Levels of sexual desire fluctuate over the course of a lifetime and ebbs and flows are perfectly normal. A decline in desire is not necessarily an indication of a problem and there is no ideal baseline for levels of desire. If, however, you feel that your desire for sex is lower than your own personal ideal, you may want to consider implementing strategies to boost your interest in sex.
The causes of a decline in sexual desire are varied. Hormonal fluctuations, health issues, smoking, stress, fatigue, medications and mental health concerns can impact our levels of desire. Age may also play a role, as levels of desire and sexual activity tend to decrease in later years, however there are exceptions to this rule.
Some people also lose interest in sex for practical reasons. When a relationship is a source of distress, sex often tapers off and when we struggle with poor body image, our desire can also disappear. Improving communication and levels of intimacy provides a foundation for rebuilding desire, as does engaging in activities that boost our self-esteem.
Sex may also lose its appeal on account of predictability or boredom, so a more straightforward fix might involve novel experimentation.
If you have reason to believe that a decline in desire may be related to a medical issue, schedule a check-up with your medical practitioner to voice your concerns. Medical treatments may include a change in medications or hormone therapy administered via cream, patch, pill or suppository ring. Bear in mind that these treatments do not offer a quick-fix, nor do they address personal, relationship or lifestyle issues that impede desire.
As sexual desire is a complex experience connected to many facets of your life, the process of boosting desire is highly individual. However, exercise, massage, masturbation, fantasy and Kegels in conjunction with relaxation exercises and reframing your conception of sex to include a wider array of activities can help you to reclaim desire over time.
Ways to improve sexual desire:
Meditate: Research shows that even short interventions that involve meditation and mindfulness exercises can produce significant improvements in sexual desire, lubrication and orgasm. Start with just a few minutes per day using an app like Pacifica or Headspace. The exercises aren’t sexual in nature, but the results translate into the bedroom.
Exercise: is one of the most effective ways to boost sexual desire, as it can increase testosterone levels as well as augment confidence and desirability. Eighty percent of men and 60% of women who exercise 2-3 times per week feel sexier and those who get their sweat on four to five times per week rate their sex lives as higher than average.
Massage: techniques may also help to increase desire, as the physical touch helps to reduce stress and may also aide in cultivating a stronger, more positive connection with your body.
Masturbation: is elemental to increasing desire in many cases, as it helps us to learn about our own bodies and reactions. Self-pleasure also increases the likelihood of orgasm and is connected with higher self-esteem, Moreover, ass your body relishes in the dopamine and endorphin release, you are more likely to crave more resulting in an increase in desire for sex.
Fantasizing and engaging with erotic materials: (e.g. stories, images, videos) is a fun way to learn more about your personal turn-ons and increase your desire for sex. Research suggests that inhibited sexual desire is related to a decrease in sexual fantasies and the suppression of our sexual fantasies is often related to shame and sexual repression.
Kegels: can work wonders for your sex drive, as you strengthen the muscles that are responsible for sexual response and orgasm. They also improve circulation and draw awareness to your pelvic region.
Experiment: with new approaches, techniques and role-plays to discover new pathways to pleasure. Do not get hung up on the act of sex, but engage in playful games, affection and other types of touch to reignite passion in your body and mind.