Let’s get straight to the point: Sometimes sex is the absolute last thing on your mind. There’s no shame if you’ve found yourself in a sexual rut. You aren’t alone. There are virtually endless factors that can affect a person’s sex life: stress, depression, exhaustion, low self-esteem, weight fluctuations or a plain old busy schedule. All of these can all lead a person to feel less than keen on sexy time.
That said, sex can still be an important stress-relieving and mood-boosting activity. Not to mention a healthy sex life can help you and your partner feel more intimately connected. So, if you’ve found yourself feeling blasé about sex, try some of these holistic tips to increase your sex drive.
Maintain a Regular Exercise Regimen
A regular exercise routine is like hydrating properly: All prevailing scientific evidence shows it to be fundamental to living a healthy life. Exercise can go a long way to boosting your self-confidence and body image, helping you feel more comfortable with the skin you’re in. And let’s face it, when we feel good about ourselves, we’re more likely to feel good enough to get undressed in front of someone else.
Beyond how exercise can make us feel about ourselves, physical fitness can also improve our sex drive.
To assess the effects of short (30 minute) exercise sessions on sexual function in women, researchers from the University of Austin reviewed a body of published studies on the topic. They concluded that acute exercise likely improves the “physiological sexual arousal in women" by increasing sympathetic nervous system activity and endocrine factors.
Another study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, tested whether exercise can enhance the sex drive in sedentary men. The researchers gathered a group of 78 sedentary but otherwise healthy men with a mean age of 48.
For nine months, they underwent supervised group exercise for 60 minutes per day, three-and-a-half days per week on average. The men were asked to keep a detailed diary of their food intake, smoking habits and sexual activity throughout the study.
On the whole, the researchers found that men in the exercise group saw an increase in sexual enhancements defined as:
- Intimate activities
- Reliability of adequate functioning during sex
- Percentage of satisfying orgasms
The degree of sexual improvement correlated with the men’s degree of individual improvement in physical fitness.
Eat Foods That May Boost Libido
Let’s be real. More often than not, headlines about sex super foods are far from reliable. Many of the foods billed as magical aphrodisiacs aren’t actually all that effective in real life. But there are a couple natural foods that have preliminary scientific backing for their sex-positive claims.
Oysters have long been called an aphrodisiac; even Casanova himself claimed to eat 50 raw oysters every morning for the sexual benefit. But are these little shellfish really the arousal-boosting food so many claim them to be?
Actually, there’s some scientific evidence to support that claim. Oysters are rich in zinc, a mineral essential for sperm development and sexual maturation. In addition to zinc, oysters also have two amino acids that have been shown to increase sex hormones in rats: D-aspartic acid and N-methyl D-aspartic acid.
That said, it’s important to note that there’s no equivalent study on humans regarding these amino acids and their relationship to sex hormones.
Red ginseng is an herbal remedy that comes up when talking about sex. Red ginseng is a Korean plant that’s harvested after six years, then steamed and dried with the peel on. It’s one of the most common herbal remedies used throughout the world for everything from strengthening the immune system to stress to erectile dysfunction.
Whether all of these claims are true is another story, but at least one systematic review of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) lends credence to the claim that red ginseng can help with erectile dysfunction. Researchers looked at seven RCTs focused on the efficacy of red ginseng as a treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED). While researchers noted a positive connection between ED and red ginseng, they also noted that the sample size and methodological rigor of these studies reviewed were both too low to make any real conclusions.
Keep Your Alcohol Consumption Low
It’s no secret that when you drink too much alcohol, it’s near impossible to have good-quality sex. For men, too many drinks could result in an acute case of erectile dysfunction. For women, it can mean a lack of lubrication that can lead to painful and unenjoyable intercourse.
In order for erections and natural lubrication to happen, enough blood must flow to the genitals. Alcohol dehydrates and depresses the nervous system, making it much harder to keep a full erection or proper lubrication for sex.
And even if you’re able to achieve an erection or lubrication, alcohol-fueled sex can still end up being unfulfilling. By depressing the nervous system, alcohol can also numb the sexual sensitivity that’s required for arousal. This can lead to unachieved orgasms and overall lackluster sex. And bad sex isn’t exactly going to help you get out of your sexual rut. So, limit your alcohol intake to one or two drinks if you plan to have sexy time after.
Try Cannabis Before & In Bed
Have you heard the big news? Cannabis consumers have more sex. According to a study by Stanford University published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, regular cannabis consumers have 20% more sex than non-cannabis consumers do.
This conclusion was based on a review of a survey by the Centers for Disease Control with nearly 50,000 participants between the ages of 24–45. While researchers didn’t go as far as to say cannabis was the cause of the sexual increase, other signs point to how this could be the case. As we’ve shared with the HelloMD community, cannabis can help increase blood flow to erogenous zones and melt away the stress and anxiety that can keep us from fully enjoying sexual experiences.
To try cannabis before or during a romp between the sheets, you can rely on brands that have specific products formulated to help deliver sexual pleasure.
Foria Pleasure is a natural sensual enhancement cannabis oil that’s designed to harness the effects of marijuana to promote relaxation and increase blood flow, creating a therapeutic aphrodisiac. Foria Pleasure can help awaken arousal and heighten sensations. It’s also reported to make orgasms more intense, fuller or easier to access with just a spritz or two of the potent cannabis topical.
If you’d rather drink your aphrodisiac, try Kikoko’s Sensuali-Tea. This tea is made with top-shelf cannabis grown using organic farming techniques free of toxins and chemicals. Brew yourself a cup of this tea 20–30 minutes before sex to help get you in the mood for more intimate sex.
Perhaps you’d like to vape marijuana to try getting in the mood. If so, reach for the arousal dose pen by dosist. This pre-filled, disposable vape pen contains cannabis oil in a 11:1 ratio of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to cannabinol (CBD). The cerebral high will increase those euphoric, sensual feelings that will help you feel aroused and ready for sex.
Photo credit: Becca Tapert