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Getting over a sex dry spell

Written by Alice Child, Somatic Sexologist

Sydney-based Somatic Sexologist and Sex & Intimacy Counsellor Alice Child gives her top tips for couples getting over a dry spell in their relationship (how to have sex after a long period without it).

Couple intimacy after a dry spell. Woman straddles man

This guide contains general advice only. If you need more tailored advice, please book in a session.

Want more support? Consider booking into my couples sex and intimacy programs. You will learn what you like, how to ask for it, how to navigate differences, and get lots of ideas for trying new things together and re-find your sexual spark.

Many of the couples I work with want to reconnect sexually but have left it so long that they feel a little overwhelmed and don't know where to start. They have become more best friends, flat mates and co-parents rather than lovers.

It’s very normal to have periods where you don’t feel sexual or in the mood for intimacy. Libido and desire for sex is impacted by many things, and many couples have different sex drives.

That said, sex and pleasure is good for you - for your mental health, physical health, relationships, sleep, stress levels, confidence & even things like your creativity & energy levels.

Many of the couples I work with want to reconnect sexually, but have left it so long that they feel a little overwhelmed and don't know where to start. They have become more best friends, flat mates and co-parents rather than lovers.

Here are some of my top tips for getting over your sexual dry spell, and reconnect sexually after some time off.

Remember what attracted you to each other

Sexual attraction is a key part of the erotic formula. It's important to learn how to keep sexual connection and attraction alive year after year as your relationship evolves.

Take a step backwards from seeing them as your “flatmate” or “friend“ and see them as your lover. Reflect on why you fell in love with them!

It's also healthy to reframe your mindset and look at them in new ways- attraction can comes from many things and it can keep evolving over a lifetime.

Trigger your desire alone

Sometimes sex drive is “use it or loose it” situation. The less we prioritise it or think about it, the less we actually crave or want it.

Practice turning on your mind and your body alone first. If you've stopped masturbating or self pleasure it's time to kick start your sexuality by connecting to yourself again first.

Turn on your mind:

Some ideas:

  • Buy some new erotic fiction/books

  • Listen to audio porn

  • Watch  porn/ erotic films

  • Write erotic stories/fantasies

  • Sext/flirt with your partner during the day with zero pressure of sex

  • Let your mind wander to erotic fantasy and what used to turn you on

  • Reflect on what you used to find sexy about yourself/ your partner and you're favourite past experiences

  • Meditate, get time alone and do self care practices

  • Start a daily pleasure practice - check out my worksheet!

Turn on your body:

Connect emotionally and romantically

Just because there is no penetration happening doesn‘t mean there should be no intimacy, connection, adventure, quality time, playfulness, physical touch, fun & excitement.

If you’re missing these at the moment it‘s not surprising you‘re having a dry spell. Foreplay is the entire relationship. 

You’re way more likely to want sex if you’re feeling wanted, loved, and desired by each other every day.  So find out what each others love language is and learn how to speak it daily.

Get my connection worksheet for daily love language ideas to enhance your intimacy.

Check in with yourself

Have an honest reflection with yourself on what is going on for you. Lack of desire for sex and low libido can be caused by many things. 

For example:

  • Stress/busy mind

  • Mental heath issues 

  • Medication changes

  •  Lack of Sleep

  • Disconnection or conflict in the relationship

  • Shame/pressure/embarrassment 

  • Not making it a priority / feeling ‘too busy’

  • Unsatisfying or boring sex

  • Painful sex

  • Hormonal changes: eg menopause, childbirth, contraception 

What do you think YOU might be needing? How can you look after yourself right now? 

Agree getting over the sex dry spell is a priority

Don‘t sweep it under the rug. It rarely goes away on its own. Agree that sex and intimacy matters to you both and that your partners‘ needs matter to you.

This means not waiting until the end of day when it‘s the last thing on your ‘to do‘ list.

Try my 30 days of connection or 30 days of sexual connection worksheets, giving you new ideas for how to connect as lovers.

Hear their side

Talk with love and openness about what’s been holding both of you back from initiating sex or wanting sex & intimacy - these are called your breaks.

This might sound like a scary conversation but it’s really important. Push through the discomfort or book in a session if you need support.

Let go of resentment/awkwardness/ego/ defensiveness/ criticism/anger. Seek to understand their needs & feelings.

Some questions to ask:

  • What does the idea of ‘sex’ make you feel at the moment?

  • What might be making us feel disconnected?

  • Why haven’t either of us been initiating intimacy?

  • If we have tried to initiate, why hasn’t it turned you/me on?

  • What are your sexual breaks right now?

  • What have we been finding difficult inside & outside the bedroom?

Chat about your needs

Once you understand your breaks (things getting in the way) now try and understand your accelerators. (turn ons!)

Remember, intimacy and connection can come from many places, and sex is many many things.  Penetration is only one  part of sex - get creative and think of new ways to connect if penetration is not an option right now.

You might realise you both want intimacy but have been coming at it from different places. Work out how to navigate differences and find your middle ground. 

Listen to each other with  love, curiosity and compassion:

  • What do you need / crave more of at the moment in life?

  • What sort of intimacy do you want?

  • What can I do to make you feel more wanted/loved/ connected every day? Eg my daily love rituals

  • What gets you in the mood? What turns you on?

  • What makes us feel connected? 

Take off any pressure

Remember this is very normal, and it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you or your partner. Many of my clients have a dry spell, even when everything else is feeling really strong.

Listen to your body. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do.   The more pressure you put on yourself the less likely you’ll suddenly desire sex again!  Pressure is never sexy. 

Don't settle for okay sex

Life is too short for average sex.

If the sex you’re getting isn’t fun no wonder you stop craving it. Stop settling for okay sex or routine sex. It’s time to prioritise your pleasure.

Be curious, try new things, do my free Sexual Bucket List PDF, talk about new fantasies, and bring your partner on your journey. 

Be really explicit and clear with your communication with each other – ask for what you want, be descriptive, and learn together. 

Know that you won’t always get it right – and that’s okay! Create a safe space for experimentation, learning and play in your sex-life.

You'll be over your dry spell in no time! Good luck!


Alice x

Alice Child - Somatic Sexologist, Sex Therapy & Sex Counsellor - helps people achieve happier and healthier sex lives through 1:1 sex coaching, couples sex counselling, hens parties, and workshops. Book a session here.

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