Category: Libido

5 foods I eat to keep my sex drive up

foods1I postulate at nauseum about things you should and shouldn’t do to keep your libido intact and healthy. I’m a sex therapist, it’s what I do. And low libido is the scourge of these frantic, 21st Century lives. However it is because we are so busy, stressed and running hard that we don’t have a sex drive in the first place. A hundred years ago we went to bed when the sun went down and ate, whole, pesticide-free foods. We made love often, knew our roles and weren’t exposed to light while we slept. Our bodies were in rhythm with our environment.

So amidst watching too much late night Grey’s Anatomy, updating my blog, connecting with my kids, partner, and extended family, groceries, laundry, homework and oh yeah work, I need shortcuts when it comes to keeping my libido healthy. I look for shortcuts in working out, in the housework I have to complete,
I don’t want to look for shortcuts to having sex.
With this in mind I make sure I have some of the top 5 sexy foods as part of my diet.

1. Lemon/Ginger. – I serve this as a tea to all the patients in my office and drink it (and run to the loo) all day long. Ginger warms up the body and increases the heart rate, much in the same way that chilli does. It mimics how the body feels during sex, and makes you start thinking about it. Lemon balances the PH in your system and keeps your squishy parts at optimum health.

2. Artichokes. This natural aphrodisiacs are rich in such substance as inulin, which in conjunction with vitamins A, B and C can substantially improve metabolism. This can stimulate and tone the body, as well as increase the libido.

3. Spring foods like asparagus and rhubarb. Asparagus. This is one of the most effective spring aphrodisiacs which is rich in phosphorus, potassium, calcium and vitamin A. At that, asparagus can be used by both men and women. Rhubarb is known in diminishing hot flashes, and is extraordinarily high in calcium.

4. Unpasteurized honey. Honey is a super food. It also appeals to my sweet tooth and I can drizzle it all over my sweetie during sticky sex. It’s one of the 5 things that the new Blue Zone book which discusses what people do to live the longest use to increase longevity. It has proved libido enhancers.

5. Basil. The fragrance, the blood stirring properties and the healing herbal elements makes it a great sexy food. I plant a herb garden and grow fresh basil every spring. I use it fresh in recipes throughout the year. Try basil ice cream (recipe to follow), it is incredible.

Check out what’s new in aphrodisiacs.

123You don’t need mail-order powdered rhino horn — there are much easier ways to get aphrodisiacs for Valentine’s Day. But do they work? Find out what works and what doesn’t as well as tips and ideas for a grocery list of romantic foods that will put you in the mood. Join our panel: Martha Hopkins is the author of The New InterCourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook that features couple-tested recipes, Wendy Walsh is a clinical psychologist and former co-host of The Doctors who is currently CNN’s human behaviour expert and the author of several books, including The 30-Day Love Detox, and Sue McGarvie, a registered sex therapist, radio host and author of four books on sexuality and relationships. McGarvie’s research on libido and bio-identical hormones for sexual desire has brought her international attention.
Check out the full discussion at:

New list of the top aphrodisiac foods.

I have a new list of the top 20 things you can do to increase your libido that I will happily email to you if you send me at note to Some of the new ideas include an updated list of aphrodisiac foods that will put a new bounce in your step. Here are the top 12 foods that work to increase your libido. One of the things I really like are the new sexy foods list from the place for all things foody. Here is this amazing recipe for a cocktail that we tried on the weekend, and may be my new favourite thing.
Cranberry and Vanilla Bean Mimosas

Top Aphrodisiac Ingredients from
1. Vanilla bean
2. Oysters
3. Figs
4. Honey
5. Red wine
6. Garlic
7. Ginger
8. Asparagus
9. Red chili’s
10. Almonds
11. Strawberries
12. And, of course, chocolate (preferably dark for the health benefits!)

5 ways you probably don’t know about that will increase your libido.

Low libido, or inhibited sexual desire is the big issue that keeps coming up in my office as a sex therapist.

Often commonalities of people experiencing low libido include low levels of free testosterone, inflammation of the cells with a High sensitivity CR protein in the blood, food allergies and low belly fat among things. And then there is the emotional, relationship, and psychological issues.

