We hear the term sexual burnout frequently these days. Stresses at work, social distancing during the pandemic and increasing family responsibilities can all contribute to a loss of interest in sexual activity. In addition, there's so much going on in our busy day-to-day lives that sometimes sex feels like a chore.
And lockdowns triggered sexual burnout for many people. Working from home meant that couples were always together, so they didn't have the time to miss or desire one another so much. Or, if they lived with housemates or had children, there was less time for intimacy. And for couples who didn't live together, a romantic dinner date became a socially distanced walk in the park.
So if you face problems such as erectile dysfunction, a decrease in orgasm or a lack of desire, you might suffer from sexual burnout. Try our quiz and find out if you've still got that spark!
b. Several times per week
c. Every one or two weeks
d. Once a month
a. Doesn't change noticeably
b. It can fluctuate, but I still enjoy sex
c. Becomes much lower
a. I'm in good mental and physical shape
b. I'm OK, but I am on medication for a health issue
c. I lack energy because of a poor diet and lack of exercise
d. I suffer from ongoing health issues
a. Fantastic in most ways
b. We could communicate better
c. Seems to be more distant and strained lately
d. Neither of us are happy
a. I'm grateful for what my body can do
b. I'm comfortable in my own skin as I get older
c. I miss my younger body
d. I don't feel connected to my body
a. I explore many fantasies, alone or with a partner
b. When I feel stressed, fantasising is the first thing to go
c. I don't make time to explore fantasies – my life is already too complicated
d. I only explore sexual fantasies when on my own
a. Are enjoyable and easy
b. Takes a while to get there
c. Orgasms are not the aim of lovemaking for me
d. I don't have orgasms
Congratulations – you are definitely not suffering from sexual burnout! On the contrary, you have a powerful, healthy libido, you are in great mental and physical shape, and you know what turns you on.
Your libido fluctuates. Hormonal or chemical imbalances can sometimes cause this. While most people are aware that alcohol and drugs can cause sexual problems, prescription medications may also have an effect. So if you think your medication may be causing sexual burnout, talk to your doctor about other options.
Poor communication and arguing with your partner can also reduce desire. Making love helps couples to feel bonded and to work through conflicts. So next time you quarrel, try a hug instead! Hugging your partner for a minute will calm you both enough to defuse the row and allow you to reconnect.
Your sex drive is flatlining. You can remember what desire feels like, but you just don't have enough head space for it.
Make time and space to rekindle the spark. Reconnect with your body and find out what makes you tick: watch an erotic film or a saucy novel, or try experimenting with a new sex toy.
Then ringfence a time for sex with your partner. The phrase "use it or lose it" applies here. Even if making a regular time for sex feels contrived, give it a chance, and you'll probably be pleasantly surprised.
Bach Flowers Mix 41 can also help by stimulating the libido, overcoming performance anxiety, and building self-esteem.
You are experiencing sexual burnout. You may be dealing with a health issue or a challenging relationship. The good news is that a lack of desire is not necessarily permanent. If you have not had sex with your partner for a long while and want to make love again, take things slowly.
At first, spend more time together without making love. Massage can be helpful as you can feel safe, relaxed and intimate together without necessarily having sex, although the option is there when your desire is rekindled, and you feel ready.
Avoid substances. They may seem a good way to relax, but alcohol or other substances will reduce your sexual energy and communication skills.
Eat nutritious food. Delicious lust- enhancers to include in your diet are eggs, pine-nuts, broccoli, cloves, ginger, watermelon, lettuce and dark chocolate. And, of course, oysters are well-known as an aphrodisiac.
Don't worry that your level of desire is not normal. People in a relationship don't always have the same levels of desire. The secret is finding out what works for you as a couple - it's the quality of your connection that matters, not the number of orgasms.
Try to avoid unnecessary stress. Of course, it isn't always possible, but there may be parts of your life where you could make changes to reduce the pressure.
Look after yourself and take care of all your emotional and physical needs. It's like in a plane: fit your own mask before you help others. When suffering from sexual burnout, it's perfectly normal to be anxious about making love again. But this is an essential step on the journey for those with sexual burnout to reconnect with their bodies and their partners.
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