No one likes to admit that they’ve got a low sex drive, but the truth is – it is a very real and genuine issue that affects 4 out of 10 men aged over 45. So what can you do? How can you make it stop?
What Will I Learn?
- Causes of a Low Sex Drive In Men
- How to Increase Sex Drive Naturally
- Available Treatments
- High Sex Drive Foods
- Exercise And Sex Drive
- The Best Supplements For a Low Sex Drive
The good news is – no matter whether your low sex drive is triggered by stress, age or underlying health issues; there are a number of natural, everyday things you can do to revitalise your libido and get your sex life back on track. Come join us as we show you how to increase your sex drive.
Triggers for a low sex drive in men can range from the physical to the psychological, to a combination of the two.
Take the following:
- Low testosterone (hypogonadism) – once you hit 30, it is not uncommon for natural testosterone production to fall. The problem is, once your total testosterone drops below 300-350 nanograms per deciliter, your libido will fall also.
- Hormones – declining testosterone levels are not your only culprit. Other hormones can impact your sex drive too. For instance, low levels of thyroid hormone and high levels of prolactin can both influence your libido, while drops in dopamine (your brain’s chemical messaging system) can affect your ability to feel aroused/interested in sex (as these signals won’t reach the appropriate places).
- Prescription medicine – a common side effect of taking medications is a low sex drive. Statins, beta-blockers, antidepressants, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines and anticonvulsants are the most common offenders; however, there are some over the counter drugs such as Tagamet which can harm your libido over time. Others to watch out for are medicines for: high blood pressure, seizures (topiramate) and enlarged prostates.
- Too little or too much exercise (that’s right! It is possible to do too much) – with the right balance of exercises, not only can you lose weight; you can also benefit from improvements in energy, mood and sexual function.
- Excessive drug or alcohol consumption – a 2012 study by the University of Texas in Austin found that smoking will not only increase your chances of ED, it will also indirectly affect your levels of arousal. Alcohol has got a similar history of being able to lower your sex drive, as it causes the enzymes needed to synthesize testosterone to be redirected from your testes to your liver, leading to falls in testosterone.
- Not enough sleep – whether your lack of sleep stems from stress or too many late nights; research suggests not getting enough sleep can lead to elevations in cortisol (usually triggered by stress). As these cortisol levels rise, this can increase your chance of developing obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that can cause your daytime testosterone levels to drop by 10-15%.
- Chronic illnesses – conditions where there is chronic pain or fatigue involved – such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, cancer, and chronic fatigue syndrome – can all negatively impact your sex drive (both physically and emotionally). Likewise, given their ability to affect your hormones – as well as your neurological and vascular functions (which are central to your sex drive) – it is not uncommon for chronic illnesses to increase your risk of depression. In turn, they can curb your sexual appetite, especially when you add their medications/treatments (chemotherapy and cardiovascular drugs) into the equation.
- Medical issues – chronic illnesses are not the only ones to blame. Diabetes, obesity, heart disease, an underactive thyroid, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can all have a negative effect on your body. Obesity in particular is known to impair your metabolism and hormone function, leading to drops in total and free testosterone.
- Sexual problems – existing issues with ED or premature ejaculation, can cause falls in sex drive due to fears of not being able to get it up or last.
- Depression – sadly depression and anxiety appear to go hand-in-hand with declining sex drives; as quite often you may struggle to find pleasure from doing anything (including the idea of sex). If anything, they can lead to an endless cycle where your lack of sex drive feeds into your depressive feelings (and vice versa). Another trigger for low sex drives in men is the medications (anti-depressants) used to treat depression/anxiety.
- Stress – while feelings of stress can diminish your interest in sex, it is also known to trigger the production of cortisol, a hormone that acts as a built-in alarm system in your body. When released, not only does it cause blood vessels to constrict; it can also impact on your testosterone levels and ability to sleep. And as you know, falls in T levels and sleep can cause high sex drives to disappear, as you are left feeling fatigued and lethargic.
