The couple arrived at my office with a common problem. They had an
8-month-old and a 3-year-old. The husband was starved for physical contact and
had been since baby No. 1 was born. But between the nursing infant and the
clinging toddler, the wife was getting just about as much physical contact as
she could stand.
Over the course of several sessions, I explored what might be affecting
their sex life by asking them some gentle questions. Could the mother have
postpartum depression? Was the...
When this happens, couples settle into a pattern-they get used to turning in
each night and staying on their own sides of the bed. How do you overcome this
pattern? Here are some ideas:
One prime issue is scheduling. Some people find that if they routinely schedule
time together during which sex is a possibility (but not a requirement), they
realize what they are missing and get back into it. It may sound too easy, but
for some couples this is the answer.
Other people have a difficult time getting things started. They feel anxiety
when they go from a nonsexual state to a sexual one. Once they do, they're fine
and they wonder, "Why was this so difficult? Why don't we do this more
If that's the problem, then take a look at how the sex you do have gets
started. Is it always predictable? Does the same person always initiate it?
Does sex always happen in the same place? For things to change, both peopleneed
to agree that they want more sex and must be willing to consider other ways of
This is particularly true if one person does most of the initiating.
Make sure you rule out a medical problem. For some men, it may be low sex
hormones (testosterone) or erectile dysfunction. Performance anxiety can also
affect a man's erection and decrease libido.
For women, the solution to a low sex drive is more complex. While a woman's
sex hormones may be to blame, she can have high, normal, or low free
testosterone levels-which do not necessarily reflect the nature of her sex
Some women have tried testosterone therapy, which does work for many but not
all. Ask your doctor about options, including hormonal treatments that may
increase your drive, medications such as pills or topical gels that increase
blood flow to the genitals, or devices that help enhance libido.