My husband and I were chatting about sex recently when I said, “I don’t really feel in the mood, but I want to have sex because I know my body needs it.” He responded with, “Damn. You don’t want to do it because it’s fun?”
There it was. The truth. In that moment, I didn’t want to have sex because it was fun. I wanted to have sex because I needed to – just like I need to paint my nails before I start biting them off. Just like it was a chore I wanted to check off my to-do list. Finish that article, check. Walk the dogs, check. Have some sex, check. Eat dinner, check.
I love having sex with my husband – it’s intimate, raw and so good. But, I also like the benefits I get from it. I’m happier, my skin seems clearer and we get along well when we roll in the sheets regularly. But sometimes life gets busy, my mind becomes occupied and I don’t think of sex as fun – but as something I want to do for the sake of being systemically healthy. This is what “sex feels like a chore” feels like.
Shortly after that discussion with my hubby, I received a similar-themed message from someone in the modwife.co community. She said she and her partner were having less sex, her libido felt low and she sometimes felt like sex was a task. All normal things. But these were the words that got me, “…I think women naturally slow down, but men just keep going and going.”
No, I don’t believe that for a second. I told her as much, and gave her the shorthand version of what I’m about to tell you.
I think society paints a picture that women slow down sexually, but the men continue to need arousal and sex. And, that’s the wackiest thing I’ve ever heard. Contrary to popular belief, women don’t stop desiring sex because we’ve got someone tied to us. Our goal is not to trick a man into marrying us, then stop having sex with him once we’re in the thick of it. No, we, too, want to have sex often with our partners. Not only because it makes us feel close to them, but because we, too, like sex.
Sex slows down in marriage when you stop pursuing each other in the ways you once did. When you stop dating your spouse, the relationship feels stagnant. There’s less flirtation and less excitement. Hello?! These two things that are vital for sex. Most women get turned on by their partners when the emotional connection is strong. Most men get turned on by their partners’ images, whether it’s you standing in front of him or him imagining you in his head. So, men continue to “keep going and going” because the visual image is still there – it’s easy to get. But the emotional connection can fluctuate, leaving women feeling a little lackluster about sex with a partner. And, I think that’s another example of what “sex feels like a chore” feels like.
Whether sex feels like a chore because your mind is too busy to enjoy it, or your relationship has become a little monochromatic, it is possible to change that mindset. Here’s my advice for what to do when sex feels like a chore:
1. Determine why sex feels like a chore.
First things first – you gotta figure out why you’re not feeling into sex. Are you exhausted? Is work stressing you out? Have you been arguing a lot with your partner? Do you feel like you’re managing your household alone? Are you missing quality time with your partner? Are you not getting time to refresh and rejuvenate your mind and body? Be honest with yourself. It’s the only way to address and resolve the issue.
2. Talk to your partner.
It’s time to share your sex de-motivators with your partner once you’ve figured them out. And, if you haven’t already told your partner that sex has been feeling like a chore, do that now. He wants to have sex as much as you do, so don’t worry about something hurting his feelings. (Because if you worry about hurting his feelings, you won’t resolve yours.) Maybe you need a little more attention from your partner or a few less things on your plate so you have more free time. Maybe life has you stressed out, and you need something different from your partner than you did a few months ago. Just be honest about your feelings. You’re in this together and sex takes two people (well, usually), so it takes two people to make it better.
3. Plan a fun date.
Fun is an essential element to love and marriage. So, plan a date and get it on both of your calendars. Regardless of why you’ve been feeling like sex is a chore, some quality time with your honey can reverse that thought. The date will nurture that connection, let you have fun together and give you a chance to focus on nothing but each other.
4. Feel yoself.
When I’m feelin’ myself, I’m much more likely to be in the mood for sex. There’s just something about knowing you look good. It makes you more confident and more excited to show yourself off to your partner. Primp – whether you’re going out for a date or just waiting on your partner to get home from work. Put on a cute outfit. Put on some lingerie. Pour a glass of wine. Do whatever makes you feel pretty and confident. You’ll be excited for sex when you know you look good.
5. Get some “me time.”
“Me time” should not be underrated. It’s imperative that we have quality alone time so we can refresh our minds and bodies. (Tired bodies and minds are less likely to want sex.) Plus, you’re a better version of yourself when you feel good and rejuvenated. Get some “me time” on your schedule, so you can feel like your best self.
The next time you feel like sex is a chore or there’s something wrong with your libido, STOP. You likely have a very healthy libido. Your sex drive hasn’t run off and left you. Your partner and your daily life completely effect your sex drive. When life gets stressful and committed relationships start to feel routine, your enthusiasm for sex can plummet. But, being aware of the root of your feelings and discussing them with your partner will help you keep your sex life fun.