Reviewed by Lisa Blohm, PhD, MSN, RN
An aging libido can oftentimes mean a low libido — but does it have to? From age to diet and even to your self-esteem, your sex drive is driven by a variety of factors that you might not be aware of. For yourself or for your partner, we’ll demonstrate how to boost sex drive in men and recommend three male enhancement supplements to help bring back the sex drive you’ve been missing!
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The Relationship Between Men and Sex
Stereotypes and myths alike tend to portray men as sex-hungry animals who just can’t get enough. And you might be reading this, thinking, ‘if only.’ The truth about men and their relationship with sex is that it’s unique to each and every one. Just like a woman’s sex drive, men’s drive can fluctuate for an assortment of reasons.
While a libido that just won’t quit is what you might be after, that doesn’t mean it’s the norm — or even an example of ‘perfect health’. Masculinity doesn’t have to be defined by a man’s ability to perform nor does being older have to mean living a sexless life.
Most men, in fact, experience changes in their libido starting as early as their late teenage years. Libido is influenced by fluctuating internal biological and psychological factors as well as external factors such as exercise, diet, lifestyle choices, stress, mental health, and more.
What Causes Low Sex Drive In Men?
Men and women can experience fluctuating sex drives for similar reasons such as aging, stress, and hormonal changes. But, when comparing what makes up a man’s libido to what makes up a woman’s libido, the similarities end there. Men and women become aroused by completely different things and their bodies react in different ways. Similarly, low libido in a man looks different than it does in a woman.
This article is about the guys, though, so let’s take a look at what’s really bringing down your libido and when something deeper might be going on.
Common Causes of Low Libido in Men
You’re reading this for a reason — whether it’s for prevention or treatment, your sex drive is a topic you might not feel comfortable discussing. Here at The Healthy Place, though, we want to put you in the right direction towards a healthy sex drive and a better understanding of what could be the root of your diminished desire.
Aging And Your Libido
It’s no secret just how much things can change the older you get. In more areas than one, your performance decreases with age. What for? And does it always have to? Short answer: not necessarily. Though, there are a variety of factors at play as you continue to age.
For one thing, the risk of experiencing erectile dysfunction only increases the older a man gets. In fact, your risk can triple from 5 to 15% between the ages of 40 and 70.1 Although performance and desire are separate entities, the effects of ED on sex drive are significant — causing many men to feel anxious if they’ve had difficulty performing before.
Furthermore, it’s normal for testicular and orgasmic function to slowly decrease with age. For men, testosterone is mostly produced by the testicles and when they’re unable to produce enough, it’s common to see a drop in sex drive. Additionally, older men are more likely to experience delayed ejaculation, possibly causing dissatisfaction in both the man and his partner.2
Your highest libido might have been at the age of 18, but it’s not just a downhill slope from there. While these causes of low libido are more prevalent in older men, they’re not completely unavoidable. In fact, leading a healthy lifestyle is going to be your strongest defense against losing your libido. And we can show you how!
How Stress Affects Men’s Sex Drive
Ah, yes. The silent killer. Stress attacks your body in ways you might not even know of — one being a diminished libido. Of all the functions within your body that stress can harm, let’s look into what it’s really doing to your sex drive and why.
It’s common to deal with stress and anxiety. Work responsibilities, family life, health issues, and social obligations can weigh heavily on your mind, resulting in more reasons to be stressed and high cortisol levels to show for it.
Unfortunately, feeling stressed isn’t the only downside to being stressed. It impacts our physical and mental wellness. When you’re busy focusing on what you have to do next or what happened at work today, you probably won’t be thinking about your time in the bedroom later.
What’s more, high cortisol levels are tied to low libidos, and this can be an issue for men especially. The body responds to stress by releasing cortisol and adrenaline, hormones that put us into fight-or-flight mode. Men release more cortisol than women, though, resulting in higher aggression and blood pressure levels.3 The more cortisol your body needs to keep up with your stress, the harder it will be for your body to keep up. Because chronic stress affects hormone production, ongoing stress over an extended period of time can affect testosterone production. This can mean a decline in sex drive and can even cause erectile dysfunction or impotence.
But that’s not all the ways stress causes problems for your libido! Chronic stress also contributes to high blood pressure, which has been linked to erectile dysfunction.
As frustrating as stress can be, there are still upsides to stress being behind your low libido — you can more easily find ways to fix the problem! Exercise, meditation, and other stress-reducing methods are key to beating your busy brain. Here’s a tip: try to keep your work at work — this will train your brain to feel relaxed the minute you step inside your home!
What Alcohol Can Do To Libido
While a little can go a long way, a lot can get you nowhere. In this way, alcohol can be a double-edged sword. Liquid confidence may get you relaxed enough to get in the mood… but too much can make getting and maintaining an erection difficult. This is because alcohol is a depressant, so it slows certain processes within the body like blood flow and nervous system function.
So all that relaxation? Eventually, it’s working against you. Additionally, regularly consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can permanently dampen sex drive and increase the risk of erectile dysfunction.
