When it comes to being present for your sex life, what you believe about sexuality can affect your sexual satisfaction and your ability to enjoy connecting with a partner.
Everyone grows up with different social, familial and religious norms. For those who grew up in environments where sexuality was a taboo subject and discussion about it was shunned, transitioning into a healthy sexual relationship can be difficult. Feelings of guilt may arise, as well as feeling dirty, deviant and improper. Initiating sexual activity may feel inappropriate despite knowing intellectually that there is nothing wrong with having sexual desire.
How can one overcome this hurdle?
The first step is acknowledging the debilitating thoughts and being aware of when they arise. Next, it is vital to develop ways to minimize the presence of the thoughts and their effect on performance. Since unwanted thoughts only intensify when shooed away, finding replacement thoughts and learning mindfulness can aid in enhancing the sexual experience. An example would be that during sexual activity, one focuses on what is happening using their five senses.
Changing one’s mindset and cognitive distortions takes time and patience. For some, this work can be done alone and for others help from a therapist may be the answer. Either way, if one has the willingness to go out of their comfort zone and can use a gentle approach, sexual satisfaction can increase and it can be a true mind/body experience.