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Do you avoid intimacy with your partner? Sexual anxiety might be the culprit

Sexual anxiety is an issue many women face, but only a few talk about it. Let's break the taboo and address the problem.
pelvic floor
Support your partner in his fight against prostate cancer. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
Simran Singh Published: 21 Oct 2022, 19:11 pm IST
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“Do I look good? Is it going to be painful? How can I make my partner hit orgasm? What if they don’t like what I’m doing?” That’s what the shrieking and unpleasant voice of sexual anxiety sounds like.

While some nervousness about your first time is understandable, constant worry about sex shouldn’t be a typical occurrence. Sexual anxiety can distract you from experiencing pleasure during sex. You may find yourself shying away, knowingly or unknowingly, from your partner’s touch.

Sexual anxiety
Sexual anxiety may lead to fear of intimacy with your partner. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Understanding sexual anxiety

To learn about the triggers of sexual anxiety, and know how to overcome it, Health Shots reached out to Dr Lavanya Kiran, Senior Consultant, Obstetrician and Gynecologist and Reproductive Medicine at Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Bengaluru, Electronic City.

“Although sexual anxiety or sexual performance anxiety is equally common in both men and women, very few women report it,” reveals Dr Kiran. While we have heard sexual anxiety can cause problems such as erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation in men, did you know that it is also responsible for a condition called vaginismus in women? Vaginismus causes the vaginal muscles to spasm and tighten up because of the fear of penetration sex.

The doctor reveals that she has counselled couples who have been married for 2-3 years, and still can’t consummate their marriage because of sexual anxiety and the other problems created by its cascading effect.

What causes sexual anxiety and how can you switch it off?

Here’s what flares up social anxiety and how you can fix it:

Body Image

Body dysmorphia can be a big reason behind sexual anxiety. If you are constantly weighing yourself against some unachievable standards, stress can crowd up your mind like steam in a pressure cooker. Regardless of what the internet tries to tell you, nobody is perfect. “Learn to love yourself, learn to love your body. It holds the power to bring you immense pleasure,” advises the doctor.

Being worried about pain during sex

It’s very instinctive to want to avoid any action under the sheets if you think it’s going to be painful, especially if it’s your first time, and you don’t know what to expect. On this subject, Dr Kiran counsels, “Don’t jump into penetrative sex. Increase the foreplay.”

Foreplay provides the scope to know yourself and your partner better. It gives both of you time to get comfortable with each other. It gives you time to get aroused. If a woman is aroused, her sexual glands secrete natural lubrication, and the vagina stretches to avoid any pain during intercourse. We have pulled exact numbers to put your mind at ease. When a woman is not aroused, her vagina is around 2-4 inches long. But arousal causes it to stretch to about 4-8 inches.

sexual anxiety
Sexual anxiety may lead to fear of intimacy with your partner. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Avoid racing to orgasm

While the pressure to achieve and give the big ‘O’ can stump anyone, it is especially daunting if you are trying to get pregnant. The weight of expectations on your shoulders can be tremendous. Performing sexual intercourse according to a strict schedule can dampen anybody’s mood. So when you find your mind wandering to the worries of the future or approaching climax, practice mindfulness. Be present at the moment. Remind yourself that the first gain of sexual intimacy is being close to your partner. Every sexual intercourse doesn’t end in an orgasm, and that’s okay!

Communicating with your partner is the best solution

Unfortunately, telepathy is still limited to fictional literature, which makes communication your ‘brahamastra’ that will help you tackle every aspect of your sexual anxiety. So devise ‘Talking Tuesdays’ or ‘ What’s up? Wednesdays into your relationships.

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About the Author

Simran Singh is a budding writer and has a keen interest in the medical field. ...Read More

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