Some people derive pleasure and relief from channeling their sexual energy into other activities such as exercise, music, cooking, arts or yoga. Other methods can include identifying triggers that exacerbate the urge and finding ways to avoid them.
Certain medications, including antidepressants and some oral contraceptive pills, may dampen libido. Drinking too much alcohol and eating foods high in refined sugar also kill libido.
1. Drink alcohol
A lot of people believe that drinking alcohol gives them a libido boost. However, that isn’t necessarily true. Alcohol actually decreases libido in the long run. Heavy drinking over a prolonged period of time can reduce testosterone levels and can also cause the testes and penis to shrink, which can affect fertility.
Women who drink alcohol often have a harder time having orgasms and experience less lubrication during intercourse. This is because booze acts as a depressant, which lowers the nervous system’s function. It can also interfere with erections.
2. Smoke cigarettes
Smoking cigarettes can suppress testosterone levels and kill libido in both men and women. It also restricts blood flow to the genital area, which can decrease sensations of arousal.
Long gone are the days when puffing on a cigarette exuded the coolness and glamour made famous by cultural icons like James Dean and Audrey Hepburn. Now, smoking is associated with bad breath, stained teeth and ashy lungs. It can also affect libido by decreasing testosterone and oestrogen levels, as well as causing premature ejaculation during sex.
3. Watch pornographic videos
Watching pornographic videos can make men less able to feel arousal when they’re in the company of their partner, which is bad news for intimacy. This is because arousal is triggered by physical contact.
For some people, watching porn can become a way to explore fantasies and emotions that are too hard to express otherwise. In these cases, it’s important to find healthy coping mechanisms such as exercise or art.
If you’re in a committed relationship, try talking to your partner about your masturbation habits or consider therapy.
4. Smoke marijuana
Marijuana’s link to sexual arousal is an area that’s just now beginning to be studied and discussed. But the science is still pretty thin, with most of what we know coming from participant surveys or anecdotes.
However, there’s also evidence that weed may actually boost libido in some people. That’s because the endocannabinoid system (ECS) enables marijuana to affect neurotransmitters and hormones like estrogen. In addition, cannabis often induces the munchies, which can stimulate appetite. This can lead to increased sexual arousal for men and women.
5. Eat junk food
While libido problems are often blamed on stress, fatigue and lack of sleep, a diet full of junk food can also play a role. Certain foods can disrupt the balance of hormones like oestrogen and testosterone that fuel libido.
Consuming a regular diet of junk food, such as sugary sweets and fried foods can lead to weight gain and lower serotonin levels, which may affect libido. Bottled water can also contain xenoestrogens, which interfere with the natural estrogen levels in the brain, testis and ovaries, dampening libido.
Getting enough physical activity can improve libido, although too much exercise may have the opposite effect. High-intensity exercise can drain your body of its natural libido booster, endorphins.
It’s also important to drink plenty of water and other fluids, as dehydration can reduce libido. Avoid consuming too many caffeinated beverages, which can increase the heart rate and lead to feelings of anxiety.
Excessive alcohol, recreational drugs and smoking can dampen libido as well. Quitting these bad habits can help revive your libido. Similarly, sleeping too little is another known libido killer.
7. Watch TV
Watching too much TV and staying glued to your smartphone at night can make you too tired for sex. This is especially true if you’re watching TV or checking social media right before bed.
Instead of watching TV, try doing an adrenaline-pumping activity like dancing or taking a long hike. This can help increase your libido and boost feelings of satisfaction. Other mood-boosting activities include cooking, painting, learning a new language, long distance running and volunteering. It also helps to be in a relationship that encourages sexual intimacy.
8. Go to bed late
A high libido can lead to an addiction if sexual desires become compulsions. This is known as sex addiction or hypersexuality disorder and it can have negative impacts on mental health.
Certain health conditions can affect libido, including obesity and chronic stress. Some medications can also lower libido.
Psychosexual and relationship therapists can help people discover the root cause of their libido issues. They can then teach them coping skills to overcome these problems in healthy ways. For example, practicing relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga.
9. Smoke marijuana
Despite prohibition, cannabis continues to be one of the most popular recreational drugs in the U.S. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which impacts neurotransmitters and hormones, including those that impact sexual drive.
Studies indicate that sex drive is affected by THC’s interaction with estrogen and testosterone. But sex drives vary widely, so it’s important to experiment and find what works best for you. A low dose can produce a euphoria that enhances libido. But high doses can inhibit libido and cause paranoia. Choose a strain that contains limonene for a libido boost.
10. Drink coffee
Coffee is a popular pick-me-up drink and lately it’s been getting a lot of attention as a possible libido-booster. A new trend, known as “sex coffee,” involves mixing black coffee with raw cacao powder, coconut milk, honey, cinnamon, and maca powder to create a potion that’s said to stimulate sexual desire.
Unfortunately, the caffeine in coffee can actually make you less sexy. It can irritate your stomach and cause acid reflux, which can lead to sex drive loss. Instead, go for a low-sugar alternative like fresh juice or homemade soup.