Tension is just a psychological and physical reaction to a risk. It’s naturally designed to be considered a short term problem to obtain us out-of a harmful or dangerous situation. In society it’s become persistent and endemic also it comes with a disastrous impact on both body and mind within the long term, because the chemicals of stress—adrenaline and cortisol—are very corrosive, so it can cause all kinds of physical and emotional issues,” says McGrail. The irony is that if you can get yourself in the mood, sex actually Reduces stress, says McGrail. “Sex actually helps reduce stress due to the secretion of endorphins. It also is good for the heart, immunity and both testosterone and estrogen levels,” says McGrail.
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Excessive fatigue is a by-product of stress; if you’re tired you are not likely to want to engage in intimacy, which takes energy, says McGrail.
2. Physical Reactions
If your mind “believes” it is under threat it can reduce libido in both men and women; even prevent a man from gaining an erection and a woman from being able to become aroused and lubricated. “Adrenaline and Cortisol (stress chemicals) are the antitheses of serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin, the feel good chemicals (endorphins) associated with happiness and intimacy,” says McGrail.
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3. Ruined Mood
Everyone who has had a rough day and emerged crabby knows stress affects moods: “For example, when the economy is bad we see so many men come in and get treated for erectile dysfunction,” says Sexual Health MD Dr. Jed Kaminetsky. The reason for this is that so many people’s (men in particular) identity is focused on being successful, and having monetary gain. If they cannot do that, and don’t feel content, the rest of their body begins to shut down—starting with their sexual stamina.
4. Relationship Stress
When a couple are constantly jockeying for position and control, the hormone oxytocin (that promotes bonding, intimacy and empathy) is reduced, says Dr. Jeanette Raymond, a psychologist and expert on stress and its impact on relationships. Both parties are in defensive posture and neither wants to “give” themselves up in a vulnerable situation like sex. “Stress hormones like cortisol and cytokines set them up for fight or flight, not close intimate connections. However sexual power games may arise—rough sex, S & M, sex where one partner ridicules the other in terms of their sexual prowess or ability to last,” says Raymond.
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5. Anxiety Stress
When you stressed, are you in the mood to be ‘in the mood’? Many of us aren’t. Stress from anxiety, fear, anger results in a depletion of energy and a lack of libido, says Raymond. “Men may experience erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation and impotency. Women may experience painful intercourse as their vaginal muscles tighten and there is no oxytocin to lubricate the vaginal walls. Foreplay is restricted and desire curbed,” says Raymond. We also may not feel sexy, ourselves. Stress caused from the source is chronic, weakens the immune system and causes headaches, gastric and skin problems that interfere with the feeling of being attractive and desirable, says Raymond.
6. Lack of Validation Stress
Stress from this source alters the feeling of desire to be with the person who doesn’t appreciate or validate your efforts and sacrifices, says Raymond. The need for validation supersedes libido. It changes the nature of the relationship from equal partners to parent/child, with the latter role person desperate to be noticed and attended to. In this scenario, sex is a no-no!