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intimacy anxiety?

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Posted · Report post

For those brave enough to share, I was wondering if sex or the idea of sex gives you anxiety? And I would like to post some of your answers on my blog, and it would be anonymous.

But for me, sex gives me a lot of anxiety for a quite a few reasons. I've only had sex 3 times and I was drunk every single time and can't really imagine being sober. I have a lot of body image issues, but even just performance anxiety. I'm so worried about every little detail that I can't just relax and enjoy it. I would love to hear from both guys and girls on the issue.

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Posted · Report post

Hi Monique. I'm sorry no one responded to your post-- it looks like it got pushed down to the bottom by other posts. I'll share my experience with this issue (although I would prefer not to have them put on a blog, anonymous or not. Even though I'm posting this on a publicly viewable message board, the thought of someone else putting it on their own blog feels weird.)

Yes, I have a lot of anxiety issues surrounding sex and intimacy-- physical intimacy and emotional intimacy. But for me, I think these are largely PTSD related rather than GAD or performance anxiety. I basically have anxiety about my anxiety, with regards to sex. I fear that I'm going to get triggered and freak the fuck out, or I fear that I'm going to completely dissociate (both of which are anxiety reactions in and of themselves). I'm also anxious that I'm actually going to enjoy myself and feel all these overwhelming feelings (which could then lead to either freaking the fuck out or dissociation, or both).

I also have anxiety with regard to emotional intimacy and relationships in general. I both crave intimacy but fear the vulnerability that goes along with it. In the past, emotional vulnerability led to negative consequences for me, on numerous occasions (i.e. abuse, abandonment, etc). Relationships make me so fucking anxious-- I worry and obsess constantly about what the other person thinks about me, about how my behavior is perceived, about not "coming on too strong".....and I think it's so obvious to the other person to the point that I feel ashamed, which tends to make me avoid the person and put up a front of being "cool" to the extent that the person may even begin to think I'm not even interested.

This all has led to some interesting efforts to cope. For example, there have been times when I've just outright avoided sex....or times I'd just have sex with whomever, without regard to what I truly wanted, just to "get it over with." I have had numerous relationships with people I'm not attracted to. For some reason, that feels less scary than mutual attraction and mutual liking/loving.

I have gotten better with the sex stuff, and I'm working on the relationship stuff too. I realize I probably should not be in a relationship at this point in my life.

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Posted · Report post

I definitely have anxiety related to sex. In the past I've been able to just get over it, but recently it is really becoming a huge issue. I don't know how much detail you feel comfortable with... Let's just say I know I'm a disappointment in bed. And it's completely related to my increasing anxiety. It has gotten so bad that I've made up excuses for why we can't be intimate. Prior to this, I've actually gotten several compliments and have been told I'm "wild". But that is definitely not the case now.

Being intimate in other ways doesn't really bother me. Unless I'm not into the person, I'm pretty comfortable with most things.

Intercourse definitely causes my anxiety to skyrocket though.

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Posted · Report post

If you do use quotes on your blog, please link back to us.

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Posted · Report post

Oh God yes. After my separation I discovered very quickly I got anxiety to the point where it was difficult to get and maintain an erection. I'm quite certain it wasn't because of some psychosis from my separation. After the separation I slept with 3 women and each time had this difficulty. Was embarrassing to say the least. Of course I've always been nervous when it came to getting very intimate with women. I havent had sex with a partner in 2 years now,mainly because I'm still getting stable. But I know for sure the next time I get in that situation I will be shaking like like a leaf. And I know now that I just need to relax. But I also know that I expect WAY too much of myself in alot of aspects,including sex. In my mind I'm thinking "Is she much more experienced than me" .." Is my equipment big enough for her"....and all sorts of crap. It's anxiety and I hope I can control it when I get back in my groove.

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Posted · Report post

yes indeed!! while on zoloft 200mg, i failed to get an erection period. on 100mg i got an erection but could not ejaculate at all. on 50mg i could ejaculate but only a teeny bit, now im on zero but do not have libido but i think its related to too much effexor which was recently increased.

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Posted · Report post

This is such a huge issue for me. I am in a relationship and my boyfriend has been really supportive, but I just got back on my meds and I know my libido will go bye-bye so that's going to be hard. I have body image issues on top of that, so sex has always been difficult. I'm just glad he loves me enough to not hold any of this against me. I'm very lucky.

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Posted · Report post

Yep, I have this. I was sexually abused in the past and ever since then i've been merely afraid of being intimate with any person. I also have self esteem issues and body issues aswell.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I do have some anxiety regarding sex. I have struggled a lot with body image, low self-esteem. I would rather avoid certain positions during sex because I feel too exposed and vulnerable. I like little lighting or none. You know how people will say, "the left side of my face looks better than the right" or whatever? Same with how I view my body. I don't want to feel as though each inch of my body is being examined. Embarrassing, but I will actually cover up the upper half of my body and face when I'm receiving oral. When I get towards orgasming, I don't want him to see my "O" face because I don't think I'd look very attractive. I've been with a man for nearly 5 years and I have yet to be totally uninhibited during sex with him. There's also performance anxiety, kinda. For example, giving good head. Or talking dirty, which is usually embarrassing and corny to me. I still worry if I'm as "good" at sex as his previous girlfriends. But I don't worry about having to be a porn star or anything like that, though I did in the beginning. He's vanilla as fuck.

btw, I don't mind if you put this in your blog.

