What to Do When You Don’t Feel Sexy

Dear Holly,

I’ve been in a relationship for a few years with a woman I really love. I give her lots of compliments on her beautiful body to let her know how desirable I find her. We’ve always had a good sex life. We’re experimental and like to have fun. The problem is that I don’t feel sexy or desirable anymore.

While she looks the same as the day I met her, I’ve put on a considerable amount of weight. Our sex life has definitely dwindled in the last year or so. She would never say my weight has anything to do with it, but I’m sure it is, and I don’t blame her. I’m determined to lose some weight, but in the meantime, how can get by before that happens. – Sebastian

Hi Sebastian,

I think most of us can relate to your dilemma, either through your lens or your partner’s. I like to say: “Weight happens!” And sometimes it’s so gradual you don’t see until it’s too late. But it’s never too late, it’s just going to take time to change, if that’s what you want.

It’s not just weight gain that can affect our desirability. It can be hormonal shifts that come with age, a drop in confidence, sudden life changes that are out of our control like loss of a job or loved one. Feeling sexy isn’t just about what we see in the mirror.

Read: 4 Things that Affect a Woman’s Sex Drive

Here are some tips for anyone who still wants to have sex, even when you’re not feeling all that sexy.

4 Tips for Sex when You Don’t Feel Sexy

1. Go through the Motions

This might not sound like the best advice as you think: Why bother if I’m not into it?

Well… the longer you’ve been off the horse, the longer it can take to get back on. There is so much mentally wrapped up in the physical expression of sex that you’ll want to keep that part of the pump primed. You’ll almost always feel glad for doing it, as there are so many health benefits to the act itself, including stress relief which may be part of the problem to begin with.

Read: When Sexual Chemistry is Suddenly Gone

2. Fake It Till You Make It

Not feeling sexy and desirable can have a real snowball effect on one’s self-esteem. You start avoiding sex more and more while you wait to feel sexy again, but during this time, not having sex actually contributes to the feelings of being less than.

If you have a loving partner who doesn’t care about your size or who thinks you’re sexy as fuck, let them have their cake. Allow yourself to be desired, whether you feel it innately at that moment or not.

Read: How to Ask for What You Want in Bed

3. Focus on Your Partner’s Pleasure

If you’re in a relationship and you stop having sex because you don’t feel desirable, you may be doing damage to the relationship in the process. I’ve had long periods where I just didn’t feel like it. When it has nothing to do with my partner, I feel bad that he’s left out in the cold for a long period of time.

Now, when this happens, I just explain where I’m at but I “offer my services,” so that where I am doesn’t affect his needs and desires. I’ll give hand or blowjobs or shower together more or whatever I know that pleases him while still being comfortable with where I’m at.

Read: 4 Ways to Build Sexual Confidence

3. Do the Work for Change

What I mean by this is to get to the root of why you feel undesirable. Is your feeling unsexy just about weight gain? Or have you gained weight because something else is eating away at you? Are there sexual issues tied to your partner that need resolving through deeper communication? Would a counselor or sex therapist be of benefit to you?

It’s difficult for most people to seek outside help, but sometimes it’s what is necessary to move forward.

Read: Common Male Insecurities: You’re Not Alone

What’s your plan of action when you don’t feel sexy? Please share!

Hookup Help is a Q&A series. If you want advice or a woman’s perspective on hooking up, online dating, relationships, or sex, we want to hear from you. SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION, and who knows, you may appear in the next Hookup Land newsletter.

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