Great Britain

Lost your libido during lockdown? Here’s how to get back in the mood for sex – from ditching phones to vanilla candles

EVEN before lockdown, many couples ended up, after a few years together, getting into a boring rut with sex. 

The novelty fades, boredom, frustration and resentment set in and great sex becomes a distant memory. 

This all causes the connection between a couple to fade, and they drift apart so sex gets into a downward spiral.

On average we are having sex only once or twice a month. The happiest couples seem to be having it once a week, but there is no normal!

Lockdown, with couples being forced to spend more time together was a great place to have wild sex.  

Faced with being stuck together 24/7 it was also a place for couples to get fed up with each other, making sex even less likely or more formulaic. 

Many couples have also been under increased stress and pressure in lockdown – suddenly contending with homeworking, home-schooling, financial worries, anxiety about the pandemic and being cut off from friends and family – and lost their libido along the way! 

According to a survey by Lovehoney, the overall frequency of sex has decreased by 30 per cent during lockdown. 

The National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles showed that people in the UK were less likely to have sex since the beginning of the pandemic, regardless of age or relationship status. This is an amazing waste of opportunities!

Sex helps relieve stress as well as making you feel more connected to your partner – so what can you do to get back in the mood for sex?

To get out of the rut, you need to look forward and create the sexual future with your partner that you would like. 

Here are some simple steps:

  1. Think about when you had great sex with your partner.  What was that like and how did you both feel?
  2. What has got in the way since then? Is it just that time has passed, and you have both got older, saggier and wrinklier?
  3. Watching other people having sex on Netflix may help you pick up some tips, but it could also be an unhelpful diversion as well as making your partner feel a failure!
  4. Go somewhere private. Stand up, close your eyes.  Just imagine that, right in front of you, is a magic space in which you are having the best sex you have ever had with your partner.  What shape is that space and what colour is it? 
  5. Take a deep breath in and step forward into that space. What can you see, what can you hear, smell and taste?  And then, what are you feeling?  Just stay there as long as you want and let all those feelings flow. Then step back out of that space and slowly open your eyes, knowing that any time you want you can go back to that magic space.

Now is the time to have a chat with your partner!  It is amazing how few couples actually talk about sex; what they would really like and how often. 

Most couples assume that their partner should be able to mind read and know exactly what they want and when.  The result of this is normally disappointment and resentment.

Cut through all of that. Find a good space and time where you are both relaxed and can talk freely.  Tell your partner that you want to share what is good about sex with them and what could be even better.

Talk about your desires and help them to talk about theirs. Avoid blame and the past; this is about creating a better sexual future for both of you.

See what is similar and what is different between both of you.  This is about relighting the flame of passion, letting out the inner sex gods and helping you both connect and have great orgasms.  

Set each other the challenge of coming up with new ideas to try out. 

Of these 5 should be things that you think your partner would love to have done to them and 5 are things that you would love your partner to do to you.

Talk through your lists and agree which ones you will do. This will give you better ideas of each other’s boundaries and hidden desires.

There are no rules so push the boundaries as far as you are both comfortable with. Buy whatever toys and accessories will help you both in this grown-up playtime.

Work out what the first step you are both going to take will be. Be very specific about what, when and where otherwise it will become a maybe never.

Agree to have a chat once a month to check on progress and agree another new thing to try.

Do what you can to de-stress in advance; step into your magic space and relive that great, imagined sex with your partner.

Whether your desires are for wild sex on the beach, a quickie in a cupboard or long, intimate love making on a bed strewn with rose petals you need to create the time and the space to allow this to happen.  

Make this a different and special occasion. This is the first time you make love for the rest of your life.

To mark the new start, maybe you could both dress up.  One of you leave the house and come back, ring the doorbell and behave as if you have only just met.

Create a gentle, relaxed introduction for both of you; maybe a massage with nice oil or just lying and talking together. Let any embarrassment or anxiety just flow away.

Put all distractions, including any phone or other electronic devices out of the room. 

If you have children, try and get someone else to look after them or make sure they are safe and fully occupied for at least two hours. This is the time to concentrate 100% on your partner.

A lock on the bedroom door is a great way of feeling safe that children will not be able to burst in and embarrass their parents.

Music might help get you both in the mood, drown out sounds from outside as well as hiding the noises that you both might be making!

Nice smells can boost libido; the top 3 are Vanilla, Lavender and Sandalwood.

Lighting is also important, the bright spotlights might work for future sex games, but for the first occasion, candlelight can create a great ambience and disguise the wrinkles. 

Go at the pace your partner is happy with and treat it as a journey not a destination.  

Check with each other, afterwards, what could have been even better.  You will both get it wrong at times, this is about discovery and improvement.

Create moments of intimacy, between sex, where it is as if the world has stopped and nothing else matters. These can be looks, nice words, a touch or lots of hugs.

Repeat.  Maybe even schedule relaxed sex in your diaries. Once you are both sexually reconnected with each other and the libido is fully alight, then the urgent, anywhere sex can flow.

Keep the momentum going and make it fun and different!

And if you need more motivation, here are 20 benefits of sex that you may be surprised at!

Sex can:

  1. Make You Look Younger - by up to 7 years! 
  2. Make You Live Longer
  3. Make You Smarter and ward off dementia!
  4. Make Your Relationship Stronger
  5. Relieve Stress
  6. Morning Sex Can Make You Feel Better All Day
  7. Boost Your Self-Esteem.
  8. Sex is a Pain Reliever
  9. Improve Your Level of Fitness
  10. Tone your Muscles 
  11. Decrease Your Risk of Heart Disease 
  12. Make You More Attractive
  13. Make You Glow from the inside
  14. Regulate a Woman’s Periods
  15. Frequent Sex Makes Women More Fertile
  16. Alleviate PMS Symptoms
  17. Keep the Vagina in Tip-Top Shape.
  18. Improve Women’s Bladder Control 
  19. Improve Sperm Vitality.
  20. Protect Men from Prostate Cancer

Neil Wilkie is a Relationship Expert, Psychotherapist, author of the Relationship Paradigm Series of  Books and creator of the online therapy platform, The Relationship Paradigm®.

Find out more at

Previously, we shared how just one hour in the sun can send your sex life off the scale.

And here is how to boost your libido in just THREE days with simple tweaks to food and exercise – from cutting caffeine to taking up yoga.

Sexpert reveals the orgasm myths which could be killing your sex life

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