Is This Food Messing Up Your Sex Drive?

These Myers-Briggs personality types love taking care of their partner.

Our sex drives are incredibly temperamental things. As we explore our sexualities, we may discover specific and unexpected turn-ons, But what are some strange and unexpected turn offs? What are some things that will kill your sex drive?

You may lose your mojo from a purely physical reaction — perhaps it is the smell of food or the type of food you are eating. But, again, sex is a complex experience that usually requires emotional and mental stamina to be performed. What happens if you aren't getting enough sleep? Stressed at work? What if you and your partner aren't communicating well because of outside circumstances?

"Stress at work can decrease sex drive because stress sends out cortisol into our[bodies], which is a hormone that can suppress sex hormones," Kelly Connell, sexuality educator and counselor and sex educator at, tells Bustle. "Also, in times of high stress, we go into a fight or flight response and tend to think about survival. The pressure of work, the need to pay bills, and the fear of losing a job often moves sex to the back burner."

Let's take a look at some of the things that could be negatively impacting your sex life:

1. Dairy

Milk products (cheese, milk, yogurt) can affect your estrogen and testosterone levels,"Rhonda Milrad, a licensed social worker and founder and chief relationship adviser for the app, Relationup, which connects users to relationship experts and counselors, tells Bustle.

And as Connell explains, testosterone is the hormone that fuels your sex drive. Connell tells Bustle that dairy, as well as the rest of the foods that impact your sex drive "increase aromatase which is an enzyme that lowers testosterone and increases estrogen."

2. Some Carbohydrates

Other foods that mess with testosterone levels include refined carbohydrates, and Milrad mentions white bread and baked goods as examples. Connell adds that pasta can similarly lower testosterone levels.

3. Alcohol

This one may shock you, as you and your partner might sip a little wine at a romantic dinner to ~get in the mood,~ or you may ask your date to meet you for drinks. "Alcohol, while often thought of the great inhibition buster, actually works to decrease sex drive," says Connell. Imbibing negatively affects one's ability to perform and one's ability to experience pleasure. Milrad says, "The notion that people get drunk and have great sex is biologically, just not true."

So what happens to your sex drive when you drink? It typically takes about 2-3 drinks for anything negative to occur, says Milrad — but for men, too much alcohol may manifest itself as erectile dysfunction. Women may struggle to get wet because, Milrad explains, alcohol dehydrates the body,

4. Food Smells

The right scents can be the ultimate aphrodisiac, but a strong smell can ruin everything. Milrad says that certain foods "impact the smell and taste of of sweat, semen, urine and breath. Making love is a multi-faceted sensory experience and a catching a whiff of a foul odor can be a complete turn off."

So what should you avoid eating before trying to get down to business? Milrad mentions dairy, asparagus, and garlic as common culprits behind killed ~sexyvibes~.

5. Eating Too Much

Eating too much can leave you feeling bloated — which may mean the last thing you'll want to do is move around vigorously. Foods that can especially leave you feeling sluggish are desserts and sauces, Milrad says. This discomfort can kill your sex drive in a few ways — physically and mentally. Milrad elaborates that feeling too full "can make you feel tired and uncomfortable in your body," and at the same time make you feel mentally uncomfortable: "Feeling... bloated and self conscious does not lend itself to a night of sexual inhibition and reckless abandon."

6. Work Stress

While for some folks, sex during stressful or chaotic times may help release tension — it can also wreak havoc on your hormones and stop you from wanting to have sex at all. And it could affect the rest of your relationship, too. "Stress at work can also take its toll on a relationship as we often lash out at our partners," Connell tells Bustle Communication shuts down and couples often avoid each other to avoid conflict."

7. Any Kind Of Stress

Milrad seconds the problems that all kinds of stress can create in the emotional facet of a relationship — which then affects the physical part: "Your sexual attraction is often fueled by your emotional connection to your partner. If you haven’t nurtured that connection, and if stress leaves you feeling irritable and upset, you won’t feel much passion or sexual attraction for the other person. "

8. Not Getting Enough Sleep

If you are sleep-deprived, your testosterone levels are lowered. And sleep-deprivation can occur even if you are getting six hours of sleep a night.

It's important to have an understanding of the stimuli that can negatively impact our sex drives so that we don't get down on ourselves our our partners when things don't run as smoothly as we'd like. And if you notice any of these greatly impacting your sex life or your relationship, it's time to make some changes.

Images: Fotolia; Giphy