Many people say that your sex drive is like a barometer for your general well-being.
So a fall in desire could be perceived as a message from yourself indicating that something isn’t quite right.
Very often, that’s around our mental and emotional well-being. It’s really easy to underestimate the role our mind plays in dictating our levels of desire. Especially when things like stress are a familiar weight many of us don’t even realise we are carrying.
What might it feel like when your sex drive is impacted by your mindset?
Factors that impact on desire:
Stress: stress has the effect of leaving us feeling utterly frazzled. And it also biologically flicks the “off switch” on our desire. Meaning even if we want to want it, our body (and brain) says “no”. So if you’re feeling exhausted and can’t summon an ounce of wanting to get jiggy, can’t be bothered to have sex, get irritated at the thought of it, or it’s literally fallen off of your to-do list it’s so long, this could be the issue to focus on.
Anxiety: anxiety really is a sneaky f*cker because it affects our sex drive in all sorts of ways, and is SUPER common (especially among women). Similar to the effect of stress, feeling anxious means our bodies are ready to “fight or flight”, not to start bonking. We might not be conscious of our anxiety- it could be a background buzz you’re used to. Or we might be really aware of our worried thoughts crowding out our desire. Anxiety might mean you struggle to focus on making love, have difficulties getting aroused, to relax into sex or just let go and have a good time. We lose touch with our body and our awareness of what triggers our sexual response is dimmed, so we’re less able to pay attention to them. And if sex is meant to be fun, pleasurable, ridiculous, anxiety can make bonking feel the complete opposite!
Depression: Whether you are going through a low spell or have a clinic diagnosis of depression, it can play havoc on your sex drive. A sense of numbness, the impact on your self-esteem, poor sleep or the effect of anti-depressants can all lower your desire for sex.
Body image: if we’re caught up in our own heads worrying about how we look, we’re not in the moment. And sex requires us to surrender and be present to fully enjoy ourselves.
When our well-being dips, our desire often suffers in many complicated ways that tie into one another- so that it’s difficult to separate cause and effect.
Be gentle with yourself if this is affecting you.
Don’t be afraid to seek professional support for your mental health and well-being. There is no shame in reaching out and speaking to others if you feel that your ability to live your life/enjoy sex is compromised by your emotions.