Dear Dr. Christina: I'm just going through the motions.

Dear Dr. Christina: I'm just going through the motions.

Is it possible to regain your sex drive?  I seem to have completely lost mine since my daughter was born two years ago.  I just go through the motions to make my husband happy.  I love him madly, but do not have any desire any longer.

Hi going through the motions, 

First let me say that you are not alone. In fact, lack of desire is one of top concerns women bring to sex therapy. The nature of desire has been a subject I have been passionate to explore and understand.  I have found that understanding how sexual desire works for women actually empowers women to shift their experience and feel better about their level of desire.  

A couple things to know are:

1) The way you measure your "level" of sexual desire is totally subjective. You either access your experience of desire in comparison to what you think is the norm for those around you, or you measure your level desire against a previous state or the amount of desire your partner expresses. For example: If your partner wants to be sexual 4 times a week and you want to be sexual once a week, you may feel like you are "lacking" in desire in comparison to your partner. If your partner wants sexual activity twice a week and you want sexual activity twice a week then you will feel good or "ok" about your level desire. If you want sexual activity 3 times a week and your partner wants it once then you may feel that they lack desire, not you. Its subjective and determined by your perception.

2) Women typically have responsive sexual desire vs. men who typically have spontaneous sexual desire. What that means is that a man could be walking down the street and suddenly think "I want to have sex" and then try and pursue that spontaneous desire. A woman is more likely to be sitting and her partner comes over and massages her shoulders or caresses her head and she thinks, "that feels nice, I could be interested in sex." Often times a woman needs to be in a relaxed state before she can enjoy any pleasurable touching and that leads her to be receptive to the feeling of sexual desire and that desire then builds and her body becomes aroused. In other words, if you have just finished putting the two-year-old to bed and you walk into your bedroom to find your husband laying on the bed ready to go, you will most likely have no desire in that moment. You will need some time to relax and shift from mommy mode to sexy mode.

3) Self care is huge when it comes to sexual desire. You need to make sure you get enough sleep, take some quiet time to yourself, exercise, eat food that gives you energy and makes you feel good, and get connected with your body. Enjoy your sensuality and nurture your sense...sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste.  

4) After having a baby your vagina totally changes and what felt good pre baby no longer feels the same. If you are not enjoying sex then you are less likely to desire it.  Take some time to get to know yourself and rediscover what feels good. I know that sometimes it is hard to communicate what feels good to your partner, but the more you share with them the better the experience is for both of you.

It is possible to regain your sex drive, but think about desire as something to be nurtured and cultivated. It will come and go and that is totally normal, it is part of being a woman who is juggling motherhood and being a wife (and any other roles/jobs you have). 

Dr. Christina

About Dr. Christina Stein

Christina is a Sex Therapist and Relationship Expert who specializes in reinvigorating relationships and empowering women. She has a private practice in Santa Monica, California where she works with individuals and couples to reclaim desire and connection with themselves and their partner. She is passionate about teaching people how to take the monotony out of monogamy.

In this day in age woman are expected to excel both personally and professionally, as both mothers and wives, and Christina is aware of how challenging that is for many women. In addition to personal and professional development and success, women are constantly struggling to stay connected to their sexuality and maintain a passionate relationship with their partners.

With her enthusiasm for facilitating personal growth and awareness, Christina focuses on helping individuals and couples discover their strengths and accomplish their goals, leading to a more inspiring life. Christina helps women awaken their desire, giving them greater self-confidence and empowering them as women. She also works with couples to create greater intimacy and teaches them how to light a spark that creates anticipation and excitement in their relationships.

Christina is a licensed marriage and family therapist, holds a masters in clinical psychology, and a Ph.D. in human sexuality.