7 Sneaky Ways Anxiety Destroys Your Sex Life

It affects you more than you know.

7 Ways How Anxiety Affects Relationships And Sex Lives unsplash / caroline hernandez

By Laura Lifshitz

Anxiety is a powerful force that, like a glass of spilled milk, can saturate every area of your life, making it a bit rotten. You may not even realize it, but if you're living with anxiety, most likely it's affecting your sex life. That's why you need to take control of your anxiety and refuse to allow it to take over. If you don't, it can ruin your relationships and sexual life. But if you know that anxiety plays a role in your body image and bedroom scenarios, you can work with your partner and your brain to try and manage your fears before they manage you.


Here are seven ways anxiety can wreak havoc on your romantic and sexual life.

RELATED: THIS Is What It Feels Like To Love Someone With EXTREME Anxiety

1. When your body image ruins the moment

If you feel poorly about your body, thanks to anxiety, whether it's your weight or a feature you have that you hate, it's almost like your partner is dealing with a "third partner" in the bedroom.


This poor body image can affect everything that happens in the bedroom, from positions to lighting and frequency of intercourse.

In so many ways, your bad body image can literally dictate how you and your partner are intimate, and it's so very bad for your relationship. Your bad body image gets more of a say in your sex life with your partner than your partner!

2. When your anxiety causes you to shut down

You know that feeling of dread or panic that systematically makes you shut down, emotionally and, sometimes, physically? That anxiety that prevents you from communicating can be really painful for your partner. It can be hard for them to sit on the other side of your emotional wall — and that emotional wall doesn't make for a great sex life.

3. When anxiety keeps you from being physically excited

Forget about having an orgasm — let's put that aside for another "bullet point."


If you're feeling anxious about anything, whether it's the size of your thighs, sexual performance, work matters, or what have you, it can keep you from being sexually excited and lubricated.

Vaginal dryness doesn't work well with sexual intercourse or foreplay. The fact is, anxiety can prevent you from really being not just emotionally absent in the moment, but also physically.

RELATED: 5 Things You’re Doing That Make Your Vagina SUPER Dry

4. When you're close, but so far away from...

Climaxing. Try worrying about anything and having an orgasm at the same time. I can guarantee you that it won't happen. And while not orgasming once or twice won't ruin your sex life, experiencing that repeatedly can cause you to feel down about yourself, insecure about "what's wrong with you," and worried that your partner feels insecure or offended.


5. When you can't open up about your sexual needs

If you feel guilt or shame or any type of anxiety over your sexual desires or past sexual experiences, it can be hard for you to open up — and impossible for your partner to have access to you, intimately. It can cause you to be closed off to sexual experiences you really want to have and, also, cause you to be unable to speak out about sexual experiences you don't want to have.

6. When your mind is occupied with fear, you're not exactly in the moment

Romance and intimacy require that two parties be connected and attentive. But when you're anxious, how focused are you on anything else besides your fears? Are you in the moment with your partner, enjoying and experiencing all that person has to offer you? No. No, you're not.

7. When your fears force you to withdraw

You might find yourself running from commitments and real-life intimacy and love. Raise your hand if your anxiety has caused you to avoid relationships and hurt connections.


RELATED: This Is Your Brain On Anxiety