Loss of Desire

(This blog has been written for individuals who have not had a problem with sex as such, but rather, the difficulty lies in actually getting down to it.
If you suffer pain, or other sexual issues please refer to previous blogs or my website.)


It can feel so frustrating and complicated when the thing that felt so easy, straightforward and pleasurable at the beginning of your relationship, starts to feel labored, difficult and can become almost unbearable to talk about.
How did this happen and why can't we just 'do it’ again? Small doubts can start to take root in your mind and slowely grow.  Uncomfortable questions can start to emerge to such as, ‘What if we’re not totally sure about whether we even want to do it again at all?’ and ‘If we don’t manage to get sex back on track, what will happen in the future if there is a future here?’

Its not one persons 'fault'.

It is important to know that, even though it may not appear this way, the partner who feels they have lost their sexual desire, does not feel good about this situation; they may feel ashamed and guilty and at a loss as to how to reverse this situation.

Even when you’ve pushed sex to the forefront of your mind and feel determined to ‘do something about it tonight’, it doesn’t seem to take much for there to be a bump in the road that derails you’re plans. How is it that a remark from your partner, or just a thought, manages to be a good enough reason for you to slam the sexual brakes on? The tension, frustration and disappointment rises so an argument starts, re-igniting familiar disagreements making it clear for both to see that, in ‘this situation’, sex certainly be won't be happening now.
Confused, deflated and upset, you both retreat from this uncomfortable arena to speculate quietly as to who was to blame.

This is a problem for, and in, your relationship together.

There are two issues worth considering at this point: firstly, on reflection you may not be quite so sure how good the past sex actually was and secondly, you might now feel there were some wider relational or sexual issues that you both ignored and remain essentially un-discussed.

The way ahead...

Individuals can change how they think about themselves, sex and their partners, but not without conversation that enables some recognition of how our past experiences come to shape who we are today.
It might also be true to say that most couples’ need to air some relational cobwebs before feeling things are strong enough to move on.
Even if your relationship feels stable and essentially happy, deciding how you both move forward with issues of low desire can be challenging.

So how might we work with this issue?

Writers such Emily Nagoski , Esther Perel and David Schnarch all offer useful points and may contribute something positive here, however, past issues that are particular to you and/or your relationship need to be considered thoughtfully.
Areas of communication, sexual self-confidence and a sense of self-acceptance have all been productive to raise in my experience.
It can also be thought provoking to understand more about what actually constitutes attraction, arousal and desire as this, combined with an attitude of non-judgmental curiosity and adventure, can only be a positive way to move forward.
Coming towards this with a sense of exploration, and acknowledgment that we all change, may help to soften how we see things. Experiencing what it means to tolerate some unease and uncertainty may prove invaluable, as it will enable you to shape what it is you come to want for yourselves, rather than what you think you should be wanting.

Working towards increasing awareness and availability towards your partner, can hopefully be a powerful dynamic in enabling you both to move forward together on this issue.

If you’ve read this and have a response, I’m very keen to hear from you. Thank you. 

North London

T: 07909 910 624

E: karen@karenaramtherapy.co.uk