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7 Non-Sexual Things That Affect Your Sex Drive

Never in the mood? This could be why.
PHOTO: Getty

1. You’re hitting the gym way too hard.

 If your exercise mantra is "push through the pain," your sex life may suffer: Beyond leaving you too tired to hook up, overexercising can weaken your immune systemmess with your mood, and disrupt your sleep—and "sick, depressed, and exhausted" is the libido-killing trio from hell. If you feel like you’re never able to recover from your last workout before tackling your next, you may need to reign it in, tiger (especially if you’ve thrown your periods out of whack).

2. You have an endocrine disorder.
Your endocrine system is the network of glands that produce the hormones that regulate your metabolism, reproduction, sexual function, and more. Endocrine disorders, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, throw your hormones off balance. Research suggests that PCOS patients face a markedly higher risk of sexual dysfunction (that’s not only desire but also arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and satisfaction); patients may also feel insecure about their symptoms, such as acne, hairiness, and spot baldness, and so potentially less likely to want to get it on. It’s a totally unfair double whammy (although there are many ways to manage PCOS).

3. You slouch.

Apparently the 10 hours and 39 minutes a day we spend slumped over our screens isn’t doing our sex lives any favors. One 2015 study of 74 people published in the journal Health Psychology found that "upright participants reported higher self-esteem, more arousal, better mood, and lower fear, compared to slumped participants," meaning that better posture could be the sex tip your mother never knew she gave you: It can help us feel more confident, relaxed, and engaged, as well as sleep better and breathe more deeply—making us more comfortable in our bodies both in and out of bed.

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4. You’re struggling with a mental health issue.

Anxiety and depression in particular can kill your desire for sex: It can be hard to get psyched about intimacy when you’re just trying to get through the day. What’s more, many antidepressants reduce libido, not to mention make it harder to get wet and orgasm. Ugh. (That definitely doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take them if you need them, and some medications have less intense sexual side effects than others.)

5. You’re stressed and tired all. The. Time.

A 2010 study published in theJournal of Sexual Medicine surveyed 400 women with clinically low libidos to find that 60% named "stress or fatigue" as a reason for their lack of interest in sex, the most commonly cited factor. Stress can make it damn near impossible to focus on sexual sensation, and you don’t have to have a medical condition to feel the effects of sleep deprivation on your sex life: Too little sleep lowers levels of testosterone, and one 2015 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine tracked 171 college women for 14 days and found that the women were 14% more likely to have partnered sex for every additional hour of sleep they got. Take that as your excuse to turn the lights off early tonight.

6. You’re dealing with poor body image.

In that same 2010 study of 400 women with low sex drive, 40.8% named "dissatisfaction with my physical appearance" as a factor, the second most commonly cited one. Research suggests that women’s perceptions of how they look have more to do with their experiences of sex than any of the actual details of weight, size, or physical condition, meaning a therapist’s office might be a better place than the gym to pursue a higher sex drive (although why not hit up both?).

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7. Your non-sexual communication lines are getting crossed.
 Blame it on Mercury in retrograde (it’s always Mercury in retrograde), blame it on dating someone who doesn’t listen when you speak, but when your non-sexual communication with your partner suffers, your sex drive can too. It’s obvious that if you don’t feel comfortable sharing your desires with your partner (or they don’t act on them when you do), your interest in hooking up can take a hit—but if they’re dismissive when you’ve had a bad day or can’t stop looking at their phone during dinner, you’re likely to conclude, subconsciously or otherwise, that they don’t care much about your sexual pleasure either. Let’s be real, someone blessed with the opportunity to see you naked should not find their Instagram feed more interesting than you.

Follow Hayley on Twitter.

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.