If you are struggling with low libido where do you start to change things around?

I’ve written a number of posts with supplements and suggestions for low libido.
Here are some more obscure ideas that might help.

1. Try the new IXEL anti depressant. SSRI anti-depressants are notorious libido killers. IXEL out of Turkey which has just been licensed in the US, may actually increase libido if you need depression meds.
2. Try an exotic fruit. Sometimes its trace minerals that can impact libido. Zinc, magnesium and chromium all seem to be low in my libido patients. Peel a pomegranate instead of a banana. Or try dragon fruit or mangosteens that are packed with the trace minerals that North American fruit may be low in.
3. Daily dose of red wine. Really. I know everyone is telling you to cut back on alcohol. However the tannin’s in red wine help increase your testosterone (especially in women) and put that bounce in your step.
4. See a chiropractor. If you’ve never been now is the time to consider it. That or acupuncture. Blocks in the nervous system from misalignment can be solved through a chiropractor appointment or traditional Chinese medicine practitioner.
5. The Magic Banana or Intensity strengthening toys. There are a couple of new toys on the market that increase pelvic muscle tone. One is the Intensity which uses electrodes to increase muscle tension. The other a yellow, flexible loop called The Magic Banana, forces the internal muscles to contract and increase the blood flow to the genitals. And that’s all good when you want to increase your libido.

What I do know after 25 years of specializing in low libido is that it doesn’t magically get better. Your sex life needs work to flourish. If you’ve lost that loving feeling then I encourage you to reach out. Solution oriented sex therapy by skype or phone can address the problem and put a bounce back in your step. Reach out now.

The Libido Questionnaire that gets you speaking with your partner.

Spif (my wonder partner and fellow therapist) and I have been leading a number of libido boot camps. Think couples evenings that take 4 hours to go through the common libido killers and how to fix them. We’ve been taking about hormones, romance, date nights, supplements, tantric sex, abundant health, and feeling sexy.
It’s been eye opening to see how some couples are stuck when it comes to intimacy. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve written volumes about low libido related to physical issues such as food sensitivities, getting off the birth control pills, anti-depressants, low estrogen and progesterone among other things. But if you can’t articulate how you feel about sex, acts you like about sex, and ways you feel sexy then no amount of hormone in the world is going to magically cross the chasm in your bedroom.
I’ve edited down this questionnaire that I’m sharing with you to see if you can get the conversation started. Answer it, and if you still need help email me at I have skype and phone patients all over the world and I can help you put that bounce back in your step.

INSTRUCTIONS: Listed below are several statements that concern the topic of sexual relationships. Please read each item carefully and decide to what extent it is characteristic of you. Some of the items refer to a specific sexual relationship. Whenever possible, answer the questions with your current partner in mind. If you are not currently dating anyone, answer the questions with your most recent partner in mind. If you have never had a sexual relationship, answer in terms of what you think your responses would most likely be. Then, for each statement fill in the response on the answer sheet that indicates how much it applies to you by using the following scale:
A = Not at all characteristic of me.
B = Slightly characteristic of me.
C = Somewhat characteristic of me.
D = Moderately characteristic of me.
E = Very characteristic of me.

1. I am confident about myself as a sexual partner.
2. I think about sex all the time.
3. My sexuality is something that I am largely responsible for.
4. I am very aware of my sexual feelings.
5. I feel anxious when I think about the sexual aspects of my life.
6. I’m very assertive about the sexual aspects of my life.
7. I am depressed about the sexual aspects of my life.
8. I wish I was more sexually open.
9. I am somewhat afraid of being sexual with my partner.
10. I think sex is boring and doesn’t fulfill me
11. I am very satisfied with the way my sexual needs are currently being met.
12. I am a pretty good sexual partner.
13. I think about sex more than anything else.
14. There is so much more I would like to do sexually
15. The sexual aspects of my life are determined in large part by my own behavior.
16. I’m very aware of my sexual motivations.
17. I’m strongly motivated to devote time and effort to sex.
18. I’m not very direct about voicing my sexual preferences.
19. I am disappointed about the quality of my sex life.
20. I’m very concerned with how others evaluate the sexual aspects of my life.
21. I tend to be preoccupied with sex.
22. There are sexual things I would like to do that my partner doesn’t know about.

