Tracey Cox shares some sneaky tricks to help reboot your libido

Do YOU dread sex with your partner? Tracey Cox shares some sneaky tricks to help reboot even the lowest libido – and says a ‘low effort’ romp is a good starting point!

  • Tracey Cox has revealed how to increase libido if you no longer want to have sex 
  • Sex expert advised tackling any medical problems or bad body image issues
  • Shared reasons women could go off sex including motherhood and exhaustion

‘I try every trick in the book to avoid it. I go to bed earlier than him, even though I’m not tired.’

‘I pretend I’m asleep when I’m not.’

‘I wear PJ’s, not nighties, so his hands can’t wander.’

‘I sometimes wonder whether I’d be better off just doing it, all the energy that it takes to avoid having sex.’

Are you one of many women who will do anything to avoid sleeping with your partner?

When I posed the question, ‘Do you ever dread having sex?’, while researching a recent book, I was deluged with dozens of women saying, ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’. For all the wrong reasons.

Having zero interest in sex is a common problem.

Here’s some advice to (hopefully) help guide you through it.

Tracey Cox revealed how to boost your libido if you no longer want to have sex with your partner. Stock image

Make a decision

If your partner still wants to have sex and you don’t, you have several options.

The one you’re most likely to choose? You continue to use every excuse under the sun to avoid having sex with the hope they will eventually stop initiating it.

This is the most popular option because it avoids having the dreaded talk – it’s also the worst thing you could do.

All this accomplishes is to ensure your partner feels resentful, frustrated and angry.

The sex expert (pictured) also revealed the reasons women could go off sex

A second, more sensible option, is to have an honest chat about why you’re avoiding sex so you can come up with some solutions.

I’m going to talk about lots of things you can do to get your mojo back later on, but I also appreciate some of you won’t want to.

So, what do you do if you are absolutely certain you no longer want to be sexual, when you’re in a monogamous relationship?

What if I don’t want to have sex ever again?

When we commit to monogamy, we promise not have sex with other people. But there’s also a moral obligation and unspoken pledge that says you will satisfy each other’s sexual needs.

If you’re reneging on your part of the bargain, you need to accept that this isn’t just about you – your partner deserves to have their needs met as well.

After making the confession that you no longer want to be sexual, you may find further decisions have been made for you and your partner wants to end the relationship.

But not all will.

If the rest of your relationship is great, sometimes people are happy to have solo sex and satisfy themselves with porn, fantasies and sex toys.

Or you might agree to have ‘low-effort’ sex: you’re happy for them to masturbate with you in the room watching, or up for performing oral sex or giving them hand stimulation.

Or letting them do sexual things to you – that don’t include intercourse. Lots of women say no to sex, when what they really mean is that they don’t want to have penetrative sex.

Think: are there parts of sex you don’t mind, that perhaps you are happy to continue doing?

Your partner (or you) aren’t thrilled with any of the above?

Now we get into the dangerous ‘other people’ territory.

Would you allow your partner to have sex with other people?

Here’s some other options.

You might hint that they are free to have sex on the side but make it clear you don’t want to know about it. Or you might give approval for them to have sex with others and set some ground rules. (Some women are happy for their partners to pay for sex but draw the line at affairs or regular ‘sex buddies’.)

Or you might decide to end the relationship.

If you’re with a person who enjoys sex and loves the intimacy and connection and all the other profoundly extraordinary things that sex provides, no sex is often a deal breaker. If they love you, you suggesting they solve the problem by hooking up with others, may simply rub salt into the wounds.

In that case, it can be kinder on both of you to separate and let each other find someone more compatible, rather than try to rub along unhappy and resentful.


Motherhood. Parenting is immensely rewarding but it kills your sex life. Sleep deprivation, stress, running yourself ragged – all add up to a low libido.

You’ve never been that interested. Some women have a naturally low libido and have never really got what all the fuss is about.

You’re exhausted. Even if your partner does try to do their bit, women nearly always juggle more balls. Not only doing the lion’s share of cooking and housework but also childcare and managing your social life. Is it any wonder lots feel too emotionally and physically exhausted by the demands of life to become aroused?

You’ve had a lifetime of bad sex. Some people aren’t good at telling partners what works for them, so put up with years of ineffectual technique. Others are bullied into having sex with partners they don’t even like, let alone love. If sex is not a pleasant experience and makes you feel bad about yourself, why wouldn’t you want it to stop?

You’re bored. You’ve done it thousands of times already and simply lost interest. Netflix changes its content constantly which is more than you can say about the average couple’s sex routine.

You have low self-esteem and/or a bad body image. If you have no confidence – don’t like how you look and don’t feel remotely desirable – you’re unlikely to think of sex as a fun thing to do.

You’re in a long-term relationship. Even if you love each other, even if you used to have really good sex, desire for sex does fall over time in long-term relationships. It’s hard to make love to the same person for the rest of your life.

You have health/medical issues that affect sex. Endometriosis, cysts, a cervix that gets ‘hit’ during intercourse, vaginal dryness, hormone related issues. All of these can make sex feel painful or uncomfortable. Most are treatable, but lots of women don’t seek help.


Why can’t I stick my head in the sand?

None of these are easy conversations or decisions.

