Where has my sex drive gone?
“Sorry, love. Not tonight. I have a headache.”
“Not tonight, it’s been a long day. I’m tired.”
“No, I’ve got to get up early tomorrow!”
We are all familiar with these lines and their many variations. Whether we have heard them or used them ourselves. There are times when you’re just not feeling it, right?
And that’s perfectly ok. We live busy lives. We have a lot on our plates and we all go through dry spells for one reason or another, and that shouldn’t be a problem. We deal with the big meeting or the work overload. We get some rest and we’re back in the swing of things – for some, quite literally.
But what about when it does become a problem? What do you do when these dry spells become a prolonged drought drier than the Sahara Desert?
Recently a customer asked us for advice on her sex drive. Though she loves her partner deeply, she is worried because she never feels in the mood for sex. She doesn’t seek it out or initiate it, and it often seems like a chore, and when it does happen, she only enjoys herself on occasion. She is now worried that this may cause problems for her relationship. What should she do?
First of all, we need to confess that this is a much more common problem than people care to admit. In our line of business, we come across these feelings on a regular basis, and the reasons behind them are as varied as the people who experience them. So, if you are experiencing a decrease in your sex drive just know: You are not alone!
So we thought we would investigate this further and put together a handy list of tips and tricks that might just help put the wind back in your sails.
The Stages of Sexual Response.
Before we can look at the ways you could improve your libido, it’s best if we first understand the 3 stages of sexual response.
This can be broken down into:
- Sexual Desire (controlled by the brain). This is the biological driving force that makes us think about sex and behave sexually.
- Sexual Arousal (or being ‘turned on’). This is the physical changes that occur in the body in response to the sexual desires, including increased breathing rate, increased heart rate and blood-flow, and the swelling and/or lubrication of the genitals.
- Orgasm, you know… the happy moment… Do I really need to explain this? Got it? Good.
Now, adults can experience these three stages differently. Men might be more likely to follow the cycle in that order, goal achieved. But for women it can be less straightforward, and she may not go through all 3 stages. She may achieve arousal but not orgasm; her goal may not be the physical satisfaction, but rather the emotional satisfaction of being intimate with her partner.
This is a very fascinating topic with multiple layers and factors.
What is important to note here is that your overall sex drive is divided into mental process AND physical response. The two are so closely linked that they are almost the same point, you cannot have one without the other. In a nutshell, sex is in the mind – not just a physical act.
Now we understand that it is both mind AND matter, we can move on to the tips and tricks to consider.
- Make sure there’s Room to Groom.
We’re all familiar with the concept of dressing up in the bedroom. From naughty nurses to hunky firefighters, the range of outfits and roleplay options are plentiful, and if those are your fantasy, we have some fab options for you here.
What a lot of people fail to appreciate is how smaller, simpler steps can be just as powerful in providing that needed boost in your sexual confidence. It’s not just about the clothes, but what makes you feel good in yourself?
Having your hair done, a fresh wax so you are feeling silky smooth, or even just a shower to freshen up all help us feel better inside. Perhaps you feel flirty when you’ve got your make-up on. Or maybe you can’t resist showing some skin when you’ve got that lovely golden glow. Whatever makes you feel more attractive and seductive in the moment - embrace it!
And this goes for men too. You won’t believe what a bit of manscaping can do, everyone loves to look and feel fresh. Getting a trim and neatening up those hairs, no matter where they might be, can take any man up a level.
Skincare can also play a part in how you’re feeling about yourself too. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be an arduous routine, something as simple as a moisturiser after a shower can make the skin look and feel much healthier, smoother, and more inviting to touch, and that is most definitely the goal here.
Whatever your thing might be, putting the time and effort into making yourself look good on the outside, directly affects how you feel on the inside. Confidence? Boosted. Negative thoughts? Silenced. You know you look good, now you can show it off!
All sound like common sense? Well, it is. But sometimes you just need that reminder.
Some less fun, but necessary points you should consider:
- Trim/file those nails! Not only does it look better and cleaner – but nobody wants to be accidentally scratched by jagged talons. Especially not there!
- Don’t forget about the breath. Brush those teeth or pop a breath mint. It will never go unappreciated, and you are instantly more kissable.
- Location; Location; Location!
I’m sure they’re lovely, but I’m not suggesting you ask Phil and Kirsty for bedroom advice. No, I am simply stating that the place where you choose to have sex can impact how you feel and how likely you are to enjoy it.
If you’re at home, are you afraid of the neighbours hearing or other people in the house? Perhaps you have kids in adjacent rooms, or are you looking at things that occupy your mind? A washing basket that’s full; a wall that needs painting, or stacks of papers that need attention. All these things can take you out of the moment.
