Not feeling up for sex isn’t necessarily a problem – if you’re healthy, happy and your partner’s libido matches yours, it might simply be a case of enjoying sex when you have it and leaving it at that. If, however, you suspect that your lack of desire is physical - the result of a health imbalance, or tiredness, then any of the following could help give you a boost.
Find out what could be causing your low sex drive.
Use your imagination
Thinking about sex, or reading about it or even viewing it, can help put you in the mindset of feeling erotic yourself. So indulge in your favourite fantasy, buy an erotic story book (take a look at mature erotica, for example, the Mid-Life Love series, by Whitney Gracia Williams), or view some erotica.
Not only might you get some new ideas, simply feeling aroused will help pump blood to your genitals getting you into a more libidinous state.
Slurp on some oysters
It’s not just the way you eat them – sexy slurps and sucking noises! – it’s also because they’re packed with zinc. The mineral is essential for testosterone production and perhaps surprisingly both women and men need testosterone for a healthy sex life.
Oysters also contain amino acids that one study from Barry University, USA, found increased sex hormones in rodents. If you can’t stand the thought of oysters, or the price, opt for pine nuts, wheat germ, beef or liver instead, which also contain high levels of zinc. For the amino acids (aspartic acid, specifically), try raw cabbage, soy, or asparagus.
Read our guide to aphrodisiacs.
Researchers from Texas A&M found that certain nutrients in watermelon – lycopene and beta-carotene – help relax your blood vessels and so allow blood to circulate more freely… including to between your legs.
When you get aroused blood rushes to your genitals and it’s this filling with blood that helps increase sensation for a woman, not to mention giving a man the possibility to get an erection. So watermelon and other foods containing lycopene and beta-carotene such as tomatoes, for example, may help get your body into a healthy state for more sex.
Read about the foods that prevent erectile dysfunction.
Have a glass of red wine
A glass of red wine helps raise a woman’s testosterone levels just enough to help her get into a state of arousal. More than a glass, though, and it can have the opposite effect, making reaching orgasm more difficult.
Or a cup of coffee
Sometimes feeling tired can make you want to avoid sex and coffee helps with that. But it seems that it’s not just about boosting energy levels.
Research published in medical journal Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behaviour found that caffeine helped make female rats go back to their male counterparts for another sex session sooner after they’d already mated once. They can’t be sure whether the effect would be the same for human women, but it can’t hurt!
Find out about the health benefits of coffee.
Just do it
While we would never suggest having sex if you don’t want to, sometimes it can help to try even when you’re not particularly in the mood. Using your sex muscles works in similar ways to using other muscles – the more you use them, the stronger they become. So the more often you get aroused and reach orgasm, the more often you’ll feel aroused and want sex.
This is partly because of the extra blood circulating in your genitals as a result of arousal and sex – it helps to keep your sex organs healthy – but also because of the hormones sex and orgasm releases.
Read our tips for having better sex.
Find someone new
Shocking as this may sound, it could be that you’ve simply fallen out of lust with your partner. At this point you have three basic choices: one, create a feeling of desire again, through libido boosters and/or experimenting with new ways of enjoying each other's bodies; two, accept your libido and relationship as it is; or three, make the decision to separate and find someone new who excites you sexually and makes you desire sex.