How to Handle Sexual Anxiety
If ignored or dismissed, sexual anxiety, regardless of age or gender, has the potential to negatively impact both your physical and emotional relationship with your partner. Even if this extremely upsetting feeling appears to have taken a firm hold of you, it does not mean the end of sexual intimacy!
This article discusses how to deal with sex anxiety and how to take steps to overcome it once and for all.
Identifying Your Sexual Anxiety
For some, sex and anxiety go hand in hand, which can be overwhelming and disheartening if you experience it frequently or even constantly. There are numerous things that we criticize ourselves about, but understanding the reasoning behind those negative thought patterns is critical to regaining a comfortable sense of intimacy in the future.
How Do You Know If You Have Sexual Anxiety?
This may appear to be an obvious question with an equally obvious answer, but for most people, life has thrown many anxieties your way, causing stressful thoughts and situations to overlap. So, how do I know if sexual anxiety is to blame for how I'm feeling?
Identifying the answer to this question boils down to your personal relationship with sex and anxiety. Do you tense up when physical contact or intimate contact is initiated? Do the acts that lead to sexual activity exacerbate that anxiety? If you notice that your body reacts negatively to intimate acts before your mind has a chance to catch up, this is a clear indication that you may be suffering from sexual anxiety.
It can be difficult to pinpoint the source of this anxiety, and it is frequently difficult to understand why these thoughts occur. Here are a few common causes that may apply to you and assist you in taking your first steps toward combating those negative and destructive thoughts.
- Negative body image: This has a significant impact on self-esteem and self-value. Being self-conscious about certain aspects of your body can have a negative impact on your ability to feel confident in sexual situations, especially in new relationships. Masturbation and exploration with orgasmic V For Vibes sex toys are a fantastic way to learn more about your body while also learning to love and appreciate it, both sexually and spiritually!
- Inexperience: It can be intimidating to perform well with a more experienced partner, especially if you don't yet fully understand your own body. Personal experimentation is the answer to the majority of these fears, and it can greatly improve your sexual confidence and reduce your sexual anxiety.
- Sexual dysfunction is frequently difficult for both partners because, while it physically only affects the partner with dysfunction, the other may worry for the sake of the one affected. If left unaddressed, this is a back-and-forth, anxiety-inducing situation.
- Relationship difficulty: Are you having difficulties in your relationship? Believe it or not, this has a significant impact on your ability to feel at ease with your partner long after the incident has occurred. If you are experiencing a period of fighting and mild aggressive behavior, anxiety about sex and intimacy may become second nature until those differences are resolved.
- Incompatibility with your partner: Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can't bring yourself to enjoy intimacy with your partner. This could be due to a lack of attraction to your partner or simply feeling uneasy in a new relationship. Some of these incompatibilities are temporary, while others are permanent and necessitate a change for your sexual well-being.
- Fear of intimacy: For a variety of personal reasons, this fear causes sexual anxiety. Intimacy may be difficult to understand for some people due to sexual preferences or a fear of being pressured into sexual acts. This is especially noticeable in people who struggle to trust others with their bodies as well as their minds.
- Poor experiences: These negative past experiences can be mild or severe, and each person is affected differently. Instead of linking sex to their personal trauma, these people may have difficulty speaking or thinking about it in healthy ways. It may take some time to repair and rebuild what sex should be for them and their partner.
How to Handle Sexual Anxiety
So you've identified the source of your sexual anxiety, but what do you do now? This is not a quick fix; it is an ingrained way of thinking that must be worked on and improved on a daily basis.
Communication is the most effective way to take those steps. While many of the thoughts and self-assurance must be done in your mind, you will need the assistance of your partner to make progress.
Once you've identified the sources of your sexual anxiety, you can begin to deprive those triggers of their power over you. Honesty and open communication with your partner about your thoughts and feelings can help them conduct themselves in a way that alleviates your sex anxiety while also ensuring that they do not trigger that spiral of thought.
Talking to your partner about things they have said or done in the past that have triggered that bad relationship between sex and anxiety can help them understand that they, too, need to change to improve your intimate time together.
Anxiety attacks can be overwhelming at times. Here are some ideas to help you reboot your mind:
- Don't force yourself to engage in sexual activity when you aren't ready—prior discussion with your partner is essential in helping them understand that you aren't in the mood for intimacy right now, and that this isn't a reflection on their attractiveness, but rather on the circumstances. This preliminary discussion will help to avoid negative emotions and miscommunication in these situations.
- Prioritize emotional connection—don't consider sexual intimacy to be the crowning jewel of a relationship; emotional connection and a close bond are always first and foremost.
- Spend time engaging in non-sexual touch—growing physically closer to your partner without the associated sexual atmosphere is the best way to become accustomed to being closer to your partner, especially if you are in a new relationship or have struggled with negative experiences in the past.
- Experiment with erogenous zones with your partner-this is an intimate way of growing closer to your partner, allowing you to choose how far it goes and whether or not you are ready for sex.
- Allow time for yourself to focus on what feels good without the pressure of performance with a partner. Understanding your own pleasure will help you gain confidence in the future with your partner.
- Focus on the experience: When you're with your partner, try to let go of the notion that performance and orgasm determine how much you enjoy this intimate time. You can even discuss with your partner your desire to focus solely on the foreplay aspect of sex and avoid the climax entirely.
Helping Someone Who Has Sexual Anxiety
This is a critical step in assisting someone who is anxious about sex. In fact, there is only one rule to follow, and it is by far the most important:
This may seem obvious, but sometimes the person describing their sexual anxiety does not understand it themselves, and they require every ounce of patience you have because they aren't patient with themselves. When your partner is in a good mental state, have these necessary conversations. Overcoming sexual anxiety takes time and effort. Those battling it must act as their partners' support systems, encouraging them through the process for the benefit of their relationship as a whole, not for personal gain.
Redefining What Sex Means to You
Sex as an act is part of a romantic relationship, but it is far from the most important aspect. Sex should be appreciated for what it is: intimate time with your partner. This means that any form of intimacy can be equated with the significance of sex.
There is no right or wrong way to love or to express your love. Allow yourself plenty of time. Trust and comfort are the foundations of any relationship. Pushing yourself to engage in sexual activities before you are ready will ensure that you lack the necessary foundation for a long-term relationship. Make progress as you see fit, trust in your partner to support you as you grow, and watch as your relationship blossoms on your newly laid foundations.