LOST INTEREST IN SEX? Some Tips To Help Rekindle The Passion

WORDS: Ruth Simons C.S.W. B.S.Sci.Psych (Hons). FACCP FAAPi Psychologist & Psychotherapist PHOTOGRAPHY Mimi Lalaa @unsplash

Losing interest in sex is a very common presenting problem in my practice. Statistics in the States have found one-third of American women in relationships are not interested in sex.

Having said that I am seeing more males than ever in my working history, stating they too have lost interest in sex. Many of these men have partners with a higher interest in sex than they have, thus this causes problems and these men suffer with performance anxiety, just as women do when they are pressured to have sex when they don’t want to do it.

Truth is, a drop in sexual desire is an early warning signal that something is not right in a person’s life be it physiological, psychological or situational.


I am going to start with working couples with children. While many men today share the load, statistically women tend to take on more work than their partners but not happily. They become quite resentful, and the relationship turns into a tit-for-tat on both sides. Subsequently, sex goes out the window, as who wants to have sex when there is so much resentment. Many women report feeling too tired to think about sex; when they say this I explain to them that men think more about sex whether tired or not as they have 20 times more testosterone than we have which makes them feel sexual. Whilst this is a fact, many women do state that once the kids have gone to bed and all is settled in the house when their partner touches and caresses them, they become aroused, hence, lie back and enjoy it! Please note, in this case, arousal happens before desire.

Many men report feeling rejected because their partners never initiate sex. When I explain this to my female clients I suggest they take turns initiating. This way, all the pressure is not on the male. For example, if the couple are having sex once a week, she initiates one week, he the other.

Women lose interest in sex due to various stages in their lives and fluctuations in their hormones. For example, during pregnancy and very often after pregnancy they lose their hormone DHEA. This hormone drives their libido, it is the feel-good hormone after having a good workout in the gym. It can take up to 2 years to come back. Also, when they are breastfeeding and have constant bodily connection with their child or children, the last thing they want is someone to touch them when they are overloaded.

Strangely this is never explained to pregnant women by their doctors or pre-natal classes.

Menopause often affects women’s libido. They experience dryness which causes discomfort, fewer orgasms, and loss of interest in sex. However, HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) can help all the issues related to menopause dramatically. There are many other things available to help and aid issues related to menopause. I recommend bio-identical HRT.

Stress plays a big factor in low interest in sex for both males and females. Low sexual desire is not a disease, it is often an imbalance in your life.

I talk to my clients about The Pie of their Relationship, which covers:

  1. Finances – financial stress is often a big factor, as well as financial discrepancy whereby couples have separate finances. If not a mutual agreement, it often causes deep resentment.
  2. Work – work dissatisfaction, too much work and stress at work can affect one’s level of happiness.
  3. Babies – while wonderful, can cause fatigue, loss of sleep, and loss of intimacy.
  4. Children – busy schedules, especially children with special needs.
  5. Health – poor health, no exercise.
  6. Medications – numerous. The Contraceptive Pill, Anti-depressants, Blood Pressure medications etc.
  7. Hobbies – lack of time to do what you enjoy.
  8. Family – immediate and extended. If there are family issues, interference, stepchildren, ex-partners.
  9. Social Life – few friends, no time to have a social life.
  10. Fun – lack of fun, date nights, surprise dates and laughter.
  11. Addictive Behaviour – alcohol, drugs, porn, gambling, cigarettes.
  12. Body Image – poor body image.
  13. IVF – IVF can be a tough road to go down. It affects hormones, failures are traumatic, and sex is about procreation and not pleasure.
  14. Communication. I have kept this for last, as it is the bottom line of everything in a relationship. There are two subjects couples fail to talk about. Sex is number one. By talking about it, I don’t mean complaining that someone isn’t getting enough. I mean sitting down and telling each other exactly what is missing, what they enjoy the most and what they dislike. A common issue for women is the lack of intimacy and affection. I explain to my couples, that men experience intimacy during sex, but intimacy to a woman is nonsexual affection, showing appreciation and gratitude to each other for everything, having fun, and regular date nights. It is a very simple formula. It’s just being nice to each other. The second issue many couples fail to ask about is finances. This occurs often when couples have separate finances and not a very clear verbal or legal understanding as to how this will work in a long-term relationship. This issue causes enormous resentment if not addressed.


We all have stress in our lives. The day we don’t is the day they cart us off to the cemetery. Not everyone reacts the same way to stressful situations. My job is to help people who struggle to change their coping styles.

Changing a negative outlook to a positive one is very important. You can test the strength of your relationship by the way you support each other through all the hurdles listed above. A good relationship often provides the motivation to be sexual, because we feel close to our partners, and this is the intimacy women talk about.

However, many women believe they lack desire because they do not feel physically turned on before sexual activity. All the lovely feelings like feeling horny, flushed, and tingling in the genitals erode as the length of the relationship and daily activities takes over.

Sex therapists are not experts in what will ignite your passion. You are the only one who knows what you want. My job is to help my clients uncover or realise what is inhibiting their low interest in sex.

