You have Hollywood expectations
Those sex scenes you see in movies—the spontaneous, rip-your-shirt-off, do-it-on-the-kitchen-table kind of sex—are not always realistic. “Movies (and porn) are entertainment, not how-to educational videos,” says Dr. Six. Instead of comparing your romp sessions with Fifty Shades of Grey, focus on the unexpected with your partner—being vulnerable and spontaneous is the key to great sex.
You’re too comfortable
It’s great that you and your partner are open with each other about everything from your deepest fears to your bathroom sagas. But sometimes being too comfortable means being complacent. “Sex can quickly become a rarity when you lounge around in your schlumpy sweats,” says Dr. Six. “This is fine as long as you don’t take the fact that your partner is a living, breathing, sexual creature for granted.” In other words, be comfortable, but don’t let it interfere with your desire to get down.
Your place is a mess
Who knew you had to be Mr. Clean to get down and dirty? But humans are stimulated by cleanliness—even if we can’t maintain it. “Who wants to get it on when the cat litter box is overflowing and the bed is cluttered with papers?” says Claudia Six, Ph.D., sexologist and author of Erotic Integrity: How to Be True to Your Sexuality. “You don’t have to be Martha Stewart—just create a harmonious environment. Hire a personal organizer or a housecleaner if you need to.”
There’s tension in your relationship
Even if the fact that he leaves his clothes lying on the bedroom floor pisses you off to no end, try not to let tension build up. “Tension is the death of sex,” says Dr. Six. “I see it all the time in my office. You have to address the resentments, resolve the conflicts, apologize sincerely and learn to communicate more effectively.” Even if the conversation seems difficult and risky, being more open may fuel the action in the bedroom.
Depression sucks the energy out of you, including your sexual appetite—then add antidepressants to the mix, which often have a deleterious effect on libido and ability to orgasm. “Address the cause of the depression, through medication and counseling, and make lifestyle or career changes to alleviate it,” Dr. Six advises. “You can get beyond it and thrive sexually.”
Your beautiful children might be the result of sex, but they can also be the death of your sex life. “Many women are afraid of being heard by the kids and refuse to have sex if there’s a child, of any age, in the building,” says Dr. Six. “Mommies and daddies have sex. Quit whining and get on with it!”