“A drop in affection drive isn’t always a problem,” says social psychologist Dr Petra Boynton, drpetra.co.uk. “love drive naturally fluctuates and if you’re happy having sex occasionally – or even not at all – that’s fine. But it can be a problem for couples when there are mismatched expectations.”
Want to lift your libido? Then follow our guide…
Just think of the health benefits sex provides
If you’ve gone off, it’s worth rekindling an interest if only for the health benefits. “Orgasm stimulates production of the body’s natural killer cells, which fight infection, boost immunity and even offer some protection against cancer,” says psychotherapist Marisa Peer, author of You Can Be Younger.
“You also release oxytocin, dubbed the love hormone, which boosts mood, alleviates stress and reinforces the bond between you and your partner.”
High levels of the stress hormone cortisol can lower personal drive, says the Society for Endocrinology. Set aside five minutes a day for relaxation.
Ditch the cigs
Smoking damages arteries, affecting circulation. It affects a man’s ability to get and maintain an interest in and impedes men’s and women’s ability to enjoy, says Dr Michael Roizen, author of The Real Age Makeover. To quit, visit nhs.uk/smokefree.
“Studies have shown women who exercise frequently experience an increase in speed in the event and intensity of fun,” says Relate counsellor and therapist Denise Knowles.
Aim for at least five half-hour sessions a week of moderate exercise like brisk walking or three 25-minute sessions of vigorous aerobic exercise.
Sort your sleep out
Men who had less than five hours of sleep a night for a week had reduced levels of te3tosterone, the hormone, a study in Chicago found. Not enough zzzzs also makes men and women grumpy – not an aphrodisiac!
Keep a diary
“Record everything for a week – how much sleep you got, whether you exercised, what you ate, if you were stressed and how you and your partner got on. Then you can see what may be getting in the way,” says Dr Boynton.
If you’re rushed off your feet all day and flop in front of the TV every night, you may feel emotionally distanced from your partner, leading to a drop off in fun “Think what would make your friendship more enjoyable then share that with your pals,” says Dr Boynton.
Love your body
Women who see themselves as unattractive are more likely to report a drop in fun activities with age, according to a study from Penn State University, US, on women aged from 35 to 55. So Dr Boynton says: “Concentrate on what you like about your body and remember that you’re almost certainly your own worst critic.”
Consider a quickie
Too busy? According to Marisa Peer, satisfying need only take 10 minutes. “Get out of your routine, try a different time of day, a different room, watch a film or try role play,” she suggests. And don’t wait till you’re in the mood. “If you’re not interested to begin with, once you get started, the chances are you soon will be.”