If you can't pinpoint the last time you made the first move - or didn't resist when your hubby did, these libido killers may be to blame. Here's how to fight them off. By Diana Kelly, REDBOOK.
Your meds are turning you off
Among the biggest culprits are pills taken for fibromyalgia pain and antidepressants, says Stephanie Faubion, director of the Mayo Women's Health Clinic in Rochester, MN. "Antidepressants can cause difficulty with arousal and orgasm - it's like putting a big wet blanket over sexuality." Medications with hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and different types of birth control can also be heavy on the body, says Dr. Sadie Allison, founder of TickleKitty.com and author of Ride 'Em Cowgirl! But, don't toss that bottle of pills just yet - and definitely don't do it on your own. Ask your doctor if there's an alternative, to reassess your need for that medication, or if she can decrease the dosage.
You're programmed to sneeze every two minutes
If you, like some 50 million other Americans, suffer from allergies, you may never have felt worse. Sinus pressure, check. Congestion, check. Tired, check. Trouble focusing, check. A study in Allergy and Asthma Proceedings found that a whopping 83 percent of allergy sufferers say their symptoms are affecting their sex life. Dr. Faubion says this makes sense, and while you may not be able to magically banish tree pollen, you can grab a lubricant at the drugstore. Your antihistamines can cause vaginal dryness, so to enjoy sex, you'll need it.
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Your new diet is kind of insane
If you recently embarked on a new eating plan, extra weight isn't the only thing that'll disappear - your libido might as well. "Any little thing can tilt your body out of whack, so it's important to be knowledgeable about what you're doing so you can keep your body stable and happy," says Dr. Sadie. "For a healthy libido, you need to keep your whole body healthy so it can work properly on its own." Instead of opting for a fad diet, check in with your doctor and consider consulting a nutritionist to ensure your diet is balanced, healthy, and providing the nutrients you need to perform - in the bedroom and out.
Dreamland is calling your name
When you've had one of those days where all you've thought about is crawling back into bed, a roll in the hay with your guy probably isn't what you had in mind for the moment you hit the mattress. "It's the 'heterosexual dilemma:' men feel like they need to have sex to relax, and women need to relax to have sex," says Dr. Faubion. "For women, all of the ducks need to be lined up in a row, and if they're tired and have too many things on their mind, sex is going to be far down on the list." So what are you waiting for? Go to bed at reasonable hour so you'll be ready for a playdate with your guy tomorrow.
Your stress levels are through the roof
We feel you. Between your hectic work schedule, the kids' activities, and all of your household demands, you're so burnt out you can't even think about sex. "If you're preoccupied with the stresses of work and family, it's hard to get to that mood where you're feeling happy and relaxed," says Dr. Sadie. "But, sex keeps your marital bond strong and closeness alive, making you more prone to successfully working through problems and challenges. Just push yourself to get into that space. You'll often find yourself having a good time once you're there."
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You refill your drink a few times too many
Men may have trouble performing after too many cold ones, but your sex drive isn't immune to the effects of alcohol, either. "It's a downer. If you think have a low libido, drinking too much will likely make you feel more tired. It can even make some people depressed," says Dr. Sadie. But that doesn't mean you can't split a bottle of vino with your hubby on date night. "Each person has to determine how much is too much for their body. If you're tired and unmotivated after three drinks, stop at one or two, knowing that third drink will cause you to have no interest in making love."
You and your husband are down each other's throats
If you two have been squabbling more often than usual, there's a good chance it's affecting your sex drive. Poor communication in a relationship is almost always going to be a libido killer, says Dr. Sadie. "If you're not mentally attracted to someone or you don't feel like they're listening to you, you're not going to be that into him." Good old communication is the key to understanding your partner's needs - and upping physical and emotional closeness. Make an effort to work on your connection by getting adventurous with your date nights, which can help you rediscover your spark.
You're waging a battle with your weight
If you're suffering from an eating disorder, or your body weight is too high or too low, it's bound to take a toll. "An eating disorder can throw everything off, including your libido, but your mental state probably isn't sound right now either," says Dr. Sadie. "Food issues are often connected to body image issues and low self-esteem." You might not feel attractive enough to take off your clothes, or deserving of making love. Start by talking to your partner about how you've been feeling lately, and find out more about how to get help at the National Eating Disorders Association.
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After all these years, you're in a sex rut
If you and your partner have been together for a long time, it's likely that you've both figured out how to get the other to the big O. But, if your guy's moves aren't delivering the results you're after - and you're not speaking up about it - your desire to have sex could be waning. Before you can convey the information to your partner, figure out what drives you wild. "Know what works best for you and be familiar enough with your own body so you can communicate that to a partner," says Dr. Faubion.
Technology is eating your (sex) life
Chances are your smartphone and iPad are getting more love from you these days than your guy is. Thanks to instant gratification through cell phones and the Internet, we've gotten pretty detached, says Dr. Sadie. "If you're not focused on connecting with your partner, how are you going to get your mind, libido, and soul working together to want to have sex?" So when the kids are asleep and it's time to wind down, flip the switch on your digital devices - that includes the TV - and take sometime to just talk.
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