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Sexual Aversion

Don't Touch Me: Understanding Your Sexual Aversion


Does the thought of sexual contact make you shutter?

Do you tend to avoid or limit sexual activity?

Do you find sexual touch or even romantic touch such as hugging or kissing from your partner unappealing or even repulsive?

Do you dread sexual activity and engage in it anyways?

Do you feel guilty that you do not respond to your partner the way he wants you to?

Do you engage in sexual activity for your partner’s sake?

Do you think there’s something wrong with you that you do not look forward to and enjoy sexual contact?

Do you feel ticklish with sexual touch?

Do you feel incredibly guilty and confused because you love your partner and find him attractive?


Why do you currently feel sexual aversion even if you have a great relationship and find your partner attractive?

  1. You feel out of control. Control is an essential component of aversion.  Remember that aversion is an extreme form of anxiety.  It is your body’s way of saying “I do not want that.  I do not like that. Stay away.”  It protects your body from harm.  When you feel that someone wants sex, expects sex, or even has the “right” to sex because you are married, you are feeling out of control.

  2. You do not feel relaxed in sexual encounters. Like I said before, aversion is an extreme case of anxiety. Your body is almost in a state of “beyond” anxiety where you don’t necessarily feel nervous, but you just feel repelled. Pay attention to your body.  Do you feel nauseous or have stomach issues when you think about sex?  Do you feel fluttery or nervous?  Do you feel nothing at all and just sort of frozen?  These are indicators that you do not feel relaxed.

  3. You do not feel aroused, yet you engage in sex anyways. Engaging in sexual activity when you are not aroused is very harmful for your emotional well-being.  If you are not aroused, your body is not connected with your mind during the act.  You might do this because you feel guilty that you are never in the mood to be with your partner.  However, it is causing long term damage.  

What can you do starting today:

  1. Assert your control over the situation by setting boundaries and ground rules.

  2. Agree to extremely limited sexual contact. ONLY do a type of sexual contact (hugging, holding hands) that you feel comfortable with, increasing the activities slowly over time (weeks/months). 

  3. Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques prior to and during a sexual encounter.

  4. Stop engaging in intercourse until the aversion has lifted.

See a sex therapist for treatment, as this does not typically go away by continuing to engage in sex. 

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