Every week, I receive many messages from my fans who are seeking solutions for their sexual disconnection in relationships. Many are eager for quick tips to reignite their sexual spark. I understand their frustration and the fear that the disconnect might worsen over time. When couples enter therapy, they often feel the urgency to dive headfirst into a plan to immediately "heat things up." However, they may not realize that rushing into solutions can create more problems if not approached carefully.
Indeed, some couples can benefit from spicing things up and introducing new experiences into their sex lives. For them, it might simply be a phase of sexual lull that many relationships go through. It's a common process, and adding novelty can help reignite passion.
On the other hand, some couples face more serious issues. They believe that introducing new sexual experiences will solve their disconnection problem, but the truth is they are dealing with a different issue: a systematic freeze. Behind their frustration, boredom, and avoidance lies a nervous system that prevents true bonding. For these individuals, overtly sexual interventions may only provide short-lived effects.
A "freeze" in the body occurs when a person's nervous system deactivates and disconnects. Those seeking more connected sexual experiences rely on a different part of their nervous system, one that is more relational.
Understanding the concept of a sexual freeze can be puzzling for couples who were once connected. It might feel strange that there are problems now when there weren't before. Numerous factors can contribute to this change. External stressors unrelated to the relationship might be impacting one or both partners. Handling arguments or conflicts could be challenging for their bodies. In any case, these situations can make it difficult for individuals to fully enjoy sex.
This can lead to a vicious cycle where the underlying sexual conflict further freezes up the body, resulting in more disconnection. As the disconnection deepens, it triggers even more freeze responses, perpetuating the cycle.
Detecting a sexual freeze can be challenging, but here are some indications:
- Escalating sexual frustration in a previously problem-free relationship.
- Continual empty promises that remain unfulfilled.
- Lack of energy or enthusiasm concerning sexual activities.
- Feelings of shame related to a deficient sexual relationship.
- Struggling to comprehend the root cause of the problem.
- Excessive rumination on the issue without taking much action.
If you recognize these patterns in your relationship, I highly recommend considering mindfulness-based psychotherapy. This approach will help you gain a deeper understanding of what's happening within your body. While thinking plays a role in a sexual freeze, it is not as significant as the physical experience.
Our culture places great emphasis on our thoughts, but we also possess an animalistic aspect. The body has its own story, which may not align with our thoughts. In such situations, it becomes crucial for individuals to establish a stronger connection with their bodies and listen to their inner sensations. For instance, the desire to engage in sexual touch or be touched by someone doesn't solely originate from our thoughts but also emanates from our bodies. Unfortunately, many of us react impulsively to these sensations without fully understanding how we reached that point. As a result, when that sense is absent, it becomes challenging to navigate the way forward.
The positive news is that these issues are entirely treatable. With proper guidance, individuals can tap into sensations they haven't experienced before. However, fixing these problems does take time. The body has its natural flow, and it requires effort to identify and comprehend this flow. If you find it challenging to grasp these concepts, seeking assistance from a professional who can help you understand is highly advisable. Somatic therapists, mindfulness-based therapists, and certain body workers are qualified to assist you in this process.