Sorry for all the quietude on the blog, but every now and again off-line stuff (especially therapy and writing projects) swallow me up. This has been one of those months, and my posts may get a tad spotty at times.
I just "twittered" about using the next few hours to catch up on stuff I'd planned to do the last 72 hours, and noted "Stress is a drug." Like a lot of people, there's something about tight deadlines, huge piles of work, and a hovering cloud of urgency that really stokes me. I know people who are like me, needing and enjoying impossibly long and complex schedules, but I know just as many who find that stress has the opposite effect. They get depressed and anxious when there's too much going on.
Naturally, if stress gets you down or makes you want to hide, it will have repercussions in your sex drive. It is amazing, really, how a little stress for some people can have a big impact on their sex drive; while a lot of stress can profoundly transform your drive. The type of transformation depends on the type of person you are. Some of us turn to sex when stressed with manic sexual fervor, and have orgasms so intense they're like a psychic enema. Some of us feel asexual and would rather watch tv than be touched.
Here's a neat little summary (fresh off iVillage) of the chief reasons why people have significant negative changes in their libido. If you've noticed a dip in your desires, this guide can help you analyze what's causing it.
Some caveats for men: the author wrote the piece to and for women, even though many of the causes of low libido are pertinent to men as well. For example, men have body image issues too. They may not be worrying about the size of their ass but worrying about the size of your penis or belly can kill your appetite for sex. Similarly, the author covers key events in women's lives (childbirth, menopause) that can make a woman's libido crap out, but don't mention that male hormones fluctuate as well. Testosterone levels in men, which may dip significantly after age 50, are crucial to male desire and performance in bed. Plus there are male-specific libido killers they don't list, like how the loss of a job/career, a bad divorce, an inability to form viable relationships, and insecurity can put the kabosh on male arousal.
For all that, I do think this is a good self-diagnostic tool for anyone who's been wondering why their libido has been down, and recommend it highly to women and anyone who has sex with women.
Is sex the last thing on your mind these days? Does it take you forever to get aroused? Or has reaching orgasm become a Herculean task? If so, you may have female sexual dysfunction—and you're not alone. Plenty of women experience sexual dysfunction, with problems ranging from not being able to have orgasms to having zero sexual desire.