Is Stress Taking its Toll on Your Sex Life?
Stress is one of the dirtiest six letter words you will come across in your lifetime. It sabotages your health, happiness, relationships and sex life. But it does have its purpose. Stress works great when you sense danger and your adrenaline rushes to the rescue, such as right before you leap out of an airplane. But what if there is no airplane to jump out of? Well, then you’re basically crying wolf to your body. You’re telling your body to prepare for a hoedown that is never going to take place. And here’s what happens to your sex life when you do something like that:
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Stress arouses the body, but it doesn’t set it up for sexual stimulation. Endorphins are released as a result of stress, but endorphins also block the release of LMRH, which is a hormone important for testosterone production. And when testosterone is low in men, they usually have a difficult time getting in the mood.
Men who suffer from chronic stress have bodies that act like they are in a constant life-threatening situation. As a result, the body stops producing sex hormones and starts producing more stress hormones. This change causes a man’s sex drive to drop, and when he does have sex, it’s a less-enjoyable experience for him and his partner. The next time sexual activity is initiated, he’ll have the memory of that less-than-stellar sexual experience, and he’ll perform the same way. In other words, bad sex can be habit forming, especially when a guy gets used to it being that way. Enough stress can even lead to erectile dysfunction!
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When women feel stressed their bodies also react by releasing endorphins and the stress hormone, cortisol. If stress becomes chronic, their bodies will react by adjusting sex hormone levels to make room for more stress hormone production (just like men). This affects her production of prolactin, estrogen and progesterone. So stress can change how a woman ovulates, her weight and her mood.
Chronic stress is mentally draining for women too. But in some ways, it’s more mentally draining, because women need to have a happy mental state to get in the mood for sex. If her mind isn’t turned on, her body won’t be and the sex she has will be mediocre. Over time, women can become accustomed to bad sex, just like men can.
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Rather than participate in this cycle of bad sex and a mediocre sex life, here’s what you can do instead:
Have Good Habits
Surveys show that a good majority of people deal with stress in an unhealthy way, like drinking, smoking or overeating. How about some exercise or relaxation techniques like meditation instead? Building a little muscle at the gym is great for testosterone production and that benefits your sex drive whether you’re a man or a woman.
Just Say No
One of the reasons people are so stressed out is because they have a hard time saying no. Whether it’s to their bosses, coworkers, family or friends, people don’t like saying no because they hate to disappoint. But you need to take care of yourself first, and sometimes that means telling someone you simply can’t do something.
Just Do It
Have sex to reduce stress! Sex experts say that even when you aren’t in the mood, you can coax your body into arousal by going through the motions until your body and your mind catch up. Just have a positive attitude, a lot of foreplay, and don’t focus on the orgasm. Learn to enjoy the journey. And if nothing simmers down south, spend time cuddling or ask your partner for a back massage. You’ll get there.
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Stress is a sex life killer, but it doesn’t have to be. If you learn how to handle the stress in your life, you can look forward to better sex and a more fulfilling relationship.