Healthy Sex Drive
Your mom probably never told you this, but it's true: Sex is good for you! (Tell that to your spouse tonight.) Plenty of studies show it: Regular sex increases immunity from viruses, relieves stress, and even helps protect the health of a man's prostate gland by emptying fluids held there. It also triggers the release of chemicals that improve mood and ease pain.
Your doctor probably never told you this, but it's also true: Most people can and should have sex well into old age! While menopause in women does affect sexual drive and function somewhat, there is no reason healthy men or women can't experience sexual pleasure at any stage in life. Sure, the nature and intensity of the sex may change, but the love and pleasure don't!
If your sex drive has stalled out, you have good reasons to rev it back up again. You don't need jumper cables or even little blue pills. Just try a couple of these tips and we guarantee your engine will be turning over again in no time.
1. Have sex tonight! Having intercourse regularly helps to keep your sex drive in high gear by increasing the production of testosterone, which is the hormone mainly responsible for libido in both men and women.
2. Men: If you smoke, ask your doctor to prescribe you the nicotine patch. Why? Because it's scientifically proven that smoking can clog the blood vessels in the penis in the same way it clogs the arteries in your heart. Ever heard a better reason to quit?
3. Go write a list of all the medicine you're taking, then check for party poopers. More than 200 medications can cause erection problems and diminished sex drive, including drugs used to treat high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, and stomach problems. Check the Internet or ask your pharmacist or doctor if any of the drugs on your list could be culprits. Of course, you can't stop taking a drug you need, but you can talk to your doctor about possibly changing the brand, dose, or timing of your medication.
4. Spend tonight planning a steamy vacation. Even if you don't go, spending time together picturing where you'd go, looking at photos on the Web, and imagining yourself in some tropical paradise will be enough of a libido booster to get you to bed—early. Plus, it's a lot more stimulating to talk about than why your teenager is failing geometry.
5. Women: Practice Kegel exercises. You know what Kegels are—they're the squeezing exercises your doctor told you to do after pregnancy or because you were having a bit of a problem with leaking urine. What Doc probably didn't tell you is that they're also great for strengthening the pubococcygeus muscle, essential for orgasm. To do Kegels, take note of the muscle you use to stop urinary flow, then practice contracting that muscle, gradually releasing it. Work up to 20 contractions three times a day.
6. Men: Start taking supplements of ginkgo biloba every day. The herb promotes better blood flow, getting more blood to the brain and...other organs. It doesn't take much imagination to figure out how that might help you! Follow the instructions on the bottle, but check with your doctor first.
7. Make pesto and serve it over pasta tonight. Pesto contains pine nuts, great sources of arginine, the precursor for nitric oxide, a main ingredient in drugs like Viagra. Arginine helps open blood vessels so blood flow improves.
8. Go to the movies with your partner, sit in the back row, and neck like you used to when you were a teenager. You'll be combining the forbidden with the frustrating—a sure bet to get your juices flowing.
9. Every time you pass your partner, reach out and touch or kiss him or her. Don't allow these moments to go beyond the kiss or hug. Simply increasing the amount of physical contact you have with your partner will help with desire.
10. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon wheat germ on every cup of yogurt and every bowl of cereal you eat. Wheat germ's rich in zinc, which is important to the production of that all-important hormone, testosterone. You can also get your fill of zinc in beef, eggs, and seafood —especially oysters!
11. When you're at a party or out in public with your partner, take a moment to stare at him/her across the room as if you were still wooing one another. Sex falls out of a relationship when you take one another's presence for granted. So don't!
12. Rent an erotic video and watch it with your partner. Use the time to talk about what you like and don't like during sex (and before and after).
13. Read a sexy "bodice ripper" out loud to your partner. Play-act the parts of the ravishing heroine and her handsome, yet dangerous lover.
14. Open your eyes when you kiss and when you are, um, intimate. Looking into your partner's eyes during such times sends an incredible message of trust and honesty.
15. Say exactly what's on your mind—sexually, that is. If you're watching your husband pull out the tree stump in the backyard and you get a certain weakness in your legs watching the sweat roll off his back, tell him. If the sight of your wife comforting your teenage son after his first-ever girlfriend dumped him makes you glad all over again that you married her, tell her. Simply expressing how everyday things make you feel deepens your intimacy when said out loud.
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