What can I do to get my libido back? Should I fake it?

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Question:
I have three children under the age of 6 and by the time it gets to be night and the kids are in bed, the last thing I want to do is have sex with my husband. What can I do to feel more in the mood or get my libido back? Or do you think I should just fake it?

Answer:
No matter how wonderful women’s relationships are, it’s a fact that women often bear more than their fair share of household chores and childcare responsibilities. Even when couples are able to share the load 50/50, it’s a lot to expect desire to thrive when one has spent the past 14 hours packing lunches, changing diapers, or dropping everything to comfort a crying child. That said, caring for a couple’s intimate life is enormously important, too, and I sense your struggle trying to find balance.

While “acting as if” you’re interested can sometimes help women get in the mood after they start, over time it can also cause women to dread sex – so I’d be careful with how often you feign desire. Some couples – feeling exhausted at the end of the day – learn to love morning sex. Others find their most intimate moments mostly on the weekends, and sometimes primarily when the grandparents or babysitters are in charge for a few hours.

If you’re determined to make night time sex work, consider what you can let go of. Can the laundry wait for another day while you two go to bed early, giving yourselves time to relax, take a bath, talk about your day and make space for desire? Or can you communicate to your partner that, as much as you love him, that you sometimes need a night (or three) off so that you can bring your A-game to bed another night? Most people would prefer quality over quantity anyway.

Sex lives – like our bodies – change with time and age, and what used to be effortless may require special attention. To learn how other parents make it work, check out Love in the Time of Colic: The New Parents’ Guide to Getting It On Again. You can also learn how to stop dreading sex – and start looking forward to it – by reading my book Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction (save money by pre-ordering it on Amazon).

Related MSP Posts:
- Sex after childbirth
- When and how to talk about sex with your healthcare provider
- Can a woman have an orgasm after she’s had a hysterectomy?

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[Image by jbj via Flickr Creative Commons.]

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at www.sexualhealth.indiana.edu.