You’d never guess that bedroom clutter and watching sad movies could affect your desire – or your hubby’s – for sex. But they can!
THESE COULD AFFECT YOUR HUBBY
1. Watching Sad Movies
A study in Israel showed that women’s tears dampen men’s arousal. So Hubby may not be eager for sex after you’ve watched a weepy ﬂick. You, however, may be keen on it. That’s because when you cry as you empathise with a character in a sad movie, your brain releases a hormone called oxytocin, dubbed the “love hormone”.
Says Professor Ganesan Adaikan, clinical sexologist at the National University Hospital in Singapore: “Oxytocin is commonly associated with human bonding. It is also released when we orgasm, so there is a possibility that crying may actually help boost the woman’s libido.” But your tears won’t do the same for your husband’s sex drive – especially if he wasn’t affected by the sad story onscreen!
It’s meant to lower your inhibitions. But alcohol can numb sensations, too, as it makes people feel sedated and sleepy. “For men to get an erection, the brain needs to be alert to send signals to the penis. Excessive drinking may have a sedative effect,” explains Prof Adaikan. Although that doesn’t necessarily affect desire, it could mean your man will be more inclined to cosy up to his pillow than to you.
THESE COULD AFFECT YOU
3. Allergy Medications
Some antihistamines dry up the sinuses, so in theory, they could dry out the vagina, too. However, Prof Adaikan clariﬁes that it isn’t that straightforward. “Antihistamines that you take for sinus problems affect mucus secretions in the nose. They have no direct link to sexuality.” He adds, though, that they cause drowsiness – which could affect your arousal levels.
4. Birth Control Pills
Some studies show that birth control pills can decrease testosterone levels in women – which could lead to a lower sex drive. “Many birth control pills are oestrogen-based,” says Prof Adaikan. “Long-term use curbs testosterone levels in women and increases the production of a sex hormone-binding compound, which further inhibits sex drive.”
THESE COULD AFFECT YOU BOTH
5. Vinyl Sex Toys
They contain phthalates – chemicals that increase the ﬂexibility and durability of plastics. These substances could disrupt hormones and lower testosterone levels, leading to a lower sex drive.
“Phthalates do affect the body’s regulation of hormones,” says Prof Adaikan. “But your testosterone levels will not fall just because you use vinyl sex toys. There isn’t enough research on this at the moment.”
6. Bedroom Clutter
If your bedroom has heaps of stuff, it doesn’t make for a restful or romantic environment, and could kill your mood for sex. Prof Adaikan says: “Facing clutter everywhere is hardly erotic; it may even cause arguments. That will not only dampen your libidos, but also cause relationship stress.”
This article was originally published in Simply Her March 2013.