9 Surprising Things That Are Killing Your Sex Drive
Not in the mood yet again? One of these culprits could be to blame.
By ANNA DAVIES
Cuddled under the covers… alone. Sound like your ultimate fantasy? While everyone occasionally has a night or two where they’re just not in the mood, frequently not feeling it is a red flag. Not only can a lack of a sex life lead to tension between you and your partner, but it can make you feel exhausted and run down, says Shahnoz Rustamova, MD, a gynecologist at Central Park Medical Practice in New York City. “Everyone deserves a healthy, fulfilling sex life, but so many small factors in everyday life can cause your sex drive to tank,” explains Rustamova. Here, some of the biggest ones experts see—and how to fix them.
1. You’re (Actually) Tired.
Late nights don’t necessarily mean fun nights. “Sleep is essential for your sex drive,” explains Rustamova. “Depleted energy means you’re less likely to be in the mood.” In other words, make and keep a date with your pillow and you’ll soon want to make a date with your partner. Have trouble hitting the hay? Try these tips.
2.You’ve Changed Your Contraception.
If you went off the Pill, you may find yourself not as attracted to your partner as you once were, according to a study from the University of Stirling. In fact, any contraceptive change can cause a libido shift, explains Rustamova, so if you’ve noticed one, make sure you let your gynecologist know so that you can find a new type of birth control that works for you on both counts.
3. You’re Snoring.
Snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea, which can deplete testosterone levels in men and women, say Romy Block, MD, a Skokie, IL, based endocrinologist. “Lack of female testosterone can decease desire,” she explains. See your doctor to rule out the condition or begin treatment if you do have sleep apnea.
4. Your Partner is Snoring.
Wanting to clobber the person sleeping next to you with a pillow doesn’t exactly put you in an amorous mood. And the disrupted sleep you both experience can tank any desire you feel for each other. If your partner’s the one with the issue, try these tips, and also suggest that visit his doc to discuss sleep apnea.
5. Your Boss is Breathing Down Your Neck.
“Stress is one of the biggest mood killers I see in my practice,” says Rustamova. “As a clinician, I’ll talk with a patient to try to uncover a source of stress, as well as discuss potential solutions to the problem.” If work is weighing on you, think about what might make your life easier. Is it time to start looking for a new gig? A conversation with your manager to discuss your current workload? Whatever it is, know that the solution will lead to easier days, and better nights.
6. You Aren’t That Into H20.
It sounds like no big deal, but dehydration can wreak havoc on your libido, says Rustamova. Not only can dehydration cause headaches, but it can also cause vaginal dryness, which can make sex painful and orgasm harder to achieve. Aim to down six pints of water daily. (If you’re bored by the plain stuff, give these slimming Sassy Water Recipes a whirl.)
7. You’ve Been Hitting the Drive-Thru.
Salty, high-fat food may taste good in the moment, but it’s not doing you any favours when night-time rolls around, since heavy meals can lead to feeling dehydrated and bloated, says Rustamova. Instead, turn to healthy aphrodisiacs, which really can enhance your libido. One to try: Watermelon, which contains the compound arginine, which can increase blood flow everywhere—including your nether regions.
8. Your Workout Schedule is Erratic (or Nonexistent).
Taking time to work out—whether it’s hitting a Spin class, going for a run, or heading on a walk through the neighbourhood—won’t take away from any potential time in the sack. On the contrary, exercising increases blood flow, creates an endorphin rush, and can make you feel good about everything (yes, including those moves that make your partner melt) your bod can do, says Rustamova. (Give these 9 yoga poses for better sex a try.)
9. You’re Overthinking It.
“So often, patients won’t get close to their partners at all in the evening—no handholding or touching — because they’re worried their partner will assume sex is on the table and for whatever reason, they don’t feel like it,” says Rustamova. Instead, she suggests placing a priority on kissing and cuddling, and then taking the next step from there, only if you both feel like it. “Taking the pressure off yourself to have sex can make it easier to feel aroused, naturally.”