Lost control of your sex drive? Here’s how to get it back.
Sexual function — defined by factors like desire, arousal and pleasure — in men and especially women decreased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, research and experts say.
“I’ve been hearing about this since the first couple of months of the pandemic and it’s definitely a trend that has continued,” Vanessa Marin, a licensed marriage and family therapist, told CNN last week.
Thankfully, there are ways to get back in the groove — and coping with stress, which drastically spiked during the pandemic, is key.
“For the vast majority of people, if you’re under a lot of stress, your body shuts down any pathway to arousal and desire,” explained Marin, the co-author of “Sex Talks: The Five Conversations That Will Transform Your Love Life.”
De-stressing can help reopen those pathways. While everyone has different stressors and quick fixes to handle them, some psychological exercises can help to reduce stress in the long term.
“There are short small practices that we can do every day. We don’t need to do all of them — just find what fits our lifestyle. We can tune up our nervous system. We can’t control events. But we can change our stress response,” psychologist Elissa Epel told The Post last month.
Here are three simple steps she advises:
- Embrace uncertainty: “When we realize that the uncertainty of the future is an invisible factor often stressing us out, we can actually get some relief from this,” Epel explained. “We can become more comfortable with the feeling of uncertainty and with not knowing the future. We don’t need to be constantly vigilant and preparing for events that never happen.”
- Put down the weight of what you can’t control. Where do you want to put your energy, and what can you let go of? “One of the best things we can do is check in with our mind and body and notice that we are holding on to so much stress — that we can put down extra baggage that we’re carrying,” Epel continued.
- Practice deep restoration: Leverage stress-busting techniques like deep breathing and experiencing nature. “Nature has a big effect on reducing our anxiety, but we don’t usually think of using it that way,” Epel noted.
Once stress has been reduced, it’s time to spark that sexual flame.
Doctors say plunging into cold water can help raise the libido — the psychological drive for sexual desire.
“Preliminary research has suggested that cold-water immersion can increase the release of luteinizing hormone produced in the pituitary gland in your brain,” Dr. Robert Glatter, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, previously explained to The Post.
“Release of the hormone may also increase testosterone production in men and trigger ovulation and progesterone production in women, potentially leading to increased libido,” he added.
Orgasm, emotional connection and chemistry have been found to contribute to “great sex.”
Studies have shown that a vegan diet can dramatically boost a woman’s libido — while some people realized that going dry helped them get wet.