“To live the life you’ve always wanted, you must confront the issues you’ve always avoided.” — Orrin Woodward
Are you happy with your sex life? Satisfied with how often or intensely you make love or orgasm? As sexually fulfilled as you could be? If the answer is far from a confident YES, you’re not alone. While married couples report having sex just over once per week on average, according to a News Week report, which is more than singles, 15 to 25 percent of married couples have sexless marriages, meaning they have sex 10 or fewer times per year. The report didn’t cover sexual desire, but I imagine that in many of these cases, it’s lacking; what we truly desire, we tend to prioritize and make time for.
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to sex frequency. What matters is cultivating a healthy sex life that you and, if you’re coupled up, your partner find fulfilling—regardless of the specifics. And there’s a big difference between feeling generally content or accepting (“this is what it is, so I’ll take it”) and deeply, soulfully fulfilled. I’ve also gathered that many folks in sexless partnerships are lacking in the fulfillment department, potentially without giving it much thought.
I watched a fascinating PBS documentary over the weekend called This Emotional Life. One of the couples featured nearly divorced due to a lack of sex. Considering sexlessness a marital deal breaker, the husband told his wife he’d leave if that didn’t change.
His wife had thought she was happy without sex, deeming his companionship enough. After considering the ultimatum, however, she looked back on her life and had an epiphany: she’d been holding on to negative notions about sexuality since childhood and those notions were detracting from her marriage, sexuality and ability to lead a fully gratifying life. That awareness saved their marriage and undoubtedly parts of herself, and brought more than a few tears to my eyes.
Unless you’re asexual, desiring and enjoying sex routinely is natural, embraceable and arguably vital for overall wellness. If your sex life and libido are lacking gusto, I challenge you to look deeper into the underlying issues so you change them.
While sex can seem difficult to ease in to our hectic lives, the reasons for sexual absence and complacency often have less to do with schedules or technicalities and more to do with deeper issues. Fortunately, they’re typically manageable—perhaps more than you think!
8 Nonsexual Ways to Turn Yourself On and Make Way for an Orgasmic Life
While different strokes work for different folks (scrumptious pun!), one or more of the following steps just might help put the ooh-la-la back into your bedroom.
1. Challenge negative beliefs about sexuality. If thoughts of sex cause some embarrassment or you feel more shameful than sensual, start changing your thoughts and behaviors to reflect otherwise. Seek out sex-positive publications (and hmm… radio shows! ;)) and remind yourself that sex really is beautiful, natural and worthy of your time and energy.
2. Prioritize rest. Exhaustion is a leading libido tanker for women and men. Whether it’s shifting to healthier nightly sleep habits or taking more work breaks, do what you can to increase restfulness. Your Girl Boner will thank you! If you aren’t making time for rest, after all, you probably aren’t making time for sexual intimacy.
3. Eat well. Eating a balanced diet, based on whole foods helps ensure that your nutrient and energy needs are met and supports healthy circulation, which is crucial for arousal, libido and orgasm. Eating too many low-nutrient processed foods or dieting, on the other hand, detracts from your overall health, making arousal and orgasm less likely.
4. Respect your body. Eating and resting well are big parts of body-respect, but there are many ways to take it further. Replace negative self-talk about your body with gratitude. Aim for routine, enjoyable physical activity. Stay on top of personal hygiene and avoid toxic habits, such as smoking and excessive drinking. Listen to your body, including hunger, satiation, arousal and tiredness cues, then respond to them appropriately. Simply checking in with yourself can go a long way.
5. Have your hormones checked. Twenty to 30 percent of adults report having little or no sex drive, which can derive from health issues including age-related hormonal shifts and birth control pills. If your libido has left the building, making sure your hormone levels and overall health are in-check may make all the difference. For more on female libido loss, check out Low Sex Drive in Women, by Dr. Laura Berman.
6. Try new things! Newness helps your brain produce all kinds of feel-good chemicals—the ones we associate with “falling in love” intoxication. If your sex life feels stagnant, plan an adventurous date for you alone or with a partner. Take up a new class or hobby you’re intrigued by. Research shows the changes need not be major.
7. Detoxify. I’m not talking about risky juice cleanses or pills, but life toxins. The job you hate, “friends” whose behavior or ideals leave you feeling crappy, harmful crutches, such as over-spending money or guzzling down energy drinks, can all hinder your emotional, physical and sexual wellness. Replacing these toxins with self-care provides a triple win that yes indeed! Enhances our sexual va va va voom!
8. Pursue your passions. This is so important! Life passions can ignite sexual passion and vice versa. When we’re emotionally fulfilled and excited about our lives, we’re more likely to desire and delight in sexy fun. If your life is feeling passionless, change it TODAY. Even one step in the right direction may be all it takes to put you on the right track, inviting endless rewards.
Lastly, it’s important to practice patience with yourself and take baby steps. Eating an apple instead of a doughnut and taking a nap probably won’t instantly make you want to grab your partner or sex toy and go for it! (Though, you never know! ;)) We should aim to take care of ourselves, knowing that a healthier, happier sex life will evolve as a precious byproduct—if we’re open and willing. Communication and honesty are also key, and both heighten intimacy. But geez—enough for one blog post! Your turn!
What could you do, or have you done, to improve your sex life? What do you find most challenging? Which tip struck you most? I love hearing from you!
For more sexy fun, I hope you’ll tune in to Girl Boner Radio today. I’ll be chatting with two incredibly inspiring, beautiful inside and out transgender folks who are making an important difference in the world. If you subscribe via iTunes, it’ll appear on your playlist automatically tonight! Much gratitude for the support. ♥