Q: I don’t know why, but for some reason, I am afraid of sex. I know I have a deep seated belief that men only want women for sex, ultimately. Oftentimes I think about sex and I laugh because the whole thing seems ridiculous and awkward to me – desperate to “get off” which is so unappealing to me. I know however, that this is not the case always. A year ago, I got out of a 4 year relationship where sex was a big issue. He was upset that we didn’t have it very much and I didn’t want to sleep with him because he didn’t make me feel like sleeping with him. Sometimes, I would just let him have sex with me, but I always ended up being “f*ked” so to speak. I am able to have an orgasm on my own, but I feel very disconnected from my active sex drive and sexuality in general. I rarely feel sexy and this is another part of the problem. I am currently in another relationship with a guy who is very patient and understanding but sex is still an issue for me. I know it is all in my head and I guess I am wondering how I can go about loosening myself up so that I am not so uptight and timid during foreplay and therefore too dry to have sex.
-Shy about sex

Dear Shy,
Before you assume it’s “all in your head”, please see if it might be in your body. Sometimes a low libido is due to a hormone imbalance. I encourage you to talk with your GYN. Then again, you were in a 4 year relationship where sex was a trial instead of a sweet intimacy or a way to have fun together. That’s not a good way to develop positive feelings about sex. So – I would suggest you also see a therapist to sort out how to claim/reclaim your sexual self. You deserve better than this.
(Oh, and by the way, I think you’re right. Somebody up there has quite a sense of humor to make procreation and recreation so funny-looking and awkward. But that can also be part of the fun and tenderness. )
Dr. Marie