The connection between mind and body is inevitable. Positive emotions act as an influencer to increased physical satisfaction whereas negative emotions accelerate sexual difficulties and expedite an unsatisfied and unhappy relationship.
Emotions control sex. They determine what we want in bed, how much we enjoy the sex, and if we even want it at all. As a sex therapist, this is something I remind my clients of all the time. Because it’s easily forgotten.
We’ve been led to believe sexuality is a purely biological entity. That our sexual self is somehow separate from the rest of ourselves.
But the truth of the matter is — your sexuality is deeply intertwined with the rest of you. And this is why sexual problems can hit hard. And hurt.
You are your sexuality
Experiencing sexual difficulties, like finding it hard to orgasm or feeling like your sex drive has vanished, can be tough. Not only because this can cause friction in relationships, but because sexuality is such a fundamental part of who we are.
This can be hard to recognize. After all, if your sex life doesn’t feel problematic or you’re enjoying the sex you’re having — you’re probably not thinking about it most of the time.
As soon as sex becomes difficult, though, it starts to take up more mental energy and affects your everyday emotions.
And this effect goes both ways: the more shame, sadness, or frustration you experience about a sexual difficulty such as difficulty having an orgasm or low sex drive, the harder they become to resolve.
And the harder they become to resolve, the more they feed into your everyday emotions and affect your general self-esteem and happiness.
How emotions control sex
A sexual experience doesn’t exist in a vacuum – it encompasses all of you and all of your emotions. This is partly why sex with the same person is sometimes mind-blowing and other times mind-numbingly boring.
It’s not just the kinds of sex you have or the positions you try that determine if you’re satisfied or not. It’s your thoughts, emotional state, and connection with your partner, that tie into the experience as a whole. And this is true whether you experience sexual difficulties or not.
Here are three of our most common feelings and how they affect our sexual experiences and desire.
Irritability is seldom an aphrodisiac. In fact, for most of us, irritability turns off libido, because being irritated is a feeling that fosters boundary-setting – not connection. There are, however, times when you want to have sex with your partner even if you’re annoyed with them (or someone else).
While irritability doesn’t have to affect the sexual experience, you’ll probably find it does. Things such as emotional intimacy and even orgasms can be harder to achieve while having sex and being annoyed. It can also feel more challenging to strike a connection with your partner or to want to give them pleasure.