18 Things That Happen To Your Body During A Dry Spell

Lack of sex is as miserable as it sounds, especially for our health. A life without sex is something most of us would rather not imagine... it's bad enough going through a dry spell.
Dry Spell

When is a Lack of Sex Considered a Dry Spell?

The sexually active have spoken! And the consensus is that, if you’ve gone five months or more without the sideways tango, you’re officially in a dry spell.

Interestingly though, the current average when it comes to how long a dry spell lasts is 11 months.
  • Men, on average, face a lack of sex for 10 months during a dry spell.
  • Women, on average, face a lack of sex for one year during a dry spell.
In this way, the average adult experiences roughly four dry spells in their lifetime, with 28 percent currently in the midst of its full effects.

As you can imagine, this isn’t exactly ideal. Especially since the majority of adults would like to be enjoying sex three times a week to be fully satisfied.

It’s your choice if you decide to give nooky the old cold shoulder. Or maybe it’s not your choice, but the universe is keeping you from finding the right person with whom to have a naughty time. Either way, you should know that intimacy is a natural and vital part of the human experience. We use it to express love; be vulnerable; relieve stress, depression, and anxiety; help us sleep; boost feel-good hormones; as exercise and to keep us feeling good about ourselves. Intercourse is good. It always was and it always will be. But for some reason, you’ve decided to forego it and that’s totally your decision. Your body, your choice –there’s no debating that. While you might feel very positive about your decision to reject it, you should know that your body will change as a result. Some of the changes are for your benefit while others could cause you some pain. Before you continue your dry spell or before you decide to go on one, have a look at the list and weigh your options. Remember, your dry spell is your business and you don’t owe it to anyone to explain; just be sure you understand what you’re getting into first, my dear.

Whatever the story behind your fallow bedroom times, a lack of sex will (unsurprisingly) have a knock-on effect on your body and general psyche.

Here's what you can expect to happen when you're not having regular sex.

1. You May Suffer From Depression

Getting it on is good –it makes us feel satisfied, it gives us a boost in feel-good hormones, and it can make us feel like life has a purpose again. Sex creates bonds between people and this can make us feel connected and a part of something. Without pair bonding, we run the risk of feeling alone and lonely. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with being alone or single for that matter. It’s just that forming relationships makes us feel wanted and being wanted feels good. For ladies who are in a serious relationship, if you and your partner haven’t been intimate, this can create doubt which can lead to low self-esteem and ultimately depression. Research has proven that there are compounds in semen, namely melatonin, serotonin, and oxytocin, that have mood-boosting benefits; but this information is for a woman who has been tested and has had her partner tested and feels safe enough to engage in unprotected sex.

2. Anxiety Can Also Be A Problem

Like depression, anxiety can be a by-product of a dry spell. Going without sex can increase tension levels and really wreak havoc on the entire nervous system. There have even been cases where blood pressure has increased substantially due to a lack of sex. Some might say exercise could be a good replacement for sex, and those people might be right, but those people cannot compare the glory that is sex with a workout. Working out doesn’t come close to sex. And for those who say it does, you clearly have been doing sex the wrong way. During sex, the brain releases chemicals like endorphins and oxytocin which have been directly tied to combating anxiety and depression; when these chemicals are released, the body and brain enter a relaxed state. Anxiety can be tough to beat, but if you notice that during your dry spell your levels of anxiety have gone through the roof, try self-stimulation if you can’t get any real action.

3. Your Immune System Isn't As Strong

With all these beneficial hormones being released, it should be no surprise that those same hormones are related to our immune systems. Studies have shown that women who engage in sex more frequently are less likely to become rundown; sex increases energy and blood flow which keeps the body in optimum condition. Studies have shown that when women engage in sex, the immune system is also recharged and kept in tiptop shape. It should come as no surprise that holiday seasons are notorious for an excess of colds, flu, and depression among women –so why not add a little safe, protected intercourse in the mix to avoid any negative side effects of a dry spell. Unless you like your cold-weather holidays with a side of sickness and a dash of depression, it would be to the benefit of everyone involved and in the holiday spirit, it would be good to spread around a little cheer.

4. There's Less Chance You'll Get An STI Or UTI

The risk of getting STDs and UTIs is drastically reduced when a woman is in a dry spell. Clearly, without partners, the risk of getting an STD is zero. In this way, a dry spell is a good thing because it saves you from contracting a lifelong disease or the painful process to remove such. A dry spell allows you to get back to you and focus less on others; you don’t have to worry about your partners' history or ask to see a test or go and get a test together. That stuff gets old after a while. Without the friction of UTIs, you greatly decrease the chance of infection. And anyone who has ever suffered from a UTI knows what a nightmare it can be. In this regard, a dry spell is positive; no sex, reduce pain, suffering, and potentially threatening diseases.

