A No-Bullsh*t Guide to Boosting Your Libido
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because if not you, then who?
By Eugene S. Robinson
Sex Magic + Anal: Alone Again. Naturally.
EUGENE, SIR: What are some ways to raise the sex drive in women as we get older? What are some ways to be physically intimate without intercourse? Does anal sex have negative side effects? — Mary
Dear Ms. Poppins: Raise the sex drive? You know, some days I wake up and wish I could once again run a six-minute mile. And if there were some magical performance-enhancing drug I could take, I might be interested. Or if there were a hooked fish that would grant me three wishes for rescuing it. Or shoes sprinkled with fairy dust. I’d be open to all of these things since all of these things would allow me to avoid what seems, on the face of it, so obviously unavoidable: I, at present, can no longer run a six-minute mile.
Likewise, “raising” your sex drive is a desire to have it be higher than it presently is. Or was. Raising it to some special place where you’ve been convinced it should be. Now, if this is a genuine desire of yours, the answer is: not really. Hormones control libido, or sex drive, and these change at the behest of a variety of factors biological, psychological, social and so on. While ensuring you’re maximally fit ensures that you’ll have less far to go to get horny again at night, horniness is no guarantee if you’ve been fighting with your partner all day.
But if this is not a genuine desire of yours, I suggest canceling your subscription to Cosmo. You’re just fine, and you’re probably having sex just about as often as you want to. The second part of your query is a tricky trick, since being physically intimate without intercourse is like enjoying Nobu without actually eating at Nobu. It can be done, but why would you? If not for the first part of your question?
Now, some will suggest holding hands, hugging, spooning, cuddling and such all work to a certain degree, and if you feel most certainly that this is a path to increasing desire for sex, give it a try. But I suspect it’s more like a past questioner once questioned: How often would you get dressed up for a party if you knew you were never going to get to go to the party? By which I mean, are people turning their backs on earth-shattering orgasms? I’d wager not. But a partner switch? Well, I’m guessing yes/maybe.
Finally, anal sex practiced relentlessly and without cessation most certainly seems to have negative side effects (most specifically, prolapse), but there are great books out there on ANAL HEALTH (which you should always ALL CAP because why not?). How do I know? Because such books make wonderful stocking stuffers, and if you don’t get one, you should at least be giving one. But a gander at one of these great tomes should set your, um, heart at ease — mixed in with a steady diet of other sexual activity, anal seems to be A-OK.
Now, get out there and get in there!
EUGENE, SIR: If you have been using a vibrator all your life for clitoral stimulation, how do you come from intercourse? I have never orgasmed from intercourse, only from clitoral stimulation. I’m beginning to think I don’t have a G-spot! — TL
Dear Tender Loving: The G-spot, ye olde sexual snipe hunt, outside of generating some porn titles back in the ’80s, was found to be bunk by at least 2009. But you know what’s not bunk? The Indiana University, Chapman University and Claremont Graduate University study recently published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior — by talking to 52,600 people, researchers discovered that if couples want to increase orgasm frequency, they need to mix oral sex with manual stimulation.
Which flies in the face of what Carmine told me when he was dispensing life advice back in Brooklyn: “If it can’t get done with the dick, it ain’t getting done.” Bad advice from a bad guy, since, given the orgasm gap, it seems hetero women need to be a little more frank about the fact that insofar as orgasms are concerned, intercourse is the appetizer and oral/manual is the main course.
So, how do you orgasm from intercourse? Give yourself a hand, with or without a vibrator in it, or let your partner know that there’s lots of room for advancement around your house for young men who know how to use their heads, if you know what I mean. Which you should say as well: “If you know what I mean.” He doesn’t get that? Then he shouldn’t get anything. Good luck.
EUGENE, SIR: Is it true that if a man doesn’t have regular sex he can have issues getting an erection and keeping it? My husband and I have been married for 25 years and I have no interest in sex at all and I feel guilty. — Name withheld by request
Dear Oh Get OFF Me: He could have issues, but I’d guess that issues involving getting and keeping an erection would be the least of it. On the one hand, physical intimacy is a language all of its own, and choosing to not speak it speaks volumes about the speakers. On the other hand, 25 years is a long time, and since surprise is sometimes a sexy part of sexuality, you’re not likely going to be party to any kind of surprises — the good kind at least — after that long.
But this bed death? It could also be the sign of underlying health issues, which should be looked into. Barring that? If you are both happy with things as they are, why change? You writing me, though, seems to indicate that your lack of interest was deepened by a possible recent attempt that had him having a hard time getting and keeping an erection, a disincentive for you to try again even if that was on the menu for you.
So, in that case, yes. Having infrequent sex with a single partner single-handedly guarantees that the sex you have will not be better than if you had it more often, in the same way that you’re not going to get better playing sax if you’re playing sax only once a year. But what’s to be done about it? Well, that’s the wonderfully cyclical nature of Sex With Eugene. See the first question in this installment. That should help!