Content warning: …sex. Obviously. (Not too graphic though.)
If I had to break down socially anxious sex into 4 overly simplistic, tongue-in-cheek steps, it might look like this:
Start with all the typical fears related to social anxiety.
To name just a few:
Being judged by others in social situations
Being embarrassed or humiliated — and showing it by blushing, sweating, or shaking
Accidentally offending someone
Being the center of attentionSource: WebMD
Hold on tight to those fears as you remove all your clothing.
You are now naked.
Proceed to step 3.
Continue to hold on tight to those fears as you turn to other human or humans in room.
Note that they, too, are naked.
And looking at you.
Prepare to interact with other human(s) in the most intimate way imaginable.
You are now ready to have socially anxious sex.
But Seriously Though
It’s not your fault if anxiety is creating challenges for you related to intimacy or sex.
You didn’t choose to have anxiety in the bedroom any more than you chose to have it outside the bedroom.
Anxiety doesn’t END at the bedroom door
(I keep saying bedroom but feel free to replace this with your sexy location of choice.)
Anxiety is hard enough to manage during non-sexy times, and it affects an individual’s whole life.
So it only makes sense that these challenges would carry over into the bedroom. You’re still the same person there, after all.
Anxiety can be a mood killer
It can be physically difficult, if not impossible, to relax enough to enjoy the moment. (No relaxy, no climaxy.)
Medication can be a factor
This can be infuriating, embarrassing, and discouraging. (There are ways to mitigate this effect depending on the medication. For example, for me, adding Wellbutrin [buproprion] offset the anorgasmia caused by SNRI and SSRI medication. Talk to your doc.)
Anxiety is pretty common here anyway
Sex can be nerve-wracking even without an anxiety disorder in the mix.
It can be fun but scary, exhilarating but finicky, restorative but messy. (So messy.)
Moral of the story: We’re all imperfect
Please don’t be too hard on your imperfect self for being imperfect in the bedroom, too.
Anxiety disorder or not, WE ARE *ALL* IMPERFECT IN THE BEDROOM.
AND DON’T LET ANYONE MAKE YOU BELIEVE OTHERWISE.
P.S. Why I Wrote This Post
The impact of social anxiety on sexuality is a legitimate issue that I would love to see discussed in a candid and relatable way.
The tone I aimed for here is lighthearted and hopefully a little funny.
This isn’t “the” definitive post on socially anxious sex.
I’m just hoping to open the door to more conversation and thought.
And even if there’s no public talk, maybe someone out there will feel a little less alone and a little more understood. xoxo