Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sex And Anxiety: Essential Connection?

When I learned years ago that anti-depressants sometimes fuck with people's sex drive, the first thing I wondered was, "Hm, is that because anxiety and sexual interest are somehow related?"

I've thought about this off and on but never really came to any conclusions. And I've never been on anti-depressants so I don't have first-hand experience. And I know some of the newer drugs are less of a problem for sexual interest, and more of a problem for orgasm, which at least complicates my question.

But it's always seemed kind of plausible to me that there's something here -- that maybe to be really into sex you have to feel kind of anxious. Or nervous. Or something.

Two items of interest:

1) The classic aphrodisiacs are stimulants, and being stimulated is a little like being anxious.

2) Going through withdrawal from heroin, from what I understand, makes a person want to have a lot of sex -- or at least a lot of orgasms -- since it's the only relief from the agony.

There's something about being totally relaxed that feels so, I don't know, self-sufficient. And if you feel self-sufficient, you don't need anything, right? And what's sexual desire without a feeling of need?

I realize "un-depressed" and "non-anxious" do not equal relaxed. Still, they do seem connected to self-sufficiency and non-need. So I don't know.

If there is an essential connection between these, it fits my general view that what is good in one way is often bad in another, and vice-versa. But maybe that view is idiosyncratic. I don't know.

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