What does it mean when you’re within the mood for sex, but your body isn’t responding? This struggle between the brain and body often means that you have a low libido, and good news – it’s reversible! The not so good news? Your unhealthy habits might be causing it to dip… but there are plenty of ways to bring it right back up. If you’re up for sex, yet nothing is occurring below the waist, here’s how you’ll create new habits to spice up your libido (and your overall health and happiness, too)!
What’s the difference between desire and libido?
Libido and desire are not the same thing. Your drive gets you revved up for sex mentally and emotionally, but if your libido is low you’d possibly also enjoy Netflix and no chill. While your sex drive is the desire for action, your libido is the body’s ability to respond to this—you may want it, but you might not be able to get hard or wet. Libido is just a physical function or dysfunction, counting on your daily habits and overall well-being.
Is it normal to have a low libido?
It’s unrealistic to expect the libido to always be high, as it’s sensitive to an array of psychological and biological factors. Your libido will ebb and flow throughout life (along with your sex drive), depending on what else is going on for you at any particular point in time.
Anything from a poor diet to premenstrual hormones to performance anxiety can temporarily hinder your ability to become aroused. But if you’re finding it harder and harder to urge hard (or wet), maybe it’s time to see in with yourself, your lifestyle, and your habits. Rest assured, the matter rarely starts in your pants, so take a glance at the following…
Everyday habits that kill libido
You’re overcommitting. Perhaps you’re buying into the societal pressure to always “be busy” (been there). You may be handling an intense work and workout schedule, giving your weekends over to family or besties or both—and this leads you to stress, ultimately inhibiting your body’s ability to supply testosterone, the key steroid hormone needed to urge and stay aroused.
You’re working out way too much. Hitting the gym benefits your libido altogether sorts of ways (see below) but as long as you don’t overdo it. After an extreme workout, your body will enter into recovery mode, directing all nutritional and energetic resources towards repairing your muscles, instead of your genitals. Too much high-intensity training also will increase levels of cortisol, the strain responder that lowers testosterone, and (in the long term) causes fatigue.
You’re not sleeping enough. When you mess together with your sleep, you mess together with your hormones (and vice versa). Your hormones are liable for numerous daily changes that happen within the body—from regulating sleep to regulating appetite (for food and sex). These lifestyle choices work together sort of a symphony, so if one’s out of tune, the whole song (i.e. your body) will sound off-key.
You’ve had one too many nightcaps. Alcohol is one of the most important disruptors of sleep and sex. While a couple of cocktails can put you in the mood, one too many can kill it (and your erection). Over time, excessive alcohol abuse wreaks all kinds of havoc alongside your hormone health since it messes with insulin levels.
You’re still smoking. Cigarette use will decrease the quantity of oxygen you’ll take into your body, which decreases your circulation. Nicotine also causes the blood vessels to contract, further restricting blood flow to the genitals.
How can I boost my libido?
Chill out. Clear space in your diary to dial your stress levels down. Do something regenerative like yoga, take an extended nap, or just do nothing at all! Reach bent your partner, family, or friends for help if life is getting an excessive amount of to handle alone. Alternatively, try some talking therapy to ease any anxiety.
Exercise more. Yes, it seems counterintuitive, considering the advice above, but it’s about striking the right balance. Exercise improves heart health and circulation, meaning you’re more likely to urge and stay aroused. Strength training also can boost testosterone, just don’t go all-out a day. Try different gym classes, misunderstanding your routine, and take more recovery days. You’ll enjoy endorphins instead of cortisol and still feel confident about your body.
Cuddle and sleep more by trying to go to bed early. Leave devices outside of the bedroom or give yourself a minimum of an hour of screen-free time before lights out. Spend time cuddling, kissing, and stroking your partner, looking into each other’s eyes as you talk, and lulling one another into a restful sleep. Not only will your libido reap the advantages, your relationship will too—especially if emotional issues are blocking your ability to become aroused.
Eat more seafood. Asparagus, bananas, salmon, and other Zinc-rich foods boost testosterone production. Asparagus contains the vitamin E needed to stimulate the production of other sex hormones. Bananas contain muscle-strengthening potassium that could intensify orgasms. Salmon is high in omega 3 that reinforces blood flow and increases genital sensitivity. If your diet covers all nutritional bases, know that you’re feeding your libido.
Clean up your act to urge down and dirty again. If you narrow back on alcohol and quit the cigarettes (or switch to a nicotine alternative) this might work miracles for your body as your circulation improves, alongside your sleep cycles and energy levels. While the prospect of cultivating a cleaner lifestyle won’t seem so fun immediately, the reward may be a healthier body, a happier libido, and possibly a dirtier sex life. It’s a fair trade-off!