As a matter of fact, sexual activities have now been generally accepted as stress reliever. Sometimes especially in the mornings, Patricia confesses she feels so sluggish, she has to force herself out of bed. In fact, at work, the tiredness turns to petulance and she finds herself snapping at colleagues for no reason before returning home and picking unnecessary arguments with Charles, her husband about irrelevant things such as dirty dishes and not helping enough with the children. Sound familiar?

While Patricia’s mood changes may bear some resemblance to the symptoms of pre-menstrual tension or mild anxiety, they are completely unrelated to her hormones or mental state. Her crushingly low spirits are caused by something else altogether-when she last made love. Too long without sex, and she becomes miserable and fractions. “I feel so low, it’s like I’m almost depressed,” confesses Patricia, 35, an office secretary. “On the weekend, I can’t be bothered to look after the house or do any house work and I’m so short-tempered and feel angry at Charles for everything. “Even at work too, my fellow workers detect my change in mood and ask if I’m  Ok, and I’ll then say I’m feeling a bit low so they won’t take it personally.”

Patricia, a mother of two children, aged six and 18 months, said she made the connection between her mood swings and the state of her love life after her children were born.

According to her, “Before we had children, we’d have sex whenever we wanted and would hardly go a day or two without”

Speaking further, she said, “But parenthood drained our energy and we’d often be too exhausted. As the gaps between our lovemaking becomes wider, I noticed the difference in my attitude to Charles. Even when we hadn’t had sex for just a week, I’d start to feel like we were drifting apart and it made me frustrated and highly unhappy. To be honest, I really became worried over everything and I kept wondering whether our relationship was in trouble. It was very upsetting. I can see how couples could break up in these circumstances. A ‘sex famine’ as it’s now popularly referred to, is something many exhausted parents can identify with, not to mention couples who’ve lapsed into a lazy over-familiarity in long relationships. The truth is we’re simply not making love as often as we need to. And what’s now becoming apparent are the serious repercussions. As well as impacting on our mood and mental health”

Experts now believe that a lack of sex is particularly responsible for the break-up of some marriages. Sometime ago, scientists from Florida State University confirmed the importance of sex in making women happy, revealing it triggers an ‘afterglow’ that lingers for 48 hours and which helps couples to bond. Without it, they become miserable and distant. And the statistics back this up, according to a recent global survey of 26,000 people aged 16 and older across 26 countries, only 44 per cent of people are fully satisfied with their sex lives.

 A report by the Kinsey Sex Institute noted that a woman who had sex nine times in a month was 1.24 times as likely to be happy as a woman who had sex four times in a month. Scientists blame lack of sex activity in the bedroom on the stresses of modern living.

 The researchers say this decrease in the amount of sex we have, could be due to the increased connectivity of modern life, with screens and distractions which don’t go off at 11pm as the old and few TV channels used to. You can see why people would have more time for sex. What else was there to do on a rainy evening in the pre-Net-fix and wi-fi days than slip under the covers with a willing partner?

The study group also concluded that, “Modern women are working harder too. Add this to the fact that most of us are available online 24/7 and juggling demanding jobs with just as demanding children, and sleep is what most of us lust after in bed.”

Dr. Geoff Hackeff, a leading expert in sexual medicine believes if we carry on like this, sex is in danger of being a lost art. “The domestic set-up in the Fifties, for example, seemed to positively encourage sex,” he says.

In clarifying more, he stated, “But nowadays, there’s not enough focus on it. Women are tired; they’re working or focusing on screaming children. Some are even exhausting themselves at the gym, which when done in excess, can affect your hormones and destroy your desire. An active sex life keeps couples together and makes people live longer.”

AMBROSE NWAOPARA  the writer is an author and a renowned life coach

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