You Need To Think About These 4 Things To Figure Out What's Really Killing Your Sex Life

Photo: Getty
laughing couple in bed
Sex

Improving your sex life isn’t necessarily about fancy toys or roleplay — it’s about knowing what kills sexual desire and how to deal with it.

As a clinical sexologist and sex coach, a large part of my job is helping clients figure out their turn-offs and guiding them to a place where they can manage them.

No matter how in love you are, after years or decades together, you’ll come up against desire obstacles. Knowing what they are will make all the difference.  

RELATED: 7 Life Events That Usually Cause Libido Changes And How To Handle Them

Here are 4 things to think about to figure out the lack of sexual desire in your relationship. 

1. You can get rid of desire obstacles.

Desire isn’t just about what turns you on — it’s also about what turns you off and navigating these turn-offs. When you know what kills sexual desire, you can get rid of all the obstacles standing in the way and have truly great sex. 

Obstacles can come in many forms, but oftentimes, for my clients with low desire, they have to do with feelings of pressure and stress about sex

Say you’re feeling really jazzed about date night and looking forward to connecting with your partner, emotionally. But the minute you get home from the restaurant, they slide their hand down your back in that way and you instantly feel stressed and annoyed. 

You know what your partner wants and, all of a sudden, there’s no part of you that wants it, no matter how great the evening has been up until that point. 

Why? Because the way your partner tries to start a sexual encounter stresses you out. 

Knowing that a major desire obstacle in the way your partner initiates sex will help you remove this obstacle. This can be done in myriad ways, but the easiest one is simply letting your partner know how you want them to initiate sex — or to initiate it yourself.

When you know about all obstacles to your desire, you can create more desire and passion in the bedroom. The kind that makes your toes curl and your body shiver with delight. 

2. You can be more lenient with yourself.

Sex drive isn’t just a biological urge, it’s a complex emotion affected by a whole host of things. By knowing what these things are, you can know there’s nothing wrong with you for having low desire at a specific point in time. 

So many of my clients feel like they’re broken or like there’s something wrong with them because their desire has dipped. And part of this feeling stems from viewing desire as a basic need, such as hunger and thirst. 

Who can blame them? They were never taught about sex drive in school and most didn’t have parents that wanted to engage in a lengthy "birds and the bees" talk anyway. 

But when you learn how desire actually works and how complicated it can be, you can also accept when you're not in the mood because you understand why you're not.

With less pressure and stress about feeling desire, you create an environment where desire might flow more easily. 

RELATED: How To Cope When You And Your Partner Have Different Libidos

3. You can know when sex is a good idea and when it’s not.

Just as it’s important to know your desire obstacles, it’s equally as important to know when trying to move past these obstacles just isn’t a good idea. 

There are times in your life when sex is something you want or even need. You crave the touch of your partner and want to connect intimately. 

But there are other times when connecting on a sexual level isn’t a good idea. When trying to help your partner remove these obstacles or removing your own obstacles, sex shouldn’t be a priority. 

If you know your partner is feeling stressed about a deadline at work or worried about the kids, if you yourself feel like you "should" have sex with your partner but you’re struggling to get just one night to yourself where you can decompress and not think about giving more of yourself to anyone — it might be better to hold off on sexual advances. 

This will help keep conflicts about sex at bay and enhance emotional intimacy in the long run.

When you respect what your partner is going through or you respect what you, yourself, are going through — the pressure and stress surrounding sex melts away, resulting in a win-win for your love life. 

4. You can have fewer conflicts about sex.

It can be difficult if you're the partner with low desire in a relationship — and rightfully so! But wanting sex more often than your partner can be equally taxing. 

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Hey You! Want more of YourTango's best articles, seriously addictive horoscopes and top expert advice? Sign up to get our free daily newsletter!

Constantly getting turned down or being the sole initiator of sex in your relationship can make you feel like your partner has fallen out of love with you or no longer finds you attractive. 

However, when you know what kills sexual desire, you can more easily detach from your partner’s low libido.

You can know that it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with that cold they haven’t gotten over yet, their worry about their unwell uncle, or even their own struggles with body image. 

This enables you to be more lenient with yourself and your partner, which in turn, reduces conflicts about sex. 

With less hurt feelings and arguments surrounding sex, it’s easier to connect, emotionally and physically, because sex isn’t equated with something negative and stressful. 

In the end, this is what really helps create more long-term desire and intimacy. 

The secret to keeping a relationship alive with passion and improving your sex life isn’t so much about lube and gadgets.

While they may help add some spice, the stuff that really moves the needle is understanding what causes a lack of sexual desire.

When you know this you can create the sex life you want and deserve because you’re easier on both yourself and your partner. It’s that simple. 

RELATED: 3 Steps To Reviving Your Sexless Relationship (Yes, It's Possible!)

Leigh Norén is a sex therapist and writer with a Master of Science in Sexology. She’s been featured in Women's Health, The Good Men Project, Elephant Journal, Glamour, and more. For more advice, she offers an online desire test.

This article was originally published at LeighNoren.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.