SELF – How Stress Affects Your Sex Life—And What To Do About It

It isn’t always easy to know how stress affects your sex life. Anxiety and stress can creep into many areas of life, ramping up pressure and disappointment, and nowhere is this more common than in the bedroom. Understanding how this can happen can help shed some answers on a sensitive and important area of life, as well as deliver you more control in finding solutions.

I was very pleased to weigh in on another great article for SELF. To read the full piece, click HERE.

Stress’ attack on your libido is innate, licensed clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., tells SELF. “During times of stress, we need to survive, not procreate,” she says. Stress increases your body’s most important functions for survival, like blood flow and increased heart rate, while diminishing non-essential functions, like sex.

Clark points out that being intimate with your partner actually can help reduce stress, so it’s a good idea to try to prioritize some kind of couple time during the day (you’re often exhausted at the end of the day, she notes). “The [feelings] produced from sex are natural defenses against stress—closeness, attachment, and feelings of calm—so making time and space for physical intimacy isn’t at all fruitless, even if stress levels are high,” she says.

If you’ve done all you can to get a handle on your stress but it’s still affecting your life, don’t be ashamed to seek out help from a doctor or mental health counselor—the results can change your life in a very positive way.

Alicia H. Clark, PsyD