From relationship problems and arguments with friends or family to financial worries and work deadlines, stress always has a way of rearing its ugly head. And while it is a normal human response to difficult circumstances, it has a slew of negative effects on many aspects of our lives—sex included.
But see, stress and sex actually have quite a strange relationship. When you’re stressed, you’re vulnerable to unfavourable sexual situations or may not feel ‘in the mood’, but if you do manage to get it on, it actually reduces stress and gives you a whole new lease on life. An odd circle, for sure. Let’s dive into the nitty gritty…
How Stress Affects a Man’s Sex Life
When men get aroused, blood fills the penis and causes an erection. This blood keeps the erection in place by using a circular muscle called the sphincter. But when a man is stressed, his body places more importance on the stress, thus the blood flow to and from the penis becomes disrupted in an attempt to focus on the stress response.
This response places importance on stress hormone functioning as opposed to sex hormone functioning and blocks the release of LHRH (Luteinizing Hormone Releasing Hormone). This causes a drop in the hormone responsible for testosterone and sperm production.
How Stress Affects a Woman’s Sex Life
Women usually experience an increase in the hormone, LH (Luteinizing Hormone), right before and during ovulation. Stress however inhibits the production of LH, which can then have negative effects on her fertility. Stress also causes a disruption in other hormones that create an unfavourable environment for fertilization.
Women too (oftentimes more than men) place a big weight on the emotional aspect of sex. And when they’re feeling stressed, it can cause them to view sex in a negative light. The stress then causes the brain to prevent a pleasurable sexual experience, which may lower her levels of arousal when she’s stressed.
Stress, Unhealthy Habits & Sex
For both men and women, stress has the capacity to feel so overwhelming that it could lead to unhealthy habits, like excessive drinking, overeating, not exercising, and showing a lack of self-care. All of these factors play a part in how you feel about yourself, as well as your sex life.
Drinking slows down or even inhibits the ability to orgasm and ejaculate, overeating and a lack of exercise can cause one to feel sluggish and tired, and not engaging in self-care may cause a low(er) self-esteem and feelings of unattractiveness. All of these aspects then have a big influence on libido, sexual drive, sexual abilities, and bodily responses during sex.
How Does an Orgasm Help to Reduce Stress?
Having said all of that, here’s the catch… sex and orgasm can actually lower levels of stress. This is due to a number of reasons:
- Orgasm increases the amount of endorphins that are released (the ‘feel-good’ hormone), which means that a healthy dose of climaxing can boost one’s mood.
- It’s been found that orgasms stabilize one’s blood pressure during stressful situations.
- Having an orgasm has the ability to reduce pain, and has the power to increase a woman’s pain threshold by almost double.
- Orgasm reduces the release of cortisol, the ‘stress’ hormone, creating a more peaceful demeanour.
- Orgasm aids in better sleep, which allows the brain to rest and bring about a more productive day to follow.
How to Have More Orgasms in Your Life
So, if you’re on the stressful side, here are a couple of fantastic stress relievers that induce delicious orgasms, and reduce the negative effects of stress.
|WeVibe Bond Vibrating Penis Ring|
Helena Lorimer, Sexual Health and Wellness Expert at JOUJOU