- Relationship issues – one easy way to kill the mood is regular arguments with your partner. This is especially true for women who feel that emotional closeness is just as important as intimacy (sexually). This means, should issues remain unresolved, neither of you will feel inclined to have sex, reducing your response to sexual stimuli.
Alternatively, poor communication, loss of sexual attraction, poor communication, over-familiarity, lack of trust, etc. can all negatively influence your sexual relationship.
While a lot of the above causes can easily be resolved by simply re-evaluating your medications and reducing your dosages – especially if you’re dealing with chronic illness, depression, etc. – there are also many tricks you can adopt that can help you to naturally achieve a high sex drive.
- Regular exercise – exercising for 30 minutes up to 3 times a week will help to alleviate feelings of anxiety and enable you to better manage it. A 2015 study – which examined men undergoing androgen deprivation therapy (which is known to lower testosterone) – noted how regular exercise helped participants to deal with body image concerns; flacking libidos and relationship problems, by positively boosting their sex drive.
- Open communication – being honest about how you feel can be incredibly liberating, even more so if resentment has built up in your relationship. As this distrust has grown, so have feelings of anxiety. Yet by communicating with one another, you can overcome this barrier.
Another technique you can try is to focus on elements outside of the bedroom, such as going on a date; being honest, and spending quality time together. These can help to bring intimacy back into the relationship and enable you to reconnect.
- Maintain a healthy body weight – scientists have spotted links between obesity and low sex drives, which alongside causing falls in testosterone, can lead to reduced fertility. By simply taking steps to manage your weight i.e. through exercise and diet, you can experience physical and psychological improvements, as you’ll feel happier and more confident in your body.
- Drink less alcohol – you shouldn’t drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week on a regular basis.
- Improve your sleeping habits – getting more sleep can improve your mood, energy levels and – according to some research – your sex drive too. During a 2015 study, participants who managed to sleep more felt more sexual desire the following day. In fact, they reported feeling more genital arousal than those who slept less. (NOTE: this study was on women, but has been found to apply to men too).
Tip: If possible try to take naps (paired with a diet high in protein and low in carbs). Alternatively, aim to get 8 full hours of sleep a night.
- Eat a nutritious diet – the key to a healthy sex drive is learning how to eat right. With the right foods in your diet, you can benefit from better circulation and heart health, which in themselves can lead to an increased interest in sex.
We recommend keeping to a diet that is rich in vegetables, low in sugar and high in lean proteins, as each of these food groups will help to boost your sex drive.
- Focus on foreplay – similar to communication, place more focus on foreplay than on the act of sex itself. This will help to heighten both of your desires, as watching her arousal grow will feed into your own (thus boosting your libido). We suggest spending more time touching, kissing and performing oral sex. Hell, you can even add some sex toys into the mix to help spice things up.
- Herbal remedies – we won’t go into too much detail here; however, one point we will highlight is the long term benefits of adding particular herbs to your diet. Maca for example has got a long history for revitalizing libidos and improving sexual function. Likewise, remedies that contain in Tribulus, Ginkgo and Ginseng may also bring your sex drive back to life.
- Quit smoking – smoking is known to shrink your blood vessels making it harder for your heart to transport blood around your body (including to your dick). Quitting can help to improve your heart health, but more importantly, will elevate your energy levels and sex drive.
- Boost your confidence – the way you feel about your body can influence the way you respond and feel about sex, putting you off from enjoying it. This can be hastened by poor dietary choices, weight gain and being unfit. Fortunately, by incorporating positive affirmations and meditation into your daily routine, you can eliminate these negative thoughts and ensure that you only focus on your positive attributes. With time, you will find that your interest in sex returns.
Alongside adopting the above natural practices, you can also explore any of the following medical treatments to help increase your sex drive:
This treatment is less medicinal and focuses more on the psychological elements of a low sex drive.
Individual counseling is an effective way to treat low sex drives as it can help you to address any negative views you may have on sex, as well as feelings of low self-esteem, depression and anxiety. Another tactic you can try is going to relationship counseling. Again, discussing your relationship and communication problems will help you to rediscover your desire for one another.
During a 2014 study, researchers found that attending just 4 mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy sessions helped participants to see improvements in sexual desire, arousal and gratification.
