How long has it been since you had sex? A few hours, a week or two? A couple months? A year?!
Chances are, all of us will, at some point, experience abstaining from sexual activity for an extended period of time. Sometimes this will be voluntary — like distancing ourselves from others and trying to center ourselves mentally. Other times that our sex drought is unintended, unwanted, and freaking frustrating.
Sex has a ton of benefits like improving heart health and improving sex image. If those aren’t enough reasons, it also has the potential to boost intimacy in a relationship by making you sexier to your partner. But when you’re in a sex drought, it can be terrifying to get back in the sack — er, I mean saddle.
Having recently gone through an sex drought myself, I have a few tips for those who find themselves in a similar situation and want to end it with a bang.
1. Understand the cause.
The first and most obvious thing to do before ending a sex drought is to assess the reasons you stopped in the first place. Were one or both partners away and outside of the proximity to do anything sexual with each other? Was it because your last few experiences hadn’t been pleasant and you needed to figure out what you wanted from your partner or partners? Or was it none of these?
Whatever the cause, you gotta know why, especially if it was something serious. This is an especially important step if you have any unaddressed sexual trauma. This might require being open to seeing a mental health care professional and working through this in talk therapy. After you assess your mental, physical, and sexual health, you might decide you still aren’t ready. That’s completely okay.
2. Check in on your partner(s).
This one can be challenging, depending on the style of relationship you have. If you are in a monogamous relationship, check in with your partner and see if they’re on board. If they need more time, you might have to spend some time waiting. But if they are good to go, you’re one step closer to getting some.
If you are in an open relationship, then you might want to check in with the partner you have the most interest in and decide if you want to look for a new partner. The most important qualities in any relationship are consent and communication. If it’s been a long time, don’t forget the importance of regular health check-ups to make sure everything is good and neither of you are at risk for transmitting anything.
3. Make yourself feel sexy.
Long periods without sex can make you feel like you’ve lost your sexy. You might have to slowly weasel your way back into a mental state of sexual comfort. Ease into feeling sexy again by starting small. Wearing clothes that make you feel good about yourself, reflecting on past experiences, and reading/watching porn or other explicit content can be a slow reintroduction. Check-in within yourself along the way to make sure you’re comfortable.
No one knows what makes you feel good about you more than you do. If those things don’t work for you, spend some time getting to know yourself a bit better and decide what makes you feel good. Because if you feel good about yourself, sex will feel good too.
4. Jump back in. (Or dip your toes in.)
This is scary even in a monogamous relationship. I believe there is a misconception that male folk are primitive beings who do nothing but think about sex all the time. Sure, there are some males like that, but there are women like that too. The truth is, men and women exist on a spectrum just like everything else in this world, and it is important that we treat each individual as such.
For this reason, I know it is important to check the emotional cues that my husband leaves before I approach him with a sexual request. More often than not, if I make the experience about engaging and showing that I am interested in his pleasure too, he will respond positively. But there are times when he needs space just like any other person. Remember to check in with the needs of your partner, similar to how you check in with yourself, before pressuring someone else into sexual activity.
Don’t forget: if you are in a situation where you’re unsure if you have access to any partners, but you really want to do the deed, there are plenty of resources available for manual and solo play. Sex doesn’t always require a partner and sometimes, it’s easier that way.
But if you crave intimacy — and most humans do — check on you, check on them, and if both of those factors work, then have some sexy time.