Written by Dr Becky Spelman, We-Vibe’s Relationship Expert
At certain points in our lives, many people experience a downturn in libido. It is important to rule out an underlying medical reason, but often there is nothing physically wrong. People can lose interest in sex because they are completely absorbed in childcare, or consumed at work. Usually, the loss of desire is a response to a particular set of stressors in their lives and, when the stressor goes away, the interest in sex returns. Assuming there is no underlying medical issue, the best thing to do is to continue to enjoy being intimate in non-sexual ways (hugs, massages, etc.) and deal with the external stress. When the stress is being managed better, it’s likely that sexual desire will return.
Sex reduces stress!
In fact sex reduces stress. It does this in a number of ways. First of all, when someone wants to have sex with us, we feel attractive, and this makes us feel good about ourselves, which is already stress-reducing, in and of itself. If we are in a relationship, it makes us feel more secure about our partner’s feelings for us, which can reduce anxiety. Finally, physical contact with another human being can increase our body’s levels of serotonin, which is associated with better mood and a better sense of well-being!
Manage body insecurities
If someone feels insecure about their body this will often lead to avoidance of sex and therefore ignoring a perfectly natural physical need. People will often be very critical of their bodies when it is actually their perception that needs fixing. I would like to offer is to work through your insecurities rather than abandoning your sex life, if you are not comfortable being intimate with a partner start by learning what you like sexually yourself and getting to know your own body, vibrators can be a great tool to help with this. The more confident you are with your body the more likely you are to initiate sex.
Pleasure and bonding
When we orgasm our brains literally light up with pleasure and signals are sent to the brain to tell us that we are experiencing enjoyment and as a result a reward circuit is formed. Many parts of the brain are involved in this such as the amygdala which regulates emotions, the nucleus accumbens which controls the release of dopamine, the ventral tegmental area (VTA) - which releases dopamine, the cerebellum which controls muscle function and the pituitary gland which releases beta-endorphins (reducing pain) oxytocin, which raises the sense of trust; and vasopressin, which promotes bonding.
Sex improves relationships!
Couples who have been together for a while can fall into a bit of a rut, or life can intervene with a lot of responsibilities and distractions, and sex can fall by the wayside for a time. But couples who have sex more often also tend to be happier, both as a couple, and individually. Sex is a way they can show each other than they each find the other one desirable, and that they care for them. It makes them feel closer, and more confident in their relationship. Couples who have sex often are more likely to have a happy relationship that’s strong enough to withstand the challenges that life throws at it.
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