"I'm worried that I do not have a sex drive. At all. Right now my boyfriend and I have sex regularly but I don't enjoy it and find myself making excuses to avoid it. I've read that this can be due to medication, but I don't think I've ever enjoyed sex in the decade or so I've been active regardless of any prescriptions. Any advice on how to change this and on how to enjoy sex with my partner would be very much appreciated!"
To see what Dr. Glickman's advice, read more.
There are a couple of different pieces to this, so let’s take them one at a time.
First, have you ever enjoyed solo sex? Have your experiences with partners all been equally unenjoyable? Were there some experiences that were more fun than others? Do you ever have sexual fantasies? If so, how well do they match what you’ve tried in real life? Do you notice arousal if you read erotica? Have you tried using a vibrator? I ask because there’s a fair amount to unpack in the “I don’t enjoy sex” category and there might be some good information there for you. Any changes in your experience or variations in the pattern could offer valuable insight.
If you’re not sure how to start figuring these things out, I have two books to suggest. The first is Becoming Orgasmic, a self-guided program of self-exploration, with a lot of suggestions and ideas. You start off working through the book on your own and then you bring your partner into it. I’ve spoken with a lot of women who have been able to connect with their arousal cycle as a result of this book. I can’t say enough good things about it. The second book is I Love Female Orgasm, which is full of amazing ideas and creative suggestions and useful information.
On the other hand, if you’ve tried different ways to have sex with the same results, there might be something else going on. You’re right that a lot of drugs, both prescription and otherwise, can affect arousal. Have you ever talked to a doctor about this? There might be a medical issue that hasn’t been addressed. Not that I want to scare you or anything, but it’d be good to rule out the possibility that there is something medical happening.
Another direction that you might want to take would be to find a therapist, especially if you’ve ever experienced any kind of sexual injury or assault or if you find yourself checking out during sex. While not all people who experience challenges with sexual desire have had those experiences, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention them. Sometimes, even when we feel like those events are way in the past, they still affect our sexual interactions. RAINN has a hotline, as well as a list of local organizations.
It would also be a good idea to talk with your boyfriend about this. It might be really hard, but if you’re making excuses, he probably knows that there’s something going on already. If you can explain to him that this is something that you’ve experienced for a long time, rather than having to do with him, that could take a lot of the pressure off you. One thing — some guys have the idea that their partner’s sexual enjoyment is a measure of their own masculinity. If this seems to be yanking his chain, he might also find that a therapist’s support can help.
I’m sure that some people will make all sorts of suggestions, such as trying g-spot play, or a vibrator. It’s certainly possible that some of those might work for you, but the consistency that you describe your situation having makes me think that a quick answer like that isn’t the best place to start. Of course, I could be wrong, but at the very least, check out the books and see if they have anything to offer you. There’s a lot of great info in both of them, but if you’re looking for more of the how-to stuff, I Love Female Orgasm might be a better bet.