Can stress affect your sex life? What about stress and your sex drive? What are some sex positions to reduce stress and anxiety?
In the 21st Century, we are more stressed out than ever before.
The impact of stress upon physical and mental health is a hot topic right now. Therefore, most people are aware of the impact that stress can have on the body. Stress can affect things like energy levels, productivity, mental health, hormones and even your weight.
But one less talked about topic is the impact stress can have on your sex life. More to the point today is the impact your sex life can have on your stress levels.
Today I will address this taboo subject. I will explain the true extent of the impact that stress can have upon a person and their life, health, work and relationships. I’ll explain the link between sex and stress, and how you can use sex to actually help mitigate the negative consequences of stress.
Not only that, but I will even give you 5 sex positions to reduce stress and anxiety.
It’s said that everything enjoyable is bad for you in some way, and often it’s true (alcohol, sweet foods, drugs, etc). Sex is a wonderful exception to that rule.
So, are you ready to find out more about the more pleasurable route towards combating anxiety? If the answer is a big yes, keep reading!
Table of Contents
The disease of a generation: stress
Stress is everywhere in the 21st Century. It is almost unavoidable for all people living on earth.
Unless you are a monk living in a temple without access to technology, a bank account or a job, you are going to encounter stressful situations from time to time.
Whether it’s an email from your mortgage provider chasing you for payments, a performance review with your manager at work, or you are simply stuck in traffic and late for an important event… Opportunities for stress are everywhere.
Another kind of pandemic
Stress is particularly problematic in our post-COVID19 world. More people than ever are struggling to pay their bills. Thousands of businesses have been forced to close their doors for the last time. Many more lost their jobs and their income. Humanity is now in the midst of another kind of global pandemic: chronic stress.
It’s not just those who lost jobs or businesses who are under pressure. For the 1.25 billion office workers in the world, there is no more leaving work at work. Access to your work is available at the tap of a button. Employees are often encouraged if not instructed to check their company emails remotely, making it very difficult to ever truly detach from work.
The rise of cryptocurrency has created even more opportunity for stress to weave it’s way throughout our lives. At the tap of the finger or the swipe of a thumb, you can lose or gain thousands, if not millions.
So, we can see how the 21st Century world is a prime breeding ground for stress. But why is it so harmful?
Why stress is so bad for us
Fifty years ago we treated physical health issues with pills or physical therapy. We treated mental health issues also usually with pills, but occasionally with talking therapy.
Thankfully, science and modern medicine have come a long way since then.
The notion that our emotional state can heavily influence our physiological state, and therefore either negatively or positively impact our physical health, is becoming more and more mainstream.
Stress affects our health in a variety of more and less understood ways.
A more understood way is via sleep. Someone who is experiencing stress, be it acute or chronic, is likely to experience problems sleeping.
In the short term, we are groggy and our general performance is impaired. When it becomes chronic, inadequate or poor quality sleep is nothing short of catastrophic. Our immune system is greatly impaired and there is greater inflammation in the body. This can cause chronic illness to manifest.
A less understood way that stress influences the physical body is via pain. In his book ‘Healing Back Pain’, Dr. John Sarno describes how his patients who have suffered from years of acute, chronic back pain, have been cured within days simply by working on their mental and emotional state.
Put down the prescription
Instead of being given a pill prescription, patients with conditions like chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and tension headaches are now being advised to work on their stress levels.
Even life-threatening diseases such as breast cancer and heart disease are also being linked to stress.
This is not to mention the avalanche of mental health problems that stress can bring about… Global rates of depression and anxiety are the highest they have ever been.
600 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with either depression or anxiety disorder. And the number of people who suffer whilst remaining undiagnosed is likely to be far, far higher.
So we can see how and why stress is bad for us. Now let’s take a look at the link between stress and sex.
Stress and sex: the impact of stress on our libido
When we are in a state of stress, we are essentially in survival mode.
All of our body’s non-essential systems, such as digestion and reproduction, are temporarily closed for business. This is so that we can focus purely on surviving whatever threat is present.
For our hunter-gatherer ancestors, this was a very useful thing.
