There is a tiger after you, you hear its breath behind you, catching up with you at full speed! Its eyes burns in your neck and you are 100% sure that in a second it will set its enormous teeth into your throat and you will die immediately! Without a thought your brain puts you on high alert.
It is now you must survive!
What do you do? 1) Do you turn around and fight against the tiger? 2. Do you run? 3. Do you play dead? 4. Or is it now you need to ensure your species survival and throw yourself over the first person you see to bring children into the world?
What do you think your brain is programmed for ensuring your life? The first three proposals or the last?
Your brain was programmed in perilous situations to fight, flee or play dead. Not to make children play and enjoy. Not to express yourself sexually. Surviving is what you should and it’s exactly what your body do when you feel anxiety – also in your everyday life. You are not on the savannah, there is no tiger trying to hunt you down, but your brain think there is!
Do you still wonder why you find it difficult to feel sexual pleasure, while you are feeling anxious? It is quite natural that sexuality becomes inhibited when you feel anxious. You are made to create children in a safe environment, in security and peace and quiet places (stress can cause inhibiting contractions during childbirth because stress produces adrenaline and adrenaline affects oxytocin which stimulating contractions).
Your brain plays tricks on you! It causes your body to react to a situation which is not necessarily dangerous for you. It tells you that you are at risk even if you are safe.
Accept yourself here and now
Maybe there are lots of periods in between your anxious periods where you can enjoy and express your sexuality – maybe it’s not even a problem for you. It may also be that you are just one of those who blame yourself for not feeling desire, and your partner asks why you do not want sex anymore and you can not answer exactly why. Maybe you think there is something wrong with your sexual performance? You might blame yourself for not being more ready and willing – when the rest of the world is showing lust and sexuality in all media and magazines!
Have you had anxiety throughout your life, there has probably been a space enough for sexual adaptation along the way, but what if you suddenly have been struck from anxiety and suddenly melts down sexually? Do you know that it is natural and that it comes back when you cope with the anxiety and the reason for it?
Many experience side effects from the anxiety-medicine they get from the doctor. One of the major side effects is reduction of sexual desire. Can you accept that the sexual reduction while taking medications and does your partner? What do you do when you experience potency problems for a period in your life? Do you get even more anxiety and do you push yourself even harder?
No matter what the cause is and for how long you have had low sexual desire it is important to accept that it is your situation right here and now. Your thoughts and your assessment of your abilities can only be negatively reinforcing and push yourself more. This does not mean you think it’s nice or easy while you are in it, but by letting go of self-criticism and questions like “why me?” you can use your good thoughts to work with the issues that need your focus.
Get help! Reach out! Talk about it! Be open towards your partner! Ask your friends how they experience it when their sexuality is reduced when they are anxious or stressed. Find those of your friends that gives you a feeling of acceptance and recognition that you are where you are right now and think it’s okay though hard to be in. Break the taboo! There is usually a reason behind that you have to work with, if necessary with the help of a psychologist / therapist.
When you are turning around and look for the tiger – it is not there! So, you don´t have to fight, flee or play dead or feel anxiety. Accept and cope!