How your weight affects your sex drive

Not feeling in the mood lately? Your weight might be to blame.

Being overweight isn’t just an unpleasant experience because you can’t fit into your clothes. Extra body fat can lead to heart and other health problems. And, it can also affect your sex life.

For both men and women, high levels of body fat mean higher levels of a chemical called “sex hormone binding globulin”. When there’s too much, you may lose your sexual appetite.

Heavy weight, low sex-drive

Knowing the different ways sexual drive is affected by your weight can help motivate you to get into shape and teach you how to get it back.

Positions are a struggle

There’s no denying that sex is physical and one or both partners being overweight makes moving into different positions more difficult. This also affects how much pleasure you might feel, as certain positions may not be possible.

Climaxing isn’t guaranteed

When you’re overweight there’s a decrease in blood flow to your genitals because the extra weight makes your blood vessels narrow. Your genitals need proper blood flow to reach an orgasm. If you’re too thin, this can also affect your ability to climax, since it can affect testosterone and libido (sex drive) levels.

How it affects women

Being overweight can affect your pleasure button, ladies. Susan Kellogg, director of sexual medicine at the Pelvic and Sexual Health Institute of Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia, found that the width of the blood vessels leading to the clitoris (the area of the vagina most closely related to sexual response) are affected by blockages that impact blood flow. When this happens, a woman’s sexual desire lowers, making you feel less in the mood to get frisky.

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Other conditions can be to blame

Weight gain plays a big role in both high cholesterol and insulin resistance (resistance to the hormone insulin, which leads to increased blood sugar) and both conditions have an impact on sexual performance, especially in men. These conditions can cause tiny arteries in the penis to shut down when vessels are clogged with too much fat. Erectile dysfunction (when a man can’t get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse) is often the unhappy result.

It may affect fertility

If you and your partner have been trying to get it on in the hopes of getting pregnant but are struggling, your weight may be the culprit. Your weight affects fertility because it influences the amount of oestrogen in your body, which is important when wanting to fall pregnant. It may prevent regular ovulation (when eggs are available to be fertilised by a male sperm) which causes you to release less oestrogen. On the other hand, being underweight may cause you to release less oestrogen which also hampers fertility. Both partners affect fertility though, as weight affects levels of testosterone, too.

Get back your drive

Although being overweight affects sexual performance and sex drive in many ways, the good news is that you can make some changes to help your libido.

You can:

  • Lose a little weight to stimulate sex hormones.
  • Eat more nutritious foods, which control cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  • Exercise regularly to get blood flowing to your pelvic area.
  • Pick up a sexy novel or watch a sexy movie.
  • Accept your body at any size because feeling better about yourself helps.
  • Embrace your sensuality.

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