Meditation for increasing libido: Can It Help?

Learn how mindfulness meditation can help you overcome low libido

Meditation for low libido article cover image

Are you feeling that the desire that once burned bright is no longer there? Do you find yourself never in the mood? Remember how easy it once was to get aroused? Simply watching your partner undress before they went to shower, hugging before going to sleep, or just seeing them after a long day.

However, sometimes things change, and you might wonder what you can do to bring your libido back. The good news is that increasing your libido is completely doable!

In this article, I’ll discuss how practicing meditation can help you increase your desire. And even if you were never a particularly sexual person, mindfulness meditation can still help you improve your libido.

The connection between mindfulness, meditation, and low libido

Here’s a story I hear from my patients time and time again: “I used to be in the mood much more often, but then life happened. I’m always too tired or stressed out. Instead of sex being an outlet, it’s become a chore.”

Well, as life becomes more complicated, it tends to affect our sex lives. Stress, daily chores, financial struggles, taking care of the children, and the need to perform at work can all have a detrimental effect on our sexual desire.

But why? It turns out that all forms of stress and anxiety affect our inherent mindfulness levels – our ability to be aware and in the present moment. When our minds are racing between a million things or ruminating about things we’re worried about, there’s simply no room for arousing thoughts to occur. We’re too distracted to notice any sexual cues.

Desire requires paying attention and being aware of both internal cues (arousing sensations, thoughts, and emotions) and external cues (such as seeing your partner naked).

Recent research on this topic has proven the connection between low levels of mindfulness and low libido. While removing the sources of stress may not be possible, learning how to minimize their impact on our lives and sexual desire can be achieved!

How can meditation boost your sexual desire?

Mindfulness meditation is a tool that helps us develop the ability to be more mindful during our day-to-day activities. We practice mindfulness during meditation and then apply this skill in our daily lives, including the bedroom.

When we are anxious and stressed, our minds are often distracted by past or future events, diverting our focus from the present moment. This difficulty in paying attention to thoughts and emotions (internal and external cues) can hinder desire.

Being mindful enhances arousal and libido

Mindfulness allows us to be aware of the present moment, helping us focus on elements related to erotic cues while reducing the impact of interfering or irrelevant thoughts and feelings during sex, such as concerns about erections or stress over work presentations.

Being mindful enhances arousal and sexual desire, encouraging us to engage in sex more often and mindfully. This, in turn, boosts our sex drive and arousal, leading to increased sexual satisfaction.

Automatic thoughts and their impact on sexual desire

In 2018, a study revealed that thoughts related to erection concerns (for men) and a lack of erotic thoughts during sexual activity had a direct negative effect on sexual desire.

Automatic thoughts refer to the spontaneous thoughts that arise in our minds when exposed to sexual stimuli. You can’t force yourself to become aroused; all you can do is leave enough headspace for these arousing thoughts to arise on their own.

For men, worrying about not having an erection is one of the leading causes of low libido. This type of concern is known as sexual performance anxiety. Fortunately, a 2018 study showed that 9 out of 10 men who practiced mindfulness meditation for 4 weeks were able to overcome performance anxiety.

For women, in addition to stress, negative self-esteem, and relationship issues, seem to be more dominant. However, science is also on their side! In a 2014 study, researchers gave a group of women the opportunity to practice mindfulness meditation daily for just 5 minutes for 12 weeks. The women who completed the program reported significant improvement in all domains of sexual response.

In summary

Low libido is a prevalent issue that affects many men and women. The hectic lifestyle most of us lead contributes to a decrease in sexual desire. Stress and anxiety make us less mindful, hindering the automatic thoughts that should naturally occur and lead to desire and arousal.

The good news is that by practicing mindfulness meditation, we can increase our mindfulness levels. By doing so, we naturally boost our sex drive and libido.

About Bailey Hanek PsyD

Clinical Psychologist and Certified Sex Therapist

Dr. Bailey Hanek is a clinical psychologist and an AASECT-certified sex therapist. She serves as a professional consultant for Between Us Clinic. Dr. Hanek provides sex therapy and general psychotherapy to adults in her private practice. In addition, she works to increase access to information about relationship and sexual health through her founding role in The Relationship Coaches.