How Stress impacts our sex life.

more sex less stress

It comes as no surprise that Australians and our world in general are experiencing an increase in stress which as a symptom can lead to many health and wellness issues.

 

Prior to COVID-19 a survey performed by the Australian Psychological Service recorded that approximately 85% of Australians reported to be affected or had felt the effects of Stress.

 

With so much uncertainty in our current world it only makes sense that our stress levels are growing even further. Stress can impact our health in many ways, physically, mentally, it can affect our concentration, our focus, our ability to produce certain neurochemicals and the list goes on.

 

But did you know that it can affect the libido and sex?

 

During COVID-19 it has been recorded through online surveys that several groups of people have noticed in either themselves or their partners that a) they have a decreased libido  or enjoyment of sex or b) have noted an increase.

 

Neurochemicals

Stress releases a hormone known as Cortisol and Epinephrine. Cortisol and epinephrine are best known for their fight and flight response, pumping adrenalin through the body and using up the neurochemicals usually for sex, to fuel this stress response. This will lead to being in a state of “on edge” and not in the good way.

 

Mind Racing

With many things happening in our minds, it can often be hard to remain present and in the moment during sex. Being present during sex assists in reaching orgasm but also with connecting with your partner. While sex has been known to relieve stress and frustration, it may not be the most intimate of experiences for all partners involved. If using sex as a way to diffuse and release frustration or pent up tension, your partner may begin to feel used, or a lack of connection.

 

Stress in men, or the stress-sex connection is common in a something you may have heard as erectile dysfunction. When a man is aroused, nerve impulses send signals that cause the blood vessels to dilate and allow a healthy and steady stream of blood to pump into the penis, causing the organ to become erect and maintain erect throughout interourse. However when the body is stressed, those nerve impulses are disrupted and the signals aren’t communicated as well causing the blood vessels to only partially dilate or sometimes not dilate at all which results in a lack of blood supply. A lack of blood supply sadly will mean either a shorter lasting erection, an erection that cannot be sustained, or a lack of an erection. This can then put pressure on the person known as performance anxiety “last time I was unable to _____” “what if this time is the same” and it becomes a vicious cycle which leads to more stress.

 

Similarly women also suffer the stress sex connection. Without the necessary arousal it will come as no surprise that most women are unable to reach orgasm when in a space of extreme stress. Without the necessary arousal, certain neurotransmitters and signals will not be activated and without those the “pleasure” centres will not be stimulated and there can be no sense of release. Without proper arousal, a cis woman’s vaginal canal will not properly elongate will could also mean that sex could be quite uncomfortable which I’m sure you could only imagine would provide yet another stress source rather than a stress release.

 

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?

During these high stress times there a few things that you can do if you are in a sex oriented relationship and you have found that your libido is suffering due to stress. (note: I am not strictly referring to whether or not you are married or in a romantic relationship, you may be open, be friends with benefits, release friends- any relationship where your libido is affecting communication or mindset)

 

Talk about it: it seems simple enough, but also super scary but talking about your stress and saying that it’s really affecting you sexually can go a long way to taking some of the pressure off you and getting your partner on the same page. When they are aware that you are feeling stressed and what are some of the triggers that are causing you stress you can work towards maintaining better boundaries and being respectful around those for eg if one of your stressors is work and you explain this to your partner, then in a week when you have a big meeting, your partner may instinctively know that you will be stressed and give you some more space. Understanding and compassion and very important when it comes to dealing with stress and sex and will make a big difference .

 

Focus on other intimacies: This will mean different things for different people. Some partnerships may enjoy touch, so kiss for 20 seconds longer, hug for just that little bit extra. Acts of service may include doing the dishes, or getting them a cup of tea of coffee when they look more stressed than normal. Focusing your compassion in other ways will bring your bond closer in other ways that may ignite that spark in ways that might not start off sexual but don’t necessarily mean they won’t lead there.

 

Self love: a broad broad umbrella term for looking after yourself, make sure that you are getting some form of exercise, eating well, drinking more water and less alcohol, getting enough sunshine and taking time out for yourself. These are all extremely important in regulating stress and bringing yourself back to the present to be able to function well sexually.

