There’s one thing nobody is taking about when discussing 2020. That crazy year was a desire killer. If you lost your libido in the past few months, you are not alone. Many couples have stopped making love altogether.
As we enter 2021, COVID vaccine in sight, it’s a good time to think about your intimate life. The longer you stay in a sexless marriage or relationship, the harder it will be to go back.
Read to learn more about the causes of lost libido in women and top tips on how to revive it in 2021. At the end of this article, you will decide to make that first step to getting your desire back.
What is the loss of libido?
When I launched my coaching program for women with low libido early spring 2020, I had no idea what the pandemic would bring. The participants came to me with low desire. You can imagine the double impact of lockdowns on their bedroom lives!
If you’re wondering what lost libido looks and feels like, let me give you some examples of what my clients have been saying:
“I just want to go to sleep. I’m too exhausted to even thing about sex.”
“I don’t really want to be touched right now.”
“When we make love, I can’t stop thinking and worrying. I can’t get any pleasure out of it.”
Do you see your own situation in those quotes? Loss of libido looks different for everyone. Most women describe the following symptoms:
- wanting to be intimate but feeling too tired to initiate anything
- complete lack of interest in sex
- stopping or reducing self-pleasuring activities that you used to enjoy
- forcing yourself to make love out of fear (that he or she would leave you or cheat on you).
There are also those less obvious signs and symptoms of lost libido, such as:
- feeling unattractive to yourself and assuming that your partner doesn’t find you sexy anymore
- losing the sense of fun and playfulness in bed and in life in general
- dropping your health and beauty routines like a morning jog or a sensual bath at the end of the day.
Remember there is no definitive diagnosis here. Listen to your gut. if you feel something is off with your desire levels, you’re probably right. If you’re not sure, talk to your partner or lover. Ask them if they have noticed any changes.
What are the causes of lost libido?
The pandemic and lockdowns have changed the way we live in so many ways. This includes our bedroom activities. Let’s examine why you may have lost your desire last year.
In order to move on and get your desire back, you need to understand what was going on in your sexuality this past year. If you’re currently single, your context may differ slightly.
You were stressed out and anxious
If you’re like me – currently in your 30s or early 40s and living in one of the wealthy countries of this world – you are extremely privileged. Most of us didn’t live through a war or famine. So, this Coronavirus pandemic may well be the first large-scale traumatic event of our lives.
Stress levels went through the roof in the first half of last year. We had to adapt to lockdowns and juggle conflicting responsibilities (like working from home full time while homeschooling three kids after schools closed). On top of that we were more anxious – worrying about our health and lives and those of our loved ones. Fearing the end of the world as we know it, riots in the streets and food shortages.
When our body experiences fear and stress, it switches into a different mode. The ancient fight, flight or freeze attitude. Hormones associated with stress take over and we can literally the pressure.
Think about how your body has felt these past few months. It might be hard to notice now but most of us developed extra tensions in our muscles, including the pelvic area. And a tight body is not open to pleasure.
You weren’t getting enough of sleep
Remember what my clients complained about last year? All they wanted was to get a good night’s sleep. Most of the women I work with have kids. The pandemic pushed their physical capacities to the edge. Taking care of children and homeschooling them during the day meant catching up on work in the evenings.
But even singles and those without small kids at home experienced sleep issues these past months. Many stayed up, trying to find comfort in watching Netflix or gaming. For some, insomnia kicked in and they couldn’t get their eyes to shut even when feeling exhausted.
Women who come to me for help with their lost libido often hope for a magic solution. While I’m no witch or miracle maker, I always point them to the one resource they have at their disposal – sleep. Trying to get more and better quality sleep should be your number one priority if you want to get your desire back in 2021.
You were spending more time together
For my relationship, the spring lockdown was a blessing in disguise. My husband used to travel a lot for work and we finally got to spend more time together as the borders closed. Even with our little boy at home, we still had quiet evenings to ourselves.
While some of my clients and friends shared that sentiment, many saw the lockdown as a disaster. Staying 24/7 under one roof with their spouses or partners was their idea of hell. I completely understand. Many of us believe that good sex thrives when there is an element of secret, surprise and separation.
Lockdown life was the opposite of that. No more business trips from which you could return hungry for your lover’s touch. No more secrets, when at some point you don’t even bother to close that bathroom door. No more surprise dinners at fancy restaurants. In other words, boredom.
