Sometimes, despite the fact that you know how mind-blowing orgasms can be, the thought of having sex just feels so…meh. Luckily, if your sex drive is tanking lately, there’s usually a reason why—meaning it’s not you, per se; it’s your habits. (And you can do something about those!) We asked women’s health specialist Jennifer Wider, M.D., for the most common reasons your sex drive might take a nose dive. Read on to see if any of these strike a chord with you.
1. You Drink Too Much
Everyone knows that when guys overdo it with the alcohol, it affects their performance bigtime (ahem, whiskey dick). But it turns out that when you throw back too many glasses of vino, it can have a similar effect. “Yes, alcohol can lower your inhibitions, but if you drink more than one drink, it can also decrease your sexual performance—and your libido in general,” says Wider. What’s more, booze is a depressant, and it can interfere with your sexual function—and not in a good way.
2. You’re on Antidepressants
Speaking of depression, taking antidepressants can also wreak havoc on your libido. “Studies show that up to 30 percent of people taking SSRIs—that’s selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors—can experience sexual side effects, including lowered libido, erectile dysfunction, and orgasm difficulties,” says Wider.
3. You’re Popping Other Pharmies, Too
Anti-depressants aren’t the only drug that can lower your libido; other everyday meds can do it, too: “Birth control, anti-histamines, decongestants, and high blood pressure medication can all interfere with a person’s sex drive,” says Wider. Ask your doctor if you suspect any of your meds may be hurting your libido.
4. You Don’t Get Enough Shuteye
You probably know that not sleeping enough can lead to weight gain and poor work performance. But unfortunately, there’s another place lack of sleep rears its ugly head: the bedroom. And it’s not just that you’re too tired to have sex, either (although that’s definitely part of it). “Getting enough sleep is vital for your body to function at 100 percent,” says Wider. “If you skimp on sleep, you may lessen your libido—and also have a harder time climaxing in bed.” Aim for seven to eight hours a night if you can.
5. You’re Overweight
Carrying extra pounds may decrease your sex drive and your performance in bed, says Wider. And certain medical conditions linked to obesity, like diabetes and high cholesterol, can also impact your libido. The good news? Losing weight can fix these issues. Check out our plan to drop 30 pounds in 30 days.
6. You Don’t Know How Gorgeous You Are
It may sound cheesy, but it’s so true: Having a poor body image can totally mess with your sex life. “The brain-body connection plays an integral role in a person’s sexual desire and ability to perform,” says Wider. “If you have negative thoughts about your body, it can translate directly into the bedroom.” These six ways to boost your body confidence will help you feel great (in more way than one).
7. You Have a Super Busy Social Life
Yes, going out all the time is fun, and it’s really healthy to have a strong social network. But doing so can lead to fatigue, exhaustion, stress, and lack of intimate time with your partner—meaning sex takes a backseat. “Planning intimate time with your partner is definitely a challenge for many couples,” says Wider. So if you feel yourself saying yes to coworkers and no to your S.O., take a minute to assess your priorities and make sure you’re not spreading yourself too thin to enjoy a good romp.
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