Libido. This word has quite the stigma attached to it. If you’re reading this blog I’m guessing you had one of two reactions to the title line. Are you person A who’s thinking “I’m totally embarrassed to be reading this. I hope no one is looking over my shoulder”? Or are you person B who’s thinking, “Yes!! Finally some help! I totally need to read this”? Either way you can rest assured that you are in good company, and there is no judgement here.
So many women are in this boat. Despite what our seemingly sex-crazed society often leads us to believe, most women are not in sexual overdrive. Between the demands of life, career, and often motherhood, we find ourselves lacking the spark, the energy, or the drive to fulfill our intimate needs. The sad reality is that sex frequently gets pushed to the bottom of our to-do lists, and let’s face it, how often do we actually get to complete everything on our list by the end of the night.
Where Did My Libido Go?
There are many things that can affect your sex-drive: medications, alcohol, smoking, health conditions such as thyroid problems and adrenal fatigue are a just a few. Hormonal imbalances are another culprit. Low testosterone levels or estrogen dominance can greatly reduce your libido. Did you know that many oral contraceptives (the pill) can cause a decrease in testosterone? While we generally think of testosterone as a man hormone, we know that this hormone also plays a role in women’s sex-drives as well. Many of these culprits are things we have limited control over without the help of a medical professional.
There are other factors that we have more control over. Things like stress, lack of sleep, poor diet and exercise habits can have a tremendous impact on our libido, and we can absolutely do something about those. Let’s focus on stress for a moment. When you are stressed, your body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated because your body perceives that you are in a potentially dangerous situation, and so it begins increasing the amount of cortisol and epinephrine circulating in your bloodstream. These hormones prepare you for “fight or flight”. In addition, more blood and oxygen are directed to your heart, lungs and muscles in order to assist you in this fight or flight. Bodily systems that are not essential for helping you in a dangerous situation are temporarily put in sleep mode, so to speak. Your digestive and reproductive systems, therefore, do not function at their optimal levels during a crisis situation. Chronic stress suppresses our body’s normal reproductive function, altering hormone levels, and hence, our libido.
How to Get Your Groove Back
The good news is that I have a couple of simple rituals to recommend that can both help get you in the mood and also address some of the factors like stress and fatigue that are known to be libido crushers. In addition to making sure you’re getting enough sleep and eating a balanced diet, I recommend adding yoga and essential oils to your weekly rituals.
Yoga is a great form of exercise that has been shown to help relax the body, reduce stress, and help prepare the body for restful sleep. It is such a versatile form of physical activity that you can easily incorporate it into your daily routines. Try doing ten minutes first thing in the morning and ten minutes at night before bed. Or find a yoga class that you enjoy, and do 2-3 longer sessions per week. If you only have a few minutes a day and don’t know where to start, here are some yoga poses that I recommend trying first as they are fairly easy to do, and they provide a great stretch for your muscles.
- Pigeon Pose
- Bridge Pose
- Downward Dog
- Bound Angle Pose
- Cobra Pose
- Cat and Cow
- Eagle Pose
As you hold each pose for about 15 seconds, focus on your breathing. Take deep, cleansing, belly breaths, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Draw your belly button in toward your spine as you exhale. I promise you will literally feel your stress level decreasing.
Essential Oils for Libido
Essential oils are a great supplement to self-care rituals for many reasons. Your brain’s limbic system controls your emotional response to stimuli, especially olfactory (your sense of smell) stimuli. Maybe you have a favorite perfume that makes you feel sexy, or maybe you’ve experienced a negative response to someone else’s perfume. Our sense of smell is strongly tied to our brain’s limbic center. The right essential oils can help you feel more relaxed, less stressed, and even more in the mood. If you’re looking for a libido boost, try diffusing or rolling on one or a combination of these effective essential oils:
Clary Sage – Relaxing, mood balancing
Jasmine – Calming, soothing and sensual
Neroli – Eases stress, uplifting
Rose – Emotionally balancing, sensual, eases tension and anxiety
Sandalwood – Warm, comforting, recognized as an aphrodisiac
Ylang Ylang – Promotes feelings of tranquility and sensuality
To help you take the guess work out of creating a blend of these oils, here are a few recipes to try.
Intoxicating Diffuser Blend
2 drops Neroli Essential Oil
2 drops Jasmine Essential Oil
2 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Add the oils to the water in your diffuser and diffuse for 30 minutes to get you “in the mood.”
Sensual Rollerball Blend
8 drops Sandalwood Essential Oil
5 drops Jasmine Essential Oil
Add the essential oils to a 10mL glass roller bottle and fill the rest of the way with a carrier oil of your choice. Roll onto your pulse points any time you want to stimulate your libido.
Romantic Massage Blend
2 drops Clary Sage Essential Oil
2 drops Lavender Essential Oil
2 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Add essential oils to a teaspoon of sweet almond oil or fractionated coconut oil and have your partner give you a stimulating massage. Note: I would not recommend applying essential oils to the delicate genital area as they may cause discomfort.
I am hear to tell you to not give up and throw in the towel when it comes to your libido. You are not broken. As I mentioned above, rituals are one of the best way to get yourself back in the mood. Focus on just one ritual to start for yourself, or with your partner. Because you and your partner deserve to have a fulfilling sex life. It’s vital for your well-being and the health of your relationship. With a little patience, a few tweaks to your routines and incorporating the use of a few good essential oils you can definitely get your groove back!