5. Not Much Happens To Your Muscles

There’s a myth going around about muscles and hymens. During a dry spell, your muscles do not reduce in size; the opposite occurs actually. Without the proper use of the vaginal muscles, the walls lose strength and become flaccid. To maintain musculature and tightness, the muscles should be used in moderation. So it's not as though your muscles revert to the state they were before you ever had sex. Also, it’s physically impossible for the hymen to return or re-grow; once it’s gone, it’s gone, ladies. There are doctors who have been giving women back their hymens, but that’s a crazy surgery created for religious purposes, for religions that demand women be virgins before marriage. Your muscles will, however, tense up the next time you have sex and in that way they might feel smaller or tighter –it’s all in your head. To relax, make sure that foreplay is involved for the next time you decide to break your dry spell.

6. Your Confidence Might Dip

A little romp in the hay is a sure-fire way to get the self-esteem rolling again. Being wanted feels good, no doubt, so if you’re off in a dry spell, you might not feel as great about yourself. Relationships are a way to make us feel connected to someone and through that connection, we feel we contribute to life and to our own needs. Sex between couples is almost required to keep things running smoothly. However, this is not to say that the only way to feel good about yourself is through sex. As we know, ladies, self-esteem is created in many ways –through our talents, intelligence, kindness, compassion, and awareness of self. Yet, researchers still swear that sex is a concrete way to boost self-esteem. No doubt, science makes a good point, but the point here is that a dry spell should not be a reason for lowering your self-worth. You are worthy regardless of if you have sex or not.

7. You Become Less Skilled

Without practice, you lose the ability. We can apply this to almost any activity and it’s true. Go ahead, try it –it works with the arts, it works with language, it works with sports. If you don’t practice a skill, you waste it. Therefore, if you want to keep your sex game on point and winning, you’d better practice it. A dry spell will keep you away from all the opportunities in which you learn how to please another person. However, if your goal during your dry spell is to please yourself and through your own sexual liberation liberate yourself in relationship with others, then that’s surely a great way to do it. A dry spell will reduce your response time with a partner, though. That is not always the case; for some women, the response time is increased and orgasm happens quicker than normal. Each situation varies as do women, but keep in mind that a dry spell can ruin some skills you’ve acquired over the years.

8. PMS Gets Worse

Word on the street is that a dry spell will put your PMS into crazy mode and you will suffer like you’ve never suffered before. Some women would strongly disagree and say that since their dry spell, their PMS has lessened its death grip. Of course, as with any study, those involved differ. But science says that with regular sex, women can notice a reduction in cramping and headaches after just a few sessions. The muscles around the cervix, uterus, and ovaries are undergoing changes during ovulation and thus tense up and move in ways in order to rid the body of an unfertilized egg. Like a massage, sex can activate pressure points and relax those muscles. The orgasm itself can relieve pain and tension. A dry spell will heighten PMS, however, that is not to say that a woman who engages in masturbation will not have similar or identical relief from PMS as a woman who is sexually active with a partner.

9. Things Don't Flow As Easily

A dry spell isn’t called a dry spell for no reason. Just like anything that doesn’t receive liquids, there’s a tendency for things to wither, shrivel up, and, in some cases, die. This is not to insinuate that you will shrivel up and die if you start or continue on your dry spell. What this is saying is that you might notice that things are not as, shall we say, ready to go downstairs. The stimulation of sexual advances and activities gets things moving, for example, the blood and vaginal lubrication. To suddenly remove sex from your life will mean that the juices are cut off from flowing. And the longer you stay in your dry spell, the more time it will take for those glands to start producing lubrication again. Don’t despair and don’t feel the need to leave your dry spell if you’re not ready. This only means you will need to be patient and you might have to use artificial lubricant should your dry spell keep you desert-like below.

10. Your Bladder Gets Weaker

As with any muscle in the body, the more we use it the better we can control it. If you’ve ever had an exercise routine and then stopped it, upon your return you will notice that those muscles are not what they once were, they are fatigued, they are sore, and they are flaccid. The female reproductive system is made up of and surrounded by muscles which means that if we don’t use them, they will get out of shape. The use of those muscles will also affect nearby systems like the urinary tract. Having sex means you are better at holding your urine in situations when you need to hold it. The pelvic diaphragm is responsible for this job and it gets a little workout each time you have sex. Therefore, without that exercise, the pelvic diaphragm risks becoming weak which could lead to accidents. This is a warning. Dry spells could spell disaster.

11. Your Brain Doesn't Function As Well

Dry spells can mess with your headspace in the sense that your brain functions might not be what they once were when you were having sex. Sex is linked to blood flow and blood flow is what the brain needs to be at optimal levels. Sex is linked to memory, too, which is a result of the increased blood flow throughout the body, but specifically to the brain. Studies have shown that between groups of women who are sexually active and those who are abstinent, smarter women are the ones who are having sex. Sex is linked to good study habits, too; therefore, if you need to hit the books, perhaps you might want to avoid the dry spell and go for some good old-fashioned, protected sex should it be readily available to you. Overall, it appears that a dry spell will not reap benefits in the brain department.

