One of the biggest complaints that exist in the sexual health niche is the lack of, or desire to boost, sex drive. There are a bunch of things that we do routinely that are effecting our sex drive, and we might not even know it. Eliminating these bad habits and replacing them with healthier ones can do you a world of good, and more importantly can help you avoid needing to take medications that might mess you up in the long term.
Let’s go through a list of some quick improvements that will pretty much instantly begin to make an impact on your sex drive:
Exercise has a couple of different benefits to your sex drive – but for this purpose I’m mostly concerned with exercise’s role in increasing serotonin and dopamine levels in the body. Serotonin and dopamine are both neurotransmitters that perform a variety of tasks, but mainly they regulate mood / appetite / energy levels. When you’re running low on serotonin and dopamine, you’ll feel sluggish and generally depressed – which definitely will not help you in the bedroom. But, the good news is that regular aerobic activity will increase the function of serotonin and increase serotonin levels overall. Exercise also increases blood calcium levels, which trigger dopamine release and uptake in your brain. Furthermore, the feeling of accomplishment and pleasure associated with hitting a goal such as exercising 3x a week will also trigger your body’s natural reward / feedback-dopamine loop, which will make you feel awesome. Lastly, getting a good workout in the gym will increase the likelihood that you’ll get a sound night’s sleep, which is important to general mental health.
Stop Watching Internet Porn
I’ve written extensively about the negative effects Internet Pornography can have on your psyche. (Check out the blog post here). If exercising regularly represents creating a healthy, reward/feedback loop, then watching Internet Porn is essentially the exact opposite. Watching Internet Porn regularly conditions your body to release dopamine as a response to the stimulus the porn provides. However, just like a drug addiction, your body will need more and more of that stimulus to elicit the same dopamine response. In the absence of that porn stimulus, your dopamine levels will fall and you run the risk of becoming depressed. The solution, however, is simple: cut way back (or completely) on the internet porn. Use your imagination if you must – the internet porn thing is a slippery slope.
As if you needed another reason.
Studies performed at the University of Kentucky regarding couples being treated for infertility indicate that smokers reported having sex less than six times a month, versus their non smoking counterparts who reportedly had sex twice as often. But why? The reasons come in a few different forms. First, many people smoking know they shouldn’t be doing it – and that it probably makes them less attractive to their partners. Not feeling attractive and confident will diminish your desire to have sex right off the bat. Secondly, and probably most importantly, smoking has been connected several times to erectile dysfunction. The reason for this being that smoking damages and constricts blood vessels, interfering with proper blood flow. AND! To bring this one step further, a study cited in Time Magazine actually suggests that men who stop smoking can achieve firmer, LARGER erections. 65 men who actively smoked had their ding dongs measured in a lab. They were then enrolled in an 8 week program to cease their smoking. They were measured at the beginning, middle and end of the program. By the end of the study, 31% of men had stopped smoking. Those men had firmer, wider erections, and were able to reach sexual arousal much more quickly than their smoking counterparts.
So if the whole lung cancer thing wasn’t enough – smoking also makes your dick worse. Do the math.
Lay Off Caffeine
This one might come as a surprise. Caffeine gives you energy, which is helpful and should be a benefit in the bedroom, right? Well, kind of. Aside from giving you a boost in energy and increasing alertness, caffeine has some other effects on your body that you should know about. One of the first and most obvious side effects of heavy caffeine consumption is.. well.. let’s call it.. gastrointestinal upsetness. Aka, it makes you poop. So, that’s a pretty obvious no-no. But I would venture to guess almost no one is slamming a cup of coffee before getting it on, or I would hope not at least. Caffeine, through its stimulant nature, can also disrupt sleep. Bad sleep is going to zap your energy levels, and as I mentioned before, poor sleep can also effect mental health, which could result in poor moods and lack of interest in sex. Caffeine, like smoking cigarettes, also causes a constriction in blood vessels. Once again, this leads to your heart having a harder time circulating blood throughout your body, including your penis. The degree of how much this effects each person is unclear, but there have been lab tests that dosed rats with caffeine that resulted in a positive correlation with erectile dysfunction. Lastly, the elevated heart rate that results from caffeine intake can make anxiety symptoms worse. No joke, if you have anxiety problems to begin with, you’ve likely been told to lay off the caffeine because it causes anxiety-like symptoms and can trigger anxiety episodes. In the bedroom, if you’re already experiencing performance anxiety, having caffeine in your system can make these issues worse. As we know, performance anxiety is linked to erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Womp.
