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Monk Junk

Sexually Frustrated Men Are Trying To Lower Their Libidos

Men who have unintentionally (and temporarily) misplaced their sex drives after their significant others have a baby may be shocked, even outraged, to learn that some men are doing this on purpose. Men are trying to lower their libidos. From husbands who pop pills to avoid cheating to men who bulk up on libido-busting supplements to accommodate their asexual partners, the market for anaphrodisiacs—oysters’ evil twins—is growing.

The concept is not new. Soldiers have long assumed been (incorrectly) that their generals were feeding them saltpeter to reduce their interest in the bone zone. And even in modern times sex offenders have been prescribed anti-androgens to reduce their risk of offending again (although side effects such as growing breasts tend to limit compliance.) For obvious reasons, the market for voluntary anaphrodisiacs never exactly exploded. But online supplement sales means that there are now many holistic options for men who want to cool their loins. Fatherly cannot take responsibility for these drugs and herbs, and nobody should try any of them without first consulting a doctor. Still, these interventions may be the inverse of Viagra—and knowing about them will, at the very least, make you more fun at parties.

tofu in frying pan

Diet: Salute Your Soy

Soy protein is full of compounds known as isoflavones, known to have estrogen-like effects. So a diet rich in soy may help lower a man’s testosterone levels. On the other hand, foods high in saturated fats and animal protein have been been linked to higher libidos. In other words—a little fake salami might reduce your urge to show off the real one.

Exercise: Try Harder

Men who engage in prolonged, intense exercise experience lower libidos, a recent study of 1,077 men suggests. Since low to moderate exercise has the opposite effect, however, this is a risky balance. While exercise is technically good for you either way, taking too many water breaks could make you buffer and hornier than ever before.

athlete doing pushups

Herbs: Try A Monk’s Salad

Known as chasteberry or monk’s pepper after the celibate monks rumored to have chewed on its leaves, Vitex Agnus-Castus has been shown to decrease levels of the hormone prolactin. Studies suggest this may help mitigate the symptoms of PMS, and anecdotal evidence suggest that it may decrease a man’s sex drive too. Of course, there are side effects, including dizziness, diarrhea, and hair loss—all symptoms that will make sex less of an option, anyway.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors: Less Depressing

Typically prescribed for mood disorders such as depression, SSRIs such as Zoloft have an unfortunate side-effect—patients say it totally tanks their libido. Other patients, however, are thrilled by the sudden total lack of interest in sex, and even request the drug specifically to keep their sex drives in check. Besides the fact that not everyone who takes SSRIs actually experiences less sexual interest, these drugs tend to have nasty side effects, one of which is inability to climax. Which means some users end up keeping their sex drives, but losing their ability to do anything about it.

anti depressants in bowl with spoon

Hypersexuality: When It’s a Real Issue

When the need to take an anaphrodisiac is rooted in hypersexuality, an actual disorder, doctors may prescribe medication to treat what is often an underlying health problem. Lithium, for instance, has been shown to help people manage hypersexuality associated with manic episodes. And Naltrexone, typically given to treat alcoholism, can also treat a related sexual addiction. Whether pills work or not, psychotherapy (or couples therapy) is often an even better option for men looking to tamp down their libidos. Because, clearly, shutting out your urges isn’t an exact science.

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