We’ve all been there.

Our partner(s) want sex, and you couldn’t be further from wanting it.

Ugh, it’s one of the worst feelings.

Of course, we want to connect with our partners — but when libidos don’t match up, it can be a challenge for everyone involved. As a couples therapist and coach, I get asked questions about this, often. It’s such a complex topic – there is no simple answer. If you have any history of sexual trauma, I’d advise you contact a therapist and give yourself the time and space you deserve to work through whatever it was that happened. Seriously, don’t underestimate the power of an un-discussed traumatic experience.

Also, if as you’re reading this – you know there’s a deeper issue at hand, let me know! I’d love to be able to help – or refer you to someone locally in your area who can. Sex is such an important part of any relationship, but it’s also hard sometimes! (pun intended!)

So, without further ado, here are three simple ways to get turned-on, or “in the mood,” when your partner wants more sex than you:

Start to Masturbate

I know that “start to masturbate” sounds so simple. You’d be shocked what happens when you begin to touch your body. You can do this in front of your partner, with your partner, or go alone to love on yourself for a little bit! There is no wrong way to start doing this. But, it’s important to figure out what mental place you need and want to be in when you’re starting to become sexual with yourself, or your partner(s). If you’re wanting support on how to start, check out our Masturbation 101 Guide.


If you feel like you don’t know where to start – try just teasing yourself. Touch yourself in places that feel good, then stop. Do it again and then, stop. Doing this will increase the blood flow to the places it needs to go! And seriously, grab the Masturbation 101 Guide. ☺️

Watch Porn or Read Erotica

Generally speaking, men are more easily stimulated by visual things – while women need a story and emotions involved. Now, again, that’s generally speaking. Many women get turned on visually the same amount as men and many men who need more context in porn to actually enjoy it. Regardless of which you prefer, porn and erotic literature or images can be extremely helpful in getting ‘in the mood.’

Evolutionarily speaking, some psychologists say that men are “hard-wired for easy arousal,” so that they could have sex at any time to continue the species. Nowadays, unfortunately, many partners feel threatened by their partner watching porn. If you’re someone who doesn’t understand why your partner watches or enjoys porn — I encourage you to ask them about what they like about porn. Usually, learning about the motivation behind a behavior can help you (and your partners) talk more about your sex life. Also, you will start to understand each other on a deeper level.

When you want to have sex with your partner, seduce them the way that THEY want to be seduced. Do you know how your partner(s) want to be seduced? - @thewrightrachel Click To Tweet

Take 5 minutes to sit and breathe. Get naked and get under the covers [with the agreement of zero expectations].

Okay, this one sounds super weird at first, I know. Let me break this down for you into two steps:

  1. Take 5 minutes to sit and breathe. This is to clear your head, center yourself and truly check-in with what you want. It is really easy to get caught up in whatever we’re working on or doing and say “no” by default. By taking just 5 minutes, you can get a clear head. Plus, you’ll be making the decision based on your true wants and desires.

If you decide to try with your partner(s), you’re going to get naked with them under the covers, with an agreement of zero sexual expectations. This is to take the pressure off of yourself! Our brains get in the way of our hearts so often, and this can help make sure that isn’t happening. Hold hands naked under the covers or look at each other like it’s the first time! You can pretend you’re Monica and Chandler on FRIENDS! If you want to have a conversation with your partner about this and not sure how to start, grab our WWC Communication Scripts — they are meant to give you the words for these more charged conversations.