You upped your alcohol consumption
When the Coronavirus situation started getting serious, online sales of alcohol in the US increased 262% from 2019. We tried to cope the best we could. Suddenly, dinner and a glass (or two, or three) of wine, became the only available entertainment option.
We reached for alcohol to reduce our stress and anxiety. But the drinking only helps in the short term. After a while you feel even more anxious, stressed, and depressed. Or you develop an alcohol problem and need professional support. And this in no way helps your libido.
Drinking in excess has two common outcomes. Either we engage in activities we didn’t really want in the first place and our relationships become toxic, or we dull our desire and stop having sex altogether.
You didn’t move much
Physical activity is necessary for desire. It’s an instant mood booster, it improves our circulation and helps us maintain optimum weight. With gyms and fitness centers closing in lockdowns we lacked the space and motivation to get up from the couch.
I hear it over and over from my clients – they stay away from sex because it requires effort. And they feel soo tired all the time. So they give up or routinely make love in one easy position.
It’s important to remember that other factors may have played a role in your dropping libido levels. For example, if you were pregnant or just had a baby, don’t blame it all on the pandemic. Chances are high that raging hormones and emotional changes have had something to do with it too.
For my clients that 2020 only magnified the problems that had been building up for months or years before the COVID-19 began to spread. So it may be worth it to take a brief look at your sex life a few more years back.
How to revive lost libido?
As we enter 2021, you may have started paying attention to sexuality again. Many of my clients are starting to get worried. They think their lack of interest in sex could have serious consequences:
- their partner may cheat on them
- they may stay sexless forever
- their relationship might fall apart.
These are all valid causes for concern but this type of thinking is a trap. If you start working on your lost libido with a fear-based mindset, you may never go back to lovemaking that feels playful and light.
I love to tell my clients that in sex there is always hope. And it’s true. What’s also true is that the sooner you address the problem, the quicker you can get your desire back.
Don’t beat yourself up for what happened last year. It was an unprecedented time and we all dealt with it best way we could. I encourage you to face your fears now and make first steps to revive your lost libido in 2021.
Take one last look at 2020
It may not sound like a tempting offer but bear with me. To start feeling sexual again, you need to take one last look at what happened last year.
I know many of us want to close 2020 in a box and throw away the key. But this is not the way to go if you want to grow in your life. Noticing the patterns, analyzing them and drawing your own conclusions will help you find the way forward in your intimate life.
Your lost libido is not all about you
If you’re in a relationship, don’t forget to look at your sexual difficulties from a broader perspective. Your intimacy is a mix of your attitudes, your partner’s attitudes, and the dynamic between you.
What I notice with my clients is that they want to take all the blame for their problematic sex life. They come to me to fix themselves, forgetting that they are only one part of the equation. Remember, it’s never just about you. Your partner or lover has some soul-searching to do as well.
Adjusting your expectations
Are you one of those people who get fired up and make tons of plans for the new year? I hope you’re also someone who has the systems in place to follow through on those commitments. Most people don’t.
I believe in Good Enough Sex. What I mean by this is that we would be happier if we appreciated what we had and built on it step by step instead of aspiring to have ideal sex. This philosophy includes setting realistic goals.
When looking for ways to get your desire back, think what’s realistic for you. Maybe you’re a busy mom and you don’t have time for long sessions of tantra with your lover. Ask yourself: what can I realistically do to help us rebuild our intimate bond?
Perhaps you were sold on the idea of fitness as a way to boost your libido. Great! But for this method to work, you need to find movement that brings you pleasure. If you love dancing, do it even in your living room but don’t pressure yourself into activities that feel like a chore (to me it, would be sweating at the gym).
Remembering why your libido is important
Last but not least, before you make a plan to find your lost libido, remember why you want it back in the first place. Only then will your motivation be strong enough to keep going. Think about (and feel it too) why satisfying sex is important for you and for your relationship. Why it matters to you to feel sexual and sensual again.
Making that first step
With all that self-reflection you are now prepared to decide on your first step to revive your lost libido. Think of one thing that will move other issues forward. And find one practice or activity you can do without much effort on a regular basis.
I realize coaching yourself this way may feel awkward. You may not know where to start. Which priority to choose? What actions to take? I hear you. And I have a gift for you to help you get started.
I truly believe sexually fulfilled women have the power to make this world a better place. That’s why I prepared a free mini course to help you get started. Enjoy!