These Surprising Habits Can Kill Your Sex Drive

Luckily, a few tweaks to your daily routine can wake it up.

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So your guy's doing that delicious thing to your neck with his mouth that always turns your lower body into molten lava...but your body temperature has barely gone up a single degree. And come to think of it, you haven't experienced that fevered, must-have-sex feeling in a while. Before you freak out and think your lack of randiness signifies that your relationship is circling the drain or your sexual plumbing is seriously messed up, keep reading. ID the hidden cause and find out how to stop it so you can start feeling sexy again.

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You sleep in on weekends

If you rely on Saturday and Sunday mornings to catch up on zzz's, it's no wonder your sex drive is dragging. It's a vicious cycle: "Sleeplessness also boosts production of the stress hormone cortisol, which further decreases testosterone," says Laurie Mintz, Ph.D., associate professor of educational, school, and counseling psychology at the University of Missouri, US, and author of A Tired Woman's Guide to Passionate Sex. Try and establish a relatively consistent sleep pattern-say, by waking up earlier on weekends even if you tuck in late the night before.

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You're on the pill

Many women go on birth-control pills because they are in a relationship and expecting to have sex all the time. But a little-known side effect can be low libido, possibly because the estrogen-progesterone combo in most pills triggers a drop in circulating testosterone-one of the hormones that help fuel your sex drive, says Michael Krych man, M.D., executive director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine, US.

If you suspect your Pill Rx has been killing your desire, see your gyno about another version of the same with a different hormone ratio, explains Maria Isabel Rodriguez, an oB-gyn at the University of California at San Francisco. If that doesn't work, you may want to try a nonhormonal method that's as effective as the Pill, like an IUD. One to two drinks won't make your desire any less explosive. But after three drinks within two hours, you may feel less fiery. Pound back more than four drinks and your libido will fizzle out.

You go for another glass of wine

A couple of drinks make you feel uninhibited-at first. But if you routinely order a third (or fourth) within a few hours, you won't be feeling it in bed. Because booze is dehydrating, it's more difficult to become lubricated. Even if you do, alcohol's depressant qualities slow down your responses, making it harder to have an orgasm, says Jenn Berman, Psy.D., a psychotherapist in Beverly Hills, California, US. Stick to one or two drinks per night out, and sip slowly. After 45 minutes of hanging out in a social situation, people who don't drink feel just as at ease as those who get a buzz on, says psychologist Larina Kase, Psy.D., author of The Confident Leader. One to two drinks won't make your desire any less explosive. But after three drinks within two hours, you may feel less fiery. Pound back more than four drinks and your libido will fizzle out.

You eat dinner too late

What and how much you consume also affects your libido. Dinner typically includes high-fat, carb-heavy fare that bloats you and sends you into a food coma-not into the bedroom in a frisky mood, says Elisa Zied, R.D., a nutritionist in new york City. The trick is to keep portions small and rearrange your schedule so you eat before 8...or at minimum, a couple of hours prior to when you'd like to be getting busy with your guy, says Zied. Also, cut down on the fatty offenders.

You skip the gym

If the sum of your physical activity involves going from your desk chair to the driver's seat of your car to your couch, it makes sense that you're feeling lazy about sex too. All that sitting hinders blood flow, including to your private parts-so not only do you feel sluggish in general, but you're also less likely to feel the tingly sensations that make you go from sitting next to your guy to straddling his lap. We're sure you can guess the solution to this one: get your butt moving. Whether you do regular cardio or just walk a couple of laps around your office every half an hour, you'll encourage blood flow and boost energy levels...and that will translate into great sex.

You check out news before bed

Stress and sex don't mix. Ending your day by reliving crime, economic downturns, and natural disasters on TV or online makes it hard to clear your head once you make it to the bedroom. Not only are all those issues on your mind, but they also may have a physiological effect on how sexy you feel. When you're stressed, your body pumps more cortisol through your bloodstream, lowering testosterone levels, says Mintz. Steer clear of the late news or browsing news sites pre-sleep, and instead, look for sensual ways to get ready for bed: take a hot shower to ease tension from your entire body and/or read a few pages of a novel with more sex than plot.

You bitch about your body

Constantly referring to your fat ass and scowling at your love handles in the mirror don't exactly lead to a desire to get naked and jump around in bed. Men may be picky when they're looking at women's bodies on TV, but when it comes to real life, great sex has nothing to do with perfect bodies. At the first sign of self-consciousness during sex, turn off your brain and concentrate on how sensual your body feels.

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