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Here's What's Holding You Back From A Phenomenal Sex Life

A few changes can make all the difference in the world.

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end of bed post with red bra hanging off the edge
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It’s fun while you’re doing it, but the thought of getting started is often overwhelming. You’re tired, you’re stressed out, or you’re just not into it right now. You’ll wait for the weekend. You’ll do it in the morning. Whatever your excuse might be, too many of us aren’t having enough sex with our partners. But improving on a few self-care items (the kinds of things that you should be doing for yourself and your relationship anyway!) will go a long way toward turning your evenings from “blah” to “ah.” Here are five very common reasons why you’re probably not having enough sex. Conquering them will be great for your relationship AND your health.

You’re not getting enough sleep

Most of us are too busy to get the recommended seven to nine hours of shut-eye, and too stressed-out to get enough quality sleep when we finally do put our heads down. Not getting enough sleep comes with some real dangers, like increasing your risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes. Lack of sleep also makes you grumpy and even depressed, which are about the furthest things from what you need to be feeling when it’s time to get busy with your partner. Ironically, an active sex life will take up some of your valuable mattress time, but it’s definitely worth it. People who have regular sex with their partners are more relaxed. That makes them better sleepers, which makes it easier for them to get into the mood for intimacy. See a pattern here? Sleep more, sex more, repeat. Your health depends on it!

You drank too much … again

It’s ironic. We have a few drinks to get in the mood, and then those same drinks make it difficult to impossible to climax (for women) or sustain an erection (for men). Even trickier is trying to limit your overall consumption once you’ve had drink No. 1 and No. 2. For most people, there’s nothing wrong with having a drink or two at the end of the day or while out to dinner. But overdoing it can be disastrous for your sex life, not to mention all the other negative effects of regularly drinking too much, like liver damage, cardiovascular disease and mental health issues. A glass or two of champagne can definitely help the mood, but stop after two and let natural chemistry take over.

You’ve replaced your partner with your iPhone

Most of us spend three or more hours per day gazing at our screens, while maybe three minutes making eye contact with our romantic partners. It’s an easy trap to fall into. The phone is always going to be there for you. It’s not going to cheat on you. It doesn’t care if you gain a few pounds. It’s an easy distraction from boredom, stress and negative feelings. But it’s also addictive and has no place in bed at night. Light from the screen, even if you use night-vision mode, interferes with your much-needed REMs. And speaking of quality sleep, remember that valuable mattress time we talked about earlier (You’re not getting enough sleep)? You’re wasting it on your device instead of on your partner, taking valuable time away from the two things you SHOULD be doing in bed: sex and sleep. And for Pete’s sake, when you do start being intimate, turn off notifications and silence your phone! Nothing ruins the mood like a FaceTime call from your mom.

It’s like a desert down there

It’s time for everyone’s favorite topic … vaginal dryness! One of the “perks” of middle age includes decreased estrogen levels, which can lead to less lubrication in the lady parts. It’s uncomfortable and, sure, can be embarrassing. But the important thing to realize is that most of the time, lack of lubrication is totally unrelated to your level of desire. Besides, it’s a problem that’s easily fixed by using one of the many vaginal lubricants available at your neighborhood drugstore or local sex shop. There are so many fun choices out there. It has never been a better time to be a premenopausal woman in the market for lube. Some women opt to hide in the bathroom to apply their product, but the real fun can be found by having your partner help! And while most vaginal dryness in women over 40 comes from age-related decreased estrogen production, it’s definitely something to check in with your doctor about. In some cases, certain medications can be contributing to the symptom. One thing we can all be doing is hydrating more throughout the day. Drinking enough water is healthy for a million reasons not related to sex, and it could also help get your juices flowing when the time is right.

You’re depressed

Sorry to be a downer, but one in eight women can expect to struggle with some form of depression in their lifetime. Many women tend to deal with depressive feelings by isolating themselves. In addition to exacerbating those negative feelings, pulling away from the people who love you can be terrible for your relationships, especially romantic ones. Real, clinical depression can put tremendous strain on even the most solid romance. And ironically, many antidepressants that are so effective in treating depression can lower your libido and make it harder to orgasm. Of course, that’s no reason to avoid medication if your doctor feels you need it! But if you’re struggling with depression and your medication is making it impossible to be intimate during this time when you really need to be connecting with someone who loves you, talk to your doctor about other prescription alternatives. You can also enhance (but not replace) your prescription treatment with other methods, like psychotherapy, which does not cause sexual dysfunction and is a highly effective way to treat chronic depression. Regular exercise also helps enhance your mood while boosting blood flow to the genitals and helping you to reclaim that rockin’ bod you can be proud of.