Revive your sex drive in 7 simple steps
Our libidos can go into cold storage for a whole host of reasons - stress, tiredness, negative body image, depression and some prescription drugs (like antidepressants, antihistamines, etc) can all dampen our ardour.
It's important to realise that the occasional dry spell is natural and nothing to worry about - we all have different levels of desire and they change according to our circumstances. Here's how to revive your sex drive in 7 steps...
1) Get a clean bill of health
If your drop in desire is sudden though, consider looking at any possible medical reasons with your doctor. You may be suffering with a hormonal imbalance for which your GP can prescribe hormone supplements, or they might want to recommend changing regular medications so they won't affect your libido.
2) The missing zinc!
Studies have shown that levels of testosterone (essential for libido in both men and women) may be raised by taking zinc - foods richest in zinc include red meat, poultry, crab, oysters, pumpkin seeds and peanuts.
3) Cut back - and get better in the sack!
Check out your overall lifestyle, too - if you're drinking or smoking too much, eating badly or not exercising at all, then your sex drive will suffer. But the good news is that just 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily can help increase sex drive.
4) Clear the air... and get it on
It's possible that your appetite has waned because you're angry or irritated with your partner - if so, try to talk your feelings through with them, to clear the air and work out how to communicate better in future.
Or if it's a case of boredom between the sheets and you're frustrated by the sheer predictability of it all, then again talk honestly, but gently, about your needs and desires.
5) Don't get stale... fantasise!
Explore what really turns you on now, and maybe invent some new fantasies if your tried and trusted old favourites are getting a bit stale - you can get some great inspiration from Lovehoney's erotic fiction section.
6) Kick-start your libido
Rediscover your sensuality as well as your sexuality, too - relish slowly touching and stroking yourself all over, and massage your skin with aromatherapy oils like mandarin (which releases inhibitions) and ylang ylang (to heighten sexual arousal) but make sure you dilute them in a carrier oil first.
Arousal gels can help too - for both men and women. They contain ingredients to stimulate your bits, sending all kinds of racy signals to the brain, to kick-start a flagging libido.
7) Feel the love
You can also try touching the acupressure points which are located on the inside of the ankle, about four finger widths above the ankle bone. Use your index or your middle finger, apply firm pressure for a few seconds, and then release. Keep repeating this for a minute, and you should begin to feel more in the mood.
When you decide to put sex back on the agenda - even if you don't fancy it at first - you'll find that the more you have, the more you'll want.