Edited by velcro

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I get anxiety about physical intimacy but not necessarily sex. Really, just physical contact with anyone in a more than friendly way. It goes away after a couple weeks of dating a person, but those first couple weeks I can't eat or sleep. I cannot remember a first date in which I haven't felt unbearably nauseous, and of course sexual things are always nerve-wrecking as well, though usually by that time I've gotten a little more used to the person at least. My anxiety afterwards is even worse. I don't know if it's a performance thing or what, but I just shut down at first. Makes it hard to start relationships, so I rarely do.

ETA: Also, to be a little more specific, I am totally unassertive when it comes to sexual things, even when I would like to be more. I am just so afraid of messing up or doing something wrong or looking ridiculous that I always, always let the other person take the lead. Men don't typically mind this but it bugs the hell out of me sometimes.

Edited by Eurydice

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Posted · Report post

Anxiety about sex is kind of a normal reaction for someone with social anxiety. The best thing you can do is get rid of your social anxiety. Also, a big factor in reducing anxiety about sex for anyone is knowing the territory. Learn about your body and what makes it feel good and learn about the male body and what makes it feel good. Practice by yourself until you really know what you like and what it takes to give you complete satisfaction. Then you can find an appropriate partner and practice with him learning what gives both of you complete satisfaction. One word of caution, every man is different so what one wants is not necessarily what the next one will want. Very few of them will complain if you ask them to let you practice with them. Just enjoy your studies.

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Posted · Report post

Hi Monique

I have huge anxiety around sex. And it's causing huge problems for me right now in terms of my long term relationship. (the reason why I was looking for a website such as this)

The anxiety for me around sex has waxed and waned over the years. I find long term sexual partners more problematic. The flings have historically not been problematic. But that is probably because there was not time for the cracks to show.

But once the hormones have worn off and my "sexual brain" is involved, it all goes pearshaped for me.

My anxiety comes from flashbacks, PTSD and being sexually abused as a child. I do also have social anxiety and have been told there is a link between social anxiety and PTSD. This probably extends to sexual anxiety too ? (just guessing)/

If I could turn off my brain for ten minutes I think it would all go well. In essense (from what I've read) the early basis for sexuality (for me) did not equal mature pleasure, but means abuse and control so I am stuck somewhere sexually. It's kind of like untangling it all and relearning it all. Not easy right now.

So I know what the problem is and am trying to work through the solution.

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Posted · Report post

Shoooo, quite a thread.

I am in a relationship and we have been together for 17 years.

Sex = major anxiety for me, and well does not set off any good reactions for me.

It has got to the point where I avoid ANY intimacy as my brain goes, intimacy = sex = must be avoided.

Very tricky to maintain a good relationship considering sex is an issue.

The issue lies with me - I react like a "deer in headlights" each time, and would prefer to whimper in the corner like a 3 year old.

Instead I lie there and count it out in my head (I figure if I focus on the numbers in my mind then time will pass.)

Yes, I know, I sound like a total sex goddess!!

Not that different from necrophilia for my husband (shame, the poor guy, I really can't tell you how bad I feel for him!)

We have tried couple counselling.

We recently tried a sex therapist.

I did an 8 week workshop with women around this and other issues and other regarding sex and ur bodies etc.

On the upside, it did open my mind (er but not my legs so much.....)

Can't say I am any better if not worse, as now I feel I have been to the best of the best, and she still did not fix me.

I will pay to avoid it, but the reality is that the cost will eventually be my relationship.

I have suggested an open relationship ..... but the reality is that will not work for us.

I have suggested he go off and sort himself out somewhere else, but he does not want to be with someone else, he wants to be with me.

I am attempting CBT at the moment (I have tried pyschologists - psychologists with hynotherapy, hynotherapy from someone who was a tad dodgy, taken every libido pill I can lay my hands on ...... still anxiety = panic = avoidance .... and then disinterest and willing to forego it for anything).

I am not so sure I want this on your blog .... though I seem to be okay with it on this forum ..... (strange? yes, it is)

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Posted · Report post

I'm also in this train, a lot of body issued, and performance and then my libido died for 4 years, so I've tried sex again but I still feel numb I don't know if it's because I can't relax, or my libido isn't quite back or what. And also I used to have sex drunk so I could feel less inhibited, but now that I can't drink it ain't and option and I feel like rubbish, sincerely I don't know what to tell you that can actually be useful, perhaps guys are even more troubled by their bodies and abilities but them, how come something like sex become so difficult.

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Posted · Report post

I'm 19 and I still have never kissed anyone. Intimacy (not just sexual) is very difficult for me. It's scary to think someone's complete focus is on nothing but you.

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Posted · Report post

my entire life i was taught that sex was bad, so having sex for the first time was hard enough for me mentally. put it in a not-so-consensual environment and add being accused of lying about my virgin status afterward, i think you can imagine that things went downhill from there.

it's gotten to the point where i just don't know how to react to people trying to turn me on. i've had sex since and masturbate and stuff. so i have no issues being aroused. it's the interacting with the other person part that i get anxious about. i'm afraid to voice my needs, boundaries, likes and dislikes. in fact, i can't even talk about sex and myself aloud. i'll stutter so bad that my words are completely incomprehensible.

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