The answers are coded so that A = 0; B = 1; C = 2; D = 3; and E = 4.

The Sex Therapist’s recipe for increasing libido and starting that missing sex drive

The Sex Therapist’s recipe for increasing libido by Sue McGarvie

I have been seeing some commonalities in the libido patients who have come to my office. Smart, savvy women who self identify as “being in fantastic relationships” struggling with low libido.

They come to me so frustrated that nothing has worked up to now. Man of them talk to me about seeing their doctors who suggest that “It’s normal to have no sex drive, you have kids”. Or “take a holiday and it will all be fine.” Well it’s rarely fine and these women think about their lack of desire as a failure and find themselves obsessing about how to fix it.

The truth is that with some women relationships or emotional/psychological reasons impact their sexual feelings. However I’m seeing strong, sane women who are newlyweds still very much sexually attracted to their husbands. I’m seeing women who describe their marriages as “a 9 out of 10”. They love their husbands and don’t know why they rarely get in the mood.

I’m convinced it’s physical or organically based. Few of the women in my office feel what I call “the squoogies”. These feeling are the butterflies, that sensation of horniness or wiggly feelings of a need for sexual fulfillment.

I’ve been seeing some trends lately. I’ve asked these women to provide me with a blood work analysis from their doctors. The challenge is that most physicians don’t test younger women for hormones, and libido is the micro management or tweaks to find that sweet spot of abundant health where the libido returns. Most doctors don’t have the training, time or resources to figure out the formula.

And the longer I’m a sex therapist the more I know that everyone is unique and there is no “one size fits all”. The commonalities I’m seeing include food allergies or gastrointestinal sensitivities. Other common characteristics include history of being on the oral contraceptive, and/or anti depressants, along with a confirmed elevated cortisol level. Cortisol and adrenal are the two of the major hormones that regulate stress. If animals are stressed, they rarely go into heat. Which is why if 85% of North American adults are chronically stressed, why are we so surprised when the libido is missing?

Women have to become advocates for their own health. It doesn’t work for marriages on a long term basis to be without sex. I did my thesis on the question of “what happens when couples stop having sex?” It turns out they start to feel like roommates or “friends that co-parent”. The long suffering partners also feel like exploding and often feel they have no choice but to look for outlets outside of the marriage.

So here is what I recommend for couples struggling in this cycle.

1. Get a copy of your blood work including your adrenal, cortisol, thyroid, insulin, DHEA, testosterone, progesterone, estrogen levels.
2. Start immediately on some desiccated adrenal supplements (2 capsules twice a day).
3. Add some high quality Omega 3 capsules or oil. I like Udo’s oil or Jamieson capsules. I recommend (brace yourself) upwards of 8 to 10,000 mg a day. That a lot of flax or fish oils.
4. I encourage a multi vitamin with at least 30mg of zinc, and 240 mg of chromium.
5. I add 3000 mg of evening Primrose oil daily to my patients.
6. Followed by 300 mg of magnesium/glycinate.
7. Decrease the amount of carbohydrates you eat and increase the protein.
8. Get yourself a good vibrator like a Hitachi magic wand that plugs in for increased power. I also suggest buying some tickling panties or a small low level vibrator you can insert into your underwear for a few hours before sex.
9. If you are not already GET OFF THE BIRTH CONTROL PILLS, and look for a barrier method of contraception.
10. Plan a weekly date night where you have lots of privacy, lead time and anticipation of a sensuous evening. Consider your date nights as important as a doctor’s appointment.
11. Take 3 oz (1/3 of a bar) of 85% or higher dark chocolate and 1 glass of RED wine an hour before your date night. You can also use your vibrating panties to get in the mood about an hour in advance of sex.
12. I always suggest using a silicone lube for any kind of sexual encounter. If it hurts you are less likely to want it again.
13. Ask your doctor to consider monitoring you on 0.6% progesterone cream from day 10 to the end of your cycle. I rub it in before bed and it helps me sleep better.
14. You also need about 25mg of DHEA daily. In Canada it is a prescription medication, but in the US you can buy it over the counter. The rules about hormones are this:
a. You always test.
b. You try and use bio identical hormones if they are available at your pharmacy
c. You never use more than you need
d. You test again.
e. Make sure you keep a baseline of your blood work. It will make working with your doctor and understanding your body so much easier.
14. 5HTP, CLA, Vitamin D (4,000 ,g from September to May), and 40 mg of Vitamin B12 I take in addition to the multi vitamin.
15. With couples who have been struggling for awhile I also add two activities.
a. The first, I suggest they use a signal to initiate sex, Think about tugging on your ear, using a code word or some external trigger that let’s your partner know that sex is on your mind. That way nobody gets pushed away.
b. The second activity I suggest is non-genital touch for a couple of minutes 3 times a week. Couples who aren’t having sex often don’t cuddle as much for fear of turning on the other partner. Gentle, non-sexual touch is critical for keeping marriages connected.

