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Sexual Awakening at Age 30?

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I have been with my partner for six years. We live together and still have fun together, but we have sex very sparingly. This has been the case since we moved in together three years ago. However, I feel that when we lived apart we had sex because we felt like we were “supposed to” more than because we felt inspired to. That could just be my take.

I have come to realize that I had sort of a strange sexual encounter as a child, instigated by a female friend when were six years old. Including and since that event I am not an “initiator” of sexual encounters, but I have always dutifully responded. I am afraid that I have associated sexuality with shame my entire life. I have never felt attractive or comfortable naked, I have gauged interest of boyfriends on their sexual interest in me, and I don’t say no even when I feel uncomfortable.

I have never envisioned a wedding for myself, which apparently is unusual for a woman. However, over the past year I have envisioned enjoying a comfortable sexual relationship where I feel good about myself in my marriage, and we do things like spontaneous sex in the kitchen while making dinner.

My partner and I have poor communication, as we both avoid conflict with each other. But since I have recognized my unhappiness and confusion I have tried to express it periodically to my partner by conversation — including that I would like more frequent and/or spontaneous sex. He agreed and admitted that he finds sex awkward, then he sort of scolded me for never initiating. I shared that it’s hard to initiate when I don’t feel desired (as I have sex to please him, which in turn makes me feel wanted).

Nothing in our relationship has changed besides that we have sex even less. I used to think that I had a low libido, but now that I’m letting go of my shame I think that I would do well in response to someone interested in pleasing me because the interaction would be reciprocal. My partner recently agreed to attend couples counseling with me. I have two questions: Should I reveal my sexual awakening to him (either in or outside of therapy)? What if I find that I am not actually sexual attracted to him if/when our relationship changes?

Sexual Awakening at Age 30?

Answered by on -

A.

Your sudden awareness of an early sexual memory should certainly be part of the discussion with the couples therapist. Your partner has been taking cues from you about how to respond. To hold back your insight is to keep him in the dark — and also doesn’t allow the possibility of correction. Besides, your hope that you would be more responsive if someone was more interested in you sexually is only a guess. I would use the couples therapy to explain as much as you can, decide between the two of you if the relationship is worth cultivating, and then take it from there.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Sexual Awakening at Age 30?

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Sexual Awakening at Age 30?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 24, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/06/08/sexual-awakening-at-age-30/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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