I talked to my doctor about my waning sex drive, and she told me that it is often like exercise: the less you do it, the less you want to do it. She said sometimes the best cure is just to start putting sex on your calendar and trying to get it on whether or not you want to, and that can stimulate your sex drive. Is that true?
Sarah: To me, there’s nothing worse than sex you have because you feel obligated to. Now, that said, I believe that anyone can be seduced at any time, if the seduction is done right. I once heard Laura Berman describe female and male sexuality thusly: “Everyone knows M&Ms are delicious, but sometimes women forget that M&Ms are delicious until they see some, and then it’s like, ‘Oh! M&Ms! Of course I want some!’ A man, by comparison, might think six times a day, ‘I could really go for some M&Ms right now.” Applying Dr. Berman’s M&Ms metaphor, you and your partner might benefit from reminding yourselves that sex is fun, and it’s a great way to reconnect. Clear away the distractions and enjoy each other.
Debby: For some people, it can be. Some people like scheduling sex and find that, if they do it on occasion, they actually want sex more often. Others find that it makes them less happy and less sexually satisfied to add sex to their to-do list. I personally feel that it’s more helpful to try and create pleasurable, enjoyable sexual experiences - to focus on quality over frequency. After all, if you’re having good sex, you might think “wow, this feels good, we should do it more often!” Whereas if it’s just so-so or something you’re checking off your to-do list, you might get through it, but who wants to just “get through it”? If you do schedule time together, maybe keep it low pressure. Watch a movie in your undies. Take a bath together. Go to bed early and give each other massages. Agree these kinds of play dates don’t and won’t necessarily have to lead to other kinds of sex. Use a vibrator or other sex toy on your own sometimes. You just might find an increase in pleasure. Working with a sex therapist (find one through aasect.org or sstarnet.org) can also be helpful as can reading books like Because It Feels Good or Come As You Are. Some of our research suggests that, for many women, exercising in certain ways can even increase sexual arousal — and, by extension, perhaps desire, too — read more about it in my newest book, The Coregasm Workout.