Ok so it’s time to open the can of worms on what is often spoken about in circles of girlfriends.. “How many times do you have sex with your partner?”
Maybe I’m bias being female, but I hardly ever hear males talking openly about their sex lives when they are in a relationship unless prompted.
I ask the question in clinic every day “How is your libido?” 8 out 10 clients will respond with a smurk asking “what’s that” or tell me it’s non existent. The remaining 2 will say it’s normal, not high but reasonable.
I think we let life and being busy become our excuse or reason as to why we don’t feel like it tonight…maybe tomorrow?
Well I’m going to shine a light on this ”not so naughty” subject.
Why? Because a healthy libido is a sign of good health and healthy hormones.
I have been listening to some brilliant podcasts lately surrounding relationships. Dr Jolene Brighton is a Naturopath/Biochemist and was recently on a podcast featured on Bulletproof radio.
One thing Jolene said “I don’t care if you never want to have a baby, that’s totally fine. But you should always be fertile and wanting to have sex, as long as you’re in those fertile years.”
In my experience there seems to be a lack of understanding with the libido.
When there is a lack of understanding of the physical causes behind a lowered sex drive and also a lack of communication, it may result with an insecurity within that relationship.
Clients will say to me that they feel they are letting their partner down and feel guilty about not giving them what they need, but they just don’t feel like they have any interest in doing the deed.
So I wanted to shine a light on the mechanics of a healthy libido and what physical aspects of our health can cause this to diminish.
Move and Rest
Our bodies are designed for movement as well as rest. Without these two simple things regularly, our health is compromised.
So naturally a lack of sleep can reduce your libido. Sleep conditions such as Sleep Apnoea are also a potential cause of lowered sex drive.
Medication is also another factor to consider. Especially women who take the oral contraceptive pill. Hormonal imbalance can cause not only libido reduction but vaginal dryness and difficulty reaching orgasm.
This can cause what is meant to be an intimate pleasurable experience with your partner into a painful and frustrating chore..it’s no wonder if she’s too tired, it hurts and she’s not going to enjoy the experience to climax then she’s not really that excited to take off her clothes for him am I right?
The thing with hormones is that once one hormone is imbalanced, it affects all of the other hormones too. When we are stressed our hormone cortisol can be in excess then lead to depletion when we are in the “burn-out” stage.
As a result, our female hormones that would normally allow a natural pregnancy begin to compensate and become imbalanced as the body is in survival “fight or flight” mode. The body is pretty much saying “I am in a state of survival, this is not a safe environment to reproduce.” This could be the reason why a lot of stressed and extremely busy couples struggle to fall pregnant, which stresses them out more…
Looking at males, Testosterone is the main hormone which drives the libido. Studies have shown there is a link between depressed males and lowered testosterone levels. Like women, stress will lower the libido in males also. There is also the issue when there is a fear or performance with males whether it be erectile dysfunction or the fear of ejaculating too soon. All these things we need to take into consideration when evaluating the reasons as to why a man has a reduced libido.
I was recently listening to another podcast on the Tony Robbins podcast where relationship expert Esther Perel was talking about all things intimacy.
An interesting thing she brought up about behaviour was that men have a desire to be able to provide for their significant other whether that be love or financial or something else. If they have that sense of providing, then they’re mindset and hormones are improved.
Women are natural carers and nurturers. If a woman feels like her partner is so dependent on her she will feel like their mother figure rather than their lover. In this situation she will not be aroused or have a high libido as it is not in the natural for a mother to want to make love to their child. So the woman needs to feel like she is the partner, the lover rather than the nurturing mother.
The take home from that expert- Ladies let your man provide for you, even if it means asking for help for something small. It will help them get that much needed boost of Testosterone. Guys- Allow your woman to be your lover not your mother. Offer to do the housework or make the lunches, ask if she needs a hand with something. Let her know you are there as a team and she isn’t your mother figure.
Mind Body connection
So I think it’s safe to say that libido is both a physical and mental aspect of one’s health. When everything is working well and sound health is maintained then that persons sex drive will also be working well.
So what advice can I offer as a Naturopath?
Well I may be bias as I specialise in Stress and Sleep, but it’s quite clear that without movement or rest the health will not be working at optimal level.
Sleep is one of the most important aspects of health, we all know we feel better after a good nights sleep. Which is why I am so passionate about helping people achieve this. When we live in such a stressful life our cortisol levels are all over the place. If cortisol levels are high then our production of serotonin is low. That’s our happy hormone, so yes there is a mechanical reason why you feel happy when you are well rested. We have also heard it many times before that exercise makes us happy, why? Because when we exercise our endorphins are increased which leads to a boost of serotonin.
If only it were that simple to get enough sleep and manage to exercise every day right?
It isn’t simple because it requires constant commitment from you to prioritise and make sure you put your health first.
- Eating healthy meals regularly through the day, especially breakfast is one simple thing you can implement.
- Stay off your screens for at least 30 minute before bed.
- Setting yourself a goal to exercise at least 3 times per week- the weather is warming up so there is no excuse to sit inside- go for a walk instead- take your partner, your dog, your kids, everyone will benefit.
- Schedule some down time. Wind down after a busy day/week. Calm that busy mind of yours. Meditate, stretch, get some fresh air, sit in quiet room, read a book or have a bath. You need to make time for you.
There are so many things we can do each and every day to help improve our health which is going to boost our libido and in turn improve our relationships. I hope this has given you all some insight to why you or your partner is struggling to have the desire to be intimate with you.
There should not be guilt associated with this, there is an imbalance of something which needs to be addressed. Maybe more than one thing. It’s important to talk about it, investigate the possible causes eg. (hormone testing if needed) and seek help or advice to improve the situation.
It is very easy to just think your partner is no longer attracted to you or on the flip side that you are failing as a partner because you have no desire to be intimate. There is no need to create thoughts of insecurity when there is solutions available.
Communicate, investigate and seek help!
If you would like more information on how I can help improve your libido through natural medicine and a tailored treatment plan suited to you, your budget and your lifestyle then please email [email protected] or call 0433848828.