Are You In Sex Funk With Your Significant Other? Here’s Why It’s Normal.
Can’t remember the last time you and your partner had sex? Or the last time you masturbated? That’s a tough pill to swallow, but trust: it’s not unheard of. Going through a “sex funk” of any kind is pretty common for couples and singles alike. That said, knowing they’re normal doesn’t make them any easier.
Lost? Wondering what a sex funk is, exactly? It’s when you crave sex less or your sex drive decreases and you’re no longer having regular sex with your partner (or yourself), explains Jennifer Klesman, LCSW, a licensed therapist at Cityscape Counseling.
A sex funk can happen for many reasons, but they’re most commonly caused by life stressors like mental or physical illness, a busy schedule, being a new parent, job changes, big moves, and more, says Kayla Lords, a sex expert at Women’s Health Interactive. AKA, they are caused by, well, life, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of if you’re going through one.
But no matter what caused your lull, it’s possible for the passion that was once in your relationship to come back, Klesman says—even if you aren't as attracted to your partner (or yourself) as you once were. “With much communication and vulnerability on the topic, you can recover from a funk,” Klesman explains.
Okay but.. when should I be concerned about my sex funk?
“Sex is definitely a love language, so one partner can become neglected, resentful, or just feel unloved,” if you’re not having it as much as you’d like, Klesman explains. Whether you and your partner haven’t had sex days, weeks, or even years, when you should worry varies with every relationship, Klesman says.
Only be concerned if the lack of sex actually bothers *you*. “If not having sex for any amount of time is something you don’t like, then it’s worth figuring out what’s going on,” Lords says. It may be a sign that you’re letting one important aspect of your life become off-balance.
When in doubt, talk it out!
Address the sex funk with your partner before you get urges to look elsewhere, Klesman says. “While not everyone will do this, some people will default to finding another outlet rather than work to fix what is wrong. Approach with compassion and honesty, and express what having sex with them means to you,” Klesman says. And try not to be shy! Sex is as physically close as we can ever be with someone else, so to be lacking it from a partner can affect your own mental health, Klesman says.
Get specific and take notes.
After you’ve asked your partner (or yourself!) non-judgemental questions about what’s going on, try diving into solutions and specifics. “Ask what kind of frequency of sex they’d like and then figure out what will work for both of you,” Lords says. Once you’ve decided on your happy medium, you can try tactics like scheduling sex, setting up a date night, shopping for new toys together, trying a new kink, or even seeing a sex therapist if you feel like you need extra guidance and help.
Be sexual in other ways!
If you don’t want to jump into “traditional” sex right away, “discuss other ways you can be sexual, even if it isn't physical, like sexting or shopping together for sexy clothes,” Lords says. You can also try to slowly ease into things you’re currently comfortable with—like holding hands, cuddling, or making out, Lords says.
Remember: you’ve got this! Approach with empathy and care and your sex funk will be in your rearview mirror soon 💜.