If none of this works – or it feels too overwhelming to do on your own then call me for an appointment. No matter where you are, I can do a phone, webcast. skype appointment that will take serious steps to re-claiming your libido.
This IS NOT the mountain you have to live your life on, and we can get back that sexy girl you used to be.
Find me at or

Women have a greater sensitivity to food allergies. Find out why these sensitivities affect your sex drive.

One of my key findings in the Libido Diet book was the discovery of the correlation between food allergies and low sex drive. There isn’t a lot of research to support my concusions (just my 20 years of counseling for low sex drive), but my belief is that food allergies increase the cellular inflammation and impacts on the bodies ability to use testosterone and the sex binding globulin hormone that allows us to feel sexy.

In English that means if you have a food allergy, you have to work extra hard to keep your libido where it should be.

In trying to stay well read on the subject, I found this article that suggests women have greater, and more pronounced food allergies than men. Given that low sex drive problems are an 80/20  women to men problem, I keep trying to understand the connection. I’ve written extensively about this in my Libido Diet book (see side panel or at The top five allergy foods are seafood, nuts, milk, wheat, eggs, with things like strawberries and dill thrown in as other examples of food sensitivities. All I’m saying is that if you have a food aversion, be aware there is some link between that and sexual desire.

In the meantime, have a read about why it may affect women more than men.

It is well established that there are differences between men and women in the incidence of allergic
diseases. For example, the occurrence of some allergic diseases such as asthma is higher among
females than males after puberty. When asked, females will report more often than men that they
are allergic towards certain foods. This might be partly explained by the fact that females in general
report worse health than men and have more active health seeking behaviour than men. However,
recently reported data from a Norwegian national register of severe allergic reactions to food
showed a strong dominance of reactions by females (60%) over males (40%). This suggests that
there is also a clear biological mechanism. Either females are biologically more susceptible to
developing food allergies or have a different pattern of exposure to allergenic foods than men.

How watching the Red Wings and other hockey games gets you more sex


As a red blooded Canadian girl I understand the appeal of hockey.  In Canada hockey (and Tim Horton’s coffee) is as close as we have to a national religion.There is something about padded guys in hockey jerseys skating around at high speed and winging rubber at each other that gets your heart racing. Fights where a couple of goons go at each other, wild action and big hits are always entertaining to watch. And don’t get me started on the sexy hockey beards…

I’ve long known that if I played my cards right I can usually get sex while watching sports. I written before about the  Monday Night Football half time romp. And my flirty date nights after an evening watching the Sens at Scotiabank Place during those cold winter nights.

But until the new study came out from the University of Michigan, I didn’t have the science of my sports and sex correlation. The University did a great study that involved checking the saliva of men in the stands before and after a Red Wings game to determine their testosterone levels.  (Did  mention that I would be happy to personally check the saliva of the boys in red myself? but I digress…) With no surprise to me watching all of that beef cake win encourages fans to increase their testosterone level by up to 30% – especially of they win. Testosterone is your aggression, sex and brawn type hormone, and will encourage your sweetie to focus on you once the whistle is blown.

