How to improve your sex life if you have OCD?

ipitia blog better sex life ocd

Our sexual relationships are a vital part of our life. Unfortunately OCD and anxiety can cause you to feel blocked during sex and make it difficult to enjoy them fully.

In this article some of the most common problems and barriers that can influence our sexual relationships will be discussed, as well as how to overcome them in order to improve our sex life.

Monotony

For many people with OCD, sex has become somewhat of a routine job. Without noticing it, it has become more and more automatic. Some quick kisses, some quick touching and we directly move on to the penetration. There is no time or space for foreplay, tenderness, or enjoyment. We end up having sex in the same place and at the same time without any variety. In a way we become happy with an extract of sex and we lose the extra dimension of it that makes it interesting.

All this, diminishes the amount of pleasure and desire we can feel. That’s why it’s important to break with monotony end not to end up simply accepting the situation.

Why is it difficult for me to break with monotony?

The majority of the people who suffer from OCD are afraid to vary. They fear their partner will say they’re a pervert if they share their ideas, and are afraid they won’t be able to perform properly or that their partner won’t be eager to try new things.

However, it’s very important to break these barriers. Oftentimes our partners share the same fears we have, and to overcome them together can be both an enriching and exciting experience. It is important to mention that there are no weird ideas or activities in sex. People simply have tastes and these are usually different for every person. The idea is to discover your and your partner’s tastes together without judging each other.  

 

What can I do to overcome monotony?

You have to awaken the Dionysian and Erotic energies, two of the vital energies that tend to be blocked when you suffer from OCD. This means that you have to activate all your senses and learn how to explore, play with and enjoy your partner. There are various ways to help this process:

  • Focus on the entire body. It is important that sex is not just focused on penetration and the genital areas. You have to activate the entire body in order to fully enjoy sex. It can be very interesting to rediscover your partner and touch and cherish all the zones of their body as if they were new to you, starting from the legs all the way up to their neck, while passing through the interior of their arms, their fingers, their waist, their ears. Any part of the body can be interesting to explore and touch. You partner can do the same to you. The objective of this is not to get excited but to revive and enjoy all these sensations that you might have not felt or provoked for a long time.
  • Share your fantasies. It is very recommendable to share your sexual fantasies with your partner. Not only can it be very exciting to do so, discussing our fantasies can also help add new activities to our sexual routine. It can make us discover interests and desires we didn’t expect from our partner, and to share them can help us to feel keener to try some of them out. This doesn’t mean that you have to make all your fantasies real, but you can try those things that seem most interesting to the two of you. To get some inspiration; there are many people who would like to try one or more of the following things: try other places than the bed, have sex in a public place, try role-playings (pretend you’re another person or play a specific character), use toys such as a vibrator or handcuffs, or be submissive or dominant while having sex. It is important to know that weird sexual fantasies don’t exist. We have to normalize our curiosity to want and try new things.
  • Break with your routine. In order to improve your sex life it is essential to break with your routine. It is likely that you’ve established a routine you feel comfortable with. You have sex after dinner, at Saturday night when the kids are asleep, in the morning, when you’re on holidays etc… The problem with these routines is that they kill your desire because they restrict possibilities to have sex with every new rule you set. In the same way, it is quite likely that you don’t want to have sex anymore when you are tired, when the bed isn’t made, when there are things to do around the house, even though you might be excited. All this might cause you to be left without “perfect moments” to have sex. That is why it’s so important to break with your routine and to have sex at any moment, whether you have a lot or very little time, whether the house is clean or dirty. It doesn’t matter. Actually, you’ll see that it is even more important to have sex at the moments you normally wouldn’t because this can be make it more exciting, instinctive and natural.
  • Surprise your partner and/or yourself. In order to make sure your sex life stays interesting, it can help to surprise your partner (and thereby yourself). You have to think that the central nervous system responds more strongly to new people and situations. This is why our desire is usually stronger when we start a new relationship. Everything is new, everything is an exploration. However, when the relationship advances we tend to fall into the trap of having an automatic routine when we have sex. We behave the same way, most of the times in the same place, and with the same person. You have to think that it’s not very logical to expect that we’ll get as excited as the first time, if we keep on repeating the same pattern for years. Imagine we’d do the same thing with our meals and that we would eat the same dish for many years. Even if it were your favorite dish, there would be a moment in which you wouldn’t feel like eating it anymore. The same can happen in our sex life. That is why it’s important to introduce new stimuli in the bed room. You can think of dressing sexy clothing or lingerie, waiting for your partner to come home completely naked, buy a new toy, organize a romantic dinner, pretend you don’t know each other (meet in a bar and try to seduce your partner as if you’ve never met them). The idea is to experiment with new experiences in order to continue stimulating yourself and your partner.

