SEX & RELATIONSHIPS ∙ 3 minutes read

5 health habits to skyrocket your sex life

By Lucy Whitehill | Medically reviewed by Dr Jaskirt Matharu

Is my lack of interest in sex normal? 

We’ve all been there. 

A whopping 43% of women and 31% of men will experience a drop in libido in their lifetime. One of the most common dilemmas that relationship therapists encounter revolves around some sort of sex starvation. Sometimes the libido looting strikes once in a blue moon, sometimes it comes back. 

It’s not easy to pinpoint the reason why libidos slump – possibly a by-product of life upheaval, stress, hormonal changes, medications, or complicated relationship incompatibilities.

Even if you’re clueless as to what’s occurring deep down, there’s help available now. We recommend giving all the below a proper bash. 

1. Masturbate

Undoubtedly the best way to kill the mood is stress. Are you in a state of high alert i.e. a little caffeine sends you doolally, your mind is racing, you’re struggling to concentrate, and you’re (ironically) not sleeping well? If so, sex will be the last thing on your mind. 

High cortisol levels caused by stress throw your body into survival mode and being pantless in the wild will not improve anyone’s survival chances. There are options here for decisive action. The most outrageous is to prescribe fervent masturbation. 

When you climax, the body is flooded with oxytocin – the love hormone. This immediately combats stress levels. Indeed, the Institute for Sex Counselling and Sexual Sciences in Switzerland found that 44% of women masturbated to relax and 23% masturbated for stress reduction. Further benefits of self-pleasure include lower levels of inflammation, which dermatologists state reduces acne and skin flare-ups. For many, clear skin is a confidence booster and the better we feel about ourselves the more receptive we may be to sexual encounters. Our top tip is to masturbate before bed - you’ll drop off immediately, sleep deeply, and no longer lie in bed worrying.

2. Spend time outdoors

Take yourself outside to further reduce stress. Nature is truly restorative for hundreds of reasons that have been scientifically proven for years. Here’s the rundown:

  1. We’re intrinsically drawn to expansive outdoor plains i.e the Savanna preference – ancestral DNA dictates we survived and thrived outdoors way back in the beginning. 
  2. We switch off in nature as it doesn’t demand our direct attention.
  3. Chemically, being in nature turns off the body’s stress systems, the sympathoadrenal medullary and the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. This is why the Japanese ‘forest bathe’ to reduce cardiac issues. 

3. Stop watching porn

Unrealistic bodies, weird and not-so-wonderful scenarios, and harmful displays of non-consensual power play are rife at PornHub. Not to mention, too much of the graphic stuff can land you with erectile dysfunction.

In the pursuit of sexual satisfaction, we recommend realistic pornography that gives weight to the pleasure (whatever that looks like) of all involved. If you start to love this less chaotic and aggressive form of pornography, you’ll kick-start your love of what’s happening in your bedroom. Not only may you enjoy it, but it’ll educate, be well informed, inclusive, skilfully crafted and ethically sound. Make Love Not Porn, Lust Cinema, Four Chambers, and Dipsea (if you love erotica earworms as it’s all audio) are top-shelf creators. 

4. Just move

Exercise regularly and you’ll improve sexual performance and your experience. If you move more, you’ll have a stronger core, glutes and leg muscles and be more likely to be stable and mobile. Plus, chances are, your pelvic floor will be stronger (especially if you’re a fan of Pilates), an important function for combating erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Regular movement also increases sexual desire and arousal, so you’ll kickstart a cycle of libido loving – more movement = more arousal = more sex = better experience = more active = more arousal and so on. 

For the biggest benefits we recommend exercising AND getting outdoors, specifically with BUA FIT - London’s fitness app for outdoor group fitness. 

5. Look after your sexual health 

If you or your partner are suffering from erectile dysfunction, grab an at-home test kit to check for some of the physical causes of the condition. At Numan, we offer a consultation with a clinician along with the blood test. This means that you can delve into the meaning behind your levels of cholesterol, testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and androgen, which are all linked to erectile dysfunction. The kit comes quickly and you can be prescribed solutions within 24 hours.  

Gone are the days of avoiding eye contact across the GUM clinic waiting room as Londoners can now bag at-home STI tests. If you feel like the full works, you can request a blood test and swabs for all the regions imaginable. The results are ferried in a text message a week later. 

Birth control contraceptives can play havoc with libidos. Be sure to push for a full detailed consultation with your GP before you make a choice, or better yet, make an appointment at the GUM clinic to speak to the sexual specialists. There are also a growing number of apps that track menstrual cycles and pinpoint ovulation windows and fertile days. Daily hormone changes through the cycle can also impact libidos - it’s pretty cool to link how you’re feeling with what’s chemically coursing in the bloodstream.  

More than ever before, we are in control of caring for our sexual health. Embrace it and make yours a priority. 

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