I am 29 years old. I am in my second marriage and I have had several other relationships. They all start the same way, a strong desire to be close and exciting sex. After a few months, the desire for sex starts to wane. After a year I desire sex maybe once a week and it goes down from there. My first marriage ended after 5 years because my husband had an affair. I can't say I blame him much. I don't want my second one to go the same way. We have been married for 2 years now, and I am having trouble maintaining once a week sex. He is very sexual and would like much more. I have also been on the pill for 13 years and I have recently (3 months ago) started taking St. Johns Wort for minor depression. I have no trouble achieving orgasm once I am aroused.
How can I increase my sexual desire? Could being on the pill have an effect?
First I would like to say that the Pill has probably no part in this. You are speaking about a pattern in your relationships and not the effects of a medication. It seems that your difficulties with sexuality stem from your process of mate and relationship selection. In that, I think you have a tendency to become vulnerable and in need of either physical or emotional intimacy, or both and then you become involved with someone.
Once you feel that those intensified needs are met you tend to withdraw from the relationship. Nonetheless, your first husband likely did not have an affair based on your decreased desire for intimacy. It was more likely to be a result of his own character deficits. Several research surveys have shown that following the first 2 to 5 years of marriage sexual intercourse decreases in frequency to about once to twice per month. So your difficulty keeping up with once a week intercourse would be expected as normal. It is less an issue of you "needing" to increase your sexual desire, and more an issue of helping your husband relax his need for once a week sex.
The real key to any effective intimate relationship is communication. The brain is the largest and most important sex organ in the body. If it is not comfortable with the pattern of intimacy, sexual arousal won't happen. It is vital that you and your husband engage in open and honest communication about your sexual needs and desires -- including the style, frequency, and duration of your sexual interactions. This may seem clinical, but it is better than the alternative -- misassumptions and resentful feelings. It seems that you are putting a great deal of pressure on yourself to ensure that he is sexually satisfied. Sexual satisfaction should be a mutual goal among sex partners. Sexually intimate partners need to find a balance between seeking after the gratification of their own needs and providing for the needs of their partner. The only way that this is accomplished is through honesty with oneself and with one's partner. No one person is responsible for the quality and frequency of sexual intimacy -- unless, of course, you are talking about masturbation.
If you find yourselves having difficulty communicating about these issues, I would suggest making an appointment with a psychologist or counselor. Trouble talking about these issues among sexual intimates may be indicative of other relationship problems that may need outside assistance to resolve. As far as you taking St. Johns Wort for your feelings of minor depression: if it helps, great. However, if you are not deriving the benefits that you expect, please consider seeing your doctor for traditional anti-depressant medication. If anything that you have mentioned that could have an external influence on your sex life -- it is depression. I wish you all the best on your efforts and I hope that you find this helpful. Take care of yourself!
Rocky C. Underwood, M.S., M.A., LCPC