Now with the Red Wings going into game 7 against the dreaded Sharks you can’t help but be encouraged about some upcoming “sexy time”. Couple that with some deep fried calamari ( seafood is high in zinc – the sex mineral.and Red Wing fans throw squids on the ice- Yup those large rubbery sea creatures when they score a goal),  and you’ve got a recipe for lov’n.

Go wings go.

New things that can greatly impact your libido

I’ve been talking about issues with my libido patients for years. I’ve been warning about high blood pressure medication, anti-depressants, white sugar and flour, the birth control pill, and gastro problems as big culprits. But this week I’ve learned of two new studies that comment on cuases I hadn’t hear of.

The first is baldness (yup when your hair falls out)….

Last week it was reported that men who take the hair loss drug finasteride, also known as Propecia, can experience prolonged periods of low libido.

Dr Michael Irwig, assistant professor of medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, discovered that 94 per cent of men taking finasteride developed low sexual desire, 92 per cent suffered from erectile dysfunction and 69 per cent experienced difficulty with orgasm.

The study, to be published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, is the first to show that symptoms persisted for at least three months in otherwise healthy men, even when they stopped taking the drug.

It’s thought the drug alters levels of important brain chemicals called neurotransmitters that affect mood and other bodily functions.
At one time I considered buying stock in the company that made these drugs (along with Rogain)…

The second is cold and flu medication. Huh you say?

Meanwhile a study by the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio found that antihistamines might lead to problems with ejaculation for men and hamper both men’s and women’s libido. The researchers suggested they might affect part of the nervous system connected with sexual arousal and orgasm. Those that contain diphenhydramine or pseudoephedrine not only affect your sex drive but can cause erectile dysfunction.

So if your libido is fragile you might look at a few things in your lifestyle as the cause. I can treat it in my practice. I immediately get people off the meds and onto large amounts of Omega 3, magnesium, a great quaity multi-vitamin, 5 HTP, chromium, zinc, and GAMA. That and increasing blood flow to their genitals and putting them on what I call “sexy foods” (dark chocolate and red wine top the list) and I see big improvements.

What is the difference between sexual anorexia and Low libido disorders such as ELD.

I’ve coined a phrase in my Libido Diet book called ELD. I call it Environmental Libido Disorder.  As I kept seeing the same type of woman day after day in my office I thought- there has to be a physical connection. Here’s the checklist for ELD.

1. Petite (under size 10)

2. Fair skined or fine features

3. Food allergy or sensitivity

4. Gastro intestinal variability

5. Good relationship with nice partners but never feels like having sex.

6. Has been on the birth control pill in the past. Often with difficulties.

7. Between the ages of 25-49 and should be reaching their sexual peak.

8. Often has been on antidepressants in the past.

9. Responds quickly to program of suplements, and hormones.

If this sounds like you d’tlet some doctor tell you it’s all in your head.  I can turn this around and save your relationship. Download the libido diet or email me at for an appointment. I have loads of women who’se husbands are so frustrated and it could cost their marriage.

 ELD is a real, physical disorder and you need trained help RIGHT NOW. It’s only going to get worse.

Now compare this to a  discussion of sexual anorexica and how it is defined.

I’ve had a number of couples who aren’t having sex and wondered about the anorexia title. I think may coules have what I call ELD (environmental libiodo disorder). Which is a combination of busy lives, high stress cortisol level, medicatios such as the pill and anti depressants, and inflamed colons that chronically lower their libidos.

Sexual anorexia is different. SA can have some of the following symptoms:

-Staying so busy that you have little time for your spouse
-Rather masturbate than have sex with your partner.

