Ask a sexologist: “My wife has no sex drive! What can I do?”
If you find yourself sexually frustrated that your wife has lower libido than you do, you’ve come to the right place for guidance regarding how to enhance your wife’s libido. If you and your wife aren't having sex like you use to, you're not alone.
In a study of over 8,000 people over the age of 50, researchers found that 31% of couples have sex a few times week, 28% reported having sex a few times a month, but a whopping 33% of couples rarely, if ever, have sex.
The numbers tend to shift into the "rarely if ever" area as folks get older.
That said, another study found that married couples are the happiest when they have sex about once a week.
But how do we get there when dealing with a desire discrepancy?
Before we give you some tips and tricks for boosting your wife’s libido and enriching your sex life, let’s go back to basics because it’s essential to understand the building blocks that this conversation is built upon.
Let's cover the libido FAQs
A quick libido 101 starts now!
●Are sex drive, arousal, and libido all the same
We often conflate sex drive, arousal, and libido – but these three things are quite different.
Sex drive is the evolutionary need or urge for sex.
Arousal is the state of sexual alertness or desire.
Libido is the “sexual desire or the mental energy or emotion related to sex.”
●How do you know if your libido is normal?
There is no one way to be sexual and ‘normal’ is entirely subjective. What’s ‘normal’ for you might be very ‘abnormal’ for your partner, but neither of you is ‘wrong’ – libidos just vary.
● Is libido a reflection of how attracted my partner is to me?
Attraction and desire are entirely different. Listen carefully to what I’m about to say: your partner not being interested in sex is in no way a reflection of how much they love or care for you, nor is it a reflection of how physically attracted they are to you.
Many people worry that as they age alongside their wife/spouse that the physical manifestations of aging (wrinkles, weight gain/loss, etc.) make them less sexy, but it’s actually not you, it’s them (and I’m not just saying that). A study confirms that midlife couples (ages 50-69) often experience distress regarding the effects of age-related physical changes on their sex lives.
●So, why did my wife’s libido change?
The Mayo Clinic identified the following as some catalysts for change in desire:
- Body image
- Sexual dysfunction or changes in sexual function
- Lack of communication or connection
- Trust Issues
- Pressure to be sexual
Other contributors could be medical problems or diagnoses, hormonally-based, or mental health based.
There Are Two Types of Desire
While you may assume that your wife or spouse lacks desire altogether, it may just be that her ‘type’ of desire doesn’t match yours.
Let me explain.
There are two types of desire: spontaneous and responsive. Both of which are equally valid and neither one is better than the other.
Spontaneous desire is characterized by, you guessed it, spontaneity. Desire may pop up out of the blue at random times for ‘no reason.’ On the other hand, responsive desire is, well, responsive.
In an article for Men’s Health, Laurie Mintz, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist, certified sex therapist, and author of Becoming Cliterate, Dr. Mintz explains that responsive desire “goes beyond the biological feelings of desire (horniness) and takes into account relational, social, cultural and contextual aspects of desire.”
Dr. Mintz continues to explain that having sex to get horny rather than waiting to have sex until you are already horny is “an empirically supported and effective sex therapy technique for women and couples struggling with low-sex and diminished spontaneous desire.”
How To Rekindle Your Sex Life: 5 Tips
Regardless of where you stand, your sex life with your wife can be rekindled more easily than you may think. So, what can you do when your wife has no sex drive?
Here are a few steps that you can take to enhance your wife's libido and/or sexual experiences:
#1 Schedule time for desire
It may seem counterintuitive but scheduling physical intimacy can help build anticipation and it sets aside time for connection, even if it doesn’t result in sex.
#2 Accept that sex might look different now
As bodies change, sex changes. What you used to do during sex might not work anymore for any number of reasons. Keep in mind that sex isn’t just penetration – there’s kissing, caressing, oral sex, etc.
#3 Try new things
One of the core pillars of building intimacy is sharing new experiences – some days, that might include a cooking class, other days it might be a new sex position or a deeply exciting new sex toy.
Read our articles 'How Do I Give My Wife a Vibrator? 5 Tips You MUST Know First' and '5 Reasons To Start Using Sex Toys In Your Relationship' for more.
#4 See a sex therapist or other counselor
Physical intimacy can be hindered when there are other problems in a relationship. Seeing a sex therapist can help you and your partner safely share what’s going on in your relationship and how you feel about it, as well as lead you to solutions and steps forward.
#5 See a healthcare provider
There may be underlying health issues or conditions that are preventing someone from engaging sexually with a partner. Talk to your doctor.
"My wife has no sex drive, what can I do?": Summary
Desire discrepancy is a very common issue among couples. One partner might want more sex and intimacy while the other is content with far fewer sexual encounters. This can leave one partner feeling rejected. While this is a totally understandable emotional reaction--it's not rejection. Their body just operates differently than yours. Meeting in the middle and opening lines of communication is going to be a great investment when it comes to your intimacy.
If you're seeking to better understand female arousal and your wife's sexuality in general then you're on the right path.
Read more about how vibrators are amazing for older women. Regularly using vibrators can help boost libido vaginal lubrication, arousal response, and libido.