Try these ideas to eliminate the pressure and create a secure environment in which to feel sexy:
Eliminate pressure for sex or orgasms: “Sometimes, taking the pressure off of her can improve the problem all by itself,” says Rand. Very often it opens the communication lines and allows him to share his feelings too.
Open up to your man and discuss your low sex drive. Let him know that he is not failing as a sexual “performer” and tell him he needn’t respond by trying harder.
Promote a feeling of security: This means changing the rules, which may be difficult without the guidance of a therapist, but the idea is this: Where he used to just plow forward, he now asks permission.
Rand says a more courteous approach to sex may seem like a loss of spontaneity, but in the long run everyone benefits. “You feel invaded when you think you have to say ‘yes,’ ” says Rand.
Pursue fitness for mind and body: Most women who lack sexual vitality breathe shallowly, says Rand. She recommends taking several deep breaths using chest, diaphragm and belly) periodically throughout the day.
Slow deep breaths ease anxiety. Rapid, hard breaths beat back depression by creating “excitation.” Don’t overdo this. Focus on the feeling of breath going in and out of your body. Then notice how you constrict your breathing during sex.
The breathing you do during exercise can be therapeutic, but you want to create overall vitality and do more than build muscles. Take a modern dance or yoga class.
Work expressively with music and rhythm. All deep breathing and expressive movement allows you to connect with the moment and focus on the body. This is indirectly helpful to creating more sexual feeling.
Mix it up: Positions that allow the pelvis to move freely will promote more sexual feeling, says Rand. For this reason, she is not a big fan of the missionary position, which has the woman’s feet flying high in the air. Positions that allow a woman to have her feet on the floor (or on a wall) are very “grounding,” she says. It’s even better if both partners can have something solid under their feet.
Make eye contact: Many women close their eyes during sex. In some cases, a deeply held fear of intimacy may cause this. In her therapy practice, Rand has couples grow accustomed to prolonged eye contact. In true Tantric tradition, eye contact pumps up the energy exchange and enhances emotional interplay.
Learning to look at each other during sex builds comfort and trust. And those qualities help break through the blocks that inhibit desire.