The male sex drive or libido can be quite a mysterious enigma, wrapped in a riddle, hopefully wrapped in a condom. There has been little evidence that eating strawberries and chocolate alone can get you and your lady ready to do the deed, but there is no harm in dabbling in aphrodisiacs. It is the nutrients and vitamin content in foods that can increase blood flow to the penis and improve sexual health. So while eating a peach or banana because of their sensual shapes and scents may not be what is actually getting you going, there are chemical effects certain foods have to provide paramount sexual pleasure.
A libido is controlled by the body’s ability to release a chemical from the brain, down the spinal cord, to the penis. “Chemistry” is often referred to as two people being attracted to each other enough to have sex, but the colloquial terminology has roots in actual chemistry that is taking place between your brain and your ball sack.
Here is a master list of ways to kick your sex drive into overdrive without the little blue pill:
Chocolate has historically carried sexual meaning throughout the ages. It is a symbol of desire in many cultures around the world and not just because it is decadent and delicious, but because it actually holds the power to alter your body’s chemistry and improve your sex life. How you ask? Well, chocolate promotes the release of phenylethylamine and serotonin in the body. This release acts as an aphrodisiac. It gives a little mood boost that can put heighten sex drive. So while it may seem cliché to bring chocolates into the bedroom or home on Valentine’s Day just remember the scientific benefits you’ll reap between the sheets.
You don’t need to be a regular Dionysus, but one glass of wine can help increase your interest in sex. One might be fine, but two glasses can have you cross the threshold into whiskey dick, so take caution. Too much alcohol can affect your ability to orgasm, so one glass really is enough to lighten the mood and loosen up. Drugs or alcohol should never be viewed as a permanent solution to performance anxiety though.
- Stay fit not flabby
Fat is a testosterone killer. The obese with abnormally high BMI’s have nearly 50% less testosterone when tested than those of average weight. Fat cells contain an enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen, hence the “moob” or man boob. A proper diet and exercise plan can help prevent or reverse this to give you a boost in testosterone. Having overall health in these areas can help to maintain sexual health overall.
- Ginkgo Biloba
This ancient herb used in Chinese medicine for centuries has proven to be 84% effective when treating erectile dysfunction. It is especially useful for sexual drive plummets caused by depression. Gingko also improves vein health, which is vital for blood flow to reach the penis to create an erection. It contains terpenoids that dilate the blood vessels and reduce stickiness of blood to get it free flowing.
- Get your tan on
Most North Americans are Vitamin-D deficient from lack of natural sunlight and our increasingly indoor, sedentary lifestyles. The male reproductive system needs adequate vitamin D to function and supplementation can increase testosterone. Get tested and know your levels, vitamin D not only creates more free testosterone, it is mood boosting which can also help your libido.
Taking a daily Omega-3 supplment is crucial for heart and brain health, but it also lowers inflammation. It helps to support healthy cholesterol, which is necessary for healthy testosterone levels. Omega-3s can additionally help with weight issues, making for a higher functioning metabolism. Fish oil can lower sex-hormone binding globulin to create more free testosterone that is bioavailable.
- Go green
If you read the back of most things in your shower or underneath the sink you’ll see the word phthalates and parabens come up continually in the ingredient list on your shaving creams and shampoos. These are anti-androgens that disrupt hormone production and balance. There is also the ever-so-sneaky BPA found in plastic water bottles that leaks into your alleged purified water. Buy yourself a stainless-steel reusable water bottle or BPA free one and read the back of any personal hygiene products you are purchasing. A good rule of thumb is, if you can’t eat it don’t put it on your skin. The skin is the largest organ on the body; not just a protective indestructible coating you can put limitless amounts of chemicals on.
- Saw some Zzzzzs
Studies show that after just one week of inadequate sleep testosterone levels dropped more than 10%. While you may not want to seem like a grandpa, getting a solid eight hours of sleep can be rejuvenating for your sex drive. It can also do wonders for your stress level and allow your body to repair each day, rest essential to all functions, sexual ones included.
There can be a million reasons that your sex drive has plummeted, it may be your loveless marriage, your stressful job, loud kids, depression, aging… the list goes on and on. Talk to your doctor about strategies for enhancing your sexual health. Talk to your partner about making lifestyle changes together to improve your sex drives and sex lives all together. If you can figure out what is causing your sexual dysfunction or lack of libido it will be that much easier to formulate a plan and make lifestyle changes to treat the problem at its root.