How Holiday Stress Affects Your Sex Life (and What You Can Do About It)
Dreaming of a white Christmas? Oh, how lucky for you! So unbothered and untouched by the world! I think most of us would be able to accept a couple of green patches peeking out through the snow in exchange for a smooth, stress-free holidays.
It’s a real shame that the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ is also the most runaround-crazy, heart-stopping, ‘did-I-leave-the-oven-on?’-anxiety-inducing time of the whole year. And like with any other kind of stress, it can have negative effects, specifically on your sex life.
Stress increases the firing off of hormones in our bodies, and while these are hormones that we need, prolonged production of them can have a negative mental effect and also hinder our sex lives. One of the chief offenders is cortisol, which, in large enough quantities will suppress our sex hormones, and works as the exact opposite of a libido booster.
Go Easy on the Eggnog!
During stressful times, we’re much more likely to reach for that extra glass of wine or, ah what the hell, that double scotch. Now combine holiday stress with a full social calendar of holiday parties, and you’re looking at a pretty precarious situation for anyone who seeks to escape with booze.
As far as food and drink to avoid before sex, booze is pretty high on the list: But whether you’re going to bed buzzed with a hook-up or with your S.O., it’s much more likely to be an exercise in frustration, as getting dehydrated on sugary cocktails makes lubrication more difficult, and with it, the chance of reaching orgasm. For fellas, all that alcohol can result in some difficulty in getting an erection, or at least getting one they’d be willing to share.
And speaking of holiday excess…
Body Image Bah! Humbug!
The holidays are already the eating-est, drinking-est time of year, making it no surprise that gym membership purchases shoot up by 40% come January. And it’s not just the fruitcake and mulled wine that affect our waistlines: some of the hormones we produce during times of stress have an effect on metabolism, further causing unintentional weight gain that the holidays are known for.
Seeing your body go through a transformation over the holidays doesn’t exactly make us want to get naked and hop into bed.
Okay, so the holidays aren’t all stress hormones, getting boozed up and feeling bloated right? Of course not! There are a number of things you can do to feel grounded throughout the holidays and beyond.
During times of increased stress, sex drops down the priority list. However the feeling produced from sex and just intimacy in general naturally ward off stress, at least for a little while, giving you some respite from pressure. Be sure to make time with your partner to get intimate, or simply be close and cuddly for a while in order to recharge your batteries.
Allow Yourself an Outlet
As often as is possible with the holiday running-around, make time to do something that gets the stress out, and if they’re stress outlets that bolster your sensual side, then all the better. Take the time to do some breathing exercises or get yourself centered with a yoga session – here’s some naked yoga photography to get you inspired for that one – bottom line here is that using your body and focusing on your physical self will help in some way to exorcise the things floating around in your head.
Yoga and breathing exercises will also help you to release feel-good endorphins that will boost your mood, and another way to flood your system with positive endorphins is to masturbate! Yes, getting your rocks off with a bit of solo or mutual masturbation has a ton of health benefits, and a healthier peace of mind is among them – so this holiday season, don’t ho-ho-hold yourself back from sexual enjoyment.
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