Sex Advice

Work Stress and Sex Drive Don’t Mesh—Here’s How To Create a Work-Pleasure Balance

Mary Grace Garis

Photo: Getty Images/zoranm
Unless boardroom trysts are among your most common erotic fantasies, it’s safe to say that your work brain is very different than your sex brain. But if worries about spreadsheets and deadlines and important meetings bleed into your off-the-clock life, you might find that the two mindsets are meshing together in a decidedly not great way.

It’s worth noting, though, that you would hardly be alone in this plight. One study by sexual wellness brand Foria surveyed 2,000 sexually active Americans on the intersection of stress on someone’s sex life. And 55 percent shared that stress resulting from work or seeking a new job squashed their sex drive throughout the past year.

Now, we can’t all just up and quit in order to save our erotic pursuits, but what we can do is learn how to better negotiate a work-pleasure balance. So much of that is about setting boundaries to know how to consciously unwind, as well as reimagine how we consider sex. Below, Kiana Reeves, somatic sex educator and Foria’s Chief Brand Officer, shares three easy ways to keep your work brain from sabotaging your sex life.

Work stress compromising your sex drive? Here’s how to find a bit of balance

1. Set time aside to de-stress

Once upon a time, we had more clear-cut barriers between “work mode” and “sex mode.” You know, like physically leaving your job and being able to go to a dreamy restaurant without fear of contracting a deadly virus. While that change in physical setting might not be as available if you’re working remotely and social distancing, the idea of separation between work and non-work is still at play. Reeves says you can embrace it as spending half an hour listening to your body’s needs rather than work to-do list.

“Prioritizing pleasure can help relax your nervous system and expands your window for more desire to emerge.” —Kiana Reeves, somatic sex educator

“Take a bath with CBD bath salts, curl up warm in bed with a movie, or plan a romantic dinner with candles,” she says. “Help your nervous system regulate and regularly prioritize pleasurable activities. Prioritizing pleasure can help relax your nervous system and expands your window for more desire to emerge.”

2. Make time for a quickie

“With so many challenging things going on in our lives, pleasure and spontaneity are two tools we can use to support our well-being,” Reeves says. “A quick and playful sexual session can invite excitement, activate arousal, and can help reduce stress.”

Work to embrace that spirit of anywhere, anytime, especially if you and an S.O. are currently living that WFH life. Nobody has to know that your “coffee break” is coded language for a nooner on the countertops.

3. Say bye-bye to goals

Many people embrace sex as a goal-oriented pursuit, with the endgame being a climax. And look, orgasms are great; when you RSVP to sex play, ideally you do want to come home with a gift bag. But good sex is supposed to be more than that: If you follow your pleasure and let your body guide you, you’re bound to have more fun overall.

“Focusing on things like the sensations in your body, slowing your breathing, and really tuning in to what turns you on—and then expanding on that—is the best way for us to really know what we want and what feels good,” says Reeves. “It’s also an invitation to disconnect from your workday and try to be as present as possible. Lean into the pleasure and desire of the moment.”

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