Mindful Minute: Is Stress Squashing My Sex Drive?
A few late bills, a rumor or layoffs, and a schedule that never gives: sexy.
While the all-too-realistic occurrences of modern day life may seem like no big deal, stress could be knocking sex lower and lower on your to-do list, sucking your libido away, and leaving you, well, in quite a dry spell.
And if "I'm too tired" or "I just had a really long day" seem like familiar excuses, you've joined the ranks: Stress is the number one sex drive killer for most lovers. While you'd assume that lust should trump worry, this couldn't be farther from the truth. Stress puts your body into "fight or flight mode." Worry and anxiety cause cortisol to surge, blood pressure to rise, and heart rate to spike. The emotional counterpart of this: feeling wound up, distracted, and exhausted. Not exactly a sexy scenario.
See, stress creates the exact opposite state your body requires for intimacy (which is being relaxed, calm but alert, and emotionally present).
And you're at risk! The male libido is not as fragile to distraction as women's. And some of the stats are scary: According to a Kinsey Institute study, 20 percent of couples only have sex a handful of times a year, 10 percent don't have sex at all.
But you don't have to join the hoards. Before weeks turn into months (and months into seasons), boost your libido and get back in the sack.
Don't Wait Until Night!
Full after dinner and tired, most of us are so sleep-deprived, that once we get into bed, catching some zzzs is the priority and often trumps nookie. Try nap-sex or sleep-in-late-on-the-weekend-morning-sex.
Too many couples stop locking lips because they think it will give the other the idea they want to have sex. Don't stop cuddling and making out, it's an important part of relationships (and you might find all you needed was a small jump start).
Take One for the Team
The studies regarding sex and libido that have stood the test of time can be summarized in that if you can "go along with the ride," you'll find you can get into it. In other words, having sex can actually "wake up" your libido to make you want more.
Be More Sensual
Our tech filled worlds and strained schedules throw more sensual things to the wayside. So turn off your phone (and anything that buzzes, beeps, or lights up enough to take away your attention from the present) and get back to nature. Exercise or meditate to reconnect with your body.
Problem solve. Harboring feelings of anger or resentment can deflate your libido: Unresolved anger can also make the mental flirtation necessary for arousal impossible, leaving you feeling distant from your partner.