On the April 25 episode of "Dr. Oz," the audience was filled with women who have read the erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey and swear it has changed their sex lives forever. Really? A book with only a grey tie on it and no sweaty man with bulging pectoral muscles?
Dr. Mehmet Oz brought in a gynecologist, a psychiatrist and a sex therapist to talk about the reason this salacious read has been selling out in stores and setting records in downloads. The doctors explained that women get in their own way when it comes to enjoying intimacy and that reading a book like this triggers that "spark" in our brains for arousal.
Women sat next to their smiling and often speechless partners raving about their recent wild encounters, which got me thinking: When it comes to sex, is it really all in our heads?
What can affect libido?
When it comes to sexual desire
and women, "it's not you, it's me" really does apply. Find out what could be holding you back:
Stress -- Every woman is a walking pile of worries. We are thinking about work, family, our bodies and our relationships constantly. You need to learn how to turn it off to help turn you on.
Medication -- If you are taking birth control pills, thyroid or anti-anxiety medications or anti-depressants, these medications may be responsible for your lack of desire.
Physical Issues -- If sex is not comfortable, women want to have less of it. Any type of pain or dryness can make sex anything but fun.
Tips for Steamier Trysts
There are simple ways to boost your libido that don't involve a trip to the doctor. Changes to your habits and lifestyle can translate into a better sex life:
Holding back does nothing but leave you looking at the clock. Tell your partner what you like and don't like. Open discussions are essential to a healthy sexual relationship. "Reminding" them while in the act is also great foreplay. If you both have to take your clothes off, you should both get what you want.
Pain is one of the most common deterrents for women. Whether it heats you up, slows him down or smells like cake, make sure to always use a lubricant and stick with one that works for your body.
Variety is the spice of life, so take it to the next level. Change locations, outfits or accessories -- anything that will help make sex feel less routine. Keep each other guessing.
Give Up the Control:
Women are planners, organizers and generally obsessive about everything in their lives. Let your partner take the lead and all you have to do is show up and enjoy.
Do whatever you need to help you unwind so you don't bring your problems into the bedroom -- or wherever desire takes you. Take up a class like yoga (the flexibility couldn't hurt), take a bath, listen to music or try aromatherapy. You can also find ways to bring your partner into the equation. Couples massage, anyone?
Treating your body well makes you look and feel better. Eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated and exercising regularly really are the way to go. You will boost your mood and self esteem and feeling better naked never hurts.
Some Extra Help
Supplements are available for those looking for a little more steam. Here are some key ingredients to look for:
Panax Ginseng -- Not only does this herb help boost your energy, but it can boost your sexual desire as well by improving your vitality as a whole.
Ginger -- This spicy root helps to stimulate your circulation, bringing more blood to the areas that need it most.
Maca -- This aphrodisiac is trusted in Peru for setting the mood.
Horny Goat Weed -- The name says it all. This herb has been recommended by herbalists for centuries to combat low libido in men and women by preventing any restriction of blood flow to the sexual organs.
L-Arginine -- This amino acid is a favorite of athletes and it isn't hard to see why. It boosts nitric oxide production and, therefore, blood flow.
Gingko -- Used for years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), ginseng increases blood flow to the female sexual organs for increased arousal and better sexual performance.
Damiana -- This herb worked for the ancient Mayans as an aphrodisiac. Today, it can be found growing in Mexico and Central America.
If you are still feeling less than enthusiastic about sex, talk to your doctor about your medications and any physical issues you feel may be affecting you. They can run tests to make sure nothing else is going on medically. Just remember, sex is healthy and it should be enjoyable for both of you.
Got all that? Now grab your partner and get out of here!
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