Not all treatments for low sex drives were created with that in mind. For instance, when Parkinson’s patients were given dopamine-stimulating drugs, they experienced the added benefit of having more sexual desire.
On the other end of the scale, you will find dedicated male enhancers such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. The sole focus of these pills is to help you to get it up whenever you need it. They WON’T restore your libido. All they will do is give you instant erections, and sadly a whole host of side effects which we don’t recommend.
The alternative is reviewing your existing medications. By adjusting any medicine you’re taking for your heart, diabetes, depression, etc. this can reduce their side effects and give you your libido back.
Hormone replacement therapy
Healthy testosterone levels and libidos go hand-in-hand, so in theory hormone (testosterone) replacement therapy should help to boost your testosterone levels. This treatment can range from taking testosterone supplements, to having weekly testosterone shots, to wearing skin patches, to applying gel formulations to your chest, shoulders or abdomen. In any case, these treatments can raise your testosterone levels.
We touched on the idea of modifying your diet earlier. But which foods are the best for securing a high sex drive? Let’s take a look:
- Walnuts – rich in omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts can help to lower your cholesterol, minimising your risk of having a heart attack. At the same time, they can boost your sex drive as relaxing your blood vessels and improving circulation will support your arousal. It achieves this by increasing the release of arginine (an amino acid).
- Oysters – oysters have got a long history of bolstering sexual appetites (thanks to its high zinc content). By supporting your body’s zinc levels, this will encourage the creation of healthy sperm. Similarly, its breadth of amino acids can positively affect your testosterone levels, helping to raise your libido.
- Asparagus – high in folate, this nutrient encourages histamine production, a chemical that your body usually releases when you orgasm.
- Nutmeg, cinnamon and cayenne – these spices can do more than add flavor to your foods. Nutmeg and cinnamon in particular have been used as an aphrodisiac for centuries. Cayenne on the other hand is reputed to increase circulation as it produces heat within your body.
- Dark chocolate – this food’s high cocoa content means you can benefit from more phenylethylamine, a compound that supposedly stimulates the release of endorphins and dopamine (as noted in one study where participants saw elevations in phenethylamine and serotonin). These feel-good hormones will help to lower your inhibitions and make you more open to the idea of sex.
- Watermelon – aside from replenishing your body with fluids, watermelon contains citrulline, a compound that is known to relax blood vessels and encourage increased blood flows (which is great for your dick when you feel aroused).
- Bananas – a great source for potassium, this mineral can help with muscle contractions – in particular those needed for great sex and ejaculation. Potassium can also help to boost testosterone production, which can enhance your sex drive.
- Drink one glass of wine – this can help to lower your inhibitions and increase your interest in becoming intimate with your partner. Just make sure you only stick to one as anymore could impact on your ability to perform and orgasm.
Other foods to consider:
- Natural aphrodisiacs – figs and avocados contain lots of vitamins and minerals that can bolster blood flows to your dick.
- Garlic – this herb contains allicin that is known to boost blood flows making it easier for you to respond to arousal.
True, exercising more can help you to lose weight, feel more energized and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression (which can hinder testosterone production). However, there are certain exercises that are more beneficial for increasing your sex drive than others.
For instance, research suggests that you should do one-time acute exercise sessions, as they can boost your arousal by activating your sympathetic nervous system. Excessive exercising/training on the other hand has been proven to yield lower sympathetic autonomic neural tone and sex drives. During one study (published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise), researchers noted how increased levels of endurance training (done regularly) directly correlated with lower libidos in male participants.
So what can you do? How can you ensure you do the right kind of exercise for your body? Here are some suggestions:
- Strength training – the use of weights will help to build up your muscles and according to experts will boost your libido (more than cardio i.e. running on a treadmill, etc.) as it can help to relieve stress.
- Kegels – researchers believe strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can give you greater control helping to elevate your libido while preventing premature ejaculation and bowel issues.
- Yoga – Ayurvedic yoga has got a long history of helping to treat sexual disorders. In one study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers revealed how yoga helped participants to delay ejaculation and last longer during sex.
