Go Go #GirlBoner! Sex Drive Boosters for Women

“Sex is emotion in motion.” — Mae West

One hopes. But for 38.7 percent of women, the primary sex-linked emotion is frustration, suggests research, because their sex drive has slowed to a halt.

Last week when we discussed the mega-perks of sexual play during the holidays, numerous of you inquired about low libido. “Sure, the benefits sound awesome,” you expressed. “But what if I have virtually no desire to go there?”

"All I want for Christmas is a Girl Boner..."

“All I want for Christmas is a Girl Boner…”

When libido drops, sex can seem like a dreaded workout you engage in (or avoid) when every cell in your being screams, “NO!!!” What once tantalized can intimidate, perplex or disappoint and move from enjoyable to unworthy of your time and effort. The longer it’s skipped, the easier sex can be to bypass, but that’s working the wrong muscle. Sexual pleasure is an important aspect of physical and emotional wellness and a significant source of pleasure, stress relief, connectedness with ourselves and others, gratification and euphoria. Fortunately, much can be done to restore Girl Boner gusto.

While the occasional sex drive lull isn’t cause for alarm, says sex expert Dr. Laura Berman, symptoms that detract from our well-being and relationships are worth addressing. Here are some of the potential causes:

  • Hormones.Hormonal changes associated with menstruation, menopause and hormonal disorders, such as thyroid disease, can reduce sex drive.
  • Illnesses. Arthritis, cancer, hypertension, anxiety disorders, depression and other illnesses can hinder libido.
  • Medications. Antidepressants, birth control pills, anti-seizure medications and street drugs are well-known libido reducers.
  • Alcohol. While a bit of alcohol may help put us in the mood, too much can zap sex drive.
  • Pain. Pain can take the pleasure out of sex and, if it affects our genital tract, prevent us from achieving orgasm.
  • Sexual trauma. Women who’ve been sexually abused or raped often face libido problems.
  • Surgery. Surgeries involving our genital tract or breasts can minimize sexual function and desire.
  • Exhaustion. Lack of sleep, which affects 70 million Americans chronically, is a top libido killer.
  • Relationship strife. For many women, emotional connectedness plays a key role in sexuality, making relationship tumult a potential libido-tanker
  • Stress. Hectic schedules and lengthy to-do lists can make sex drive plummet.
  • Poor diet. Consuming too few calories or nutrients, particularly omega-3s, B-vitamins, iron or carbs, can disrupt blood sugar and hormone levels and contribute to low moods, weight gain, lethargy and libido loss. Eating too many refined grains, added sugars and unhealthy fats can have similar effects.
  • Poor body image and self esteem. This is a biggie. If we aren’t comfortable in our own skin or feel invaluable, the thought of being intimately touched, seen naked and experiencing sexual pleasure can horrify.

If you could snap your fingers and suddenly have the body of your dreams, how would your sex life be different?

depositphotos_7562021_xs

A fact worth pondering…

Now for the fun stuff! Regardless of your age and experience level, one or more of the following may be just what you need to make Girl Boner gusto a happy given.*

10 Libido Boosters for Women

1. Read Cosmo—or other sexually empowering publications. A study published in the Psychology of Women Quarterly showed that reading Cosmopolitan magazine helps women believe that they are entitled to sexual satisfaction. (Yes, we are!) A little personal belief goes a long way.

2. Masturbate. Masturbation is the most common form of sexuality, despite many women’s inhibitions conversing about it. Routine masturbation can strengthen relationships with ourselves and partners, boost sexual confidence and reduce vaginal pain and dryness.

3. Explore toy-land. Whether used alone or with a partner, sex toys can provide a sense newness, adventure and creativity while bringing pleasure in a variety of ways. We’ll delve deeper into toys next week. In the meantime, MyPleasure.com is a fabulous resource. Sign up for their free, confidential newsletter for a free guide to introducing sex toys to your relationship and 10% off your first purchase. (I’m not an affiliate, just a fan.)

4. Ease up on yourself. It’s normal to experience libido peaks and lows. Every woman—every human—is sexually unique, and our needs and desires change throughout our lives. Getting overly worked up over a lower-than-desired sex drive can worsen matters. Take baby steps and be gentle with yourself.

5. Talk it out. Couples who communicate openly and honestly, including about sex, tend to maintain stronger emotional connections, says the Mayo Clinic, which facilitates better sex. Sharing your sexual likes and fantasies with your partner can be seriously awesome foreplay.

6. Eroticize! Reading erotic romance novels can effectively turn women on, says Steph Auteri, coauthor of 52 Weeks of Amazing Sex. And while porn is linked with reduced libido in men and women (more on this in a future post), erotic films can safely stimulate both genders. Erotica may also introduce you to turn-ons and scenarios you’ve yet to consider.