When a lion or tiger was close by and eyeing up Mr. Cave Man for his next bite to eat, Mr. Cave Man didn’t want to be thinking about reproducing or digesting his last meal. He needed all of his bodily resources and energy to escape danger.
This was a perfectly adapted mechanism for dealing with stress in cave man-days. In these times, stress was infrequent, isolated, and highly acute. Digestive and reproductive systems would quickly shut down until he had escaped the danger. After the stressful situation was over, normal business would resume and the bodily systems would normalize.
However, in more modern times, this survival mechanism could do with a little updating. Stress is usually low level and chronic – meaning it is ongoing for a long period of time.
When a man or a woman is under a lot of stress, they often experience low sexual desire and problems with their sexual function.
This is because stress can impact our hormones – lowering testosterone in men and estrogen in women. Stress can also cause the narrowing of blood vessels. Thus meaning that smaller volumes of blood can flow to our sexual organs.
Men tend to experience low libido or erectile dysfunction. For women, it can be vaginal dryness and an inability to reach the wonderful thing that is the female orgasm.
Sexual problems such as these usually lead to a decrease in sexual activity in both sexes.
This is a great shame because sex itself is an incredibly powerful stress reliever!
The stress-busting chemical cocktail
We have all heard about the stress-relieving properties of physical activity, but you may not have heard about how much sex can also help. (Hint: it’s not just because it’s a physical activity.)
When we have sex, a burst of neurotransmitters are released.
One of these neurotransmitters is oxytocin. You may have heard of it referred to as ‘the cuddle hormone. And it is such, as it makes us feel emotionally closer and more bonded to our partner.
But you may not have heard that oxytocin actually cancels out cortisol – one of our primary stress hormones.
That’s right. Sex literally erases stress.
Ever had that delicious, post-orgasm fuzzy feeling wash all over you, and wonder why it came about?
It’s mainly due to the impact of oxytocin.
So basically, in order to be less stressed, and mitigate the impacts of stress upon our health, we need to be getting jiggy a LOT more often.
Sex positions to reduce stress and anxiety
But it’s not just that we need to be getting jiggy more often. It’s HOW we are doing it, too.
As promised, here are 5 of the best sex positions for reducing stress and anxiety:
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1. Yab Yum
This sex position is a stress reliever for both man and woman. Since it is generally slow and involves grinding rather than pumping, it is not overly stimulating. There is a lot of physical closeness, kissing, caressing, etc., so it is good for building physical intimacy and bonding in this way.
Again, this is a sex position that will help with stress relief for not just one sexual partner, but both.
Similarly to with Yab Yum, there is also an opportunity for caressing and stimulation of the breasts and other more sensitive parts of the body.
Missionary with the man on top is a good stress reliever for the woman since she can just lie back, gaze at her man and enjoy.
Depending on the angle, it is a good opportunity for deep penetration, or simply a lot of kissing, hugging, caressing, and bonding.
4. Woman on top, straddling
This sex position is another stress reliever for the man. It allows for clitoral/G-spot stimulation for her.
5. Reclined doggy style
Reclined doggy means the woman is lying on her front and being penetrated from behind.
Due to the angle of penetration, she is quite likely to reach orgasm if her clitoris is stimulated in the right way. She can either do this herself or her partner can do it. It’s a stress reliever for the woman since she doesn’t have to do much.
Many women also gain a lot of sexual satisfaction from this sex position, as they get to explore their submissive side through letting go, surrendering, and receiving.
Don’t let stress ruin your sex life
So, we have seen how stress is rampant in modern times, and particularly so during a post-pandemic world.
Stress can not only tear apart your mental health, leaving you vulnerable to depression and anxiety disorders…
… It can also put you at risk of a whole host of physical health problems. This notion is no longer considered wishy-washy, new age, or hippy. It is backed by modern science and medical research.
When it comes to stress and our sex life, it is unfortunate that stress can kill libido and cause problems with sexual function like erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. When there are issues with sexual function, it can chip away at self-esteem and cause low sexual confidence.
Sex can actually remedy and mitigate the impacts of stress – if only we can get in the mood and physical state to have it.
It is my hope that every man and woman on Earth should be able to enjoy a flourishing, exciting, fiery sex life, such as that experienced within a tantric relationship. The benefits are far and wide for our physical, mental, and emotional health.
