Stress & Sexual Function

Learn how stress affects sexual function from sex therapist Dr. Megan Fleming in this Howcast video about the psychology of sex.

Transcript

So I think it's great that you have enough insight and intuition to realize that stress and sex generally don't go well together. In fact, I do a lot of educating of my clients about what I consider conditions for good sex, because most people somehow think it's going to be automatic and spontaneous and, you know, you can count on it. Kind of like the postman, you know? You can deliver in any kind of weather.

And the thing that you really need to realize is that we are absolutely affected by our environment. So if you're under a lot of stress, which increases cortisol in your body, than that constricted energy is absolutely going to impact not only your desire, but often even your arousal for a sexual experience. It's also true other conditions are getting enough sleep and, you know, having enough time where you're feeling connected and really enjoying your partner so that you're in the mood for sex.

One of the biggest impacts stress has is that it kind of hijacks that general sense of desire to have a partnered experience. You're just wanting to get some sleep, or maybe you're just ravenously hungry. And you have to just make room to notice what are the drivers of your experience. Because if it's not sexual interest or libido or wanting a pleasurable partnered experience, I'm really suggesting you table it for now and focus on getting what you need -- those conditions -- so that it won't be long before you're both having an optimal experience.

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