Whether we are physicians, engineers, corporate executives, or psychologists, work is a  significant component of human lives. Work and the baggage it carries may have an  impact on many areas of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. 

Many of us fail to put our work-related “baggage” in the past. At times, it might be hard  to shut off when you get home since there may be unfinished paperwork, emails that  need to be sent, or just emotional unpacking to complete. So, when we are coming back  home our mind is still occupied with “unfinished business” at work and we might forget  to pay attention to our partners. Resulting in an emotional distance. 

Work and Relationships

When one spouse emotionally withdraws or grows distant, it may affect how their  partner acts as well. Maybe they experience more rejection when they initiate sex,  leading to a lack of initiation. As they start to recognise changes happening, this might  cause frustration. They can experience confidence issues, and worry that their spouse is  growing disinterested in them. They could even develop a fear of having sex and find it  difficult to relax and enjoy it when the opportunity comes up. 

Stress and Sex

In the US, 83% of employees experience work-related stress, with 25% naming their jobs  as their biggest sources of stress. Furthermore, 76% of employees say that job stress  impacts their relationships. Various studies have examined how stress influences the  interest/desire for sex, and how the body reacts to sexual stimulation. As a result, our  knowledge about it has greatly increased. Stress, whether related to work or not, can  significantly affect not only our sex life but also our mental and physical health. 

Long-Term Stress and Hormones

Long-term stress can cause hormone imbalances that interfere with testosterone  synthesis and even change the brain’s chemistry. This decrease in testosterone levels  might affect both men’s and women’s sexual drive, resulting in low libido and even  sexual dysfunction, with a possible erectile dysfunction in males. Unfortunately, you can be too preoccupied with your work to even realise it until it is too  late. 

Managing Your Stress

One of the first options you should think about if you fear that life stress is affecting your  libido is general stress management. You won’t encounter as many hormonal changes  from prolonged stress if you can successfully counterbalance your stress response.  Techniques of stress management can be journaling, breathing exercises, meditation,  guided imagery and many others. 

Touch by a loved one can be a great stress reliever. Hold hands, schedule more cuddles  (when you embrace someone, the stress-relieving hormone oxytocin is released), or try a  partner massage to get to know each other better. Without the extra burden of sex  expectations, touching is a wonderful way to express your love for your spouse. Instead  of focusing on sex, you may relax and experience pleasure and connection via touch,  which can heighten your desire for intimacy and, eventually, sex. 

In conclusion, we can say that in the period when we feel stress from work, we need to  learn how to manage our stress in a way that does not affect the personal and other  spheres of our lives. 

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach here.  

Elene Jashi is a 24 year old, student of Clinical, Social and Intercultural psychology  Masters. Elene is also an Intern within the Sex clinic at Willingness with an interest in  positive psychology.


Esch T, Fricchione GL, Stefano GB. The therapeutic use of the relaxation response in  stress-related diseases. Med Sci Monit. 2003;9(2):RA23-34. 

Varvogli L, Darviri C. Stress management techniques: Evidence-based procedures that  reduce stress and promote health. Health Sci J. 2011;5(2):74-89. 

Fahey, M. and Wells, N., 2022. Americans Think About Money and Work More Than Sex,  Survey Finds. [online] NBC News. Available at: <https://www.nbcnews.com/better/ money/americans-think-about-money-work-more-sex-survey-finds-n424261>  [Accessed 9 September 2015].