„L“ stands for…

Oh, the L-word. I know you would like to think it’s love, but there is one other, equally important. Libido.

„Libido is a person’s overall sexual drive or desire for sexual activity. “ or as Freud would put it  “the energy, regarded as a quantitative magnitude […] of those instincts which have to do with all that may be comprised under the word ‘love’.” See, our beloved „L“s are connected. Although Freud focused on psychological perspective regarding sexual desire, the topic is much more complex and includes biological and social elements, too.

Low or absent sexual desire is the most common sexual dysfunction in women, with prevalence which peaks during mid-life. Major risk factors for its development include poor health status, depression, certain medications, dissatisfaction with partner or relationship, and history of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or both. Even woman’s diet can affect her sex drive.

So, let’s see how to give your libido a lift.

Libido problems can, in part, be a result of our crazy, stressed-out lives these days. There’s simply less time for connecting with our partners.

However, if you’re feeling hurried, a good start-up point would be giving the balanced-diet option a chance. You have nothing to lose, and improved health (and, possibly, improved libido) to gain. It is about eating a diet that isn’t too high in fat, protein, sugar, or processed foods. No skipping meals, no overeating, include plenty of nutritious plant foods (fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and beans) along with lean meats, fish, and low-fat dairy foods.

What else can you do for yourself?

The majority of individuals who are regularly physically active are healthier. Chances are that healthier individuals are more willing and able to have sex. There are many other advantages for those who engage in regular physical activity. The psychological benefits of exercise include stress relief, mood elevation, increased self-image and self-confidence.

Regular physical activity enhances health and improves overall appearance, both of which can boost aspects of sexuality. Now there is even scientific evidence that exercise is a powerful libido-booster. In fact, exercise was the only one of the various factors the researchers measured (including financial and career satisfaction, testosterone levels, etc.) that was linked to sexual function. The purpose of one study conducted at US, Arkansas university was to examine the impact of exercise frequency and self-reported fitness levels on perceived sexual desirability and sexual performance. Based on the results of this study, higher exercise frequency and higher levels of physical fitness improved perception of sexual performance and sexual desirability.  This study supports the notion that exercise may go beyond its traditional role as a protective factor and enhance individuals’ sexual self-esteem.

Touch is another powerful stress relief agent, helping you enjoy our bodies after a long and hard day. Whether you are the touch-er or the touch-ee, stress will be fading away. An easy ways to use touch to increase desire is a massage. Use a nice scented oil or a rich lotion and your hands will be gliding over your partner’s body. Not being a trained massage professional shouldn’t stop you – it’s easy to find some how-to massage videos online. Some people really like to have their backs scratched, too. Silly, I know. Also, few things are more effective than a dance for two, romantic music and candlelight. It’s not called the power of touch for nothing.

But besides balancing your diet, keeping fit and healthy, and improving your emotional relations, an aphrodisiac (or two) should not be forgotten. Notice that Aphrodite was a Greek goddess of love. Wink, wink. The number of known and used aphrodisiacs is quite large, but I will mention one which is maybe not so well-known, but has, until now, showed effect in animals. Cannabis. The findings published in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences show that Cannabis is a potent female aphrodisiac that works by interfering with a “neural love triangle” of bodily chemicals that influence sexual behaviour. When female rats are given tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient of cannabis and marijuana, they become much more receptive to the sexual attentions of males. Bad news for males, though: the drug can cause low sperm counts, reduce the size of the testicles and cut levels of the male hormone testosterone. Bear in mind: when female rats are given large doses of the drug they become too intoxicated to perform.

Sexuality is one of the key issues in quality of life. Maintaining a healthy active lifestyle is crucial for our overall health and well being, as well as for our sexuality, from youth into advanced age.

Reference

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libido
  2. Female sexual dysfunction: focus on low desire, Kingsberg SA, Woodard T. , 2015
  3. “Cannabis Puts Females in the Mood for Love”, Mark Henderson, The Times, 29. 1. 2001.
  4. Sexual Desirability and Sexual Performance: Does Exercise and Fitness Really Matter?, Tina M. Penhollow, Michael Young, , 2004

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