Hot sex isn’t always a surefire thing, even with an amazing partner. Sometimes your mind gets in the way. Sometimes physical issues interfere. Sometimes you might have boring sex.
“Different strokes for different folks” has never been a more appropriate saying. What makes sex “boring” is subjective. People have different tastes, needs, fetishes, and skill sets.
But if what was once a spontaneous, thrilling, robust sex life with your partner feels like it’s been replaced by obligatory intimacy, there are things you can do to get back in sync with each other.
First of all, don’t freak out. There are bright, throbbing lights at the end of this tunnel of boring sex. Whether you or your partner is dealing with physical or mental health issues, you’re having relationship woes, or you simply need to bring the sexy back, there are plenty of ways to return your sex life to its former glory.
Boring sex may not be related to the sex itself at all. Your mental health and happiness can have a big impact on your sexual satisfaction.
We need to talk: Relationship tensions
If your once-steamy romps have turned into snoozefests (or disappeared altogether), it may have to do with your emotional connection. One study suggested that greater emotional intimacy with a partner is linked to greater sexual desire.
You can start the conversation or talk to a couples’ counselor together to identify and work through any issues that may be holding you back from the sex of your dreams.
Libido vultures: Depression, anxiety, and ADHD
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or distressed in the streets, you’re probably not going to feel relaxed and playful in the sheets.
Depression and anxiety
Depression is linked to decreases in libido and in relationship satisfaction. According to a 2017 research review, depression is associated with a 50 to 70 percent increase in the risk of sexual dysfunction.
And even treatments for depression can have sexual side effects. Research suggests that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications, which are used to treat depression and anxiety, can make it difficult to get turned on, stay turned on, and reach orgasm.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that causes symptoms like hyperactivity, and lack of focus.
ADHD has been associated with an unusually high sex drive (aka hypersexuality) — research suggests this often shows up as a constant need for sex and a voracious appetite for porn. ADHD is also associated with hyposexuality, a loss of desire for sex.
A lack of variety in your sex life could be bringing boredom into your bedroom — or there could be something up with your bod.
Love hurts, and sex can too, especially for women. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports that almost 3 in 4 women experience pain during intercourse at some point.
This pain can put a damper on doing the deed or keep you from seeking out sexy time at all. But just because it’s common doesn’t mean it needs to be your new norm. Be open with your doctor about what you’re experiencing to get their advice on treatment methods.
Research suggests that erectile dysfunction is another common issue that can contribute to sexual frustration.
Exercising has lots of benefits for your health and well-being, and one of them is extra stamina in bed. Working on your fitness level, whatever that looks like for you, is a goal we can all get behind. And if it comes with the bonus of better sex, that’s all the more reason to break a sweat.
Whether your hot hookups are hung up on emotional or physical issues (or a mixture of both), there are strategies you can try to get the excitement back.
1. C is for cunnilingus and communication
In a relationship, good communication helps keep the wheels turning and, when it comes to sex, the orgasms-a-coming.
2. Orgasms o’clock
Scheduling time for hanky-panky may not feel sexy, but you know what’s less sexy than that? Being so busy you forget to have sex at all. Then you’re stuck feeling like you “should” have sex, just like you “should” clean out that closet and you “should” empty the dishwasher…
Making time for each other is important, and it may just be the jump start you need. Try turning off your devices and being passionately present with each other.
3. Sex toys
This one’s sorta self-explanatory, but consider spicing things up with sex toys! There are many, many types of sex toys out there, and if you feel like being a little adventurous, they can be a great addition to your sex life.
4. Unleash your kink
If it’s been on your mind, consider bringing it into the bedroom. Kink includes things like BDSM, fantasy, role-playing, group sex, and fetishes.
In a 2017 survey of more than 1,000 people, almost half said they were interested in some kind of kink. Another survey of 2,000+ adults found that at least 20 percent were into tying each other up, at least 22 percent enjoyed role-playing, and at least 30 percent were into spanking.
So if you’re looking to spice up your sex life, consider getting freaky.
5. Go see your doc
If you’re experiencing a medical condition that’s affecting your sex life, talk to a doctor or therapist. It may be a matter of adjusting your medication or trying cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Studies on both women and men have found that CBT can be helpful in improving sexual function.
If your woes are emotional, consider going to a sex therapist with your partner. The therapist can help resolve issues you may have in your relationship and suggest ways to reclaim that spark.
Communication is key. In and out of the bedroom, being able to have vulnerable, nonjudgmental conversations with your partner is the cornerstone of true intimacy.
If your partner is experiencing medical issues that are contributing to a change in your sex life, try to be as patient and supportive as you can. Chances are it’s temporary and better times are ahead.
You can start the conversation by saying something like “I care so much about you, and I know you’re going through a lot right now, so if you want to talk about anything, know that I’m here.”
If you’re the one feeling emotionally distant or physically uncomfortable, communicate those feelings to your partner so you’re both on the same page: “I know we haven’t been having sex the way we used to. It’s important to me that you understand it’s not about you. I’m just working through some things at the moment and need a little time.”
And if you simply want to reconnect and spice things up with your partner, let them know! You can say something like “I read an article today about some fun sex [positions/toys/etc.] What do you think about trying [position/toy/etc.]?”
If your sex life feels boring, don’t despair. Whether it’s a matter of overcoming a medical issue, making the time, or reigniting the passion between you and your partner, start with open communication.
Then, make sure you have the right tools, like a therapist or a furry pair of handcuffs, to help you get back the excitement you’ve been missing.