Stress and Intimacy

Stress and its effects on intimacy can be huge.

It can blindside you.  Something happens, like, say a fire, that takes over your whole community, and all of the sudden you go into survival mode.  It doesn't have to be as drastic as that, but as a resident of Southern California, it's becoming a little more commonplace, so I thought I'd bring it out in the open and discuss it.

As someone who promotes an orgasm a day, this is a very important topic.  Sex and intimacy, not only for couples, but for individuals, gives you something to help you relax, it releases oxytocin, endorphins and things you can't get any other way... so for me, it's kinda like taking your vitamins on a daily basis... you need it to be whole.  When you go into survival mode, much like Maslow's hierarchy of needs, we collapse down into our base needs of shelter and food... this thing about intimacy and sex can just disappear.  The desire, the need... vanishes!  Such a fascinating thing to see while it's happening.  As someone who notices... as many in relationships do, when their partner shuts down, and isn't interested in going there... or when we shut down.  It's an interesting phenomenon.

Many things can trigger this shut down.  The loss of your surroundings, whether displaced or actual loss of a home or material goods can change one's perspective on sex and intimacy.  It can seem like "that's not important now, we have other things to worry about"... The displacement and living with others, or being in a hotel room you have to share with other family members can also create that sense of "Really?!?!, now?!?"... So that switch seems to shut down until times change, or situations change.

We need to remember that our brain is our biggest sex organ, and when we are preoccupied with survival, and insuring the safety of others, or when we are displaced, and not in our surroundings, we can shut down aspects of our normal and healthy selves.  Our brain will not allow us sometimes to open those gateways when we are too preoccupied with survival.

Be patient with yourself.  This can take some time to reset the feeling of being whole again.  And be patient with your partner, as stressful situations can take time to recover from.  My recommendation is to be patient with yourself and your partner.  Take the time to communicate and reassure each other that this will happen again.  Make time to reconnect, and share some level of intimacy, whether it's holding each other, cuddling, or just simply holding hands or touching.  Your bodies and minds will rebound before you know it, but recognize that each person recovers at their own pace.  Support those that are slower than you!

And remember... For love and passion.  That's what life's about!