How Stress is Affecting Your Sex Drive and What You Can Do

How Stress is Affecting Your Sex Drive and What You Can Do

Is stress affecting your sex drive, and you don’t really know what to do to make it right?

Do you live a very stressful life? 

Have you ever wondered how it affects your sex drive?

If you’re stressed for extended periods of time, chances are your sex life will begin to suffer, which only adds to your to already high-stress levels. Your mind is no longer focused on the things you need to get done, but instead on questions such as:

  • Where has my Sex drive gone?
  • Why does it take me longer to get in the mood?
  • Why do I lose my focus?
  • Why am I having difficulties having an orgasm?


Myths do more harm than good

Let’s be honest, people tend to keep stress to themselves. And the thing is, if you manage to muster up the courage to talk to someone about what you’re experiencing, you may find that their response only increases your anxiety about your frustrating sex life.

I’ve heard many myths about stress and sex over the years working with more than 1,000 individuals in my private practice. Here are three of the most common ones.

  1. If stress affects your romantic feelings for your partner, you may as well get divorced.
  2. Once your $ex drive disappears, it doesn’t come back
  3. If your partner doesn’t desire you because they’re stressed, this means they don’t love you anymore.

These myths are devastating, because as soon as you convince yourself that “the damage is done,” then what’s really left but to throw in the towel? Give up? Admit defeat? You end up either surrendering to a passive attitude, where you don’t look for help, or worse, you file for divorce.

This is why it’s extremely important to seek proper guidance and learn how stress affects your sex drive. Familiarising yourself with the ins and outs makes it easier for you to navigate through these problems as a couple. One thing is absolutely certain: the stressed partner is not the only one who suffers.

Want to have a no-holds-barred read up on sex? Read Let’s Have an Honest Conversation About sex


Why stress affects your sex drive

If partners can’t manage stress as a team, the relationship suffers. Here are three ways stress affects your $ex drive.

1. The two nervous systems.

Human beings have two nervous systems. The sympathetic nervous system is the accelerator and the parasympathetic nervous system is the brake. We use the accelerator when we experience difficulties and challenges in life.

Whenever this happens, our stress response (the accelerator) is released in our bodies. This happens physically: your heart rate increases, your palms get sweaty, you experience inner discomfort. All of these things are really just your body providing you with a shot of energy to either fight the problems or to run away from them.

As soon as the challenge has been dealt with, and the danger has passed, the accelerator will be relieved by the brake. Ah, another challenge has been solved. Now you can relax.


When we experience stress over a long period of time, it may actually feel as though our accelerator has gotten stuck. Our body is working overtime, all the time, and we never actually allow our brakes to kick in.

Our Sexuality goes hand in hand with our brakes. Naturally, and biologically speaking, it does not make sense for us to enjoy an erotic touch or to lie around kissing our partner if our stress pedal is hitting the metal. Stress and Sex drive do not mix. You simply cannot have a head full of 120 worries while also having great Sex.


2. Your hormones change.

When the accelerator has been in overdrive for a long period of time, your body will actually begin to produce more cortisol – this is known as “the stress hormone.” The building blocks used in this process are the very same building blocks used to produce the male Sex hormone testosterone. Therefore, for most people with long-lasting stress symptoms, their testosterone production is reduced.

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