Increase Your Sex Drive: 10 Essential Steps

Medically approved by
Dr Earim Chaudry
Last updated
9th July 2020

In 30 seconds…

  • A low sex drive in men isn’t as rare as you might think – it’s estimated that 1 in 5 men experience a lack of desire for sex.
  • Low desire isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it depends on your personal situation and how important a part sex plays in your life.
  • However, if reduced libido is bothering you and you’re looking for ways to boost your sexual desire again, read on for our 10 essential steps to increasing sex drive.

It’s estimated that 1 in 5 men have a low sex drive, so if you’ve been struggling to get in the mood recently, you’re not alone. Of course, low sexual desire isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it depends what you (and your partner) are looking for in a sex life.

However, if you’re used to a stronger libido and are wondering how to get your sex drive back, we’ve put together our 10 essential steps to increase your sex drive. From good nutrition, to mental health awareness, to staying active – there’s a lot you can do to boost libido.

1. Get Enough Sleep

Fatigue is notorious for interfering with sexual desire. If you don’t get enough good quality sleep then this can severely reduce your energy levels and cause low mood. Also, your body’s ability to produce testosterone – a major hormone involved in your sex drive and fertility – can be limited by lack of sleep.

A study carried out with a group of young men found that sleeping fewer than 5 hours per night reduced testosterone levels by 10–15%. So aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night if you want your sex drive to bounce back.

2. Mix Things Up

Variety is the spice of life, as the saying goes. If you’ve been with your partner for a long time and things have gotten a bit predictable in the bedroom, this can make you both feel less than enthusiastic about sex. 

The solution? Try new things together. That could be experimenting with different positions and sex toys in the bedroom, or taking up new hobbies or activities together outside of the bedroom.

3. Consider Your Mental Health

From everyday work stresses to severe mental health issues such as depression, your psychological state plays a huge part in your sex drive. When you’re under mental strain, your libido often drops and your ability to get an erection can be affected too. The link between erectile dysfunction and depression has been demonstrated through numerous studies.

Therefore, these underlying mental health concerns need to be addressed if you want to increase your sex drive. That might be relaxation techniques or a reduced workload to combat stress or counselling for depression or anxiety.

4. Address ED

When you’re struggling with erectile dysfunction (ED) it can knock your confidence in the bedroom and lead to avoiding sex. Therefore, getting treatment for your ED could help you boost libido and put your sex life back on track.

That might involve ED tablets, such as Viagra (Sildenafil), counselling (if your ED has a psychological cause), or lifestyle changes.

5. Keep Active

Taking regular moderate exercise is great for your overall health and wellbeing – libido included! Exercise causes your body to produce endorphins – “happy hormones” – that create strong positive feelings, perfect for putting you in the mood for sex.

In addition, exercise improves your heart health and blood circulation, which are essential for you to achieve and maintain a strong erection during sex.

6. Work on Your Relationship

Problems in the bedroom can frequently be the result of other relationship issues. If you and your partner are arguing a lot, struggling to trust each other, or not spending quality time together, this can reduce your desire for sex.

The solution may be to have a frank discussion together where you share your thoughts and feelings to try to find a way forward. You might also benefit from relationship counselling from an organisation such as Relate.

7. Eat a Healthy Diet

Like regular exercise, eating a nutritious balanced diet is important for your heart health, which supports sexual response. Aim for a diet rich in fruit, veg, and whole grains, low in sugar, and with a moderate amount of lean protein (such as chicken or fish).

You might also want to include a vitamin or mineral supplement that includes micronutrients linked to men’s sexual health, such as B-complex vitamins, vitamin D, or zinc.

8. Get Your T-Levels Checked

If your body isn’t producing enough testosterone, whether because of age or other factors, this can leave you with a lower sex drive – as well as other issues such as fatigue, low mood, and reduced muscle mass.

A consultation with your doctor and a blood test will help determine whether your testosterone levels are too low. You might then consider testosterone replacement therapy to treat the condition.

9. Stop Smoking and Reduce Alcohol

Smoking tobacco regularly has been shown to have a negative impact on various aspects of men’s sexual health. This includes a higher risk of ED, reduced fertility, and a low sex drive. So if you give up smoking you may find you can boost libido and enjoy better health in other ways.

Likewise, cutting back on the amount of alcohol you drink may help you increase your sex drive. Scientific research has demonstrated that drinking alcohol can lead to decreased testosterone production in men, which then impacts your desire for sex. When you consider that alcohol can contribute to ED too, you may want to switch that nightcap to a camomile tea!

10. Seek Medical Advice

A low sex drive can be an indication of an underlying medical condition that needs treatment. Diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer can lead to reduced libido, so it’s important to seek medical advice if you’re concerned.

This is particularly crucial if you experience a very sudden drop in sex drive after having surgery or starting a new medication, or if you also have other symptoms such as pain and high blood pressure.

Key Takeaways

There are many different factors that contribute to reduced sexual desire, so thinking about which ones are relevant to you will help you work out how to get your sex drive back. Overall, maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle, keeping an eye on your mental and physical health, and working on your relationship with your partner are key to a satisfying sex drive – and great sex!

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.

Further reading

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