10 Steps To Bring Back Sexual Desire
Updated: Jun 30
Sexual Desire in long-term relationships
Sexual desire can be one of the most misinterpreted aspects of any relationship. Too often, it is seen as a natural indicator of relationship health. The "canary in the mine", for when there is trouble ahead. "How many times a week should we be having sex?" "Are we having enough sex?". "Is our relationship healthy"?
When in fact, sexual desire and a healthy sex life requires as much work and attention as any other aspect of a strong relationship. Think of sexual desire like a garden you look after. There will be seasons when it flourishes. And seasons when it is quieter. But it will always require a little attention, rather than being left to run to seed...
This is because erotic desire is naturally linked to novelty and newness. And as we become more connected in our relationship, we may start to feel safe and close. Which is wonderful. But at the same time, our sexual desire may start to wane, as the novelty and newness fades.
How To Bring Back Intimacy In A Relationship?
If you have noticed this happening in your relationship, please hold yourself and your partner with compassion. You are NOT alone. Most couples have to navigate this phenomenon, and many question how to bring back intimacy in a marriage or long-term relationship.
Dr. Britney Blair co-founded Lover to help couples do just that. We are committed to helping you rekindle the sexual desire in your relationship. So here are 10 techniques that Dr. Britney Blair has used with her patients for many years. We hope they will prove helpful to achieve your relationship goals too.
1. Create Space In Your Romantic Relationships
It may sound counterintuitive, but try to create some space or distance somewhere in your romantic relationship. Develop different hobbies, foster independent friendships, take the occasional weekend or night apart. You'll be amazed by what it can do for your sexual desire.
Sometimes a little distance can be just the thing you need to get your libido firing again!
2. Protect Quality Time
At the risk of contradicting ourselves... Make sure you also have enough quality time with your partner. Space might be the breeding ground of desire, but stress and distractions are the libido killers.
So try to create time cocoons for you to connect with each other. Times when you're not talking about work, finances or kids. Spaces in your week where you are focused on doing nothing more than simply just connecting with each other.
Think back to those first few months of your romantic relationship. When you were learning about each other. When you were curious about each other. Try to bring that mindset back into your conversations as you re-connect.
3. Remember. Your Partner Is Your Lover
There are many things we want in a partner. Someone we can trust. Someone who protects us. Someone who will be a good parent to our children. But never forget that it is someone whose clothes you once wanted to rip off as well.
So if you have children, stop calling each other “Mommy or Daddy” (unless this is part of your sexual play!). Because seeing your partner solely as a parent can be a quick and effective way to extinguish your sexual desire for them.
Using this language - even if it's nice for the kids - can completely desexualize you in the eyes of your partner, and vice versa. If you want to know how to increase desire for your husband or your wife quickly, start treating them as your lover. Seduce them. Flirt with them. Tease them.
4. Watch Them At Their Best
Confidence and competence. It might sound boring, but when most of us see it in action - it's downright sexy.
So whenever possible, take an opportunity to see your partner doing something that they’re good at. This might be listening to them chair a conference call. Or it might be watching them give a talk to a large audience. Or you can watch them killing it in their favorite sport.
Whatever it is, see if you can watch your partner through the eyes of a stranger. This can remind you that you don’t know quite as much as you think you know about your partner.
And remember those old friends of sexual desire - newness and novelty? It'll help bring back a bit of that too.
5. Hold It Lightly
Try to hold sex lightly and be aware that all relationships go through the ups and downs of sexual desire. It is not uncommon to find two partners with different libidos in marriage. The key is to prioritize your sex - but don’t catastrophize when things take a dip.
The reality is that it can be incredibly difficult for couples who have infants and toddlers to keep their sex alive. Especially when they are up all night and being touched by their kids all day, and never seem to have a moment alone.
It’s okay. Don’t punish yourself, if you prioritize this aspect of your connection, it will come back when the dust settles.
6. Reconnect Emotionally First
While sex can act as a relationship lubricant, helping soothe other areas of conflict or pain, some need to feel emotionally connected to their partner before engaging sexually. If you and your partner have been in conflict, take some time to reconnect and see if you start to feel that sexual spark in your romantic relationship again.
7. Focus On Foreplay
Don’t underestimate the value of foreplay (or coreplay, as we like to call it) and after play. As part of your relationship goals, send your partner some sexy text messages during the day or spend some time making out. Remember those early days?
If you need a bit of a helping hand remembering what it's all about - check out our article 'Coreplay. Not Foreplay' or download the Lover app. It'll give you all the tips and tricks you need to slow things down and get out of the 'penetration rut'.
8. Use Your Fantasies
If you’re wondering how to bring passion back into a relationship - use mental fantasy. Your mind can be your erotic pump – so make sure you prime it! And remember, there is no such thing as a thought or fantasy crime. So park your judgment and let your mind run free.
Check out the Fantasy To Reality activity on the Lover app for more information on how to kick-start your fantasy world, and use your imagination to get your libido back on track.
9. Try Scheduling Sex
Scheduling sex can be a great way to overcome any desire discrepancy in your relationship. Hear us out…
First of all, when you are in a new romantic relationship you also schedule sex (in some sense of that word) – it’s excitedly anticipated at the end of your date. So this is not a novel concept...
By scheduling sex, you will begin to anticipate with excitement that day/evening/time each week.
You are also going to reduce the pressure on the higher desire partner to always initiate and risk rejection. In doing so, you’ll reduce the pressure on the lower desire partner to come up with an excuse or try to avoid physical contact altogether.
10. Prioritize Pleasure
Perhaps most important of all – it’s time to prioritize pleasure. Whether you’re looking at how to bring back intimacy in a marriage, or enhance your sex life, learn how to be better in bed.
So many people think that they or their partner suffer from low sexual desire. In fact, what they have is a low desire for unpleasurable sex. If you’re not getting what you really want in the bedroom, it's natural you’ll stop wanting to have sex.
So take responsibility for prioritizing your own pleasure, and making sure you’re enjoying yourself. And take responsibility for becoming better in the bedroom for your partner too. Make sure they are experiencing the pleasure which will keep them wanting more and more.
So there we are. 10 simple steps you can take to rekindle sexual desire in your relationship! And don't forget, for personalized guidance on how to Drive Up Desire - and hundreds of other ways you can improve your sex life - download the Lover app today.