 

Obsessions or rituals that interfere

Many people who suffer from OCD get interrupted in their sexual relationships by intrusive thoughts or rituals.

In order to disengage your attention from your intrusive thoughts it is very important to awaken all your senses. We have to focus with all our might on what we’re doing at this moment. Try to feel your partner’s skin, focus on the sensations the sex produces in you. Try to hear, feel and smell the expressions of your partner and yourself.

If you’re having trouble focusing on your sensations Mindfulness can help you. Mindfulness teaches you how to live in the moment, not only in the bed room but in your daily life as well. It helps us to feel more relaxed and more present in everything we do, as well as helping us to lower the anxiety that caused the obsessions in the first place. It can therefore be beneficial to your sex life in different ways.

It can also help to take on a more active role in sex or intensify the sex. If you notice that your mind wanders off during sex, it can help to focus on your partner for a while, change position, change your location, or use a vibrator or another kind of toy. The objective is to activate the central nervous system and become more instinctive while at the same time enjoying and awakening your senses more and more.

Problems to “give yourself”

Many men and women have problems to give themselves or to let go of themselves during sex. They tend to “think” sex as opposed to living it. They find it difficult to integrate the image of themselves as a sexual person into the concept they have about themselves. This can be caused by deeply engraved thoughts about sex such as: “Sex is bad, dirty; or something you shouldn’t do outside of wedlock”. These thoughts can cause you to feel dirty or bad while having sex and can be very distracting.

Furthermore, another cause of not being able to give yourself during sex is suffering from low self-esteem. This can cause you to think badly about your body, your sexual behavior or even your sexual capacity.

As a consequence of all this you can start to avoid certain sexual acts such as oral sex or other kinds of foreplay. You might find it easier to focus on the other person’s pleasure than to be the center of attention. When the other person directs their attention to you, you might feel embarrassed or you might even think you don’t need or deserve that attention. You also might try to avoid sex altogether, so you don’t have to feel uncomfortable in the first place.

However, the ability to give yourself and to let go is very important for being able to enjoy sex and to orgasm.

How can I improve my ability to give myself or to let go during sex?

First of all it is very important to improve the relationship with your own body and to learn that you deserve as much care and attention in the bed room as your sex partner.

What can also help is to start taking care of yourself outside of the bed room as well. Give yourself a small gift, allow yourself a massage from time to time, take a coffee in a bar instead of at home, buy some new clothing for yourself, or take a nice warm bath. All these activities give a signal to your unconscious mind that you deserve being taken care of. This can help to raise your self-esteem and can in turn help your body and mind to allow yourself to be taken care off in the bed room.

You also have to learn to allow yourself to be loved and to be seduced. In order to practice this you have to allow your partner to only focus on you. For a moment you don’t do anything for your partner, you just allow them to take “care” of you.

It is possible that this makes you feel bad or over-stimulated but if you persist and repeat this exercise, your central nervous system will learn to relax itself in this situation. The body has to incorporate a new image of sex which is only based on experiences and not just on beliefs. In order to reach this goal it is important to have experiences in which you don’t try to control the situation.

It is also recommendable to try new things in sex that you feel curious about. It is important to fight the image of yourself as a monk/nun that you might have projected onto yourself. In the bed room you’re allowed to be looser and more passionate. Also, you’re allowed to have different and specific tastes. To stimulate this part of your personality through new experiences can even help you become looser and more liberated in your daily life.

It is possible to improve your sex life

In this article we have spoken about the most frequent problems people with OCD have in their sex life. As we’ve seen, many of these problems are caused by monotony, fear of trying new things and problems to give oneself. It is possible to overcome these problems. However, it can be very difficult to do so by yourself.

If you would like to learn more about how to improve your sex life or if you would like to schedule a first session, you can call us at +34 935 282 353 or write us through info@ipitia.com.

Lisette Zeeuw

Clinical Psychologist

IPITIA