How Stress Affects Sex, Because The Brain & Body Are Connected


Picture a stereotypical sexy room: lit candles, soft music, champagne, and an inviting bed often set the scene. In other words, it's super chill. In many ways, relaxation is a requirement for getting in the mood. In fact, once you know how stress affects sex, you might view relaxation as a necessary part of foreplay. Long story short — stress is quite the mood-killer.

For starters, stress can put a damper on sexual desire at the hormonal level. According to the website for Psychology Today, ongoing stress can make the body produce stress hormones at the expense of sex hormones. In a basic sense, stress tells the body you're in immediate danger and send it into fight or flight mode, shutting down the systems it doesn't need at the moment. Thanks to this response, your sex drive might evaporate. It makes sense in the wild: when you're caught in a mammoth stampede, it's best to focus on survival, not horniness. In the modern world, however, this stress can stem from more abstract fears, such as credit card debt or wi-fi connectivity. These stresses can add up and be difficult to shake, even when you consciously want to be in the mood for sex. Thus, your stress hormones continually work against your libido.

Stress can also erode your sex life by taking up all your mental energy. As explained by Very Well, a busy, stressful lifestyle can lead to a brain that's always in go mode. When your schedule is packed from the minute you get up in the morning, it can be almost impossible to stop thinking about your to-do list long enough to get in the mood.

Lastly, a partner who is constantly stressed out can complicate a relationship. According to HuffPo, constant stress can erode the communication in a relationship. When one partner is blinded by a cloud of stress, it can leave the other person feeling a bit abandoned and not interested in intimacy. If both partners are stressed out to the max most of the time, then getting everyone to calm down long enough for romance can feel impossible. Learning ways to manage stress may be a necessity for protecting your sex life.