Sex is fun!
It’s pleasurable, we do it with ourselves and others because we want to and we enjoy it. It feels good. But what happens when you’re not enjoying it? What happens when your sex drive seems to have taken a nose dive and something that you once enjoyed has become a bit of chore? With Valentines Day coming up, we’re going to go through a few reasons as to why you might not be enjoying sex and how you can navigate through them. I’m going to say navigate through them as opposed to fixing things, because the term fixing things implies that something is broken – when it comes to a lower sex drive, or when you’re not enjoying sex as much as you think you should be – there are actually a variety of reasons that can be present here and none of them imply brokenness. The truth of the matter is that your sex drive is determined by a variety of factors and it’s in a continual state of change depending on what is going on in your life and surroundings, as well as your physical and mental health. Regardless of whether your sexual dissatisfaction is long term, or short term its important to remember that your perfectly normal. With that in mind – lets go through some reasons as to why you might not be enjoying sex.
Note: This article contains information that may be triggering to those who have experienced sexual trauma or assault
You’re engaging, or being engaged in sexual activity before you’ve had time to become aroused. Perhaps some sex secrets unveiled has turned you on.
Your mind and body may move at different speeds when it comes to becoming aroused, and the preparation of your mind and body is paramount to enjoyment. Foreplay is an activity that is designed to get the blood flowing throughout the body and in particular to the genitals. This blood flow increases arousal, and helps with lubrication, as well as the ability to climax during sexual activity. The issue here is something i’ve discussed in previous articles – many people equate the idea that sex equals intercourse. Foreplay is just as much sex and intimacy as intercourse, and it helps in taking the pressure off the idea that there’s only one outcome to sex – penetration/intercourse. Foreplay does not have to lead to this, and when you remember this, and acknowledge that, you may find yourself able to free your mind up and enjoy foreplay and the pleasure that that brings.
You’re not mentally or emotionally ready to have sex.
Sex and enjoyment is about context. If you’re stressed or anxious and a partner attempts to initiate sex – in most cases you will not be able to access the feelings of desire, and pleasure easily. For this reason it’s important to communicate how you’re feeling to your partner. Some people find sex and pleasure as a way of coping with stress, anxiety and moving past the day to day stresses of life, others might have trouble navigating through this.
Anxiety about your body or appearance.
Sex feels good but it is incredibly vulnerable. You’re naked, with a sexual partner, and during that moment your insecurities might rear their head. Anxiety about your body, appearance is the one of the biggest enemies to desire and pleasure. It’s difficult to believe that someone else will find pleasure in your body when you’re struggling. Again, this is about communication with your sexual partner. Identify those vulnerabilities and talk about them. If you feel that you can’t talk about them, then you may need to address them in other ways. Self-doubt is one of the biggest pleasure killers around.
Discomfort around previous sexual experiences.
Sex is an incredibly vulnerable moment. And when someone has broken that trust before, it can set in motion a chain reaction of feelings, and thoughts and can be quite triggering in some situations. Whether you’re navigating through previous trauma, or if you’re worried about your level of sexual experience in comparison to your partners – these thoughts and feelings will usually creep up before, during or even after sex – making enjoyment quite difficult. Communicating with your partner about your concerns, or seeking professional help when it comes to trauma or abuse is one way of moving a step forward.
You’re not comfortable around your partner
Sex involves a multitude of layers around intimacy. If you’re not able to be fully comfortable with your sexual partner, then chances are you’re going to have a hard time enjoying the experience. This may involve sitting down with your partner, and telling them what’s going on, or seeking professional help.
You have a shame, stigma or fear about your sexual needs, wants or kinks.
I mentioned a little earlier that sex doesn’t necessarily have to involve intercourse. Sex and sexuality exists on a wide, far reaching spectrum and every individual person has different needs, wants, kinks and even desires. Opening up to your sexual partner creates a certain vulnerability, and it can be intimidating – especially when it involves kink. Ultimately, the advice is pretty straight forward. If it’s about a need, kink or sexual want that you can’t live without – then you need to tell your partner or find someone that you can tell. Bottling up a safe, sane and consensual sexual need or kink is going to do you more harm than good because ultimately, you’ll continually find yourself being sexually dissatisfied causing both yourself, and your partner frustration and confusion. Honesty, openness and freedom is paramount to this one.
You’re on medication that profoundly impacts your sex drive.
Depression medication can kill your sex drive as well as a variety of over the counter medications. If you’re on prescription medication and experiencing a drop in your sex drive, it might be worth speaking to your medical professional about that. Especially when it comes to antidepressants, there are a range of different options that you may be able to use.
You have a medical condition that makes sex painful.
This can be quite common and can very quickly put a stop to the enjoyment of sex. There are a variety of medical conditions that can cause pain, dryness or even irritation after sexual intercourse. This might include skin conditions, autoimmune disorders, excess nerves, endometriosis and vaginismus. Men might also experience this with an overly curved dick, foreskin issues and anal fissures. This list is not exhaustive, and if you do not know why you are experiencing pain – see your doctor to find some answers. When you anticipate pain during or after intercourse, your body’s natural response will be to ignore arousal.
You may be trying to use positions that just don’t work for you
You might be experiencing pain or discomfort and this might not always be a medical condition. Sometimes, a position just might not work for you due to your partners size, or penile curvature. Dr Ingber, MD, a Board-certified in Urology and Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery at the Center for Specialized Women’s Health makes the following suggestion – If you’ve seen a medical professional and still don’t have a clear answer – then it might be wise to try different positions, lubricant, or even use toys to try and overcome the issue.
You’re not prioritizing sleeping, eating well or exercise.
There’s a connection between physical, mental, emotional, and sexual health. If you’re neglecting on of those pillars, you might find the others crumble a little bit. It’s important to take care of these pillars as trying to engage with sex when your body, brain or emotions aren’t quite aligned can be quite difficult and even stressful. Rest up before playing.
Drinking too little water
Fun Fact – dehydration can not only lower your libido, but it can actually make sex painful. Not drinking enough water can cause headaches, fatigue, and irritability which will absolutely hinder you getting in the mood. Lack of water can also create dry irritated skin which can potentially lead to pain during sex. There’s also studies out there which have linked dehydration to erectile dysfunction – so make sure to keep your water intake steady.
Stress is an absolute buzzkill. Worrying about finances, life, work, family, partners, car repairs and a multitude of other worries will kill your sex life. Mental energy plays an important role during the enjoyment of sex, and it can be easily distracted. If it’s paying attention to other things as opposed to your own body and pleasure, you’ll quickly find yourself not in the moment and definitely not enjoying yourself.
As you can see – there’s a variety of reasons that your libido might be low and some of these are the best sex secrets. It’s important to address medical concerns as quickly as possible, be open and honest with your partner and self about these issues. Acknowledgement, honesty and openness are the first steps to reclaiming your sex life, your own pleasure. Until next time. . .
Stephen is a cis-gendered gay male who spends far too much time with his two cats and eating tim tams. A self-identified sex-positive advocate he cares deeply about gender equality, disabilities, sexual education and social issues. Opinionated and bold he isn’t afraid to speak his mind and say what others won’t. With a yearning for knowledge and experience in all things relating to sex, he is a prolific writer that has developed the content for a myriad of informative Sexual Health and Wellness websites.
Stephen’s articles and writings tends to focus on social issues, sexual education, queer issues and all things fetish and absurd. He comes qualified with the completion of a double Bachelor degree in Social Sciences and literature, and a Masters in Education.