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Sexy is definitely a state of mind, and with the fast pace of today's lifestyle, women and men too are finding themselves too distracted, too anxious or too tired to feel sexy. Some companies are cashing in on the big slump in Western libidos by creating pills containing herbs or chemicals designed to stimulate exhausted, stressed-out people to ever more frenzied sexual activity. I think it's sad that we're using pills when what people really need is more time to relax.

If your sex life has taken a dive, there are usually entirely natural and reasonable causes. Rather than doping yourself to feel something, try the following tips first. They are time-honored strategies.

Get real. If you're working 60 hours a week, commuting, competing, keeping up with kids and still expecting to get it on three times a week, you're expecting too much of yourself. If your health isn't what it should be, if you're having problems at work, or if you're in financial difficulties, your sex drive is also going to be running on empty. A natural response to hard times, a reduced sex drive could be your body's way of protecting you from pregnancy during times of stress. (Of course, that's no reason to forget your birth control: bodies aren't that smart!) If your sex drive is nil in response to an overly stressful lifestyle, don't just target your sex life; take some serious time to think about how to change your overall quality of life.

Get a sitter. Parents (especially new parents) are so focused on their children that sex goes right out the window. Getting a sitter is more than just planning an evening alone: it's something you should do on a regular basis to give you some of your pre-parenting life back. New parents should have a sitter lined up before the baby's born, and should start going out alone and together right away. Getting out in the world again helps combat post-partum blues, and contributes to re-starting a healthy sex life. If you're not sleeping because of a baby, hire a sitter to come in while you're home so you can nap while someone else watches the baby.

Get some rest. To feel sexy, you have to be relaxed, but not exhausted. You need to have had enough sleep in the past twenty-four hours to put in an hour or two of sack time with someone else. If your lover wants to fool around and all you can think about is how tired you are, it isn't going to be much fun. Schedule time for resting as well as sleep. Doze on the couch, hang around in a hammock. Reconsider your priorities. Let the lawn go another day and skip the PTA meeting in favor of lying in a chaise in the backyard.

Get organized. Couples who have a good sex life often say that while spontaneity is a nice idea, planning gets things done. Make a date with your sweetheart in advance, then plan your day around it so that nothing else interferes.

Get together. Most women can't just turn sexy feelings on at a moment's notice. Make sure your partner understands that you need more togetherness than just sex. Make time to cuddle on the couch, to do fun, non-sexual things together, and to talk. Feeling closer in other areas of your life can help you get closer in the sexual aspects too.

Get playful. Read erotica. Visit a hot-tub place together. Experiment with massage oils and sexy games. Light candles and drink champagne in bed. Dress up in lingerie (get a cute satin corset from www.lovefifi.com) and have some fun. You don't have to play games all the time, but occasional side trips to the Land of Kinky can keep things spicy and fresh.