How to Increase Libido

Libido is a person's sex drive. Whether you are a man or a woman, you may be interested in learning both short and long-term methods to increase and enhance the interest and pleasure you and your partner take in sex. You may also be seeking advice on how to regain lost interest in sex, or recover you ability to sexually perform. Here's a short guide on how.


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    Have a positive mental attitude and keep your stress level low. If you feel good and self confident you may feel more sexual and attractive to your partner.
    • Prolonged stress can lead to a diminished interest in sex.[1] For people who work stressful jobs, or those with a long commute (we all know how stressful traffic can be), a pinched sex drive is often the result.
    • Men and women react differently to stressful situations. For men, sex is often a release of stressful energy; for women, stress makes sex anathema or beside the point.[2] Understand the different reactions between the sexes and talk with your partner about engineering the right, non-stressful time for sex.
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    Consider, but do not overly rely on, special foods and supplements that claim to increase your libido. Natural supplements can help increase blood flow and sometimes help fight vaginal dryness.
    • Some natural supplements that may increase libido include: vitamin E[3], zinc, vitamin C, arginine, vitamin A, vitamin C, Octacosanol, Beta-carotene, vitamin B6, and vitamin B complex. These nutrients may help to boost sperm count, improve sperm motility, enhance prostate gland function, increase testosterone production and create a healthier nervous system.
    • Some foods that may increase libido include: Celery, raw oysters, bananas, avocado, nuts, mangoes, peaches, strawberries, eggs, liver, figs, garlic, pumpkin and chocolate.
    • Certain foods and natural supplements such as these may add much needed nutrients and minerals to your diet, but they are unlikely to make a bigger impact on your sex drive and sexual performance as:
      • (1) a healthy, nutritious diet with plenty of lean protein, and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables (particularly dark green leafy vegetables such as kale or spinach);
      • (2) possibly daily vitamin and nutrient supplements to address any dietary deficiencies;
      • (3) regular exercise (enough to make you sweat) and resistance training; and
      • (4) reaching and maintaining a healthy body fat %.
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    Consider the under-appreciated psychological component of sex drive. Sexual desire can often be triggered, or dampened, by environmental stimuli.
    • To avoid ruining the mood, remove the following types of items from your bedroom:
      • Photos of your parents or children (which people sometimes feel are "staring" at them). The same goes for pets who like to hang out on or by your bed.
      • Stacks of papers, books, and work-related files (and clutter more generally).
    • To help set the mood:
      • Select lighting that can be dimmed or light candles. A soft, low-watt, full-spectrum bulb provides the most favorable lighting.
      • Let some fresh air into your room and use incense, essential oils, or lightly scented candles to create pleasant smells (go for subtle smells - spraying cologne or perfume into the air can sometimes be too intense and overpowering).
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    Prepare for intimacy. If you are planning a romantic evening with someone, and hope to get him/her "in the mood":
    • Coffee and chocolate are both great to eat beforehand. Both foods are considered aphrodisiacs because they produce positive mood states, release endorphins[4], provide energy (caffeine), and increase physical endurance.
    • Wine and other forms of alcoholic drinks may help people to relax, though only a small amount is recommended. High consumption can result in impotence in men. Excessive consumption can cause the person to pass out, or lose awareness of the situation. In both these situations, no consent can be given and any sexual advances will either be considered unlawful sexual conduct, or rape.
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    Find out which scenarios spark magic for you and your partner. Sexual desire tends to be associated with different scenarios for different people.
    • You do not need to recreate every detail from those scenes. With a little imaginative, improvisational role-playing, you can incorporate one or two key elements from the scene - such as a costume or a prop - and create a scenario that is likely to liven the mood.
    • Sometimes it is better to take a more understated approach if you are new to role-playing with a partner. Often, just the hint of something someone finds particularly exciting can be enough to enhance his/her experience.
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    Seek the help of a sex therapist, if necessary. If you are experiencing sexual problems that prevent you from desiring, initiating, or enjoying sex, consider whether these issues may be psychological in origin. If you think they may be, seek help from a sex therapist.
    • Sex therapists often treat individuals for issues like impotence or loss of sexual pleasure that may spring from an underlying and possibly undiagnosed depression.
    • Sex therapists provide talk therapy to individuals and couples, and often assign them "homework" to help them take steps at home to regain normal levels of sexual functioning.
    • For example, sex therapists may encourage a couple to explore different ways to be intimate with each other without having intercourse, to help rebuild trust and a feeling of mutual acceptance and non-judgement in bed. The basic idea underlying most of these types of "homework assignments" is that sex has become an experience associated with stress, pressure, and disappointment, and thus you need to learn to re-associate sharing intimacy with having fun, mutual acceptance, exploring, and giving each other pleasure.
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    Be patient. If you have a partner who is being treated for lost interest in and enjoyment in sex, or for issues relating to sexual performance, be patient and realize that treatment can take several months or more to be effective:
    • If you are just starting to date someone who is experiencing these issues, you are under no obligation to continue dating him/her. Everyone has the right seek sexually satisfying relationships, and to end a relationship because they are sexually incompatible with someone, or for any other reason. If you think you will leave the person eventually if there is not notable improvement, you may hurt him/her less, and be less likely to give him/her a complex by leaving now, versus later.
    • If instead, you are in a long-term, committed relationship with someone, a sexual therapist may be able to give you tips on how to help you remove some of the pressure and judgement your partner may feel when you try to have sex. If your partner's difficulties originate from past trauma, s/he may need to see a therapist on his/her own as well.
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    Understand the role of testosterone in regulating long-term sex drive for both women and men.
    • Women's libido, and interest in initiating sex, responds to testosterone supplements, for example, which have been approved in Europe but are still undergoing testing by the FDA in the United States.[5]
    • Men are also commonly given testosterone supplements by their doctors to treat abnormally low testosterone levels, increase libido, and improve sexual performance. [6]
    • Both men and women's natural testosterone production tends to naturally decline with age, but the decline can be accelerated by smoking, heavy drinking, and gaining excess amounts of body fat while being physically inactive.
    • Men's testosterone levels naturally peak in the early morning hours, so if you and your partner have been experiencing difficulty having sex - or if your male partner's interest in having sex has been waning lately - try having sex in the morning. Make sure you have enough time before work to enjoy yourselves, though, since thoughts of being late to work could dampen the mood.
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    Use strength and resistance training to boost testosterone levels. This should have a more dramatic impact on sex drive and sexual performance than nearly any other type of treatment.
    • The most effective method to boost testosterone - and thus long-term libido - in both men and women is to begin strength and resistance training to build muscle mass. Whenever you break down and rebuild muscles by lifting weights, or doing resistance training exercises like pushups, you create a spike in testosterone production that lasts for many hours.
    • Both men and women report increased interest in, and enjoyment of sex, when they regularly engage in vigorous exercise that results in the tearing down and re-building of muscle, and thus stimulation of the production of testosterone.
    • Often, a spike in testosterone and sex drive can be noticed immediately during or after a workout. For many couples, working out together can become a stimulating experience that gets them in the mood.
    • When combined with a healthy, nutritious diet that includes plenty of lean protein, and a variety of fruits and vegetables, strength and resistance training can help men and women lose excess body fat (which tends to dampen testosterone production, when at overweight to obese levels).
    • Vigorous strength and resistance training are complimentary to a good sex life for reasons beyond boosting testosterone and libido in both men and women:
      • They increase performance, range of motion, and endurance;
      • Boost mood, confidence, and energy levels;
      • And help you look (and feel) younger and more attractive.


