Don't let seasonal affective disorder put a damper on your sex life this winter

Is lack of libido a seasonal affective disorder symptom? An expert reveals how to overcome SAD to keep your bedroom activities steamy

Upset young woman sitting on bed - seasonal affective disorder symptom
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Are the winter blues creeping into your sex life? Seasonal affective disorder symptoms can put a damper on even the most pleasurable activities, but only if you allow it. 

For those concerned that seasonal affective disorder will wreak havoc on their emotions and dim their after-sex glow, Dr. Laura Vowels, the principal researcher and sex therapist of Blueheart, has some reassuring tips to keep things hot as temperatures plummet. 

First thing's first, let's take a step back: seasonal affective disorder is considered a wintertime depression that causes a chemical imbalance in the brain, largely due to the lack of sunlight. It may result in symptoms such as anxiety, loss of interest or increased hours of sleep. When it comes to sex, it also can make frisky fun seem like a chore—a real bummer. 

How do seasonal affective disorder symptoms affect your sex life?

According to Dr. Vowels, there are a few key symptoms to note when you and your S.O. are feeling out of sync in bed during the cold-weather months:  

  • A decreased sex drive
  • Exhaustion during or after sex
  • Difficulty reaching orgasm
  • Difficulty connecting to your partner
  • Lower levels of body confidence

As it does with everything else, SAD makes us feel just that. But that doesn't mean sex is a no-go for winter's entirety. Fortunately, there are ways in which you can sort things out, so breathe a sigh of relief and prepare to hit your pleasure points. 

Tips for dealing with SAD and your sex life

Dr. Vowels delves into a few key pointers that might seem simple on the surface but can make a world of difference when it comes to your sex life. 

1. Be gentle with yourself 
It's OK to feel a bit off every now and then—it's natural. Before bringing a partner into the mix while you're out of sorts, try a little self-love first. (The best app-controlled vibrators will gladly help.) 

Not only do women have their most intense orgasms through masturbation, but solo sex is the key to understanding what works well for you. It could be a good first step to get back on track in the bedroom. 

2. Be open with your partner
Talking about sex makes the act more pleasurable, so it goes without saying that a frank discussion will help you work out the kinks. (No pun intended.) 

3. Increase your exposure to sunlight
Rumor has it that those sunset lamps on TikTok do set a pretty romantic mood, and we wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it makes your lovemaking a bit more colorful.

But if you're keen on soaking up that vitamin D, there are plenty of benefits of morning sex, including but not limited to a mood boost, relief in stress and a jolt to the immune system, courtesy of a big O. 

Should small steps not help get things back to normal, you can always seek a professional for some guidance. 

Sometimes, things are a bit wonky in bed and we don't feel like ourselves—it's totally fine, but it's only a blip in the road. (Guess this is why July is the friskiest month of the year?) SAD, we're not going to let you ruin our sexy coziness—nice try, though!

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.