7. Prioritize playtime. If we don’t prioritize intimacy, it can fall to the wayside, particularly when libido is low. For some people, scheduling sex increases anticipation, making for a tantalizing turn on. Set aside private time to watch or read erotica while self-stimulating or a plan a steamy getaway with your partner.

8. Work those muscles! Physical activity increase sexual stamina, boosts body image, guards against low and anxious moods and increases libido. Sexual exercise can be equally important. If we don’t use it (our sexuality), we could lose it (our libido). Vaginal dryness is a common side effect of infrequent sex, which can lead to painful intercourse.

9. Eat well. The same diet that promotes heart-health, brain-health and weight control can enhance libido. Aim for a balanced diet that emphasizes nutritious carbs, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, such as fish, beans and tofu, and healthy fats, such as nuts, seeds and avocados. For more information, check out Foods for Better Sex.

10. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness, or paying attention to the here and now, allows us to absorb sights, sounds, flavors and other sensations with greater ease. It’s also known to minimize stress, prevent overeating, keep those bothersome to-do lists out of the bedroom and boost libido, says Dr. Jennifer Landa, physician and author of The Sex Drive Solution for Women.

*Be sure to discuss any serious or long-lasting issues with a qualified professional.

I’d love to hear from you. Which tip strikes a chord with you? Any challenges or success stories to share? Pointers to add? If you’d like to comment and remain anonymous, you’re welcome to. You can also drop me a message me via Facebook or Twitter. Anything you share will remain confidential—GB honors.

Leave a comment

36 Comments

  1. A friend I used to work with said she had a great sex life because every time her husband asked her to have sex she said yes, even if she was too tired or stressed out. They were both satisfied and less stressed at the end.

    If my husband would ever ask when it’s not seven am and I’m still fast asleep I’d be all over it, but don’t wake me up with your boner pressed into my hip ;P

    Reply
    • Ha. Yes, timing is important!

      Often our bodies want sex, but our over-loaded minds get in the way. I think many women struggle similarly with other sources of pleasure. (“What? Drop everything to have fun?!?” ;)) I bet your friend got more pleasure and desire out of continually saying yes than she’d anticipated. Practice breeds desire.

      Reply
  2. A Couple’s Guide to Happy Sex: She always tries to say yes; he always tries to make it worth her while. 🙂

    Also, as a romance author, can I add that *writing* sexy scenes really gets the motor running? *ahem* 😉

    Reply
    • I totally agree, Jami! There’s very little steamier than writing sex scenes.

      Reply
      • mgmillerbooks

         /  December 3, 2012

        I don’t even have to be writing a sex scene to get the motor running. If the writing’s going well, that’s all it takes. That myth about the male libido decreasing after 17? It’s a lie.

  3. My favorite tip was about prioritizing playtime! Sure spontaneous is fun, but when you both work long, always changing schedules, just SEEING each other can feel like a chore. Planning a weekly date night where both people are focused on one another (no laptops, no phones) is a big win for re-issuing intimacy and romance.

    And then DON’T talk about work! Talk about things you’re excited about or silly things like which Walking Dead character you’d be! Zombies have become a reoccurring date night topic for us! LOL.

    Reply
  4. Love love love this post August. Full of tons of goodness.

    Hubby and I have struggled in this department a lot over our 8 years together. And I think it’s been hardest for us because we are on the same page about virtually everything else so it really stands out that when it comes to sex, our libidos run at different speeds.

    I like what Rebecca said about her friend. I have found that if I say “yes” even when I am tired and not overly in the mood, it’s not long before I am IN the mood and happy that I opted in. Never once have I sat back and said “god I wish I hadn’t done that…” it’s always the opposite so I try to keep that front of mind.

    I also know in my heart of hearts that a healthy and vibrant sex life is part of a healthy and vibrant relationship and that honoring both our needs/libidos is key. Some weeks, hubby veers more towards my needs, and some weeks I veer more towards his.

    Your tip about prioritizing is key for me. Even if hubby and I don’t schedule “it”, I try to ensure I am scheduling it at least in my head. It has to be a priority and is as important as everything else in a relationship. I have also asked hubby to proactively and assertively let me know when he is in DIRE need. Not by criticism or side-ways comments but by just asking “I am so hot for you…can we set everything aside and worship each other tonight???” I mean…who can say NO to that?!?!

    Loved the point about exercise. What I found works beautifully to amp up my libido is activity and LAUGHTER with hubby. Rather than sitting on the couch disconnected watching TV (total libido killer), I rather go for a walk, talk, cook together, play wrestle etc…something that gets us doing something fun together…before I know it, we’ll want to tear each other’s clothes off…

    And a point on vaginal dryness since it’s something that I face from time to time. I was trying all different kinds of commercial lubricants and was having an awful time with pain and burning – didn’t even realize it was the lubricants until I switched to olive oil as a lubricant! Now we make a little garden vajayjay salad and go to town and it’s delightful, slippery and wonderful! I highly recommend it!