Alongside alcohol, smoking seriously impacts sex drive. The use of tobacco has been linked to diminishing a man’s libido as early as his 20s and 30s.4 In this case, the ability to perform goes hand-in-hand with sexual desire. Not only does it hurt your breathing, it increases your risk of infertility and burdens your blood flow.
Harmful habits like excessive drinking and smoking can seriously impact your ability to have sex or even want it. Try consuming alcohol in moderation, allowing for the little liquid confidence to get you where you need to be. And just quit smoking — your body doesn’t need all the complications that come along with that.
Nutrient Deficiencies and Low Libido
From poor blood flow to low testosterone, your low libido might be caused by a nutrient deficiency that you can easily mend! Despite this good news, naming your deficiencies isn’t the easiest to do without a thorough blood panel. Pay attention to your diet and your symptoms, and complete a blood panel to see where your deficiencies lie — this could be your quickest ticket to a reinvigorated sex drive!
Vitamin D Detoxifies
Like the sunshine wakes you up, the sunshine vitamin can do the same to a sleeping libido. Unfortunately, almost half of American adults are dealing with a Vitamin D deficiency, a prevalent cause of poor sexual function in men.5,6 This nutrient is vital to your everyday health and sexual health for a number of reasons! Not only is it rich in antioxidants that rid your body of the free radicals affecting your blood quality, but it also assists in the production of your sex hormones. Stay on top of your Vitamin D levels with the super helpful and nutritious Lively Vitamin Co. Solar Power Vitamin D Supplement!
Zinc Boosts Testosterone
Your body longs for more zinc — as does your sex drive! Zinc is another common deficiency among Americans, resulting in numerous health issues ranging all the way to stunted sexual development. This essential mineral plays a crucial role in helping produce and regulate your testosterone levels that impact your drive for sex. Try Terry Naturally Zinc Plus Selenium, consisting of testosterone-boosting zinc with an added bonus of selenium that has shown to encourage sperm production!
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Improve Mood
Omega-3 fatty acids are touted for their brain-boosting benefits, but did you know healthy sperm contains high amounts of DHA? When you’re low on these fatty acids, that deficiency can dampen your mood and cognitive function, lowering your desire for sex. Furthermore, low levels of Omega-3s can cause your sperm count to drop. For an improved mood and healthy swimmers, make sure your body is getting enough essential fatty acids.
When Can a Low Libido Mean More?
Your libido is unique to you — whether it’s high or low. It will fluctuate throughout your lifetime and during life-changing events but, in most cases, your libido will remain relatively steady. However, if you experience a noticeable drop in your sex drive, it can shed light on something more serious going on.
There’s a vicious cycle between sex drive and erectile dysfunction — a low libido can cause an inability to become erect, and the inability to become erect can lead to low libido. Unfortunately, ED is an extremely common affliction among men, affecting over 50% of men aged between 40 and 70.7
This common phenomenon can be caused by a variety of reasons, ranging anywhere from serious health issues to minor one-time ordeals. Additionally, ED can hurt your self-confidence — another culprit behind a low sex drive. If you’ve experienced ED more than a few times, consult with your doctor on what could be the cause.
You’ve probably heard the word ‘testosterone’ enough from this article alone, but there’s a reason we bring it up so much. Having ‘low T’ can create a large dent in your libido — not to mention, your entire manhood. Testosterone affects everything from your erections and sex drive to muscle mass and mood changes.
Your testosterone is with you before you even leave the womb, and it’s never done working. It developed your genitals when you were a fetus and lowered your voice at puberty age and stayed with you to maintain your libido and sperm production in your adulthood. With that said, it’s natural to see a gradual decline in your testosterone levels as you age; however, if you’ve noticed a sharp drop in your T, a blood test could help you determine if it’s normal.
Your thyroid is constantly at work in your body, regulating everything from your metabolism and heart rate to your sex hormones. When it’s not functioning properly, your entire system might feel out of whack. Thyroid disease can be closely linked to sexual dysfunction — in fact, a study done of 71 men with thyroid problems showed that 79% had dealt with erectile dysfunction before.8
While the thyroid impacts sex hormone production, it can affect energy levels, mood changes, and even ejaculatory function, which can all change how you feel about having sex. If you have thyroid problems, you probably already know and have discussed it with your doctor.
As you age, your risk of developing prostate problems increases. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the enlargement of the prostate and men as early as 30 years old can begin to experience a growth in their prostate. By the age of 80, over 80% of men will experience some health issue involving their prostate gland.9
An enlarged prostate can make quite an impact on your sexual function. Delayed ejaculation, discomfort, the constant feeling of needing to urinate — these symptoms won’t get you in a sexy mood. If you think your prostate might be the cause of your diminished libido, consult with your doctor about what you can do. And if you want to learn more about prostate health, take a look at How To Protect Your Prostate — The Best Diet, Lifestyle, And Natural Supplements For Prostate Health!
