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How to increase sex drive

There are a lot of myths and legends about how to increase your sex drive. (See our article on Aphrodisiacs) Some of these have more science to them than others. Here, we quickly summarise science-based ways to increase your sex drive. 

BY THE ROAM TEAM 7 MIN READ

WORDS TO KNOW
Low libido

A lack of desire to have sex.

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What can impact my sex drive? 

There are lots of parts of your lifestyle which can impact how much you want to have sex. This includes your stress and anxiety levels, how you’re sleeping and what you are eating. How you have sex, and how you feel about sex can also have a major impact on your sex drive. 

What causes low sex drive is different for every person, and often several different things will contribute. We’re going to run through some of the things you can consider to help you get into the mood. 

  • Manage stress and anxiety

If you’re stressed or anxious, your body will make a stress hormone called cortisol. This hormone is made from the same ‘building blocks’ in the body as both testosterone and oestrogen. When you’re stressed, your body uses its existing resources to make more cortisol. As a result, less oestrogen and testosterone are produced. A decline in oestrogen and testosterone can lead to lower sex drive. 

*Tip: Identify the things in your life which might be causing you stress and take steps to manage them. This might be putting boundaries around your work or trying meditation to help you relax. If this is something that is a big feature in your life, we’d recommend speaking to a loved one, or consulting a professional to help implement actionable change.

  • Prioritise sleep

It may sound a bit counter-intuitive if you tend to want to get frisky at night, but getting enough sleep is incredibly important for overall health and wellbeing. More sleep leads to better energy levels, better mood, and a better sex drive. A 2015 study showed that women who slept better the previous night had a higher sex drive the next day. 

  • Develop intimacy

If you’re in a relationship, work on creating trust and intimacy between you and your partner(s). This can be difficult in a world when everyone is so busy and stressed. But if make conscious time for the other person, you are more likely to feel in the mood. This might be anything from a date night, to scheduling time to talk about how your relationship is going. It will be different for every partnership. 

If you’re having sex with yourself (something we encourage) don’t neglect putting effort into your masturbation. Consider setting the mood in the same way you would for partnered sex: invest in sex-care you like (a great toy, and some all-natural lube), light some candles, listen to audio porn (we recommend Dipsea), or do whatever else helps you get in the mood. 

  • Eat a nutritious diet

Eating poorly can lead to low self-esteem and a low sex drive. It’s a tale as old as time, and yet one of the most neglected areas. Make sure you’re staying hydrated, eating enough vegetables, stocking up on lean protein and avoiding high fat/sugar foods. Generally, if it’s not something your grandparents would immediately recognise (fruit, veg, carbs, meat, beans, pulses) it probably shouldn’t go in your body (canned goods, sweets, cookies, energy drinks)!

Following these simple changes can help you feel a lot better. Particularly where diet and sleep are concerned, these are changes you can challenge yourself to implement for a week or two at a time, and it is very likely you will notice a difference in how you feel in your body. Start with manageable changes, and build your way up to consistency.

  • Regular Exercise (this doesn’t have to be strenuous)

Doing a bit of regular exercise has been shown to help with sex drive. This study, showed that regular exercise helped men with body image concerns, low libido, and relationship challenges. It is known that exercise in general, for any person is a way to increase overall wellbeing and happiness, and by proxy, things such as sex drive, appetite and sleep. 

  • Increase foreplay, to get you into the mood

The better the sex you have, the more likely you are to want it. Fact. Make sure you spend enough time on foreplay (kissing, touching, using toys, oral sex) to get yourself going. And it’s not all about penetration or reaching a climax. Sometimes the foreplay alone is enough - it can even be the best part. Don’t neglect it. 

Research has shown that women (in particular) orgasm more from touching their clitoris than from penetrative sex. So, make sure to focus on things apart from penetrative sex!

  • Try sex therapy

For some people, low sex drive can become a point of contention, or a problem in a relationship. Sometimes help is needed to facilitate good communication around intimacy and sex, and trained therapists can help with this. 

Sex therapy can also be a great resource for individuals and couples who just want to try new things and get comfortable with the idea of doing that. Equally those who have experienced sexual trauma, often find this a helpful step in recovery.

There are other things that can help with sex drive, including supplements and changing lifestyle habits (e.g., stopping smoking)! But the above are the tried and tested science-based suggestions.

Don’t forget that low sex drive can also have clinical causes, so don’t be afraid to bring this up with your doctor. Especially if it’s having a negative impact on you, your quality of life, and/or your relationship. We all deserve to have great sex, more often. There’s no shame in needing a bit of help with that. 

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