According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 1 in 9 Americans are currently taking antidepressant medication, and this number is said to be steadily rising. While there is absolutely no shame in taking prescribed medication to alleviate depression, for many (myself included), the side effects can make other areas of life, well, sad.
One of those side effects? Sexual dysfunction. Not only is sex a key way to build intimacy in our relationships, it's pretty great for improving our moods by releasing a slew of feel-good hormones. And not to mention, it's also really freakin' fun. But if you're struggling to get in the mood or climax because of your medications, don't worry. You're not alone, and there are a few things you can do to boost your sex drive and life back up.
1. Take CBD
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in hemp, hops, and marijuana that's nonpsychoactive, meaning it won't get you high. While I still take two antidepressant medications daily, I never leave home without my CBD staples: select vape pens, topical rubs, and Pro tincture oils from Receptra. CBD takes the edge off of anxiety, gently guides me to sleep, and even relieved some my post-op pain after a recent surgery all without the psychoactive properties of weed itself.
In addition to transforming my mood, CBD has also benefited my sex life, too. Three spritzes of Karezza's In the Moment plant-based mind and body elevation oral spray 15 to 20 minutes before being intimate kicks my drive up a few notches. The spray's unique blend of CBD from organic, full-spectrum hemp oil plus a multitude of traditional arousal-enhancing herbs, adaptogens, and essential oils is formulated to promote relaxation and fires up my senses. It helps me turn my mind off and truly enjoy myself, taking intimate experiences to the next level.
2. Get Sweaty
If your libido is a bit low, try hitting the gym, yoga mat, or sign up for a kickboxing class. It's well-known that exercise helps to significantly reduce stress and improve your mood by producing feel-good endorphins and lowering cortisol levels, both of which are necessary for a healthy sex drive. But there are even more benefits to your sweat session. A study by the University of Texas demonstrated that "exercise enhances physiological sexual arousal in women." Looking and feeling your best boosts your self-confidence, and when you feel good, you're much more open to being intimate and exploring your sexuality.
3. Communicate With Your Partner
Open communication is one of the best things you can do to increase satisfaction and pleasure during sex, so speak up! Sex doesn't have to be taboo anymore. Try talking to your partner about what you like, what typically gets you to climax, and how they can help get you there. It takes two to tango, so you both should feel equally satisfied during your intimate times together. Feeling comfortable and supported is necessary to letting go under the sheets.
4. Experiment and Explore
Want to take your intimate time to the next level? Have more fun, because, yes, sex should be fun! Stuck in the same rhythm and routine? Switch it up and try something new! Whether it's perusing a sex shop together for new toys, donning lingerie, or even moving it outside the bedroom (kitchen table, anyone?), changing up the norm adds an element of excitement and can help relieve pressure on the act itself — which leads to more pleasure for you both.
5. Talk to Your Doctor
If you're finding that your sex drive is still in a dip or you're still experiencing more lows than highs, it's time to chat with a health professional. Schedule an appointment with your doctor, therapist, or psychiatrist ASAP. It's important to be honest with your doctor about what's going on with your lifestyle so they can offer solutions catered to your needs. Feeling comfortable with your mental health team is key to recovery, health, and happiness.