Red Responds: How Stress Can Lower Your Sex Drive

Renee from Bronx asks:

When a man is under a lot of stress, does it cancel his sex drive or is he cheating? It’s been over a year!!

Psychic Red ext. 9226 Responds:

Dear Renee,

Everyone handles stress differently, and some men do find that it has a significant impact on their libido and/or functionality. Your man seems to have been impacted on both levels. His sex drive really seems to be absent, initially caused by the stress, and when Mr. Happy started to rebel… well, things just sort of snowballed.

It looks as if your partner’s “equipment failure” began in February or March of last year. While you were aware of some of his issues, you were not aware of the extent of his problems and difficulties. After some not terrific (from his side scary and somewhat embarrassing) bedroom incidents, the real obvious libido drop began.

Your guy likes to internalize everything. So, while he may be one of this century’s great brooders, he ultimately doesn’t like to share what all is going on inside of his head with you. This character trait of his, and the bit of communication breakdown it has caused, hasn’t done any favors for your sex life.

He certainly isn’t the kind of guy who is going to have one of those conversations with you that starts out, “When I attempted to pleasure myself because things weren’t quite the norm the last time we made love, Mr. Happy really wasn’t up to the task at hand…” (pun intended). His problematic private sessions really caused him to avoid seeking sex with you. What started as a reactionary aversion to potential embarrassment and humiliation for him has become a not talked about habit. Since your relationship seems to be sustaining, he would rather not talk about what is going on, or rather not going on, with you.

From what I can see, he hasn’t cheated on you. He’s chatted up some random women here and there and flirted, but he hasn’t made or accepted any physical or sexual advances. It seems like he’s just being pretty hard on himself and feeling like a failure all the way around.

While he has successfully masturbated several times since your last encounter, it seems as if even this is random. He really has no sense of surety as to when things are working fully, partially or not at all. So, while it is unusual for a man to go this long without partnered sex, it isn’t nearly as unusual as we women are trained to believe.

Your guy is going to fend off any serious attempts of intimacy you may try and initiate, but it looks like you should try anyway, for the sake of the relationship. While you face sexual rejection, if you could get him to open up and start talking about all of this, it would be a good thing. If nothing else, it will help to put your mind at ease about his loyalty to you, and if things go really well, you may be able to start nudging him in the direction of seeing a doctor about his problems.

Stress, anxiety and his need to suppress are the biggest culprits of your bedroom problems; but the fact that relationship overall is somewhat stuck in a rut and on auto-pilot is something else that the two of you may want to look at. If either arena is addressed and improved upon, the other arena will follow. However, if you are content with the relationship as it stands, and are accepting of the lack of intimacy—since he isn’t cheating on you and has no plans or desires to leave you—you can always just let it ride.

Good luck to you with whatever you decide.

Brightest Blessings,


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