It’s official — guys have a higher sex drive than women. But before you think that men as sex-crazed fiends, there are men — as well as women — who face issues with their sex drive. Here are some things that can be causing you and your spouse’s lowered libido:
* Work-related stressors This can put the kibosh on a couple’s libido. Clinical sexologist at Eros Coaching, Dr Martha Tara Lee says, “It’s hard to get in the mood or have any real desire when you’ve been working long hours or when you haven’t been sleeping well.”
*Relationship issues Fertility expert and senior consultant ob-gyn Dr Peter Chew says, “Effective communication between husband and wife [can be helpful]. Try resolving conflicts in an amicable way by discussing solutions on relationship difficulties.”
* Past history If you have a traumatic sexual encounter in the past, this could also affect your sexual appetite, Dr Lee points out.
“Husbands will do well in helping out at home more, learning to communicate their needs better and not letting sex and intimacy slide either.”
* The libido alters in response to your life stage You may find your sex drive taking a dip when you become a mother, especially since you’re likely to be focused on your baby’s needs. After dealing with the kids, the dishes and the laundry, you have little or no band width left for sex. Dr Lee stresses, “Husbands will do well in helping out at home more, learning to communicate their needs better and not letting sex and intimacy slide either.”
*Fertility issues Men may have issues like erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation. And women should seek help when you experience painful sex or vaginismus — a medical condition where she’ll experience pain during vaginal penetration.
The intensity of your sex drive is primarily decided by your body’s hormonal levels. A hormonal imbalance is the most common reason for a low libido, Dr Lee points out many women are unaware that their hormones are out of whack, “I would encourage getting a physical ― that includes a hormonal check ― to make sure that all is in order.”
Besides getting the required treatment, you can keep your hormones in check by leading a healthier lifestyle. Stubbing out the ciggies and drinking less can also improve your sex drive, Dr Chew notes.
You can also consume aphrodisiacs — foods that stimulate sexual desire. Explaining that there is a close relationship between love, sex and food, Dr Chew says, “When we eat, we are using our senses such as taste, sight, smell and touch. These sensations are the same as those experienced during sex.”
“When we eat, we are using our senses such as taste, sight, smell and touch. These sensations are the same as those experienced during sex.”
While no food has been proven to have the ability to stimulate one’s sexual organs, the act of eating can actually suggest sex to the mind. This, in turn, can spark desire. Take a look at Dr Chew’s recommendations on various aphrodisiacs believed to boost one’s interest in doing the horizontal mambo:
* Foods that resemble male or female genitalia are believed to increase libido
― Oysters are high in zinc, which is an important component of sperm production
― Carrots are loaded with vitamin E, a known libido enhancer.
*Reproductive organs and eggs are thought to increase sexual desire and potency
― Chicken eggs maximises one’s energy levels and are rich in vitamins B6 and B5 which balance hormone levels and fights stress.
― Fish roe is rich in phosphorous, which can ramp up nerve function.
*Foods that stimulate both the sense and sexual desire
― Spices like cardamom, cloves and cinnamon are believed to fight impotence.
― Hot peppers such as chilli padi, cayenne and capsicum are rich in capsaicin, a substance which gives the vegetable its heat. The warmth and moisture (sweat) are thought to arouse a person.
― Garlic which contains allicin, increases blood flow to one’s sexual organs.
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