Sex can be a frustrating topic for couples experiencing issues in the bedroom, and the reasons for those issues can be a multitude of things. Performance anxiety, stress, mental health, or physical pain/dysfunctions are just a few things that can all lead to less enjoyable sexual experiences.
However, one thing that not many people consider is the fact that childhood trauma is often a source for psychological issues, and thus how one interprets or experiences sex in general. Childhood sexual abuse is, of course, a horrific experience that can have long-lasting effects in life, but even things like negligence from one’s parents, emotional abuse, or being around constant aggression can have damaging effects as well.
Rough childhoods can easily cause psychological distress, directly affecting one’s ability to practice mindfulness. Someone having trouble with sexual intimacy may experience anxiety or fear when the time comes, making sex less enjoyable for both parties. Typical coping strategies for individuals that have gone through traumatic childhood experiences include distancing themselves from others, including their partners.
Overcoming these troublesome habits and getting back to the basics of sexual intimacy with your partner is never an easy task, but practicing mindfulness is an extremely effective way to do just that. People that are more in tune with their bodies who are able to stay focused on the present moment are much more likely to experience sexual satisfaction. The same can be said for their partners. This can lead to satisfaction with the relationship overall, as well as an increased sense of confidence.
Research has shown that individuals who are more easily distracted are often less present and less responsive to their partners in bed. This can be translated as a lack of interest from their partners, which creates a vicious cycle of negative feelings from both parties.
To combat this, take a step back and learn from what you are feeling. Embrace your emotions and practice mindfulness to learn what they are and how to avoid them. Once you are able to tune into your emotions, you are much more likely to improve your mindset and focus more on sexual cues, both internally and externally. You can also try stepping back from sex for a time if issues arise, and instead focus on holding, kissing, massaging and other forms of physical touch that may seem less threatening. If trouble persists, seeking support from a couples coach or therapist can be extremely helpful.