    Cannot WAIT for next week’s playtime post…squeee…I’ll shut up now that I’ve written a book. LOL!

    Reply
  5. Rob Ryder

     /  December 3, 2012

    I think awareness is key. Taking the pressure off. And creating a quiet, loving environment. As men get older, we’ll often rush the action once we’re erect, because we’re afraid of losing it. That’s why men are often pawing at their partners in the morning – that morning erection is often most reliable. Men must learn that erections come and go, and they can still be sexy and loving. It will return in time. Or at least the next time.

    Lubricants are a tough one. But so necessary. Even tho women are told not to use oil-based ones, my partner and I have been using Lubriderm, and it’s worked well, with no side effects. We’re tracking it closely. Stuff like K-Y and Astroglide give you only a few minutes of lube before they start going sticky. I like the idea of olive oil, but who’s washing the sheets?

    Some of the tantra exercises are really fun and they work. Coordinating breathing. Knowing the ebb and flow.

    Also, partners can learn to exchange the Yin and Yang. Men are more willing to take on the feminine than women realize. You can switch up the energy, making things very sexy.

    And fantasy works wonders. My partner and I go all sorts of places, but you’ve got to be careful here. Very delicate area.

    Reply
  6. Where to begin….?

    I so wish I could mirror Natalie’s comment that she was happy when she opted “in” regardless of how tired or uninspired she felt going into the game. *sigh*

    My situation stems from my inability to verbalize what I wanted, the resultant power of (non)expectation, and co-dependent behavior. What little I learned about sex with a partner came from romance novels, wherein the male always knew what the heroine needed, and the female never failed to climax. I took those thoughts with me to the bedroom in my first marriage. I recall several times when my then-husband “played through” to his happy ending with no prompting on my part. I remember asking him to cuddle up and take care of me, too. He turned his back and went to sleep.

    [Side note on resentment: Why did he get to opt out when he was tired and I didn’t have that option–according to his ‘I have needs’?]

    On co-dependency: Enter a lack of self-esteem (must be me!), and a people pleasing personality. I became adept at knowing when my partner was close, and I faked orgasm so he didn’t feel inadequate.

    I don’t know how one unwinds years of that behavior. “Um. You know that place you touch/don’t touch/do/don’t do? Yeah, the one I lied about for umpty-ump years. Stop it/start it ’cause I’ve been faking orgasms for years.”

    Solutions, solutions, solutions. I first needed to become familiar with my own body. Yes, I have masturbated to climax since my early twenties. (OMG! Something “good girls” never talked about. This is officially my ‘coming out party’ for full disclosure–the first time I’ve put “I” and “masturbate” in the same sentence.)

    [Pausing for a round of girl boner applause.]

    I’m just now becoming adept at staying in-the-moment, appreciating where I like to be touched, what pings my buttons. I didn’t know what a G-spot was, let alone where mine was until a month ago. I didn’t consider sex toys until recently. (Thanks much for the links, August).

    Am I flying solo during this journey of discovery? I’ll leave it to the readers to decide. Either way, It’s well worth the effort.

    If I were ever going to begin a new journey with a partner, I know I’d engage in a session wherein each person witnessed the other satisfying themselves. What better show vs tell can there be? And, it would definitely remove inhibitions about what we like.

    Travel? Try phone sex with your partner. Make sure you ask for and give details.

    YIKES! I think I exceeded Natalie’s word count. Off to write my own novel now — wherein the heroine and a quirky middle-aged woman explore and become exposed to their sensual sides (not with each other — with toys and men). Humor hits? Oh, yeah.

    Reply
    • Rob Ryder

       /  December 3, 2012

      Masturbation with a partner present is a beautiful way to get to know each other. And lately, during intercourse, when I can’t quite reach climax, I’ve been pulling out and getting myself off. This leaves my partner a little cold, but I’m like, honey, at my age, any road to climax is worth experiencing.

      In Tantra, there is a practice of men reaching climax without ejaculation. It’s a way to preserve sexual vitality. I’ve actually experienced this several times. But mostly I think it comes from a bunch of old monks making excuses for their swollen prostates.

      Reply
      • Thanks for taking the time to read my comment, Rob.

        I have yet another new word to Google: Tantra.

        [Note to self: Put my sister on notice to wipe out my Internet inquiry trail should I get run over by a beer truck one day.]

        I have visions of the family gathered ’round my Laptop to retrieve my life’s work in the event of an untimely demise.

    • I love your thoughts, Gloria! And I’m STILL applauding with mega-GB gusto. 🙂 Your introspection will no doubt serve you well, as I’m sure it is already.

      Fairy tales, romance novels and TV that depict what you described have served as the only “sex ed” many girls receive. Many of us learn through experience, which often brings a heap load of challenges along the way. You’re in inspiration.

