Everyone’s libido fluctuates. Age, health conditions, relationship issues and stress can all affect your desire for sex.
Some natural libido boosters include certain foods, herbs and supplements like ginseng, maca and L-arginine. Yoga and acupuncture may also help increase sexual desire for some people.
If your low libido is caused by emotional distress, talking to a therapist can help.
Getting your blood pumping through cardio and weight training exercises has many benefits. These include reducing your risk for cardiovascular disease, improving your mood and strengthening your muscles. In addition, exercise can boost your libido in both men and women.
A few important things to remember about exercising to increase your libido: Moderate movement is linked to increased libido, while excessive exercise can have the opposite effect. It’s also a good idea to incorporate core exercises into your routine. Exercises like Kegels, planks and crunches can strengthen your core and pelvic floor, which can also help improve sexual performance.
Lastly, make sure you’re getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet. Eating a diet high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein can keep you feeling your best and could potentially boost your libido. In addition, it’s recommended to limit your alcohol intake and stop smoking. Drinking and smoking can both reduce your energy levels and negatively impact libido. In addition, a history of trauma or ongoing stress can decrease libido. Finding a way to manage and decrease your stress can greatly improve your overall quality of life and libido.
2. Eat Right
Your diet has a greater impact on your sex drive than you might think. A diet rich in whole foods will help you feel good from the inside out and boost your libido.
Many fruits and vegetables are considered libido-boosting foods, also known as aphrodisiacs. Broccoli, for instance, contains high levels of vitamin C. This nutrient helps improve blood flow to your genital organs. Figs, grapefruit, oranges and bananas are other excellent sources of aphrodisiac vitamins and minerals.
You should also avoid foods that contain saturated fat and a lot of sugar. Eating too much of these unhealthy foods can affect your hormones and impede sexual function.
Drinking too much alcohol can also lower your libido. Alcohol reduces testosterone and dampens your nervous system, affecting blood flow to the genital organs. Also, eating too many foods that are high in fat and sugar can increase your cholesterol and lead to obesity. All of these factors can negatively impact your sex drive. Talk to your primary care doctor or gynecologist for more information about diet and sex drive.
3. Get Enough Sleep
It’s normal for your sex drive to fluctuate throughout the year and even throughout your life. But if low sex drive is becoming a regular problem for you and your partner, it’s important to address the issue before it becomes a more serious problem.
Getting enough sleep can improve your mood and increase energy levels, which may boost libido. In fact, one study found that women who got more than seven hours of sleep a night reported higher genital arousal than those who only slept four hours or less (Kalmbach, 2015).
In addition to getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet can help increase sex drive and promote general health. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. Limiting sugar, alcohol and processed foods can also help. And if your sex drive is suffering due to vaginal dryness, try two dessertspoons of linseeds daily (Villellalla, 2016). A botanical massage oil called Zestra can also increase arousal and pleasure by soothing the clitoris, labia and vagina. (It’s available in a cream formula, as well as in a lotion version for men). Ask your primary care doctor or gynecologist to recommend this product.
Most people go through days, weeks or even months when they don’t feel a desire for sex. While this is normal, it can put a strain on your relationship if it becomes a regular occurrence.
Stress and anxiety play a big part in low libido, especially in men. Find ways to relax and de-stress in your daily life. Exercise, meditation and a healthy diet are all great choices. Talking through problems with your partner or even seeing a counselor can be helpful too.
Be sure to limit your alcohol intake. Too much drinking can inhibit libido and lead to less pleasure during sex. One to two glasses of wine is okay, but avoid overindulging.
Another way to relax is with a sex drive boosting meditation from Simple Habit app creator Jessica Graham. This free audio file is designed to ease discomfort around sex and give your libido a natural boost. You can also try a botanical massage oil called Zestra, which a study found increases libido and sexual function. This is available at your local health food store.
5. Talk to a Therapist
Libido varies dramatically from person to person, and can change throughout the course of a lifetime. If your low sex drive is causing you significant distress, talk to a therapist or healthcare professional.
A decrease in sex drive can be caused by many factors, including anxiety disorders, depression and a history of sexual trauma. Some medications can also decrease libido, such as antidepressants and some chemotherapy drugs. Alcohol and recreational drugs can also suppress libido, as can chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
A lack of sex can cause strain in relationships. It may be difficult to communicate openly about sexual desire, and resentments can build. It is important to seek help if your lack of interest is affecting you or your partner. Getting to the root of the problem can make it easier to find solutions. A therapist can help you sort through your emotions and identify any underlying issues that could be contributing to your sex drive decline. They can also teach you relaxation techniques and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to change negative beliefs about sex that can interfere with desire.