A few years ago I interviewed 83-year-old sex educator Betty Ann Dodson. She had a 28-year-old boyfriend and she looked 20 years younger than her physical age. She signed her emails “BAD” and was unapologetic about the fact that being turned on is a priority in her life.
Why would any of us deprive ourselves of feeling pleasure? The reality is that many of us do. When there are bills to pay, children to feed and housework to do, the last thing on your mind may be getting turned on; but too many women feel the blahs because they press the snooze button in their lives instead of waking up to their desires. If the last guy that drooled on you was your baby boy, you may feel a lack of turn-on not only in your life — but in your relationship. The good news is that it’s never too late to get your groove back (and I promise that you don’t need to travel to the Caribbean or have a younger lover for it to happen).
Think about what you would be doing if time and resources weren’t an issue. How would you spend your days? And what did you used to love doing that you haven’t expressed in recent months? These are important questions to consider if you want to feel turned on in your life. If you used to love travelling or would pass your time painting, what is one step you can take to connect with that passion again? You may decide to book a weekend getaway (it can be as small as a car trip to a nearby town) or dedicate one night a month to painting. If you want to feel turned on, identify what excites you and find a way to express it on a regular basis. You may believe that you have no energy to re-engage with a hobby or creative outlet, but think again — doing something that you love will give you more energy than it takes from you. If you want a more passionate love life, start with your own passions.
When the thought of a nap turns you on more than the idea of nookie, it may be time to shake up your perspective. Aside from being fun and pleasurable (I hope), there are health benefits to getting turned on in your body. When you have sex, your body releases endorphins, happy hormones, and shows a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol. Sex also releases oxytocin in your brain, which will make you feel more connected to your partner. Just as with exercise, you may not feel like having sex when life is busy; but the more you do it and see the benefits, the more you will want to do it.
That’s the thing about desire: It’s like smelling delicious food when you don’t realize you’re hungry. Feeling turned on is sparked by doing things that bring you pleasure. You’re reminded of how good it feels to feel good.
Andrea Syrtash is a dating and relationship expert and author of Cheat on Your Husband (with Your Husband).