My advice here is to make the space a relaxing and inviting one. Make sure things are clean and tidy and remove all distractions. Turn off the phone, and the TV as they are the ultimate mood killers.
Take advantage of being alone; and if it’s not naturally occurring, make it happen! See if your roommate will go out for a couple of hours, or maybe a relative can look after the kids for a bit. We all need this alone time, and I’m sure they’ll understand.
Now let’s look at setting the mood. Dim the lights, perhaps light some candles, as a nice scent and the warm glow can be quite inviting, and some even melt into massage oils for use later (you can find those here).
If you’re nervous about sound or someone overhearing, you could play music in the background, or even an erotic film can work to cover awkward silences if that’s to your taste.
Perhaps you need to take further steps to spruce the place up, as staring at the same four walls can dampen your spirits in all walks of life. Whether that’s at the office, being couped up in the house too long, or old and tired décor. So why not take some steps to make your bedroom your boudoir? A simple change in colour, a coat of paint, or replacing those worn and tired sheets can work wonders. For the more adventurous among you, what about creating a dedicated sensual space? For further ideas we recommend checking out “How to Build a Sex Room” on Netflix or look at our bedroom furniture here.
Another alternative is to enjoy yourselves somewhere else. Perhaps a hotel if your budget will allow, but somewhere that is different to your daily life and routines. There are many perks here too: Fresh bedding, a room you don’t have to clean, and breakfast made for you in the morning, what a treat! And if somebody overhears, they don’t know you and you never need to see them again.
You may even find it somewhat exciting to have that thrill of being caught or overheard elsewhere, and if that revs your engine, then go for it! However, we advise to stay within the realms of the law, as there is no prison fantasy worth it.
- Dress to Express.
Back to clothes for a moment, because they are still an important accessory, but there is a lot more to them than just how they look. What you wear and how they feel can directly affect your mentality of the moment.
Have you ever been in a situation where you feel significantly underdressed? You’re in jeans and trainers (and they’re new) while everyone else is dressed to the nines? It can make you feel self-conscious, like everyone is judging you for your lack of effort.
What about the reverse situation? Imagine you’ve been to a wedding, a job interview, or other formal occasion and you’re dressed as smartly as can be; you’ve put the effort in and you look good. But afterwards you meet a friend in a local pub, or maybe stop for fast food. Now you’re significantly overdressed, and it’s unnecessary. And just like that, you no longer feel the same level of confidence.
But what gives? In both situations it was still you; you didn’t change. They were both very nice outfits, and yet depending on your situation, the same clothes had the power to completely change how you felt. Do clothes really hold that power? Yes, they do.
And we can use those psychological transformations to our advantage in the bedroom too.
Of course you can dress in some nice lingerie to feel sexy – but it can have further, more profound effects on your psyche. Think about it…
In your daily life, you might not feel particularly sexy or dominant; but put on some leather clothing, boots, and hand you a crop? Well, now they had better kneel before you and call you Mistress! (Or Master – we are inclusive here.) It may sound a little silly, but dressing the part can truly bring about these mental changes.
Day to day you and your partner are likely to be equals, you share responsibilities and you make your decisions together. But in the bedroom, you’re stripped into a very revealing outfit. Slap some restraints on you, put on a harness, or use a gag. Tie you up or have a chastity device put on you. Some or all these things might just make you go weak in the knees and surrender to your partners desires. And just like that you’ve been humbled and you’re under their control. Now submit, slave!
- The Sex is in the Feel.
Did anyone get the “Kinky Boots” reference there? If not, allow me to enlighten you, without spoilers. I know this sounds random – but stay with me.
In Kinky Boots, drag queen entertainer extraordinaire, Lola, enforces the idea, through a delightful musical number of course, that the sex is in the heel. The feelings of power, confidence, and the sexual appeal she experiences in drag all stems from the feeling of being 6 inches off the ground, thanks to the heel.
What does that have to do with your libido? Everything! Your same feelings of confidence and sexuality may also stem from a specific feeling/material/clothing item.
Perhaps you have a thing for leather? The look, the smell, the feel of it against your skin. You just can’t help but feel aroused.
Maybe it’s the soft feeling of silky satin materials that drives your crazy, you must touch and caress!
Maybe it’s the idea of tight, body conforming latex or spandex. The way it hugs the body, the way it leaves almost nothing to the imagination. Perhaps it sparks reminders of attractions at specific locations, even if it’s just fantasy, such as the beach, swimming pool, locker room, or gym.
