Lost Your Libido & Looking For Lust? Find Your Sexual Arousal & Your Mojo With A Few Health Tips

Lissa Rankin's picture

decreased libido

Hiya, Pinkies, and happy Healthy Thursday. I'm no longer soliciting questions for my book, What's Up Down There? Questions You'd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend, but your questions keep rolling in, so I thought I'd answer a few of them here. Here you go!

I really adore my lover, but I'm just never in the mood anymore. I don't want to lose him. Is there anything I can do to turn my juices on?

I hear you, sister. This is a tough one. Sex drive in women is a complex beast. While men may need little more than a pretty smile to get them in the mood, most women require more. Factors that can contribute to decreased libido include (among others):

  • Feeling tired or stressed
  • Side effects from medications such as birth control pills/patch/ring or anti-depressants
  • Feeling unsafe or unloved in your relationship
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • History of sexual abuse or trauma
  • Chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure

Unlike men, who may pop a Viagra or put on a porn video to get in the mood, a woman’s libido is fussy. A few questions I'd like to know about you:

Do you masturbate? Does that still feel sexy to you?

Are you able to orgasm, either by yourself or with a partner?

Are you on birth control pills or other medications?

Have you hit menopause?

Do you feel safe and happy in your relationship?

How do you feel about your body image?

Take this quiz to help you determine what might be affecting your desire. If masturbation is still fun and you’re able to orgasm, chances are that it’s more psychological than physical. If you're on the Pill or menopausal, it could be hormonal. If you're feeling unsafe or unloved in your relationship, or if you're constantly dissing your body, these factors can take a toll and are worth discussing with a therapist.

If decreased sexual arousal distresses you, talk to your doctor, who can investigate whether there’s a medical reason for your low libido. Ask your doctor whether switching the brand of your birth control pill or trying another form of contraception might help. If you are menopausal, have had your ovaries removed, undergone chemotherapy, or are breastfeeding, talk to your doctor about whether systemic or local hormones might help you.

If your doctor gives you the clean bill of health, here are a few tips you might try to give your libido a boost.

  • Schedule intimate dates. If you’re waiting for until 11pm to think about hooking up, your body might have other ideas. Plan morning dates or early evening dates to give your body the chance to feel stimulated.
  • Try Laura Corn’s 101 Nights of Grrreat Sex (or Grrreat Romance, if you’re not as daring). This book includes tear-out pages of fun seductions For Him or For Her. Some are pretty risqué, but all are sexy. Just the simple act of planning a seduction can be a turn on.
  • Experiment with erotic film, books, or magazines. Keep an open mind and check out whether anything turns you on.
  • Have a hey day at a sex toy store. You never know what might get you in the mood.
  • Try erotic role-playing. Maybe you’ve always wanted to hook up with a cop. Perhaps your boyfriend would play along.
  • Talk to your doctor about a trial of testosterone cream. It's not for everyone, but some of my patients swear by it.
  • Try sexual arousal aids, such as Zestra, a sexy botanical oil that may be just the trick for you.

Keep in mind that every woman is unique, so no one thing works for every individual. But the more you set the intention to spice up your sex life, the more likely you are to succeed. Do you want your sex drive to improve? Say so. Talk to your girlfriends. Write about it in your journal. Commit to it. Then, with an open mind, set forth. You just might be surprised.

What about you Pinkies? What works for you? The collective wisdom of all of us is much more powerful than my one opinion. Let's talk about sex! Don't be shy...

Big Pink love to you all,

Dr. Lissa

Lissa Rankin, MD's book What' s Up Down There? Questions You'd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend will be published by St. Martin's Press in Fall, 2010. To make an appointment with Dr. Lissa, call CLEAR Center of Health, the integrative medicine practice where she works in Mill Valley, CA.

This blog, and the book on which it is based, is a complement to - not a substitute for - professional advice and intervention, and is not intended to replace the advice of a gynecologist or medical professional, who should be consulted about any health care issues that may affect the individual reader. The information contained in this book is the product of observations made by the author in her practice, as well as her review of relevant literature in her field of expertise. The literature at times reflects conflicting opinions and conclusions. The views expressed herein are the personal views of the author and are not intended to reflect the views of any group or organization with whom the author is affiliated.


Lissa Rankin's picture

Thank you all for sharing

Thank you all for sharing your experiences. I've learned that we're all vastly different, after talking about this to thousands of patients. Some of my patients swear that their basically sexless marriages are filled with love and mutual admiration, while others dissolve over time because they simply fail to connect and are often tempted elsewhere. Isn't it lovely that we can all be so diverse and yet share so much?

