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How to Boost Your Sexual Desireby Alicia Guinn

For many people, sexual desire is one of the most rewarding andpleasurable parts of their adult lives. Not much else measures upto the lusty feelings of attraction that accompany sex?whether it?swith a long-time committed partner, a fling, or someonein-between. Because feeling hot and heavy for that specialsomeone is so important, it can be especially disturbing when lack oflibido sneaks its way into your sex life.

Desire and arousal are incredibly complicated phenomena, so it?s nosurprise that most people experience lack of libido at different times in their lives. An overwhelming number of factorscan contribute to loss of sexual desire, such as:

  • illness
  • side effects of medications
  • stress and overwork
  • dissatisfaction with relationship or sexual partner
  • cultural issues like body image and beliefs surrounding sexuality
  • previous experiences of sexual trauma and/or abuse
  • major life changes like pregnancy, childbirth, growing older, and menopause

Our culture takes this bewildering array of issues and proposes quickfix solutions: drugs like Viagra, unregulated herbal supplements andcreams, and sex toys "guaranteed" to cure your arousal issues.

While those tools might be helpful as you explore your lack of sexualdesire, it?s also worth examining your lifestyle and your sex life tofind clues as to why your libido went missing in the first place.Your brain is the biggest, and arguably the most important, sexualorgan in your body. You can start down the path of sexual healingby following our favorite tips for inviting desire back into your life.

Sex Positivity

For most of us, there is no force in our livesto tell us that sex is a good, happy, healthy part of being human, atype of thinking we like to call sex positivity. Most of us grewup learning some sense of guilt and shame about sexual desire, andthose lingering beliefs can wreak havoc on our sex life asadults. You can start to dismantle your own negative beliefsabout sex and recognize that sexual pleasure is everyone?s birthrightby reading sex positive books.

Medications

If you are currently taking anti-depressants, oralcontraceptives, tranquilizers, or other medications that can affectyour libido, you should talk to your doctor about the possibility ofadjusting the dosage of your current medication. In many cases,there may also be alternative medications that will not negativelyaffect your libido. Although it can be hard to talk to yourdoctor, remember that lack of libido has a serious effect on yourquality of life. Be honest with your doctor about the sideeffects you are experiencing.

Lifestyle

Stress is often a main factor in loss of sexualdesire. If you are generally tired and stressed, overworked, orunhappy in your relationship, start to think about changes you couldmake in your life to reduce the stress you face on a daily basis. Balance your priorities so that enjoying life and taking care ofyourself become important goals. Especially pay attention to yourbasic needs?eating right, sleeping, getting some exercise, andallowing time for the things that make life enjoyable for you.

Sensuality

Babeland Bath Fizzy

Get in touch with your body. Don?t allow sexto be the only time that your body experiences pleasure. Obeyyour hedonistic impulses by indulging in simple pleasures that makeyour body feel good?whetherit?s cooking yourself your favorite meal,hugging your best friend, taking a hot bath, going to a yoga class,getting a massage, working in the garden, or going swimming. Spoilyourself.  Find the things that make your body feel good anddo them on a regular basis.  Experiment with massage. Instead ofusing it as foreplay, let it be the main course and just luxuriate inthe feelings and aromas. Try different oils, or warm up with a sensual bath. If you're feeling frisky, add some edible treats to your play.

Masturbation

Sex Toys 101Masturbation is the perfect way to cultivate yoursexual relationship with yourself.  It?s a time to luxuriate inyourself and your fantasies, to completely satisfy your desires and notworry about pleasing a partner. Don?t pressure yourself withexpectations. Take your time. Talk dirty to yourself. If you?ve never explored sex toys before, now is the time. Checkout our book Sex Toys 101 to learn about the exciting array of sex toysavailable. Or pick out a simple vibrator like Blueberry Buzz or amasturbation sleeve like the Blossom or Maverick to explore new sensations.

Fantasy

Most of us get stuck in sexual ruts, including thefantasies we enjoy. Explore both reading erotica and viewing porn insearch of new hot spots. You may discover sexual activites or newturn ons that you never even imagined.

Sexual Healing

If you are a survivor of sexual abuse or trauma,read Staci Haines? amazing book The Survivors? Guide to Sex. Alsoconsider counseling or a support group to help you work toward thehappy, healthy sex life you deserve.

Keep an Open Mind

If you?ve always enjoyed the same fewsexual activities, read a few books to learn what?s out there in theworld of sexual possibilities. Educate yourself. Is itpossible that you?ve suppressed part of your sexuality and limited yoursex life in the process? It can be scary to face the fact thatyou might have sexual desires that make you uncomfortable. However, ifyou suspect that you?re kinky or queer or somehow sexuallydifferent than other folks around you, take comfort in the fact thatsupport is available through books, over the internet, and in real lifethrough support groups and community centers. As long as yourbehavior is safe, sane and consensual, you can ethically explore yoursexual desires. As you discover and make peace with yourfantasies, your sex life will blossom.