Stressed, irritated, feeling blue? Perhaps you need some meditation, or maybe a good person to sleep with? The effects of not having sex range from stress, loss of libido and potential period pain.
Recently, a friend confessed she’s not had sex “in over a year.” I gasped: “We’ve been discussing my blog’s sex posts and I’ve not known about this.” She’s dating and meeting guys – I put two and two together. Her reasoning is clear: there’s no guy she wants to currently sleep with.
Your sex drive knows when to stop driving
Sex therapist Sari Cooper told publication The Healthy: people may lose their libido and “feel more sluggish” from a decline in sexual intimacy. If you’ve read The Secret, you’ll know we can lose interest on what we’re not focusing on. So, no love-making can turn-off urges. If you’re single and happy, maybe that’s not an issue. But what happens when you want to start dating again? It’s not always definite we’ll spring to action meeting someone we like.
According to Health 24, there’s evidence a woman might increase her sexual activity around ovulation. The site notes it’s natural for females to think about sex “19 times a day”. If you’re not thinking about it, what are you swapping those thoughts for?
If I forego my daily sexual fantasies, I’d probably post essays on why we no longer need men. Or, give up my love and dating blogs altogether. The effects of not having sex can include disinterest for passion, but some people may experience the opposite.
Stress and irritability
A classic symptom of not getting laid. As humans, we’re obsessed with statistics and knowing how our sex lives compare. The numerous Google search queries on “how much sex is healthy” and “how often should a married couple make love” suggests our curiosity. I’ve gone a couple of months without the weight of a man on top of me, and boy do I notice.
Just before COVID-19, I nearly accepted a casual fling. An older guy sent me detailed descriptions explaining where he’d place his tongue. “This is what I need”, I said to a friend. “I’m not finding Mr. Right online, and all this first date prep is starting to wear thin. I’ll meet this guy and relax, then decide what’s next.” When the guy requested to meet another time because he was already hooking up with a woman that week – my insides zapped dry. There’s nothing like being a number on a naked conveyor belt to encourage abstinence.
Even if you’re sex drive doesn’t feel too high, knowing time is sailing without intimacy can add pressure to find someone for a hook-up, or put your emotions aside to satisfy a partner. You could be dealing with financial problems, work overload or grief, desperate to connect and make love without strength to get turned on.
Psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall explained to Metro that “oxytocin, serotonin, endorphins” are all produced in sex, leading to boosts in happiness and confidence.
Losing these positive body chemicals might increase stress, life satisfaction, and possibly cause loneliness. Critically, the Metro piece highlights how the effects of not having sex physically, mainly link to cortisol levels rising from a lack of being able to climax. Do we need to stop questioning our quantity and start considering our sexual quality?
The female physical side effects
Goodbye sex, hello period pain? Newspaper Mirror says sex can aid menstrual cramps. Dr Streicher is quoted in the article describing how most women have a “uterine contraction when they climax”, making blood expel faster and thus helping relief. Period sex should arguably be non-negotiable, right?
As mentioned earlier, the big O is what really defines the effects of not having sex. Floliving.com says they can cure migraines, increase well-being, encourage relaxation and support healthy levels of estrogen.
While we can’t always predict how individuals will react to abstinence, scientists can define what our bodies will be missing out on when we give up mind-blowing intimacy.
Cancelling out the effects of not having sex
Self-pleasure doesn’t replace emotional connection or satisfy our cravings for one-on-one bonding (unless you’re in love with a sex toy). Yet, self-pleasure can quicken our ability to come – and as we now know, this is key.
As the Pussycat Dolls sang: “I don’t need a man to make it happen”. If you’re single and wanting to remain sensual, you’re pretty much spoilt for choice. From erotic literature to online videos and numerous toys.
If you’ve lost your libido, NHS recommend several solutions. The first: try to pinpoint what’s wrong. Does the problem involve boredom in a relationship, physical pain during sex, exhaustion, pregnancy, medication, depression? Speaking to a GP or psychosexual therapist could help. Sometimes, a lack of sexual desire revolves around our own self-confidence. If I’m feeling bloated and covered in angry, painful spots, the last thing I want to do is have sex.
Simple self-care: exfoliating, nail painting, exercising and eating more nutrients, can impact how we feel and likely get us in the mood.
Are you having enough?
There’s no magic number for how many times we should have sex: it depends on how you’re feeling. It’s normal to go through spells of not having and not yearning. If you’re getting concerned over how long it’s been, it’s better to not compare and ask friends about their situation. Unless they’re going to take your mind off it or act as a Robin wingman.
The effects of not having sex is reduced by continual self-pleasure and a willing choice to not partake. A person making the decision to avoid will feel happier than a person itching for a lover to bed. If you are that person looking to ease your sexual scratch, enjoy your alone time (when you can) and use your energy to go towards something productive. A guide to handling no sex? A strange-looking sex doll to test out?
How much do you worry about time between no action? More food for thought: Confident in Public, Insecure in Bed