 

Try masturbating: it can seem all too easy when we are stressed or depressed to get into habits of not doing things such as not cooking dinner or stopping by that fast food place on the way home. Sometimes it is important to remember that not having sex, or not masturbating can also become a habit. I am not suggesting scheduling in sexy time, just keep it on the radar. You don’t even need to masturbate until you reach orgasm, view it as a self exploration exercise, touch, explore, caress and stimulate to keep in mind that yes, my body is beautiful and hell yes, this feels good to be touched, even if just for a moment.

 

At your Service

Tiffany

Oh Zone Adult Stores Sales assistant, educator and fellow stress head.

How To Have Satisfying Sex

satisfied sex

For many people out there, there’s probably no activity more satisfying than to have sexual intercourse with their significant others or even someone they just met a while ago. In fact, we enjoy sex because our brains had been pre-programmed that way and even produce chemicals that encourage us to have lots of sexual activities, which leads to a more intense desire for carnal pleasures once you get your first taste of it. However, just like with any other activities, there will come a time when sex can no longer give you that initial amount of pleasure that it once gave you. At that point, you might even think that sex is not giving you enough satisfaction anymore, leading you to do it lesser than usual. Hence, in this article, we will be exploring why satisfying sex becomes rarer as well as some of the ways you can do to improve you and your partner’s sex drive.

Why do we tire of sex?

First of all, it is completely normal for your sex drive to tone down and wane as you grow older, which is also true for any biological functions within our body. Aging sucks and could even affect your performance as a male in the form of erectile dysfunction. Women, on the other hand, according to a national survey conducted on Britain, are more prone to losing interest with sex more than twice as likely as their male counterparts. However, there is no clear evidence that it is due to menopause and actually leans more towards emotional reasons.

It is also possible that you are not tired of sex as a whole but bored with your sexual partner instead due to their inability to realise your desires and fantasies which could be attributed to your porn-watching habits, making you display a behavior that is known as the Coolidge Effect. You might have also suffered a traumatic experience that had to do with sexual activities, leading to the activation of a defense mechanism preventing you from feeling the pleasure of having sex. Either which, you need to find the root cause or get help from a professional in order to know what your next actions should be.

How to have satisfying sex?

We have listed general tips that may help in your quest to have a satisfying sex life. However, these are just general ideas and should not be treated as a substitute for professional advice.

1. Aim for equity

As stated in the Equity Theory, relational partners should aim to have a fair distribution of resources. This not only applies to the workplace but to your sex life as well. If your partner starts to feel that you are the only one enjoying your sexual activities, inequity starts to happen and the more your partner feels the said inequity, the more they will lose interest in having sex with you or having sex as a whole. Hence, it is very important to be sensitive to you and your partner’s sexual needs. Once the both of you figure this one out and finally reached compromise, equity will be re-established and sex will become rewarding instead of demanding.

2. Strengthen your relationship

If your relationship with your partner is already shaky, to begin with, it is only natural that both of your desire for sex would be minimized a lot. That’s why both of you need to sit down and have a serious talk about whether you still want your relationship to continue or not. Talk about your grievances with each other and discuss what the two of you need to do in order to overcome them. Once you solidifying your shaky foundations, intimacy in the form of sexual activities will obviously follow.

3. Stop having unrealistic expectations

The fulfillment of expectations greatly correlates with your satisfaction but once it gets out of hand, you’ll end up no longer enjoying the things you used to enjoy, which brings us again to sex. Pornography is quite notorious in unconsciously altering your expectations, making the line between fantasy and reality blurry to a certain extent which often puts a heavy burden to your partner mentally since they might feel inadequate once they could not perform those acts you see in movies and pornographic material. Pornography could also distort your image of yourself when you compare your body parts to those of porn actors, leading to a lesser sex drive. If this is the case, it might be better to call a professional therapist to help you as compared to dealing with it yourself.

