We all know what it’s like to not feel as “turned on” as usual. Of course, it’s completely OK to not feel in the mood for sex. However, it can also become very stressful if it happens on a regular basis. As soon as our desire starts to dip, we immediately start asking uncomfortable questions: Is there something wrong with me? Is my relationship in trouble? Am I not attractive anymore? Is everything OK with me anatomically? Finding the answers can be tricky. After all, the problem isn’t caused by your feelings towards your partner or the sex you’re having and it’s not a question of how attractive you are. You’re simply suffering from a low libido. It’s something that lots of people experience and certainly nothing to be ashamed of, but if you want to do something about it we have to understand what could be causing your sex drive to stall. In this blog post, we take a closer look at what a libido actually is. We explore ways of boosting it and find out what areas of your sex life you can improve to get your libido back on track.
In this article, we focus exclusively on people with a vulva. But that doesn’t mean that loss of libido isn’t an issue for people with a penis.
What does libido mean?
What is the “libido”? In general terms, the word libido (Latin for desire or lust) describes a person’s desire for sex, or in the case of a “low” libido, the lack of desire for sexual activities. Just like orgasms, our libido, or sex drive, originates in our brains. To be exact, in our hippocampus, in other words in the limbic system, which amongst things controls our instincts, and in our reward system, which uses stimulating neurotransmitters (dopamine receptors) to control sexual processes.
Did you know that a low libido does not directly affect sexual arousal or the ability to have an orgasm during sex? You can still get aroused (vaginal lubrication or ejaculation) and have an orgasm if you have a low libido. It’s just that people with a low libido have sex less frequently because they seldom or never initiate it. Put simply, they just don’t feel like having sex.
So it’s clear that our “libido” has a big impact on our wellbeing. After all, not wanting to have sex or initiate sex is not really anyone’s idea of fun. So, now that we know what our libido actually does, we now have to find out how we can boost it.
How can I increase my libido?
If you want to boost your libido, you should spend some time observing yourself. This is because the cause of a low libido often comes from within. Self-doubt, stress and anxiety can have a major impact on our brains and subsequently on our libido. Any kind of hormonal changes as well as diets or physical stress should also be taken into consideration. External factors such as workplace stress, relationship problems, alcohol consumption, medication and some illnesses (e.g. diabetes, renal insufficiency and depression) can also lower your libido and take away your desire for sex. If you are aware of these factors and have a good understanding of your own state of mental and physical health, you can start looking for targeted solutions to increase your libido.
You can find out about other causes of libido problems here and here.
As already mentioned, it is vital that we observe ourselves and are able to recognise and prevent the triggers that cause a loss of libido – in short, we have to address the emotional, physical and mental stresses we face.
Four most common triggers that can impair your libido:
- Any kind of stress or pressure
- Discomfort and pain during sex
- Expecting too much from yourself
- Problems of any kind, usually in relationships
Let’s take a closer look at the first two triggers.
Identifying and resolving any kind of stress or pressure
We lead busy lives. This often makes it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We’re always on the move, stressed and have no time to stop and take stock of things. So it’s easy to become overly critical of ourselves. Our confidence can suffer as a result, and that can have a major impact on our relationships with others. It can also impact how we see ourselves as “desirable” individuals.
For us to be happy, our bodies and minds must be in harmony. This is vital for us to feel attractive again – to ourselves and to others. Yoga, especially yoga for the libido, can help us do this. It not only allows us to escape the stresses of everyday life; the breathing and awareness exercises can also help us reconnect with ourselves. Yoga can also boost our self-esteem and make us more aware of our bodies, helping us feel more comfortable, happier and more attractive.
Yoga and libido?
Can yoga help improve sexual desire? Yes! Yoga is one of the best experiences for your mind and body – just like sex. So why shouldn’t yoga boost your libido as well as making you more flexible?
Yoga clears blockages of all kinds and can release energy. This strengthens the body and mind enormously and can also boost your self-confidence. Many yogis even claim that yoga does more than just boost your sex drive – it can also improve sex in general. 😉
How yoga can improve these six areas of your sex life
In this study for example, the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women who regularly practice yoga experience better orgasms on average and have higher libidos.
A further study by Harvard Medical School revealed that women who practice yoga experienced positive changes in the following areas in particular:
- Pain reduction
- Overall satisfaction
According to the Harvard Medical School study, yoga is the perfect way to boost the libido. Almost 75 percent of women who took part said they were more satisfied with their sex lives following yoga training. They also reported other benefits such as significantly more stamina, strength and flexibility and were able to balance their hormones. This, in turn, resulted in a fewer blockages and reduced stress levels.
Using personal lubricant to reduce pain and discomfort during sex
As we’ve seen, there can be many reasons why our sex drive might take a hit, and it’s something that can be stressful. For people with a vulva, this stress can lead to dryness in the intimate area, which they may not have experienced before. However, vaginal dryness can also be completely unrelated to a low libido. This reduction in moisture levels can lead to discomfort, which, in turn, can also result in a reduced libido. So vaginal dryness can also be the cause of a low libido. It’s vicious cycle that needs to be broken.
Talking openly about you phantasies, needs and wishes can definitely help here. As can using products that stimulate your natural desire to have sex. Personal lubricant, for example, can help you experience more sensations again and make physical contact feel more intense. It also protects against unwanted friction and prevents pain during sex. What’s more, personal lubricants with added stimulating ingredients such as ginseng can help boost your libido. And if you already suffer from a low libido, personal lubricant can help make sex special again, enabling you to break the vicious cycle.
We’ve found out what our libido actually is and how we can kick start it. We’ve also seen how improving different areas of our sex lives can boost our libidos – so try not to be too worried if your sex drive takes the occasional dip.
Editor’s note: The content of this blog always includes same-sex relationships, even if the examples given are of heterosexual relationships.