Balance October 2017 - 16

t h e manual

The
y
Mostl

RESULTS
stly
stly
stly
Mo

s

s

s

s

STRONG LIBIDO

FLUCTUATING LIBIDO

FLAT-LINING LIBIDO

LIBIDO - WHAT LIBIDO?

Congratulations - you
naturally have what
advertising, porn and
music videos tell us we
should all be striving for.
Being in great physical
and mental health is the
best thing you can do to
achieve peak sexual drive.
If you have a strong libido,
you can likely conclude
you have no hormonal or
chemical blockages and
you're in touch with what
turns you on.
The only challenge is
matching your happy-gohorny feelings to those
of your partner, who may be
less up for it - a challenge
faced by 1 in 4 couples,
according to the National
Survey of Sexual Attitudes
and Lifestyles (NATSAL).
Don't take a partner's
lesser desire personally or
worry about what it says
about your relationship
- fluctuation is the norm.
According to authors
Justin Hancock and
Meg-John Barker and the
Enduring Love survey, these
fluctuations don't seem to
make much difference to
relationship satisfaction.

A libido that regularly goes
up and down is often being
affected by a chemical or
hormonal imbalance.
While it's well known that
alcohol and drugs affect the
neurochemicals that buoy
your sex drive, prescription
medications, such as antidepressants and those for
birth control, can also have
a stultifying effect.
If you think medication is
affecting you, talk through
other options with your GP.
If medication isn't the
issue, then communication
could be. Peaks and troughs
in desire for your partner
are entirely normal, but
if there's a correlation
between not having sex and
arguments about money,
the kids or when you were
last intimate, it's time to
stop the quarrels spoiling an
opportunity to reconnect.
When we make love,
our hormones help us feel
bonded. And it's this that
helps us to work through
conflicts in our relationships.
So even if sex is the last thing
on your mind, it may be the
thing that solves the dispute
over, well, sex.

Desire - you remember
what that feels like, but
these days it occupies about
as much brain space as
wondering if you forgot to
buy cat litter.
It's true that in a longterm partnership desire
comes and goes. Yet a life
full of rituals in which you
organise everyone else
might make for a smooth
Monday to Thursday, but
not a fiery Friday night.
You need to make space
for your libido to flourish
again and tune up your
erotic feelings and thoughts
before you consider inviting
anyone in to share them.
Commit to reconnecting
with your body. Take a
scented bath, read an erotic
novel or maybe watch
a saucy film and allow
yourself to fantasise.
Get into the habit of doing
this before extending the
erotic energy to your partner.
Then, plan a 'sex date' to
help you both reconnect,
while ensuring nothing gets
in the way. Focus on making
a connection through
touch and, as your desire
rises, let your body lead you.

If you're experiencing
little or no sexual desire,
you are probably dealing
with a health or wellbeing
issue, such as illness
or a stalemate in your
relationship. The good news
is that low desire does not
have to be forever.
As sex experts Meg-John
Barker and Justin Hancock
put it, 'there's a spectrum
from being completely nonsexual to highly sexual and
it's fine to be where you are
on that spectrum, and for
that to change over time'.
Sex is its own aphrodisiac
- the more you have, the
more you want - but, as
sexual psychotherapist Dr
Kate Moyle explains, the idea
of getting back on the horse
after a period of inactivity
can be scary - 'there can
be some hesitation about
approaching someone we
love in a sexual way for
fear of rejection'.
In which case, feeling
safe is key - something that
can be brought about by
being playful, rather than
sexual, in the first instance.
Tickling or massage can
help to restore the trust.

Try

To remember to treasure
a strong libido while
you have it. Any number
of unexpected factors
could tip the balance.
A lifelong strong libido
certainly isn't a given.

16

Mo

Mo

Try

Hugging your partner
when you're on the brink
of fighting. You may not
want to, but if you can
embrace for 30 seconds,
you'll get calm enough to
speak without shouting.

Try

Shopping for a vibrator or
other pleasure product.
When you've had fun
experimenting with it,
you'll be better placed to
show your partner a new
trick to make you tick.

BA LA N CE October 2017

Try

Sending texts through the
day to show you're
thinking of someone and
make an evening plan that
allows for sex, but does
not require it for you to
have an intimate time.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Balance October 2017

Balance October 2017 - 1
Balance October 2017 - 2
Balance October 2017 - 3
Balance October 2017 - 4
Balance October 2017 - 5
Balance October 2017 - 6
Balance October 2017 - 7
Balance October 2017 - 8
Balance October 2017 - 9
Balance October 2017 - 10
Balance October 2017 - 11
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