How To Deal With a Low Sex Drive (And What You Can Do To Boost It)

From above of crop anonymous barefoot African American female cover by sheet lying on bed in light bedroom at home

Hear me out: sex drives be confusing. But if yours feels low right now, don’t panic. 

You aren’t broken, and you’re certainly not alone. You are most likely going through something completely normal, but if you want to rev your sex drive back up, it’s worth taking a step back and looking at your entire life – not just your sex life. 

Why is my sex drive low?

There are a ton of factors that drag down a libido. Here are 4 of the most common ones:

  • Boredom. Are you in a long-term relationship? Because when it comes to sex, high boredom = low libido. Our erotic brains crave novelty and variety, but when we get habituated to the same sex script over and over again, we start to check out. We go through the motions of sex, doing it on autopilot.
  • Hormones. Hormone levels fluctuate as we age, and that goes for all genders. But hormone levels also fluctuate throughout a menstrual cycle, and even throughout the day. This affects our mood, our blood flow, even our genital sensitivity. That can impact sex drive big time.
  • Pleasure Thieves. I go into these in-depth in Smart Sex, but the top 3 are: stress, trauma, shame (STS for short). 
    • Stress plays an outsized role on your adrenal glands and cortisol levels, which interfere with your body’s production and circulation of feel-good chemicals, like endorphins, serotonin, and oxytocin. Those are the chemicals associated with sexual pleasure and orgasm, but if stress is blocking those, of course you’re having a hard time getting turned on.
    • Trauma triggers a protective response in the body – even when we don’t necessarily need that protection – circumventing the relaxation required for sexual ease. 
    • Shame blocks your sexuality from the jump. If deep down, you feel ashamed simply for wanting pleasure, your erotic mind can’t get fully on-board with sex itself. That goes for partner play, and for masturbation.
  • Lifestyle. Certain medications, like SSRI’s, are notorious for tanking a sex drive. Additionally, lacking exercise, poor nutrition, bad sleep, excessive drinking and smoking are compounding factors that kill sex drive over time. They inhibit blood flow and hormone levels, taxing your body in ways that aren’t always immediately apparent. Until, that is, your libido’s on the floor.

If any of this sounds familiar, I’ve got good news for you. All of them can be remedied! But it takes time and persistence to heal these, rather than an overnight solution. The other good news, though, is that the remedies are not only healing – they’re often sexy, exploratory and fun. Here are my favorite methods. 

4 Ways to Boost a Low Sex Drive

1. Masturbate

Whether you’re single or partnered, a regular masturbation practice heals low sex drive in sooo many ways. It gets your feel-good chemicals flowing again (particularly after orgasm), reminding you that you are worthy of touch, relaxation, and pleasure. We are all worthy of those things. But when we’re in private, we can more easily take our time, explore the body, reflect on fantasies and breathe deeply. These are all benefits that heal taxed adrenals and create fresh pathways to pleasure.

Try: plusOne, a sex toy company with very affordable products. I get that when you’re in a sex rut, you don’t always feel motivated to invest in something expensive. That’s OK. This company makes toys (for all genitals!) that are easier on the wallet. Look for a product that offers something new to your existing masturbation routine, whether it’s a private pleasure vibe or an external prostate massager. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of solo experimentation to feel excited about sex again. 

2. Supplements and Nutrition

It’s a documented fact that some foods and drinks are sex drive-supportive, while others are not. Take broccoli, which aids in blood circulation. That’s crucial for erection and genital sensitivity! Meanwhile, alcohol is a depressant, blocking your blood flow and arousal. If you’ve got a habit of drinking to relax – or drinking to decrease penis sensitivity, so that you can last longer – you may want to see how it’s affecting your erectile health. It’s one of the many reasons I’m constantly recommending FirmTech’s Tech Ring*, which you wear at night. It uses built-in sensors to monitor firmness and duration of all your erections while you sleep, then sends insights to an app where you can see how you’re doing, and make health changes to improve erections. 

Aside from tweaking your diet, you can also supplement to boost your sex drive. If you’ve always heard, for example, that menopause kills your sex life for good – think again. You can absolutely take supplements that help ease the most pernicious symptoms of menopause while supporting a healthy sex drive.

Try: Solaray** and their line her life STAGES, which is specifically designed to provide women with solutions for common concerns at every stage of the hormonal journey. Their STAGES Menopause supplement contains black cohosh, green tea, clinically studied saffron and more to help support mood, sleep, hot flashes and other symptoms that can interfere with sex drive.* They also have a STAGES Libido formula that can be taken in conjunction with their menopause product to help you sustain the spark.*

3. Yes No Maybe List

If you were nodding your head to low libido = high boredom, check out my Yes No Maybe List. As a comprehensive list of sex ideas ranging from gentle (making out) to edgy (anal), it’s a way to gamify sex between you and your partner. Just fill it out individually, compare results, and see which sex acts you might like to explore together.

Try: Downloading it right here.

4. Visit the Doctor

If all else fails, it never hurts to go to your care provider and check things out. A hormone panel, a change to your SSRI’s, even more subtle things like high cholesterol levels – all will help educate you about your body, and what’s contributing to low sex drive. 

Try: Making an appointment with a care provider prepared to talk openly and honestly about your sexual health. This could be a specialist, like an OB-GYN or urologist, or it could also be a general practitioner who can order blood tests. 

These steps give you a starting point for boosting a low sex drive, and you might have to experiment with a few. Stick with it! Over time, you’ll gain a much better sense of what you need to bring it roaring back. The future orgasms are worth it. 

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*Use code “EMILY20” for 20% off at MyFirmTech

**These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.