Maybe it’s an underwear fetish. The feeling you get while showing new ones off or sliding the material over your body; whether that’s to put them on, or sensually reveal more skin as you take them off, slowly!
The point I’m trying to make is, in addition to how things look, there can be materials or items that directly link into your sexual desires in a more subconscious way. We encourage you to experiment and find those materials.
And these don’t have to be big dramatic gestures like a full latex suit – although if that’s your thing, we’ve got you covered.
They can be much more subtle. If wearing a swimsuit turns you on, perhaps wear those instead of traditional underwear one day. If stockings are your thing, put them on under your jeans. Or perhaps it’s a brief with a cheeky cut-out at the back, or wearing some nipple clamps? They are all good choices as long as they make you feel sexual, sensual, or just a little bit naughty!
Doing this one morning, knowing you’ve got them on, the constant reminders with every movement, your arousal slowly building all day long. You may find yourself counting down the hours until you can see your partner.
- It’s All About the Teasing and Not About the Pleasing.
A fantastic mantra for you to take home. Say it with me. “It’s all about the teasing and not about the pleasing.”
This is the culmination of the point I’ve been trying to drive home throughout this blog. You need a slow build up to sex. You need to think about it. You need to let it take root in your mind. You need to anticipate it. The longer it builds, the more you will want it.
So how do we do this? How do we elevate the teasing? There are a variety of tips and tricks you could use, and here are just a few:
Use the previous points to put the idea of sex into both of your minds. Be it purchasing new underwear to wear under your clothes, deciding to decorate your sensual space to make it more inviting, or a good trip together to Nice ‘n’ Naughty, either in store OR online, to buy new playthings!
Keep your partner aroused. Use what you know about your partner to turn them on. Whisper suggestively in their ear before they go to work or send them flirty messages throughout the day. You could use chastity devices to build desire they cannot act on without your permission (you can find those here). You might even like to try remote-controlled toys so you can tease and excite your partner throughout the day, or just discreetly while out together for a nice meal or doing the weekly shop. We have an excellent range of app-controlled toys that will work long distance, be it panty vibrators, cock rings, or insertable toys (find them here). By the time you get together again, you’ll both be raring to go!
Remove a sense. I’m not suggesting anything permanent here, don’t get carried away. But removing one of your partner’s senses will heighten their other senses and their anticipation and excitement.
- Using a blindfold so they can’t see what you’re doing – when they don’t know what’s coming next, sounds and feelings will be enhanced. Use to your advantage!
- Using ropes, bondage tape, or cuffs – keeping your partner bound means you can tease them endlessly and there’s nothing they can do about it. Use toys on them, insert a plug or clamp their nipples. You could use a feather tickler or caress all their erogenous zones with a wand. Bring them just to the brink of climax and stop! How will you torture them next?
Sensation play. This doesn’t have to be pain and torture, but if that works for you, then by all means. Running your hands tantalisingly over their skin can give them goosebumps. Use massage oils or run feathers over their body, or perhaps use ice, or heat, to change the experience completely. Or just to keep them on their toes, pull their hair or throw in a good hit with a paddle/flogger for good measure. But remember, it’s important here to have a discussion beforehand, understand each other’s limits and always have a safe word. Safe play is the sexiest play!
The idea here is to keep them in a high state of anticipation. Are you going to be nice? Are you going to be naughty? Are you going to stroke them fast, or slow, or not at all? Change it up; it all adds to the excitement.
Take your time. The biggest mistake you can make is to rush things. It is easy to do when you have a million things on your to-do list, and you just want to get to the “good bit”, but you will both enjoy yourselves so much more if you build up slowly.
Foreplay is key. A combination of all the above; teasing, flirting all day long, sensation play, removal of senses; take time to really drive them wild and wait until you both can’t stand the wait anymore and then get to the “main event”. Your orgasms will be worth it.
The possibilities are endless. Get creative. Get adventurous. And TAKE YOUR TIME. Remember our mantra: “It’s all about the teasing, and not about the pleasing.”
- Putting it all together.
If your libido has been low lately, here’s the plan: You’re going to schedule in your play time. Oh, how spontaneous and sexy. I know, I know; but we can make this work.
- Set your time. Two days’ time? Friday night? Whatever you want. Just set a time you are going to stick to. Now we are going to work through the previous points we’ve made. Feel free to do them in whichever order is most practical.
- Set some time to prepare and make yourself sexy. Get that wax; get your nails done; spend some time on a sunbed. Whatever you decided makes you feel good; get ‘er done!
- Book your hotel or make the arrangements to get your roommate out or someone to look after the kids! Make sure the room is clean and distraction-free. Fresh sheets if you want or get the candles at the ready.
