The field of sexual dysfunction requires expertise that often includes collaboration with a medical professional. Physical barriers that are a result of physical health issues are not areas that can be remedied in the space of a mental health therapy office. Emotional barriers that are creating sexual dysfunction, however, can be easily resolved through individual or couples counseling in Orlando.
One of the main issues that often create sexual issues in a relationship stems from anxiety. Anxiety can negatively impact all areas of functioning but has a particularly negative impact on sexual intimacy. When you go through a spell of anxiousness there are many different levels to it. When you are experiencing nervousness, worry, stress, or are overthinking, it can be difficult to let your guard down.
Sex in any relationship or with any partner is an act that often creates a vulnerable experience that can make you feel exposed in a way that heightens anxious feelings. If your anxiety seems to kick-off during intimacy, you could be experiencing an emotional barrier creating sexual issues in your relationship. Anxiety is normal in new situations or when you are insecure, nervous, or worrying. What isn't normal is when it controls the experience that you have and doesn't allow you to enjoy something that you know you should. This is when you know it is time to talk to a professional anxiety counselor.
What are some common areas that cause anxiety during sexual intimacy? One could be that you are overthinking each of the individual steps. For example, you may be overthinking if you have a good body image with your partner, or if they feel comfortable, or even if you are hurting them in any way. These are just some of the most common cognitive functioning that can occur during sex and give rise to a level of anxiety. When you become sexually aroused, your body will react naturally but this can be counteracted by high-level anxiety. The anxiety will send off an alarm bell that something isn't right and your body will begin the "fight or flight" response which is counterproductive to the relaxing hormones of sexual activity.
Another common area that causes anxiety is sensory overload. When you are experiencing new sensations, your brain is also working to organize the information. Your overall senses could be constructing a new reality within your mind that you are going now to be “living” in. This could make you feel anxious even if the experience is happy and enjoyable to you. If this is the case, try vocalizing to your partner when you need a minute, take some deep breaths and have positive affirmations either written down or in your mind that you can repeat to yourself.
Sex is about two people being vulnerable and you have just as much say in being comfortable in the situation. You owe that to yourself and even to your partner. As I said before, there are many different levels to this and anxiety could just be the tip of the iceberg. Try some of these techniques and if you still need more guidance, by all means our phones are open! Call to speak to an anxiety counselor in Orlando or email us today to get started. Be Proud Of Yourself!
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.