I no longer find my partner sexually attractive
Is it because they’ve gained weight? Is it because of a change in body odour? It can quickly result in frustration and the question of what you can do about it.
Cornelia Lindner’s initial input is that “sexual desire is never just about the partner. You need to look very closely and see whether it’s not actually about you.” Too quickly we look for the cause in our partner, because we probably don’t want to believe that it’s our own libido that’s decreasing. “It’s an entirely natural development the older women and men become and the longer the partnership lasts. Physical desire for one another can decrease over time.”
According to the expert, though, it has also to do with the state of the relationship and the environment. There may be conflict or stress, or the kids may still be little and very demanding – it’s important not to just blame everything on your partner.
“Think about how you can activate the desire. Talk to one another about what you might both like and try new things. Look for fantasies to inspire you or for visual stimuli from pornography if that works for you”, advises Cornelia Lindner. With the latter, though, you need to watch out for blunting: “porn films are strong stimuli that the sexuality within the couple may not be able to keep up with.”
Couples can also think together about whether it actually has to be sexual intercourse that accounts for the mutual physicality. Some of Cornelia Lindner’s clients don’t have sex at all, because that’s what they’ve established in their relationship, or they’ve switched to other options. “Of course it’s a sensitive topic and needs to be addressed,” advises the expert.
If you want to talk to a professional about your decreasing sexuality, one of the Austrian family counselling centres is the right place for you. You can make an appointment free of charge.
Our interview partner
Cornelia Lindner is a qualified social worker, sex education specialist, sexual counsellor, family planning advisor, supervisor and certified pelvic floor trainer in the Nanaya team.
Nanaya Counselling Centre, Centre for pregnancy, birth and living with children in Vienna
Website of Nanaya
The interview was conducted in January 2023.