2. Relax: Too much stress increases the stress hormone cortisol, which causes testosterone to plummet.
3. Add a Little Novelty: Recent research shows that partaking in new and challenging experiences with your partner can boost the brain chemical dopamine, which helps fuel sex drive. This doesn’t even need to be in the bedroom — anything new is a good idea.
4. Consider Some Non-Drug Remedies: Ginkgo biloba has been used to treat sexual dysfunction. Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) could be useful, since it’s critical for the manufacture of sex hormones in the adrenal glands. Choline may help to enhance levels of acetylcholine, a brain chemical that sends sexual impulses from your brain to your sex organs.
5. Inhale: Certain scents are known to be attractive, including the sweat of your partner.
Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
Case in point, this U.S. News & World Report article brings up the testosterone patch called Intrinsa, which is supposed to increase sex drive and satisfaction in women after menopause. A just-released study in the New England Journal of Medicine, which by the way was funded by Procter & Gamble, the maker of the patch, showed that the patch did appear to increase libido in some women.
Well, that wasn’t the only thing that increased. Some of the women also reported unwanted hair growth on their face and chest, and there is concern that the patch may also increase the risk of breast cancer.
Fortunately, you don’t have to risk unpleasant and serious drug side effects to enjoy intimacy, as sexual pleasure has nothing at all to do with a pill.
The Roots of Sexual Pleasure
Your brain and nervous system control your sex glands and genitals, and this is why they also control your sexual desire, as well as orgasms. Researchers have revealed many similarities between men and women in regard to desire; contrary to popular belief, for example, visual images trigger sexual desire in both sexes.
As for achieving orgasm, it requires far more than heightened arousal, according to brain imaging studies. It actually requires a release of inhibitions, culminating in a shutdown of your brain’s center of vigilance in both sexes, and a widespread “neural power failure” in women.
Indeed, anxiety, defensiveness, fear, and failure of communication are destructive psychological forces that can take a heavy toll on your libido, whether you’re a man or a woman, by acting as roadblocks to desire. According to Professor Gert Holstege with the University of Groningen in the Netherlands:
For men, too, every erection begins in the brain.
Brain stem emits nerve impulses that control erectile function. These nerve impulses navigate through the erection center of your spinal column to the erectile tissue of the penis, where they trigger a chain reaction in the membranes of your vascular muscle cells. This sophisticated chain reaction is dependent on a messenger molecule called cyclic guanosine monophosphate, or cGMP.
However, this works in reverse as well; an erection softens as soon as another enzyme called phosphodiesterase starts to degrade the cGMP molecules.
Drugs like Viagra, Levitra and Cialis, work by inhibiting phosphodiesterase and increasing nitric oxide production, which may help maintain erections. But, these pills will not create an erection in and of themselves. Initial erection still has to be triggered psychologically. Without that initial impetus, potency pills will have no effect whatsoever.
Boosting Libido Naturally
The five tips above are a great start if your sex drive needs a bit of enhancement, but there are many others that can help as well.
For one, because sexual dysfunction can worsen due to stress and anxiety taking control of your emotions by learning the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can really help. EFT is a psychological acupressure technique that can help you effectively address your stress-related thoughts and leave you feeling calmer and more able to face your challenges, whatever they may be.
Your sexual fires may also be fanned simply by eating less sugar. High levels of sugar in your bloodstream can actually turn off the gene that controls your sex hormones.
Finally, you can also get your sex life back on track by:
2. Getting physically active. Studies have shown that men who engaged in regular physical activity lowered their risk of experiencing sexual dysfunction. Remember, when using exercise as a drug, it’s important to set a goal of 60 to 90 minutes per day, every day. Obviously, depending on your current condition, you may need to work slowly up to this level.
3. Optimizing your diet based on your body’s unique nutritional type. We each have a unique nutritional type with varying demands for the ratios of macronutrients (fats, proteins and carbohydrates) to function optimally. When you’re eating the foods your body was designed to eat, you’ll notice improvements in every aspect of your health.