When you think about desiring your partner, or a potential partner, what are the things that make you go “Mmmmm”? As in “Mmmmm, that's nice!” And what are the things that make you go “Nnngh”, as in “Nnngh - that's not so nice”?
In other words, what are your turn ons and turn offs when it comes to sex and desire?
What enhances your desire and what detracts from it?
Whatever these enhancers and detractors are, is unique to you, so you need to identify them for yourself.
Then you need to share them with your partner. Chances are they might be quite different to your partner’s so you can’t assume that they will automatically know. Similarly, you can’t assume that your partner has the same enhancers and detractors as you, or that they should be the same as you or that there’s anything wrong them (or you) if they’re not.
I remember a young couple where she admitted to him that she found him walking naked around the house to be a detractor for her. He was surprised as he’d thought it was a sexy thing for him to do. When she explained that it was too much nakedness, that she responded more to the element of the slow reveal, he could understand and adapt his behavior. After all, he wanted her arousal not her revulsion.
And take the example of this working couple: She liked lots of noise in the evening, with TV and radio and music going. The sound was an enhancer for her, but was a detractor for him. The noise overwhelmed him, and while he could “cope” with it, it sapped him so much that by the time bedtime came he had no zest left for lovemaking. Neither of them had realized that link, so she has toned things down a bit to switch the evening atmosphere from one that’s a detractor to one that’s an enhancer. They’ve also experimented with headphones for her and silence for him.
Personally speaking, one thing that turns me off sexually is seeing my partner sitting in bed reading. If he’s sitting on the bed it’s different. It’s a small thing, but it makes a huge difference in the level of my interest and desire. If he’s in the bed, I just want to get into bed and read too, if he’s on the bed I want to chat and play! You need to be aware of these little quirks in yourself, and then let your partner know.
So really pay attention to what makes you go “Mmmmm” and what makes you go “Nnngh”, no matter how small or seemingly unrelated they might be to your sex life. Then share your quirks with an open heart, with positive intent, and the two of you can accentuate the “Mmm”s and eliminate the “Nnngh”s.