10 Reasons you're not having sex – even though you want to
You've been waiting all day for this moment, crawling into bed with your partner and getting it on. Oh yeahhhhhh! But then, something happens. As you get ready to hop in, you realize...
...you'd rather not. Your libido simply disappears and is replaced with a feeling of indifference.
Don't panic, this is totally normal and may actually have nothing to do with your relationship – in fact there are many things in our environment that could be to blame. Here's a list of surprising silent sexy-time saboteurs and how to conquer them for good.
Lack of sleep
How often do you wake up from a terrible night's sleep and think, "let's get it on?" Probably never. The impact poor sleep quality has on our sex drive is profound. A study out of Michigan concluded that for every extra hour of zzz's, women were 14 percent more likely to engage in intercourse. One reason for this is that a lack of rest lowers our testosterone levels – otherwise known as the sex hormone. Another reason is that insufficient sleep causes a lubrication issue. The same Michigan study determined that after a good night's sleep, women reported having better vaginal lubrication – a key component of sexual appetite and satisfaction.
When our noses are runny, we take allergy meds to dry them up. Little did we know that as the pills dry our sinuses, they also dry up other parts of our bodies too. Yep, meds like Benadryl are known to cause vaginal dryness, which can cause sexual discomfort and a lowered libido. If you must continue on the medications, experts recommend investing in some good organic lube to help out.
Candles – wait, what?
You're trying to get your partner (and yourself) in the mood – so you pour some wine and light some candles…Romance 101, right? Unfortunately studies show that lighting candles could be sabotaging our efforts! A 2008 study out of South California State University indicated that the chemicals emitted from lit scented candles act as fake sex hormones, lowering our testosterone and totally messing with our libido levels. Try beeswax candles instead, they are sexy-time safe!
Our thyroid gland, which lives at the base of our throats, is the epicenter of our hormones. Any disruption to this area could cause our levels to go awry, impacting our health in and out of the bedroom. Make sure you get regular physicals and if you feel like something is off with your libido, energy, mood or weight, have your thyroid looked at. It only takes a minute and could make a huge difference.
Not enough exercise
Not sure about the slam-dunk connection between exercise and sexual health? Check out my article to set the record straight. Yes – exercise boosts libido by increasing testosterone, endorphins and minimizing cortisol (the stress hormone). It also helps to prime all of our primal parts with increased blood circulation, tighten our pelvic floors, and when we workout we are more confident, which can also be a mega aphrodisiac.
Too much exercise
It's going to sound like a contradiction but, hear me out. While not enough exercise can leave us feeling sluggish, stressed and un-sexual – too much exercise can also have a similar effect. Intense workouts can often put our bodies under stress – raising our cortisol levels and making us feel fatigued and down. If you feel zapped instead of refreshed after a sweat sesh, consider switching to something a little more low-impact for a while – like pilates or barre – and see how that makes you feel. You might find it allows you to save more energy for the main event with your partner, later.
Disclaimer: I do not want this to come across like I don't condone the use of sex toys. It is in fact the opposite: studies show that using an accessory in the bedroom can seriously help heat things up. But as with many things these days, we need to be careful what we put in our bodies. Many sex toys are made with chemicals that contain phthalates, which are detrimental to our hormone balance and, yes, our sex drive. Instead of a generic toy – look into the eco-alternatives and enjoy!
Not drinking enough H20 is a huge contributor to many health ailments – low energy, headaches, irritability, weight gain and many more. But, none of those issues illicit the "chug, chug, chug" mentality like being told that being chronically dehydrated (as 75% of us are shown to be) can kill your sex life. Downer, indeed. Dehydration causes lowered sexual desires, vaginal dryness, and makes it harder for us to climax; not to mention all the classic issues mentioned above, that take sex right off the table. Despite what you've read – there is no perfect amount of water for everyone. Drink fluids consistently throughout the day until your pee is practically clear and enjoy the perks of a primed, hydrated body.
Turns out, taking iron could light your fire. Having constant low levels of iron in the blood, also known as anemia, can have a serious effect on our health, including a lowered sex drive. Warning: During menstruation, anemic affects can be even greater thanks to the loss of blood. But before we go blaming everything on our periods, experts say taking some iron supplementation can easily help combat an iron-induced libido problem. Problem, solved.
Booze, cigarettes, drive thru – the killer trio when it comes to, well, everything, but especially sex. If you're thinking about a drink or two to loosen up and get in the mood, you may want to stop there. Excess alcohol consumption can be no bueno for the bedroom. It can lead to dehydration, reduced sensitivity, and for men - difficulty getting and maintaining an erection. Smoking can also cause erectile dysfunction in men and loss of sensation and desire for women by constricting the blood vessels in the body, leading to less circulation to the important areas. The fast food you choose may be full of hormones and chemicals that wreak havoc on our endocrine system but it also makes us feel bloated and lethargic. And that sounds like the exact opposite of our goal here.