TO BE EDITED
1 You Binge on Bad Foods
If you’re a junk-food junkie, you’re filling your body with lots of refined carbs, simple sugars, and saturated and trans fat. This can slow your blood flow and affect how well you can perform during sex. Cut out the junk and go for plenty of fruits, veggies, and plant-based protein (nuts, beans, and tofu). Bonus: A healthy eating plan will give you more energy for sex.
2 You Eat Too Much Salt
When salty foods are a regular part of your diet, you’re more likely to have high blood pressure, which can lower your libido. Steer clear of prepackaged foods, which often have lots of sodium, and watch how much you add at the table. Instead, add flavor with herbs and spices.
3 You Stay Stressed
Constant strain and worry wears you out — everywhere. When you flood your body with stress hormones for a long periods of time, it hijacks your health and also tanks your desire to have sex. Try to figure out what’s stressing you so you can think about the best ways to handle it. It’s also a good idea to make time for regular stress-relief — a walk in a park, a yoga class, or laughing at your favorite comedy
4 You Skip Foreplay
Science backs it up: Building up to sex can make it better. In one survey of almost 8,700 people, both men and women said sex lasted longer when they included more types of stimulation beforehand. The real engine revvers? Oral sex and masturbation.
5 You’re Too Busy
When life gets hectic, sex can sometimes be the first thing kicked off your “to-do” list. But intimacy in your relationship should be a priority. Scheduling sex may sound like a buzzkill, but it can help you make sure you don’t keep putting it off. So mark time on your calendars, and stick to it. You’ll feel more connected, which will lead to better bouts in bed.
6 You Stick to the Same Old, Same Old
Sometimes a stale sex spell is just a matter of being stuck in a rut. You might have a routine and not even realize it. Mix it up: try new positions or have sex in a place or at a time you don’t usually do it. Or try adding new alternatives like massage or sex toys to your routine.
7 You Don’t Speak Up
If there’s something about your sex life that’s bothering you, or you have ideas about new things you’d like to try, talk about it. Worried about how your partner might handle the conversation? Try to frame it around your feelings and reactions, not your partner’s. It helps to start your sentences with “I” instead of “you.”
8 You Diss Your Body negative self image low self esteemThe messages you tell yourself — or hear from others — about your body make a big difference in how confident you feel. When those messages are negative, your self-image takes a hit, and so does your sex drive. If your default mode is to put yourself down, break the habit and try to focus on what you like about yourself. Take care of yourself, and spend time with people who make you feel good.
9 You Drink Too Much
One glass of wine or a beer might help you relax, but a booze binge can make you crash and burn in the bedroom. Men in particular can struggle with performance issues when they have too much alcohol in their system. Keep your drinking in moderation — no more than one drink a day for women and two for men.
10 You Skimp on Shut-Eye
If you don’t snooze, you could lose your libido. One study found that women who got more sleep tended to have more (and better) sex.
11 You Light Up
There’s a long list of ways smoking harms your health, and slashing sexual desire is on it. Chemicals in tobacco can mess with blood flow, which can cause sexual problems, especially for men. Talk to your doctor about how you can kick the habit.
12 Stay Connected
Being intimate with your partner is one of life’s greatest pleasures. But a long-term health problem can take the joy out of sex. You may not want to have it, can’t get aroused enough, or have trouble reaching orgasm. Knowing what the problem is could be the first step to finding solutions.
High blood sugar damages blood vessels and nerves over time. This can hinder blood flow to your sex organs. Men can have erection and ejaculation problems. Women may have loss of desire, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, and orgasm troubles. If you control your diabetes, stay active, and eat right, it can help keep sexual and other problems at bay. If they keep happening, tell your doctor about it.
Your mind and body go hand in hand. One of the symptoms of depression can be a drop in your sex drive. Tell your doctor or a therapist if you’ve been feeling down for a while. Treatment — which may include talking with a counselor, making lifestyle changes, and medicine — can help. Some antidepressants can dim desire and lead to erection problems in men. Lowering the dose or switching meds may help.
15 Chronic Pain
It’s hard to think about sex, let alone do it, if you have pain that won’t quit. If your medications don’t control your pain well, your doctor may need to change the dose or switch meds. Or the medicine may be the problem. Some pain meds have sexual side effects because they affect your nervous system. Either way, talk to your doctor.