How to Have Sex When You’re Stressed Out of Your Mind

Photo by Asdrubal Luna on Unsplash

Photo by Asdrubal Luna on Unsplash

Modernity sucks for your sex-life. We are having it less than ever. According to the latest General Social Survey, the average adult went from having sex 62 times a year in the late 1990s to 54 times a year in 2014. (Source)

Given all of the stresses and distractions of our age, such as crushing economic pressures, surging anxiety rates, widespread antidepressant use, streaming television, environmental estrogens leaked by plastics, dropping testosterone levels, careerism, smartphones, the news cycle, information overload generally, sleep deprivation, and obesity it’s amazing anybody has sex at all.

Especially in the context of a long-term, monogamous relationship, having sex regularly can be a challenge. (However, learning and developing your sexuality through exercises like the ones I share with you can do wonders to change this.)

Fortunately, you don’t have to have intercourse to have sex! Let’s have a bird’s and the bees talk 2.0. As many people in the LGBTQ community may tell you, sex is WAY MORE than just penis-in-vagina. There are of course commonly known alternatives such as oral, anal, and manual sex. There is a whole realm of sex that doesn’t involve genitalia at all.

So how do I define sex if your equipment isn’t involved? Though my ideas change as I continue to learn more about the fabulous diversity in sexual experience, this is what I have so far:

Pleasure (physical or emotional)

+ Connection (with self or others)

+ Body (literally or just the idea of it)

= Sex

This means that things as innocuous as cuddling, kissing, steamy texts, and holding hands, can be a form of sex. If approached with the intention to experience pleasure, connect, and use the body in some way, almost anything can become sexual.

This understanding can come in really handy when you are facing a deadline, broke, exhausted, heart-broken, going through a divorce, grieving, or facing some other stressor.

When I’m going through rough times, I would rather get a root canal than have sex. So instead, I do this exercise:

The Belly Breath

PARTNERED (the instructions are written for two people, but this can easily be adapted for a delicious cuddle puddle if you want to invite more to play.)

1. Lay down next to your partner. Lay so close that your bellies touch. If you feel so inclined, remove your shirt or shift it slightly so your skin is touching.

2. Breathe deep belly breaths together, timed so that you inhale and exhale at the same time. Feel your bellies press into each other with each breath. Notice the sensations in your body. Breathe like this for a few minutes.

3. Take turns completing the sentence “With you, I notice _____” and observing something in your surroundings with your senses. These could be phrases like “With you, I notice the lamp on the bedside table.” “With you, I notice how soft this bed is.” (This seems silly, but it really works for bringing you into the present moment and into your partner’s experience of it.)

4. Look into each other’s eyes for 2-5 minutes (use a timer if you have to) while you continue to breathe. Notice the aliveness in yourself and your partner. Notice the consciousness in yourself and your partner. Notice the divinity in yourself and your partner. After, you are welcome to end the exercise, snuggle, have a delicious discussion, or move into intercourse if you’re so inspired.

SOLO (you’ll need a mirror for this)

1. Lay down. Rest your hands gently on your belly. If you feel so inclined, remove your shirt or shift it slightly so you can feel the skin of your belly with your hand.

2. Breathe deep belly breaths. Feel your stomach rise and fall. Notice how you can feel your belly with your hand and your hand with your belly. Notice the sensations in your body. Breathe like this for a few minutes.

3. Repeatedly, complete the sentence “Here, I notice _____” and observing something in your surroundings with your senses. These could be phrases like “Here, I notice the lamp on the bedside table.” “Here, I notice how soft this bed is.” (This seems silly, but it really works for bringing you into the present moment.)

4. Grab the mirror. Stare into it, looking into your own eyes 4 minutes (use a timer if you have to) while you continue to breathe. Notice the aliveness you see in the mirror. Notice your consciousness. Notice your divinity.

After, you are welcome to end the exercise, hold yourself, meditate, or self-pleasure if you’re so inspired.

This exercise, and anything similar, will do SO much to help you feel connected and nourished. Which is exactly the state you need to be in to thrive in the hurricane of chaos that is our world.


If you are loving this content and want to dive deeper, let’s meet! Sign-up for a free Sex Magic Call. This is a free consultation to help you clarify your deepest desire, see if I can help you realize it, and broadcast your intention to the Universe in the most pleasurable way possible.

If you have any questions about this article, your free call, or anything else please email me at michelle@michellekildare.com.