7 ways to jump-start your sex drive
Maintain your sense of self
Being your own person — maintaining not only your own career and interests, but also your own goals and desires — will bring you and your partner closer. Schnarch writes on his Website that "sexual encounters provide perfect opportunities to differentiate and develop the strength to love deeply."
Be honest to be intimate
Schnarch says that many couples think of intimacy as "other validated." For example, you admit to your partner you feel fat and out of shape. He validates you by telling you how wonderful you look at any size and then shares one of his own insecurities, which you then validate by telling him how great he is. While you're trying to be supportive, you're not being honest — and you're making yourself vulnerable to other people's whims.
Beware emotional gridlock
The problem with "other validation," compromise and negotiation, Schnarch says, is that it leads to "emotional gridlock," what he calls the "plain-vanilla, most common cause of low sexual desire in couples." In this state, no amount of improved communication will ever fix things. Be honest with yourself and your partner. You can grow true intimacy through conflict, disclosure, and self-validation.
Remember: In a marriage, all roads lead to sex
Fundamental differences — you want another child; he doesn't — that on the surface aren't related to sex, still affect your bedroom habits. "In a marriage, all roads lead to sex," Schnarch says. "Especially those things you can't just agree to disagree about."
"A solid sense of self — someone who will say 'I want this' and 'I desire that' — is the essence of eroticism, particularly sustained eroticism, for everyone," Schnarch says. "If you are not able to effectively tell each other what you really mean, need, and want with your clothes on, how are you going to do it naked?"
Accept that it's hard work and there will be setbacks
"It is terrifying," Schnarch says. "And impossible to do perfectly. The way we grow sexually is the same way we grow personally — two steps forward and one step back, a constantly adjusting mix of courage to risk leaving one's comfort zone and retreat to its edges. And just as every journey to selfhood has a unique path, every couple must work their own way through emotional gridlock."
Do your hug work
Schnarch recommends hugging standing up for about five minutes once a week. He says hugging will give you a more accurate picture of the state of your relationship. Are you stiff or clingy? Is your partner distracted? The hug will give you the information you need to repair whatever is going wrong and adversely affecting your sex life.