Sex lies at the root of life, and we can never learn to reverence life until we know how to understand sex. –Henry Ellis
Who doesn’t want a healthy and satisfying sex life? And yet, a substantial and growing percentage of people struggle with low libido and sexual dysfunction issues. Overcoming this challenge in order to benefit from the many emotional and physical benefits of lovemaking should be on the top of your list when you consider that hundreds of major medical studies correlate an active sex life with a longer life, better heart health, a healthier immune response, reduction in chronic pain symptoms, lower rates of depression and even protection against some cancers.
Identifying the top 5 libido killers is a good way to get on track to finding healthy ways to build healthy mental and physical habits to revitalize the passionate side of your life.
1. Relationship Problems
Probably the biggest single libido killer is unresolved emotional problems with a partner. Many people do not understand and respect the power of good communication in feeding a fire in a relationship. Showing up in meaningful emotional ways opens the door, literally, to the vulnerability and safety that intimacy thrives on. Building positive thoughts about your partner and your life is the foundation that can hold a passionate life.
2. Stress and Not Enough Sleep
Passion does not thrive without relaxation. If sex is another thing on your list to get done, this might be a clue as to why you aren’t in the mood. Giving yourself the time and space to open up with your partner also means that you agree to set aside the other stressful commitments that keep you distant. As stress levels climb, from overwork, over worry and not enough resources to meet your needs, our lifestyle suffers. Our sex lives often bear the brunt of our stress. Coupled with the lack of sleep that most of us build our lives around, the combination of stressed and exhausted is not very sexy. Even if you had a healthy libido, you wouldn’t have enough energy to find it.
3. Obesity and Body Image
The United States has one of the highest obesity rates in the world. It is directly correlated to lack of sexual desire and poor sexual performance. Among the many health reasons to re-think your eating and exercise habits is the toll that excess weight takes on your body image and libido. If your weight keeps you from moving easily in your body, how can you find the space to be loved? Body image problems are not limited only to being overweight. Many men suffer from fears of inadequacy about the size of their penis, as women do the size of their breasts. Our libido starts in our brains: the sexiest part of our body. Committing to the work of loving your body is the first step to a life of sexual pleasure.
4. Medical Issues and Medications
Many medical issues associated with low libido are treatable and actually may be associated with other more serious health concerns. Erectile Dysfunction and hormonal issues for both men and women, which affect sex drive, deserves attention from a doctor you can talk to and trust. Likewise, if you believe that some of the medications you are taking are negatively impacting your libido, ask your health care provider about other options. Loss of libido is commonly associated with medications including antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure drugs, oral contraceptives, anti-HIV drugs, synthetic progesterone, and chemotherapy.
5. Alcohol, Drugs and Depression
Although we often associate partying with a heightened sense of libido, if you always require a couple of drinks or other recreational drugs before you can get in the mood for sex, there might be other issues with your sex life. While recreational use of alcohol and other drugs are commonly used as an aphrodisiac to break down barriers and inhibitions before sex, if used long term and habitually, what you might be doing is numbing yourself and your ability to respond sexually. Drunk sex is generally not satisfying sex, and when under the influence of other substances, we often miss the best part of what it feels like to open up our sexuality. I mention depression here, because recreational drugs are often used to self-medicate problems that deserve a trained professional ear.
Although all of these issues can feel insurmountable when you are facing them and often they come in pairs, which can make the situation feel hopeless. Getting the help you need and prioritizing life changes that help you to make small steps towards finding solutions is the process that changes lives. Don’t give up on your sex life; it is one of the most mysterious and satisfying aspects of being human.