These little-known passion killers could be dampening your sex drive, says Helen Foster.
Watching weepy movies
You might want to snuggle afterwards, but your partner could run for the hills. A study at Israel's Weizmann Institute found that being exposed to tears dampened down activity in the arousal part of men's brains.
"This isn't surprising," says Dr Diana Hoppe, author of Healthy Sex Drive, Healthy You: What Your Libido Reveals About Your Life, (available from Amazon). "Men are supposed to protect women and, to the subconscious mind, tears mean you're not happy.
This might make your partner feel he hasn't done his protecting job properly, which could leave him feeling less adequate." If you fancy a movie, choose something a little bit sexy instead. Not surprisingly, watching other people get frisky tends to trigger the same response in us.
Wearing flat shoes
For starters, your heel height may impact on sexual sensations. While investigating stress incontinence and pelvic pain, Dr Maria Cerruto at Italy's University of Verona found that heels between 3cm to 7cm high put strain on your ankles that makes you tighten your pelvic floor muscles, toning them up!
The other reason to hike up the heel height though is that, "you're not going to want sex if you don't feel sexy," says Désirée Spierings from Sexual Health Australia. "Often, especially in long-term relationships we let ourselves go a little. We stop shaving our legs (and other parts), don't paint our toenails or put on our daggy pants as we get in the door." To counteract this, Spierings suggests wearing or doing something just a little bit sexy daily. Wear perfume, slip on matching undies or yes, put on high heels whatever it takes to make you feel gorgeous.
Your cholesterol level
According to doctors at the Second University of Naples, Italy, women with high cholesterol levels have lower levels of arousal, are less likely to orgasm and more likely to suffer problems like vaginal dryness. Just like with alcohol, blood flow is thought to be a key here, high cholesterol may lead
to narrowed blood vessels around the body, including the genitals. Reducing cholesterol levels with
diet and exercise may perk you back up.
Not doing the washing
If your bedroom is full of clutter be it an overflowing laundry basket, the morning post or even worse, work-related papers or gizmos like your BlackBerry your sex life can suffer. "Most women need to turn off their brain to get turned on," says Hoppe.
"We are natural multi-taskers but in the bedroom that can stop you focusing on your partner and lead to less enjoyment and less arousal."
Get rid of anything that distracts you from the task at hand and that includes the bedroom TV. "Studies in Italy revealed that people with a television in the bedroom have 50 percent less sex," says Hoppe.
For the full story, see the February issue of Good Health. Subscribe to 12 issues of GoodHealth for only $59.95 and receive an Invisible Zinc Pack, valued at $34.90.