Whenever I have a particularly stressful day, all I want to do is to reconnect with my partner as soon as he gets home from work. But sometimes the anxiety I'm feeling and the junk food I've eaten to calm my nerves takes a negative toll on my sex drive. All I want to do is spend some time relaxing with my partner, but instead I fall victim to the everyday things that kill your sex drive.
If you've ever felt the same, as if some mysterious force is messing with your libido, then you are not alone. According to Prevention, there are many surprising things that could be killing your sex drive without you even realizing it. "Everyone deserves a healthy, fulfilling sex life, but so many small factors in everyday life can cause your sex drive to tank," gynecologist Dr. Shahnoz Rustamova, told Prevention.
Don't get me wrong. It's totally fine if you're not in the mood for a night or two, but a prolonged draught could be a red flag. The lack of a sex life lead to tension between you and your partner, as well as leave you feeling exhausted and run down. To avoid the potential troubles, here are 13 everyday things that can have an effect on your libido, and how to take back your sex life.
1. You Change Your Birth Control
According to the aforementioned Prevention article, a study from the University of Stirling found that any contraceptive change can cause your sex drive to shift due to a reaction to the combination of hormones, and make you less attracted to your partner. If you notice a change, talk to your gynecologist about a form of birth control that will work best.
2. You Eat The Wrong Foods
Not eating the right foods can totally kill your sex drive since they can increase or decrease your testosterone and estrogen levels, which play a key role in keeping a healthy libido, according to Eat This, Not That!. Some culprits that may be lowering your desire to take your partner into the bedroom include processed foods, diet soda, sugar, cheese, canned soup, deli meats, and soy.
3. You Take Anti-Depressants
According to Men's Fitness, one thing that can kill your sex drive is anti-depressants. This is due to medications that are used to lower testosterone (such as those used to treat prostate cancer in men), selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs like paroxetine and fluoxetine), and serotonin and norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors (SNRIs like venlafaxine), lithium, benzodiazephines, antihypertensives, cardiovascular drugs, and lipid-lowering meds like gemfibrozil.
4. You Don't Sleep Well
According to a 2015 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, women who get more sleep actually have higher levels of sexual desire and better arousal the next day. Just an extra hour of sleep meant a 14 percent increase in the likelihood that a woman would engage in sexual activity with her partner, according to Self. So if you're not getting enough shuteye and not feeling sexy, try going to bed an hour earlier.
5. You Recently Gained Weight
According to Shape, weight gain could potentially ruin your sex life — but not for the reasons you think. You likely still look great and your partner is eager to engage with you, but self-confidence issues and doubt about your attractiveness may take you out of the moment and affect your sex drive.
6. You Have Lots Of Stress
According to the aforementioned Prevention article, stress may be a serious problem for your sex drive because it weighs on your emotions and keeps your mind elsewhere.
"Stress is one of the biggest mood killers I see in my practice," Rustamova told Prevention. "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."
7. You Exercise Too Much
Not exercising enough can lower sex drive but so can exercising too much, according to the previously mentioned Men's Fitness article. Although being fit helps people feel sexy, excessive exercise can actually lead to Body Dysmorphic Disorder, which can put your body into a catabolic-like state that will have a negative impact on your sex drive.
8. You Have Relationship Issues
Having relationship problems can make it difficult for women to get in the mood for sex, according to the aforementioned Self article. Not only is dealing with hardships an issue, but the length of the relationship can have an impact on your sex drive as well. A woman's spike in desire is higher earlier on in relationships, and can soften once that falling-in-love feeling fades.
9. You Don't Put Down The Smartphone
According to the previously mentioned Shape article, being glued to your smartphone can mess with your sex drive.
"Laptops and smart phones just distract you from each other," licensed marriage and family therapist Sharon Gilchrest O’Neill told Shape. "It’s nearly impossible to get your head in the right place for sex when two seconds ago you were responding to an email from your boss."
10. You Skip The Water
Everyone knows that drinking water is a good idea, but did you know that dehydration can actually be bad for your libido? According to the aforementioned Prevention article, not drinking enough water can cause vaginal dryness, which makes sex painful and orgasm difficult to achieve. Set a goal of drinking six pints of water a day, and it should help your sex drive bounce back.
11. You Love Porn
If you watch porn and, subsequently, masturbate too much you may have an over-stimulation of dopamine, according to the aforementioned Men's Fitness article. Eventually, this may make it more difficult for your brain to respond to sexual cues from your partner, and you'll find it hard to be turned on without porn on.
12. You Drink, Smoke, Or Do Drugs
According to the aforementioned Self article, drinking too much alcohol, smoking nicotine, and using other drugs can make your sex drive plummet. Research published in the Journal of Sex Medicine showed that nicotine can lead to a drop in libido. Meanwhile, drugs like heroin can inhibit orgasm for both men and women and have a negative impact on your sex drive.
13. You Are A Flirt
Plenty of couples engage in harmless flirtations with others and still come home happily, but that's not always the case. According to the aforementioned Shape article, having an emotional affair can be detrimental to your relationship and your sex drive because it takes time and energy away from your partner.