top of page

The Relationship Between Stress and Sex

It's the story of life. As we age, our time seems to be more pressured and our attention more split. Demanding jobs, raising kids, keeping up friendships, managing finances, maintaining a home; these are just some of the demands we all juggle.

All of this can lead to a lot of pressure, leaving us feeling sexually stressed. For many of us, it means having very little time to explore the erotic space inside our minds - much less finding time to have sex alone or with a partner.

Sadly, some of the biggest issues that stand in the way of great sex are familiar characteristics to those of us with busy lives; stress, anxious thinking and an inability to stay present in the experience.

Is stress bad for sex?

Trying to have sex when you're stressed isn't so different from driving a car. Stress tends to sit on your sexual response ‘brake pedal’. And trying to kickstart your sexual desire with something sitting firmly on the brake is like pumping the accelerator with the parking brake still on.

In other words, you’re not going anywhere.

Of course, we can have "good" kinds of stress, like planning for a vacation or night out. Then there are "bad" kinds of stress, like financial hardship, conflict with your partner, or a looming deadline. But neither good or bad stress is conducive to sexual desire or sexual arousal. And it can also have a big impact on the quality of the sex itself.

If you’re too much ‘in your head’ during sex, it can impact your ability to reach orgasm. Because sex tends to be at its best when we’re simply sensing and experiencing - rather than thinking. Even if our stress is not all-consuming, everyday stressors can have just as much of an impact in the bedroom.

Why is sex important?

Most individuals and couples report that a healthy sex life is critical for relationship satisfaction and overall quality of life. Sex is also great for your body, your brain and your mood. Orgasms boost the immune system, improves memory, enhances your confidence and most importantly - it relieves stress.

So if you’re sexually stressed, how can you alleviate this anxiety before and during sex?