The good news is sex itself is a stress reliever as it releases feel-good hormones like oxytocin (the love hormone), which can have an anti-stress effect. But while the act itself can help make us feel good, there can be many things leading up to it and during sexual exploration that can induce stress. Let’s be real, stressful thoughts are normal, and we aren’t always in the mood, so here are some tips to encourage relaxation and hopefully reduce some of the anxieties associated with sex and getting intimate!
Sometimes we need a little extra help to de-stress before we get into it. We may have just finished a long day at work, have a deadline, or feel nervous with a new partner. Either way, to feel aroused, it helps to be in the right headspace.
Some suggestions from Jonny -
Have a conversation before things start to get steamy, with what you want and don’t want to happen during foreplay and sex. Remember, this can change at any time, and sharing these desires can be a great way to relieve stress. Communication is key, and true intimacy comes with being able to discuss what we are and are not comfortable with. The more open and honest you are with your partner/s, the greater the bond will be between you, which will lead to a better sex life! Now let’s get that communication flowing.
If you're stressed about your body or how it will be perceived, remember that a lot of the content you’ve seen on social media, advertising and the internet is not necessarily a true reflection of what sex and intimacy look like, which can distort our own image of ourselves. Sex is just as much about the mental side of things as the physical, and if your mind is thinking about how flattering your body looks in particular poses or if you look appealing to your partner/s, then you’re missing the main goal, which is to connect and feel good! Remind yourself that all bodies are beautiful, and feel empowered by honouring yourself and your own sexual needs.
Lube is always a good idea and will help prevent any discomfort during sex, which can lead to a pain cycle in our brain. Without adequate lubrication, things can get pretty uncomfortable down there, creating stress around sex as we preempt irritation. For many reasons, vagina owners may experience dryness due to stress, hormones, immune disorders, menopause, age, medical, and breastfeeding, just to name a few. It is important to remember that this is not an indication of arousal or performance but rather from circumstances out of our control. For that reason, we always recommend integrating lube into foreplay and sex! Plus, it feels good for all parties involved. Check out our handy lube guide here.
There is nothing worse than turning your bedroom upside down looking for a spare condom. Be prepared with a healthy stash of Jonny’s close by, so you’ll never be caught in that sticky situation. FYI, unprotected is never worth the risk or stress, so think ahead to keep the good times rolling.
*We hope these tips help reduce stress in the bedroom. If you’re still feeling stressed, anxious or experiencing pain during sex, we suggest talking to a healthcare professional.