How can you get in a sexy mood when I don’t feel sexy?

Sexual desire and sex don’t always go together.

You might want to have sex with someone, but your body doesn’t feel like it’s in a sex-ready or sex-inviting state. You might be horny but choose not to have sex. You might want to have sex, but you feel body or sexual shame. There are different kinds of desire, and different ways that people initiate sex or get themselves into the mood. While some people may be on the asexual spectrum, others experience lack of desire due to medications, trauma, dysphoria, shame and stress. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What’s getting in the way of my sexy mood?
  • What can I communicate to my partner about my mood?
  • Is there something that makes me feel sexy?
  • What do I want? (e.g. affection, connection, touch, sex)
  • What conditions need to be in place for me to be open to sex?
  • What are some sexy activities I like and which ones I could take or leave?
  • What can I communicate about my desire?


1. Make your environment seductive. 

It's easy to take for granted how our environment affects our ability to relax into sexy feelings. Is your bed unmade? Are your clothes unfolded? Do you live, work and cohabitate in the same environment everyday?

Think about changing up your environment by co-creating a sexy playlist with your partner, changing into something that makes you feel sexy, lighting candles, using scented essential oils or incense and even adorning your bed temporarily with textures that make you feel sensual (e.g. fluffy pillows, satin sheets, soft throws). Prepare the room or space to appeal to your partner's and your senses.

2. Seduce yourself.

Seducing yourself often starts with shifting our non-sexy brain into sexiness. You might have to identify blocks or barriers and address them. For others it's a matter of giving yourself permission to get into the mood at your own speed. To do this, it's helpful to get into our erotic imagination - this can include memories of previous sexy times, thinking about a sexy roleplay or fantasy, and using tools like porn, erotic literature or audio. Sometimes you can build a bridge from your daytime brain to your sexy thoughts by sexting with your partner - asking them what sexy things they are looking forward to doing and if there is anything they have been fantasizing about lately.

Seducing yourself can also include grooming for sexy time - that might mean taking an extra long shower, using body oils, giving your hands or feet a massage, or a full body stretch.

3. Invite sensuality.

It's ok to say to your partner - hey babe, I want to be in the mood but I'm feeling slow to warm today, can we try slowing everything down? Slowing things down without the expectation of the kind of sex you usually have, can take the pressure off of the need to perform sexiness. You can slow down sex by massaging erogenous areas other than the go to hot spots (try scalp, hand or thigh massages). 

What are your fave parts of sex?

Use breath to send the touch sensations all over your body with deep inhales and exhales. Another way to slow things down is to take genitals out of the play for the night and try focusing on making out, chest play, grinding, dry humping. Sensuality can also show up with tools like eye contact, contrasting touch (e.g. hard to soft) and with dirty talk. 


It's ok if you aren't in the mood and don't want to get in the mood. Obligation or feeling self-judgement about not being in the mood are not great reasons to have sex. Self-consent is important in any partnership. If you sense your partner is consenting out of obligation, pause and have a conversation about ways you can connect that may or may not include sex. 

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