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A quarter of Brits are having less sex than they used to. Here's how to boost your libido

people about to have sex
A quarter of Brits are having less sex that they used to, a new study has found. (Getty Images)

Britons are suffering from a sex drought, according to a new study that found over a quarter of Brits are having less sex now than they used to.

The research, from LELO’s 2023 Sex Census, said that some of the main reasons for this lack of intimacy was down to the trifecta of the pandemic, cost of living crisis, and ‘global incidents’.

Despite the interest in sex declining, LELO’s report found that 70% of Brits were still touching themselves on a regular basis, with one in 10 of the respondents doing so once per day.

The study mimics recent data from YouGov which found that just 27% of the population have sex in any given week, and frequency of sex declines with age.

Yet, Kate Moyle, LELO’s resident sex expert, says there’s no reason to be worried about this decline as sex is not always the "best measure of satisfaction".

"Quality and enjoyment of sex is a more important, critical factor," Moyle explains. "We are constantly trying to objectively measure a subjective experience, and doing that just by amount or regularity of sex is a very limited way of viewing it."

Most common reason why people have less sex

Moyle says that one of the major reasons we’re having less sex is due to the domineering role of technology in our lives.

"Not only are we engaging more via technology than in person a lot of the time, but also when we are together, tech provides both a barrier and a distraction between people," she adds.

“This means that we can miss cues and invitations between partners to initiate something sexually. Instead of giving our partners our full attention, we are distracted by our screens."

couple on phone in bed
Our constant access to technology is a driving reason behind our lower libidos. (Getty Images)

Is it normal for interest in sex to wane in a long-term relationship?

In short: yes. "What we see, particularly in long-term relationships, is that desire changes," Moyle explains.

"We move from a more spontaneous style of desire to something more responsive. This is a normal part of our sex lives, the way that desire functions, but what we haven’t been taught about desire is that this is normal. So often, when we move into this more responsive style of desire, we assume this is a problem, or that the problem is specific to us, rather than that this is perfectly normal."

Moyle adds that just because we shift to responsive sex doesn’t mean the quality of sex reduces in any way.

"We read into the fact that desire has changed and that we’re no longer in the ‘honeymoon period’. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, as the relationship itself is also very different to how it is at the start," she adds. "Very often, the shame we feel about the perceived change being a problem with us can itself become a de-motivating factor for desire and sex."

How to boost your libido

If you have noticed a lack of interest in sex and are wanting to boost your libido, Moyle says the best thing you can do is to try and break out of routines.

"Once we get stuck into a routine and predictability when it comes to sex, it becomes less exciting and less erotic, so we are less motivated to do it," she explains.

"A really simple habit of changing one thing every time you have sex, even if it’s as simple as turning on or off the lights, is a really good way of avoiding getting stuck doing exactly the same thing, in the same order, every time."

Moyle also recommends increasing your sexual ‘currency’, which is things that you do with a partner that aren’t sex, but contribute to sex.

"This includes things like kissing, touching, reaching out to each other, paying attention, flirting, the little things that build bridges to sex and promote desire in relationships," she adds.

"To maintain and manage desire, couples need to invest in it and nurture it. Often, we assume these things just happen, but what we know is that couples who keep their sex life as a priority, or as a part of their relationship they pay attention to, are the ones who report positive effects."

people having sex
Having an open conversation with your partner is a key way to boost your libido. (Getty Images)

How to speak to your partner about sex

Sex can be a tricky subject to broach, especially if you are wanting more of it. Moyle recommends doing it at a time that is not in bed or not straight after having sex.

"I often recommend using something like a book or a podcast you’ve heard to start the conversation," she adds.

"[Something like], 'today I listened to this, I would love to know what you think' and starting to explore the conversation that way will take the pressure off you to feel like you have to have a point to start on - it directs it via a different conversation starter."

One thing to never do is to play the blame game with your partner when it comes to sex. Instead, you should start a conversation with ‘I always love what we do together’, or ‘I value this’, Moyles says.

"Putting a positive slant on the conversation is really important because if we approach the conversation and our partner feels like they’re being criticised, they are going to become defensive and shut the conversation down," she adds.

"We should take ownership over our side of the conversation, express what we’re interested in, and ask them how they feel about it, so it can be a two-way conversation."

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