Recent breakup? Job loss? Death of a family member? Bills piling up? There’s no end to number of reasons that could cause someone to spiral down a road of depression, or at the very least, extreme stress.
We all have our own individual ways of coping with personal traumas. Some people exercise more; some people lay around all damn day; some stop eating for a while, and others can’t quit the dollar slices (since that’s all you can afford).
We all have our own individual coping mechanisms that we implement when sh*t hits the fan, but the one thing most of us have in common is the desire to connect physically with another human being.
In other words, there’s no better aphrodisiac than a sh*tty life. Of course, your life isn’t actually sh*tty. You’re just going through a rough patch.
Still, we often attempt to smooth over those rough patches with rough sex for a number of reasons -- here are four you may be able to relate to:
1. We finally feel like we’re in control of something.
I believe, as individuals, we have the power to change our own circumstances.
However, hearing “no” from that dream job, or that loan application you desperately needed to pay any number of debtors, will make even the most confident person feel a loss of control over life. That feeling of helplessness can easily wash over someone who honestly believes life simply refuses to let him or her win.
Sex is a way to finally gain some control over things: "I need to feel good right now because nothing else does it. And a simple call or text to you-know-who can make that happen."
It’s within my control to get some. At minimum, my right hand and I are going to get real familiar, which brings me to my next point...
2. Temporary pleasure is better than no pleasure at all.
When absolutely nothing is going right in your life, you seek out vices to distract you from the bullsh*t: weed, wine, crack, whatever. We use these vices to temporarily ease the pain. And sex is right up there with the best of them.
We know that a sweaty romp here and there isn’t going to magically fix everything. But the rush, that pleasurable rush of our bodies experiencing something transcendent, is enough to make it worthwhile.
Bonus points if you’re in a relationship or have a steady f*ck buddy who can hook you up whenever. Sometimes, you just need that one good hit to get you through, even if it’s only for a short while.
3. There's someone who actually cares.
When we go through particularly stressful situations, it’s easy to begin thinking no one cares about your questionable circumstances.
"All these people see me struggling and have the nerve to post pictures from Europe! Really? No one’s going to help out with this ConEd bill after taking advantage of my AC all summer? Did the man who broke my heart really just take his new bitch to Saks?"
Okay, this is just hurtful.
Finding someone willing to be intimate with a hot mess must mean they care, right? Well, not necessarily, but for stress-relieving purposes, a warm, affectionate touch can work wonders and at least make us believe someone cares enough to help coddle and cuddle us through it.
4. It’s sexy science!
In one recent study, researchers found that having sex every day for two weeks led to cell growth in the hippocampus -- the part of your brain that keeps stress levels at bay.
In another study, a separate group also got it on for two weeks and showed lower stress-related blood pressure than those who abstained from sex during the same time period.
A nice, energetic session should also release all kinds of feel-good stuff like oxytocin, which brings upon feelings of compassion and works as a natural sedative to whisk you off into a stress-free mind state. Oooh, yes!
All this being said, sex or any other vice is unlikely going to be the actual solution to your problem, so it’s important you tackle the issues themselves if you truly want to reduce your stress.
But, hey, if you’re safe about it, get yourself a little something in the meantime. At the very least, it’s a fun time killer between your late student loan payments.