Here’s How Sexual Dry Spells Can Impact Your Wellbeing

Growing metaphorical cobwebs down there isn’t the only thing that happens during sexual dry spells. Not having sex for a decent period of time can 100% affect you one way or another, as many are learning during this pandemic, especially if you’re perpetually thirsty (hi, me). Yes, you can get super ~frustrated~ but what exactly could going without sex for a period of time do to your mental, emotional, and/or physical wellbeing? We spoke with a therapist and a sexpert to explain wtf could happen to us when we experience a dry spell. 

The Potential Benefits

Surprise! Although it definitely doesn’t feel like it at times, there are actually a lot of perks associated with dry spells. According to sexpert for sexual wellness brand and retailer Lovers, Marla Renee Stewart, MA, abstaining from sex means you can “focus more on yourself, experiment with self-pleasure, pick up a new hobby, use your sexual energy for other things (sexual transmutation), try out all your seduction techniques, and flirt with anyone you want.” More time to cry try that Pinterest dinner recipe you’ve had saved since last July or sext your crush until it’s time to bring things IRL? Doesn’t sound so bad when you look at the glass half full. 

Ultimately, Stewart says that the impact of sexual dry spells depends on the person’s state of mind. “If they think it’s a bad thing and [are] getting frustrated with not being able to have sex, then it will impact them negatively,” she says. “However, if they look at it as a learning opportunity to learn more about their body, gain more awareness of themselves, and actually appreciate the dry spell, they will learn that being celibate might not be such a bad thing.” It’s basically all about perception. Time to start looking on the bright side instead of wallowing in your thirst, friends.

The Potential Cons

K, so the good news here is that no matter how much you may say it, you won’t die from not getting laid. In fact, nothing physically damaging is likely to happen either. Yay for no actual cobwebs! However, “while sex is not considered a biological need (meaning we won’t die if we don’t ever have sex), it is a drive and going without sex can have negative effects,” says sex-positive therapist Erica Zajac, LCSW. “Since connection and touch are needs for psychological well-being, going for long periods of time without touch or connection (social isolation) can affect a person’s health.” Ugh, yep. The skin hunger is real AF. 

They say the first things you might notice include increased stress and frustration. “The lack of dopamine and serotonin can [also] lead to depression and anxiety,” adds Stewart. Cool. Great. Sex-starved sad squad, represent!

Stewart also says that you might experience constant cravings to touch and the desire to self-soothe with “bad” habits. Zajac notes these side effects “have been very prevalent during COVID and would be during any time where physical contact has to be restricted in any way.” I personally can vouch for this. Life is a hell of a lot happier and more bearable when you’re having sex… well, at least for me. 

So, yeah. In conclusion, the good news is great news and the bad news really isn’t even that bad. Dry spells might suck and feel sh*tty in the meantime, but nothing too detrimental will really happen to you, so try not to stress too much (because stress is the real killer here).

Tips For Managing A Dry Spell

Singles, people in LDRs, and anyone affected by low libido or just not having sex for whatever reason during the pandemic right now, listen up! Here are a bunch of ways to healthily manage your dry spell. 

First off, Zajac says, “it would be good to increase [how often you masturbate] or start masturbating and to get touch in other ways if it’s safe enough to do so; for example, getting a full body massage. It’s obviously not the same as sex, but it can help relieve some of the physical tension.” So treat yo’self to some new sex toys and use them as ~personal massagers~ whenever tf you feel frustrated. Stewart recommends trying app-connected toys to enhance solo play, like the Connexion Series collection by SVAKOM. “Series’ 5 sex toys are timely for our current situation, featuring long-distance remote app control and the ability to sync with adult video sites so that the toys vibrate and thrust along with the videos,” she explains. The future is now, friends.

Some other tips? You can also find other non-sexual ways to achieve pleasure, like by doing any of your favorite things that make you feel good. Journal your thoughts and frustrations, especially when you find yourself super thirsty. Oh, and definitely focus on self-care. We all could use more of that right now, but especially those missing sex or any sort of physical connection. 

“The best thing I can recommend to help ease the mental and emotional distress of [not having] sex is to lean into it,” says Zajac. “What I mean is to accept that this is the current situation (hopefully it won’t be a permanent one) but focusing on something you can’t control usually only leads to higher stress levels, frustration, and anger. While these emotions are very understandable, they’re not helpful to you physically or mentally.”

The key is finding the solution that works best for YOU until you get laid again… which you hopefully will! Until then, do what you gotta to avoid those metaphorical cobwebs from taking over your life. Oh, and don’t forget to check in on your friends who are doubling down on social distancing and not having sex during the pandemic. Send them all the thoughts and prayers.

Images: Pexels, GIPHY (4)

Morgan Mandriota
Morgan Mandriota
Morgan Mandriota is a New-York based writer and the founder of She writes about sex, relationships, health, travel, and other fun stuff for Betches, Bumble, Bustle, Cosmopolitan, Health, mindbodygreen, Tinder, Well+Good, and your other favorite websites. In her spare time, you can find her hiking, playing video games, chasing sunsets, traveling, or slathering CBD salve all over her aching body. Follow her on Instagram/Twitter @morganmandriota or visit