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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student


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Pillowtalk: Medication got you down? Tips for decreased sex drive


Dear Pillowtalk,

What do I do if my meds are affecting my libido (negatively)?

First off, I’m sorry you’re experiencing this side effect of your medication! You should discuss this side effect with your prescriber. Even if they don’t have great advice, and even if you decide to remain on the medication, it’s important to have a record of your reactions to certain types of drugs. 

Your doctor may suggest switching medications, changing the dose of your medication or prescribing something in addition to your medication to counteract the low drive. Sometimes a higher or lower dose of a medication helps reduce certain side effects. Consider it! If your sex drive is an integral part of your everyday comfort and/or general health, it might be a good idea to take these measures. If you cannot or are not comfortable changing your meds, or if your loss of libido is only mildly inconvenient, here’s some tips that don’t involve medication.

Try setting aside time to masturbate or have sex. Often, low libido or lack of sex drive doesn’t mean you can’t orgasm; it just means you don’t get spontaneously horny as often. If that’s the case for you, try using outside influences to trigger arousal instead of waiting for it. Try fantasizing, watching porn, or reading erotica, or try pleasuring your partner while you wait to get aroused. 

If you can’t get horny at all, nothing is doing it for you, and your orgasms (if any) are unsatisfying, you may need to try something new. Our bodies tend to respond to novel stimulus more strongly than commonplace stimulus; so, it may be beneficial to invest in a new sex toy, more lube, explore a new kink, try a new genre of erotica or porn or try out a new partner. It could even be as simple as using a different motion while masturbating, or masturbating in a new position or place.

You might also try a modified version of something called sensate focus. It’s a practice used by sex therapists, usually with couples, to help prioritize pleasure as the main goal of erotic touch (instead of prioritizing intercourse or orgasm). It involves familiarizing yourself with non-genital physical pleasure. For example, you could close your eyes and stroke your arm slowly, then try to focus your attention on that specific sensation and let it “fill you up” so to speak. Try this with different types of body pleasures before eventually moving to your lips, nipples, genitals… anywhere you experience sexual pleasure. Repeat the process, focusing on one specific pleasurable sensation and letting it fill you up. See where that takes you.

There’s some research out there about other methods, but nothing conclusive. Some suggest sniffing Damask essential oils. Other, more reputable ones, found that exercise before sex helped counteract medication related sexual dysfunction. 

Another option is to actually visit a sex therapist or counselor. They would be able to give you better advice and resources suited to your particular needs. Look up “online sex therapy” and find an option that works for you. Unfortunately, most of these cost money and involve a certain amount of vulnerability with a stranger.

Good luck— I wish you all the best.

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Have a question for Elleri? Send it to to http://bit.ly/2LZTHeY or scan our QR code here!

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