Get Your Sexy Back: Part 1
I can spot a new love affair a mile away: She’s cuddled into the nook of his arm, he’s got eyes only for her, and you can feel the warmth of their sizzling connection across a crowded room. Everything is new and exciting. They’re both enchanted, and think each other is the sexiest person in the world. It can be a beautiful thing— Or annoying as hell if I’m enduring their presence in the latte line while I’m a hot mess between running the kids to school and heading home to do the laundry— but most of us know it’s impossible to maintain.
You’re not always going to feel the sexy sizzle of attraction when your man enters the room. You are overworked and underpaid. You’re exhausted. You’re trying to be everything to everyone, and when you hear me tell you one more thing you should be doing in your life, you’ll likely want to smack me on the head with frying pan.
I get it because I feel the same way. I’m tired and fed up too. But what I also know is this: My marriage is important to me. My husband is my best friend, so when right now we’re not feeding our connection, it stinks. It makes me feel shitty inside, and I miss him. I refuse to believe that there is nothing I could or should do about it, and I know that change starts with me. I want to get my sexy back!
Remember that in this case, the end justifies the means: the effort you put into improving things will be worth the work to get there!
“Change starts with me.”
So who’s with me, ladies?
The most comprehensive sex survey I’ve ever read found that 33% of middle-aged women have experienced a loss of sexual desire. It also found that “being too tired” is the number one explanation women give for not wanting to have sex. No surprise, right? We’ve all been there. But when I read that study, it lit a small fire in me: I didn’t want to feel so at home in that statistic. I wanted to change— or at the very least, I wanted to want to change! This is what led me to devour Dr. Laurie Mintz’s book, “A Tired Woman’s Guide To Passionate Sex.”
Dr. Mintz tries to help her clients have more than just good sex: she wants you to be able to feel horny again. Say whaaaaaaat? I was like, Oh come on, let’s get real sister! But I was intrigued, so I kept reading. And I’m so glad I did. What I learned has inspired me to share with you the wealth of knowledge and tips that I found, not just in this book, but through hours of online research. Because you too can start a journey to get your sexy back! You’re welcome. 😉
“You too can start a journey to reclaim your sexual desire.”
Okay, to start regaining that sexy feeling, we have to backtrack: Where did your desire go, and how can we get it back?
Reason 1: Stress = Exhaustion
If you read my article about how to better communicate with your man, you’ve heard me mention my life changing therapist, Dr. Crane, who gave me a “MOPS” diagnosis: Mom of Preschoolers.
Having MOPS (or any aged kids for that matter!) is hard work and definitely does not feel sexy. We are far more consumed with financial affairs, whose turn it is to take out the trash, and getting homework done on time than we are about how many orgasms we’re having.
The biological truth is that women are more likely than men to have their sex drive affected by stress. This is because the release of the stress hormone, cortisol, decreases testosterone ;and since men have a shit-ton more of this than we do, stress has a much greater impact on women’s mood, sex drive, and energy levels! Boom— take that, guys!
Suffice to say that getting a grip on your stress levels and getting enough sleep should be number one on your priority list, not just in your quest for more sex, but for you overall health in general.
“The biological truth is that women are more likely than men to have their sex drive affected by stress.”
Reason 2: Body Image
This is a big one for most women, and one that is particularly close to my heart. My body image sucks. My mom sent me to Weight Watchers at the age of 10— and I wasn’t even considered overweight according to my BMI! But getting on that scale weekly amidst all the middle-aged ladies, having Slim Slabs packed in my lunchbox, and, most importantly, having my mom tell everyone we knew, “Penny would sell her soul for a sweet,” really defined my sense of self. It’s something I deal with to this day, and something that affects my marriage and intimate life.
Feeling bad about your body plays a huge role when it comes to sex! After all, why would you want to bare all if you don’t feel confident in your own skin? It has nothing to do with whether or not you find his body attractive.
“Feeling bad about your body plays a huge role when it comes to sex!”
Start Your Journey
It’s important to note that a woman’s body image has nothing to do with her weight: A body confident heavier women can have a very full sex life and conversely a skinnier woman with a bad body image could completely avoid sex with her man because of this.
This is why committing to a healthier life, whatever that may mean for you, is such an important part of this journey to reclaiming your sex-life and relationship. In my article, “Living The Life You Deserve: My Secrets to Feeling Confident” and “My 7 easy-peasy steps to a healthier, happier you!” I explore further the topics of self-care, self-love, and getting healthier.
