RIP...My Sex Drive?
Trust me, I get it….you’re busy. Yet do you realize how that two word statement is killing your sex drive? I can imagine this is only a symptom of what’s really going on under the surface, and that it’s having an effect not only on your relationship with your partner, but also with yourself .
I’m sending out the coroner to do an examination on the cause of death!
If you’re just tuning in with me, check out my podcast Eat. Play. Sex. with hormone expert Diane Kazer where we reveal to you what works (and what doesn’t) in the most entertaining way to get you back in the playground with those you love. Check out episode 3: R.I.P. Your Sex Drive on iTunes
While it’s normal for sex drive to dip at different points in our life phases, relationship stages, women’s moon cycle, and stress levels, it is something that can be tended to. Working with a doctor or sex therapist can help you not only identify what’s going on, but also give you the tools to work through it. You CAN have the sex life you desire. It does take work and that’s something we just don’t talk about in our society. It doesn’t necessarily just happen spontaneously and steady over the course of time. We can’t necessarily say ‘I am getting aroused right NOW’ and BOOM you’re horny.
No. It often takes active work in action, mindfulness, and changing habits to get yourself up for good lovin.
Here are some more libido killing culprits to take a closer look at what might be going on:
Are you drinking enough H2O? Lack of hydration will leave you feeling tired and create headaches, but it can also cause vaginal dryness, which can make sex painful and orgasm harder to achieve.
Snoring is a sign of sleep apnea. If YOU are the snorer, you may not be getting the restful sleep you need, which in turn can deplete testosterone levels in men and women. Check with your doctor or sleep expert for tips on getting back on track.
Workout is excessive or non-existent
If you’re working out too much (say working a full day and hitting the gym after EVERY single day) chronic, low-grade fatigue is affecting your sex hormone production and appetite increase just as easily as sleep deprivation. At the same time, NO exercise affects your heart health and blood circulation that is required for healthy sex drive. Try some of the yoga poses here for hip and heart opening exercises you can do at home to help stimulate arousal.
You’re afraid that if you show some affection then your partner will assume you want sex
Let affection or making out just be what it is. It doesn’t have to be zero or 100, be playful and flirty and sexy without the need for the end goal being sex. This supports a healthy relationship.
You fear rejection
If you’ve initiated and felt the sting of non-acceptance again and again, it can be personally painful. As a result we want to shield ourselves from feeling rejected, and as a result quell our own desire for sex to prevent that.
Depression or anxiety
Depression causes a loss of motivation and lowered desire to do much of anything, let alone desire, have, or enjoy sex. Similarly, anxiety can cause a tension in the body that prevents us the pleasure that comes when we are able to relax and let go enough to feel the sensation of pleasure.
Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are notorious for killing sex drive. If you are currently on anti-depressants and experiencing loss in libido, talk to your doctor about other options for prescription. Other medication culprits include: birth control, hair loss medication, tricyclic antidepressants, Proscar, antihistamines, marijuana, anti-seizure medication, opioids, blood pressure medications, some acne medications, benzodiazepines. Don’t stop your medication without the direction of your doctor; however, talk to them about options.
You’re physically or mentally exhausted
Your sex-drive requires energy to maintain, so if you’re consistently coming home exhausted from your full day, it makes sense that you don’t desire sex. Try engaging in sexual activity earlier in your evening, instead of right before you go to bed when you’re ready to just pass on and pass out. Try some sexy time before you eat dinner, that way you have more energy then after you’ve entered into food coma mode.
Your adrenals are shot
Stress is one of the major reasons I see for loss of sex drive and prolonged stress can cause your body to wear out. Your adrenal glands produce hormones that help the body control blood sugar, burn protein and fat, react to stressors and regulate blood pressure. DHEA is one of the androgen hormones that is necessary for production of sex hormones. If your adrenals are worn, then you will find yourself more consistently fatigued with no energy for a romp in the hay. Change in diet and daily schedule can create support of strengthening these back again.
Excessive smoking or alcohol.
Excessive smoking causes a hit to your heart, lungs, and vein health that are vital to our ability to send blood to our genitals for sensitivity, arousal, and orgasm. Alcohol may decrease inhibitions and make us feel sexy, in excess it affects our coordination, blood flow and sensitivity to the genitals (whisky dick anyone?), and may just appear not attractive (falling over or slurring your words is super hot).
Sometimes after the birth of a new baby, father or mother can split the eroticism from the image of the mother. New moms can have trouble feeling themselves as sexy as a result of low hormones, change in body, breastfeeding, or difficulty viewing their breasts or vagina as anything different from being a mothering/nurturing aspect. Fathers can have the same trouble seeing their wife as the mother of their children and not the sexual women prior to pregnancy. We call this the Madonna/whore complex or splitting off eroticism.
Anger and resentment
Harboring feelings of anger or resentment for your partner cause tension in the body and reduced generosity towards giving you or your partner pleasure. Check out my article on resentment here.
Partner not taking care of themselves physically and emotionally
Has your partner let their health and body slip to the side? Are they not tending to their own emotional needs that are then brought into the bedroom? Both of these can impact our own attractiveness towards our partner, but there may be an underlying reason as to how this came about. Working with a therapist to uncover the reasons and helping you and your partner come back to acts of self love and care can enliven the health, happiness, and sex life again.
Poor diet and fast food
Poor diet can this cause obesity which impacts our blood pressure, organ functioning, digestion, and energy levels for arousal.
Fear of intimacy
Are you actually using excuses to avoid sex in order to avoid intimacy and vulnerability with your partner?
Body image struggles
If we don’t see our own body, skin, face, hair as deserving of sexual desire or attention, then we will put barriers in the way to prevent receiving it.
While this list is not exhaustive, let it be a start into looking at your current lifestyle. Is is supporting a healthy sex life? Or is it pushing it out to maintain the above habits.
It’s time you got real with how you are contributing to the state of your sex life and how you can get it back on track.
Dr. Cat Meyer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is also a Sex therapist combining yoga, reiki, and psychology for a holistic approach to healing. Learn more about Cat on her website and follow her on instagram @sexloveyoga