Monthly Archives: August 2016

Myths about making love

Like every other aspect of human health, your sex drive has been the subject of lots of scientific scrutiny. And, like every other aspect of human health, the answer experts give when asked about your libido is, “It’s complicated.”

One popular idea that’s at least partly hokum: That a man’s libido peaks when he’s young, while a woman’s jumps up in her 30s and 40s. (Here’s your essential guide to better sex at every age.)

While it’s true that some research has shown women aged 27 to 45 tend to have more sex than their younger selves, there’s little evidence a woman’s libido actually heats up during her 30s, says Susan Davis, PhD, director of the Women’s Health Research Program at Australia’s Monash University. (Looking for more simple, smart tips? Discover Prevention—and get 2 FREE gifts when you subscribe today.)

So what explains the uptick in sex that women in this age group experience? It’s possible that women in their 30s feel more comfortable with their bodies and with sex—and that the men they’re sleeping with are more competent at satisfying them, suggests research from the University of Texas. (That’s just one theory among many.)

As far as the guys go, testosterone levels play an important role in male libido. (They do for women, too.) And yes, T tends to drop steadily as a man ages. But research shows men, in general, tend to have stronger “let’s do it!” impulses than women, and that these urges don’t fall off a cliff after a guy leaves his teens. (Just never ever do these 7 things before or after sex.)

So no, men’s and women’s libidos aren’t mismatched the way popular theories would have you believe.

Here, a few more sex drive myths.

Oysters make you horny.

There is no evidence that so-called “aphrodisiac” foods crank up your sexual desire, says Debra Herbenick, PhD, director of the Center for Sexual HealthPromotion at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute. Going out for a romantic seafood dinner with your partner might lead to some bedroom fun afterward, but it’s not because of the mollusks.

Birth control will kill your sex drive.

Davis says some women could experience a drop-off in sex drive while taking birth control. But research in the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests some women actually experience a libido boost while taking hormonal contraceptives. As the authors of the JSM study put it, birth control has a “mixed” effect on a woman’s enthusiasm for sex.

After menopause, a woman’s libido plummets.

Again, while it’s true that some women experience a drop in libido post-menopause, 50% of post-menopausal women report no difference in sex drive compared to their pre-menopausal selves, finds a study from Rutgers Medical School. (This is how your vagina changes during menopause—and what you can do about it.)

Detects first H5N8 bird flu

The first case of H5N8 bird flu has been detected at a poultry farm in Denmark, the country’s environment and food ministry said on Monday.

About one-third of 30 ducks at a farm north of Copenhagen were killed by the same virus that had been found in Denmark in wild birds, it said.

A week ago, Danish authorities ordered farmers to keep flocks indoors after bird flu was found in wild birds.

Bird flu has been found in a number of countries across Europe over the last two weeks.

During the last case of bird flu in 2006, Denmark lost about 200 million Danish crowns ($28.58 million) in export revenue, the ministry said.

There is no evidence that so-called “aphrodisiac” foods crank up your sexual desire, says Debra Herbenick, PhD, director of the Center for Sexual HealthPromotion at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute. Going out for a romantic seafood dinner with your partner might lead to some bedroom fun afterward, but it’s not because of the mollusks.

Birth control will kill your sex drive.

Davis says some women could experience a drop-off in sex drive while taking birth control. But research in the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests some women actually experience a libido boost while taking hormonal contraceptives. As the authors of the JSM study put it, birth control has a “mixed” effect on a woman’s enthusiasm for sex.