If you never knew the cause of your low performance as a man or woman in bed, even though you take pills or have a built body, now you must pay rapt attention to what I am about to say. Stress can crumble your sex life and plans from zero to a thousand in minutes. The sad thing is if partners can’t manage stress as a team, the relationship suffers. Here are three ways stress affects your sex drive.
The two nervous systems
Human beings have two nervous systems. The sympathetic nervous system is the accelerator and the parasympathetic nervous system is the brake. We use the accelerator when we experience difficulties and challenges in life.
Whenever this happens, our stress response (the accelerator) is released in our bodies. This happens physically: your heart rate increases, your palms get sweaty, you experience inner discomfort. All of these things are really just your body providing you with a shot of energy to either fight the problems or to run away from them.
As soon as the challenge has been dealt with, and the danger has passed, the accelerator will be relieved by the brake. Ah, another challenge has been solved. Now you can relax.
But, when we experience stress over a long period of time, it may actually feel as though our accelerator has gotten stuck. Our body is working overtime, all the time, and we never actually allow our brakes to kick in.
Our sexuality goes hand in hand with our brakes. Naturally, and biologically speaking, it does not make sense for us to enjoy an erotic touch or to lie around kissing our partner if our stress pedal is hitting the metal. Stress and sex drive do not mix. You simply cannot have a head full of 120 worries while also having great sex.
Your hormones change
When the accelerator has been in overdrive for a long period of time, your body will actually begin to produce more cortisol – this is known as “the stress hormone.” The building blocks used in this process are the very same building blocks used to produce the male sex hormone testosterone. Therefore, for most people with long-lasting stress symptoms, their testosterone production is reduced.
According to Norwegian doctor, psychiatrist, and clinical sexologist Haakon Aars, testosterone is the sex hormone with the greatest significance to sex drive in both men and women. This means that your sex drive decreases due to completely logical physiological reasons.
Closeness is replaced by Absence
Your sexuality is not only affected by hormones, but also by social, relational, and psychological factors. When the stress hormones kick in, closeness is replaced by absence. It is nearly impossible to be present – to listen and to be interested in the people around you – if you’re feeling stressed out. It’s hard to deal with anyone but yourself.
The stress hormones pumping through your body are encouraging you to either fight or flight. This can even lead to you being aggressive towards your partner. You might start to snap at them or yell at them. The people you normally love having around you can suddenly feel like a source of irritation because they demand time with you.
All of this doesn’t leave much room for closeness with your partner, and slowly but surely, the intimacy starts to fall away. As days turn to weeks, what you’re usually depositing into your Emotional Bank Account, as Dr. John Gottman calls it, becomes less and less.
When your presence and your intimacy fade away, and your aggression and irritation skyrockets, it’s only natural for insecurities to increase. In most cases, this equals a considerably lowered lust for intimacy and sexual contact.
What can you do?
When your sexuality is giving you a hard time, you need to address the underlying problem. Here is what I recommend that you do.
Talk to your partner about stress
Anyone can experience stress and there’s absolutely nothing to feel ashamed of. We’re all at risk of experiencing stress. Have a daily stress-reducing conversation.
Decide to handle this as a teamThe more of a team you are, fighting this stress together, the better. It will not only increase your sense of unity but also show you that this is something you were are able to get through together.
Accept that your sex drive will fluctuate
Your sex drive will be low sometimes and that’s okay. Accept that it might take a little while to get back into the swing of things. This is perfectly normal and if you can accept this, you can still have a lovely sex life during this time too. What you need to remember though is that it’ll take longer for your body to feel aroused, and you will need to focus on allowing the ‘brake nervous system’ to kick in.
Focus on activating your brake
The more you can do this, the more you’re actually fighting the stress itself. This is where cuddles and kisses, hugs, and other loving touches can help. It simply forces the body to go from stress to relaxation, if you allow this. Kiss your stressed-out partner a little bit more and hug them for 20 seconds longer. You could even offer them a nice 30-minute massage etc.
That’s it, and then you are done!
HELP! My Husband Doesn’t Suck My Nipples During S*x anymore
I am so depressed writing this to you, I have just been married for a year and our sxual life seems like it is crumbling. My husband suddenly stopped having sx with me, even on the days he will, he will just put his d*ck inside me and cum.
No romance, no foreplay, everything is just so bland. And I enjoy adventure in bed. I have tried so many times to ask him why the sudden change in his behaviour towards me, he said nothing that he is only tired.
I am s*xually frustrated, I don’t get turned on anymore, he doesn’t even suck my nipples when he is making love to me. What will I do, I am tired of enduring.
I am not even asking for much, just sx, ordinary sx he can’t offer, what if I start demanding for something very difficult, what will he do? What is the best approach to handle this, because I have just reconnected with my ex, I don’t want to do something stupid.
The annoying thing is he enjoys s*x while we were dating, and the sudden change in his behaviour is very suspicious, I even think he is cheating. I am tired.
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