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We often connect our self-worth to whether or not we’re desired by others (partners or otherwise). In reality, sexual desire is complex, taking into account several factors: biological, psychological and interpersonal. “Think of it like the stock market,” says Dr Ian Kerner, sex therapist and author of
She Comes First. “It goes up, it goes down and it’s subject to swings due to underlying factors: stress, mood, diet, exercise, medications, you name it.” With all of these in play, sometimes your SO just won’t feel up for it – and that’s normal. Instead of feeling insulted or worried, think about how you can help get your partner’s mind in the right space. For example, instead of throwing on your flannel PJS, slip into your sexy undies – if you know that turns them on. “Relationships fluctuate, and your sex life can change over time, so don’t compare their desire
(or your own) to what it used to be,” advises Kerner. “Instead, find new ways to build it up together.” Still, if you’re getting turned down on the regs and you’re worried, communicate those feelings to your partner without blame. Speak from a place of vulnerability (“I’m nervous bringing this up, but I want to discuss our sex life”), and then let them share their feelings.