Work Stress Could Be Killing Your Sex Life, Says Study. Here’s How You Can Fix It
As a sleepy woman, it’s hard to find a balance between your work, social life, sex life, and me time. Unfortunately, all four are important for me and I am just waiting for the zombie look to be the new “woke up like this” trend. So I have made peace with the fact that all-nighters aren’t for me; I’m rooting for morning sex though after at least some hours of sleep. This sucks because why can’t we have sex whenever we want to, irrespective of what we are feeling.
Our mental state affects our sex drive. Do you feel like planting kisses all over bae if he had pissed you off earlier or acted like a total dick? How will you orgasm when your mind is wandering off to the pricking taunts of your boss? What if the stress of your next presentations pops in your head each time you’re trying to fantasise?
So here we are battling stress on one hand and wondering why our sex lives aren’t exciting AF. It’s funny because my best friend tells me whenever she goes on vacation with her partner they have amazing sex. At home? Not so often! Could it be that it’s because they both are feeling relaxed on a vacation? I’d bet on that!
Work stress could be killing your libido
A study published in September’s International Journal of Impotence Research reveals that when we are under stress, our body says no to sex. “The genitals are the most honest part of the body. When your genitals say no, that can be just your mind’s way of telling you something’s wrong,” Dr. Stephen Snyder, a Manhattan sex therapist told NY Post.
According to the study, bad sex for women happens when we are stressed from work due to deadlines or conflicts. Men tend to become bad at sex due to exhaustion from being too obsessed about the rat race.
Researchers monitored the sex lives of 251 doctors in their early 30s. Owing to their high-intensity profession, all doctors had job stress but in different capacities. However, women with high job stress and men with high burnout showed problems with sex. “Sex is something people tend to want to do when they’re happy,” Snyder told The Post.
How stress affects sexual performance
So what happened to sex when the participants got stressed? The men apparently struggled with erections getting weak ones or none at all. This led to them having less sex and eventually feeling discontentment in life.
The female participants had trouble getting wet and orgasming. We can vouch that to be true!
Stress—be it of any kind—isn’t quite good for your sex drive. “This response also triggers the release of hormones, such as cortisol and epinephrine, which in high levels can cause decreased sex drive. When stress is chronic, the body uses sex hormones to meet the increased demands for higher cortisol production, decreasing your interest in sex,” writes Elizabeth Scott, a wellness coach specializing in stress management in Very Well Mind.
Scott further adds, “In addition to the physiological effects of stress, there is also a psychological aspect. Stress can cause you to have a busy, frazzled mind, and distract you from wanting sex or being present during sex. It can also impact your mood, leading to anxiety and depression, which can diminish libido in their own right.”
How to manage stress for a better sex life
Ideally, you should manage stress anyway because it affects more than your sex life. “If you suspect that life stress is putting a damper on your libido, one of the first solutions you should consider is overall stress management. If you reverse your stress response using effective relaxation techniques, you won’t experience as many hormonal disturbances from chronic stress. Try some known strategies for dealing with worry or anxiety in other areas of your life so that they won’t have an impact on your sex drive,” Scott advises.
ALSO READ: 5 Ways Anxiety Affects Your Sex Life
In fact, scheduling sex wouldn’t be a bad idea. If not sex, make some time at least for affection and intimacy. Spend time cuddling; kiss and hug more often. That itself can reduce your stress as well as get you in the mood. Clinical psychologist Alicia H Clark tells Self.com, “The [feelings] produced from sex are natural defenses against stress—closeness, attachment, and feelings of calm—so making time and space for physical intimacy isn’t at all fruitless, even if stress levels are high.”
Lastly, Synder advises finding a work-life balance. “Consider paying a bit more attention to your relationships and other life goals,” suggests Snyder.