Rebuilding Sexual Desire in Loving Relationships


Couple embracingIn my work with couples, there is often some dissatisfaction around the frequency of sex. One person may feel deprived while the other feels pressured. The pressure can build to the point where there is little touching–whether it’s sexual or not. The person who is missing sex tries to be patient but can become frustrated and blurt out comments that only make the situation worse.


Anger and resentment are absolute passion killers. When you have arguments that haven’t been worked out in a way that leaves you feeling loved and understood, resentment can build. If you feel like you can’t communicate together effectively, having sex may feel like the last thing you want to do.

Having angry sex doesn’t help either. One or both of you ends of feeling dissatisfied.

Stress and Fatigue

Fatigue can also wreak havoc on desire. When you’re working long, stressful days, parenting, and just plain busy, having sex can feel like something you have to check off your to-do list. How exciting is that?

Rebuilding Desire

There are some things you can do to re-build desire. First, take a look at your relationship. How are you feeling about the way you communicate? Do you feel emotionally connected to one another? Are you friends? Are you able to talk through things and let them go?

Being able to resolve disagreements and talk about anything that’s bothering each of you goes a long way in helping you feel emotionally connected. Spending time working on your friendship, doing things you both enjoy, and doing things for one another also helps.

What is your work-life balance like? Do you feel like you have time for yourself and your relationship as well as work, kids if you have them, and responsibilities? Suppose your life was feeling less stressful and more enjoyable, what would you be doing? What are some small things you could do that would help simplify your life so that you had more time for both yourself and your relationship?

Building Desire Together

Non-demand pleasuring is the foundation of a healthy sexual relationship. Giving back or foot massages, holding hands, kissing, and touching without the expectation that it will lead to sex creates an intimate and close environment. Get in the habit of doing things for and with your partner that you know s/he enjoys without the expectation of having to have sex afterwards. Surprisingly perhaps, this can go a long way in rebuilding desire in relationships.

Sometimes in relationships couples get caught in blaming one another for their sex lives. Blame and guilt kill passion. Thinking about ways to work as an intimate team can be a much more helpful way to approach intimacy, desire, and sex. Talk about what turns each of you on, make requests and come up with agreements. Be willing to spend the time and energy it takes to build desire.

Want to talk about other ways to build desire? Let’s talk.

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