Would you rather have an amazing meal or amazing sex? In a recent survey of 3,000 American women, nearly 75 percent of those who answered that question said they craved amazing food over amazing sex.
Surprised? Women’s health expert Lauren Streicher, MD, who’s an associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the medical director of the Center for Sexual Health and the Center for Menopause in Chicago, isn’t. As she points out, “‘Amazing food’ is more of a sure thing.”
But what if women could make sex more reliably satisfying? Would they want more of it then?
Here we understand that many things can affect your sexual wellness, including life circumstances, physical health problems, and attitudes about sex, yourself, and your body. We recognize that stress, lack of sleep, competing priorities, relationship problems, and depression can impact your sexual satisfaction — or just make you plain not interested in sex.
But we also know there’s a lot you can do lower the barriers to satisfying sex. And we’re here to help.
To Get Your Groove Back, Get Some Sleep
Many women are simply too tired to enjoy sex. Nearly 60 percent of the women who answered our survey said that too little sleep and lack of energy had affected their general wellness at least somewhat in the past 12 months.
Minimize Your Stress, Maximize Your Sexual Pleasure
Stress can zap your desire for sex as effectively as lack of sleep. If you’re anxious about finances, upset over work, or concerned about a family situation, it’s hard to let that go and focus on intimacy.
You can’t totally get rid of stress in your life, but what stresses you out — and how you manage it — will change over time. Senior editor Denise Maher explores the constant presence of stress across the life span in her article Stress and Anxiety Sabotage Personal Wellness, Women Say, which highlights some of the best content on reducing stress and finding your equilibrium — and maybe your libido.
Body Image Woes Lead to Bedroom ‘Nos’
In a Special Report: State of Women’s Wellness 2017, 68 percent of women said the thought of being naked made them cringe. And while it’s possible some of them just live in really cold houses, more likely, it’s the thought of seeing their own naked bodies or having someone else see them naked that feels cringeworthy.
There’s no question a poor body image can have a negative effect on your sex life. And it’s not possible to simply cast off your body image and adopt a newer, better one. But over time, you can learn to feel better about your body and yourself as a person.
It’s Hard to Feel Frisky When Sex Feels Risky
Sexually transmitted infections are at an all-time high in the United States: In September 2017, the CDC reported there were more than two million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in 2016. Chlamydia accounted for most of these new diagnoses — 1.6 million — and nearly half of these infections were in young women.
According to Todd Ellerin, MD, infectious disease specialist at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, Massachusetts, “Untreated chlamydia can lead to infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, and chronic pelvic pain. That’s serious business.”
Dr. Ellerin adds, “STD awareness is important for women of all ages, but what millennials do now with regards to their health may be with them for many decades to come.”
When a Health Condition Is Part of the Picture
As the senior editor in charge of covering multiple sclerosis (MS), I know that living with a chronic disease brings with it its own variety of stress, and that stress is frequently accompanied by sleep problems, depression and anxiety, body image issues, financial worries, pain, and sometimes sexual dysfunction.
Is it possible to have a healthy sex life even when living with multiple sclerosis? Yes it is, and the more you understand about how MS affects sexual function and desire, the easier it is to make a plan for better sex.
Amazing Sex and Amazing Food: Not Mutually Exclusive
I hope you’ve found some information here that will help you lower your personal barriers to a joyful sex life — if that’s what you want.
But if you’re still more interested in amazing food — or perhaps you’d like both sex and food? — we have a lot to offer in the way of recipes, dinner ideas, tips on healthy snacking, the dirt on popular food and diet trends, and everything you need to know about good nutrition for a healthy body and healthy life.