Why do I feel sexually uncomfortable

Sexual fantasies of violence: Why am I everywhere during sex, just not with my boyfriend?

In our "Bedroom View" column, the sex therapist Angelika Eck regularly answers your questions about love, sex and relationships. Because nothing is more often kept silent. We want to change that.

Angelika Eck

The systemic couple and sex therapist studied psychology in Landau and Heidelberg and also did her doctorate there. She works as a supervisor and systemic teaching therapist in Heidelberg and elsewhere. She is the editor of The erotic space: questions of female sexuality in therapy (2016). Angelika Eck runs a practice for couple and sex therapy in Karlsruhe.

Benjamin R., 28: I've been with my new partner for a few months. We're more than casual, both of us have quite a crush. But I have a problem with sex: I regularly come across pretty hard fantasies, sexual violence between men. I don't really like these pictures, but they excite me a lot. So I can't just push them away. When I do that, I fall out of my role, the excitement goes away, I'm out of step. I feel bad because inside I am not with my boyfriend - which he notices and has already addressed. And then I'm ashamed of the blatant fantasies that have nothing to do with him. I've been to clubs a lot in the past and seen a lot. I watch porn too. I was single for a long time or in changing short acquaintances. This relationship means a lot to me. I don't want my head cinema to become a stumbling block. How do I get out of this trap?

What you experience as a trap is an either-or construction: Either I allow the uncomfortable but effective fantasy during sex, I function sexually, but I am disconnected from my sexual partner. Or I push the fantasy away but lose the erection. A quandary, because your sexual pleasure or the connection to your partner is neglected during the act. Understandable that you are terribly stressed out.

There are many ways to deal with this situation. One request beforehand: give yourself some time and befriend the thought that sexuality is full of irritations and disturbances that should not be avoided, but rather handled flexibly. What would that mean in your case?

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It would mean letting the either-or become a both-and.

The first step is not to reject your sexual thoughts. They are yours whether you like it or not. It happens again and again that fantasies irritate their owners. That's because of the contradicting nature of eroticism. The American psychoanalyst Robert Stoller went so far as to claim: "No bad, no excitement." He's not the only one who thinks that erotic tension is often not made from the material of our everyday values, from love and consideration, from political correctness and loyalty to partners. But from conflict, from strong stimuli, sometimes hostile elements and from the forbidden. Fantasy and porn can be more drastic and therefore more stimulating than reality. A brain can get used to it. If you have seen a lot of porn and experienced real scenes in clubs to experience sexual kicks, your organism, including your penis, is used to it - and the moment you want to make love with your boyfriend at the same time, everything gets mixed up.

What matters is how you relate to your head cinema and to shape your body. An understanding relationship - with both of them - would be beneficial. It is with fantasies and saggy penises like with people: if I want someone who is different from what they are, I am not free. I'm more flexible in terms of acceptance. Explore your imagination like a person's character: what is the kick about scenes with violent content for you? Which moment in the imagination is the most exciting for you? Which actor are you identified with? Or are you just an observer?

Intense fantasy experience usually goes beyond purely sexual tension, it brings emotional intensity. What feelings arise in the course of the fantasy? Which needs are met? If you can understand what your fantasy has to do with you as a person, when it arose, then maybe you can look at it with more appreciation. Most people find it easier to use their imagination on this basis.

One option would be to give up porn and clubs for a while and to stay with the attention in your own body while masturbating. How flexible or limited people are with regard to sexual stimuli is very different. However, it is often possible to expand the sources of arousal - with a little practice.

As for the concrete sexual situation with your partner: initiate him! That works better if you can classify your fantasy life. You could say, "I've brought a fantasy automatism with me that has served me well in single times. I can't get rid of that now, and sometimes it bothers me when I have sex with you." He can only be pleased that you want to be more intimate with him than you currently manage.

Bedroom view

What do you want to know about love, sex and relationships?

Problems in bed are rarely about sex alone; they almost always also affect the relationship and your own self-esteem. When things stall in sexuality or in the relationship, many questions arise. How do I say what I am missing? What if wishes remain unfulfilled? Why am I cheating? Our column Bedroom view wants to give answers. Because speaking openly is the prerequisite for being heard.

Send us your questions to [email protected].

We will of course treat your correspondence as confidential. You can find all of Angelika Eck's answers here.

In the following it is about a both-and-also. If possible, give the erection the first place in your couple sexuality for a while, but rather the sensual pleasure: How do you like to touch your partner, how do you like to be touched? How soft or firm? Wherever can you feel excitement and pleasure? When the ancestral fantasies come back, allow yourself to drift off there for a while. If you're both open to it, you can even tell him about a few scenes. If you notice that the fantasies are disturbing you in contact with him, direct your attention to the here and now, for example to your own body sensations and then to your partner.

If you feel the erection going down, let it happen. Relax for a while, but continue to enjoy what is there with all your senses. If you agree that with your loved one beforehand, it's more likely to be okay. Unusual? Could be. The question is whether this will put you off or make you curious. If you are recognizable with him before and after your fantasy kick, it can be intimate too - if he knows where you are going.

Do you want to go further in your experiment? Then try out how much disturbing violence you can let out so that arousal still arises. Or can certain roles be filled with the two of you instead of strangers? I admit that in your fledgling relationship it takes a little risk: trust. But only in this way can you be completely yourself, with and without fantasies, with and without arousal, but always the one who likes sex - and especially the man.