With everything from the Recession to Ritalin being identified as libido-busting sex drive-killers, guest columnist Daniel M takes a welcome look at healthy ways to get your groove back.
As the old saying goes, gravity sets into everything – even relationships. Sexually, some of this gravity can be viewed as purely genetic; as men reach their forties, the hormones that define sexual character go into what is often termed a “state of decline.” But beyond this virtually universal issue are a myriad of medical, emotional and psychological libido busters that lead to a lessening of one’s sex drive.
Let’s take a look at some well-known sex drive killers – and some potential cures:
Psychological Components: Stress / Anxiety / Depression: While most men maintain a healthy level of sexual engagement into their sixties and seventies, they do experience a subtle decrease in their libidinous impulses as they grow older.
This is understandable when one looks at the relative ages in play. Many men “settle down” in their middle years, and along with the blessings a committed relationship brings comes the pressure inherent in being “adults” in Western society. College loans, car payments, mortgages, credit cards, an unstable economy and shaky governments trying to print their way out of money problems. When such issues are taken into account, it becomes easy to see how stress and depression can contribute to a loss of sexual interest.
And if this sounds like you, waste no time in speaking to your doctor about what you’re experiencing. In addition to looking for a physical component to your condition (such as low testosterone), your physician may suggest counseling, or, depending on the severity of your condition, therapy in conjunction with an antidepressant. Since one side effect of many such medications, including the popular family of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors known as “SSRIs,” is a known libido killer, it’s critically important that you put modesty aside and discuss this issue openly and frankly so your healthcare provider can recommend most comprehensive treatment possible.
Physical Components: Fitness / Weight / Ailments: In addition to the emotional, psychological and other internal issues outlined above, sexual desire can be negatively impacted by a host of physical issues, some obvious, some not.
Temporary or chronic issues (along with the underlying emotional issues they may raise) can be a factor, as they sap energy and quality of life
In short, it’s hard to woo when you’re wincing.
And this brings us, finally, to the area of fitness. There’s no escaping it, guys, the older we get, the harder it becomes to conquer the battle of the bulge. Our bodies are creating less testosterone, leading to natural (and sometimes sudden) weight gain. And with the with the extra pounds comes the potential need for more medication, specifically blood pressure and blood sugar stabilizers – both known libido killers. The psychological stress associated isn’t to be ignored either, as it can lead to body-image issues which, if allowed to fester, can trigger self-esteem issues and a fear of intimacy.
As daunting as it may seem, however, the issues outlined above can be conquered. Knowing one’s body and how it works is absolutely critical. Sex is physical; obviously the more highly evolved you are physically, the more you’re bringing to the table and the more you’re going to enjoy in return. There’s no way around this: People who enjoy working out enjoy sex more. With regards to diet, I’m not here to endorse a specific plan other than to suggest avoiding obvious sex-drive slayers like high-cholesterol fatty foods that reduce blood flow over time.
In future columns, we’ll look at issues (and solutions) unique to women in these areas, as well as spotlighting some effective tools couples can use to transform a sex life that’s so-so into one that soars!