It can be super-awkward talking to your bae about anything sexual, especially if it's a touchy subject like not being in the mood for sex. Staying on-ready can seem essential to keeping things fresh, and as women, we can sometimes feel obligated to please on demand.
Here are a few tips—from research and my own experience—to get through those moments when you're not in the mood:
Create A Mood Tracker
Write down your feelings and document instances. I tried this and found that oftentimes I wasn't in the mood simply because of timing. I'm in a long-distance relationship, and due to differences in time zones, he'd get off work hours after I'd already been home and settled, so I'd be in sleep mode. I became more deliberate about scheduling time with bae or maybe getting an early nap in to stay up late at least one night a week with him.
If you review what you've written down and find that you're not in the mood due to unhealthy arguments, abuse, side effects of a medication, or simple indifference, you may need to seek help from a therapist or doctor or leave the relationship altogether.
Set The Mood With A Slow Jam
Amp yourself up with music, films or anything that will boost arousal or confidence. Studies show that dopamine is released in the brain when we participate in activities that feel good to us. That same dopamine can contribute to attraction to your partner. I enjoy a good Sade, Janet Jackson, or Vybz Kartel (don't judge me) mix. Watch an episode of She's Gotta Have It, or light a great-smelling candle to get in the mood a bit more. Whatever gets you going, try it before getting started with bae. If it's something that both of you can enjoy together in order to pop things off, by all means, include bae and make it fun.
Be More Intentional About Foreplay
Don't assume bae just knows how to get the party started, even if you've been in a relationship for a while. Tell bae how to get you in the mood, or take matters into your own hands and beat your partner to initiating sex. Play games that ask questions about positions, fantasies or preferences, or find ways to demonstrate how you like to be touched or handled before sex. For some, foreplay may have nothing to do with anything physical—maybe reading, engaging in debate, or enjoying your partner doing something useful turns you on—but be sure to take action and let bae know how to get you ready for intimacy.
Just Say "No"
If all else fails, just flat-out tell bae, "No". Add an apology at the beginning to lighten the tone of what you're about to say but just be honest. You have the right to say "no", and you should never feel pressured to have sex or fake an orgasm. I was once recovering from fibroid surgery and had clearance from the doctor to have sex but still wasn't in the mood. I felt tired and just not myself for a while. I was straight-up with my man about how I felt, let him know I love him and asked for a bit more time. He totally understood, and a true partner who loves and cares about you will, too.
His patience with me actually made things that much more lit when we did have sex, and to be honest, it's what really consistently turns me on about my fiance—his patience, sense of self, trustworthiness, and his stance on sex. He truly believes (and shows through action) that my satisfaction, health, and happiness matters.
Featured image by Shutterstock.