4. Just say what you both want

Unfortunately, we have yet to discover a way to directly communicate our thoughts to one another using telepathy. Hence, a direct approach in communication is oftentimes the most effective and that is to just ask your partner, in a way that will not offend them as well as stating what you want without sounding demanding. Once you and your partner reach an understanding of your wants and desires, you could make it into your goal once you start doing the deed. This will lead to an increase in the production of pleasure hormones in your brain since it will feel like it was rewarded, and the more you do what both of you like, the more you will have much more satisfying sex.

Have More Sex for Sounder Sleep

Lack of sleep is very common in Australia with as many as 39.8% of Australian adults battling to get a good night’s rest on a regular basis according to a report commissioned by the Sleep Health Foundation. This means that a whopping 7.4 million people are not sleeping as well as they should. While there are countless ways to try and combat insomnia such as prescription medication, herbal remedies, and white noise machines there is a much easier (and more enjoyable) way to ensure you catch some z’s at night: sex. More than 60% of people have indicated sounder sleep after a frolic between the sheets according to Dr Michele Lastella from the Appleton Institute of Behavioral Science at the Central Queensland University. So is sex really the answer to your sleepless nights? Let’s find out.

Sex releases sleep-inducing chemicals

When you have a mind-blowing orgasm, your body releases large amounts of hormones that envelope you in a multitude of warm & fuzzy feelings. Among these feel-good hormones are oxytocin, vasopressin, and dopamine which can all contribute greatly towards you getting a good night’s rest.  Of these, oxytocin (the cuddle hormone) is of most value to women as it reduces stress which is known to be a great contributor to insomnia. Dopamine, which triggers immense feelings of pleasure, helps you unwind before going to bed while vasopressin is known to be conducive of sleep. Apart from releasing a number of satisfying hormones, sex also surpasses the body’s dopamine secretion which results in reduced stress levels and an increased sense of euphoria.

Everyone sleeps better after a workout

By now we all know that regular exercise is good for us, but did you know that exercising could be the cure to your insomnia? Studies have shown that a stint of exercise of moderate to mild intensity can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep as well as enhance the quality of your sleep. Exercise has also been proven to decrease the seriousness of sleep-disordered breathing as well as lessen the severity of obstructive sleep apnea. While no one is going to prevent you from joining a gym or going for lengthy nightly jogs, you can always just get frisky in bed to reap the same benefits. If anyone dares tell you that sex is not considered to be real exercise, you can point out that sex burns up to 3.6 calories a minute which is more than your average vigorous walk does.

You send the correct signals to your brain

While having sex with the lights on is definitely hot, you can actually benefit by getting kinky in the dark as well. When we find ourselves in a horizontal position in bed our bodies tend to assume that it is time to prepare for sleep. According to bedtester.com, a comfortable mattress is paramount to sleeping through the night. By applying this logic to your entire bedtime routine, having sex on a comfortable mattress will give you the best possible chance at sound sleep as it is bound to leave you feeling completely relaxed, happy, and in need of proper rest afterwards.

If you don’t have a partner, go solo

While having a hot sexual partner to fool around with is ideal, it is important to note that it is the orgasm and not the actual sex that improves your sleep cycle. This basically means that, by masturbating, you can reap the exact same benefits as you would by working up a sweat with your partner. Next time you are battling to fall asleep, instead of popping a couple of sleeping tablets, practice some self-love instead. Masturbating will not only relax you, but the endorphins released during your very pleasurable orgasm will help you fall off to sleep happy and fulfilled.

Prepare for a wonderful chain reaction

While sex can undoubtedly help you sleep better at night, one cannot ignore the fact that more sleep can improve your sex life. According to research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, getting enough sleep can give your sexual response a very healthy boost which may lead to more frequent sex which will, in turn, improve your quality of sleep even more. If sex helps you sleep better, and sleep makes you have better sex you undoubtedly need to increase the frequency of both in your life as soon as possible.

It is good to know that, apart from supplying you with unmatched pleasure, sex is also good for you. If you often find yourself tossing and turning at night, encourage your partner to engage in some insomnia-busting sex sessions or, alternatively, lube up your vibrator or sex sleeve and orgasm your way to peaceful, sound sleep.

