Sam W wrote:Hi Sky H,
It's awesome that you're been doing that work to experiment and unlearn some of that shame! But I can see how it'd be frustrating to feel like you've still lost some of that pleasure. Just to check, how is your overall mental and physical health? Are you on any medications? And have you experienced any big life changes or stressors recently?
Heather wrote:Hey there.
It really sound to me like what's missing that was there before is probably feeling more excited about it: that's just often the missing ingredient with the kind of difference you're talking about. What turns up the dial on how things feel like this is usually how aroused we are. If we're not very, it can feel tepid, like this. If we are very, that's when we tend to get those more intense feelings.
Stress is one of the things that can keep us from feeling more excited, too.
Heather wrote:You've got a few options.
The first one is just to set sex/masturbation to the side for right now while you're feeling so stressed and not very excited, at least for a little bit. Sometimes our lives and how we feel in them is such that it just isn't the right time for sexuality.
Alternately, you can try and both reduce and manage your stress, which I'd advise anyone do whether it's having an impact on sex or not. Stress really messes up our whole bodies and health, and we're always best to try to better manage it.
In terms of reducing it: is there anything you can take off your plate or something you can make easier for yourself?
In terms of managing it: what do you do for now? What are the things you do to relax or to burn off energy?
With the excitement, I think one thing that will help is seeing if you can't let go of trying to recapture how it felt before -- it really is normal for all this to shift, including it being not quite the bomb of excitement masturbation may have been when we were younger. That just gives you something to feel bad about, which is not generally exciting for people. Maybe instead think of this as exploring (whenever you're ready to, perhaps after a break) the new way things feel now?
Heather wrote:So, it sounds like you need to find some ways top reduce stress. It also sounds like you might need to let go of the idea that if it feels compulsory -- like something you have to do -- it is necessarily going to feel less exciting. For pretty much everyone, one of the things that makes sex exciting is that it's elective, something we can do, but don't have to do.
In terms of the stress, how about if a couple days a week, you just start trying some new things instead of TikTok? Just dedicate two days a week to trying things to help you release stress -- those can be calming things OR things that resolve the stress cycles by getting your heart rate up for 10-20 minutes. Heck, even just a few minutes may go a long way if your activity has been minimal.
Too, maybe you can make time one day a week to go about masturbation in a less compulsory way? To do what Betty Dodson calls "erotic recess," where you just set aside an hour to play -- to explore things, you experiment, to make a space for yourself for masturbation like you might for a partner (like making your room nice, etc)? Where you try new things just to do what feels good, rater than with any kind of goal? Extra bonus: that might also be something that helps with the stress.
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