But the alternative – continuing to avoid sex and hoping your partner stops asking, without ever talking about it – puts your relationship in great danger.

Your partner is left feeling undesirable, unattractive and confused: Are you having an affair? Have you fallen out of love with them?

They are also vulnerable to temptation. No matter how much we love our partners, it doesn’t make us immune to finding other people attractive. If we’re also starved of sex, they become irresistible.

The other problem with avoiding sex is that most people stop being affectionate as well: you worry an innocent touch or kiss might be interpreted as you wanting sex.

Some relationships do survive without it but no relationship survives without sex or affection.

This is why you must have the conversation, if you want to give your relationship a fighting chance to survive.

More interested in getting your mojo back?

Or at least open to getting to the stage where you kind of wouldn’t mind having sex?

Great! Regular sex has so many physical and emotional benefits for both you and your relationship, it makes sense to at least try.

Here’s some sex motivators and practical tips to get you back on track.

Sort out any relationship problems

I find it astonishing when couples believe their love and sex life aren’t connected.

‘I don’t know why I don’t want sex anymore,’ one woman told me. Two breaths later, she complained that she and her husband seem perpetually angry at each other. ‘Just looking at him, makes me see red. Even when he’s not doing anything wrong.’

Who wants to kiss or get close to someone you don’t like very much?

Tackle health or medical issues

If you dread sex because it hurts, off you go to the doctor to get checked out and talk about solutions.

If you dread sex because you’re exhausted at the end of the day, ask for help. Look at your diet and lifestyle. Stop smoking, cut back on drinking, eat healthily and exercise. All impact on our desire for sex.

Challenge a bad body image

Body image is one reason why lots of women avoid sex.

If only we realised that people who love us, look at us with rose-tinted glasses not magnifying glasses!

‘My wife had a baby a year ago and she’s still going on about how flabby her tummy is and how her breasts sag,’ one man told me. ‘She looks fantastic! I tell her all the time but it makes absolutely no difference? How can I get through to her?’ he asked wearily.

If body image issues are what’s making you dread sex, there are two things you can do right now to help fix it.

Have more sex and improve your sex skills

Not what you were expecting? I didn’t think so.

The reason why having more sex helps is because your brain handily circumvents those self-deprecating insults you feed it and instead thinks, ‘Well I can’t be that bad if this person wants to have sex with me’.

Women who know they are great lovers are too busy enjoying watching their partner melt with desire to focus on something as silly as cellulite.

What still works, what doesn’t?

‘I told my partner once that I liked having my breasts massaged and he hasn’t tried a new move since then. Once he’s done that for three minutes, he climbs on top, presuming I’m aroused enough.’

If something isn’t working for you, you need to speak up.

If you don’t enjoy sex when you have it, why would you want to do it?

Our bodies change as we move through life. Our tastes change. The techniques that used to do it for you at 20, aren’t usually what does it for you at 35.

Have an honest conversation and fill each other in. Say, ‘I know I used to love intercourse but now I prefer oral sex. My body is different after kids’. He could say ‘I used to not want you to touch me for fear of coming too soon. Now it’s the opposite’.

If you had no choice and had to have sex, when and how would you?

On the weekend? In the morning rather than last thing at night? A few drinks in? After a night out? When you’ve just had a good chat and feel emotionally connected? When you’ve been listening to music that takes you back to the days when sex was THE important thing for you?

Identify the right conditions for you and when you might be able to recreate them to try to get yourself in the mood.

Sex expert advised tackling any medical problems or bad body image issues. Stock image

Start sex warm not cold

If your partner wasn’t home and you were going to masturbate right now, what would you do? Grab your vibrator and fantasise? Read some erotica? Watch porn? Use your fingers and replay some great sex you had in your head?

If you’re on your own, go for it – just don’t take yourself through to orgasm. If you’re not, take yourself off to the bathroom and do whatever you can get away with.

Do this and you’re starting sex ‘warm’ not cold

Don’t worry if part of you is still thinking ‘Do I really have to? Can’t I just sleep/watch telly/read my book?’ Just acknowledge the thought and then let it drift away.

Develop fantasies and stop worrying about who stars in them

‘I’ve had sex with my partner hundreds of times. Is it any wonder I’m bored stupid,’ one woman, married for 32 years told me. ‘When we do have sex, I imagine I’m being seduced by the guy in Bridgerton. I wouldn’t tell my partner but also have no doubts he’s also fantasising about someone else.’

You don’t fancy your partner but you sure as hell do your boss? Your partner can’t mind-read. Let your imagination run as wild as it wants to, with whoever it wants to. (Yes, even that person.)

It works in your partner’s favour in the end. If that fantasy makes you enjoy sex more with them, your brain associates good sex with your partner, making you more open to doing it in the future.

Have sex BEFORE you go out to dinner not after

If having to have sex when you get home after a romantic night out ruins the whole evening for you, have sex before you go. Who really wants to expose their bods when you’ve had a belly full of food?

Both get dressed up, have a glass of wine, then undress (bare minimum – it adds to the fun) and have a quickie before heading out.

Then go out, eat, drink, be merry – and relax.

Tracey’s book, Great Sex Starts at 50, has lots of information about desire and how to negotiate a sexless marriage. Find it at, along with Tracey’s two product ranges. 

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