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Sex Anxiety

(14 Posts)
Gangie Mon 22-Feb-16 13:13:01

Not sure where to start really. I am having trouble putting the issue into words or indeed actually understanding what the issue is?

Basically my sex drive is on the floor. I am nearly 36, 2 kids (5 &3) married 1 year, together almost 8 years. I work full time in a busy and sometimes stressful job.

I have always loved sex, been enthusiastic, excited, enjoy dressing up and am open to experimentation. DH is the first man that has been able to make me come and is very generous in bed and eager for me to be happy.

However, the last few years as I said, my libido is on the floor. I expected some change after kids, we have had a stressful few years in regard to work and money. We are moving house again (6th time in 5 years) and only just got a new place sorted – so while it has been stressful, in the past stress did not make me lose my libido in fact
sometimes if I was stressed I would want it more as a stress reliever.

I love my husband. We have a dom/sub thing going on but not in a big way – more that I like it when hes in charge and he likes it to. I have in the past had an issue with him in that we don’t often ‘make love’ it generally ends up a bit rougher (nothing major, hair pulling, slapping ect).
Im sorry this is long and I haven’t even got to the point yet. I am avoiding sex, getting anxious at the thoughts of it.

I have tried to do it more often when I don’t totally feel in the mood – and then when I get into it I DO enjoy it, I start panicking internally thinking that I cant stop it if I don’t want to continue. Not that DH would MAKE me do anything or react badly if I said no – its just that he would be hurt/upset/confused. I don’t blame him – I am confused. I want to be my old self. As I said when we do have sex I enjoy it and feel that lovely warm close feeling afterwards and am happy. So why have I this anxiety inside? If sex is on the cards and I am in the bathroom before hand, I start thinking ‘oh God I cant say no now’ or ‘its been a week/2weeks so I HAVE TO’, or I start thinking negatively about my body or even his body. Its really really hard to explain.

Im not sure what good posting this will do as I don’t think I have explained the issue. DH has asked me to make a GP apt as he thinks I am depressed. I had post- natal depression with my last baby and it did start around then, but since then I have lost loads of weight, takin up exercise, have got a better job, I don’t feel depressed all the time although I do have some anxiety./negative feelings but I think that is just down to stress of day to day life? If I go to Dr he will just give me anti depressants? I don’t want to take tablets. Do you think it could be hormone related? My biggest fear is that it means I don’t love my husband on some level? But I do, I know I do and he is a wonderful husband who has always been there for me.

Does anyone have any idea of where I am coming from?

TheNaze73 Mon 22-Feb-16 13:35:23

I think it's time you had a convo & explained what the issue is. It sounds like you've had a fantastic sex life to date, he's a lucky boy however, I think the communication piece here is really important. It's about both of your needs. My partners drive went down during the menopause but, she communicated it well to me & didn't think it was a rejection of me or our relationship. Although not a Dom/sub thing we were all about the frequency & due to her great communication around the menopause, we have tended to go down to just 3 or 4 times per week but, it's equally as fulfilling. Just keep him in the loop smile

Sallyingforth Mon 22-Feb-16 13:40:34

I'm sorry I can't offer you positive advice OP, but just to say that anti depressants often reduce libido, so that's the last thing you need.

Gangie Mon 22-Feb-16 14:36:34

TheNaze73 thanks for a male perspective! I have tried to talk to him about it but its very difficult to put into words, feelings that I dont actually understand myself. I have made a GP appointment for tonight so will get my hormone levels checked.

Regards to 'needs' - he needs sex to feel loved and connected and at the moment I feel like I need to be left alone! That sounds awful , like he is some kind of sex pest but I USED to need it to feel loved and connected and now I feel like a middle aged woman. I never ever thought I would be this way - I was always highly sexed. I dont even masturbate much anymore and when I do its really perfunctory.

I thought by writing it down that the crux of the problem would come out or I would find the words in some way. I am just as confused as ever.

TheNaze73 Mon 22-Feb-16 14:50:43

I get where he's coming from, that's a very male thought process, as most men, would see the difference between being great friends with someone & as a couple as the sex. Hopefully the GP will help but, just tell him.... I'd want to know. As if not, I'd be second guessing as to why & come up with completely the wrong conclusion at that, he'd probably never know the real reason. Good luck smile

Quodlibet Mon 22-Feb-16 14:59:02

Firstly, I'd say there's not necessarily anything abnormal or wrong with your sex drive dropping off for a bit post-baby. It doesn't mean it won't come back (speaking from experience!). Just because it didn't drop off after the first child doesn't mean that it can't after the second - it sounds like you've got a LOT of pressures on your plate and I think it's unbelievably normal for that to affect sexual appetite.

