The EDGE Blog

5 Tips For When You’re Too Tired for Sex


By Sophia Reading

Xennials have a running joke that we’re always tired. Our exhaustion is driven by the fact that we feel old, we’re working too many hours, and “adulting” is harder than we thought it would be. This constant low-grade tiredness stops us from doing what we want to do. Like have sex with our gorgeous partners.

Sure, this isn’t a problem for everyone. Some couples can really enjoy a quickie, just a few minutes of fast and dirty sex. But for couples where one or both partners need a little extra foreplay and some real effort to reach orgasm, it’s all too easy to not have the time or energy for sex, especially on a weeknight.

No matter how tired you are, it’s important to maintain a connection with your partner. That way when you do have the physical and mental energy for sex, you also have the emotional desire for it. Luckily, you can foster intimacy even when you’re tired.


1. Do Not Underestimate the Power of Snuggling

Society treats snuggling and cuddling like the bookends to sex. Or they’re a way of showing affection to our children and pets. However, snuggling with your partner without the expectation of sex is a great way to share an intimate moment.

Look for opportunities in your day where you could grab a snuggle. Can you spend a few minutes together before getting up for work in the morning? How about before turning out the light at night? How about putting down the phones and holding each other while you watch Netflix?

As serious bookworms, my spouse and I even like to cuddle up on the couch and read the same book — I hold the book and they put an arm around me and we sit hip-to-hip, talking about the book as we read.

2. Talk About the Sex You’ve Had and Want to Have

Engage in a little dirty talk, or a practical planning session. When is the next time you’ll have sex together? What do you want to do to each other? What did you enjoy the most the last time you had sex? Remember that one time on vacation…

This can be a good reminder that the current moment is fleeting. You’re tired right now, but you won’t always be this tired. You may have to work late tonight to finish that project that’s due tomorrow, but the weekend is coming. Tide yourselves over by acknowledging how much you love having sex with each other and how you can’t wait to do it again.

3. Online Shopping, But Make it Sexy

Want to do more than just talk? How about buying a present for Future You? Take the time to scroll through a sex toy or lingerie shop together and pick out some things that you can enjoy. You’ll get the titillation of shopping for something sexy, as well as the anticipation of how you’ll use it when it arrives.

This is a good option for when you’re physically tired (overdid it on leg day, just finished helping a friend move), but mentally you’re feeling pretty sharp. If you’re mentally tired, there might be too much decision fatigue in choosing the best new vibe or deciding which of 10 different pairs of lacy panties you’d look better in. Of course, you could just “window shop” and bookmark your favorites, then come back later to make a decision.

4. Mutual Masturbation: Fun and Relaxing

Ok, so what about when you’re both feeling a little horny, but too tired for sex? Mutual masturbation might be the answer. Especially when you’re feeling tired from a workout or chronic pain, mutual masturbation will allow both partners to settle into a comfortable position and expend only however much energy they each need to get off.

You can each choose your favorite toys. AMO is a nice small vibe that is surprisingly powerful, and ideal for clitoral stimulation. PULSE  can provide a hands-free experience for penis-havers. Snuggle in together and choose the experience you need to get there.

This allows each partner to come in their own time, at their own pace, while also knowing that your lover is having a good time right next to you. Whichever of you comes first could hold the other while they finish. Or practice your dirty talk by telling your partner how hot it is to watch them please themself. Or just relax and bask in the afterglow!

5. Don’t Worry, it’s Normal to Be Tired

In closing, I just want to say that it’s OK to be too tired to sex. Some people will try to shame you and suggest that there’s something wrong with your relationship. And yes, if you’re always too tired for sex, it might be worth taking the time to ask if you’re avoiding your partner, or if there may be an underlying medical condition to discuss with your doctor.

However, being tired after a long day of work is normal. Especially if you have kids or pets, or a physically demanding hobby, or a chronic illness. Rest is an important part of caring for ourselves. It’s good to have some restful ways to be intimate with your partner. Save up that energy so you can have good, vigorous sex later.

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