For some time now I have been experiencing something that I would explain as severe anxiety before sex. I am a 28 year old female and in a committed relationship and we have been together for @ 2 years now. It's hard to explain how I feel in the evenings and it does happen the majority of the time....but I will get extremely anxious a few hours before we go to bed. I almost fear the idea of having sex. I already have general anxiety and panic attacks but this makes it so much worse. I know it can't be normal to fear being intimate with the person I love so much! And I don't have much of a sex drive at all. Right now, it would be okay with me if we didn't have sex at all. Why would I feel that way?

I'm too embarrassed to talk with friends about it. I have so many medical problems that I can't get answers to. I have been sick and seeing doctors frequently for years now. I take pain and anxiety medication. Just last month I did speak to my primary care doctor about being depressed and I thought that an anti-depressant would help with how I feel about everything including how I feel regarding sex. He has prescribed me Pristiq but I haven't started it yet. I will be starting it as soon as my pharmacy gets it in.

I just thought that sending my question/problem out into the world might make me feel a little better and maybe I could get some feedback. I feel alone. Is there anyone who feels at all like I do? Am I the only one who dreads going to bed and being intimate with their significant other? Thank you for any help and feedback.


3319 days ago
Sex is a complicated activity that has a lot of payoff. If you focus on the payoff aspect and enjoy the process, it's fun. If you focus on all the thing you have to do, you can get overwhelmed and forget that the activity is supposed to be enjoyment, not a chore.

The whole thing is further complicated once you have a few bad experiences that give you anxiety, because then not only are you focusing on the "chore" aspect of sex, but you're also focusing on your anxiety and how to avoid it.

A. The way out of this is to first accept that you're probably going to keep getting anxious for a while, say a few months. That anxiety will go up and down, but to some degree it'll be there. That doesn't, however, mean that you have to get "stuck" in every time you experience it. You can experience it and still find a way to connect to yourself and experience some of the benefits (payoff) side of sex. So, you accept that you're going to be a little anxious for the next few months.

B. Next, take a second to consider how your response isn't really that abnormal. Lots of people have issues with sex, and because it can be technically demanding, it makes sense that a person would get anxious about it, and anxious about anxiety. There's no shame involved. See if you can find some humor in the situation. It will help you go a long way. You could just call yourself a "weirdo" and give a little, charming smile. (I don't think it's that weird, but thinking of it that way can relieve some tension.)

C. By now you might feel just a tiny bit better. The next thing to do is give yourself permission to be anxious about the whole thing. It's kind funny and quirky, remember? You freak out before a little, and you freak out DURING, but that's all okay in this stage. There's no penalty, and you're not going to get down on yourself for it. Whatever it is you're feeling is FINE. Just roll WITH IT, rather than against it, and find one thing you can enjoy -- maybe your husband's touch, or his arms, or kissing, or embracing, whatever. Whatever feelings come up -- sadness, joy, pleasure -- they're okay and allowed to be there. There's nothing wrong or abnormal.

Contemplate A and B for the next few days, and practice C for the next 3 weeks. I am betting that after you practice it for a bit (while making sure you're VERY patient with your progress -- this is important!) you'll figure out where to go from there.

You could always enlist the help of a sex therapist or psychologist if you need a little more advice. Don't feel ashamed! I think it's great that you have the courage to be honest with your feelings rather than just trying to push them away and pretend they're not there. :)

3318 days ago
Sex is meant to be FUN . Talk to your partner and tell him how you feel but reassure him that yes indeed you do love him to bits and its not what he does to that makes you anxious.Edahn is right in what he says.laughter truly is the best medicine as you know. Sex is hot sweaty messy stuff but man the benefits are suburb.

3315 days ago
It is true that you may be focusing on it too much that you are not able to enjoy it. Can you find a way to lead up to the act, by teasing and flirting and the like?



3048 days ago
Wow. I can't believe someone out there feels how I do.

I feel just the same way you do...COMPLETELY ALONE.

I know exactly how you feel. I am fine all night...and then my boyfriend will hint to go to bed and I will just keep putting it off.

It's like the action starts happening and I bolt up and all my muscles get extremely tense.

I don't have insurance right now but in January I will and I think I'm going to talk to my doctor about anxiety medication, I get really worked up about simple things..

But this, I can't understand.

I'm so glad I'm not alone on this one.

2662 days ago
Edahn and MiserableAngel THANK YOU it has been difficult for me to find literature on this topic. This helps a lot.

2648 days ago
I feel exactly the same too.... i kept putting it down to the fact that i had a child and was anxious about having sex again because of the way i looked after having my baby.... but after reading what you wrote that has ruled that out... and to be honest adahn - your answer has helped me alot i will try my best to stick to the things you said ! thank you

2190 days ago
Is it possible that you had some sexual trauma in your childhood? I'm pretty sure I did and have the same exact anxiety about sex. In fact, I have it right now for tonight!

My husband has a very high sex drive. He'd like it at least once a day and mine is maybe once a month or never really unless I drink. It has almost broken up our marriage and is a huge problem.

I would almost be better off getting divorced than dealing with this anxiety! I will never have the sex drive he wants me to. I'd rather he finds someone else with the same sex drive than try to have sex and enjoy it every day. Some people can't understand this but it's a painful and stressful act for me.

2086 days ago
do not take those meds!!!! they are no good. try welbutrin first. i feel the same way but i dont knoe how to make it better. good luck and hope your husband can support you through this.

2022 days ago

Thank you for writing about this. I've been looking around online for something like this because I too get anxious about the idea of sex. I've been with my bf for 3 1/2 years and love and trust him so much. Last night I came onto him beause I thought it would make him happy. It was painful for me, and I ended up crying because I wasn't enjoying it but I didn't have the heart to stop for his sake. When he noticed I was crying he stopped and turned on the lights. I tried to explain that it hurts me, which is likely why it makes me anxious. I ould tell he was hurt, but he was also confused and trying to understand. I didn't know how to explain it. He is so sweet and so patient. I was just looking related opiccs online and sharing my findings with him. We just had a talk about things we can try to make it less stressful/painful for me. I guess that's my advice...if you haven't spoken with your guy about how anxious you feel, let him know. Tell him that you don't understand why you feel that way, but you love him too much to not want to work on this with him. The most important thing (I think) is keeping him apprised with how you are feeling. Hopefully that will help your anxiety and make you feel that you are no longer alone.

For the pain (if you are like me), we are going to try the spooning position to see if that works for us. And sufficient foreplay before intercourse. Hope it works for us.

As for anxiety, it makes me feel better that my bf and I are now on the same page and he will be sensitive about my level of comfort in the future. The more you keep to yourself, the more anxious you will feel.