Pandemic playing havoc with your sex drive? You're not alone.
It's no secret that the pandemic has taken its toll on the nation's sex drive. Not only is sex drive loss or low libido a common symptom of long COVID, but the mental health implications of Everything That's Going On Right Now are unlikely to be getting us fired up.
One survey of almost 900 British adults found that 60% of people weren't having sex or engaging in sexual activity – including masturbation – even once a week in lockdown.
Why is my libido so low?
"There are many reasons why you may be experiencing a low sex drive," says Dr Giuseppe Aragona, GP and online doctor for prescriptiondoctor.com. "Lockdown can impact our mental health, and you may feel isolated, unenergised or demotivated, and this in turn will affect sex drive. Your sex drive can vary depending on your environment and how you spend your time, and if you are stuck at home alone, chances are you'll experience low sex drive."
Dr Aragona also points out that some contraceptive methods, such as the pill and injection, have been known to lower libido in some women. If in doubt, always talk to your GP.
Of course, everyone's sex drives are different and there is no such thing as a 'normal' libido. But if you are looking to up your sexual appetite, here's what Dr Aragona suggests...
How to increase your libido and sex drive
Factor in some time for exercise
An effective way to boost your sex drive naturally is to partake in exercise. Regular cardio and strength training will help to increase your stamina, lift your mood whilst also boosting your libido, and may also help with any confidence issues you may be facing.
Focus on your mental health
Try to destress as much as you can. This is tricky with the pandemic and a lot of uncertainty, but stress is one of the main factors behind low sex drive as you will feel agitated, anxious and in no way in the mood for sex. Try to pinpoint what is making you feel stressed, whether it's work, money or relationships and try to remedy this so you can engage in enjoyable sexual activity once again.
Talk to your partner
Communicate with your partner about how you feel and see if there is anything you can do together to help increase your sex drive. Whether that be engaging in mindful sex, trying out new things, purchasing sex toys or watching porn together, all these can make a huge difference and may help to shake things up a bit. Honesty is best policy and you will feel much better being honest with your partner.
Think about any lifestyle changes
Cut down on bad habits such as drinking alcohol, smoking and drug use, and focus on eating a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and veg. It's also super important to ensure you are drinking plenty of water as dehydration can also impact your libido and you may feel fatigued and loss of energy.
Try a sex schedule
Try and set aside time for intimacy with your partner. Scheduling sex into the diary can sometimes seem tedious and un-spontaneous but it is a great way of ensuring you and your partner are having that essential time together and this may kick start your libido. Try once a week, or once every two weeks if you feel once a week is too much to start with.
Written by Ali Pantony.
This article originally appeared on Glamour UK.