Your sex drive isn’t what it used to be. That’s not something you should worry about—in fact, stress around low sexual desire is actually a major cause of decreased libido. But that doesn’t mean you should just mark it up to getting older and that you can’t do anything about it. Instead, you need to focus on the steps you can take to increase your libido after 40.
Let me say up front that sex after the fourth decade can be better than it was when you were in your 20s or 30s. Whether you are with a lifelong partner or in a new relationship or casually dating, your sexual encounters can be physically and emotionally fulfilling after 40, or even 50 or 60. Here are some tips to stay strong both in and outside of the bedroom:
You have to exercise. Staying physically active is essential for boosting libido because it helps raise testosterone levels, improves muscle mass, elevates your energy, and can help you lose excess pounds, which definitely take a toll on testosterone levels. Exercise also helps you feel more self-confident, and feeling good about yourself shows on the outside as well. In addition to participating in cardio and strength exercises at least four days a week, you should also do Kegel exercises, which will improve pelvic floor muscles so you can experience more control during sex and even more intense orgasms. Having said that not all exercise is good for your T levels so avoid these exercises if you want to boost your energy and sex drive.
Eat “libido-boosting” foods. Certain common foods can boost male libido, so be sure to include them in your diet. Beets and beet juice, for example, contain nitrates, which convert to nitric oxide once in the body. Nitric oxide opens up blood vessels and enhances blood flow, which in turn improves circulation in the penis. Other foods that can improve libido include chili peppers (which contain capsaicin, which improves blood flow), cruciferous veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower (boosts testosterone levels), mussels(contain omega-3 fatty acids, which boosts nitric oxide), Brazil nuts (raises testosterone), and pomegranates (ditto on testosterone). Related: Foods that increase testosterone levels
Take natural supplements. A number of natural supplements have been shown to enhance sex drive and raise testosterone levels. Be sure to consult a knowledgeable professional before you use any of these supplements, as they may interact with medications or other supplements you are taking. The following supplements may help boost your libido: acetyl L-carnitine, L-arginine, L-citrulline, fenugreek, gingko biloba, and tribulus terrestris.
Learn to relax. One of the biggest libido killers is stress. Anxiety and tension rev up the body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol. When cortisol levels rise, testosterone levels fall. Practice stress management techniques daily and you will begin to experience more relaxation in and out of the bedroom. Better yet, find a stress-busting activity you and your sexual partner can share, such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, dancing, or deep breathing.
Limit your alcohol. Do you think drinking alcohol makes you sexier and less inhibited? It may, but those feelings are very short-lived and will do nothing to help your flagging libido. Instead, avoid or limit your alcohol intake. Better yet, try an alcohol fast to increase your testosterone.
Get more sleep. Did you know you need adequate sleep for your body to produce testosterone? Sleep deprivation contributes to a decline in T production, so be sure to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night. If you are having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or going back to sleep if you wake up during the night, think about your sleep schedule and environment. Ban electronic devices from your bedroom, keep your bedroom cool and dark, don’t exercise within three hours of going to bed, and always retire and get up the same time.