Not in the mood for sex? There are some physical causes of sexual unresponsiveness.
Physical causes of sexual unresponsiveness can include illness, disease, being overweight or underweight, some medications such as some contraceptive pills, or the recent birth of a child, and in such cases a medical practitioner should be consulted.
More commonly, the cause lies elsewhere. Male and female sexual responses are different - although most men occasionally lack a desire for sex, their sexual responsiveness can be more instantly 'triggered' than a woman's. Men's sexual fulfillment can also be less complex to achieve, sometimes requiring less stimulation than a woman's.
A woman's sexual responsiveness can be keyed to many variables - her background and childhood experiences; her casual or formal regard for sex; her satisfaction or otherwise with her own self and self-image; her compatibility with her partner and, very particularly, her partner's capacity and willingness to arouse and stimulate her sexually.
Fatigue is a common cause of female sexual unresponsiveness - particularly so if a woman has the primary responsibility for raising young children. It is very difficult today to find time to be spontaneous about anything, particularly sex. Sex within relationships may be fairly frequent when the relationship is just starting and the thrill can be pursued sometimes at the expense of other things such as work, study, other friendships, playing sport or simply going out together.
Gradually though, other demands take their toll, particularly work and study, family matters, household chores. In most relationships, over time, sex can be relegated to the last thing before bed, something to do on weekends or on holiday - it can become a routine. Often, one partner feels the other partner expects sex at a particular time and the sex can become one-sided or half-hearted, the spontaneity and romance have disappeared. Worries about whether we're satisfying our partner, whether our partner is satisfying us, or about work and finances can inhibit our desire for sex. Feeling anxious about your own sexual performance can be a major factor in turning you away from sex. Some partners feel pressured into having sex because they feel the other partner always wants it.
Women compare themselves and are compared with the 'superwoman' depicted in the media - ever ready to 'satisfy' their man, capable of multiple orgasms 24 hours a day, with the ability to be a mother and dynamic professional at the same time. These images are mythical. Because of media stereotyping and some people's false expectations, a lot of women are genuinely anxious about how they 'rate' in bed compared with their partner's previous partners - the mythical superwoman depicted in the media.
This anxiety compounds sexual problems, with each successive sexual encounter becoming more difficult or less desirable than the last. Sexual unresponsiveness can occur when the woman is anxious about sex - it can cause her to have sex less often with her partner or not actively seek sexual partners at all. When a woman is unresponsive to sex her partner will often register their disappointment and this can make the woman even more anxious so that the woman anticipates her own unresponsiveness each time she is about to have sex.
Some women, who are not happy in a particular relationship, may be disinclined to have or enjoy sex with their partner but will masturbate or have sex with other partners. Their lack of sexual desire is not general, it is specifically related to their main partner. It may be that the woman is suppressing her true sexual self - she may be lesbian or bi-sexual and have no desire to continue having sex with her present partner.
A few women, even in long term relationships, may fear becoming pregnant - this can happen even if both partners have agreed, at least on the surface, to have children. The woman may suppress her true desires about starting or extending a family and the prospect of intercourse may stifle desire and arousal.
Sexual desire can decrease gradually - and naturally - as we age. Sex is not the same at 60 as it was at 25 but it can be just as fulfilling and important.