If you are in a relationship or marriage that is suffering due to a combination of stress and a lack of sex, or even a sexless marriage, don’t despair. I have coached many men from all over the world to overcome their low libido and set the bedroom back on fire again.
If you’re curious, I have free training here that you can take in order to help kickstart things.
Why can a sexual position impact stress?
Some sex positions are more stimulating than others. If a position requires a particularly high energetic output, then it’s stress-relieving impacts are lessened.
What about anal sex?
I don’t recommend anal sex as a stress reliever. It can be quite stressful when it goes wrong for both parties involved and is often painful for the receiver.
Why is stress linked to heart disease?
Stress is known to cause a rise in blood pressure. This causes arteries to narrow and can lead to heart disease.
What treatments are available for sexual performance anxiety?
I have written several articles related to this topic. Checking them out is your first port of call. Sexual dysfunction can be healed in different ways, depending on whether the problem is physical or mental/emotional.
Where can you get treatment for sexual performance anxiety?
If the problem with sexual functioning is due to mental/emotional reasons, psychological therapy can help. You can also treat yourself by having open communication with your partner(s), working on decreasing sexual shame, etc.
What is sexual anxiety and how can you cope?
Sexual anxiety is anxiety related to sexual performance. It can also be related to the appearance, size, and shape of genitals. The best way to cope with sexual anxiety is to talk about it, either with your partner or with a therapist, or a sex coach.
What is the link between performance anxiety and ED?
Performance anxiety can easily lead to ED. When a man is in a state of chronic stress about his sexual function, his sympathetic nervous system is activated. When this is the case, getting or maintaining an erection is not possible. Premature ejaculation might also happen if the man is unable to control his orgasm.
How does stress affect sleep?
The more stressed you are, the more likely it is that you will suffer from poor sleep, or a sleep disorder. When stress is very bad, it can cause an anxiety disorder. A person with an anxiety disorder will experience disrupted sleep as one of their symptoms.
Does masturbation have positive or negative effects on the brain?
As long as you’re not addicted to masturbation, or addicted to porn, masturbation has positive effects on the brain. It is also a potent painkiller and can diminish the body’s stress response.
Does stress affect your libido?
Yes. Acute or chronic stress will diminish your desire for physical intimacy. For both men and women, sexual response (getting an erection or vaginal wetness) is more difficult when stressed.
How can pelvic floor exercises contribute to lower stress levels?
Having a stronger pelvic floor muscle can help women enjoy stronger and more frequent orgasms. Orgasm brings about the release of oxytocin, a stress mitigating hormone.
Do I need to see a sex therapist for low libido?
Not necessarily. There are other methods you can use to increase libido.
How does sex affect your stress level?
Sexual intercourse can greatly diminish stress levels. This is due to the burst of neurotransmitters that are released during sex and particularly orgasm.
How can I improve my sexual health with regards to erectile dysfunction?
Firstly, identify if a sexual health problem is coming from a physical or an emotional root cause. If physical, you might need to change your diet or see a doctor. If emotional, you can use one or several of the methods included in this article.
Does oral sex work for stress relief?
Yes. Oral sex is also good for stress relief. It works mainly for the partner who is receiving. But sometimes if the giver is really into it, he or she can benefit too.
Does menopause lower libido?
Yes, hormonal disruptions brought about by menopause can lower libido. This is normal and can be addressed with the right diet, exercise, and mindfulness.
What’s the link between stress and sex drive?
Generally speaking, the most stressed you are, the lower your sex drive will be. This is due to the fact that you need to be under the influence of your parasympathetic nervous system to become aroused. When we are stressed, the sympathetic nervous system is active, instead. This reduces libido and blood flow to sexual organs.
Men's Relationship Coach
Steffo is the founder of The Tantric Man Experience, the #1 masculine mentorship program in the world. There he helps men in relationships reignite the passion to restore their marriages from the brink of divorce. And single men attract their dream women naturally with success. He's on a mission to guide men towards an intimate and meaningful relationship, and end the war with their sexuality, so they can finally become integrated men, fathers, brothers, husbands, and leaders in the world.
“It meant a paradigm shift in life.” – Patrik, Sweden
“Life-changing experience.” – Antonio, Italy