man eating junk foods
1 / 12

You Binge on Bad Foods

If you’re a junk-food junkie, you’re filling your body with lots of refined carbs, simple sugars, and saturated and trans fat. This can slow your blood flow and affect how well you can perform during sex. Cut out the junk and go for plenty of fruits, veggies, and plant-based protein (nuts, beans, and tofu). Bonus: A healthy eating plan will give you more energy for sex.

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salt shaker
2 / 12

You Eat Too Much Salt

When salty foods are a regular part of your diet, you’re more likely to have high blood pressure, which can lower your libido. Steer clear of prepackaged foods, which often have lots of sodium, and watch how much you add at the table. Instead, add flavor with herbs and spices.

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depressed woman
3 / 12

You Stay Stressed

Constant strain and worry wears you out -- everywhere. When you flood your body with stress hormones for a long periods of time, it hijacks your health and also tanks your desire to have sex. Try to figure out what’s stressing you so you can think about the best ways to handle it. It’s also a good idea to make time for regular stress-relief -- a walk in a park, a yoga class, or laughing at your favorite comedy.

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laundry room flirting
4 / 12

You Skip Foreplay

Science backs it up: Building up to sex can make it better. In one survey of almost 8,700 people, both men and women said sex lasted longer when they included more types of stimulation beforehand. The real engine revvers? Oral sex and masturbation.

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date on calendar
5 / 12

You’re Too Busy

When life gets hectic, sex can sometimes be the first thing kicked off your “to-do” list. But intimacy in your relationship should be a priority. Scheduling sex may sound like a buzzkill, but it can help you make sure you don’t keep putting it off. So mark time on your calendars, and stick to it. You’ll feel more connected, which will lead to better bouts in bed.

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6 / 12

You Stick to the Same Old, Same Old

Sometimes a stale sex spell is just a matter of being stuck in a rut. You might have a routine and not even realize it. Mix it up: try new positions or have sex in a place or at a time you don’t usually do it. Or try adding new alternatives like massage or sex toys to your routine.

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woman looking questioning
7 / 12

You Don’t Speak Up

If there’s something about your sex life that’s bothering you, or you have ideas about new things you’d like to try, talk about it. Worried about how your partner might handle the conversation? Try to frame it around your feelings and reactions, not your partner’s. It helps to start your sentences with “I” instead of “you.”

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woman looking in mirror
8 / 12

You Diss Your Body

The messages you tell yourself -- or hear from others -- about your body make a big difference in how confident you feel. When those messages are negative, your self-image takes a hit, and so does your sex drive. If your default mode is to put yourself down, break the habit and try to focus on what you like about yourself. Take care of yourself, and spend time with people who make you feel good.

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cup of alcohol
9 / 12

You Drink Too Much

One glass of wine or a beer might help you relax, but a booze binge can make you crash and burn in the bedroom. Men in particular can struggle with performance issues when they have too much alcohol in their system. Keep your drinking in moderation -- no more than one drink a day for women and two for men.

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man awake on phone in bed
10 / 12

You Skimp on Shut-Eye

If you don’t snooze, you could lose your libido. One study found that women who got more sleep tended to have more (and better) sex.

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doctor holding measuring tape
11 / 12

You Don’t Watch Your Waistline

Is your scale showing a higher number than usual these days? Shedding a few pounds could boost your performance in the bedroom -- especially if you’re a guy. One study found that men with a waist over 40 inches were more likely to have erectile dysfunction than those with slimmer stomachs.

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woman smoking
12 / 12

You Light Up

There’s a long list of ways smoking harms your health, and slashing sexual desire is on it.  Chemicals in tobacco can mess with blood flow, which can cause sexual problems, especially for men. Talk to your doctor about how you can kick the habit.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 11/02/2019 Reviewed by Minesh Khatri, MD on November 02, 2019


1. WebMD

2. Getty Images

3. Thinkstock

4. Getty Images

5. Thinkstock

6. Thinkstock

7. Thinkstock

8. Getty Images

9. Thinkstock

10. Thinkstock

11. Thinkstock

12. Getty Images



Cleveland Clinic: “Lost Your Libido? 6 Smart Diet Choices to Get It Back,”” Women Over 50: 7 Ways to Improve Your Sex Life,” “Men: 7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Sex Life.”

Society for Endocrinology: “Cortisol.”

The Journal of Sex Research: “Sexual Practices and the Duration of Last Heterosexual Encounter: Findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Health and Relationships.”

The Journal of Sexual Medicine: “The impact of sleep on female sexual response and behavior: a pilot study,” “Acute Effects of Nicotine on Physiological and Subjective Sexual Arousal in Nonsmoking Men: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.”

CDC: “Fact Sheets - Excessive Alcohol Use and Risks to Men's Health.”

Harvard Health: “11 ways to help yourself to a better sex life,” “Secrets to maintaining a healthy sex life.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Health Benefits of a Good Sex Life.”

National Institutes of Health: “Tips to Eat Less Salt and Sodium.”

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri, MD on November 02, 2019

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.