The High Stress/Bad Sex Cycle

Published: July 2, 2020

Many women are dealing with high stress all the time…and it affects their sex life! I thought I’d share an unedited excerpt from the second chapter of my book coming out early this fall. Because it’s time for women to address stress.

“Good sex requires more than just doing it.”

Luckily there are social scientists and psychologists who study the connection between stress and sex, and what they found probably won’t shock you. People who feel higher levels of stress, have sex less often and don’t enjoy it as much. Research also shows that…

stress in the number one libido killer in women!

So when they’re stressed, most women don’t even want to have sex in the first place, and if they choose to do it anyway, they don’t enjoy it as much. And they’re also less satisfied with their relationship.

But what’s causing the problem in the first place? Is high stress causing bad sex or is it the other way around? Maybe bad sex is causing high stress.

This is an important point, because how you look at problems will change the way you create and implement solutions.

For example, maybe you’re thinking high stress causes bad sex. Then in your mind the problem is one directional.

High stress —> Bad sex

Or maybe you’re thinking bad sex causes high stress. Still one directional but the problem moves in the opposite direction.

Bad sex —> High Stress

But here’s the thing about these studies on sex, they simply find that two conditions occur together. They aren’t able to say that one condition causes the other.

When I talk to people about their health and sex lives, most people express their problems as being one directional and having a clear cause and effect. In their mind, one of the cause and effect situations I mentioned above is definitely the one that describes their life. But stay with me for a minute here and just consider that both cause and effect directions are possible in your life. Then, what if we stopped thinking of them as lines that move in one direction and instead think of them as a circle? With high stress leading to bad sex and bad sex leading right back to high stress. When we picture it this way, we can see that the problem is not one directional, but is actually a cycle.

Bad sex and high stress are a cycle

I find that many sex life problems (and most health and relationship problems) are a cycle. One problem leads to another, which worsens the first one, and around and around the person, and the couple, spiral down. But if the problem cycle spins you down, the solution cycle can spin you back up again. And in fact, research also confirms that people who have good sex also have lower stress levels.

Looking at the problems and solutions as a cycle is so important for two reasons: 1) we can get more creative with solutions because we are addressing more than one cause, and 2) this is how small changes make a big impact! A change that lowers stress a little, improves your sex life a little, and then having better sex lowers stress a little more, which improves sex a little more and then the cycle goes on and on. In this way, you can have better sex and less stress with faster results…

Then I go into client stories and solutions that you can start implementing right away to improve your relationship and your sex life, because who wouldn’t want that?!

To work with me through online coaching for sexual wellness and intimacy concerns (and all the issues that come with them!).  Email me at: I’d love to work with you and share my knowledge.

Update: My book is done and ready for you! Read more about how eating and other topics affect your libido and intimacy with your partner. Click here for a signed copy of my book or get the book on Amazon.

7 Essentials for

Pain-Free, Feel-Good Sex

Pain with sex? Decreased desire, Arousal, and orgasm?

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Wish you weren’t dreading sex or the pain that comes afterward?

Download my 7 Essentials for Pain-Free, Feel-Good Sex guide to help things go more smoothly. This is the advice that I give to my clients when they first contact me. These changes are the essential foundation for having pleasurable stress-free sex!

Hi, I'm

Dr. Lauren Crigler.

I specialize in pelvic floor therapy, and have spent over a decade helping women have sex without pain.

I’m here to help you stop having pain and start really enjoying your sex life.

My favorite part of what I do is helping women reconnect with their partner. This isn’t just a job for me; it’s a passion!

Are you ready to look forward to Friday nights? If you want to have sex without vaginal or pelvic pain, you can work with me via professional coaching.