6 ways to boost libido, according to a sexologist

No libido? It’s common for sexual desire to fluctuate. Here, sexologists share six satisfying ways to boost libido and get your romantic life back on track.

When was the last time you felt like fooling around in the bedroom?

If you promptly answered “last night’’, good for you.

But for those with a low libido, you may be hard-pressed to even remember the last time you fancied stripping down with your partner.

Libido, also referred to as sexual desire, is not one size fits all.

According to sexologist Stacey Micallef, fluctuating sexual desire is completely normal.

“It’s not something that remains constant, and (it) can change based on a variety of things,” Stacey says.

Which makes sense. Life happens.

And there are innumerable ways it can pull desire right out from under you, from the big things such as stress to the small things such as having young children, who — as every parent knows — have a way of zapping your energy.

So, how do you realign your libido to find your way back to satisfaction in the bedroom?

Sexologists’ guide to boosting your libido

Understand desire

Stacey explains for most people, sexual desire fits into two categories: spontaneous desire
and responsive desire.

What is spontaneous desire?

You often see spontaneous desire depicted in movies, where people just look at their partner and feel like sex, Stacey says.

“This kind of desire is really easy to access and doesn’t require much to bring it to fruition,” she explains, adding that many people experience this kind of desire at the start of a relationship.

“We get excited by newness and novelty so in that first 12 months, where there’s a lot to discover about your partner, we’re able to access spontaneous desire more easily.”

What is responsive desire?

With responsive desire, Stacey says people often need to engage in intimacy before they feel any arousal towards having sex.

“It requires a little bit of leaning into the possibility,” she notes.

Take the time to engage in intimate foreplay, Stacey suggest, “then you might actually start to feel desire — the arousal and want for sex.”

What happens when partners don’t have the same desire?

Stacey says if one person is feeling a lot of spontaneous desire and the other is feeling a lot of responsive desire, they might feel there is a mismatch.

Whether this is a problem or not comes down to the relationship.

“For some couples where there’s a misalignment, they’re perfectly OK with it,” she says.

Foster deep connection

What is most important is being in tune with your partner.

And it’s not all about what goes on in the bedroom.

Sexologist and relationship counsellor Naomi Hutchings says intimacy in other areas can help foster a deeper connection — for example, enjoying a regular date night that is about more than ending up naked.

Naomi suggests having a discussion around times outside of the bedroom when you feel emotionally connected and a sense of intimacy.

Not only does this help foster a deeper connection, it creates the opportunity for responsive desire
— something both of you can lean on to open the door when the mood strikes.

Move past awkwardness

Sex can be an uncomfortable conversation for many of us.

Naomi says it’s about getting comfortable with an uncomfortable conversation.

“If it’s not something you’ve done previously, you are going to feel awkward; be prepared to sit with that awkwardness for a little bit,” she says.

Take a positive approach rather than being critical, starting with a simple conversation.

Naomi suggests asking questions such as: “What do you think of your current sex life?” and “What could we do together to make it even better?”

The more you talk about sex, she notes, the more you will feel these conversations are just part of it.

Take it outside the bedroom

Reigniting your libido can be as simple as taking things out of the bedroom.

“Sometimes just doing sexual things in another room (can help change things up),” Naomi says.

Escape your comfort zone

Do something together that is outside your comfort zone, such as a dance class.

Naomi says it’s about getting your adrenalin pumping and doing something that feels a bit exciting so you can see your partner in a different light.

Schedule it in

While the idea of scheduling time between the sheets may seem unsexy, Naomi explains it is an excellent strategy when there is mismatched sexual desire.

It is a place to meet in the middle.

Read more on sex and desire in relationships:

Written by Sarah Vercoe.