  • Be accepting of fluctuations in your own libido, and those of your partner, that may be due to changes related to age and developmental period:
    • If you are a man, you will probably never be as interested in sex as you were at the age of 18. If you are a woman, your current level of interest in and enjoyment of sex may increase as you approach 30, then decrease as you approach age 60:
    • Women between the ages of 18 and 25 in particular often report less interest in sex than women in their late twenties, thirties, and early forties. That is because women's sexual peak is age 30, while it is at age 18 for men.
    • It is important for both men and women considering entering into a long-term committed relationship to know that a woman's sex drive could increase dramatically during this time period, especially if she marries young. Likewise, a man's sex drive might notably decrease during the same time period.
    • A heterosexual couple who marries at age twenty might start out with different sex drives, but find they converge over time, or even diverge, with the woman's sex drive surpassing the man's.
    • Both men and women experience a decrease in libido as they approach their sixties, but it tends to be more noticeable among women.
  • Be accepting of yourself (if you are a woman) or of your female partner if she experiences fluctuations in sex drive due to hormonal changes - these are perfectly normal: [7].
    • Women typically experience an increase in their sex drive while ovulating, while menstruating, and surprisingly, while pregnant. These are due to hormonal fluctuations.
    • Women may experience a decrease in libido in the first few months after giving birth, while breast feeding (which inconsistently suppresses ovulation), and after going through menopause, all due to hormonal changes. Some women report experiencing a decrease in libido after beginning birth control (which "tricks" a woman's body into "thinking" that she is pregnant).
    • When women are pregnant, or taking birth control, they tend to be drawn to different types of male pheromones than when they are not pregnant (or not on birth control). Thus, sometimes when women start taking birth control, they may find themselves feeling less attracted to their partners.
    • It is important to be patient with female partners who have just given birth, and understand that it might take three to four months for them to regain their interest in and enjoyment of sex, both because their bodies has undergone the trauma of childbirth, and because their hormone levels have plummeted and may take some time to find a new balance. Nearly 20% of women experience post-partum depression, which can also temporarily suppress their sex drive and energy levels.
    • If you are a woman whose libido is notably suppressed for more than a few months, this poses a problem from your perspective, and you think the change may be due to hormonal causes (e.g., starting birth control, after giving birth, starting menopause), consider seeking the advice of a doctor and sex therapist, to see if some combination of medicine, hormonal therapy, and/or talk therapy will help to address any underlying issues.


