New here and really need some advice

I’m no spring chicken at 32 but sex has been a nightmare for me in the past. I’ve come here in the hopes someone might be able to point me in the right direction of being able to be more sexually comfortable with myself and my husband (of 17 years).

Are there such things as people who can help you relax and learn to enjoy sex without costing the world. I’ve looked at counsellors and therapy but its so expensive, even for relate.

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Hi :wave: @Duck_Duck_Loose welcome to the forum :blush:

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Hello and welcome @Duck_Duck_Loose :slightly_smiling_face:

Is there anything in particular you’re struggling with? If you can narrow it down a bit, it may help people give more specific advice.

But there are also lots of topics on here about all manner of things if you have a search. :+1:

I’ve seen psychosexual counsellors recommended on here before, rather than regular ones. They might be worth looking into?

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@Duck_Duck_Loose welcome. I think I may look for a podcast or maybe even some online free confidence videos.
Sorry I’m not the most helpful x

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Hi @Duck_Duck_Loose Welcome to the forum.

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Hello and welcome, and 32 is pretty young!
Not sure what your inhibitions/worries are, but maybe you can analyse yourself and tell yourself positive things about yourself. Maybe a couple of drinks and open discussion with your OH may help. A lot of the time, self confidence comes from within and from positive reinforcement from a loving partner.
Hope this helps as that’s the most cost effective advice i can give. Maybe read the “Body Positivity” topic, it might give you some insight.

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Welcome @Duck_Duck_Loose

Everyone on here is lovely and some great advice can be given.
Maybe like @Ian_Chimp says-
Can you give a bit more info into what you would like to start with and we can see how we go or what tips we can give.

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Also, like @Mrs.John says, try a podcast.
The Lovehoney podcasts cover a lot of subjects and are a great listen.

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Welcome to the forum @Duck_Duck_Loose

Feel free to ask any questions and get involved. We’re a friendly bunch

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Thanks all for the replies. I’ll try and give as much detail I can without going on. I could probably write a book with the problems we’ve had.

In short, I have a very (almost no) libido. I often engage in sex/oral ect despite not really wanting it (unhealthy I know but we are working on it) however on the very rare occasions I do enjoy the sex we have I end up feeling so ashamed and embarrassed after, even though we’ve been together 17 years.

There doesn’t seem to be a happy medium. I’m either having sex I don’t want or feeling bad for the sex I do enjoy. Life is to short for these feelings but I can’t seem to shake them.

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Hi

You will get lots of good advice here,

Firstly I wonder if you are on any medications particularly the birth control pill or antidepressants as these can diminish your sex drive.

Have you had an MOT at Dr’s to check there is nothing obvious like thyroid problems? More than likely there is nothing wrong but like many of us need to get your head in the right place to ignite your libido. Take time out to relax, maybe watch some soft porn for women the Bellesa site is a good one. Read some erotic literature. The other thing that massively helped pep up my libido is to masturbate regularly with a bullet vibrator.

You could try a self-help book on low libido as this would be a cheaper option than therapy.

You mention that you feel bad for the sex you do enjoy - any idea why?

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@Duck_Duck_Loose

Hello and welcome to the forum.

You are definitely not alone in your situation, I’m sure many others will have some great advice.

As @GoGirl12 suggested it might be an idea to speak to your doctor just to see if there could be any links to contraception, medication or other factors. It’s possible you may have already considered this but it’s worth a shot, just as a starting point even if it just gives reassurance.

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This sounds good, to explore by oneself without any pressure to perform. I’ve enjoyed a few videos on that Bellesa site although it’s not all what I’d call soft porn - even what’s described as “girl on girl” may involve some potentially off putting anal acts. :warning:

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Hello :wave:

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Hi @Duck_Duck_Loose hope you get some great advice from everyone here enjoy the forum :kissing_heart:

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Hey welcome to the forum :raised_hands: yes I believe there is ways and methods of this that cost nothing!
Have you tried looking at relaxing techniques on the web or YouTube?

I Think one the main focuses for sex to be enjoyable is to be in the right mind for it so having some porn on in the background helps many while for others tranquility music relaxes the mind, so I’d suggest exploring things that work for you :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi @Duck_Duck_Loose, and welcome to the forums!

Sorry to read you’re having problems. As @GoGirl12 mentioned, worth ruling out anything medicinal or perhaps worth a consultation with GP to rule out any health causes if libido has always been very low.

