heck did we get here?!?
It’s common, normal, and healthy for your sexual frequency to fluctuate
Our libidos are affected by a seemingly endless list of stressors, many of which are out of our control (looking at you, COVID). Life isn’t consistent enough for our sexual energy and desire to remain consistent on a day-to-day basis. Hormones, diet, sleep, work, kids, changes in routine, physical health, mental health, medication, menstrual cycles, emotional well-being, that Amazon purchase you keep forgetting to return… These are just a few factors that can impact your desire to get naked and intimate with your partner (or even with yourself).
And that’s okay! Too often, we criticize ourselves or our partners for not maintaining a exuberant sex life. It’s important to understand and accept that desire will wax and wane. If not, you’ll be in a constant state of disappointment from unmet unrealistic expectations.
But, Liz, the issue isn’t accepting that our sex life fluctuates. I get that. The hard part is getting back into it after a dry spell.
Think of your intimacy like a muscle – use it or lose it
When you don’t work a muscle for a while, its size and strength diminishes, making it weaker and more difficult to exercise the next time you use it. If you don’t practice your intimacy on a regular basis, you might notice that your desire to be intimate decreases. Additionally, and IMO more alarmingly, it will become increasingly more difficult to switch to a sensual mindset, even after intimacy is initiated.
So, how do you work your intimacy muscle during the lighter moments in your fluctuating sex life? Weave intimacy in your daily life. It doesn’t have to be some big grand gesture. Find ways you can connect with your partner (and with yourself) that are easy for you to remember and incorporate in your routine. Instead of zoning out on your phones after work, go on a walk together around the neighborhood. Writing notes for your kids’ lunches? Write a little love note for your partner, too. After your morning shower, look in the mirror and recite an affirmation for body positivity.
If you’re struggling to figure out what to do, consider your partner’s love language. Physical touch or acts of service? Grab your massage oil and give ‘em a 10-minute foot rub at the end of the day. Receiving gifts? Pick up your partner’s favorite candy while waiting to check out at the grocery. Words of affirmation? Challenge yourself to give your partner one verbal compliment a day. Quality time? Spend your Friday evenings aligning your chakras with a scented candle. Still stuck? Ask your partner for ideas!
When you mix intimacy in your general routine, you will both be more eager to get hot and heavy when the time is right, and the mental shift from your daily task list to sexy time will be a more seamless transition. Plus, it’s a great way to stay connected during your drier spells.