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By Amanda Chatel
You may think that libido is all about what’s going on “down there,” but there is far more to it than just that. Women, especially, can’t quite get their libido into gear if other factors are messing with it. For example, a study found that smell can really kill a women’s sex drive, like, completely put it out of commission.
Women have a sense of smell unlike men. We’re far more sensitive to different scents, and it can fluctuate during our menstruation cycle, as well as be confused a bit if we’re on the pill. There’s an evolutionary reasons for this, of course, because as bearers of the wee ones we need to have an acute sense of smell to avoid putting toxins in our bodies, but when it comes to our sex life, it also plays a major hand in the process.
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The study revealed that when people get older, their smelling ability declines, this, unfortunately, can get in the way of sexual bonds and communication with our partners. As Professor Tim Jacob, at Cardiff University explains, “We’re drawn to people who have a different set of immune genes from us — an evolutionary mechanism to encourage us to pass different immune genes to our offspring. And our own body odor is determined by our immune genes.” Remove that from the equation, and we’re looking at a libido that just might be high and dry.
Smell aside, here are a few weird, but true other things to put on the “libido killing” list.
1. Sex toys
Sure, sex toys can make your bedroom play even more fun, but they can also kill your desire to have that fun in the first place. Sex toys made of vinyl are not your friends, you guys. Thanks to all the chemicals within all vinyl products, not just the ones you use on or near you tender bits, that both mess up hormones and lower testosterone, your libido can just up and die. Basically, it’s worth investing in a glass or silicone sex toy as opposed to hanging on to the plastic thing you’ve had since high school.
2. Cash register receipts
Before you start thinking this is money related, stop. It’s not, but something so much weirder. According to a study published in Fertility and Sterility, about 40 percent of receipts are coated with a “hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol A,” which has been linked to not just lower sex drives, in men especially, but heart disease. What the wha? So … stop shopping, I guess. Now.
That’s right. Put down the supposed aphrodisiac and reach for a lobster roll. Oysters are high in zinc which is what we can thank for that elevated libido, but the reality is that oysters are nothing but chock-full of parasites and toxic ocean substances which, of course, are absorbed by your body upon consumption, and actually negate any positive effects of that zinc you’re trying so desperately to get in your blood stat for the sexy times. Leave the oysters in the ocean to play with their fellow toxic friends.
4. Sleep deprivation
If you’ve ever been too exhausted to get it on, then you know that not getting enough Z’s is definitely a mood killer. But while you may not, mentally, want to have sex because you’re so tired, inside, your body doesn’t want to do it either. Studies have found that lack of sleep directly affects the production of hormones, which, in turn, directly affects your desire to have sex. Getting enough sleep is paramount in all corners of your health, but especially if you want to keep your sex life on par.
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I’m sure you’ve all had one of those nights where alcohol fueled a pretty unforgettable one-night stand, right? Drinking does let your inhibitions fall and provide for you to become, well, the other you, but it also does a number on your insides. Long-term use of alcohol and binge drinking will not only result in menstrual irregularities, but will rob you of your libido — not to mention what it does to your liver.
6. Corn Flakes
If your sex drive is low, maybe now you can blame your breakfast. Fun fact: John Harvey Kellogg, the inventor of your beloved morning cereal, was a die-hard believer in abstinence. So what did he do? He spent a lot of his time coming up with bland foods that just might kill sexual urges in people. I know! What a lunatic! But, that was the man’s original intention, apparently.
7. Body image
It should come as no surprise to anyone that a women’s body image has everything to do with her desire to want to have or not have sex. While there’s no quick way to deal with body image, just in realizing you have a body image problem takes you at least out of the denial category and on your way to body acceptance. Remember: no one is perfect and perfect is boring, anyway.