A Psychologist’s point of view of causes and remedies of dissatisfaction with intimacy and sexual life
Intimacy is a situation in which you have a close friendship or sexual relationship with someone (Cambridge Dictionary Online). To understand causes and remedies of dissatisfaction we need two general theories (a theory is a series of general principles explaining a set of phenomena): theory 1 explaining the causes of dissatisfaction and theory 2 guiding the actions to reduce it.
Theory 1. Causes of dissatisfaction with intimacy and sexual life
Why you can get unsatisfied about your sexual /intimacy life:
1. Because you are not how you would like to be: you think you are not beautiful, don’t have a nice body, a normal penis, vulva or breast, etc. Some defects can be solved, for example you can be sad because you don’t know sexual techniques, but they can be learned. Defects make you dissatisfied because you think they prevent you from getting fulfilling intimacy or sexual experiences.
2. Because you don’t or didn’t get what you think you should get. For example you don’t orgasm, you don’t have the partners you want, you feel exploited by partners, you feel not appreciated, you didn’t find a nice partner so far, you have been betrayed.
3. Because your own values or values of significant people around you conflicts with what you feel/would like. For example sexual pleasure or favorite sexual practices conflicts with your religious norms, or your homosexuality conflicts with your parents moral norm.
When your cognition realizes something misses to you or conflicts with your values, emotions of despair, anger, shame, etc, builds up inside you, and can surface when you listen to them in appropriate contexts or when they accumulate.
Theory 2. Remedies of dissatisfaction with intimacy and sexual life
You heal because the bad feelings fade away. How?
In general, it heals being listened and getting generic words of encouragement. So when listened and encouraged you experience a first, temporary relieve. But if you want the bad feelings fade away permanently one or more of the following has to happen (numbers refer to previous three points):
1. You change your mind about what you would like to be. You meet other people in your same condition that have accepted their situation, and you see they can deal with it by A. reaching the goals you want even with their defects (for example you see they get partners even if they are physically ugly, so you understand you don’t need to be beautiful to find a partner, and stop feeling depressed about your body) or B. focusing on other goals.
2-1. You learn how to get or get hope to get what you miss, so you pass from a feeling of despair to a feeling of hope. While you feel hope, even if your situation has remained the same, your bad feelings are put aside. They will come back if your attempts fails. For example, you feel better if you learn the sexual techniques that you ignored, or somebody tells you how to find nice partners or how to deal with the bad ones, or thanks to therapy you start to orgasm. In short, you solve the problem or start hoping to solve it.
3. You abandon the value(s) conflicting with your feelings, because you meet people that have already done the same, and they encourage you and show you they can live as they like without fears and guilt.
Well managed and long enough educational/ therapeutical settings can be a good place to elicit the changes listed above. In workshops on intimacy people listen with respect and empathy to you, show you are worth, highlight your good qualities, and you can listen to their stories and strategies of coping with problems similar to yours. In individual psychotherapy is the therapist that listens and takes care of you.
Article contained on the website www.orientamento.it. Author © 2015 Leonardo Evangelista. The article can be reproduced quoting Author’s name and article’s URL.