Anxiety doesn’t just affect our thought process and daily routine tasks, it starts to get real personal. Living with anxiety means that it can affect different aspects of our lives. For example:
- Family relationships
- Social experiences
- Sex (the one we are going to talk about in this post)
When it comes to getting freaky in the sheets, anxiety can cause panic, fear and uncomfortable situations for all involved. Sometimes anxiety doesn’t let it get that far and your sex drive has plummeted. In romantic relationships, this can cause strain, stress and sometimes even arguments.
But WHY does anxiety reduce our sex drive?
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Anxiety can lower your sex drive
This can affect both men and women. When you’re feeling anxious or stressed, your hormone levels reduce, which results in loss of libido, lowered sex drive. When you think about it, it’s all science! It’s natural for our bodies to experience hormone level changes, but it still affects our lives.
You could be feeling in the mood, ready to get busy with your partner and bam.
It hits you like a ton of bricks.
Your heart starts racing, you have the sweats before you know it, you’re rocking yourself in a corner. Bit dramatic but you get the point.
A high level of cortisol, which is the main hormone for stress, can reduce and suppress your sexual desires. Therefore, if you start to feel anxious or stressed in a situation, your hormones can switch off your sex drive.
Our bodies change throughout our lives, but it doesn’t mean we always like it. Ever look at a picture from when you’re 18 and feel a depressive episode coming on because you don’t look like that at 23? It’s all about body confidence issue.
Shock horror, of course, you don’t. Things change, your body changes.
So, how does this affect your sexual desires?
Getting intimate is… intimate. You are trusting the other person with your body. In steps the fear and self-doubt.
“What if my boobs are too small?”
“What if my stomach isn’t flat enough?”
“I forgot to shave my legs! Oh no!”
The self-doubt gremlin creeps in and starts to plant the seeds. We start to doubt our bodies and how the other person will perceive us. Our body confidence can have a huge effect on our sex lives. We need to feel comfortable with our own bodies before we can ask someone else to be.
How can you ask someone else to love something that YOU yourself don’t love?
Whenever I have to take antibiotics, the side effects list is basically a novel. Listen I get it, they have to make you aware of things that could happen. A common side effect of medication is a lowered sex drive.
I personally do not take anxiety medication but I believe it can help others. With anxiety medication, a common side effect is loss of libido. Taking anti-depressants and anxiety medication can cause a delayed, and sometimes a blocked reaction to an orgasm.
Lets simplify it even more.
When we feel stressed or anxious, our bodies tense up and our head goes elsewhere, therefore, making it difficult to connect with your partner.
What can you do to improve your sex drive?
Now that we understand some reasons why anxiety can effect our sex lives, what the hell can we do about it??
I’ve listed four ways to improve when anxiety reduces our sex drive.
*Please note these are lifestyle changes. If you require medical attention, please contact a licensed professional.
- Exercise! Time to get your running gear on. Don’t get me wrong, the motivation for going to the gym is hard, but how well do you feel after completing a workout. Exercising lifts your mood, improves your body image and can increase your sex drive.
- Speak openly with your partner. Try and view things from your partners perspective. If you are no longer having sex with your partner but don’t discuss the reasons why, of course, your partner is going to question it. Be open and honest about how you feel and this can also allow you to work together to find a solution.
- Fix some of your bad habits. You don’t have to become a fitness or health guru, but make some slight changes in your life. If you’re smoking, drinking and not exercising – your body is already taking a hit. Make changes, where you can, to improve your overall health.
- Practice self-care. Looking after yourself is a priority. Make yourself a priority. Take the time to complete your self-care routine.
If anxiety reduces your sex drive, first – know you’re not alone. Having anxiety causes a strain on life, which is hard enough to deal with. Then you add on top of that all the day to day stress of life.
It’s a miracle that any of us are ready to get jiggy with it.
The best thing to do is, to be honest about how you are feeling. Whether that be with a friend you can trust or a professional. Sex was always a very taboo topic for me when I was growing up. I had one class in high school that briefly mentioned how to instead of all the complicated things that come with it.
As a millennial, we are seen to be sexually active all the time and made to feel like it’s weird when we aren’t. Our bodies are constantly changing, we are still in the early stages of our adult lives. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, you got this!