- Go shopping or raid your supply if you’re already well stocked. Find that outfit that you love, that material that turns you on, or a new toy if you want some new sensations.
By this point, it might have already been several days and your anticipation of the event should be building. Are you excited? Are you nervous? Both are excellent signs you are doing this right.
Now comes the day of the event and the real fun begins. You’re going to follow up on our mantra “It’s all about the teasing, and not about the pleasing.” Send your partner flirty messages, whisper in their ear, get them to wear a long-distance toy, or perhaps you wear one and give them control.
Build your excitement in whatever way appeals to you. Trust me, by the time you get together again, you will want to tear off each other’s clothes.
- Getting to Know Your Partner (Again).
It goes without saying, it is important to get to know a partner. Figure out their likes and dislikes, their kinks, and limitations; and often, in a new partnership, this is easy and fun to do. It’s exciting to explore somebody new. New sounds, new sensations, they might try something on you that you have never considered before and open new experiences for you. Amazing.
However, with long-term partners, it is all too easy to settle into routines and get into a rut. There’s positions and methods you usually do because…well, that’s just how you’ve always done them. It works for you, right?
Well; maybe not. As we grow and develop as people, many things about us can change. Our willingness to try new things, the way our bodies respond to stimuli, our tastes, interests, and kinks.
Think about it. Throughout your life you go through many changes. Height, weight, health. You get your eyes checked regularly because they change, you’ll learn to like, or suddenly dislike certain foods and drinks (remember your first ever taste of wine – bleurgh!). Your interest in hobbies can wane, or you’ll discover new ones. So why not a change in your sexual tastes?
Especially for mature couples, whose priority for the past decade or two might have been their careers and/or children, and their main focus hasn’t been on their partner. And suddenly, what worked 20 years ago, doesn’t work anymore. You’ve grown and changed, and it’s time to rediscover each other like it’s all brand new.
So, make conversations, discuss things you might like to try. Look up the Kama Sutra for new positions, or look at porn films for inspiration; does anything you see excite you? Remember toys have changed a lot over the years too, they do all sorts now. Inflatable, warming, vibration, suction, more advanced materials, far more advanced than your old-style rabbit.
I know I’ve mentioned before, but I’ll say again: communication is key. Make sure to discuss your expectations and limits. Keep yourselves safe and have fun. That is what it’s supposed to be all about.
Our biggest tip: try everything at least twice! When trying new things, you can be completely unsure what to expect. It can take you by surprise and be a shock to your system or you might be feeling a bit too nervous the first time to really enjoy it. You might not be in the mood for that particular venture this time, but the next time you might be so much more relaxed and prepared, and you find it’s actually fun. So always try things at least twice.
- Physical Health
Ok, time for a point that’s a little less fun, but is still of utmost importance. Our physical health, as it can have a significant impact on our libido.
Throughout our lives, we will experience fluctuations in health, our bodies will change and not always for the better. Therefore, it is important we are open and honest about these things to get the best experiences we can, especially when it comes to intimacy.
So, what are some of the most common health complaints we experience in our line of business; and what can you do about them?
Erectile issues - Finishing too quickly – This is probably the most common we see. Mens bodies and hormones change over time and sometimes that can mean it’s difficult to get or maintain an erection. This is perfectly normal and experienced by the majority of men at some time or another, they just don’t talk about it.
Luckily, we have a few things that can help:
- Cock rings – a small ring (usually metal or silicone) that goes at the base of the penis, and can help keep the blood where you want it, to help maintain a stronger erection. Find those here.
- Penis pumps – they do exactly what it says on the tin. They are designed to draw the blood into your penis and “pump it up” for maximum sensitivity and pleasure. Find them here.
- Herbal tablets – we have a range of herbal supplements designed to get your circulation going. They are perfect for getting the blood into the area you want and can even help you recover quickly, so you’re ready for round 2. They are all natural, and don’t contain any medicines. Check them out here.
- You want to take it slow, however the head of the penis is a sensitive area and some men finish quicker than they’d like because they are particularly sensitive. Sometimes they can be OVER stimulated and the sensations are now too much and not pleasurable; so the erection fades. Both experiences can be remedied with a delay spray. This reduces the sensitivity without reducing your pleasure, so you can enjoy yourself for longer. Find delay sprays here.
NOTE: if you have tried these enhancements before and they do not work for you, we suggest you consult your doctor or medical professional. It could be a sign of an underlying medical condition, and they may be able to provide alternatives.
