Two hot people look at each other. Desire pours out of them. They rip off each other's clothes and immediately start petting and panting. Sex happens, everyone orgasms, and the whole thing is steamy and super graceful...
Ha! Only in the movies, bb. In real life, sex is farrrr different. It's more awkward, messy, and sometimes, not happening at all due to a lack of sexual desire.
A low libido is completely normal and common... but no one talks about it, says Shadeen Francis, a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in sex therapy and social justice. "The national standard of sex education in the U.S. is fear-based, abstinence-only curricula, which doesn't include anything about desire," says Francis. "Without information about what desire is, where it comes from, and how we can maintain it, people often feel like it's a magical thing that happens to them, rather than a practice they can be in control of."
But you can be, with a little help. Here are expert tips for getting turned the eff on (just like they do on TV, but way more realistic!) on the reg.
Forget what sex is “supposed” to look like.
When you see two actors going at it on-screen, it usually appears one way: Heteronormative, orgasm-centric, and all about penetration, says Yael Rosenstock, author of An Intro-Guide to a Sex Positive You and founder of Kaleidoscope Vibrations, LLC. This feeds into the thinking that there's a "right" and a "wrong" way to have sex. "This idea really affects people and their desire because it doesn't provide an environment where they're able to explore what actually feels good," Rosenstock says.
Desire is v. different for every person. It's possible that, if you're not feeling aroused, it's because you haven't figured out the thing that turns you on (like watching certain types of erotica or having specific spots on your body touched). Do yourself a solid and experiment a little so you can figure out what works for you.