Other Health Issues
Although having a low libido can be normal, there could be more serious issues behind your troubles. Additionally, heart problems, trouble sleeping, obesity, and diabetes can all be putting a wrench in your sex drive. Consider discussing these possibilities with your healthcare provider if you’re concerned about your low libido.
Natural Ways To Boost Libido
Oftentimes, low libido could be the result of a poor diet or stressful life. Let’s take a look at changes we can make to naturally boost your libido! With the right diet, lifestyle, and the addition of some helpful supplements, your sex drive could be right back to where it used to be!
A Better Diet for a Stronger Sex Drive
Get your blood pumping and desires racing once again with the help of these obvious and not-so-obvious aphrodisiacs that you should be including in your regular diet!
Foods That Boost Your Blood Flow And Stamina
For men especially, getting aroused requires healthy circulation throughout the entire body. To get and maintain a firm erection, healthy blood flow is the main ingredient.
- Spinach does it all — boosts testosterone levels, increases blood flow, and improves your energy levels!
- Hot Peppers increase heart rate and stimulate the release of endorphins, helping boost blood flow to all areas of the body.
- Bananas are rich in potassium, an essential nutrient that diminishes the effects of salty food on your system. This helps decrease bloating and improve blood flow.
- Watermelon contains the amino acid l-citrulline, which aids the production of the circulatory-boosting substance, nitric oxide.
- Salmon helps widen and relax your blood vessels for easier circulation.
Foods To Increase Testosterone
As we mentioned before, healthy testosterone levels are vital to better sexual function. Luckily enough, there are foods out there that help you achieve those healthy levels. These include:
- Oysters, because what’s a list of aphrodisiacs without oysters? This food is high in zinc, an essential mineral for testosterone production.
- Basil pesto is another food high in zinc for increased testosterone.
- Pomegranates help boost testosterone levels and are rich in antioxidants that rid your body of harmful free radicals.
- Avocados contain zinc and Vitamin E, both essential nutrients for increased testosterone levels!
Foods That Brighten Your Mood
- Pumpkin Seeds contain the amino acid tryptophan, which assists in the production of serotonin — the pick-me-up chemical in your brain!
- Coffee and Tea can increase mood and help bedroom performance thanks to an energy burst from caffeine.
- Dark Chocolate encourages the release of serotonin and phenylethylamine — two brain chemicals to boost mood and sexual desire.
- Strawberries help the body release oxytocin, aka the ‘love hormone.’
Make sure your body is getting enough of what it needs, too. If you’re not meeting your daily recommended amount of calories, your energy levels could easily drop and leave you with a depleted sex drive.
Reduce Stress And Increase Sex
Whether you know it or not, stress is an extra weight on top of your burdened libido. It shouldn’t be something you need to work around, though. Let’s take a look at a variety of ways we can bust through your high stress so you can feel relaxed and ready to have sex more often!
- Exercise gets your heart rate pumping and boosts testosterone levels for a higher sex drive. And it increases your production of the feel-good hormone serotonin!
- Sleep! Try to get seven hours of sleep — Every. Single. Night.
- Try aromatherapy! Add some essential oils in your diffuser to get your mind and body feeling relaxed. The best scents for stress relief include lavender, rosemary, and peppermint. Additionally, aromatic scents also benefit sexual arousal. Try patchouli, ylang-ylang, and sandalwood to help get you in the mood.
- Decrease caffeine intake. Some caffeine is good for stimulating your blood flow and boosting your sex drive, but too much can increase your heart rate to a point of elevated cortisol levels and anxiety. Max your caffeine drinks at four and avoid drinking them after 2 P.M.
- Have Sex! This may sound counter-intuitive, but sex is a great stress reliever! It helps reduce cortisol levels and release endorphins as well as oxytocin to get your mind off of your stress and into a feel-good mood.
Natural Supplements For Sex Drive
Provide your sex drive with the additional support of a helpful supplement. These three powerful supplements work wonders when it comes to boosting blood flow and improving sexual desire — let’s take a look at how these can help you!
- Terry Naturally Red Ginseng Male Enhancement There’s no need to artificially boost your libido when you can do it the natural way! This supplement contains Korean Red Ginseng as well as antioxidant flavonoids to help boost blood flow and increase the sensation of satisfaction.
- Pure Encapsulations Nitric Oxide Support Healthy blood flow is the key to a firm erection. Within your body, nitric oxide is a natural substance that helps widen and relax your blood vessels to promote easier circulation. This powder promotes the function of nitric oxide and even helps boost your levels of stamina for better exercise and sexual performance.
- Natures Plus Ultra GHT Male Extended-Release Bi-Layered Tablets Packed with vitamins and minerals and powerful proprietary blends, this supplement offers the ultimate support to boost testosterone levels and human growth hormone (HGH) for increased performance and a higher sex drive!
A Healthy Libido Means A Healthy You — Get More Information On How You Can Support It!
If you would like more information on what you can do for your libido, be sure to send us an email or click the Live Chat button in the lower right corner of your screen. Our certified Wellness Consultants are happy to help you Find Your Healthy Place!