This is a disclaimer that this article is for informative purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. Please reach out to a qualified healthcare provider or mental health professional if you are struggling.
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “sex”?
For some people, sexy time means fun, enjoyment or love. But for others, it is a trigger for feelings of anxiety, uneasiness and embarrassment.
Do you feel uncomfortable when it comes to sex? Are you plainly avoiding it, or you feel something’s wrong when you’re having sex with somebody?
If so, there’s a possibility you could might be experiencing sexual repression. If you’re not sure, here are 5 signs to look out for.
1. Lack of interest in sex
Did you notice that you almost never think about sex? Maybe you seek other forms of physical contact, such as cuddling, kissing or holding hands… But having sex is just not on your mind. You simply find it uninteresting and unappealing.
Lack of interest in sex could mean you’re simply asexual. But if you used to be interested in sexual activity before, and for some reason you don’t find it appealing anymore, it is possible that you’re actually supressing your sexuality.
2. Feelings of guilt and shame
Do you feel ashamed of your sexuality? Or maybe you feel guilty if you think about sex?
For some people, guilt and shame around sex make their sexual desire diminish completely. It could be that you grew up in a religious or strict household that saw sex as something dirty and bad.
As a result, your psyche is trying to supress your urges as best as it can. You may see it a sin, or think that you’re a bad person for having sexual thoughts. Not only do these feelings suppress something in you that is completely natural, but they could also destroy your romantic relationships.
3. Inability to enjoy sex
Sex should never be just for reproduction. If you choose to have sex, you should enjoy it and feel good about it. But if you’re sexually repressed, you may find it to be everything but enjoyable.
You may have trouble getting or staying sexually excited. Also, you may have trouble getting an orgasm. These problems could take a toll on your mental health and even worsen your symptoms of sexual repression, because having a sexual activity that you don’t enjoy could make you desire sex even less.
4. Physical pain
Another telltale sign of sexual repression is physical pain. While it could be a sign of a medical problem, pain in your abdomen or genitals during intercourse could mean sexual repression if it’s accompanied with emotional problems or some other signs that were mentioned.
To be sure, it would be best to visit your physician to rule out other possible causes, and possibly work on emotional problems that are causing you pain.
5. Erotic dreams
While usually people have 0 desire for sex when they’re experiencing sexual repression, it is possible there’s a part of you that wants to satisfy your normal, human urges. But since the body and mind don’t agree on the matter, your subconscious is working instead. This can manifest in erotic dreams – dreams of flirting, passionately kissing, having sex and/or experiencing orgasm.
What do you do if you feel some of these signs apply to you?
First and foremost, you should know that these feelings are nothing to be ashamed of, and it is certainly not your fault. Even if you feel alone, know that sexual repression is not uncommon, and it is possible to get help.
Also, it would be a good idea to talk to a sex therapist. They can help you find out the reasons behind your feelings. It could be your upbringing, difficulties accepting your sexual orientation, trauma response… Whatever reason, talking about it and working on resolving the problem could help you regain your sexual energy and accept your body and your sexuallity.
Thank you for reading!
Written by: Stela Košić
- Bhardwaj, N. (2021, February 11). Are you sexually repressed? Here are 7 tell-tale signs to look out for. Healthshots. https://www.healthshots.com/intimate-health/sexual-health/7-signs-of-sexual-repression/amp
- Pace, R. (2021, December 9). 6 Signs of Sexual Repression That Could Be Affecting Your Sex Life. Marriage Advice – Expert Marriage Tips & Advice. https://www.marriage.com/advice/physical-intimacy/signs-of-sexual-repression/
- Raypole, C. (2020, April 20). What Does It Mean to Be Sexually Repressed? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sex/sexually-repressed#what-to-do