Vaginal dryness. As we know, the vagina is designed to be a self-lubricating organ, however, there are several reasons why it might not be. Be it a health condition, a fluctuation in hormones, a symptom of menopause, or simply being too nervous and not fully relaxed. Whatever the reason, there is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed or worried about. This is why lubrication exists!
Lubes are the ultimate aid to sex. They make everything slicker and more pleasurable and there are plenty of options to choose, from simple water based, to moisturising hybrids, or slick silicone, which is the best for skin-on-skin action. And for the more adventurous among you, there are even some with warming, cooling, or tingling effects.
And, of course, lube is a MUST for anal sex!
Pain/discomfort during sex – no matter how you identify, or which part of the body is being penetrated, any pain or discomfort experienced should be expressed. Tell you partner; stop and make sure you are safe. We do not want to cause any injuries or damage.
There can be a multitude of reasons you might experience discomfort:
- Muscular – this may be in your hips/legs, you just need to stretch beforehand. This is a workout after all and you might need to work a little on your flexibility.
- As previously mentioned, lubes are your friend. Keeping yourselves well lubricated means there is less friction, less discomfort, and you should be able to relax better this way.
- A well-endowed partner – or using a toy that is on the larger side. You could experience some discomfort trying to adjust to a size you’re not used to. To remedy this, we recommend plenty of foreplay to relax and loosen yourself. Maybe use a toy first that is of an easier size, then work your way up to the bigger size.
Additional tip: Many of the lubricants designed for anal sex contain numbing or relaxing agents, and if you are particularly nervous about size or possible discomfort, lubes with a slight numbing agent can help make for a smoother ride. Remember, it doesn’t even have to be for anal! Find those here.
Side effects of medications – if you are on any kind of medication, read the label to see if there is any possibility that they can affect your libido. Discuss this with your doctor, they may be able to source alternatives for you.
IMPORTANT: We need to disclaim that we are not medical professionals, we speak only of our experiences gained from being in this business for over 20 years. If you do experience anything which concerns you, pain or discomfort you can’t explain, any injuries or unexplainable anomalies (lumps, marks, bruising), or symptoms of a possible infection, please discuss with your doctor or medical professional. It is important for your safety and the safety of your partner.
WITH ALL AREAS OF HEALTH AND SEX – IF YOU ARE UNSURE OR CONCERNED, ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR DOCTOR OR MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.
- Mental Health
Leading on from my previous point; just as important to your sex life is your mental health.
You can be at the peak of physical fitness, have the best sex toys on the market, all the outfits, and the sexiest partner; but if your mind is not engaged, neither will you be.
There are a multitude of reasons why your mind might be disengaged, and they may have nothing to do with the love or attraction you feel for your partner.
- Stress – the ultimate mood killer. Whether it be at work, your ever-growing to-do list, concern for children, health condition (of yours or someone else), or any other form. Stress, or having a lot on your mind, will lower or completely remove your libido, no question.
- Mental health condition – As knowledge and understanding of mental health grows, more people are being diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or other such conditions. If you have, or are experiencing symptoms of these conditions, please speak to a medical professional or licensed therapist.
- Medications – once again, any medication you are on, be it for a physical or mental health condition, they all have the possibility to affect your libido. If this is a concern for you, please discuss with your doctor or relevant medical professional.
- Your Partner. Of this entire article, your partner has one of the biggest influences over your sexual experiences, interests, and libido. Their actions affect just about every area of your life, especially if you live with them.
I would advise anyone who is having a chronic case of disinterest in sex, with no obvious discerning factors such as health, to look at their relationship with their partner. If any area of your life together is not where you both want and need it to be, this can lead to a lack of sexual interest.
Communication is key. And if you need extra help with this, speaking with licensed therapists and counsellors can work wonders for you. There is absolutely no shame in taking steps to improve your lives together, why wouldn’t you both try to be happy?
Throughout this entire article, I’ve aimed to show that there are a million reasons why somebody may be experiencing a loss of libido. Whether it’s a small adjustment or a big change that’s needed, just as every person and body is different, so too are the reasons for your dry spells.
We hope that this list of tips and tricks gives you the inspiration to try something new, some food for thought, or maybe just a giggle here and there.
So now is the call-to-action: it is your turn to act. Are you coming to visit us in store? Are you shopping online with us for a new outfit or toy? Only you can change your life, to be what you want. You have that power. Use it!
Whatever you choose to do after reading this article, we hope it helps you live a happier and more authentic life. If we have helped, or can help in any way, please do reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we would love to hear from you.
And once again, anything to do with your mental or physical wellbeing which causes you any concern: talk to your doctor or relevant medical professional!
Love Team Nice 'n' Naughty