What to Do When Your Therapist Says It's Not Emotionally Safe to Have Sex
Yes. You read that correctly.
"No. You cannot have sex with him. You're not ready. Women get too attached when they have sex. Your abandonment stuff will get triggered. You need to just go buy a dildo and pleasure yourself."
I cannot tell you how hard I laughed after she said that.
Most of us have gone through some type of therapy. Most people have times in their lives when things feel too hard to manage alone. Having someone who listens, who is a neutral player in your life, and who holds space for whatever shit you throw their way is simply the best. Therapy is a major part of my life right now as I work on overcoming my recent divorce and childhood trauma. EMDR is saving my life; one session at a time. I would be lost without my therapist. That hour of feedback and hard work is something that I look forward to every single week.
But ... really? No sex?
I understand where she was coming from. I really do. Here's the thing, though. I identify as demi-sexual (someone who does not like to have sex without a strong emotional connection present), which means that if I am even considering being intimate with someone, I am already emotionally attached. Human connection and physical intimacy are so incredibly important for me that the act of having sex with someone I care for deeply will always far outweigh the perceived risk of getting "too attached" and, therefore, hurt.
She told me I couldn’t have sex. Seriously? Isn’t that being a little over-protective? A bit overly cautious and nutty? I hadn’t had sex in four months! FOUR MONTHS. And yes, a vibrator or a dildo is on my shopping list (I threw all of my toys away after my husband left – I didn’t want or need that reminder), but I wanted the real thing. A live human with eyes to look into and hair to grab onto. A man with warmth, touch and lips for kissing. That physical connection piece trumps any and all forms of masturbation, at least for me.
What To Do If You Can't Have Sex
Masturbation. Sigh. It gets the job done, right? Yes, much of the time that is the case. Sometimes, though, it just doesn’t cut it and it is most definitely not enough. At least not for me. What was I going to do? What I decided was to come up with a strategy, a game plan of things to do when sex is off the table.
Get a Sex Toy
They aren't a substitute, but sex toys do provide a damn good orgasm, and that's better than nothing! So buy toys!! All the toys!! The selection in the stores can be very overwhelming and it is absolutely OK to ask for help and advice. The people who work in the shops often get to test the products. So, get comfortable, browse away, and have fun! (You can also read sex toy reviews online.)
Slow Things Down
We often look to masturbation to just get the job done. But it often feels best when it is slowed down, purposeful, and there is intention behind it. You set the stage - lube ready, door locked, toys on hand, music playing. Carve out the time to be present with yourself. You deserve a break.
USE YOUR IMAGINATION. I had a brilliant conversation with a good friend of mine. He explained his technique to me and I was shocked that it hadn't occurred to me to try this before. He told me that he quite literally puts his body into positions that he would normally be in if he were actually having sex, all the while imagining someone specific with him. So, using your toys (or not), you would move your body in ways that mimic sex with another person. I loved this idea so much. And yes, it really, really works in terms of more enjoyment!
Just Feel Good
Let go of your shame, inhibitions and fears around exploring your own body. You are perfect. You are beautiful, and you are absolutely worth it.
So, did I listen to my therapist? Did I avoid sex with a man I adore?
Fuck no. And it was amazing.
Amy is a newly single mother of two amazing children. She believes in vulnerability, rawness, open mindedness, truth, honesty and swearing a lot. She is workingher way through PTSD, trauma, codependency, her views on polyamory, her father’s death when she was 9 years old, and a recent divorce. None of it is pretty. Life just isn’t.