I feel like I have no sex drive, and I'm only 37! I thought women were supposed to experience their sexual peak in their thirties, and I just feel my desire diminishing. At first my partner was understanding, and I was able to avoid sex sort of easily. Now he's asking questions and starting to get frustrated, and I don't know what to do. Should I see a doctor? What's wrong with me? I feel so pathetic, and the longer we don't have sex, the more we are growing apart.
Just Not Up for It
Dear Not Up for It,
Loss of libido is rough but manageable. The first step to dealing with it? Stop beating yourself up about it.
There are loads of reasons you might be feeling sluggish about sex. Stress, lack of exercise or sleep, medications, hormone levels, and changes in the relationship are all common culprits. And not to freak you out, but perimenopause can start as early as age 35.
So my first recommendation is to visit a doctor. Check if any of your meds are messing with your sex drive — some birth controls have been known to do this. See if your hormone levels have shifted recently. Your doc will help you determine if there are any physical issues at play, and how to deal with them.
Once that's out of the way, take a close look at your lifestyle. Are you overtired? If so, how can you get more sleep? Is anything worrying you lately? Stress is often at the root of all things gloomy and challenging. When was the last time you enjoyed yourself — really enjoyed yourself? If you can't remember, make a list of all of your stressors, and then see what you can edit out of your life. Do you really have to clean the house right now? How about spending that time exercising or meditating instead?
I have to ask: How are things with your partner? If you don't feel connected to him lately, that could be why sex is on the backburner. Get creative about spending some intimate time with one another, without the pressure of getting frisky. Just try to have a good time together.
But if even that is hard to do, it's time to check in with each other and talk. Maybe there are some old or unspoken issues you need to work out.
My last piece of advice is to just do it. Have sex. Sometimes you just need to jump back on the horse — or your boyfriend, in this case — and go for it. You might have a blast. It might help to relieve the tension that builds during a dry spell. It might not be amazing, but you will hopefully feel closer to your partner.
If none of that happens, try everything I've already suggested. Be patient. I foresee happy humping in your future.