Overcoming Avoidance to Heal Your Sexual Problems

Overcoming Avoidance to Heal Your Sexual Problems

One of the biggest culprits that can prevent you from making changes is avoidance. It’s easy to get all-or-nothing about how you want sex to happen. People have ideas of sex working for them, which is fine… until it isn’t. What often happens as a result is that those same people end up putting all of their energy into wanting things to be different. At the same time, nothing changes because this isn’t really working on practicing and changing anything in the sexual relationship.

I recommend you practice immediately stepping away from the perspectives of failure vs. success. Making effort, exploring, being curious and sexually interacting need to always be appreciated.

Does this mean that sex is going to comfortable, instantly fun, or really pleasurable? It might not be. It can take time to get there. What we do know is that avoiding sex altogether, whether it’s avoiding talking about sex or actually engaging in sexual activities, isn’t going to change anyway.

What Are You Avoiding Sex For?

It’s really important that you explore why you’re even avoiding sex to begin with. This can give you evidence of what you need to work on and free up some space for you to explore working on some different things. There are countless things that can make people avoid sex. The most common little subcategory I see in clients is negative self-meaning. This is when something doesn’t work how you intend it to, it reinforces negative self-beliefs. For example, you might think that you’re not enough unless you have sex in the way that you imagine that she wants you to have it. When it continuously doesn’t work out in this way, it can feel extremely painful and shaming. An old voice can come up in your head that says, “see you’re not enough.”

Rather than feel that pain, it’s tempting to look for straight line that keeps you from having to risk feeling it again. Unfortunately, this is where so many people get stuck in a loop.

Change Your Sexual Focus.

I recommend you change your focus to make it much less rigid. It’s ok to be just curious. Sexual encounterscanhave meaning, but they don’t have to. It’s not required. For example, you may just enjoy kissing a person without ever really wanting to do anything more than that. Or you may really enjoy oral sex with a person and feel like you can take penetrative sex or leave it.

This doesn’t mean you can’t explore all kinds of sexual arenas with a person, but it does show you that it’s best to explore what helps you connect, rather than what prevents it. Again, this doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing process. You can enjoy connecting sexually with someone without it being just a burdensome scene where you hardly want to show up at all.

Practice Self Kindness.

If you have a partner who wants something that you’re ambivalent about, you may want to please them. That’s well intentioned! However, you also have to be kind to yourself. Shame, self-criticism, and comparison will only work to shut you down sexually. You have to identify these things and actively work to remind yourself of your worth.

Increasing Mindful Sexual Awareness.

It’s important to practice more awareness of what is going on inside of you. How do you feel? How do you describe these feelings? What do they represent for you?

When you’re not aware of your felt experience of your world, you’re more likely to just get reactive. You’ll jump from one piece of advice to the next, but you won’t make any real long-lasting process. By being aware of your feelings, you can get support, while building a plan that actually helps you from a place of reality, rather than fantasy expectations.

Key Takeaways:

1.Sex isn’t something that will just organically change itself for the better.

2. If something isn’t consistently working, start with what is consistently enjoyable, pleasurable. Do more of that.

3. When things are disappointing or frustrating, be kind to yourself.

4. Recognize how you feel, so you can get supported while building plans that actually reflect changing the root cause.

Other help

This is obviously a basic article on sexual avoidance. If you’re wanting more information on sexual dysfunctions or treating other sexual problems, check out the following:

3 Tips for Changing a Sexual Mismatch

Sexual Issues for Men

Breaking Open Sexual Scripts to Reach Your Sexual Goals

If you’re in Texas and needing help with sexual dysfunctions or your sexual relationship, please feel free to check out our sex therapy page, as well as our contact page.

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