Here's how a lack of sex affects your mood

Here's how a lack of sex affects your mood

According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, there are seven base needs that every person relies on in order to keep the human race going. They are: air, water, food, shelter, sleep, warmth, and - you guessed it - sex. Technically, it's for reproductive purposes; but because it is something we need, it's also something we innately want.

It's sort of logical, then, that our bodies react negatively when we don't get as much of it as we're used to. After all, we get hungry when we don't have food, and exhausted when we don't have sleep - why shouldn't a lack of sex warrant a similar response?

Weirdly enough, the human brain is pretty much wired to desire sex from a very young age. As Sari Cooper, a certified sex therapist, explains: "When people have sex they're usually having skin-to-skin contact, and this kind of contact is the first primal way we as humans get comforted [as babies with our mothers]. Sexual connection gives partners loads of skin-to-skin caressing and touch, and can help to regulate one another’s moods."

The way it regulates moods is by encouraging the production of oxytocin, a hormone which - to put it simply - improves your mood. A lack of sex, therefore, means that a person's body won't get as much of the happy hormone as it's used to (assuming that they go from having regular nookie sessions to few or none at all).

However, it's not going to be so severe that it'll cause you to dip into a clinical depression. Other factors could contribute to this - for instance, if you suddenly stop getting laid because your long-term partner leaves you - but a lack of sex alone shouldn't send you into a depressive spiral.

But there are plenty more side effects to not getting enough nookie.

"For some people who refrain from sex, they begin to feel more sluggish, with less vitality and hunger for sex," Cooper goes on. Essentially, the less you have, the less you want.

This can go on to impact many other areas of your life, including how anxious you feel.

One study conducted by researchers in Scotland found that people who abstained from doing the dirty struggled more in stressful situations such as public speaking. Those who had engaged in a little how's your father, on the other hand, fared comparatively well at the same tasks.

Surprisingly, straight women are actually impacted more by these lower moods than men if they are used to having unprotected sex with their partner. This is because semen contains melatonin, serotonin, and oxytocin - and a sudden withdrawal of these chemicals will cause a dip in mood.

Because libido decreases when you don't do the deed as regularly, not getting nookie on the reg' could end up leading to an overall lower mood and lack of emotional connection between you and your partner. Of course, everyone is different, but if you think this could be something that's coming (or not, geddit?) between you and your other half, perhaps point out the health benefits of sex if you need an excuse to get them in the mood.