Men's health

How to Boost Male Sex Drive

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Medically approved by Dr Earim Chaudry
Chief Medical Officr
iconLast updated 11th May 2021
In 30 seconds…

If you’re looking to boost your sex drive, optimising your overall health – including your diet, mood, relationships, and lifestyle – is the place to start.

The libido – for both men and women – is shaped by many different factors. Age and fitness play an important role, whilst our relationships, our mental health, and any medical conditions we have or medications we are taking can affect things, too.

Increasing your sex drive means ensuring your health is in good shape: eat and sleep well, quit smoking, and keep alcohol and stress to healthy levels. However, if your low libido is causing you distress, or if your attempts to increase it have been unsuccessful, it might be time to talk to a doctor.

Why is My Sex Drive Low?

When it comes to sex drive, there is no such thing as “normal”. From man to man, our libidos differ – and they change from moment to moment across our lives, too. Age, diet, stress, and relationship changes all play a role in shaping our desire for sex, whilst medications or medical conditions can have unexpected consequences for our sexual appetite too.

Consequently, there is no one-size-fits-all way to boost your sex drive. And even though normal changes throughout your life might enable your libido to return by itself, not everyone is that patient.

As such, in this article, we are sharing some of the ways in which men can increase their sex drive. These are natural ways – and ways largely related to your overall health, as it is this that has perhaps the most significant impact on your sex drive in the long term. Let’s take a look.

9 Ways to Increase Male Sex Drive

As we mentioned, every man’s body is different. So, if you are struggling with a low libido, don’t be tempted to think that every one of these will succeed in increasing your sex drive.

Try as many or as few as you can comfortably integrate into your life. However, if none of these work at all, it may be time to talk to a doctor.

Be Aware of Side Effects of Medication

A good place to start if you are suffering from low libido is by looking at any medication you’re taking. Sometimes, these can have side effects that impact your sex drive and sexual health in general.

Antidepressants – particularly those known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (or SSRIs) – can cause a drop in libido, whilst some anti-anxiety drugs and medications for blood pressure issues can have the same effect.

Such side effects are often overlooked by users. However, in many cases, it is possible to change your medication – and your sex drive may improve as a result.

Confront Any Sexual Problems

In some cases, men may find that other sexual dysfunctions are affecting their libido. Erectile dysfunction (ED), premature or delayed ejaculation, or painful sex may all be having an effect on your sex drive that you may not be acknowledging.

Taking action to address these problems can help to improve your desire for sex overall. Taking treatment for ED is simple and proven to be effective, whilst, for other issues, you may want to seek advice from a sexual therapist. They are well-trained to help with issues of low libido.

Find Ways to Manage Anxiety and Stress

Stress is one of the biggest – if unacknowledged – mood-killers there is. In fact, according to one study, stress was reported as the most significant factor that adversely affected people’s sex lives. In the majority of cases, stress wasn’t sex-related at all. Rather, it was related to work, money issues, and other life difficulties that find their way into the bedroom.

This is completely normal. However, there are lots of ways to manage anxiety, stress, and work-related fatigue. Talking to your partner, friends, or a therapist can be helpful, whilst meditation has been shown to reduce stress too.

Improve Your Relationships

Your sex drive can fluctuate with the changes undergone by your relationships. For example, it is very common for people with new partners to feel a big boost in their sex drive. Similarly, issues in your relationships can affect your stress levels and your desire.

Improving your relationship – by communicating well and making time for each other – can help any problems that may be affecting your libido.

Moderate Your Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is known for helping people to release their inhibitions. However, this did have the status of an urban legend. Now though, to give this idea a bit more credence, there are scientific studies to show that a little bit of alcohol helps boost women’s sex drive – and improves the performance of men too.

Too much alcohol, meanwhile, has the opposite effect: it reduces your desire for sex and increases the chances of different forms of sexual dysfunction. Keeping your drinking to a moderate level is a great way to get your sex drive back up.

Quit Smoking

Similarly, men who smoke are less likely to have satisfying sex – and those who quit generally feel stronger desire and a boosted sex drive. Incidentally, quitting smoking helps the symptoms of ED and premature ejaculation too.

If there is one thing that you can do to boost your sex drive and improve your sexual health, it is to quit the cigarettes.

Get Enough Sleep

Alongside stress and anxiety, exhaustion, fatigue, and overtiredness can contribute to a reduced libido. Meanwhile, there have been studies linking insufficient sleep to decreased levels of testosterone, which is known to play a role in male sex drive, and severely interrupted sleep to other sexual dysfunctions.

From this, it would seem logical that improved sleep would improve your sex drive. Seven to nine hours a day is recommended.

Keep a Balanced Diet and Exercise Frequently

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an important element in keeping your libido to satisfactory levels. In some cases, diseases that result from dietary deficiencies or excesses – such as cardiovascular disease – can lead to sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction and decreased libido.

Ensuring that you keep a balanced diet – rich in a range of vegetables, proteins, and vitamins, and low in saturated fats and sugars – and exercising often can be a great way to avoid this.

Try Some Herbal Remedies

Some men swear by different herbal remedies and supplements to support their sexual health and function. Whilst they may work for you, the data on these are limited. It is thought that some – including yohimbine – may do more harm than good, whilst ginseng, maca, and Tribulus may have some clinical benefit in improving male libido.

When trying herbal supplements, always buy them from a trusted source.

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Key Takeaways

Your sex drive is a complex phenomenon that involves many different processes across your body. As a result, many factors affect your libido and its natural fluctuations.

Being aware of what these are is crucial if you want to optimise your own sex drive. In short, however, a healthy lifestyle with good levels of sleep and stress is your best shot for upping your desire.


Agnes Higgins, Michael Nash, and Aileen M Lynch (2010). Antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction: impact, effects, and treatment:


BBC – Stress damages many people’s sex life – survey:


The Conversation – How do I increase my libido?:


Nicola Mondaini, Tommaso Cai, Paolo Gontero, Andrea Gavazzi, Giuseppe Lombardi, Vieri Boddi, Riccardo Bartoletti (2009). Regular moderate intake of red wine is linked to a better women’s sexual health:


The Telegraph – Alcohol improves a man’s sexual performance in bed – study:


Bijil Simon Arackal and Vivek Benegal (2007). Prevalence of sexual dysfunction in male subjects with alcohol dependence:


Christopher B. Harte and Cindy M. Meston (2011). Association between smoking cessation and sexual health in men:


Rachel Leproult, PhD; Eve Van Cauter, PhD (2011). Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy Men:


Stephan Budweiser MD Stefan Enderlein Rudolf A. Jörres PhD Andre P. Hitzl Wolf F. Wieland MD Michael Pfeifer MD Michael Arzt MD (2009). ORIGINAL RESEARCH—MEN’S SEXUAL HEALTH: Sleep Apnea is an Independent Correlate of Erectile and Sexual Dysfunction:


Elizabeth West, Michael Krychman (2015). Natural Aphrodisiacs-A Review of Selected Sexual Enhancers:

While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

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