– When issues come up your first reflex or response is to blame your spouse

-Withholding sex from your spouse or not being present during sex

-Unwilling or unable to share your authentic feelings with your spouse

-Using anger or silence to control your spouse-

-Having ongoing or ungrounded criticism (spoken or unspoken)

Controlling or shaming your spouse regarding money or spending

The proven ways to increase your libido! From The Author of The Libido Diet

The Libido Diet
by Sue McGarvie, The Libido Coach

Most people think a sex therapist has the world’s most interesting job. Some days they’re right, and you just never know when someone with a cabbage fetish will walk into your office.

The truth is that sex therapists mainly see the same problems day after day. Men usually seek therapy for erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and sexual addiction. Women on the other hand, come to me afraid their relationships will end because they can’t seem to get motivated or interested in having sex with their willing partners.

Purchase online for only $49.99 USD and get a free copy of Quivering Jello with every purchase.

Low libido, or female sexual dysfunction related to arousal and lubrication together affects 53% of woman according to The Journal of Sexual Medicine published in 2007.

It’s a monstrous problem not covered in the Cosmo headlines screaming about “more techniques that will drive him wild in bed”. What I’m seeing in my office could be a casting call of women who are telling me the same story. With only a few variations in the script, these women are under or overweight (almost exclusively under size eight or over size 16), have been on the birth control pill, and have food, skin or digestive sensitivities or environmental allergies, and would much rather clean the bathroom than have sex with loving partners. They are sane, normal women who can reach orgasm, and who want to be sexual but can’t seem to get motivated to get in the mood. Many of these women even looked alike. This had to be the same problem.

Most of the traditonal sex therapy for low libido assumed the problem was related to performance, relationship, emotional or psychological problems. However I believe that 90% of male sexual problems are physical in nature and need to be solved that way, so why as therapists and physicians were we assuming women’s libido was all their heads? The problem crystallized for me while sitting on a panel with three gynecologists’ at the National Convention of Family Physicians. They were struggling with libido solutions as the testosterone they were taught to prescribe either wasn’t improving libido in any way or was literally putting hair on the chests of the women that were trying it. Putting me on the hot seat, all the physicians in the room wanted to know how I treated female low libido issues. They didn’t have a solution either.

The Libido Diet is the story of how I researched, experimented cajoled, and used myself (and my patients) as guinea pigs to come up with an approach to sexual dysfunction that actually seems to work. I lived this research first hand, and as I changed my hormones I dropped 175 pounds (eek!), which had me chasing my partner around the house christening all the flat surfaces. I learned to put my own biochemistry to work, and took a bunch of “crunchy granola” herbalist classes to help show my patients how to maximize their libido with supplements. I gently discovered how to understand my own sexuality, and teach that to my women libido patients. The Libido Diet is my story, and the story of women struggling to get back in the saddle and moaning in ecstasy.

The audience for The Libido Diet is primarily for women over 25, right up to menopause in their late 50’s. However the bulk of the women I’m seeing as patients are between 25 and 40 with loving partners. As I sat telling a girlfriend about my approach in treating female sexual dysfunction while sitting at a Starbucks a few weeks ago I had five women around me put down their mugs, strain to overhear, and all ask for my card. Forget eavesdropping on my more outrageous sexual stories on a radio call in sex therapist, these women all wanted to know “how in God’s name can I give myself back the lustful feeling I used to have?” I’m finding it’s a question women everywhere are asking. The Libido Diet answers those questions and comes up with a clear solution like no other book that has come out.

As the Libido Coach (and there is no other brand out there like it), I am uniquely qualified to answer the questions about sexual desire. With an established identity and audience (as an International Sex Expert, Syndicated Talk Show How, and television host of a national magazine style sex show), as well as having completed a personal journey related to body image and sexuality enhancement I have literally spoken to 5,000 people about their sex lives. With a acknowledge expertise in women’s sexuality, and fifteen years as one of the leading sex therapists, The Libido Diet tells the truth about my own intimacy transformation, along with the celebrations of the women I coached along with me. It’s the details of how you can kick start your sex drive, done in both a book and engaging audio session. Just hit play on your ipod or cd player, and know you are on your way to having the kind of hot sex you need, want and deserve.

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Reading about the new drugs, sprays, potions and lotions that are proposed to fix low libido in women. The winner stands to do better than viagra.

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