Easy on the Booze
While it’s true that a cocktail might loosen you up and let you ask for that girl’s phone number, adding a few more drinks to the mix won’t make things better – on the contrary, they’ll likely make them way worse. When it boils right down to it, alcohol is a depressant – this means it can dampen moods and lower energy when consumed in excess. Aside from taking some wind out of your sails, a night of heavy drinking could result in temporary erectile dysfunction in the bedroom. There was a study done at the University of Washington where sober men were able to get it up more quickly than drunk men, with some drunk guys not being able to achieve erection at all. To top it all off, being drunk during sex can also reduce the intensity of your orgasms and mess with your level of excitement overall. A lot of guys will say “well not being as excited helps me last longer”. Ok – true, but the extreme example of that is not being able to climax at all. This isn’t the best thing because women like it when you orgasm for them, and not doing so will make it feel like maybe she did something wrong or you’re not as attracted to her as she might have thought. Either way, the key here is moderation. There’s a line between just enough and too many, and that line is different for every guy. Learn your threshold and stay below it.
Lose Some Weight
This point ties right back in with the “Exercise” point I made above, but here I want to take it a step further. Whereas above we discussed the brain chemistry benefits of exercising, I want to talk here about the self-image benefits of losing weight through diet and exercise. The point here is that when you feel sexy, you are confident. Confidence is a very sexy quality – so not only will confidence increase your sex drive by letting you feel and look great naked, it’ll also turn your partner on at the same time. Being self conscious is a real drag – it’ll keep you “in your own head” instead of enjoying the sexual experience – and that’s something that can lead to performance anxiety by itself. Moreover, not liking the way you look results in low energy levels and in extreme cases bouts of depression. Exercising a few times a week and eating well has massive systemic effects on your entire body and psyche – if you do only one thing on this list, let it be working out and eating a little better.
“Sit up straight!”, “Don’t slouch!”
I bet you can hear your mom in the back of your head now.
So what’s the deal here? Why is this being included in a list of ways to improve your sex drive? Research performed by Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, has showed us that we can actually change our own body chemistry by changing our body positions. This has huge implications, because traditionally we thought good body posture could only effect how others perceived us. Amy Cuddy, during her TED talk recently, showed that people who sat upright with good posture exhibited lower cortisol levels and higher testosterone levels – but researchers in New Zealand have the hard facts about this one. These researches assembled a group of 74 people and randomly assigned them to assume either an upright or slumped posture. Get this, participants who used a straight posture had more self esteem, lower fear and better moods than the slouched population of the study. Why, though, is this the case? It all comes down to confidence! Reducing self-awareness reduces stress and anxiety – both of which are pretty much toxic in the bedroom. Really what this boils down to is acting-as-if. If you assume a certain posture or exhibit a certain set of behaviors that self confident and high value people posses, then your body chemistry will follow. If you really want to get into the nuts and bolts of the study, you can check it out here (clicky). However, for the time being, suffice it to say that if you want to feel a certain way, you need to start acting that way.
Lead the mind, and the body will follow. If it sounds simple, it’s because it is. Period.
Alright dudes, I hope that was helpful. Avoid these bad habits and you’ll increase your sex drive right away. Give it a shot and let me know what you think in the comments below. As always, if you have any questions, give me a shout at Jax@BeastInBed.com.