Five Surprising Things That Kill Men's Sex Drive
Forget about the “super-stud” self-image many of us had when we were teenagers. As we mature those images reveal themselves for what they are – youthful delusions. But still, most men like to think of themselves as sexually effective. Or, at the very least, sexually functional.
But the truth is, a large percentage of men report having some sexual dysfunction. That doesn’t mean it’s a big deal that requires “treatment.” What it does mean is that it’s very common, and there are some straightforward steps you can take to put yourself back into the functional category.
In today’s article we’ll take a look at some of the things that might be killing your sex drive. I’ll also show you some easy, natural steps to help get your libido back on track.
There are some prescription medications that have shown to be sex-drive downers. I’ve mentioned many of these to you in previous articles. If you happen to be taking any of these drugs and sense that your libido is not what it should be, you should find out of the drugs are really necessary or if safer, more natural alternatives exist.
Warning! Do not stop taking any prescription medication without first checking with your prescribing doctor as discontinuing some drugs can be dangerous if not done correctly.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This is a class of drug commonly prescribed as an anti-depressant. They supposedly ease depression by changing naturally occurring neurotransmitters in the brain. SSRIs block the re-absorption, or reuptake, of serotonin. This is supposed to elevate your mood, though research shows they don’t do that any better than placebo. But regardless of whatever else they may or may not do, they are notorious for killing men’s libidos. Unfortunately, the effects can sometimes last even after discontinuing the drugs.
Statins. These are the drugs used to treat elevated cholesterol. And in previous articles I have shown you how dangerous they are - they actually can increase the risk of death from all causes To make matters worse, they have been shown to cause erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. In fact, studies have shown that both men and women taking statins may have some trouble reaching orgasm. This could be because male and female hormones are cholesterol-related.
Hypertension drugs. Blood pressure drugs have been shown to decrease sexual arousal. Almost all high blood pressure medications can have sexual side effects. That may seem strange since high blood pressure itself has been demonstrated to be a factor in lower sex drive as well. But the drugs used to treat the condition can worsen sexual dysfunction.
Obesity can drain your energy and make you feel less motivated and less attractive. Without energy and motivation you will not have a healthy sex drive. Men are especially affected by being overweight. It turns out there is a link between ED, low testosterone, and obesity. On the positive side, this problem can be overcome with some safe, natural, sustainable weight loss. Your best bets are getting outside more often, doing more gentle activity, getting plenty of rest, and opting for natural, home-cooked foods. Be very cautious about fad diets and weight loss programs, which can often make things worse over time.
High Blood Pressure
Sexual function and sexual arousal need a good supply of blood flow to your genitals. High blood pressure can reduce blood flow to the penis, dampening your desire. If blood is not flowing freely into your genital area, there will be no arousal. Additionally, too little blood flow to the penis can cause ED, which can be an early warning sign of cardiovascular disease. As I’ve told you previously, some of your best bets are eating more (potassium-rich) fruits and vegetables, getting plenty of rest, and getting outside more often as well as practices that help you to release stress.
Lack of Sleep
Ongoing lack of sleep can have a big negative effect on your sex life. A sleep disorder like sleep apnea can be especially disruptive to a normal night’s sleep. Sleep apnea occurs when you stop breathing for short periods frequently throughout the night. Most men with sleep apnea also snore during the night. The resulting tiredness can kill your sex drive. To minimize sleep apnea, sleep on your side rather than your back, and make sure the room isn’t too hot.
Studies have shown that lack of sleep can lower your testosterone levels. As you may know, testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and a big factor in your sex drive. A University of Chicago study limited healthy young men to only five hours of sleep a night for one week. During that time their testosterone levels dropped by up to 15 percent.
Alcohol. Too much alcohol can effectively lower or eliminate your sex drive.
Nicotine. Nicotine can constrict your blood vessels. This limits the flow of blood to the genital area. Just like high blood pressure, constricted blood flow limits arousal.
Steroids. Anabolic steroids are sometimes used to build muscle. The problem is that the brain thinks it’s getting testosterone, so it shuts down production of natural testosterone. The result is big muscles, small testicles, and lower sex drive.
Cocaine and other stimulants. These drugs can have a devastating effect on your sex drive, not to mention most other areas of your life.
Natural Ways to Boost Your Sex Drive
Here are some tips for boosting your sexual desire without resorting to prescription drugs.
Relax. Stress is one of the biggest sex-downers of all time. Nobody who is stressed-out is feels particularly sexy. Stress also increases cortisol, the stress hormone that lowers testosterone – never a good thing when you want to get your groove on.
Get some exercise. All it takes is a little bit of moderate exercise every day to improve your blood flow and energy level. You may also lose some weight, which might revive your sex drive.
Add some new twists. Studies have shown that introducing newness into your sex life with your partner will help your sex drive. Try different positions, different foreplay, and other simple ways to spice up your sex life a little bit. Change increases dopamine, a brain chemical that helps boost your sexual desire.
Try some natural remedies. There are several natural over-the-counter products that can help your sex life. They include ginkgo biloba, choline, and vitamin B5. These products all play roles in helping your body stay sexually tuned in. For example, ginkgo biloba is used to treat sexual dysfunction. Choline helps the brain send sexual signals to your genitals. And Vitamin B5 helps manufacture sex hormones in your adrenal glands.
Take a short break. Try to get away with your partner for a day or two – longer if possible. Even a short break from your daily routine can help inspire your sex life.
A reduced sex drive, especially in men, can be embarrassing. But you have to remember that this happens to all men at one time or another, especially as we get a little older.
If you’re in a low sex-drive cycle, try some of the tips I’ve outlined above before you go chasing after some new prescription “fix”. You might be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to get back in the swing of things.