Secondly, it sounds like the sub/dom control thing is getting in the way of you feeling relaxed about it and finding a solution together. You definitely don't want to feel like you might end up in a sexual situation which you can't back out of - that's not healthy at all for a relationship. If up until now the sub/dom thing has worked for the dynamic of your relationship because you've both been equally up for it (and thus one person having all the control is ok) then great. But as your desires go out of whack you need to renegotiate the terms of engagement so that you've got the space you need to come back into sex at your own pace with no pressure. It sounds like you would appreciate the opportunity to be intimate with him without any expectation of it leading to full sex, and especially NOT sex where you are not in control and have to hit a big red emergency button in the event of wanting it to stop.

Thirdly, your needs (for space, for a sexual breather, to be left alone) are just as valid as his needs to have sex/be loved/feel connected. That's not awful. And actually, in this situation your needs trump his because the rule of healthy consent is that if one person doesn't want sex, then it doesn't happen.

It sounds like you need to find a way to communicate to your partner:
- that you still love and want him but that your libido is not in a good place.
- that you need more space, and need to try some different things that give you more control of the pace/how far things go
- that you'd like to have intimacy without the expectation of sex, maybe? f
- that you need his understanding and want to communicate and work a way through this period of your life together...?

Gangie Mon 22-Feb-16 15:08:13

Quodlibet I know at least on some level that is 'normal'. But...normal for other people, not for me? Does that sound strange, Its like I cant be ME. The me I always was before marriage and kids.

Hes not very good at making love - neither of us are, I think I would like a more loving experience but weirdly I find that more difficult than doing other more racy stuff? I am not shy, will get naked, use toys with him ect but the thoughts of leaving all that stuff out and just 'making love' is much more difficult? I often turn my head away so Im not looking directly at him? Im not religious, was never abused or anything and am very open about sex as a topic so Im not sure where that is coming from?

Its like I feel too vulnerable?

Gangie Mon 22-Feb-16 15:11:22

Thinking about what you said about setting the pace - I have kind of done that before but then got to that place again where I didnt feel I could say no? Like its unfair of me to lead him on? Again - this is not something that is his fault, he is very understanding and is worried about me not just the lack of sex for him.

pocketsaviour Mon 22-Feb-16 17:16:15

Is it possible that your image of yourself as a sexual person has been transformed into "a mother" and you think subconsciously that mothers shouldn't be having sex?

You mentioned hormones; have you changed contraception methods after the DC?

I think a course of CBT might benefit you in terms of stopping your anxious and intrusive thoughts around sex. Your GP could refer you for this.

Gangie Mon 22-Feb-16 17:39:30

pocketsaviour - thats really interesting. Although I dont think I have ever consciously believed that Mothers shouldn't be sexual/have sex. I remember as a teenager, when a friend who heard her parents having sex and was ranting about it being disgusting, that I said I very much hoped I would be having sex in my 40's! And to get over it - it was Im not sure where that will have come from.

After 2nd child I went back on the pill, then the patch and now nothing because I was hoping that maybe contraception was playing a part. Im not likely to get pregnant if I never have sex! However I dont think its a fear of having another baby thats stopping me, in fact now that I think about it if we were trying for another baby then I definitely would be up for it more? Dont know if I would enjoy it more however.

I will be waiting a LONG time for CBT. I couldnt even get access to counseling when I really really needed to with PND. I cant afford to pay for it privately at the minute.

Is it just bog standard stress? I dont feel overly stressed but life is stressful, DH has no continuous work so there are money issues/car trouble/house move.... The house thing we only got sorted the other day - up till Friday we had 4 weeks to move and no where to move to. So at least that is sorted. Also work problems - I am looking for a new job and am in a bit of a quandary about whether to move back to my home town or stay where we are. Maybe I am just unfulfilled on the whole - but dont feel 'depressed' but a bit anxious (lots of over thinking and envy) which I am working on.

pocketsaviour Mon 22-Feb-16 17:56:33

Do you have any access through your current work benefits to counselling? If your company runs an EAP (employee assistance program) it's often part of that. And doesn't have to be mentioned to anyone at work.

pocketsaviour Mon 22-Feb-16 17:59:44

You could also have a look into CBT yourself with a book such as this Managing Anxiety with CBT For Dummies

Gangie Mon 22-Feb-16 18:55:28

I wish we did! I actually work in mental health....we don't even get sick pay and as the breadwinner at the moment I can't even afford to take any time off. I have a long commute (2.5hrs a day) and work is about t get extra stressful with lots of outside hours/overtime (not paid btw)

Am at the dr now waiting and I feel utterly ridiculous. Normally my leg would have to be hanging off!

What the hell I am supposed to say to him?

Gangie Mon 22-Feb-16 18:55:51

I will
Look for that book now.

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