Hollie, 30, om Essex, is a writer & broadcaster
Another parcel arrives from a PR company, filled to the brim with the latest in sex tech. In the back of my wardrobe lie variations of just about every vibrator going, alongside a lifetime supply of lube. Writing about sex has been my job for a while now, but the last time I actually had sex feels so long ago. In fact, the last time this sex writer had sex was nine weeks ago.
Low libido is difficult to talk about. It’s not often discussed in the media, rarely depicted in films, and certainly isn’t discussed in my friendship group – especially when you write articles telling the world how/when/where to be doing it. But in my home, it’s very real.
I’ve been with my boyfriend for nearly two years now and we are very much in love. We met online, and I was instantly attracted to his looks and sense of humour. During those first few months, we rarely left the bedroom, exploring each other’s bodies and turn-ons.
But fast-forward 18 months to the last time we had sex, and it’s a very different story. I stopped and apologised, saying I just couldn’t get into it. Truthfully, my libido had been rocketing down for months. My boyfriend’s a kind man; he stroked my hair, smiled, and told me that of course it was OK. Did I believe him? Absolutely. I know our relationship is about more than sex – we’re a team.
And it’s important to say that my low libido is nothing to do with him. I want him just as much as I did at the start. But whenever we try to have sex, it’s like there’s something stopping me, as though my brain won’t connect to my body. I just can’t make my libido kick into gear.
We’ve tried talking about it, but I often end up in tears, because not only is it taking a toll on my confidence, it makes me feel guilty, too. I can’t help but think my boyfriend deserves to be with someone who can also give him an amazing sex life. He promises we’ll work through it, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
I’ve tried giving myself the advice I’d give to my readers – explore new techniques, become comfortable with your body, go on a romantic break – but nothing works. Instead, I just feel constantly let down by my body and my brain.
My GP and I ruled out depression, trauma and anxiety, all of which can make it difficult to ‘let go’. We ruled out physical issues, too, such as thyroid problems. My doctor was pretty stumped, and I left feeling deflated. Low libido in women is very difficult to treat. While Viagra helps men get and maintain an erection, there’s no equivalent for women that actually works. And even if there was, I’m not sure I’d be happy to ask a pharmacist for help. We need to break the taboo surrounding low libido in women, to bust the myth that we’re all constantly having amazing sex, and talk more openly about our struggles.
Until then, I’m confident that my boyfriend and I will get through this. I’m with the man I want to spend the rest of my life with – and there’s nothing sexier than that.
If you’d like to tell us about your last time – be it funny, uplifting, surprising or mundane – contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org