Tips to conquer a low libido

Do I need to be worried if my husband doesn't want to make love to me? What can I do to draw him closer to me?

Desire discrepancy is probably the most common sexual problem I see. Traditionally, it was the man who wanted more sex than his partner, but nowadays I often see the reverse.

There are a couple of things that we need to look at: no two people have the same desires. One will always be the instigator and one will be the willing (or unwilling) participant. Just as no two people are always happy to order the same thing in a restaurant all the time, our sexual appetites are different.

The difficulty for the male is that he has to be able to get an erection to perform. With massive stress today, some men feel pressurized to be "ready and able" to perform all the time. This "performance anxiety" can lead to erectile dysfunction.

I often see young men who are frantic that they will not be able to get and maintain an erection. They feel like failures and are embarrassed to discuss this with their partner.

They resort to avoiding sex and even go so far as to pick an argument at bedtime or get drunk as an excuse why they can't perform. Thankfully, there are medications like Levitra, Cialis and Viagra that can help men overcome this performance anxiety.

Stress and depression can damage sexual desire. When he is preoccupied with work or is worried about something, he won't have his normal libido. You need to be a little understanding in the short term, but if he lacks desire for a long time, it would be worth suggesting a medical appointment. He needs to tell his doctor about all his symptoms and perhaps have tests for diabetes, cholesterol, testosterone as well as an assessment for depression.

Some medications (including antidepressants, blood pressure tablets and tranquillisers) can affect libido. Ask your doctor to change the medication if the package insert lists desire/ sexual disorders as one of the side effects.

Some practical tips to help with libido imbalances:

Communicate. Women often blame themselves by thinking they are too fat/ thin or that they are not desirable when it is actually their partner's problem. Tell him that you feel like having more sex and that you feel unloved/ rejected/ inadequate if he doesn't want to make love. Ask him to tell you how he feels about you and your desire for intimacy and reassure him that you love him anyway and that you want to resolve any problems.

Stop blaming each other for your sex drive (or lack of). Everyone has a different libido and sometimes you need to compromise.

Keep "in touch". Use non sexual touch, like massage, cuddling and caressing to create intimacy even without lovemaking.

Often what starts off as non-sexual touch will stoke the fires of desire and lead to sex. In this way, he will be willing to start lovemaking from a sexually neutral position.

Self pleasure. There is nothing wrong with masturbating in (or out of) a relationship. Most women masturbate on average about once a week and there are hundreds of vibrators and toys designed for this purpose. Some men enjoy watching their partner masturbating but if you are uncomfortable being watched, reserve this pleasure for yourself. Give yourself time to learn what feels good and enjoy the sensations.

Remember, a desire discrepancy is often masked at the beginning of a relationship and only becomes evident after a few years.

Also, men reach their sexual peak in their teens whereas women only reach their peak in the late 30s and 40s. You deserve a great sex life! Work at getting one.

Have you or anybody you know ever experienced a similar situation? Feel free to comment in the box below.

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