Dry spells happen. Even people who are confident in their sexuality and live for touch can experience an occasional dip in sexual activity. They can come as the result of being single for an extended time, going through a sexual rut in your long-term relationship, or having your dating life put on hold by, say, a global epidemic. Whatever the cause may be, when your sex life is on hiatus, it's natural to wonder how dry spells change your sex drive.
According to sex and intimacy coach Irene Fehr, the impact a dry spell can have on your sex drive depends largely on how long it goes on. "A short-term dry spell can make you miss feeling desired and touched and can certainly amplify sexual desire," she tells Elite Daily. "A long-term dry spell can dampen sexual desire as the lack of feeling desired and touched turns into loss of sexual confidence. Touch also fills us up and nourishes us. Without touch, we feel depleted and feel less confident in ourselves and sexual desire can drop. Because sex begets more sexual desire for it (especially when it's pleasurable and satisfying), lack of touch and sexual connection can spell less sexual desire for it."
It's all about momentum or lack of momentum. Over the course of a dry spell, it's common for your priorities, in terms of where you put your energy, to change and shift away from sex, as Cate Mackenzie, a psychosexual therapist tells Elite Daily. "If people have given up on sex and being erotic for some time, then it's possible to push it out of their minds and give up on it," she says. "Some women may feel that they just want to focus on their work, for example. Eventually, they might get used to no sexual activity."
That may sound dire, but the good news is that your libido is not doomed. It might take a little effort to get your sexual mojo back, but it's totally possible to reignite your passion. If you have a partner (or at least someone you want to be sexual with), inviting them to touch you in ways that aren't even specifically sexual can start to bring back that loving feeling, says Fehr. "After extended dry spells, sexual touch (sans sex) is a powerful way to open up to sex again and build that attractiveness and confidence that you might need to be able to have sex," she explains.
While physical contact is one great way to offset the effects of a dry spell, there are ways you can do it on your own, says Mackenzie. Her advice is to keep your sensuality alive. "Self-massage, smells, candles, music, salts in the bath, dressing up in erotic clothing, and enjoying different textures (try kaftans whatever sex or gender you are — it's fun to wear loose and revealing clothing)," are just some of the suggestions she offers. "Try dancing and anything that connects you to your body," she adds." All of these activities ground you in the pleasures your senses and body can give you.
On the subject of pleasure, Lola Jean, a sex educator and mental health professional, says to never underestimate the power of self-pleasure. "Masturbate! Find ways of creating intimacy, sex, with yourself," she suggests. Not only can this kickstart your desires, but it's a great opportunity to learn more about what makes sex great for you. "Ask yourself why you have sex or what is it you enjoy the most about sex. Pleasure? Intimacy? Skin on skin? Find ways to replicate that in your masturbation to make it more enjoyable or rewarding. If you need an extra boost in imagination, consider hiring a custom audio erotica performer to speak directly to your masturbation needs," she advises.
While dry spells can have an impact on your sex drive in ways that are, well, not so great, there may be times when sex just isn’t your top priority, and that’s OK. Fortunately, at the end of the day you have a lot of control over your libido, and when you’re ready to re-embrace your sexuality there are ways to get your passions burning brightly again.
Irene Fehr, sex and intimacy coach
Lola Jean, sex educator and mental health professional
Cate Mackenzie, a psychosexual therapist