If the problem is physiological, I suggest that my female clients see a Gynecologist and my males see a Urologist.

I also determine whether my clients are in controlling relationships, where there isn’t a balance of power. If there is abuse, which comes in different ways, i.e. financial, controlling, physical, verbal. or psychological.

Once my clients deal with all the issues mentioned above that may be causing stress in the relationship and affecting loss of interest in sex, we then embark on ways to enhance interest in sex.

There is truth in the saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it”

To start the journey, your mind and body must be connected.

Sex needs to stop being an obligation; it is time to stimulate your sexual imagination.

  1. Go online or to a bookstore and find books on sex that might appeal to you. I often suggest that my clients buy “Hot Sex and How to Get It” by Tracey Cox. I suggest to clients who have never discussed sex with each other to read the book to each other and discuss sex objectively together.
  2. I suggest for those who want to be sexually educated and have a bit of a laugh, to listen to my Podcast with my 33-year-old granddaughter Olivia, titled “Sex With My Grandma” on Spotify.
  3. I highly recommend sex toys as a sex aid and for fun. Particularly for the 70% of women who do not have orgasms during penetration. I suggest to my clients to go to a female-staffed sex shop as women feel more comfortable talking about suitable sex aids. There are numerous types of toys for both males and females.
  4. Watch erotic, not pornographic movies. Most women tend to enjoy Erotica, as endorsed by the millions of copies of 50 Shades of Grey that were sold around the world.
  5. Ladies, go and buy some sexy lingerie, not only for your partners but for you to feel sexy wearing it.
  6. Do something every day that sparks your sexual imagination, do this for a couple of weeks. Visualise it. As the Chinese say, “What you can’t visualise will not happen”.
  7. Do some Mindfulness exercises: place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen, relax stomach muscles, inhale deeply and count in for 5, hold for 6 and out for 7. Focus on your genitals, tense the muscles in that area and then release the tension. Do this while breathing and focusing on the sensations. When ready, add a sexual fantasy. Imagine being kissed, caressed, touched, etc. Do this exercise as often as you can find time to do it.
  8. Masturbation is the next step. Even if you do not feel like it, do it when the time is right. This is the best way to open the file in your brain that has slammed shut.
  9. If you are not doing it already, regular exercise and being healthy is a great start in getting your interest in sex back.


Most people don’t want to do these exercises. They come through my door wanting a quick fix. But this is not practical. It is a complex problem and requires knowledge, patience and time.

Remember, your partner, who has not lost his/her interest in sex is having to deal with their own insecurities over your rejection of them and your lack of interest and desire for sex. They often take it personally and feel it is because of them, so they need reassurance that it is your issue, not theirs.

I also suggest you communicate with your partner that everything you are doing is so you can get your interest in sex back and that you are not buying sex toys, lingerie or anything else because you are having an affair.

When your interest in sex returns keep focused on your new self, and know that sex can be an important part of your life no matter what age.


Ruth is a Registered Psychologist, Clinical Psychotherapist and Sexologist. Ruth had over a decade of experience in a Private Psychiatric hospital in Sydney and since 1988 she has been working in her own Private Practice, now at Benowa.

Ruth has conducted corporate workshops in Australia and abroad and, maintains a high media profile.

Ruth was the author of the hugely successful book, Sex, Lies and Relationships (released in 2006). Ruth was a frequent guest on both national television and radio including the Seven Network’s Today Tonight and The Morning Show with Larry and Kylie.

For more than 17 years, Ruth wrote a very popular weekly column – also called Sex, Lies and Relationships – for News Limited’s Gold Coast Bulletin and she appeared each Thursday at 6 pm on Hot Tomato 102.9’s Mal and Luke Show.

Ruth now has a Podcast on Spotify with her eldest granddaughter (33) called “Sex with my Grandma”.

She has a busy schedule of appearances as a highly entertaining keynote speaker at major events and conducts popular workshops.

Ruth believes one of her major attributes is teaching people why they behave the way they do and her private practice is widely acknowledged by the medical fraternity. Her deep understanding of human behaviour has allowed her to develop a highly sought-after programme of relationship and sexual therapy in addition to treating people with anxiety and depression.

Ruth has been a Registered Psychologist, Clinical Psychotherapist and Sexologist for over 35 years. She continues to operate a busy professional practice on the Gold Coast and up until Covid she ran a Private Practice in Sydney’s Bondi Junction.

Ruth was appointed as a member of the Psychologists Panel of Assessors for the Queensland Government for a ten-year term. She is the past President of the Australian College of Clinical Psychologists, Gold Coast and was the founder and now Life Member of the Australian Association of Psychologists.

She has lectured for many years to the nursing faculty at the Gold Coast Hospital and has been a lecturer at Bond University, Griffith University and Queensland TAFE.

Ruth Simons C.S.W. B.S.Sci.Psych (Hons). FACCP FAAPi

Psychologist & Psychotherapist

The Professional Centre, Suite 4, 189 Ashmore Rd, Benowa, QLD 4217 Ph: 61 417 972222 email: [email protected]