Between The Sheets Help

Many couples begin marital therapy or relationship counseling because of sexual desire problems.  In fact, most couples experience desire problems, as well as performance difficulties at some point in their relationships. Many who experience sexual problems may actually have performance and anxiety-related difficulties. Other desire-sapping problems include hormonal deficiencies (low testosterone, estrogen), thyroid problems, medication side effects (antidepressants, antihypertensives), work, financial and family stress, burn-out, exhaustion, unresolved anger and contempt and any health issues or physical problems related to disease and aging. These are real problems that zap libido and interfere with intimacy.  A visit to your primary care physician or connecting with a relationship expert or couples therapist can help you sift through the biological, psychological and/or other dynamics and problems in the relationship. Before you try the sexy stuff that follows, it's important to figure out if either of you have wounds (past or present) and "un-repaired" issues that have created the couples chasm that you currently experience. So, If you're interested in bringing back the sexy in your relationship, have you tried the fun stuff? If your partner is rosy-cheeked while reading her iPad or Kindle, or you suspect that, like most of mainstream America, she has been hiding her copy of Fifty Shades of Grey in a drawer somewhere, ask her to read it out loud.  (Be prepared for poorly written prose, with some repetitive, moderately kinky sex as BDSM goes) Not your thing?  Choose elegantly written erotica, such as Little Birds by Anais Nin or Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters. Have a look at these top erotic reads from Experiment with sex toys, salsa dancing, give each other massages, read Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex For The Twenty First Century by Barbara Carrellas, consult with a sexual health expert like Dr. Laura Berman, or investigate OM-ing as suggestions. You could also try role play, kink it up a bit, make out somewhere you shouldn't -- you get the point -- let go, play, connect and experiment!

Are you interested in learning tools for stopping destructive behaviors like criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling and learning better ways to relate? The Gottman Institute has a great website for couples and relationship help. Still not happening for you?  You've pretty much ruled out any emotional and physical problems that may have contributed to your lack of desire, and you, and your sweetheart are still lukewarm between the sheets.  You have to ask your self: is this really a problem for you, or is it supposed to be a problem? What if you are a happy, healthy otherwise loving couple who experiences low sexual desire?  This article from Psychology Today offers an interesting view of the issue that may lay to rest the notion that there is something "wrong" with you and your beloved.

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Therapist + Coach with a private practice in Manhattan.