I have a little experience with bad sex. I’ve been married three times. This last one took. To tell you the truth my first two husbands would say my current husband was lying if he told them how often and how amazing our sex life is.
Honestly, I have been one of those fortunate women who have always enjoyed good sex. That doesn’t mean I have always said “Yes!” to it when my first husbands wanted me to do so.
Sex happens, not so much in our bodies, as in our minds. Before we can find someone sexy there are a number of things that have to happen in our brain. First of all, the prospect has to fit the patterns our unconscious set into place before we were six years old. Those patterns are based on our experiences as a young person with our caregivers. For some of us, that is a good thing and we meet up with really wonderful partners.
But for most of us this unconscious pattern locked into our brain is not necessarily in our best interest in the long run.
How It Works
My first husband was really smart, something I consciously found very appealing. But he also had some wounds of his own that resulted in his attempting to overpower me with his yelling and demands. This, it turns out (after much therapy), is how my grandmother acted toward most everyone in her household. I happened to be in her household much of my life prior to the age of six. Yelling and demanding behavior have an unwanted side effect on a persons sex life. It didn’t take long for this behavior to become a major turn off for me.
What transpired is that my survival instincts kicked in (this is a brain function, by the way) and I would freeze up in his presence after a while. My whole body went into shut down and the last thing I wanted was to jump into the sack with him. My brain made the decision for me.
My second husband appealed to me consciously because he was handsome and an entrepreneur like my Dad. The unconscious appeal turned out to be that, because of his wounds, he would totally neglect me and ignore my needs the way my father did. My resentment built up over time and there is no way I would choose to have sex him. My brain kicked into survival with him simply because it seemed to me that he was not someone safe in that he did not have my best interests at heart: only his.
It’s All in Your Head
Our brains dictate our behavior much more than we consciously realize. We can feel an unconscious pull toward someone and think this means we want to be sexual with them; this is why we will be so attracted to “bad girls” or “bad boys”. They appeal to the part of us that was hurt and neglected as a kid and it matches up like a lock and key with our unconscious memories of before we were six. We are wired to want the kind of relationship we had with our caregivers. I don’t know about you, but this was not a good thing for me!
So what if you find yourself already hooked up with someone whom your brain is now telling you to retreat from rather than gravitate toward sex with? Well, you have to make some choices with the more rational part of your brain. Is this someone with whom you want to make a life with? If so then you have to figure out how to change the dynamic that is making you not want to have sex with them.
Talk, talk, talk
First of all you need to open a discussion with this person about the things making you feel threatened or shut down. This, of course, is not an easy discussion to have with them because they will immediately feel threatened just by bringing up the idea of your having a problem with them.
So, you have to start with telling them how much you love them and want to work things out. Secondly, begin to talk about your feelings as being about you and your history, not about them being “bad” or “wrong” for behaving the way they do. After all, they act the way they do because of their history and family culture.
When you can open a discussion about how their behavior outside the bedroom is affecting your desire for good sex, then there is hope for things to change. Most of the time, if you want more sex, chances are, they do, too.
If your partner doesn’t want more sex, then you can be certain there is something in your behavior that has triggered an unwanted fear or shutting down response from them. The solution to the problem is to talk about what it is your partner needs to feel safe with you again. Find out what you are doing and see if it is something you can consciously choose to change. Get help and support if you need to, to change those behaviors. A relationship coach or therapist could be the key.