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Some women seem to crave sex as often as guys do, but most of us—72 percent, a Self.com poll reveals—wish we could crank up our desire. Why the lagging libidos? "New research suggests the distribution and levels of dopamine and other brain chemicals that promote pleasure-seeking may be different in women with strong desires," says Susan Kellogg-Spadt, Ph.D., codirector of the Pelvic & Sexual Health Institute in Philadelphia. Beat your brain at its game: Use these tips to shift your sex drive into high gear. —Katherine Bowers
Set the Mood
"Reading erotica or watching a sexy soap creates arousing chemical changes in your brain that can increase desire," Kellogg-Spadt says. Simply talking about sex helps: Couples who discuss their sexual preferences report twice as many satisfying sexual encounters as those who are all action.
Just Do It
"Don't worry about having an orgasm; focusing on touching your partner or yourself and enjoying the sensuality can reset your brain and body to learn to enjoy sex again," says Laura Berman, Ph.D., assistant clinical professor of ob/gyn at the Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.
Manage Your Meds
Certain antidepressants, especially Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft, may increase levels of serotonin and suppress dopamine, a balance shift that reduces libido. Hormones in the Pill can also dampen desire. Consult your physician to see if your prescriptions are squelching your sex life.
Dial Your Doc
If you have any difficulty in the bedroom (pain, low desire, vaginal dryness), bring it up with your M.D. before it derails your love life. Shy? Swap the word touch for sex (as in, I don't want to be touched): A good doc will catch your drift and carry the conversation toward a diagnosis.
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