Sex Starter: Getting in the Mood to Initiate Sex

Dear Dr. Patti:

My question is about something that I don't see many people asking about. I don't have a problem reaching orgasm -- as a matter of fact, that is absolutely wonderful. My problem is that I can never get in the mood. I love my husband very much, and he has been the only man to get me to reach orgasm. If he initiates it then often I realize that I do want to have sex, but the problem is that I never feel like it until he starts foreplay. Do you have any suggestions on what I could do? It isn't a huge problem for my husband, but he would like it if I sometimes initiated sex. Please help.



Dear L:

Begin with your appreciation to yourself and to your husband that you have glorious orgasms. That's a good start. I understand your problem; many women have this condition, known as low sexual desire. According to a 1999 Journal of the American Medical Association survey about sexual problems, low desire ranked among the top problems for women in America today. In fact, 4 out of 10 women claim to have a sexual problem, and desire disorders lead the pack. So you are far from alone.

There are hundreds of possible reasons why you are never in the mood, stemming from thoughts, feelings and physical realities. Perhaps you are too tired from the daily routine; maybe you are thinking about other things that distract you from eroticism; or you may have some inner tides that are pulling you away from the dance of intimacy. Whatever it is, only you can dredge those out and review the causes. I suggest that if this really bothers you, you may want to work briefly with a counselor or therapist to examine your history and discover what might be blocking your desires. It may be simply that you work too hard, have a lot of stress in your life or are tired all the time. If you have a career and family pressures, those alone can turn off the sexual longing. If you in or past menopause, your hormones may be the culprit.

I suggest a few radical ideas: First, what if you decided to take a role, as in a play, and became the seductress? There are books on how to find the wild side of yourself, such as Exhibitionism for the Shy. Natural stimulants may also be in the cards. I recommend the homeopathic oat-based formula Allurex for Women (available at my site, Those products can help significantly in opening up the sexual channel, especially the desire aspects. Finally, I strongly recommend that you and your sweetie make special time to be sexual. Relax first, take long sensual baths together, light candles, breathe deeply into the experience you are about to have, and enjoy the ride.

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