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July 28, 2022 5 min read

This Is How Your Sex Life Is Affected By Stress  

From losing interest, adopting unhealthy habits, and diminishing self-confidence to how it affects communication, stress can mess up your sex life, to mention a few factors. Stress can be a big issue in the bedroom and cause long-term problems to your sex life.

The feeling of emotional or physical tension is referred to as stress. Stress can originate from thoughts or events that give you feelings of frustration, nervousness, or anger. Stress can be said to be the body's counter-reaction to demand or challenge. Any excess work can lead to stress which directly changes how your body perceives and reacts to things, the flight or fight response. With this response, you will likely experience an increase in heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Stress, however, is good as it can help you meet a deadline or avoid danger. Stress can still affect certain aspects of your life, like sex. Herein is how your sex life is affected by stress.

Lose Interest In Sex     

You can testify that the last thing you want to do when stressed out is have sex. More often than not, stress can make us feel light-headed. This poses as a distraction to the want to have sex or being mentally and emotionally present during sex. In turn, all this causes one to disconnect from their partner. Loss of interest in sex can greatly affect your life as your partner will feel ignored or less important. According to Goldstein et al. (2010), stress also greatly impacts your mood, leading to anxiety and depression. Montejo, Montejo & Baldwin (2018) illustrated that anxiety and depression directly impact sex, leading to low libido or sex drive. Stress can increase the production of Cortisol, a hormone in the body that suppresses the sex hormones, generating a lower libido. 

Adoption Of Unhealthy Habits

The way people deal with stress differs. In the course of finding instant solutions to deal with stress, some may adopt healthy habits while others may be unhealthy. Healthy habits include going to bed early or calling a friend to help you cope with stress. According to Pampel, Krueger & Denney (2010), stress can also lead you to adopt unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking, which too may affect your sex life. As a man, drinking and smoking can lead to the "whisky dick" or erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. These habits may also change how you see yourself and lead to inactiveness even in bed. This will, in turn, be a barrier to healthy sex life.

Lack Of Feel-Good Hormones  

According to Locci & Pinna (2017), feelings and emotions are hormone-induced; some hormones are produced when we do things that make us feel happy. These hormones are dopamine and oxytocin. This also applies in sex, whereby during healthy and rather satisfying sex, you are likely to produce these hormones that will be evident in your general mood. Stress, in this case, will undermine the production of these hormones as it makes us more distracted and absent, leading to more boring and unsatisfactory sex. Research has proven that healthy sex life can lead to an increase in work efficiency and productivity.

Diminishes Self-Confidence      

Stress negatively affects self-esteem. Take, for instance, the example of a workplace; when one is appreciated at work after a job well done, that will positively impact their self-confidence. On coming home, they might feel happier and more accomplished, which will also positively affect their performance in the bedroom.

If the person is not appreciated after a job well done or receives negative feedback daily, the person will most definitely be stressed. When returning home, the person will reciprocate those feelings in all activities. This person will not be in any mood to participate in anything casually intimate or sexual. Even so, their performance in bed will be lower than normal. 

Stress Affects Communication      

Stress can easily bring up feelings of anger and ' frustration. This can harm your communication skills. A person with a heightened sense of emotion can have trouble with their selection of words and how they react and express themselves. Stress makes it easy for one person to misunderstand the intentions and whatever a person may want to communicate. In your sex life, communication is key. You and your partner both express your feelings and desires openly to each other. If this becomes a challenge, your sex life will be immensely undermined.  

Distancing and Seclusion

Companionship is the first step toward sexual chemistry. Stress can make a person pull away from people. People may want to draw within themselves and isolate themselves from their loved ones when stressed. This may be in a course to deal with stress and cope with whatever is happening in their lives. In a relationship, this will create some distance between you and your partner and greatly affect your sexual chemistry. This will, in turn, make it hard for you to have any sexual intimacy or activity. It is important to communicate, especially at your lowest, as this goes a long way to help you cope with everything life throws at you.  

Stress Leads To Body Sickness

You know that you cannot have sex when you have symptoms of sickness because of physical and biological reasons. When stressed, the body may display some physical symptoms. This may come about even if you are not sick. These symptoms may include aches and pains, chest pain or increased heart rate, headaches, dizziness, digestion problems, and high blood pressure. With these bodily symptoms, intimacy becomes a problem, a barrier to healthy and satisfactory sex life. 


Stress is a normal body reaction that can be a major barrier to healthy sex life, directly or indirectly. Stress can be induced by a variety of factors relation emotionally, physically, or mentally. Communication is important in dealing with stress because it becomes easy to cope with stress as you let people in. Stress can also be something short-term or long-term (chronic). Where stress is chronic, the person's sex life will have issues day in and day out. Consider seeing a doctor if you realize your stress is not fading away. Otherwise, short-term stress is manageable and can be dealt with quite easily. Either way, work on your issues so that it doesn't come in the way of your sex life.


Goldstein, J. M., Jerram, M., Abbs, B., Whitfield-Gabrieli, S., & Makris, N. (2010). Sex differences in stress response circuitry activation dependent on female hormonal cycle. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(2), 431-438.

Locci, A., & Pinna, G. (2017). Neurosteroid biosynthesis down‚Äźregulation and changes in GABAA receptor subunit composition: a biomarker axis in stress‚Äźinduced cognitive and emotional impairment. British journal of pharmacology, 174(19), 3226-3241.

Montejo, A. L., Montejo, L., & Baldwin, D. S. (2018). The impact of severe mental disorders and psychotropic medications on sexual health and its implications for clinical management. World Psychiatry, 17(1), 3-11.

Pampel, F. C., Krueger, P. M., & Denney, J. T. (2010). Socioeconomic disparities in health behaviors. Annual review of sociology, 36, 349.

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