From what you have wrote around your feelings around libido and also after the occasion, it does sounds likely to be more mind related than physical, and an uncomfortable loop that on the occasions you can enjoy sex, you beat yourself up after. So whether you have sex or not, you’re kicking yourself where it hurts.
There is possibly a lot to explore around this and self-help books may help a little, but I think talking it through with someone will help better to find where it has come from, probably through some form of counselling. It could be something that has come from upbringing, parents views, schooling, any past experiences and our perceptions at the time registers and it becomes part of us.

An example of this for me is with my disability, and of course unlikely to be any similarity to the probs you have mentioned, just the easiest way of me to try and explain how past events mapped out my beliefs. My Dad could never accept his children were disabled, and when diagnosed at the age of 9, our relationship changed completely, he changed as a person.
I never realized until last few years (I’m 43 now), that experience taught me that when others knew I was disabled, they too will push me away and reject me. Being bullied because I walked funny reinforced the message.
It caused me many problems, trying to hide my disability, trying to be superman to cover it up, quite a lot of behavioral stuff around it, the knock on affect was it impacted almost everything.
I learnt to accept my Dad just didn’t know how to handle the situation; there was a lot more stigma and judgement in the 80’s and he was a proud man. It doesn’t excuse it, but he is only human and tried his best.
I only mention this to highlight how counselling helped me understand my beliefs and feelings, and in turn behaviors. Once I knew that I could then work on changing it. Not a quick process, but feel so much better now. If I had relied on self help I simply wouldn’t have understood (let alone accepted) my beliefs, or the ability to try and change it.

NHS offerings tend to be only 6 sessions of CBT, and I think it is unlikely to be helpful for you as from experience it is more a tick box exercise.
There certainly used to be places that would offer heavy discounted sessions with trainee therapists, it may be worth looking around online as with Zoom and such like technology it opens up options.
Trainees will have at least 18 months of training, and like any qualified therapist they will often be a member of BACP, practice ethically, and will be in consultation with Supervisor in the same way.

The other thing may be worth considering is just being intimate with your husband, rather than focusing on sex itself. Candle lit massages with oil, bathing/showering each other, plenty of cuddles. Take things back a notch and see if things change from there - it might take the pressure off yourself around sex specifically and break that cycle of blaming yourself.
I can imagine it is not easy for you or your husband, and this may at least bring you closer together. As @WillC also mentioned, open honest conversations between the two of you might help also if it’s not something that is happening already, and the intimacy may help those conversations become a little easier.

Apols for the long winded ‘pro-counselling’ waffle, wish you all the best, and I’m sure there’ll be lots of other suggestions and ideas from others.

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Welcome @Duck_Duck_Loose.
There’s not a lot that I could add that others haven’t already said apart from repeating the common threads of relax, communicate and never feel guilty about enjoying yourself. That sounds as if it’s rooted in some bad childhood experience and if it is, there are people who can help exorcise those demons.
Good luck x

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Your not alone in struggling with low libido. quite a few people on here have the same issue for various reasons, myself included (meds).
Like everyone said, a check up and having a look at any medications is a good place to start, but you can still have a fulfilling and active sex life even if you have low libido.

Getting comfy with your body would be a good place to start. If you dont masturbate i would try doing so. Set aside a little you time, (maybe find a nice piece of erotica or some decent porn) and let yourself relax into it. Go slow, Take Deep slow breaths, just concentrate on how it feels. Dont worry about whether you climax or not, just enjoy the sensations.
Learning to relax into it is incredibly helpful if you have low libido. But like learning to meditate it takes practice, so dont be put off if you get stuck.

For me, getting in the right headspace is really important. And can make a massive difference to a session. I dont usually feel horny before a session, i just decide i rather fancy sex, then take extra time warming up with lots of foreplay till I’m turned on.
Sounds backwards i know, but it works surprisingly well.

Also The onus doesn’t always have to be on you. Its pretty common for one partner to have a higher sex drive than the other. Doing something slightly different together, like watching your partner masturbate or helping your partner masturbate is also a fun way to be intimate without having to go the whole way if your not in the mood.
Some guys like to be held whilst masturbating, and kissing, touching and just generally snuggling are all nice options.

Most importantly, do talk about it with your partner. Tell them how you feel. Work together.

Whatever you try i hope you find something that works for you both.

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Hellooooooo

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