In popular culture today, we typically see advertisements, movies, or even hear songs about men and women having sex who obtain “perfect” bodies. We see and hear about small waist lines, chiseled abs, and big boobs. However, contradictory to what we see portrayed by media, 69% of adults in America are overweight or obese according to http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/obesity-overweight.htm. That means that most couples engaging in sexual activity are not portrayed or talked about accurately in media. Does being overweight necessarily effect sex drive? According to Andrew McCollough of NYU Medical Center, “Medical conditions such as high cholesterol and insulin resistance [an early indicator of type 2 diabetes] do have the ability to impact sexual performance, which in turn impacts desire, particularly in men..A man who has problems having an erection is going to lose his desire for sex in not too long a time,” says McCollough” Erection problems are caused by fat deposits that clog vessels in arteries that make the penis inert. Body fat also produces SHBG, (sex hormone binding globulin), which attaches to testosterone. making less testosterone available to increase sex drive.
Lack of sex drive because of weight is not only a case for men, but also effects women. According to Susan Kellogg, “We are beginning to see that the width of the blood vessels leading to the clitoris [the area of the vagina most closely related to sexual response] in women are affected by the same kind of blockages that impact blood flow to the penis.” This makes the body respond at a much slower pace, which decreases sex drive.
Another problem that decreases sex drive is maintaing a negative body image. Cindy Meston, director of the Sexual Psychophysiology Laboratory at the University of Texas in Austin, said “If you’re insecure and you focus on the way your body looks or what your partner is thinking about it during sex, you’re not going to be in the mood,” Studies have been shown that even without realizing it, comparing your body parts to another women’s can decrease sex drive. Confidence plays a huge role when it comes to sex. Being able to not think about the negative characteristics of your body and embracing every part of it shows an increase in enjoyment of sex. Wanting to cover up while engaging in sex causes distractions in the actual enjoyment of the activity.
To increase sex drive, losing around 10 pounds can immediately help because of the increase of free testosterone from all of the fat loss, meaning less SHBG. According to Fitness Magazine, certain foods are said to increase mood which should in-turn increase sex drive. “Add sexuality superfoods to your shopping list. Those rich in antioxidants, fatty acids, zinc, and the amino acid asparagine can help boost both mood and libido, Dr. Berman says. Her top picks: asparagus, avocados, blueberries, salmon, and omega-3-enriched eggs.” Another tip that Fitness Magazine gives is to walk around the house naked, and embrace your body as a whole, looking into larger mirrors where you can see everything. This will allow you to no focus on the problem areas, and to increase confidence.
In summary, weight gain DOES decrease sex drive.
Do you feel a difference in sex drive when you gain a couple of pounds?
Does eating healthier make you feel in a better mood?
How do you feel about medias portrayal of sex and certain body types?