In Focus:

Anxiety Is Messing Up Your Sex Life

Getting in the mood, being honest about what turns you on, and enjoying super pleasurable orgasms all suffer when you're gripped by panic and worry. Here's how to dial back those crazy-anxious feelings.

Anxiety can hold you back in your career and crank up your stress level during social situations. So it makes sense that the worry, apprehension, and fear that are hallmarks of the condition will also make a huge dent between the sheets.

“All anxiety is a distraction that limits sexual success,” says Laurel Steinberg, PhD, a New York–based sex and relationship therapist and professor of psychology at Columbia University. Whether your anxious feelings come and go or you have a diagnosed condition such as general anxiety disorder, it can be a huge buzzkill when it comes to connecting with your partner and experiencing pleasure.

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