At least 33% of women say their sex drive has diminished. What most of these women have in common is that they are in long-term relationships and feel too tired, too busy, or too stressed for sex. The strategies in A Tired Woman's Guide to Passionate Sex are designed to help these women reclaim their desire.

And, research shows it works: a study presented at a national scientific conference found that the women who read the book increased their sexual desire by 60% and their sexual arousal by about 40%.

A Tired Woman's Guide to Passionate Sex provides a six-step treatment, titled "Six T's and a Bit of Spice." The pinnacle T-step is having Trysts. According to Webster's dictionary a Tryst is "an agreement (as between lovers) to meet." Most people associate trysts with affairs. But, married people can- and should-have trysts!

There are several types of trysts. A surprise tryst is when the woman plans the tryst without informing her partner. In another tryst type, the couple decides their ideal frequency and sets time(s) each week for sex. This allows both partners to prepare for the encounter and helps diminish the all too common "should we do it tonight?" tension. Another type of tryst involves seizing opportunities. This is where each time the couple finds that they have time alone, they openly discuss if it is a good time for a tryst. Planned getaways also work well; even one night in a local hotel can be wonderful.

When I present the idea of Trysts to couples in my therapy practice, I am often met with skepticism, based on the notion that sex should be spontaneous. Spontaneous sex is myth. Think back to how it felt to get ready for an evening with your now husband or long term partner--before you were too tired for sex. You picked your outfit with the goal of looking sexually appealing. Throughout the evening, you flirted seductively. The sexual tension built. Sex just didn't catch you unaware: it was pre-meditated and orchestrated. You did this so well that this choreographed dance of seduction looked effortless. Built-up passion became confused with spontaneity.

Once couples let go of the myth of spontaneous sex and agree to try Trysts, another question often arises. The woman often asks, "What if tryst time comes and I am not in the mood?" My likely surprising answer, based on scientific evidence regarding the nature of women's sexual desire, is to have a sexual encounter anyway. Doing so even has an official name; Receptive Sexual Desire is the label for initiating and being receptive to sex for reasons other than genital tension. Knowing about receptive desire can help you let go of the myth that you need to feel horny to have sex and instead propel you to reverse the equation, allowing sexual encounters to lead to sexual desire. Receptive sexual desire means that great sex doesn't need to start with spontaneous physical desire, or that having sex when you are not in the mood is the same as service sex. As I explain in my Psychology Today blog, "If it's Fun, it's Not Duty Sex!", after service sex, one says, "I am glad I got that over with for the week." After great sex, one says, "I forgot how great that was. I need to do that more often!"

The more sex you have, the more you want. So, let go of the myth of spontaneous sexual desire leading to spontaneous sex. Instead, plan a tryst and allow yourself the pleasure of receptive sexual desire.

About the Author

Laurie B. Mintz Ph.D.

Laurie Mintz, Ph.D, is a professor at the University of Florida, where she teaches the Psychology of Human Sexuality. She is a practicing licensed psychologist and the author of A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate Sex.

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