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How does conflict affect a couple’s sex life?

While some like the passion of sex when they’re angry or the thrill of make-up sex, relationship conflict and good sex do not go together for the most part.  Over time, the cycle of fighting takes its toll on one or both partners, and sex no longer becomes an enjoyable way to reconnect.

Both men and women may find it difficult to respond sexually to a partner when they are angry. Anger can cause low sexual desire, especially when resentment and hostility build up over time. Feeling hurt or upset also can interfere with arousal. Women may find they are not receptive to sex -- with symptoms like pain or dryness -- when they are feeling angry, hurt, sad, or resentful, as their bodies may have difficulty relaxing and responding sexually. Men may have trouble getting an erection when they are experiencing negative emotions, or they may find it more difficult to ejaculate. Ultimately, the mind plays a crucial role in sexual function, and the body might not respond when you don’t feel comfortable, connected, or safe.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.