4 Things You Didn't Know About Your Sex Drive

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To say that your sex drive is complicated would be an understatement. Formally known as “libido,” it can randomly hit you when you’re walking down the street, but leave when you’re actually in bed with your partner. With all of the ups and downs that come with your sex drive, it’s hard to feel like you’re in control. That being said, learning what hurts and helps is important, including the following:

1. More yoga equals better sex

Not only can yoga de-stress you, build your muscle strength, and improve heart health, but it can also benefit you in between the sheets too. Women who actively partake in yoga have reported an increase in arousal. Since stress can kill your sex drive, the combination of lowered stress, an increase in blood circulation, and the mental benefits associated with yoga increase your desire for sex and improve your orgasms.

Katie Finch, a yoga instructor at Brain and Body Yoga, recommends a few poses to get started on your endeavor to better sex: the downward dog, cat and cow, bridge, plow, and the butterfly.

To reap all the sexual benefits of yoga, remember to keep your form and more importantly, make yoga at least a part of your weekly routine. The more yoga you do, the more you’ll learn about your body.

2. You are what you eat, especially when it comes to sex

There is an ongoing debate over whether certain foods actually can stimulate your sex drive, but nutritionist Kelly Stanton at the Greater Atlanta Dietetic Association says that it might not be a total myth. These foods, called aphrodisiacs, increase blood circulation throughout the body, which leads to a boost in your sex drive.

Drinking too much alcohol will lower your libido, but indulging in only a glass or two of red wine can heat things up. “Compared to women who never drink alcohol, women who drink a small portion of red wine have increased sexual desires. This is attributed to polyphenols, a micronutrient that is found in red wine,” she says. “Overall, it improves blood flow, including vaginal blood flow.”

Stanton also recommends a few other foods if you’re looking to get in the mood: watermelon, berries, licorice, ginger, and bananas. However, she recommends advises that you stay away from dairy, fried foods, soy, and over consumption of chocolate. These foods can lower libido and make you sluggish and tired. 

3. Birth control can impact your sex drive 

This form of contraception really knows how to keep a girl from getting pregnant. About 15 percent of women have reported a decrease in libido while taking the pill, according to Dr. Kevin Windom, an OB-GYN at OB-GYN Associates of Marietta. “This decrease in libido stems from negative side effects of birth control, such as nausea and weight gain, which can lead to body image issues,” he says.

However, Windom says it is more common for women to report no change in libido or an increase in libido due to the realization that they probably won’t get pregnant. So don’t prepare for the worst when it comes to the pill.

Kristen*, a junior at Mississippi State University, experienced negative side effects when she began taking the pill. “The only time when I would feel any type of sexual desire was during the week I was taking the sugar pills. Ironically, that’s the week that your period comes. Before being on the pill, [my boyfriend and I] had a healthy sex life,” she says. “After the pill, he started to think it was something he was doing wrong. But with my mood swings, acne and headaches, having sex was the last thing on my mind.”

Depending on which negative side effects that you are experiencing, there is a solution. Birth control pills can contain estrogen, progestin, and androgen. Having mood swings? Lower the progestin. Gaining weight? Lower the estrogen and progestin. Is acne your number one concern? Increase the estrogen, lower the androgen. Birth control isn’t a one type fits all, so consult with your doctor on what’s the best pill for you. Like Windom says, it’s all “trial and error.”

4. Other medications can have a negative effect

Unfortunately, some prescription medications can affect your sex life for the worse. Medications such as antidepressants, blood pressure regulators, and even prescribed marijuana can be the only way to manage a condition; however, what your doctor probably didn’t tell you is that these medications can delay or inhibit orgasms and decrease lubrication.

“The number one side effect of some SSRI’s is difficulty having an orgasm, and the number two side effect is a decrease in overall libido,” says Windom.

Madison*, a sophomore at Texas A&M University, experienced a healthy sex life before she began using antidepressants. “I had to give up one thing to help another,” she says. “At this point in life, it’s more important to treat my anxiety than get my sex drive back. It’s made dating hard, but I don’t see a way around the situation.”

If you want to see a change and get your sex life back on track, go see your doctor. Windom says that a common practice now to improve patient’s sex life is to cut their dosage of their antidepressant medication such as Lexapro in half, and then add a half dose of Wellbutrin. Although Wellbutrin is a SSRI as well, it is known to stabilize sexual dysfunction. 

It’s up to you to decide where you would like your sex drive to be. If you want to improve your libido, there certainly are ways to make that possible. If you are comfortable with your sex drive being low, more power to you! It is all about what you want. 

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About The Author

Kayla is a junior at Georgia State University, pursuing a degree in Journalism and Spanish. She is a devoted mother to her Yorkie and Lifetime fanatic. Her Instagram is @kaydungee.