How To Restore Sanity To The Bedroom
As a lover, on a scale of 1 to 10, I was a 0.
This was what one of my former sex partners told my sister about 35 years ago. I defended myself by telling my sister that the girl was a skank and didn’t arouse me but, inside I believed the same thing about myself. I had so much toxic shame around my body and my performance that sexual dysfunction became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
During a time in my life when I was supposed to be at the peak of virility, I avoided sex like the plague.
I pursued women as much as any other heterosexual man my age and I was even fairly successful at finding willing partners. That’s where it would end, though. When it came time to close the deal, I would literally run for my life. This went on for the next 25+ years despite being married and having three children.
Sex, for me was the bouncer standing at the door to club intimacy and I didn’t have a valid ID. I believe it also was a major contributor to my years of substance abuse and why I felt the need to self-medicate for so many years.
Despite the safe container provided in most recovery rooms, the topic of sex still remains a taboo topic for discussion. In all my years of attending thousands of meetings I can probably count on one hand, the number of times that sex was discussed on a deep level…especially in men’s groups.
This is unfortunate because how we see ourselves as sexual beings affects how we show up in every other area of our lives.
I’m not referring to the stuff “guys” talk about when gloating about their last nameless hookup or their quest to be the top stallion in the herd. I’m talking about the conversations that take you places where boys dare not go alone. That’s why it’s up to the men to blaze that trail for themselves and their sons.
Here are some suggestions on how a man can begin to heal and get the healthy sex life he wants.
1. Expose Yourself No, I’m not talking about being a flasher in a trench coat. A recovering man must shed light on every aspect of himself as a sexual being. This requires an environment of other supportive, non-judgmental men. A safe environment will allow you to release all that energy it took to repress that shit all those years.
Subjects like performance anxiety, premature ejaculations and one’s inability to sustain an erection aren’t considered hot topics for the water cooler or the local pub. It requires a safe place and a couple courageous men to start. I was amazed at how much lighter I felt the first time I did this.
Cleaning out toxic sexual shame cannot be done alone. Find a local men’s group or reach out to me and I’ll help you find one.
2. Take a “hands on” approach to meeting your sexual needs. Performance anxiety comes from relying on your partner to meet your needs. No one was put here to meet your needs except you. We were conditioned to believe this selfish attitude is wrong but consider this; until a man can take responsibility for his own arousal by himself, he won’t be able to take responsibility for it with a partner.
I like to call this mindful masturbation. Instead of being the goal oriented guy who focuses on the outcome (orgasm), focus on the experience. Discover what things turn you on without judging them. Focus on you by not using porn or fantasy thoughts to arouse you. If you’re like me this will take some effort. Don’t beat yourself up if you struggle at first. If you’ve spent your entire life ignoring your own needs you won’t turn it around overnight. Recognize small progress and build momentum.
3. No sex is better than lousy sex. Take a break and give yourself a moratorium from bad sex. This should be discussed openly with your partner. You have to be willing to let go of what you have to make room for what you want. If your partner doesn’t agree, it may be time to look at your relationship a little closer and make some difficult decisions.
4. Be the man you were designed to be. As a man, you were born to be fierce, proud, powerful beings. Self respect, dignity, and courage are the masculine qualities that attract the feminine. Women want and deserve equal respect and recognition for their contributions in the world but they don’t want your balls.
When a woman puts herself in the most vulnerable position of opening up to receive your love, she needs to feel safe with you. If you’re fumbling around with fear and shame because you don’t know your own needs, how can you possibly provide that?
Sex is no different than anything else in your life when it comes to being fulfilled. It starts with filling your own cup first so you can give it to others.