For many of us, there comes a time in our life or relationship where getting turned on during sex is difficult. For the partner of such a person, this can feel like a personal failure. If you’re here because your partner is having trouble getting turned on, there’s good news. There are many reasons why one may be struggling to get in the mood that are unrelated to their partner’s looks or their feelings toward them. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why your partner may be having trouble getting turned on.
Before we start, let’s take a moment to talk about perspective. While you may be feeling a hit to your self esteem, me cannot forget to think of how your partner is doing. For those who struggle to get in the mood for sex, this can be humiliating. They can feel broken or like a disappointment. So, when approaching conversation of this topic, it’s important to be kind and remember that this is not something that’s happening intentionally.
Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are two of the most common causes for difficulty performing sexually. For many people, depression comes on suddenly. For others, it comes on gradually, over months or years. If you know your partner is struggling with depression, or if you suspect this may be a new possibility for them, this could be the cause of their struggles.
Depression affects all kinds of things, both emotional and physical. It can cause emotional instability, apathy, fatigue, and also a hard time getting or staying turned on during sex.
Anxiety can also cause a difficulty getting or staying turned on. When one’s mind is racing with anxious thoughts, it’s hard to focus on the moment. Anxiety can also cause stage fright or performance anxiety, making any potential mood die from stress.
Both of these mental illnesses have medications that can help alleviate symptoms. However, depression and anxiety medications can also cause a decrease in sex drive. The only ruling solution is to see a therapist and work on solving the root cause of the illness.
A different approach to sex may also help. Remember that intercourse and climax are not the only ways to have a good time sexually. Make sure you and your partner are both comfortable and consider exploring alternative methods. Make use of toys, lube, and other props in order to improve the experience. If your partner is consenting and interested in sex despite their inability to react in a typical way, physically, you both can find a way.
For those with penises, erectile dysfunction can wreak havoc on their sex lives. If your partner is having a hard time maintaining an erection, even when they’re otherwise in the mood, they should see their doctor. Erectile dysfunction can be cured, depending on the cause, but it’s best to seek treatment immediately.
Difficulty Staying Lubricated
For those with vaginas, vaginal dryness can be both embarrassing and inconvenient, making penetration impossible and friction painful. A change in hormones is the usual cause of vaginal dryness. Pregnancy, birth control, or other medications are usually the culprit. If vaginal dryness is causing difficulties for your partner, they should talk to their doctor about causes and the possibility of changing medications.
Trouble getting turned on cannot be blamed on anyone in particular. However, difficulty with sex can cause all kinds of problems in a relationship. Resentment, insecurity, and anxiety are some of the most prevalent results. If you and your partner are having difficulty with sex, seeing a sex therapist is a great way to assess the cause and get the ball rolling on sexual recovery.