I was at a party back in college and we were all talking about our majors. Two people in the group said they wanted to be a sex therapist. At the time I was a virgin and I really had no interest in sex. I’d never even heard of a sex therapist before and I didn’t know why anyone would want to be one.“A sex therapist? Why would you want to be a sex therapist?” Internally I was wondering what a day in the life of a sex therapist would even look like.
They looked at each other and the first one said, “I want to be a sex therapist because I just love sex.”
The other agreed and the conversation was over.
I was like… okay. No clue why they like it that much. Sure I’d heard it was nice and it’s a big seller for movies aka “sex sells” but I didn’t really get it.
Now, having been married 11 years this coming January, I do get it. Sex can be amazing and connecting. Though as women, our bodies sometimes go through changes that fluctuate our libido and change our sexual desire into something less desirable than normal.
In this blog we are going to review how our body changes though our menstrual cycle and how those changes effect what your body wants. We are also going to go through life suggestions if you’re struggling to overcome low libido.
Though I’m not a sex therapist, it’s no secret that every person, in a relationship or not, experiences and thinks about sex in a very different way. It’s a private subject (for some more than others) and when things don’t really go well in the bedroom, our first response isn’t to shout it out to the rest of the world but to find a solution on our own.
While we review methods to help overcome low libido, or increasing sex drive, keep in mind that some suggestions will work better for some more than others. There is no “normal” libido so when you’re comparing the results, only compare them to yourself and your own sex drive. Never compare yourself to anything you see in movies or to your friends and their experiences.
Your 4 phases:
Follicular Phase (before you ovulate, after your period):
What’s happening in my body? Estrogen and testosterone begin to rise. Libido levels: Your interest in sex begins rising but it might not be at its peak yet. Take things slow, ask for extra non-sexual attention before foreplay. Massaging or non-sexual touching can get you mentally and physically ready for sex and increase your sexual desire.
Ovulatory Phase (when you ovulate):
What’s happening to my body? Your testosterone and estrogen levels are at their highest. Libido levels: You’re most fertile at this time and your body is primed to procreate. There is also more vaginal discharge which heightens sensation and can help get you ready. Studies show that during this time of the month less foreplay is needed because your sexual desire is at its peek.
Luteal Phase (before you have your period):
What’s happening to my body? Progesterone rises and peaks about half way through and falls if there is no pregnancy. Estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone begin to drop to lower levels.
Libido Levels: Libido levels begin to decrease. More stimulation during sex will help bring you to climax. Try experimenting with toys to help increase sensation and sex drive.
Menstrual Phase (your period):
What’s happening to my body? LH, progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone are at their lowest levels. FSH begins to rise, preparing the body for another cycle.Libido levels: Your vagina is going to be very low in pH levels during this time which can make you susceptible to infection. No one wants a UTI! Try taking D-mannose during this time to prevent a UTI, you can pick this up at any vitamin store. I’ve found D-mannose can save me from any possibility of a UTI and also allow sexual activity to continue but also don’t be afraid to take a break at this time of the month.
Best foods to focus on while tracking your phases:
Follicular Phase: Honey is an ancient aphrodisiac and it’s great for your hormones too! Try adding honey into your tea to help you relax or add some honey in the bedroom for a little extra sticky fun.Luteal Phase: Asparagus can be great to prevent fatigue and low libido because it contains aspartic acid. Artichokes might be fun to add to your diet as well, since they were treasured by Ancient Romans for their aphrodisiac properties.Menstrual Phase: Avocados are great for you all the time but they are especially great for a healthy libido and help support healthy testosterone levels.
Besides your 4 Phases, what else should you know about low libido and sexual activity?
If you’re experiencing low libido you might be completely at a loss for what is causing it. We’ve all been there. Often studies show that low libido is linked to stress, exhaustion, or relationship issues but it can also be hormone level imbalances, underlying medical conditions or just an extreme month of your menstrual cycle.
You might be looking for a solution because your lack of sex drive is causing tension in your relationship or you might just miss the feeling of sexual desire. Whatever the reason here are a few more ideas to help you get your sexual health where you want it!
Studies show that 43% of women express a loss in sexual desire beginning as young as age 40, some studies arguing it can start as young as 30. In another study 36% of women reported they were having sex but not enjoying it.
Here are things I’ve found help:
1. Detox! If you’re on the pill, your body might be full of excess hormones. Estrogen dominance can cause low libido. There are natural ways to detox in order to get excess hormones on the move without too much extra work.
2. Self love! I know it sounds silly but when you feel beautiful and calm and at peace, you’re going to enjoy life a lot more, not just sex. By feeling beautiful (in whatever way is right for you) you’re boosting your self-confidence. Spend some time rubbing lotion on your skin or give yourself time for a bath.
3. Be aware of your emotional, psychological, social life! Everything in your day to day life can change your overall experience in the bedroom. If something else is weighing on you, possibly even a post on social media that got you worked up, it can change your sex drive. Don’t discount your daily surroundings and see what you can do to minimize them and stay relaxed.
4. Practice mindfulness! This is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment.
5. Relationship love! How often are you with your partner? Touching your partner? These touches don’t have to be a sexual activity at all. When we first start dating someone we can scarcely be kept apart. Holding hands, holding each other from behind, rubbing each others backs while watching a movie. Kisses on the neck while you’re cooking. Small touches throughout the day will build your sex drive without you consciously thinking about it. Talk with your partner about adding more of this into your day to day life.
6. Experimentation! Try different lubrications and maybe buy a sex toy and change things up. Men and women experience libido changes through life and sometimes one way doesn’t work forever. Have open communication about your desire for sex and what you find ups your sexual attraction. Also try reading tasteful erotic books and see if anything gets your blood pumping. If so, ask your partner to try it.
7. Check your medications! Certain medications may have an effect on your sex drive. For example, studies show that antidepressants may be linked to low libido. Check with your doctor to see if they have a solution to manage any potential side effects.
8. Exercise! I can’t say enough about exercise. It is a fantastic way to increase your libido and to just make you more excited about life in general. I’ve mostly found the effects of exercise to be most amazing after a few hours of a hard workout. Once your body stops being exhausted from working-out, you’ll start to really see how it’s actually changing your life for the better.
If you go to your doctor for help, there are medications that can help you work through your low libido but some people can rebalance their libido on their own. Also keep in mind that your body is always changing, small fluctuations in libido are completely natural. Sexual desire is great but putting too much pressure on yourself to have a high sex drive can also cause stress that will lower your libido. Take things at your own pace and don’t give up.
This content is strictly the opinion of S’moo and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither S’moo nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.