Leslee Horner's picture

Anita, I am with you on the


I am with you on the relationship thing. When I hear about people who have little to no sex in their marriage I have to wonder if there is not more to it than a lack of drive. And I must say that when I started meditating I begin to really enjoy it again, but it has continued to get better because my husband and I made a conscious effort to reconnect.

Anita's picture

This a another blog called

This a another blog called "Steph in the City", I just surfed on. Very quirky 1950s image here with caption: "Marriage? No thanks, I can't mate in captivity".


Just sharing the chuckle..

Anita's picture

A decade or so ago here in

A decade or so ago here in Australia, was a televised comedy show, a debate about sex, featuring our top comedic talents, including Judith Lucy, Elle McFeast (Libby Gore) and others I can't remember their names.

The profoundest wisdom is always delivered in the context of humour. When addressing the variances in a woman's sexual desire/drive, Elle McFeast quipped that nothing kills a woman's sex drive more than Resentment. I sense this shade of hatred/envy also kills a man's sexual drive.

Back in the 80s, when I was undergoing regular OB/GYN appointments, I mentioned a concern to my lovely male doctor, that during sex with my then partner, I was noticing that I was 'drier' and wondered if there was a physical reason for that. A result of the diathermy and procedures I had been through.

My male doctor sensitively and tactfully suggested that the reasons for my vaginal dryness may be deeper and lie within my true feelings for my partner. Your body never lies. Hidden resentment - it cuts both ways.

There is a saying that sex is 10% of a good relationship and 90% of a bad relationship. My former marriage was virtually sexless. I used to kid myself that we had a good relationship because sex was such a small part of it.

What have I learned? That saying is total BS!

Heather's picture

Ok I gotta learn how to

Ok I gotta learn how to meditate!!!

Lissa Rankin's picture

You are so right on, Leslee.

You are so right on, Leslee. That is absolutely true and, as always, so well put. Thank you for sharing your ever-valuable wisdom. I gotta start meditating more! My honey will be happy! xoxo

Leslee Horner's picture

For me I have to say that a

For me I have to say that a lot changed after I started meditating. In my life, meditation has been the cure for so many things. (I also lost a lot of weight after I started meditating.) Basically the stress in my life was affecting my libido and my eating habits. A key I think is to be mindful during sex...when your mind starts to wander put it back on the moment. Give your mental attention on whatever part of you is getting the physical attention. For me my problem was that I was rarely mentally present...I was always thinking about my to-do list. I have done a complete 180 as far as my sex drive. Now I'm the one who gets turned down...

Lissa Rankin's picture

Amen, sister! Thanks for

Amen, sister! Thanks for trusting us and sharing. xoxo

Heather's picture

Lissa--You are very welcome

Lissa--You are very welcome girl!! Let me know if I can further assist you in any way!!

You know studies do show that Women want sex more then men do. I find it odd..but in my case I guess there is an exception. LOL!

But then again you have many men with different personalities!! Take my hubby for instance..he is a complete opposite of me...I am out there and he is well...not..lol!!

However..in the sac we are on the same page..he knows what I like and I know what he likes and I usually know when he wants it without him even making a move!!!

It is also nice to change it up a bit...do new things and keep him guessing for whats next...but do keep it pleasurable!!

Lissa Rankin's picture

Oh, thanks so much for your

Oh, thanks so much for your feedback, Heather! Funny timing, since I'm sitting here at my computer about to answer the question submitted for my book "I want sex all the time but my husband doesn't seem the least bit intersted. Am i the only woman in the world who has to beg a guy for a little nookie?"

I think it's SO helpful to talk about this stuff and take the taboo away. Hearing what other women experience helps normalize it. And good for you for OWNING your sexuality, even when he's not in the mood. You go girl. You've just inspired my answer to that question! xoxo

Heather's picture

Well...I am a very sexual

Well...I am a very sexual being..lol..

Although My husband is not!! Which can be a bummer at times however...I do still masturbate and it is a total pleasure to me!! I fantasize about my husband and I just do my thang...

However, My husband and I do tend to make "sex dates" reason being..it's a lot more fun that way. We have young kids so its not always easy for us to get our groove on. So when we make our dates it actually builds up anticipation until the point of the deed! Flirting all day and discreetly groping each other throughout the day also feeds into our sexual desires!!

Then once it is time for us to get busy...it is amazing!!! I do recommend doing it earlier in the day or in the morning...you both have more energy to put into and are able to pleasure each other to the fullest extent!!

Get it on Girlfriends!!

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