You know the story, two people meet each other in a totally random situation, hit it off immediately, and have incredible, mind blowing sex. Really?! I work with clients who, while they are interested in having mind blowing sex, are not. This could be for a variety of reasons, such as body image issues, past childhood trauma, stress in their marriage/relationships or careers, changes in marriage/relationship or careers, and many more.
Low desire, particularly in women, can be a result of many things. Medications and medical conditions can be big influencers. If you are not feeling well, or are dealing with concerns over heath, sex is usually the last thing on your mind! Also, certain medications can impact sex drive negatively. This is something you can, and should, discuss with your medical provider to determine if there are other options that can minimize or mitigate the issue.
Another medical issue is pain with intercourse. This is also something that could be addressed by talk therapy and by working with a medical provider. Pain with intercourse could be a result of many things, but it is important to determine the cause in order to provide the appropriate treatment. If there is not a physical concern, a variety of issue such as hormone imbalance or menopause, among others, can impact the comfort of intercourse. Also, who can forget childbirth?! That is another event that can affect feelings around sex.
Something else that we all deal with, in some way or another, is stress. Stress can come for a variety of reasons, including finances and work, self image and mental health issues, and can definitely negatively impact sex and desire. Past experience almost always have a significant effect on sexual desire and functioning. Some common issues can stem, at least in part, from previous sexual experiences, relationships, and even the interactions with your family growing up (and now!).
While there can be so many things that affect desire and sexual satisfaction, talking about them is the way to start working on improving the outcome and experience. If your partner does not know what is going on, they can’t help! One thing I always remind clients, is that their partner is not a mind reader (thankfully!!). Here is where I come in. Since there are so many things that can affect sex, communication is key. I see women (and men!) who feel that they are not getting what they want out of their sexual encounters, but for some reason feel that they cannot verbalize their wants and needs. Why is this? Sex is something that most people engage in, but a lot of people feel uncomfortable discussing. Sure, sex is personal and can make people feel vulnerable….but what is the alternative? Talking about sex with your partner can help to get those wants and needs out on the table. Or bed. Your preference. Communication style may not be working, or syncing up. This is something we can work on, to help get what you want out of the relationship and sex. In return, you and your partner will be better aware what the other wants or needs in order to make the sexual encounter positive, and yes, possibly even mind blowing! So, let’s start talking about sex, baby!
–Meagan Thomas, MS, LPCA