I am on my own journey, and I am committed to finding a path to feeling healthier and feeling better about my body image. It’s certainly a process, but one worth starting. For me, it involves changing a lot about my diet (and fixing my GI issues, but that’s another story!), being consistent with those changes, and doing emotional affirmation work to replace my inner critic’s voice with positive self-love. But I am determined to get my sexy back!
“Doing emotional affirmation work to replace my inner critic’s voice with positive self-love.”
Reason 3: You’re not really too tired… You’re bored.
Or maybe you watch too much TV. Or you have too much relationship drama, or you don’t make the time, or you’re not in the mood, or you and your partner are not on the same page with your sexual needs, or…
Whew! Ok, let’s get real, ladies. First step to growing and changing? Honesty. Which of the things I’ve listed fits your situation? I’m going to guess that for most of us, the substantial list of reasons why we aren’t having more sex lies directly in our own hands. Even if it’s an issue you’re having with your partner, you’re still responsible for dealing with it through open and honest communication with him.
Baby steps are okay… Don’t feel so overwhelmed by everything you’ve read here that you run away thinking you can’t do this, or that you don’t need it. You do need it and it is important! Not convinced? Let me remind about all the reasons why sex is good for you…
Why Sex Is Vital To Being Happy
- It feels good! (Sex releases feel–good hormones)
- It’s great exercise.
- It’s a stress reliever.
- It makes you feel happier.
- It enhances a deeper, more intimate connection with your partner.
- It makes you sleep better.
- It creates trust.
- Sex usually leads to more sex….
“One of the greatest ironies is that tired women are too stressed for sex, yet sex is one of the best stress relievers available.” — Dr. Laurie Mintz
Yes, the more sex you have, the more sex you want…
Or so I recall. *smirk* Seriously, sex is like exercise— at first it’s going to require some real effort to get into it, and you’ll feel a bit sore the next day (bwah!); but the more sex you have, the stronger and more confident you feel about it.
“Sex is like exercise.. The more sex you have, the stronger and more confident you feel about it.”
So what about getting that desire back?
The best way to encourage yourself to desire more sex is to first focus on foreplay. As Dr. Laurie says, “Your most important sex organ is located between your ears.” Foreplay is generally defined as the physical appetizer before the entree, but Dr. Mintz says— and I agree— that foreplay is everything you can and should do to get yourself ready for sex. I think a powerful place to start is in your own head, where it’s just about you and your thoughts. You know, where there’s no pressure.
“Your most important sex organ is located between your ears.” — Dr. Laurie Mintz
Here’s where the process gets real. I’ve adapted an exercise from “A Tired Woman’s Guide To Passionate Sex” as a 7-Day Foreplay Challenge. Since foreplay begins in the brain, this week-long exercise is designed to get you thinking more about sex and exploring ways to ignite that desire within you.
7-Day Foreplay Challenge
I had a bunch of moms try the challenge, and the survey results were compelling! For reference, the survey included married women, aged 30-44, and the majority had been married between 3 and 10 years. They had varying responses in terms how often they currently have sex: anywhere from 2-3 times a week to less than once a year. The majority of them said their ideal was to have sex 2-3 times a week, which is a goal I share. Their attitudes toward sex ranged from 3 out of 10 to a 7 out of 10 before the challenge started.
By the end of the week, that number had risen across the board to 7 or 8 out of 10! That is a staggering improvement! Eighty percent said the exercise had improved their general feelings about sex, and what’s not to like about that?
“I’ve given myself permission to fantasize, even if it’s not necessarily about my husband, and that has been very freeing.”
“Stopping to fantasize about sex has helped calm me!”
“I feel like I’ve been more confident in my body, and more playful with my husband.”
“I noticed that I did think about sex other than when I had set reminders to do so.”
“It’s a little early to tell, but I think I might be sleeping better! I’ve been letting myself fall asleep fantasizing about whatever interests me that night, and I’ve been getting more restful sleep recently. Better sleep definitely leads to me feeling happier during the day!”
“The fact that I am able to have sexy thoughts at all is encouraging.”
“Doing the fantasies has definitely made want to have sex.”
“I was surprised how quickly fantasy improved my own desire.”
Wow, pretty convincing stuff, don’t you think? I love how these women were open to using their “most important sex organ”—their minds!— to work on getting their own sexy back. An added bonus? I’m sure their husbands loved it too. 😉