  • A first step toward increasing your libido is becoming drug and alcohol free. If you smoke tobacco or pot daily, drink alcohol daily, or engage in a variety of other types of drug use (amphetamines, cocaine, heroin), you may be undermining any other steps you take to address the libido or sexual performance issues you might have, since all of these substances suppress the production of testosterone. For example, just one drink of alcohol suppresses testosterone production, and decreases your ability to build muscle mass, for up to 24 hours. Change these habits first, and then work on some of the other steps outlined above to regain your normal libido and your ability to have and enjoy sex again.
  • Talk to your doctor about whether medications you are taking are suppressing your libido. A variety of different kinds of medications suppress libido and/or sexual performance. The benefits of taking these medications, such as anti-depressants if you are depressed, may or may not outweigh such costs as loss of interest and enjoyment in sex. The decision to stop or wean off of a medication should be made carefully, on a case by case basis, in consultation with a doctor. Sometimes your doctor may be able to recommend another medicine to treat the same condition that does not tend to negatively impact libido or sexual performance.
  • Do not expect aphrodisiacs to work magic. Most natural "aphrodisiacs" are simply diuretics, which means they simply make you need to urinate more often (coffee is an example). Diuretics can be sexually stimulating, and may increase your desire for sex, but do not expect them to have dramatic influences on your sex drive.
  • Never use a prescription "performance enhancing" drug like Viagra that has not been prescribed to you, since it may not be safe for you to take due to a pre-existing condition you have, like high blood pressure. It is your doctor's job to make sure a prescription medicine is safe for you to take, and to tell you what dose to start at, especially if you plan to take it in combination with any medicines you are already taking.
  • Be wary of herbs and herbal mixtures that promise to increase your libido. Some may cause uncomfortable erections that do not go away for hours, and increase your risk of cardiac arrest by making your heart beat too fast, such as Yohimbe. Talk to your doctor before taking Yohimbe to see if it might be safe for you to try, and if there might be a safer prescription alternative.
  • Illegal steroids may increase your libido, but at far too high a cost. They can cause long-term damage to your heart and irreversible changes to your body that you may never fully recover from. There are many great natural and legal supplements that may be used instead, in association with strength building, to achieve similar results to those experienced with steroids, at no risk of harming yourself permanently.

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Categories: Love and Romance | Reproductive Health