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Health & Sex

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Boring Bedroom Syndrome — It's Everywhere


Take Care of Your Health

For the same reason that exercise can be a bonus to your love life, any activity that decreases blood circulation is a passion killer, says Annette Owens, Ph.D., M.D., a certified sex counselor in Charlottesville, Virginia, and cofounder of the Sexual Health Network. Smoking, consuming alcohol, eating a high-fat diet, and living a couch-potato existence all hamper your body's blood flow, making it tougher for you to feel aroused. Committing to a healthier lifestyle is an essential part of stepping up your sexual heat.

Check Your Meds

How's this for irony: The medications you and your partner may be taking to stay healthy could be pulling the plug on your physical connection. So many pills have passion-dulling side effects, says Dr. Owens, that "the very first question I ask my patients is what medications they're on." The biggest offenders are blood pressure drugs and antidepressants, but there are hundreds of others. In fact, Sexual Pharmacology, the standard reference book on medication-related sexual problems, is 589 pages long!

Oral contraceptives can also cause problems. "Many women report that the Pill diminishes their desire," says Dr. Owens. She adds that even drugs that seem innocuous, such as over-the-counter allergy treatments, can get in the way when taken over long periods. The bottom line: If you've recently begun a medication program and have found that your interest in romance has dropped, talk to your physician about damage control.

Don't Forget to Brush!

Your husband has seen you in sickness and in health, but that doesn't mean he has stopped noticing little things like oral hygiene. "We just concluded a study in which we asked men and women who were in long-term relationships — mostly married couples — whether the 'taste' of their partner's kiss influenced their interest in intimacy, and if so, what taste was best," says Alan Hirsch, M.D., neurological director of The Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, in Chicago. Both sexes agreed: "Women said minty, and men said spearmint and peppermint were tastes that turned them on."

Go for a Simple Cuddle

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