Frisky festivities relieve stress

WILL you be naughty or nice this Christmas?

The findings of a new survey have revealed the majority of Australian couples may turn to sex to help them de-stress - something particularly relevant given Christmas is one of the most nerve-wracking times of year.

According to a national Bupa Stress Survey 2011; 77% of Aussies believe sex is a great way to help manage stress.

Unsurprisingly, men are the greatest advocates (81%), compared to women (73%).

But men aged 45 years and above (88%) and women aged 35 years or below (76%) are the biggest advocates of the stress-busting benefits of sex.

Bupa clinical advisory head Stan Goldstein said: "Everyone knows Christmas can be a stressful time of year; there are many heightened expectations from family, as well as time and financial pressures".

"It's important to find appropriate strategies or outlets to manage stress, rather than letting it build up and potentially overwhelm you," he said.

"It's not just a matter of taking your mind off things.

"Hormones called endorphins, released in your nervous system by all sorts of physical exertion, can have an impact on feeling stressed.

"There may also be a calming effect of physical intimacy.

"While the survey points to many people finding they can help manage tension in the bedroom, let's not forget there are many other effective ways to alleviate stress outside of the bedroom."

Interestingly, the survey also revealed that a failure to appropriately manage stress could lead to destructive behaviour and place significant strain on relationships.

Nearly 75% of respondents reported an increase in arguments as a key side-effect of stress, while 64% said they were unkind to their partner when they got home from work.

While men and women equally admitted to taking stress out on their partners, women (75%) were more likely to believe stress had negatively affected their relationship compared with men (69%).

Goldstein suggested couples consider these tips to deal with unwanted Christmas stress:

  • Be open and honest
  • Get enough good quality sleep
  • Create some "me" time
  • Have fun
  • Don't expect perfection

Bupa is an Australian healthcare organisation. If you're feeling stressed, visit for more advice.



  • Older men (88%) are the most likely to ditch the mistletoe and put sex on the Christmas list
  • Silver foxes are closely followed by younger women (76%) in the race to the bedroom
  • Women (75%) are more likely than men (69%) to believe stress has negatively affected their relationship

Topics:  christmas couples sex sexual health stress

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