10 Quick Tips To Better Sex!

It doesn’t matter if you’re dating a young beautiful woman, a ruggedly handsome guy, or someone experienced from the cougar dating scene, sex is an essential part of every relationship. A lot of people these days are trying to diminish the importance of sex by saying that love and respect are the backbone of every relationship. This is true, of course, but good sex is something that creates a special bond between the two lovers. Now, since we’ve established the importance of a good sex life, it’s time for us to list the 10 quick and simple tips that will make your experience in the bedroom much better.

Exercise More

At first glance, this might seem completely unrelated to sex, but it can actually help you with your performance in the bedroom. Exercising regularly will help you feel healthy and confident, which will definitely improve your sex life.

Feel Free to Talk About Sex with Your Partner

Sadly, a lot of couples have a problem when it comes to talking about sex. They’re simply too shy to share their fantasies and desires, and that can ruin the sexual chemistry. Therefore, make sure you talk about your fantasies with your partner.

Be Spontaneous

Most people plan their sexual encounters, which eliminates the element of surprise. That’s how people get stuck in the rut. To avoid that and keep the flame alive, you need to be spontaneous with your partner.

Don’t Skip the Foreplay

This is probably the most important part of every sexual intercourse and yet so many people (mostly men), tend to skip it. And they wonder why their partner can’t have an orgasm! For sex to be good, passionate, and satisfying, you must never skip foreplay. This part of sex allows both you and your partner to relax and get in the right mood, which is essential for a good roll in the hay.

Use Your Hands

Most people think that sex is only about joining your private parts together, but love-making is so much more than a mere penetration. Therefore, if you genuinely want to have a better and more fulfilling sex life, you need to use your hands and fingers during intercourse. Touch your partner the way they’ve never been touched before and ask them to do the same to you.

Masturbate in Front of Each Other

This might be quite a challenge at first, especially for people who are shy, but if you want to get to know your partner and their body, you have to do this. Masturbation is a very private thing, so if you’re able to do it in the presence of your partner, it means that you can be completely relaxed in front of them. Only then will you be able to enjoy a passionate and satisfying sex with your significant other.

Show Your Partner How Much You Want Them

Even though it’s perfectly fine to be selfish during sex, you should also find a way to show your partner how much you want them. They need to know that you find them attractive. So, make sure they see the desire and lust in your eyes when you’re having sex. It will make them feel special and they’ll do anything to please you.

Use Sex Toys

Most couples shy away from sex toys because they think that using them means that their sex life is in a crisis. This, of course, doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, using certain toys like ball gags, bondage ropes, and blindfolds can help you preserve a passionate and interesting sex life.

Drink One Glass of Wine Before Sex

As you know, alcohol can help you relax if you’re feeling nervous or awkward before sex. That’s why you should always have a bottle of your favorite wine prepared. However, drinking too much wine or any other alcoholic beverage can ruin your sex drive. Therefore, make sure to drink just one glass of wine before sex. This will help you relax, but you’ll still be able to perform on the desired level.

Communicating Sexually

Communicate During Sex

A lot of people tend to keep their eyes closed and mouths shut during sex. They refrain from expressing their feelings and desires, but that’s not good. Your partner needs to know whether or not they’re doing the right thing. They have to hear your feedback, so make sure you communicate with your lover during sex. Also, ask them to do the same. This is undoubtedly one of the best ways to make your sex life better.

Four Foundational Life Keys For A Man Seeking Healthy, Enlightened Sex

Men exercising for sexual health

If you’re like many guys, you have experienced, at least to an extent, some sexual frustrations or hang ups that you’d like to get a handle on. And if you’re also like most guys, you have all of the above and aren’t even conscious of it.

Living the life of a sexually and spiritually healthy and fulfilled man is your birthright. However, it’s something that you have to cultivate.

To make sure that you’re not settling for sex that doesn’t serve the greater good for your life, you’ll need to apply four life changes that will help you out exponentially. Below we’ll dive into these four staples, so apply them and never look back!

