Exercise: Get fit for sex
Active women have more energy, better body image and less stress – all of which can boost interest in sex. Although there is very little research, one recent study found that women who watched an erotic video after exercising were significantly more turned on than those who viewed the film but didn’t do the work-out.
Food for lovers: A romantic meal could light your fire
Foods with the right vitamins and minerals to get the blood flowing in all the right places include oysters, asparagus, figs, walnuts, chilli, avocado, truffles, watermelon and pomegranate. You don’t need all of them at once but a candlelit dinner with fresh oysters and an asparagus salad with figs and walnuts will do the trick.
Sex therapy: Counselling with a one-track mind
You don’t have to bare all but you (and preferably your partner) will spend some time talking with a trained expert about your sex life and your relationship. Homework may entail working on communication, focusing on sensations, watching educational videos, and changing how you and your partner interact.
Mindfulness: Live in the moment
Stress hormones such as cortisol can dampen desire, arousal and – if you do manage to get your motor going – satisfaction. Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress and pump up passion. Key techniques include paying close attention to sensations such as breathing, sounds and your body’s sexual responses.
Mood meddlers: Many antidepressants have sexual side effects
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft) can have an impact on your sex drive. Ask your doctor if lowering your dose or trying a different drug is worth a shot.
Lubrication: The physical affects the mental
Discomfort down below can kill off any amorous ideas. Apply a water-based lubricant or a specialised moisturiser such as Astroglide to help vaginal tissue stay pliable.
Embrace wine o'clock: But swap white for red
Red wine’s high levels of polyphenols may help blood vessels widen, which can increase the flow to key arousal areas. Pour a glass for yourself and your partner.
Hormone therapy: Straight to the source
If sexual dysfunction is related to hormonal changes, oestrogen delivered via vaginal cream or suppository can improve lubrication and lessen pain by restoring the condition of vaginal tissue.
Take the time to talk it out connect with your partner
Stress and anxiety can quash your sex drive, but building intimacy outside the bedroom may fan the flames between the sheets. Talking about sex – what you like, what you don’t – helps, too, as it can help make your relationship more fun.