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( – Everybody knows that spending significant amounts of time with your sweetie is crucial to a lasting and happy relationship. But from the pills you take, to what you drink, to the shape you’re in, three surprising lovin’ busters (LB’s) can definitely sneak in and steal away that cuddle time.

Here’s how to keep those busters at bay:

LB 1: Antihistamines

Why? Vaginal dryness. You wouldn’t think that a common medication used in cold and allergy treatments could suppress sexual desire, but it can.

“Antihistamines are designed to dry mucous membranes,” explains Linda Bradley, M.D., vice-chair of Women’s Health at the Cleveland Clinic. “The vagina is a mucous membrane. Less lubrication can lead to friction and that can lead to pain with intercourse.

Fix It: Even though antihistamines can be bought over the counter, medications like these should be used in moderation and under your doctor’s guidance. If you think they may be affecting you sex life, ask about getting a lower dosage or an alternative remedy.

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LB 2: Alcohol and High-Fat Foods

Why? You’re too tired for a tryst. Reaching for a glass of liquid courage before sex can leave you lethargic because alcohol is a depressant.

“Choosing the wrong beverages and foods, particularly those that are high in fat, animal products, dairy and sugar, make you sleepy and weak, with little energy for sex,” says Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., an ob-gyn and the author of Pleasure: A Woman’s Guide to Getting the Sex You Want, Need and Deserve.”

Fix It: Steer clear of liquor, as well as sugary and fatty foods, when you’re gearing up for a night of good loving.

LB 3: Weight Gain

Why? Poor stamina and low libido. You already know that an active lifestyle leads to a long life, but did you know that it can also boost longevity in the bedroom?

“Women who are healthy have a much more robust sexual desire and sexual functioning, stamina and interest,” says Bradley.

Being overweight and obesity plague at least 60 percent of African-American women. Not only is the excess of weight killing sex drives, but it’s also leading to debilitating illnesses, like diabetes and heart disease.

“Diabetes can affect blood vessels, nerve endings and the ability to be aroused,” notes Bradley. Women taking blood pressure medications can also suffer loss of desire.

Fix It: Get moving, whether you’re walking, doing yoga or swimming.

“The cardiovascular system is extremely intertwined with intercourse,” says Bradley. “Plus, exercising promotes flexibility, and sexual activity can be much more pleasurable in different positions.”

Be sure to ask your doctor about any side effects of drugs you might be on for heart problems or diabetes. Then go light some candles and have some fun!


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