Feeling sexual pleasure can be a journey, and some people may experience roadblocks along the way. There are also medical conditions, such as vulvar vestibulitis, lichen sclerosis or a Bartholin’s gland cyst, that can contribute to pain during sex.
This article will dive into the various reasons why you might not feel pleasure or arousal during sex.
1. You’re not aroused
Sexual arousal is a natural bodily process, but it can be difficult to experience when you’re anxious. This is often the case with people who have experienced sexual trauma or other forms of sexual anxiety. A sex therapist can help you learn to relax and let your body respond naturally. They may recommend some gentle exercises and a mindful approach to your body and sexual pleasure. One of the most effective treatments for arousal difficulties is a technique called Sensate Focus.
It’s also possible that you’re engaging in sexual activity before you’re sufficiently aroused. Foreplay is a great way to get the blood flowing, but it’s important to take your time and make sure that you feel ready for sexual activity.
Another possibility is that you’re not interested in penis in vagina sex. Research shows that over two-thirds of women with vulvas prefer to have other kinds of sexual stimulation than penis in vagina. If you’re not interested, then you need to find other ways to enjoy sex.
Finally, it’s possible that you’re experiencing pain and discomfort during sex due to a physical or medical issue. This can be caused by a variety of things, including premenstrual syndrome (PMS),6 pregnancy,7 menopause8,9 or even a Bartholin’s gland cyst10. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort during sexual activity, then it’s important to see your doctor or gynaecologist.
2. You’re not relaxed
Sometimes, our sex experience doesn’t feel right because we’re tense. This could be because of work stress, money concerns, or just feeling too self-conscious to relax into a more intimate moment. It’s important to be clear with your partner about any discomfort you may feel as soon as it arises during physical intimacy. Saying something like, “I feel that my body is tensing up, I’m in pain, or I’m a little uncomfortable” can help your partner understand and shift the mood if necessary. If you’re experiencing pain, it might also be a good idea to check with your doctor or pelvic floor physical therapist to rule out any medical issues that may be contributing to your discomfort.
During sex, it’s common to feel disconnected from your body, feelings, thoughts, and surroundings—a phenomenon known as dissociation. This can be due to stress, drug use, or even past trauma. Try practicing grounding techniques and mindfulness before and during sex to help you stay connected to your body and your partner.
Another reason you may not be feeling anything during sex is that you’re too focused on orgasm. Having sex doesn’t need to be a race to a mind-blowing orgasm, and in fact, it’s more enjoyable when you let the good feelings come as they may. Remember that sex is an experience of pleasure, connection, and love—or whatever you want it to be for you.
3. You’re not satisfied
It’s not uncommon to go through a time when you don’t find sex to be sexually satisfying. It may be a short or long-term thing, but either way, the feeling of dissatisfaction makes it harder to enjoy sex and causes you to want it less and less.
There are many reasons why you could be feeling dissatisfied, including having an unfulfilling sex life, being sexually frustrated with your partner, or even having a bad case of dissociation during sex (feeling disconnected from thoughts, feelings and sensations). If this is the case for you, talk to your doctor about it—it’s important to know what’s causing you to feel dissatisfied with sex so that you can address it.
In addition to talking to your doctor, try masturbating more on your own and experimenting with new techniques. It took me years to orgasm during sex and it can be hard for some people—especially men—to reach orgasm, especially in the beginning, but with a little practice, you might be able to reach the peak of pleasure for you.
If you’re dissatisfied with your sex life, be sure to talk to your partner about it. It can be difficult for them to hear that they’re not meeting your needs, but it’s a crucial conversation that will likely lead to more sexy nights in the future.
4. You’re bored
Sometimes, sex can feel boring. Whether it’s due to lack of interest, medical conditions or simply getting older, many people experience a dulling of sensation during sex. Fortunately, there are many things that can be done to reignite the flames and spice up your sex life.
Unfortunately, a common misconception is that once sex starts feeling boring, it’s a dead-end and that the sex isn’t worth it. This belief can cause a couple to lose interest and stop talking about sex altogether, which in turn causes the relationship to become more and more emotionally distant.
When boredom becomes a serious issue, it’s important to talk about it with your partner and explore ways to increase the pleasure. This can be as simple as trying new techniques or exploring sexual interest in other ways. For example, if one partner is bored with stroking the other’s genitals during foreplay, trying something different like using massage oil or gently rubbing the outer labia can help stimulate the body and provide excitement.
Often, boredom during sex is caused by underlying feelings of frustration, anger or disappointment in the relationship. Taking time to communicate, seeking couples therapy, and working through any emotional issues can be a huge game changer and make sex more exciting. So, next time you’re feeling bored, don’t assume your sex is over – rather, consider what you might be doing to keep it interesting!