Don’t Touch Me

Intimacyby Annette Young

In an age where sexual activity is the norm, many people may be surprised that some women (in this case, those healing from abusive relationships) may have a much lower or even, non-existent sex drive.  But even those who still have a healthy sex drive can find that desire fluctuates when there is the fear of a new relationship.

So, why does this happen?

We all put barriers up so to protect ourselves, not just in a physical manner, but those same walls can protect us in an emotional sense too.  We may want to love again and to enjoy the pleasures of a physical relationship but sometimes, a fear of emotional intimacy, can override the desire for a normal sexual encounter. For many women, sex and love or sex and deep emotions go hand in hand. It’s a complex and tightly interwoven behaviour.

The brain in all its complexities, is so very powerful, but it can work for or against the woman making all sexual desires dissipate as soon as a potential new partner tries to take the relationship to the next step. If this sounds familiar, try to seek out counselling. There’s absolutely no shame in talking your concerns over with a professional who can help to discover the root cause of these barriers. CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is also a wonderful resource to help you break down these barriers.

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But make no mistake, sometimes this fear of emotional and physical intimacy is to simply protect you because you may not be ready to move on and that’s ok. If you have a loving new relationship, your partner will understand that you have to take it slowly. There’s no shame in saying no and gradually working out these issues as love and commitment develops. It’s normal to feel scared, it’s normal to lose your sex drive sometimes if you have been through an abusive situation, but don’t let it hold you back from connecting with others. Seek professional help if you can but always trust your instinct.