The uncertainty associated with the job search and anxiety affect sexual life in many cases. The libido is reduced, and the relationship with the couple in a global way can also be affected.
Job loss and sexual desire have a direct relationship . In any situation of anxiety and uncertainty, the libido tends to suffer alterations affecting intimate relationships. Sex ceases to be satisfactory, dysfunctions appear and, what is most problematic for the couple, appetite, passion and the desire for physical closeness are reduced.
Many people are surprised at how work life can affect sexuality. Factors such as a stressful job, the uncertainty of whether we are going to be fired and the lack of this lead the human being to a series of very striking and exhausting psychophysiological alterations.
For example, we know that in situations of great anxiety there is a drop in androgen and estrogen levels. The moment sexuality ceases to be satisfying, that problem is combined with all the others. Lack of self-confidence, low self-esteem, friction in the relationship with your partner, family, friends… appear.
Although job loss means spending more time at home, this does not mean that the couple’s relationship will be better. Sex in these cases may be affected.
Loss of libido
When we talk about sexual alterations, it should be noted that there is great variability. Thus, and with regard to job loss, there may be a very small percentage of people who derive into compulsive sexual behaviors. In other words, there are always exceptions, but in general, job uncertainty reduces libido, both in men and women .
Research papers, such as those carried out at the University of Lugano (Switzerland) highlight something interesting. Not only job loss and sexual desire are linked. Also the fear of losing a job is related to a lack of desire.
In this way, although the idea that having sex relieves stress often prevails, in the face of vital events of great emotional intensity, this formula does not work. Faced with situations that the brain processes as threatening and disabling, neurochemistry changes . An adaptive response is orchestrated aimed at allowing us to face that situation, that danger. And sex is no longer important.
Sex is an instinct and a powerful need. However, it is based on fragile mechanisms. It is enough to suffer stress and cortisol levels rise for problems to begin to arise.
Job loss and sexual desire manifest in many ways. The most obvious is the absence of the need to have sexual intercourse. At first excuses are used, but little by little the weeks without sex turn into months .
Faced with the growing anxiety of not finding a job, problems with the couple, the negative perception of oneself are added…
These would be, on average, the characteristics associated with this situation:
Symptoms associated with sexuality
- The arousal stops appearing and if it does arise, it is brief. The mind cannot concentrate on that moment of intimacy.
- You are not totally honest with your partner; excuses are used.
- In women, anorgasmia or genital or pelvic pain arises on penetration.
- In men, erection problems or premature ejaculation appear.
- Concentration problems.
- Constant anxiety and worry.
- Frequent mood swings.
- Low self-esteem.
- Feeling of not having control over one’s life and its course.
- Excessive muscle tension and exhaustion. Bruxism may appear.
- There are changes in eating: either you lose your appetite or you eat excessively.
- Alterations in night rest.
- Digestive problems: acidity, heavy digestions, etc.
What can be done in these situations?
Research papers, such as those carried out at the University of Friborg (Switzerland) highlight an interesting idea. Daily stress and any critical life experience affect affective relationships and sexuality. In these circumstances, there are only two strategies: address relationship problems and acquire good stress management skills.
How to handle unemployment
Losing a job can be devastating, especially when you cross the barrier of 18 months without finding a job. Thus, it is best to take into account the following aspects:
- Structure time and follow the same routines.
- Combine the job search with other rewarding activities, such as sports.
- Change the perception and try to assume this time as something transitory.
- Avoid isolation, try to meet friends to share thoughts and needs and attend courses to take on other perspectives, learn, etc.
The need to improve communication with the couple
The couple must be our ally and that figure with whom to share thoughts, fears and anxieties. Understanding in these contexts in which everything from lack of desire to sexual dysfunction arises is key . This implies that, in times of difficulty, we must be able to strengthen the bond of trust.
Likewise, we cannot rule out requesting expert help either. Currently, job uncertainty is one of the most common causes of mental health problems in people. It is important to take this into account.