Lack of Intimacy: 5 reasons your sex life is suffering
Did you know that lack of intimacy was named the number one cause of couples seeking therapy? We are having less sex than ever, but not necessarily by choice.
Lack of energy, busy long days, mind focused on other things, performance worries, mental health issues. There are so many reasons that can result in a decreased sex drive over time, which can cause problems in the relationship if they are not addressed.
Newsweek magazine estimates that “15-20% of couples are in a sexless relationship." While this can be for numerous reasons, it’s common for one person to have a higher sex drive than their partner. Lack of intimacy can become problematic if the quality of the relationship starts deteriorate or become unpredictable. Some surveys have revealed up to 60% of men avoid sex due to performance anxiety.
Here are 5 common reasons why your libido may be low:
For example, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease may all reduce blood flow to the genitals, and so reduce arousal. Low hormone levels could also affect sex drive and arousal. You may feel pain or discomfort when having sex, for several different reasons.
If you struggle with your mental health, like anxiety or depression, it can be challenging to maintain your libido as there are lots of other things going on inside your mind. They can also affect your mood, so 'getting in the mood' can be particularly difficult. Feelings of insecurity about being naked during sex caused by low body confidence could also contribute to a low sex drive.
3. Lifestyle and routine
'Too busy', 'too tired' or 'too stressed'. When we feel these emotions in our daily lives, sex takes a back seat. Trying to sort out kids, work and having a social life can make it challenging to add sex into the equation. Tiredness is an enemy of sexual desire.
4. Expectation and comparison
It's common to be concerned because you think sex should be experienced like it is portrayed on TV, in the media or on porn sites. Worrying about your sex life can also be triggered by feeling like you're not having as much sex as you 'should' be, thinking everyone else is at it much more than you. In truth, the 'right' amount is however much works for you and your partner – no more, no less.
5. Negative experiences
Maybe in the past, you've been humiliated during sex or not consented to it, this can cause a deep avoidance towards having sex in the future as it's labelled as a bad experience.
Around 11.7 million men in the UK said they struggled with sex, with one in eight experiencing problems every time.
People's sexual habits and desires vary greatly. What feels right for you is not necessarily the same for someone else, and because intimacy changes over time, what you enjoyed two years ago may be different to what you enjoy now.
Sometimes, a lack of intimacy could be because both you and your partner feel less connected to the other. This could be because you are not spending much time together, or maybe you've had a big argument that has dragged on and caused a rift.
If there are problems in your relationship, you need to address these before you can expect your sex life to get back on track. Talk to each other about the issue, tell one another how you feel and try to find solutions together.
Hoping it will just magically re-ignite isn't very realistic so that's where Sex therapy and CBT can help.
What Happens in Sex Therapy?
If you are struggling with your sex life and it's causing relationship problems, you will benefit from finding a Sex Therapist that is qualified and experienced in treating these issues.
The approach used will depend on your specific situation, history and circumstances. You can have sex therapy alone, or with your partner. We are currently offering CBT both online and remotely, find out more here.
How to find a sex therapist?