We live in a society that loves the quick fix, so it’s not surprising that last year saw the release of flibanserin (aka “pink Viagra”). The hope was this little pill was the solution to the 26% to 43% of women who report feeling low sexual desire.
The problem is it doesn’t work. Taking the medication results in one more “satisfying sexual event” every two months, compared with those taking a placebo (plus, it comes with a host of possible side effects).
The good news is there are natural ways to approach low libido. Even better, the “treatment” can often increase pleasure and joy in other parts of your life too – a much better side effect than nausea 😉
5 Ways To Address Low Libido Naturally
Identify Your Brakes
In her book, Come As You Are, Emily Nagoski outlines the dual control model of sexual desire. This model addresses how our unique “brakes” and “accelerator” affect libido.
Some of us are more affected by things that dampen desire (like stress) while others react more strongly to the addition of turn-ons.
I’m a huge advocate of sex toys, but a drawer full of vibrators isn’t going to make a difference if you haven’t addressed the things that are putting on the brakes.
If you find it hard to turn off the mental to-do list and get into your body, try adopting a journaling or meditation practice, or explore other creative/physical activities until you find the outlet that works for you.
Make Sure The Sex You Are Having is Pleasurable
Once you’ve released the brakes, it’s time to think about what you want to add to make the experience as pleasurable as possible.
It’s a lot easier to get excited about sex if you know it’s going to feel good! Try picking up an instructional book or video to learn a new technique, or maybe you already know what you like but you haven’t shared it with your partner.
If You’re On The Pill, Consider Switching
Ironically, research shows that hormonal contraception can negatively affect libido. At Red Tent Sisters we help people come off the pill and we’ve heard stories over and over from clients who experience a huge improvement in sexual interest once they adopt natural birth control.
Feed Your Desire
While there are foods that can help boost low libido, adding a little maca to your smoothie and eating a plateful of oysters isn’t a magical cure-all.
Like the brake/accelerator analogy mentioned above, it’s also about taking away the foods that dampen libido – like sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. In addition, it’s hard to feel sexy when you’re bloated and lethargic.
The diet that makes me feel my best may not have the same effect on you, so I’m not here to prescribe a particular regime. However, I would encourage you to start a food journal to track which foods improve your energy and overall health (and which ones don’t).
Learn Your Sexual Arousal Style
Do you get turned on seemingly “out of the blue” or do you need something to happen first that sparks your interest in sex?
Studies suggest that roughly 15% of women experience spontaneous desire and 30% experience responsive desire. The other 55% fall somewhere on the spectrum.
If you’re on the responsive end of the spectrum sometimes it can be helpful to get the ball rolling even if you don’t necessarily feel like you’re in the mood (as long as there’s no pressure to continue). You may find that after reading some erotica, listening to some sultry tunes, a massage with essential oils, or making out with your partner that you’re keen to take it further.
I hope these suggestions inspire you to address low libido concerns holistically and lead to a greater connection with yourself and your partner.
Plus, read my interview to find out my suggestions for natural lube and more about my work at the Red Tent Sisters.