Regain Your Libido Donít let your sexual appetite go by the wayside. Use these tips to regain the passion you share with your spouse, tonight! BY DR. CARLA MARIE GRECO
If you notice a drop in your libido it may be from a variety of factors, which can be addressed.
“ If you canít hone in on anything specific, take out your calendar and spend a bit of time trying to recall events and situations that may have contributed to your waning desire for your wife.”
I used to like sex as much as the next guy, but something has happened to my libido. Just the sight of my wife undressing used to be the greatest turn on, but now I really have to work at getting in the mood. Weíve been married for almost two years, and we dated three years before that. I can see the disappointment in her face when I canít get into it. Sheís even asked me if Iím cheating on her, but thatís just not an issue. I love my wife and am committed to our marriage. My wife wants me to go see the doctor, but I think thatís ridiculous. Can you give me some pointers?
Joel O. ó Sioux Fall
It sounds as though there has been a sudden change in your sex drive. Some men and women have a naturally lower sex drive than others; variations in libido are very natural. However, your situation sounds as though your libido was formerly quite strong, and something has caused a pronounced drop. It is worth a bit of investigation to get to the root of the issue. Psychological or physiological issues (or a combination of the two) may certainly affect libido.
Looking at psychological factors first, it is important to take note of any changes or stressors that occurred before or around the time that you noticed a drop in your libido. For example, sex drive can be affected by many things including stress at work, pressure from family, difficulties with friends, unresolved anger at your spouse, or a host of marital issues. As well, if you and your wife are contemplating having children, the movement from sexual activity for pleasure into sexual activity for procreative purposes can surely impact libido. If you canít hone in on anything specific, take out your calendar and spend a bit of time trying to recall events and situations that may have contributed to your waning desire for your wife. If you uncover any unresolved emotional issues, clear your mindóand improve your libidoóby tending to the concerns that may be plaguing you unconsciously.
To fully explore your situation, the consideration of physiological factors is also important. Psychological and emotional factors certainly affect the bodyís neurochemistry. If youíve been upset or unsettled, you may experience a decline in testosterone (testosterone is one of the primary hormones involved in the sex drive). Moreover, those who experience a decline in libido find that there is a vicious circle involved. The less sexually active you are, the lower your testosterone production. You can actually stimulate your bodyís testosterone production by increasing your sexual activity with your wife.
Hereís what I would recommend.
1. Work on honing in on any emotional factors. If issues are lingering, tend to them!
2. Have an open and honest discussion with your wife about your sex life. Remind her how much you love her and confirm your commitment to the marriage.
3. Play! Just the thought of sex after a long day can sometimes be enough to cause a drop in libido. When sex feels pressured or requisite, it is never quite as appealing as when it occurs naturally. That said make an agreement with your wife that you will only play, caress, and hold each other for one month. Move the focus away from sexual intercourse and more into the direction of touch, loving play, and affection. This type of interlude will take the pressure off you; once you no longer feel the need to perform, your libido may spike on its own!
4. See a pro. If, after one month, youíve not experienced any improvement from following the steps above, it sounds like it would be a smart decision to heed your wifeís suggestion and visit your doctor! Itís wise for everyone to have a checkup every now and then!
Dr. Carla Marie Greco has her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and a private practice in Santa Rosa, California. Dr. Greco specializes in the treatment of anxiety, trauma, depression, grief, and life transition issues. Her greatest goal is to offer services to those in need, offering select appointments on a "sliding scale" for those who have serious financial constraints. Pro bono services, including EMDR, are available for our veterans suffering from issues such as combat-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Complex PTSD. Dr. Greco is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Redwood Psychological Association. For more, visit www.drcarlagreco.com.