Well this is news to us: Women with symptoms of moderate to severe stress have sex more frequently than other women, according to a new study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, which basically goes against everything you've ever heard about stress ruining your sex drive.
Researchers from the University of Michigan conducted a longitudinal study surveying 952 women aged 18-20. At baseline, 23 percent of the women showed signs of moderate to severe stress. For two and a half years, the women completed a weekly survey which asked whether or not they had sexual intercourse with any partner in the previous week.
While you might think that stress makes you more likely to binge-eat ice cream than have sex, that's not exactly what they found. The number of sexually active weeks was higher in women with symptoms of stress. In fact, stressed women were 1.6 times more likely to have sex in any given week than women without stress.
This may seem counterintuitive considering that previous research showsstress can negatively affect your sex life and dampen your libido. However, it's important to note that the researchers here did not find a cause-and-effect relationship between stress and sex. It's possible that their symptoms are the result of their sexual behaviors—they feel guilty, regretful, or upset about their relationships. One previous study found that casual sex was associated with lower self-esteem and higher levels of anxiety and depression. And another study found that women are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors when they're sad or anxious. That's why it's crucial to ask yourself these four questions to avoid post-hookup regret.