Stress and Sex: Is Stress Ruining Your Sex Life?" />

Stress and Sex: Is Stress Ruining Your Sex Life?

Stress and Sex: Is Stress Ruining Your Sex Life?

This content has been reviewed and approved for quality and accuracy by James O'Loan (GPhC: 2084549)



 

Does Sex Relieve Stress?

Stress ruins a lot of great things; sleep, appetite, social plans, the list is long. So, it should come to no surprise that stress has a significant effect on your sex life.

From how stress lowers your libido, to using sex to help regulate your mood and working to combat sex anxiety, in this article we tell you everything you need to know about stress and sex.

How Stress Affects Your Libido

Unregulated stress can be a nightmare for the body. Not only does it affect your sleep and lower your immune system, but it can play havoc with your sex drive.

But it’s not just a case of feeling too tired or distracted to have sex, stress has a physical effect on your body, one which blocks your ability to feel aroused.

Chronic stress causes your body to produce more cortisol. Cortisol not only makes you feel anxious but has a negative effect on how much testosterone you can produce.
Without healthy testosterone levels, libido will naturally decline and could even cause erectile dysfunction or impotence.

While most people may think of testosterone as a male hormone, we all produce it.

Testosterone is significant to sex drive in both men and women, so regulating your stress levels is essential, no matter your gender.

Is Sex Good For Stress Relief?

 

Simply put, yes. Very much so.

Much in the same way exercise can reduce stress, sex is a brilliant way to boost endorphins, which are well known to improve mood.

However, sex (and orgasms in particular) have a few more things going for them than your morning jog.

As well as helping to regulate blood pressure and release muscle tension, having an orgasm releases a large dose of the happy chemical, dopamine, and the sleepy chemical, prolactin.

These lovely brain chemicals are responsible for that relaxed, ‘ready for bed’ feeling you get after a good session.

To put a cherry on this already delicious cake, sex is also a great way to release oxytocin, which is more commonly known as the cuddle hormone.

Oxytocin plays a major role in bonding people together, so sex with your loved one is likely to make you feel closer and better connected.

As well as calming the body physically, sex is also a great way to protect your mental health.

Connecting with a person you care about in such an honest and vulnerable way can work wonders in improving your body image, strengthening your relationship and putting things in perspective.

While we may find it hard to communicate on an everyday basis, the tender moments after having sex with your partner can be the perfect time to open up and share your burden.

The Terrible Catch 22 of Sex Anxiety

We could talk about the health benefits of sex until we’re blue in the face, but if sex is the thing causing you to feel stressed, it’s a little redundant, isn’t it?

It’s a classic Catch 22, while sex is a fantastic way to relieve stress, if you have sex anxiety or sexual performance anxiety you may be too stressed to do it.

So how do you deal with sexual stress? First of all, it’s a good idea to understand what you find stressful about sex.

Many people find the pressure to give or have an orgasm very stressful, which as a result can reduce their chances of having one.

To combat this, get the orgasm out of your mind and instead focus on having a good time.

Rather than worrying if you’ll be able to get ‘there’, try concentrating on the sensation of your lover’s touch.

It works vice versa too, instead of fretting that your partner hasn’t orgasmed yet, focus on giving them pleasure. If they come great, if not, it’s no biggie.

There are few rules when it comes to sex (pun always intended), and as long as everyone is happy to be there, it really doesn’t matter how it ends.

You may not be able to reach orgasm every time, and that’s OK.

If you do struggle to get there through sex, why not finish yourself off with your hands or an adult toy? This should take the pressure off a little and can be very hot for your partner to watch.

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Does Masturbation Reduce Stress?

Don’t worry if you’re single, or not in the mood for sex with another person, sex with yourself combats stress too!

Masturbation releases the same stress-busting brain chemicals that sex does. In fact, it’s also known to boost body image and regular masturbation can even protect penis owners from prostate cancer.

However, if you’re dealing with chronic stress, masturbation may be the last thing on your mind, you may even struggle to become aroused.

But, in times of great anxiety and uncertainty, the best thing you can do to help yourself is to be kind and tender with your body.

Next time you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed or anxious, try masturbating. However, instead of thinking of masturbation as a sex act, think of it as an act of self-care, like yoga or meditation.

Take yourself away to a quiet place and explore your body, taking the time to enjoy every sensation and properly relax.

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The Ultimate Self-Care

Whether you have a partner or not, a healthy sexual relationship with your body is a wonderful way to deal with stress and anxiety.

Not only does it benefit us all physically, but sex can open the door to deeper connections with your partner.

However, you don’t need to be attached to benefit. With or without a partner, masturbation is also an incredible way to regulate your mood and could even improve your body image.

While sex isn’t the be-all and end-all of fighting stress, it certainly is an easy (and inexpensive) way to alleviate the symptoms. So, next time you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, put down that stress ball and go squeeze something else instead.

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