Anxiety: The Silent Libido Killer

Sep 27, 2019

We all know that anxiety is a part of everyday life for most of us. We are so busy, plugged in and overwhelmed all the time, it can feel like it’s impossible to take a step back and breathe.

Anxiety is a spectrum, it can include anything from some jitters before a presentation or big event, to debilitating, chronic and part of your everyday life.

But no matter where you fall on the spectrum, I’m here to tell you something…your anxiety isn’t just impacting your sleep, your thoughts, your eating habits, or your irritability like we usually assume... 

It’s affecting your libido too.

Sex starts in the brain…especially for women. And when we are anxious, it makes it harder (or impossible) to…

  • Attend and process sexual cues
  • Experience arousal and desire

So we are less likely to notice and respond to sexual cues in our environment AND we are have a harder time getting physiologically turned on when we’re anxious.

Here are the ways that stress is impacting your libido:

  1. Cortisol 

Cortisol is the stress hormone. It is also the enemy of the feel-good sex hormones we produce when we are feeling turned on or post-orgasm.

Cortisol exists to make us alert and prepare us for danger. So when we are anxious, our body is perceiving a threat, and so we are producing cortisol to face that threat.

Here’s the problem though…being in that fight-or-flight cortisol induced state shuts down any hint of desire in 80-90% of people.

When choosing between reacting to a threat (anxiety) or getting turned on (libido), our bodies are going to choose to face the threat. Every. Single. Time.

You can’t have both. We're just not programmed that way. 

  1. Medication

You may be one of the thousands of people who benefits from medication for their anxiety.

And an unwanted side effect of these medications is...

Low libido.

You may be someone who is trading your symptoms (anxiety) for side effects (low libido).

 If you have noticed a change in your libido since taking medication for your anxiety, talk to your doctor or book an appointment with Health Over All to discuss your options.

  1. Compounding Anxiety

You know what’s really easy to do when you’re feeling anxious?

Feel even more anxious.

Anxiety is tricky. It has a way of making previously easy tasks feel like climbing a mountain.

If you are feeling anxious in general, you might also find yourself feeling more anxious about:

  • Your self-image
  • Communicating and asking for what you want
  • The pressure to have an orgasm
  • Frustration and agitation with yourself or your partner

All of these are going to shut down your desire and make it more difficult to get yourself in the mood.


To have the best chance of being intimate we need to feel safe, we need to feel engaged and we need to feel confident…all of which are hard to do when you have anxiety.

Try these 3 things this week to stop anxiety and make room in your life for some intimacy: 

  1. Cut out those inflammatory foods (sugar, dairy). Getting rid of inflammation is a great step towards managing cortisol levels in your body.
  2. SLEEP! Sleep is so important for your body to balance its hormones. So shut off that blue light 2 hours before bed and get the 6-8 hours you deserve.
  3. Share your story with a trusted friend/your partner. Talking about sex and intimacy is a proven way to reduce the negative feelings and increase your enjoyment of sex.

Think of anxiety and libido like the gas and brake in your car. If you want to go anywhere (libido-gas) you need to take your foot off the brake (anxiety).

Sign up for The Pleasure Principles. A 12-week coaching program focused on rewiring your brain and reducing anxiety in your life so you can enjoy sex and pleasure again.

You deserve it. 

Not sure if the 12-week Pleasure Principals is right for you? Register for a free Strategy Session to find out your next step. 


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