As Valentine’s Day approaches, couples everywhere feel the pressure to give each other a special day of romance, from the exchange of flowers and chocolate to the bedroom-but what about when your libido fails you? Well, there are a number of ways to enhance both male and female libido.
Some common issues that affect libido:
- One common libido-crusher is stress. Stress can manifest for many reasons, from work to home, to past issues resurfacing in your relationship. The main way to deal with stress is to put it aside when you are with your loved one; deal with your worries when you have the opportunity, but don’t let them crush the rest of your life.
- If you have underlying issues in your relationship, your subconscious can kill your libido. Make sure that you take time to talk to your partner and work through any unresolved fights or problems that may be nagging your libido.
- Further, improve your relationship by setting time aside on a regular basis to spend time together. Remember, the female libido is affected not just by all these factors, but also by emotions and settings.
- If you aren’t getting enough sleep, because of stress or otherwise, it can lower your libido. Make sure to make enough time to sleep, (7-8 hours!) and if you have trouble sleeping, know that there are a number of natural solutions.
- While the flavinoids in red wine can act as an aphrodisiac, remember that overindulging in alcohol can impair your ability to perform sexually, so order by the glass (if you choose to do so) and sip slowly when you’re out this Sunday!
- When people talk about what foods are aphrodisiacs, they’re really talking about what foods have the nutrients your body needs to function properly (granted, some foods have amorous connotations on top of their health benefits, like chocolate covered strawberries). If you are on a special diet, for example one that’s completely fat free, or devoid of some other corner of the food pyramid, you impair your body’s ability to build what it needs, i.e., you need good cholesterol to build testosterone, a key component to a healthy libido. Make sure that you eat a diet full of lean proteins, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables so you get all the varied components that make up your body. If your not getting a fully varied diet everyday, supplement with a multi-vitamin.
- If you’re not getting regular exercise, or you’re over or under weight, your libido might be affected. Regular exercise can improve your libido, especially if you’re overweight.
- Self-Esteem can affect your libido. Depending on the cause and severity of your low-self esteem, you may want to seek professional help. However, know that there are simple things you can do to improve your self-esteem:
- Make a point of saying something positive to yourself every time you look in the mirror, and practice refraining from saying negative comments. If you’re a woman, know that despite the images you’re bombarded with daily, most polls show that men love a variety of body types.
- Exercising, which is already good for your libido, can also improve self-esteem.
- Abstaining from all sexual activity increases the amount of testosterone (which peaks after three weeks of abstaining, a recent study has shown) so try abstaining to improve your libido before Valentine’s Day.
Other things can affect your libido, such as antidepressants, aging, and hormonal changes, which can occur during pregnancy, after childbirth, or around menopause.
If sex is extremely painful, consult a doctor.
If there are severe psychological issues (sometimes caused by past traumas) you are unable to resolve by yourself, consult a psychologist.
Consult a physician if the above doesn’t solve your problem, a low libido could be a symptom of a serious health problem.
By Emma Spera