I’m married and I’ve only had sex with my husband. So I don’t understand why I act so strange during sex. I’ll be enjoying it, but then start crying uncontrollably, to where I can’t breathe. It scares me and my husband because he didn’t and doesn’t do anything wrong, on top of that I crave painful things during sex (being choked, bitten). I try not to ask for that because I know our sex life is already odd because of the crying spells and occasionally I’ll go into these odd moments where I scratch myself until I’ll bruise and bleed (although it’s not often it scares me.) I was never raped or sexually abused. I was however verbally abused by my dad, but I don’t understand how that would affect my sex life. Is there something mentally wrong with me? Also I lost my virginity at a normal age (16) and my husband is a very loving man. (age 20, from US)
This is a very interesting question, and I think there could be lots of explanations. The first thing that comes to mind is that maybe you experienced more abuse in childhood than you realize. I have worked with many clients who remembered early abusive experiences much later in life, sometimes after something triggered the memory. Sex is obviously a very intimate act and you may feel vulnerable, even when you are with someone you trust. These feelings may be a gateway to other deep feelings. Perhaps the verbal abuse you do recall damaged you more than you realize.
Self-harm can mean many things also. It can be a way of coping with emotional pain, a method of grounding yourself to the here and now, or inversely, a way of dissociating. Ultimately though, it is self-abuse and you can find many other healthier ways of coping.
Finally, there are many who state that sadomasochistic sexual tendencies are perfectly healthy, however, I have trouble accepting this notion. I would suggest that you consider exploring these issues at a deeper level with a therapist before they get worse or you develop fear or resistance to intimacy.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts
I Act Strange During Sex
Holly Counts, Psy.D.
Dr. Holly Counts is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She utilizes a mind, body and spirit approach to healing. Dr. Counts received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wright State University and her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Counts has worked in a variety of settings and has specialized in trauma and abuse, relationship issues, health psychology, women’s issues, adolescence, GLBT, life transitions and grief counseling. She has specialty training in guided imagery, EMDR, EFT, hypnosis and using intuition to heal. Her current passion involves integrating holistic and alternative approaches to health and healing with psychology.
APA Reference Counts, H. (2018). I Act Strange During Sex. Psych Central.
Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/01/28/i-act-strange-during-sex/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.