When you don’t have the energy for sex, how can you stay sexual?
All those “Not today, honey, I am too tired” jokes are not funny to those of us who suffer from constant fatigue. One of the first casualties of fatigue can be our sex life.
It’s even harder to find ways to be sexual when you are just getting by. Societal norms that tell us sex is a luxury – yet somehow express that we should always be having sex – make it even harder to find ways to be sexual when you are barely getting by.
If you or your partner are tired, there are some things you can do to have a joyful and hot sex life. While there is not just one set of suggestions that will work for everyone, the following tips can be a good start.
If you and your partner have not talked about these topics yet, this article can help you start the conversation.
Identify the cause
If you are constantly tired and there’s no obvious cause, the first thing to do is figure out what’s wrong. Chronic illnesses, pain, medications, and other therapies can all contribute to fatigue.
If you are constantly tired, it is most likely your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. The source of your fatigue will not always tell you how to handle sex, but it’s a good start.
Talk to a medical professional
There may be some obvious things you can do to reduce the impact of your exhaustion on your sex life, and your doctor or medical professional is a good place to start. Talking to doctors about sex can feel intimidating at first, but it’s unlikely they’ll consider the sexual impact of the therapies or medications they have recommended for you. There may also be options that could give you extra energy.
Reduce the stress you are under
If you are in a relationship and do not feel like having sex, you might feel bad about it. You might also be in a situation where your partner is forcing you (inappropriately) to have sex even though you do not want to.
Give yourself a break if you feel pressured or under the weight of expectations (from yourself, your partner, and society).
Living with exhaustion is, well, tiring. I know it’s easier said than done. And feeling lousy can add to your exhaustion. Remind yourself that you are doing your best and that things can and will change, even if it takes time.
Acknowledge it instead of ignoring it
It may sometimes feel like talking about a problem makes it worse. However, if you are in a relationship, it’s important to acknowledge that you are having less sex or no sex at all and that you can not enjoy sex now that it’s happening.
It may not seem like much, but just saying it out loud and admitting that you wish it would stop happening is enough. It can give your partner permission to crave sex without feeling guilty, and it can serve as a wake-up call for both of you about the value of sex in your lives, even if you are going through a phase where you have fewer opportunities to express and explore it.
Determine your goals and intentions
For some people, the problem is not that they lack the physical energy to do sexy things, but that they are so exhausted that they can not really care about sex. This is the bigger stumbling block.
It can be difficult to prioritize sex if you do not believe it is a joyful, healthy, and enjoyable activity. However, if you really want to reconnect sexually with your partner, you can start by making a list of reasons why sex is important to you.
Use this list to spend a few minutes each week thinking about what you like about sex. Do not use this as an excuse to push yourself beyond your physical limits, but use it to increase your drive and motivation.
Take advantage of what you can when you can
If you want to start having sex again or have more sex, you probably need to expand your idea of sex. There’s a lot more to sex than intercourse, and there are many sexual activities that do not require a lot of physical effort. Try to tune into the desire you are feeling (even if it’s buried) and connect it to what’s happening in that moment, whether it’s a look from across the room, a touch, or a moment of hand-holding.
It’s not called low-intensity sex for nothing!
Sex is about emotional, mental, and physical energy.
That does not mean sex can not have meaning or be passionate and powerful just because you can not swing from the ceiling or have intercourse the way you want.
It will not be easy, but remembering why you value sex in general and specifically why you prefer sex with your current partner (if you have one) is a good start. One of the lies we are told about sex is that it’s only for young people who can stand on their heads and do somersaults.
However, that’s not the case. Sex that is not very active does not have to be any less sensual or meaningful. You do need to overcome some of your social expectations and be willing to try new things. There are sex positions for fatigue and sexual activities that require less physical effort, you just have to find what works best for you and your partner.
It all comes down to timing
Another myth regarding sex is that it must be spontaneous. Sex is never truly spontaneous because we are usually cooking something up in our heads.
If you know there are times during the day when you are less tired, schedule sex at those times. If you take medications that have a predictable effect on your energy level, talk to your doctor about taking them at the right times.
It can also be helping to make time for each other when you have nothing else to do and can temporarily escape the pressures of life, even if you do not feel like having sex.
Do not take it on yourself
Fatigue is one of those things that people do not fully understand unless they have experienced it themselves. And since there are no colorful ribbons or a telethon dedicated to it, society is less aware of the consequences of living with fatigue.
This can leave you feeling alienated and alone. If you are living with fatigue, you can have a sex life, but it requires some effort and resourcefulness, which becomes easier if you have someone to talk to.
Find someone who is not your partner with whom you can talk, discuss, complain, cry, or scream, whether it is a friend, family member, or a sex counselor.