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I want sex, but I'm too tired at the end of the day. What can I do?

Karen Washington
Profile Picture of Karen Washington Karen Washington is a graduate of the Adler School of Professional Psychology with a masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is an aspiring sex therapist, with a foundation in communication and self esteem. She has conducted research on communication, dating dynamics, and infertility counseling. Karen firmly believes in presenting education and information through the lens of humor, especially when it comes to sex.  Full Bio

My partner and I haven’t been having much sex lately. We’reboth so tired at the end of the day. We both seem to still want it, but nothinghappens. Do you have any ideas?


I hear you. Many people tell me the same thing; they go go go all day and just do not have anything left when it's all over. By the time they get home, tend to domestic duties and finish up, all they can do is collapse, exhausted, into bed. I am seeing more researching discussing how our busy schedules and constant accessibility to our jobs and other things are impeding on that intimate time we once were able to afford our partners once we got home. We are no longer shedding the day and creating a separate space from work and the outside world to nurture our private lives.

First, I like to tell my clients that it is OK and "normal", if you will, to be tired. It is also natural in a relationship for sex to ebb and flow, where sometimes you have a lot of sex and other times you don’t. That said, there is also a need to remember that when we are part of couple, that relationship is also a priority, just like our jobs and other responsibilities. It needs to be given its due. So, couples need to come up with some ideas that suit their schedule and sexual needs appropriately.

One idea is to switch the time of day you have sex. Morning or afternoon sex can catch you both long before the day sets in and exhaustion hits. Or, wait until you both get home but try intimacy before dinner and domestic duties. No one said sex has to happen right before you go to sleep. Think of it like ordering dessert before dinner - just to make sure you have room to fit it in. (Read more in 6 Reasons Why Orgasms Need to Be Part of Your Morning Routine - Starting Now!)

Another idea is to schedule nights for intimacy. I know, I know. Scheduling sounds boring, lacks spontaneity, etc. But, think of it like this: you cannot just flit off on vacation whenever you want. That requires planning, scheduling, balancing and budgeting - and you’re excited the whole time because you just cannot wait to get away from life for a bit and enjoy. Why not think of your sex life like a mini staycation? You don't have to plan your night in minute detail. You can, however, set aside Friday night for you and your partner to stay in, order take out, and disconnect from the outside world for a few hours to enjoy just each other however you see fit. Or, perhaps the kids have scheduled activities on Saturday afternoons. Why not take advantage of that?

You should also assess what duties come up as reasons to put off sex, and then spend time with your partner figuring out ways of simplifying those reasons so that they are no longer a barrier to having time together. Prioritize what cannot wait, and simplify what can.

I would also like to say that this time together does not have to begin and end with penetrative sex. Perhaps you spend that time exploring new options, role playing, expanding on your oral repertoire, going toy shopping, giving/receiving intimate massages, take a sex seminar/class together. The other side of being too tired is also linked to a lack of excitement. If there were something new to try, that might reinvigorate and energize you two to find time/energy for sex.

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