12. Your Heart Isn't As Healthy

No matter how you do it, no matter how fast or slow, no matter how novice or expert –sex is exercise. Studies have shown that women who are sexually active tend to be a few pounds lighter than the non-sexually active group. In some cases, sex can even be considered a real, full-blown cardio-vascular workout. Sweating and increased breathing can be a part of your sexual routine, in almost all cases the heart rate increases –these are the same side-effects of any physical activity whether it be swimming, yoga, or tennis. Sex is a workout. And if you do it right and frequently, it can have excellent benefits for your heart health. This means, ladies on a dry spell must be sure they are incorporating enough physical activity to keep their hearts healthy, and in this case, masturbation is not a substitute for coupled sex.

13. You Get Frustrated

Women who go without sex for extended periods of time have reported higher levels of stress. Stress is something we try to avoid in order to keep our blood pressure low, our belly fat under control, and our happiness levels rising. Without sex, the body changes, but so do emotions. Emotional roller coasters occur. Women can feel angry, then sad, and anxious all on the same day should a dry spell last for extended periods of time. However, as pointed out previously, sex is not the only way to combat frustration. Journaling, walking, meditation, exercise, and friendships are ways in which we can vent our frustrations. But sex is sometimes a more invigorating and pleasurable way to beat the blues and give stress a good punch in the face. Here is where masturbation could replace sex as a useful and beneficial replacement for partnered sex. The point is, find a way to release your stress and find the way that suits you best.

14. You Don't Sleep As Well

For those who suffer from insomnia or any other sleep-related issues, dry spells could be the cause and the reason why you’re struggling to get to bed and why you’re struggling to stay asleep. Once you’ve ended your romp in the hay, the body will produce a hormone called prolactin. This hormone brings about deep relaxation. There are some cases where the opposite has occurred, where the body releases hormones that ignite an alert or awake state, but in most cases, sex makes us sleepy once the act itself is finished. If you suffer from sleep problems, sex could be the solution to your problem. However, with that being said, some people will become unaware of their addiction to this hormone and once they hit a dry spell find sleep in all its glory to be somewhat of a struggle. During a dry spell, other relaxation techniques should be implored to achieve sleep or sleep-like states.

15. You Lose The Desire

The old saying, absence makes the heart grow fonder, might be true is some cases, but not in all cases and not 100% of the time. When we stray from something, when we remove something from our lives, there’s a chance for a real change. This means neurons fire differently and we begin to perceive things differently. This is the case with many addictions. The longer one abstains from an activity, the less likely she is to repeat it. Hence, in the case of dry spells, the longer you are away from sex, the less likely you are to be interested in it. It’s quite natural. However, there are some cases where the opposite happens and the more time spent away from sex, the more sex is on the brain. Those cases are few and far between and hint at a person with addictive personality traits. But in most cases, studies have shown that dry spells will decrease our libidos and eventually, we could lose all desire. Let this be a warning for those who want to, at some point, end the dry spell. Sometimes, there’s no going back.

16. Sex might be painful

Studies have revealed that, during menopause, the walls of the vagina thin and weaken, meaning sex can be painful and there’s also a lack of natural lubricant. Arousal increases blood flow to your intimate areas, so the best way to avoid these uncomfortable symptoms is to actually have sex.

17. You might gain weight

Obviously, it depends on how energetic you are, but sex can burn anything from 85 to 250 calories. So if you’re used to going at it three times a week and for some reason stop, it’s a bit like skipping a cardio session. It’s possible you may notice a little bit of weight gain, but nothing an extra 20 minutes on the treadmill won’t sort if you’re worried.

18. Things May Get Less Complicated In Your Social Life

It's not all drawbacks, though. Think of all the times in your friend group when things got all tangled up just because two people started having sex. It happens all the time. Sex complicates relationships of any kind, not just romantic ones. So when sex is out of the equation, you may find that it's much easier to navigate friendships and different interactions clearly. You might even become the clear-headed friend everyone trusts for advice (which may or may not be a good thing, come to think of it).

This might actually be a good reason to give up sex for a while. Once you get past the initial tough stage, the lack of sexual frustration may pave the way for more mature, less messy relationships. For a little while, anyway.

How Can You Embrace a Dry Spell?

For one, a dry spell gives you the time and energy to focus solely on yourself. It’s a period for self-exploration – not only sexually, but also physically, emotionally, and mentally.

By getting in touch with your own body, you’re figuring out what feels good and what doesn’t.

Using new toys and different techniques allows you to learn more about your likes, your dislikes, and perhaps even opens up the opportunity to discover a few new fantasies.

This, in turn, makes you a more active and self-confident partner, leading to better sex.

Additionally, two in five adults agreed that some of their best orgasms were when they were flying solo!

So while you may curse your fate when experiencing a dry spell, try to see it as a time in which to embrace the power of your body, because it always knows what you need!
Geoffrey Nevine — IT Services and IT Consulting

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