Mental problems and not feeling well can influence your sex life. Some people try to take away their negative thoughts using sex, others avoid sex.

My earlier experiences

I used to avoid sex, I will tell you more about it in this article. I never used to enjoy sex because of an experience with sexual abuse. The guy doing this to me, took away my virginity. This was a big step for me. And because of what he did to me, I did not trust anybody in my bed anymore. The first months in a relationship were usually fine, good. But after about four months anxiety showed up again, and I get scared from one day to next.

Difficulty with trust and intimacy

In the beginning of my next relationship I just let it be. I never linked my past with the present, because I did not want to think about it. I blamed stress or fatigue. I genuinely thought my sex drive would come back someday.

My ex R. and I had a relationship from about 2,5 years. The first couple of months were fine, there were no problems. But after half a year we were partners, but brother and sister in the bedroom. I wanted to built a wall in between our mattresses. The solution was two separate duvets. We gave each other a goodnight kiss, but that was it. We did not hug or spoon, and definitely did not have sex.

But R. was really patient with my mental problems. He put away his own needs for me. But I did not notice that, until my relationship with S.L.

Also this relationship went fine for the first four months. But just like with R., it went bad from one day to another. Three months later I got my burn-out. I started therapy, and when I had individual sessions we started to discuss intimacy. In these conversations I explained that I did not have any (need for) intimacy anymore. No hugs, and definitely no sex. Sex was uncomfortable, I did not fancy it and it felt like a ‘must’ rather than wanting it. He wanted to, even though I did not. We fought about this a lot, he did not realize that it had something to do with the sexual abuse I experienced.

When I wanted a sex break, he did not accept it. He told me: “I am not him!’. Like I did not know that! But I felt horrible after he touched me: I could not handle it and I started crying when it happened. I started to realize it had something to do with the sexual abuse in the past and I really wanted to change it. I tried, but it does not work if your partner does not support you.

The change I did not see coming

After half a year of therapy and fighting with my ex, I was afraid that intimacy was something I never would enjoy again. It did not like that thought, since intimacy was something I used to like. When I met S.C. and we started the relationship, I was afraid for a repeat. The first two months were good, but after that I got scared again. Would this stay this way? It was good, better than I was used to. This was more than lust. There was trust, from day one, also in the bedroom.  And of course, because of everything I discussed about intimacy at all those therapy sessions. Was this really different?

After five months we are still together, and the intimacy has never been so good. We do not have sex daily, but we hug regularly. Watching a movie on the couch, our bodies against each other and a kiss every now and then, just because. S.C. knows about my past and told me from day one that sex is not the most important thing in our relationship. Intimacy got a different definition now!

Look for boundaries, get crazy!

Everything in my relationship now is different from my last relationship. Sex is fun, but it should not be an obligation. It helps that we can talk about it when I need to. But we barely talk about it, we just try. Another thing which makes it different for me: get crazy and trying something new! Try on some sexy nightwear (and go crazy, also add a garter belt), try handcuffs or go to a sex shop together. But never, never, cross your boundaries. Be clear to your partner, this makes it easier for both of you. And agree that if one of you gets uncomfortable, you stop. Otherwise the trust gets lost and the happy feelings might disappear forever.  

One more tip I want to give you, together with this song: trust yourself! Take this with you when you get cosy with your partner. He, or she, chose you. Your partner thinks you are sexy!  The song is: Hell on heels, Pistol Annies. Get your high heels on and your sexy lingerie and do not forget your attitude!

Love, Renée x



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Expert in PTSD, burnout, personality disorders and eating disorder. Even if I only help one person by sharing my story, I am happy!

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