Live Your Life Based On A Purpose And Mission

This might not seem like the sexiest topic on the surface, but it’s actually the glue that holds it all together.

Both spiritual experts and scientists assert that your sex life reveals who you are and is a microcosm of your internal life. In this sense, this part of your life requires you to get naked in both the literal, and figurative sense. It’s important to continuously work on yourself, because the hangups you have in your head will also manifest in the bedroom.

For instance, a person that is afraid to speak up and express their ideas may also feel stifled and shy during sex. Money problems, stress, shame and other blockages can also lead to hangups with sexual dysfunction.

So when you base your life on a higher purpose of living your dreams, becoming the strongest version of yourself and sharing that energy with the world, you’ll be sexually free and won’t have feelings of inadequacy and lack. David Deida, author of the bestseller “The Way of the Superior Man”, stresses a man living on his purpose, so that he can move past fear and into love, which he’ll then share with his sexual partner.

Spiritual journeys aside, science backs the importance of a healthy man to live his truth. Studies indicate that men who had heightened testosterone levels are less likely to lie, or if they do lie, get significantly less satisfaction or gratification out of it than men with lower testosterone levels. In a sense, not living your truth lowers your testosterone, which diminishes your virility and sexual energy.

When you’re on a mission to become the strongest you, it’s much easier to approach women with confidence and explore the depths of your sexuality in the bedroom, without fear and hangups getting in the way. Make sure that you know what you want out of life and that you carry yourself accordingly, and you’ve won half the battle of achieving a high quality sex life.

Get Your Ejaculation Under Control

This is another foundational key for taking control in your sex life. Studies show that some 30% of men deal with premature ejaculation. Dealing with this situation significantly reduces a man’s enjoyment with sex, since he either can’t last as long as he would like, or worries that he won’t.

There’s a certain level of punchline surrounding this issue throughout society, which can cause a man to feel shame, which is the emotional death knell for sexuality.

Because of this, it’s important that you solve ejaculation issues if you have them. There are many exercises you can practice, but also make sure to dive into the psychological and emotional contributing factors.

Ejaculation issues aside, consider practicing sacred sexuality by learning the ejaculation-free orgasm. By managing your ejaculation in this way, as practiced for ages in Eastern practices and religions, a man can achieve multiple orgams that are fuller and deeper.

This way, you can have sex for as long as you want, with a deeper and more meaningful connection.

Make Sure You’re Living With Peak Health And Physicality

If you really want to live your best sexual life, it’s important to pay close attention to your health and build. You need to maintain a certain level of muscle tone, so that your body continuously produces high levels of testosterone as you age.

There are many different trains of thought when it comes to health and nutrition, but a few basics can transform your life. Engage in any exercises that help you build muscle and strengthen your heart, four to five times per week. You’ll have more endurance, better erections and clearer functioning brain — all of which are key skills to have in your toolkit.

In terms of nutrition, make sure to eat lots of healthy fats, which contribute to the production of testosterone and heart health. Give yourself a cheat day, but make it a life goal to eat clean, so that your signal remains clear and so that you maintain your energy and passion.

Sexually and mentally happy man
Image: Happy and healthy man

Control Your Mind And Feelings

Finally, it’s important for you to continuously live in the moment and feel the depth of your emotions.

Skill and technique are great, but a man that can stay present with his lover, while feeling and giving emotion, will also be great in the sack. This sets a man that lives and embodies his sexual energy apart from a man that just pulls off a few cheap gimmicks that he doesn’t really believe in.

This is easier said than done, since our minds are built to wander, and society has kept men from their emotions for so long. When you quiet your mind and own your emotions, you’ll wield them both with power and discretion, rather than letting them run you.

You can master this by using meditation in your life. It teaches you to be still and feel the present moment, so that you can act with authenticity, rather than simply being triggered by past trauma and future anxiety.

It builds a healthy brain as well, which enhances your sexual creativity.

When you build your life around these four tips, it’s much easier to own your sexuality and live a peak life as a superior man.