How to Get in the Mood When You’re Not
Whether you’ve just welcomed a new baby into your family—or if it’s been a few years since the kids arrived and you’re still having trouble getting that spark back into your sex life—here are a few suggestions for ways to get in the mood, even when you’re not.
- Ask God to heighten your sexual desire for your husband or wife. If you don’t initially feel comfortable doing that, remember that God created sex drives and He wants you to experience the pleasure that comes from enjoying a satisfying sex life with your spouse.
- Share your attitudes. According to Christian sex therapist Douglas Rosenau, “Sex is 80 percent imagination and mind and 20 percent friction.” The mind is at the command center for all sexual feelings. Thousands of thoughts go through your mind in a day, determining how you see yourself and what you do. If you primarily think, “I really don’t care much for sex; it’s not that exciting” or “I hope he [or she] doesn’t want sex tonight,” then you’re not going to be in the mood. We believe you can choose to change those thoughts. Your feelings and attitudes come from your thoughts. So think about the intense sexual pleasure and freedom that God intended for a husband and wife. Think about how wonderful it is that your spouse desires and pursues you. The more you think about yourself and your spouse as people to whom God has given sexual drives and needs, the more you will be open to sex with your spouse.
- Pay attention to sexual desire. If you have a low sex drive, then train yourself to become aware of the slightest feeling of sexual desire. These can be significant starting points. If the feeling hits, go with it. Don’t dismiss it. Mention your desire to your spouse, and if it’s appropriate and possible, act on your desire. It will be a great encouragement to both of you.
- Remember past experiences. If you feel that your sex drive is in neutral, think about times when you and your spouse had great sex. What made it exciting? Will replicating that experience help you feel aroused again? Replace negative attitudes with positive memories. Remember why you fell in love. Think about the times when your sex life sizzled. Then try to recapture that.
- Just do it! Sometimes it’s good to take the Nike approach and just do it. Just have sex, even if you are not particularly in the mood. Of course, we don’t mean to suggest that you become sex slaves or that you allow yourself to feel used. But just as we do things we don’t particularly want to do in many other areas of our lives, at times it makes sense to engage in sex even if we’re not all revved up. Be sure to have the right attitude, however. This is not the time to think, “Okay, I’ll just grin and bear it and give him [or her] some pleasure.” This is the time to remember that we are called to serve each other with self-sacrificing love. Times of lowered libidos are opportunities for couples to demonstrate Christ’s love to each other by honoring the other’s need and putting it before their own.
- Exercise isn’t just for your health! Research confirms that even moderate exercise raises endorphins and may increase the intensity of sexual arousal. Make regular exercise, even if it is only walking twenty minutes three times a week, a part of your plan to heighten your sex drive. If it’s possible, walk together. Find a park or walking trail that allows you to be inspired by nature, and then use the walking time to talk about your day, your joys, and your challenges.
- Do things that appeal to your senses. Psychologists tell us that our senses have a powerful influence on sexual experiences.
- First, pay attention to your sense of smell. Mental associations of a certain smell can take you back to distant memories, change your attitude, calm and invigorate you. Find a candle with a scent that you wish to associate with times of sexual intimacy. When your spouse wants to have sex and you’re not in the mood, light the candle and give yourself time to let the association kick in. Perfumes, cologne, or scented lotions have the same effect.
- Second, be aware of your sense of touch. If a gentle massage will help you, make that a part of your routine.
- Third, pay attention to your sense of sight. If you are visually stimulated, ask your husband or wife to help by wearing clothing—especially underwear—that appeals to you. Try having sex in different locations, with different lighting. Use your imagination and your sense of sight in ways that will contribute to your arousal.
- Finally, be aware of how the sense of hearing can contribute to your sex drive. Music can arouse the body. Find a CD that puts you in the mood, and play it only when you are sexually intimate. Soon you will associate the music with a pleasant sexual experience.
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