A common question I receive is about having a low libido. All genders experience it. Some worry they have forgotten how to have sex. Some wonder about a drop-off and how to satisfy their partner when they just aren't feeling it.

A married woman in her 50s describes, “I want sex, I want to be touched, but it takes me a long time to really get into it. Sometimes before I can get ramped up, he's lost interest and doesn't want to try any more. And, sometimes that's okay. I'm happy to have a good partner and he's not that sexual. Sometimes I really want to try and have sex.”

A partnered woman in her early 40s said, “I once had a weekend fling (totally okay with my boyfriend). I wasn't having sex with my boyfriend and even with this fling, it took him all afternoon of being playful, teasing, seductive to finally flip the switch from OFF to ON. But, once it was on - WOW! I came back to my boyfriend in a heightened state. Then, it didn't last. There just wasn't the time for an afternoon of play to get me to respond.”

A man in his mid-30s, separated from his wife: “She and I stopped having sex. I have been taking anti-depressants and it just removes all desire. I can't remember the last time I had an orgasm. It takes me a long time to cum anyways and with the lack of libido from the medication, it takes forever and my hard-ons just aren't there. Porn is usually my outlet, but rarely to orgasm.”

A bisexual, kinky, single woman in her 60's: “Oh sex, I think I remember what that was. Finding a partner is so difficult. I'm totally open to whomever, but finding someone with mutual attraction, patience, interest, passion and a desire for intimacy and able to let go of old hurts, patterns, and just get it on? Not happening. I love vibrators. Even saying the word gets me in the mood. Getting myself into the position for a night of sexy self-love though just hasn't been a priority, and makes me sad because of missing having a partner.”

Have you found yourself on either side of this situation? Are you ready to work towards finding a way to a stronger libido? To help your partner? There is a lot of societal pressure to have sex, to be able to turn on one's libido lickety-split. It's just not always the truth for everyone in every phase of their lives.

For any gender with a low libido - they may be willing, just not on fire.

Explore touch. Spend time touching, being seductive – from the moment your time together begins. Tease, tantalize, use your imagination, improvise, be fun, silly. Hugging, holding, household chores, asking to listen, take a nap in each other's arms, a gift certificate to get a massage – anything to provide romance, intimacy, desire, love. Let them know, gently, you want a deeper connection.

Be willing to be open, non-judgmental and communicative. Non-violent communication (NVC) is a good place to start if there are underlying issues of trauma or resentment. Sometimes we just need to be heard, with empathy, for an exercise in active listening in a therapeutic, healing way and not more hurtful words or situations.

Sometimes, a person needs to know there is trust, respect, honor and desire. Be okay with the fact that orgasm is not always the goal. The operative word here is “sometimes.” Libido is fluid, changing, can stop on a dime. It can leave both partners frustrated and in the dust, or in a whirlwind, overwhelmed with an intense reaction. Be ready for any experience and talk about whether it was good, bad or confusing for you.

Distractions aren't the cause of low libido, but they can be perpetrators of it. Distractions can be mental blocks, kids or pets in the house, telephones. Do what you can, but also forgive one another when they happen. Do your best to come back to the moment, or if it's lost, be forgiving of the situation and appreciate the moments that you just shared.

Those searching for partners, keep an open mind. Let go of the past - your baggage of hurts, disappointments and laundry list of what makes an acceptable partner. Walk into each day with the intention of starting off brand new. Each person you encounter, find something new. Explore, discover and revel in this new energy. Let it build – even if it's with yourself. Find something new and begin again with forgiveness and love.

Be aware that many medical conditions can be a contributing factor to having a low libido. Diabetes, heart disease, hypothyroidism, menopause, stress, anxiety, depression, trauma (PTSD), medications such a anti-depressants, birth control pills, antihistamines, seizure medication and pain killers – are all common causes.

Most of all, be okay with not having as strong a libido as last week or last year. It could all change, at any moment.

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