Does your mind seem to get extra busy when you’re trying to get busy?
Do you feel like you can’t seem to quiet your thoughts the second you start getting into sexy time? The overwhelm of thoughts begin then you get nervous that you can’t stop thinking which leads to the thoughts being out of control, and before you know it, you’re totally uninterested, not aroused, and wishing you were doing something else?
You are not alone! Anxiety is real and shows up in all sorts of situations but can be extremely noticeable when it comes to sex.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is basically having excessive thoughts that create worry about things that are outside of your control. You can be thinking of thinking of something that might happen in the future or thoughts of the past that are impacting your current situation.
How are anxiety and sex related?
When it comes to sex, anxiety can get revved up as sex is about letting go, being in the present, and allowing your body to lead the way. Many times sexual anxiety is brought on by partnered sex, meaning you can masturbate just fine but once you have someone else around, the thoughts start swirling. You can feel nervous, scared, or worried about the sexual experience.
Thoughts like “Does my body look ok?” “Do they really like me?” “Am I attractive to them?” “What if I don’t get wet enough?” “What if it hurts again?”Or for cock bodied people, “What if I can’t get hard?”
There can be a flood of these types of thoughts that will stop the sexual energy flow in its tracks. Many of these thoughts can stem from previous sexual experiences that negatively impacted you in some way. Maybe someone once told you that you’re a bad kisser or that you smell weird. Or maybe you had a painful sexual experience so the idea of sex reminds you of it and you lose all interest.
These thoughts can create a chaotic whirlwind that keeps you focused in your head and out of the present moment. Tuning into your body is how you can drop into the present moment to have the actual experience rather than reliving past experiences or worrying about something that might happen again.
Anxiety and the body
You see, the body responds to the thoughts that are happening in your mind. So if your mind is full of these fears, worries, and nerves, your body is going to tense up and go into survival mode on some level. For vulva bodies, that can be a tightening of the pelvic floor and vagina or no lubrication. For cock bodies, it can be difficult getting, or keeping, an erection. For a pleasurable sexual experience, your body needs to be relaxed, feel safe, and listened to. If your mind is running the show, your body doesn’t have a chance to guide your pleasure.
Your general relationship with your body will impact these thoughts as well. If you’re constantly hating on your body and not able to love it on a daily basis, more than likely you’re not going to want to get sexy with someone else who will see your body full on. So then, you probably avoid anything that might lead to sex like kissing, holding hands, or even showing affection. Your anxiety can be triggered once an intimate moment happens making you pull away. Avoidance becomes a tool to keep the anxiety under control. But that strategy generally doesn’t lead to a satisfying sex life. Rather you feel disconnected, sad, and frustrated because you can’t seem to get there!
Check out “Love Your Body in 30 Days Workbook” for help loving your body in less than a month.
What you can do
The good news is that you can work with your anxiety to decrease the amount of worry you experience. Here are a few things that will help you in the anxious moment:
- Know it’s happening
Recognizing that you are having spiraling thoughts is the first step in creating change. Awareness creates choice so once you have awareness of the fact that you are having anxiety about sex in some way, you can slow it down, know what’s going on, and then make a choice of how you want to proceed.
- Talk about what’s going on in your head
I know you might be saying no way will i tell them what i’m actually thinking. It will ruin the mood. Well here’s the thing, if the thoughts stay swirling in your brain, you really aren’t in the mood because you’re not present. Compassionate communication is a key ingredient in relationships as it builds safety and trust. Notice I said compassionate as the way you communication matters. Also, there is a major connection between your pelvis and vocal chords so speaking can help your pelvis relax which is the sexual energy center.
- Focus on your breath
Use your breath to slow down the mind and drop into your body. Bringing your awareness to your breath will help you get present. Breath is an anchor to the present moment and that will help you feel safe so your thoughts can shift from worry to curiosity.
- Take the pressure off
Sexual performance can create a ton of pressure. Even using the word “performance” implies that you have to perform somehow which keeps you out of an authentic experience. Take the pressure off by shifting what your goal is when you start engaging sexually. Maybe you just want to kiss and touch your partner rather than penetrative sex. And please, please, please let go of the idea that orgasm is the goal. You don’t have to have an orgasm to be sexually satisfied and feel connected.
Now if your body doesn’t feel like it can be a safe place to go, there might be some additional work to do so it can be. Coaching or therapy can be extremely helpful in working with your body, mind, and soul in a way that will create safety like never before. I’m taking new clients but only have a few spots open in my calendar so if you’re interested in working deeper, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a free discovery call.
Remember, you are worth your time and attention.
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