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15 Mental Blocks That Make It Harder For Women To Enjoy Sex, According To Actual Women
~ September, 2021 ~ Sex can be pretty damn fun (when it’s safe and consensual, of course), but for lots of people — women especially — there are plenty of mental blocks that can get in the way of fully enjoying it.
Reddit user u/AnalyticOcean decided to ask women to share the different kinds of mental blocks they’ve encountered during sex, and it’s shed a ton of light on something that isn’t usually talked about (but absolutely should be). Here are the responses:
Note: This post discusses sexual assault.
1. “For me, it’s the constant pressure that I NEED to orgasm during sex. If I’m constantly asked, ‘Are you gonna cum yet?’ it takes away the pleasure part of it, and I get stressed. The sex can’t feel like a chore either, because if I don’t feel the intimacy part of it, I lose all pleasure. I’m very into my emotions with sex, so I can’t do emotionless sex at all. Foreplay before helps build me up for a lot of pleasure during sex, and sometimes a vibrator during penetration helps a lot too.”—u/burndwbook
2. “I shared a bedroom with my sister and a paper-thin wall with my mother growing up. I also broke the bathroom’s lock to force my sister out of the bathroom one morning, and it took me a very long time to get the money to buy a new one and then learn how to replace it. So, I basically had no privacy when I was at the age you discover your own body. I was always super afraid of being heard or walked in on, and it’s stayed with me until today. I need to be sure to have complete and total privacy to relax enough to finish.” —u/Marawal
3. “Until a few years ago, I couldn’t orgasm from sex with a partner, only through masturbation. This was due to inability to trust men fully and to give myself completely, because I was sexually assaulted as a teen.” —u/miniaturedisaters
4. “For me, feelings of guilt/pressure can get in the way. Penetrative sex doesn’t do it for me, but other acts, like oral, make it so that I’m the only one receiving pleasure, which makes me feel guilty. Additionally, being the sole focus can make me feel anxious and pressured to orgasm. This person is taking the time to do something especially for me, so I MUST make it worth their while.” —u/BorrowingDarcy
5. “I’ve only been able to orgasm with my fiancé, but even then it’s hit or miss. I only can like 50% of the time. I think my past partners I wasn’t really attracted to them, or they didn’t fulfill me emotionally. But with my fiancé, sometimes the dogs are barking their heads off in the backyard, or a good episode of Supernatural is playing in the background, or I’m thinking about what I want for dinner. I get distracted easily, and it takes a lot to focus sometimes. I do best early in the mornings when I’m sleepy and not worried about other things, or right after a shower when I’m relaxed.” —u/lipgloss_nd_hotsauce
6. “I feel a mental block when there’s something really off with the person I’m having sex with, especially if I don’t feel love, affection, or passion coming from that person while we’re having it. If I feel the person is doing it like it’s some kind of chore, then it’s very hard for me to orgasm, or I just can’t.”—u/Cherbeary
7. “I was on an antidepressant that killed my sex drive, which my partner was initially understanding about. But then, when we did have sex, it was a massive deal to him.
I began dreading the conversation that followed about how great the sex was and how we should do it more often because I’d just proved that I could do it if I tried, which made me feel pressured to have sex, which killed my sex drive even more.”
“It was a vicious circle and it killed our relationship because every time we were intimate non-sexually (just as lying in bed cuddling), I felt that he was only doing it to hopefully lead to sex. It got to the point where it was causing arguments in every aspect of our relationship, and I ended things.” —u/InterestingCloud9
8. “In order to orgasm, I need to be able to solely focus on the sensations I’m feeling. A ‘mental block’ is anything that stops me from being able to achieve that focus — I think of it as something that ‘takes me out of the moment.’ The mental block I’ve encountered most frequently in the past is if I’m hooking up with someone for the first time, and I’m really concerned about whether he’s enjoying himself. If I’m thinking too much about whether he’s enjoying it, I can’t properly enjoy it myself. I haven’t found a way to ‘overcome’ it, per se, but if I only sleep with people who I know value my pleasure, then I can more easily let myself go and enjoy the moment.” —u/bmbthr_waway
9. “I’ve developed a mental block from years of abuse. One out of ten times, I may orgasm from clitoral stimulation with my new partner. So I know it can be done, and I still enjoy the process, but it’s frustrating because my body gets the physical sensation of orgasm but not the pleasure part. I’ve slowly been trying to work on the emotional blocks and trying to rewire my brain, but that will take time.” —u/Smoke-Historical
10. “It’s always been an issue of me feeling like I’m taking too long, or I’m just not having the right spots being stimulated for long enough. I can orgasm with a vibrator, but it’s incredibly difficult with a partner. I’m in a new relationship with someone I trust 100%. He’s obsessed with making me feel good and wants to go down on me all the time (no complaints here). I’ve never been able to orgasm from oral, but last weekend he got me on the very edge of it, and it was AMAZING. I’m confident it’s going to happen any day now. Knowing he loves doing it so much helps me get out of my head.” —u/rizaroni
11. “I had dyspareunia and it took a while to find the underlying cause and treat it (almost two years). But during that time, my body learned to just sort of intuitively tense during sex. It’s been tough to unlearn it. Now, I have to make a conscious effort to relax and that, ironically, makes it more difficult to finish as I have a harder time just going with the flow.” —u/overzealoustoddler·
12. “If there’s a lack of foreplay, I’ll just be thinking, ‘Fuck, he must think I’m ugly.'” —u/drunknihilist_
13. “I have ADHD, so any time my mind is not 100% in it, I struggle. But the biggest problems are when I start feeling self-conscious for some reason, or my husband changes something drastically that I didn’t realize would be an issue.” —u/admirable_axolotl
14. “Unless I’m completely wrecked from alcohol, I get serious anxiety. Some of it is due to bad past experiences and sex is always painful at first (endometriosis problems that can’t really be helped right now), so I think my body tenses up from that.” —u/Throwawayuser626
15. “I can’t orgasm at all when I’m receiving oral because I have a guilt complex about needing to reciprocate. I’ll go down on him, but I absolutely fucking hate it (sexual assault, it was my first sexual experience and I was traumatized), and usually when he does it for me I can’t get out of my mind that I now owe it to him. Other times, things like guilt, trauma, lack of trust, fear of letting go, etc. make it hard for me to enjoy it. I usually only enjoy it when I dissociate and my mind is empty.” —u/whoontheplanetearth
A version of this article originally appeared here buzzfeed.com