How often do you deny yourself pleasure because you feel guilty, nervous, or ashamed? If you’re like this, there are thousands of people all over the world feeling the same, so there’s no need to feel alone. Chances are, you are sexually repressed. This article breaks down sexual repression definition, its signs, and how you can overcome this thief of pleasure.
What is sexual repression?
Think of sexual repression as the opposite of sexual expression, and voila! It’s a condition where someone is unable to express their sexuality fully. Also known as sexual inhibition, this condition is associated with feelings of guilt, embarrassment, or shame for sexual urges. If this situation is familiar, first understand that- it’s not your fault. Secondly, overcoming sexual repression is possible. We’re here to help you do just that.
Asexuality, sexual frustration, and sexual repression
Asexuality means having little to no desire for sexual activity. But when you’re sexually inhibited, it means that you have sexual desires all right, but for some reason, you can’t fully explore them.
Sexologist Tami Rose defines sexual frustration as “a natural response to an imbalance between your sexual needs and what you’re currently getting.”
A sexually repressed person may show signs of sexual frustration; because when you have tried all you can but still tense up and feel embarrassed at the mention of sex, you’re bound to become frustrated.
Certain factors cause sexual repression, and you’ll see that these factors that create a sexually repressed adult can be internal and external.
- Religious Factor: Many people feel shameful engaging in sexual activities because their religion only permits sex within the confines of marriage and abhors masturbation. For this reason, one may become sexually inhibited.
- Socio-Cultural Factor: Many societies and cultures (in North Africa and the Middle East) propagate the notion that sexual purity enhances marriageability. For this reason, they enforce traditions such as child marriage and female genital mutilation, where they cut off a girl’s clitoris in other to limit her sexual desires and keep her pure until marriage. In the long run, she becomes a sexually repressed woman.
- Legal Factor: Many countries (especially in Africa) still view same-sex relationships as unnatural, and therefore, illegal. As a result, queer people may suppress their sexuality to avoid getting caught and punished by the law.
- Historical Factor: A person’s sexual history is a huge determinant of their sexual expression or repression. Someone with a history of sexual abuse may feel guilty for enjoying sex, thus leading to sexual repression. Other times, a negative sexual experience from your past is enough to trigger repression.
Signs of sexual repression
By now, you’ve got a basic overview of what causes repressed sexual desires in people. But are you still uncertain as to whether you’re sexually repressed, asexual or just having signs of sexual frustration? From this section, you’ll be able to determine what exactly you’re dealing with.
Psychological signs of sexual repression
This encompasses how your mental state might react to sex due to sexual repression.
- Viewing casual sex as a dirty act.
- Ignoring your sexual urges.
- Struggling to accept your sexuality; if you’re from a place that’s hostile to queer people.
- Feeling anxious or guilty when you have erotic thoughts.
- Berating yourself for enjoying or exploring sex.
Physical signs of sexual repression
These are the signs that are visible in the body language or expression of a sexually repressed person.
- Discomfort or body tension during sex.
- Inability to voice out sexual desires in bed.
- Difficulty climaxing.
- Insomnia due to repressed sexual energy.
5 steps to overcome
In this section, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide you can follow to identify the cause of your sexual repression, and deal with it immediately. Let’s get into it.
- Get to the Root of the Matter. Trying to pinpoint the root cause is the first step to overcoming sexual repression. Identify the trauma or social orientation that has made you repress your sexuality and then you understand what exactly you’re dealing with.
- Communicate. This one has to happen within the confines of a romantic or sexual relationship, because your partner is directly affected by your sexual repression. Once you’ve identified the problem and root cause, discuss why you’re sexually inhibited with your partner(s) only if you feel comfortable doing so. By keeping the communication lines open, your partner will know how to assist you in the future.
- See a Sex Therapist. There are specific issues that only a professional can help you get through, and overcoming sexual repression is one of them. Find a therapist you can freely talk to about your repressed sexual energy, and they’ll help you work through it. Remember, it’s a process.
- Read on Sex and Body Positivity. Be intentional about changing your negative view of sex to a healthy one. Read books/blogs that push you to explore your sexuality, discuss sex positivity, and how you can enjoy sex without inhibitions. Also, slowly introduce yourself to reading erotic novels, so that you can understand how fulfilling sex can be for the partners involved.
- Explore Your Body. Look at yourself in the mirror and affirm how beautiful your body is. You can also explore your sexual limits in total privacy to get an insight into what you genuinely like in bed. Adult sex toys will prove extremely helpful in your journey to overcoming sexual repression because they just make every sensation more intense. You can get the best sex toys from our sex toy reviews- all amazingly affordable.
Just because you have hard limits (such as BDSM, anal sex, etc.) when it comes to sex doesn’t mean you’re sexually repressed. You may not want to try certain things, and that's totally okay. But if you are indeed dealing with sexual repression, try out our 5-step technique so you can get comfortable expressing your sexual desires; first to yourself and then to your partner.
We hope this article was helpful and that you keep coming back for more tips to keep things spicy in the bedroom.
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