Sex therapist Amanda Robb answers your sex and relationship problems

How can I increase my sex drive? Women's Health & Fitness relationship advice

Q. Since meeting my partner eight years ago and having our two children, I have gained a noticeable amount of weight. Whilst my partner assures me he still finds me attractive and is enthusiastic for a regular sex life, I feel like the weight gain has made me feel ‘less sexy’ than when we first met and dampens my libido altogether. Other than working out to lose the weight (which I do regularly) what else do I need to do to increase my sex drive?
–Susan, VIC

A. While it’s a no brainer that in order to ‘be sexy’ you need to ‘feel sexy’, for some of us that can seem like an uphill battle. Significant weight gain can affect both physical and emotional health; however it’s the latter that’s generally the cause of low libido. Poor body image due to weight gain can increase anxiety about sexual performance, especially with a long-term partner you may have felt more attractive with in the past.

I’m sure you will agree, there is nothing sexy about feeling insecure. It’s important that once these feelings are recognised, you refocus your attention to the act of sex itself. For some, all it takes is shifting the focus during sex; if you notice yourself being distracted by the way your body looks, re-centre your focus on the way your body responds. In time and with practice this thought diversion technique will come naturally and your dress size will be back out of the equation.

When it comes to physical impacts, new research suggests certain physical conditions that go along with obesity can be problematic for a sex drive. Decreased blood flow to the blood vessels in the vaginal area may impact sex drive. Some conditions, like high cholesterol, can lead to poor blood flow. If this is the case, I’d recommend exercises which supports blood flow in the lower region of the body. Any exercise that targets buttocks, thighs or pelvic area will promote circulation and healthy blood flow and can easily be factored into your current workout.

Amanda Robb is a sex therapist at Sydney Sex Therapy. Visit sydneysextherapy.com.au

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