The hamster wheel of modern life diminishes our sex drives every bit as much as illness, chronic pain, or hormonal fluctuations. We don’t always have time to eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep—even though we know all of those things improve our sex lives. Many of us feel like we’re barely holding up under the combination of work, kids, and chores. Add one or more medications, alcohol use, depression, anxiety, body image issues—sometimes it’s a wonder we have sex drives at all.
It’s nice that we have some options for those times when our libidos shoot through the basement and we admit to ourselves we’d rather nap or read than even think about touching ourselves or a partner. However, our minds know that sex is important, even when our bodies seem to have forgotten.
I am not a doctor or a health practitioner, and I’m sensitive to side effects to boot, so please don’t interpret this lesson as medical advice by any stretch of the imagination. I’m also wary of the topical agents that increase blood flow to the genitals, as that seems like a recipe for intimate irritation, and patches annoy my skin; my body is more comfortable with prescription-based helpers like testosterone pills. But the following will give you an idea of what’s out there so you can feel better informed when you talk to your doc about what might work best for your particular body and situation.
Testosterone can be delivered by a daily pill or skin patch. I used the pills and kept them next to my birth control pills so I wouldn’t forget to take them.
Over the Counter
There are several topical gels and creams that encourage blood flow to the genitals. The active ingredient is usually L-arginine or niacin, both of which cause a warming, sensitizing sensation that can be too much for some women. Be careful when trying these, and have a cool washcloth or a wipe handy in case you need to take it off in a hurry. Also, check the labels to make sure the brand you’re trying is condom-safe, if necessary.
The Scentuelle patch is a “nontransdermal” stick-on that releases subtle, sexy scent molecules through nanotechnology. You wear it and take frequent whiffs throughout the day and make your partner a very happy camper throughout the night. (Or vice versa. It’s not confined to the clock.)
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by Regina Lynn