I am a 37-year-old female who almost three years ago got out of a six-year toxic, violent relationship with a man I believe I loved. After I left him for good my life started to improve in so many ways. However, it seems that my once very-healthy sexual desires have died. Ever since we broke up I haven’t felt any sexual needs or attraction towards anybody. I honestly think there’s something wrong with me. I can’t even picture myself having intimacy again. A year ago, I went out on a couple of dates with a man younger than me, he was cute and very interested in me but I just didn’t feel the connection. I really don’t know what to make of this situation. Any advice is profoundly appreciated.
—Just Another Gal
Could it be a coincidence? Besides ridding yourself of a toxic and abusive ex—and that’s harder than people who haven’t been in an abusive relationship often realize and I’m so glad you got away from him—did something else happen three years ago that could’ve tanked your libido, JAG? Did you go on meds at the time for depression or anxiety? Could an undiagnosed medical condition that came on at roughly the same time create a libido-tanking hormonal imbalance? Did you go on a new form of birth control in anticipation of the sex you’d soon be having with other, better, nicer, hotter, kinder men?
If nothing else is going on then the most obvious and likeliest answer is probably the correct one: three years after getting out of an abusive relationship, JAG, you’re still reeling from the trauma. And the best advice is also the obvious advice: find a sex-positive therapist or counselor who can help you work through your trauma and reclaim your sexuality. Even if you were to get your hormone levels checked or adjust your psych meds or switch to a new birth control method, I would still recommend seeing a counselor or therapist.
And even if the thought of being intimate with others causes you stress and makes you anxious, JAG, you can still explore solo sex. You don’t have to wait for the right hot young man to come along in order to reconnect with your sexuality. You can read or write some erotica, you can splurge on an expensive sex toy, you can watch or create porn. Really enjoying yourself may be the first step toward enjoying others again.