Everyone’s heard it’s not you, it’s me. But actually, sometimes it’s just me. I know I write about sex and also consume a lot of sex-positive media but sometimes I’m just not in the mood. It’s hard to say why that is but sometimes it just is. One of the harder things to understand when that happens is that it’s neither party’s fault, no one has done anything wrong — I’m just not feeling it.
I’ve had conversations about it because sometimes there are days, weeks that go by where I just don’t want to be touched. It’s hard telling your partner they’ve done nothing wrong and it has nothing to do with their attractiveness. It’s fighting the initial battle of ‘is she lying?’ Insecurities run deep when you can’t explain why things happen.
There are some rather common reasons for losing a libido, the most major factor for me is:
Stress comes about in different ways and for me, it presents itself as an energy drainer. I am emotionally and physically unprepared for anything when I finish what I have to do. When I’m at peak stress periods I’ll just come home and sleep because I can’t manage anything else. Sometimes having some of my responsibilities taken over by a partner can help but sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes whatever I’m going through either has to pass (when I have major projects at work) or I adjust to whatever new element has come into my life. The best thing from my partner is support during this time. I’m not asking for belly rubs or foot massages, just be there when I can’t be emotionally available.
There was a time when I thought I’d have to be emotionally and physically available at all times for my partner. I remember coming home from a grueling workday. My partner at the time, let’s call him Charles, had been there to greet me. He’d had dinner ready, a movie on, and an intention to fall into bed together. I remember feeling so indifferent I didn’t really want dinner, didn’t want to do anything except sleep. But I thought compromise meant I’d have to meet him halfway. I don’t remember the sex, I just remember the disassociation after the fact. I was so far removed I just remember lying there waiting for my body to let me sleep. I learned a severe lesson that day — listen to what your body tells you. You can’t force yourself to do things you’re not prepared to, and it isn’t great for anyone when you ignore the signs.
Sometimes your body just doesn’t work for you. I’ve always struggled with certain medications so I’ve gone through a series of trying the ones that work for me but unfortunately, that means my body has gone through all manner of moods and mannerisms. Sometimes my medication just doesn’t work for me and it can put me off, well, everything really. Speaking to my doctor means finding what works for me but those trial periods can really suck.
Not Taking Care of Myself
This one is a bit harder to explain. It’s not that I’m just letting loose and making my life my mess but there are certain times where I’ll neglect important aspects of my life and it kind of throws off everything. If I’m not eating properly or sleeping well I’m moody. It’s a symptom of my stress but even as I feel fine my adjustment periods still make everything difficult. Stress may have been the determining factor but the symptoms sometimes remain.
It also starts that vicious cycle of wanting release but being too irritated to have any sex and then being more irritated because I can’t interact ‘properly’ with the people around me.
I’ll admit I’m not the fittest person in the world. If I miss a workout I’m not crying about missing my euphoria, I’m just upset I didn’t keep an appointment. Sometimes things happen — I’ve had a week where three major projects had to be finished at once. I remember I’d put in an almost 70 hour work week (that is it’s own discussion I know) and because of it I’d missed out on keeping my personal and professional life separate. I was just working and sleeping, no care for anything except getting shit done. Once I’d finished I’d been happy to get back to my regular scheduling but I couldn’t. I found myself just zoning out because I wasn’t taking care of myself — I’m a stress eater so I know I’d been eating shit. I hadn’t been working out, I’d just been floating by. As such I wanted to just relax and be ‘normal’ again but I couldn’t. It took a lot of coaxing from Charles until I could remember to make my appointments and even longer to set up my schedules again. I’m the type to keep a journal on hand (I want to start bullet journaling to give you an idea of how I like to organizing my life) so having things up in the air adds to stress and I was just really happy to be back on track. Having the support of a partner that wanted me to be comfortable first and foremost helped. After the first disaster we agreed to only have sex when we both wanted it and helping me feel normal again was what I needed.
Sometimes my emotions get the better of me and I’m just too nervous to do whatever I need or want to do. I’m the type to get worked up if I haven’t done certain things in a while so if I’m trying something new or something I haven’t done in a while I just need my partner to be patient with me. This is why communication is amazing on both ends and helps both of us. I just really cannot force myself to get into something when I’m worried about it, it just isn’t fun for anyone.
After my first major breakup, I’d waited a bit to get back into the game. It was a mixture of scars too fresh and crushing self-esteem that had me feeling like I just wasn’t good enough for anyone. When I’d met my next boyfriend I wasn’t sure how to do anything. This was well into my 20s and I’d only ever been with one person by then. I know not everyone has had multiple s/o’s by their mid-twenties but I couldn’t help but feel like I was missing out. I translated my first experience into my first boyfriend. Who’s to say I was any good at anything when the only person I’d been with had about as much experience as me? So I had stage fright. This was the first real instance where I felt like communication was the real solution to solving my insecurities. It’s not that communication was never important — this was just the first time I understood communication was necessary instead of a question you ignore.
I Just Don’t Feel Like It
Sometimes I’m just not in the mood. Period. Maybe my partner’s libido is stronger than mine, who knows. Either way, sometimes I’m just in the mood to cuddle. It’s not a problem, it’s just not something on the table that day.
When this happens I might be in the mood to lend a hand or maybe I’ll watch you get off. Sometimes I can get into the mood watching my partner or I can just be there with them. We just need to find a middle ground where it works for both of us. Just know there isn’t a problem and it’s not about anything anyone has done or hasn’t done. Can it be a deal-breaker? Sure, as long as all of our cards are on the table we can find out what works best for both of us.