      I agree with both of you regarding the benefits of masturbating with a partner. (Laughing at Rob’s monk comment. ;)) Thanks for being so honest and candid, you two!

      Reply
      • The other thing that served me well were the links you provided, August.

        I explored two of the sites with great interest last night, and am now a My Pleasure insider. For any of your readers who haven’t yet be-bopped to those sites, I found great Intel on the My Pleasure site. I followed links for the G-spot, including how to find mine. I thought I had it, but wasn’t certain. Now, I know.

        I also know the bump formed when the G-spot is stimulated is not a dangerous tumor lurking beneath my vaginal walls. PHEW! I’d worried how to explain that to my DR — since it only comes out to play when stimulated.

  7. Loved it….shared it…..great post with great resources!

    Reply
  8. I wish I had this problem from time to time. Maybe you could write something for women who would consider becoming a Mormon…if they could have the multiple spouses instead of the other way around. :-/

    Reply
  9. Raani York

     /  December 3, 2012

    Interesting – the tips… uhm…. you know, I figure probably with me – it has purely to do with whom I’m together… my partner “in crimes” doesn’t even need to snap his fingers and I’m jumping onto him like a hippo in heat…
    Am I stressed? Of course – like everyone else….
    Is my mind closed? Sure – how else would I be able to concentrate on work instead of thinking about one thing only…
    Do I eroticize, work my muscles and is my mind open? Yes, yes and yes… I’m reading hot novels, work out, keep myself in shape my mind sometimes is so open, it nearly snows in there…
    Is my diet okay? Yup… concentrating on chocolate since it makes happy due to its positive reaction on my endorphins…
    I’m keeping myself ready for whatever might come… but believe me: no matter WHAT I’m doing at a particular moment… the second my man is around me – I’m around him… “snnnnaaapp”… LOL
    I wonder why that is…

    Reply
  10. I’m about to start working on weaning off a medication that I’ve been on for a long time. Hopefully that will be good for me in a eleventeen bajillion ways. I may or may not write about this as I go through the process. It’s kind of scary. But yes, it would be REALLY good to get off of it, so I can get on it! IYKWIM.

    Reply
  11. I’ve never experienced an issue in the desire department so I have a hard time understanding, and that makes it hard to be a good friend at times. One of my best friends, who is a Scorpio, went from being a total sex-goddess to not having any desire at all. I can see that it is effecting her marriage, but I am not sure how I can help her. She says it is a change since having a baby, so maybe it is hormonal? But, as she says she is content with not wanting sex I’m not sure if she would even want me to suggest a trip to the doctor to have her hormones checked out, even though I can see how much her relationship with her hubby has suffered as a result. I guess I’m just trying to figure out what I can and should do to help. I want to be a good friend, but I don’t want to upset her.

    Reply
  12. You’re one helpful gal, August. While I couldn’t exactly relate to the subject matter personally, as a husband of 18 years – almost – I thought this was brilliantly written and helpful!

    Reply
  13. Great post, August. I’m totally on the same page as Jess. Since the hubby and I hardly see each other due to our crazy schedules it starts with finding time to connect, then moving on to the next stage. This stage here. We also talk a lot about zombies. LOL. Walking Dead seems to be a popular topic. Yes, I’m stress and tired and right now my diet and exercise could be better, but we are working on it.

    Reply
  14. Raani York

     /  December 4, 2012

    Hello,

    I am pleased to let you know that I have nominated you for the ‘BLOG of the Year 2012″ Award.
    If you would like to pick it up, please go to my own blog:

    http://raaniyork.wordpress.com/2012/12/05/blog-of-the-year-2012/

    There are the rules for you to follow and your Award to pick up.

    Congratulations – I just LOVE your blog posts – I do admire your talent and I’m convinced you deserve it!

    Reply
  15. i enjoy reading your posts a lot because they deal with women. I am not saying men are not a complicated being, but it helps me more to understand or know that I am understanding the female perspective of sex. I have said before, I enjoy pleasing the woman. Just would like more opportunity to do so!

    Reply
  16. They ALL strike a chord. I’ll add one more: Naps! A catnap in the afternoon does wonders for the evening.

    Reply
  17. fascinating series and I love this post. Although I’m single I was aware of a diminishing libido. when I talked to the doctor about the changes in my body, she put me on compounded hormones and it solved the problem.

    Reply
  18. Kourtney Heintz

     /  December 11, 2012

    Meditation? Quieting my mind does wonders for my night life. : )

    Reply
  1. The 4 Basic Human Needs: Are You Hitting All Of Them? | Jenny Hansen's Blog
  2. Self Pleasure A Solo Sport? | theinnerwildkat
  3. Pleasure Partnerships and Helping Hands
  4. Your Morning Glory: Coffee, Sex or Bacon? | August McLaughlin's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: