Shouldn’t Sex Be Fun and Exciting? What Am I Missing?

Often when people first come to see me they are frustrated with their sex life. They wonder what happened to the exciting sex life they used to have with their partner, or they feel like they are missing something, leading to guilt, embarrassment, fear and shame. They ask how they got to this point in their life and/or relationship. Believing they did everything “right” – married the nice person, did everything their family raised them to do, followed along with the societal norms, developed a like-minded peer group – they feel guilty for desiring more.

Sometimes they come to me to be ‘fixed’ from the thinking they believe is bad or wrong. Sometimes they feel guilty for wanting more, calling themselves a freak or labeling their behavior as an addiction. As a therapist who specializes in sexuality, with a niche in alternative means of sexual expression, I hear this all the time. Even outside of my office, because I am known for working with this unique area of human sexuality, I hear it from colleagues, friends and even family.

Many people feel sex and relationship shouldn’t be so difficult. They prioritize happiness and push away feelings that don’t feel good, rather than exploring them, afraid doing so will cause them to slip into a deep abyss that threatens to drown them and destroy their relationships and even their life. Have you ever held onto a secret or belief that you felt would kill you if anyone found out? So many of us have gone through something we didn’t think we could recover from, and yet we did. Other of us think this particular secret we hold may just be the one to do us in. We think revealing our true self will result in a catastrophe, and while there would be consequences (some of which could be negative and some of which could be positive), there is rarely a disaster beyond repair. Consider all the times you felt something terrible was going to happen and it didn’t, or wasn’t as bad as you thought it was. And there are times when it is very painful and difficult, but the need for a change is greater than the pain of staying in the rut you are stuck in, and this is why I am here to help.

When it comes to sex, I’d like you to sit with your feelings about your sex life and how and where you desire more. I encourage you to journal, not just once, but as a practice, to see what patterns you notice, what feelings come up. Some questions to consider and journal about, and to discuss with a therapist, your partner, or a trusted friend include:

  • What sexual scenes do you imagine yourself involved in?
  • How long have you had these fantasies?
  • Do you hide your sexual desires from others?
  • Do they make you feel like you are different from those around you?
  • Do you fantasize about this when you are with your partner?
  • Have you ever shared these thoughts with your partner? Why or why not?
  • If so, what was their reaction? (on a scale of very positive to very negative)
  • Do these fantasies, or your partner’s reaction, lead to feelings of fear, shame, embarrassment or guilt?

These questions will allow you to begin to look at your feelings around your sexual desires and give you a starting place for discovering, and possibly even sharing your truth.

Dr. Rhoda Lipscomb, PhD is passionate about helping couples, partners and individuals through counseling and therapy work with a relationship, sex and sexuality focus. Contact her today if she can be of support.

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