- Walking – according to a study done by Harvard, walking for 30 minutes a day can decrease the risk of erectile dysfunction in men by up to 41%. Similarly, a separate trial noted how moderate exercise helped to alleviate erectile dysfunction in middle-aged, obese men.
- Swimming – similar to going for a walk every day, swimming for 30 minutes (3 times a week) can help to raise your sex drive, as well as encourage weight loss and improved physical endurance.
- Meditation – given how stress is renowned for decreasing your sex drive; finding ways to reduce it can instantly improve your libido. One such way is to meditate, practice tai chi and do yoga.
When it comes to supplements for a low sex drive, the key to picking the right one is knowing what ingredients to look out for. You see, any product can claim ‘to work’ but you only have to look at their ingredient list and do a little research to find out the duds.
To help you spot the best supplements, here are some key ingredients:
- Ginkgo Biloba – this Chinese leaf extract is often used to treat sexual dysfunction (erectile dysfunction and low libido) caused by taking anti-depressants. Ginkgo Biloba helps by raising nitric oxide levels which help to relax blood vessels and encourage increased circulation.
- Yohimbine – this West African bark is a well-known natural Viagra thanks to the alkaloid it contains. With its help, you will find it easier to maintain a strong and lasting erection.
- Tribulus Terrestris – the roots and fruits from this leafy plant are used in popular Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine as it can raise your testosterone levels and improve your sex drive. In one 2 month study, when participants were given 750-1,500mg of Tribulus a day, they saw a 79% increase in sexual desire.
- Maca – this vegetable root is regularly used to enhance fertility and sex drive. During a 12 week study, when men took 1,500-3,000mg of Maca a day, they saw a 42% increase in their sex drive. While in 4 separate studies on 131 men, when they took Maca for 6 weeks they saw improvements in sexual desire. Research also suggests Maca can combat libido losses caused by antidepressants.
- Red Ginseng – may be able to improve sexual function and libidos. It achieves this by boosting nitric oxide production, a compound that can relax your blood vessels and increase circulation. During one study, red ginseng was found to be at least twice as effective as a placebo at enhancing penis function. NOTE: This plant may cause headaches and stomach ache.
- Fenugreek – like ginseng, this herb has the potential to improve your libido as its compounds can help your body to produce estrogen and testosterone. During a 6 week study on 30 men, taking 600mg of fenugreek extract a day helped to increase their strength and sexual function.
- Saffron – more of a spice than an herb, during a 4 week study on 36 men (who struggled with desire and arousal) when they took 30mg of saffron a day, they saw improvements in erectile function.
- L-citrulline – an amino acid naturally produced in your body, when it is converted into l-arginine this can boost blood vessel dilation by releasing more NO. In a study of 24 men with mild erectile dysfunction, when they took 1.5g of L-citrulline for 4 weeks, they saw a 50% improvement in symptoms.
- Horny goat weed – this herb contains compounds known to boost blood flows.
Now, while each of these ingredients on their own can help to support your sex drive; the best way to achieve a high sex drive is to find a formulation that contains more than one of these ingredients at their most optimal levels.
Do that and you can maximize your body’s responses to these nutrients and ensure that your libido is wide awake and kicking.
Viasil for example is a proven male enhancement supplement that harnesses horny goat weed, zinc, ginkgo, tribulus, panax ginseng and pomegranate to help naturally boost oxygen delivery (by raising NO production) and your energy, so you can benefit from better blood flows, stamina and erectile longevity. In fact, getting it up will be easy.
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What is clear from the research above is that there are many steps you can take to restore your sex drive and make libido issues a thing of the past. However, what is also evident is that no one set thing can make it happen. It is only through an accumulation of things that you can begin to learn how to increase your sex drive.
Yet which is best? Which combination can offer you better results?
The key is finding the right balance between taking care of your health i.e. dealing with obesity, stress and existing health issues, and introducing better lifestyle choices i.e. increased exercise, the right foods, etc. By simply making a change in your life and accepting the help of proven male enhancement pills such as Viasil, you can turn your libido around and even walk away with a high sex drive.
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