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Sex and Relaxation: How to Banish Stress and Maximise Pleasure

It’s often assumed that sex and relaxation go hand-in-hand. When we’re relaxed it’s easy to get in the mood for sex, and when sex is on the table, we feel relaxed.

If only it were that simple! Sometimes we feel too stressed out to have sex, other times the thought of having sex itself can be what stresses us out.

In honour of World Mental Health Day, observed on the 10th October every year, global sexual wellness brand Lovehoney is sharing its top tips for how sex can help you relax, as well as how you can relax enough for sex.

Sex-ercise

You’d probably rather get between the sheets with your significant other than head down to the gym for a workout – but sex and a stint on the treadmill have more in common than you think.

Just like other forms of exercise, having sex releases endorphins and other mood-boosting hormones.

Additionally, a recent survey* from Lovehoney found that 70% of people say sex reduces levels of anxiety and 63% say it is important to overall well-being. Don’t worry if you don’t have a partner, you’ll get the same feeling from solo sex using a sex toy

Get off (to sleep)

Trouble sleeping? Stop counting sheep and try getting your freak on instead! During orgasm, the brain releases prolactin, which is designed to relax and ready us for sleep. It’s no wonder we want to hit the hay after a steamy session.

The great news is that it works both ways. If you find that your libido is lacking, getting more sleep can help boost your sexual desire.

Happy couple

The next time you and your partner are feeling the pressure and get into a spat, it may help to remember this particular study.

A 2017 experiment saw newlywed couples keep a two-week sexual diary. The researchers found that the couples experienced satisfaction for a full two days after they’d had sex. Plus those couples who felt this long-lasting contentment went on to report further satisfaction months after the two weeks had elapsed.

Lose yourself

For many people, especially lovers of role-play, sex can be a form of blissful escapism.

Turning off that 9-to-5 part of your brain and just losing yourself in the moment can give you a much-needed break from the demands of everyday life.

When you’ve finished a sizzling session in the sack, and your role as resident Dom or sex sub has ended, you may find that your problems have been put into perspective.

Slow down 

When the idea of sex triggers a stress response rather than arousal, it can be because everything is moving a little too quickly. Put your foot on the brakes and spend some time setting the mood instead.

Compile your favorite jams and make a sex soundtrack, or ask your lover to give you a massage. The massage doesn’t have to be an erotic one. Just giving some of the muscles in your shoulders or back a good rub will help you transition to a relaxed state of mind.

All about the journey

We can get so caught up in orgasms being ‘the goal’ that we can end up putting unrealistic expectations on ourselves or our partner. When we focus too intently on climaxing, we take all the joy out of sex and all that remains is performance anxiety and pressure.

By turning your attention to your breath, you reconnect with what’s going on in the moment rather than self-sabotaging yourself with intrusive thoughts. 

Founded in 2002, Lovehoney is a multi-award winning manufacturer and distributor of pleasure products. Its focus on exceptional customer service, product innovation, and creative marketing has placed Lovehoney at the forefront of developments in the sexual wellbeing market.

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