This again is one of the first things I ask my clients, and is a subject that often makes for uncomfortable discussion for most, with many at first not seeing the association between their metabolic health issues, high stress levels, and flagging / unbridled libido.
Conversations about sex are usually kept on the down low, with people pretending they are regularly swinging from the lampshades, until the wine begins to flow and everyone confesses that their sex life is less active than a koala bear.
This is a complex area, which is not as cut and dried as x = y, because the hormonal fluctuations that generally go hand in hand with sub-optimal metabolism can send the libido either in one extreme direction, or the other. Suffice to say that if you are suffering from one extreme libidinous state or the other (although the nudge nudge wink wink crowd amongst us may say that excessive libido is not exactly suffering), it can cause significant issues.
We have a great bio feedback mechanism available to us in the form of our body and how it's behaving. If you don't want to have sex - like ever; I'm not just talking about the odd occasion following an extra hard day of corporate politicking, a fashion-off at the school gates and a PB at cross-fit - then this, my friends, is your body telling you something is up. I know there are a boat load excuses: But, kids. But, work. But, life. Having sex is a perfectly natural thing to do and if you don't want to do it, ever, then somethings up. Equally, if you are easily aroused, and spend a lot of time distracted by sexual fantasies and / or porn, then this is not functional either (not to mention inconvenient).
As with all of my programmes, if you approach me with concerns about your libido, then we will begin with a detailed health questionnaire designed by mentor Billy Craig. This pinpoints where the physical health issues are, and allows us to work at fixing those. Libidinous problems do not occur in isolation, and as with all of my programmes, this allows us to look at your life holistically – from the physiological issues, through to what are classed as external psychological stressors, which are no doubt exacerbating the physiological issues.
Whether you choose to work with me or not, there are some things you can do to optimise your libido:
Test your temperature and heart rate to see whether you may have a thyroid problem. You can find out more about the Barnes Basal Temperature Test, and why it is useful, in my article.
Eat. I know, this is always going to be a recurring theme with all of my guidance and programmes. If you are wedded to the idea of intermittent fasting despite the fact that your body is objecting (otherwise, why would you be looking at my website?), then your ability to improve your life will always be limited.
Keep your blood sugar balanced. Many of us struggle with this through sub-optimal health (even though we may not even be consciously aware of that)
Look at your alcohol intake. I know this also seems fairly pedestrian. However, alcohol consumption is problematic on a number of levels:
firstly despite what our society tells us, it is not the behaviour of happy people to regularly be sinking half a bottle of wine in the evening. Why are you drinking? Be honest, even if only with yourself.
Alcohol is estrogenic. While we think of oestrogen as being a female hormone, it is found in both men and women; and elevated levels of it are common in our modern lives, and are associated with a number of degenerative conditions.
Look at your use of porn. Getting off to porn is a quick and easy fix to problems in the bedroom, or so it seems. High levels of the hormone prolactin are often found in people suffering sexual dysfunction and orgasm, particularly through masturbation, seems to be a significant contributor to high prolactin levels. You can look at my blog series on prolactin.
Increase your dopamine levels. Low levels can be affected by genes, but they can also be lowered by the life we lead. Coffee is good for increasing dopamine (with milk, sugar and taken alongside food please, or else you will be bouncing off the walls (not in a good way), get outside, be honest about yourself and what you want and don’t want. You don’t necessarily have to act on that straight away but in being honest with yourself, you will release a lot of energy that is weighing you down.
Eat a grated carrot salad, on the daily. Most people look bemused when I mention this but the long insoluble fibres in carrot act like a giant magnet carrying away the endotoxins that otherwise sit in the gut and cause hormonal problems (estrogen). This is a habit that can help your overall health, not just libido
There are a number of other supplements that may help you but because they are context dependent, please get in touch to discuss what may benefit you
If you are a woman, then you may want to consider a progesterone supplement, in the second half of your cycle when oestrogen levels are typically higher
If you are a fanatical exerciser, then you probably want to review this. Like alcohol and dieting, endurance exercising has become much more commonplace in our worlds, and it is not doing your libido any good. As you become ‘fitter’, so your body temperature and heart rate will drop (ask any marathon runner, they will probably have a resting heart rate of something like 50). These are signs of metabolic slow down and in my experience will have a negative impact on your libido.