Sexlosteem: The Ups, Downs, and Stagnaters
Sexlosteem: The Root of it All
Sexlosteem starts with how you evaluate yourself. Your self-evaluation can elevate you, pull you down, or concede you into stagnation. When you are confident your body language (ex. shoulders upright and chest out, head erect, strong handshake), speech (ex. ability to assert self, express ideas, compromise), and ability to receive criticism and feedback without feeling threatened are positively accentuated. The stagnaters may engulf a confident stature and accomplish a great deal; however, they lack the ability to grow and develop depth due to their oblivious sense of self and greater attentiveness to their goal at hand. When you lack confidence your insecurities will show in the way you carry yourself (ex. slopped shoulders, timid stance, eye contact avoidance), how you talk to others (ex. inability to assert), and ability to receive feedback without dogging yourself out or attributing your failures to others.
Let’s look at these three types of people in an example. You and your friend are having lunch and you get up to go to the bathroom. As you make a quick swoop from your chair you stumble a bit. If you respond by internalizing the experience and secretly bash yourself with negative self-talk such as, “I am such a failure”, “I can’t seem to do nothing right”, “I just embarrassed myself and I know everyone is judging me”; or comment out loud to your friend, “I can just be clumsy sometimes that is why I tripped”, or “can you believe this small chair? This is a hazard and I could have fallen and hit my head”, your low-self esteem has seeped through. Confident stagnater individuals won’t take pause to the fact that they stumbled rather than the end goal of going to the bathroom. They might not have even realized they stumbled at all which will negate any feelings of becoming embarrassed or judged. The confident individuals may take note of the stumble but will realize that they are human and are subject to making mistakes just as everyone else is and will continue to move on. The idea that no one is perfect will enable them to handle situations like this better than those with low self-esteem and learn from their mistakes better than the stagnaters.
With this in mind, your self-esteem does not just impact minor social embarrassing moments but rather all the other areas of your life such as job performance and professional satisfaction, interpersonal relationships, social activities, intimacy with your partner and your sex life. Having low self-esteem does not only affect the way you view yourself but also how you present yourself, thus altering your partners experience of you. Your low self-esteem may be endangering your intimate connectedness. Let’s discover how self-esteem can affect you during intimate moments with your partner.
Due to negative stereotypes in our society regarding unrealistic pressures of having the “perfect body”, experiencing “mind blowing sex” with every intimate encounter, and being able to feel happiness, good feelings, and pleasure without feeling selfish can make people develop negative evaluations of self. This is detrimental to your partner because the over analysis of self makes you less available to fully connect with our partner. The result is a limited experience.
The stagnaters may get the job done in a relationship and in the bedroom; but they too have a setback. They may become boring to their partner over time as well as remain stuck in their own experience of point A to B without the ability to enhance or better their intimacy with their partner. They may very well be oblivious to their emotional connectedness preventing a heightened and enhanced experience because they disjoint emotion and action.
Now that you have a little background information, let us shift gears so that you can get an understanding of what a lowered self-esteem looks like in an intimate situation. See if you can identify with any of these statements:
- I am selfish to want to be pleased.
- I feel shame.
- I feel guilt.
- I don’t deserve to have my needs met.
- He/she might not respond the way I want if I initiate intimacy and that will make me feel rejected.
- I always initiate, this means they don’t find me attractive.
- He/she thinks I’m fat.
- I think I’m fat.
- I don’t like to have sex because I don’t feel good about myself.
- I like to keep the lights low because I am embarrassed of my body.
- I don’t like to undress in front of my partner because I feel bad about my body.
- My boobs/hips/legs/butt/stomach is too small/big.
- I don’t want to have sex because I might not fulfill expectations of mind blowing sex.
- I have chitter chatter in the back of my head putting me down and distracting me from connecting with my partner.
If you could identify with any of these statements, you suffer from Sexlosteem. In laymen’s terms, you are self-conscious of your body especially during non-intimate moments and sexual intercourse. Sexlosteem leads to limited connectedness with your partner and sexual experience. Consider examining the moments in which you lose yourself by thinking about your body. Is it on a daily basis? When your partner gives you a massage or becomes affectionate? Before sex is initiated, during, after, or all the above? How do you respond to your partner when these thoughts are clouding your mind? Note that when you are constantly thinking about your body, you leave little to no room to think about your connection, feelings, and experience with your partner resulting in the limited experience mentioned earlier.
Some of you may also experience the daunting clouded thoughts of pleasing your partner. With such high expectations that are reinforced in our society to perform mind blowing sex, it is no wonder you experience pressures to be a great performer. Although it is good to want to please your partner, it will not do you justice to negate the satisfaction you want in the interaction. Think about the times in which your focus narrowed to solely please your partner. What are you thinking in those moments? What are you doing physically? At what point do you lose yourself in thoughts and actions to please your partner? In the short-term you may be doing your partner a favor by focusing on them but in reality when you give so much focus to pleasing your partner they will develop an increased pressure and you will experience a decreased sexual satisfaction in which your needs will never be met. Do you and your partner a favor by focusing on you, because being with someone who is fully engaged in the experience by giving and taking is HOT! Start to focus on what you want and allow yourself to receive it. In the process, experimenting with your partner can be a fun and vitalizing experience.
Perhaps Sexlosteem is not your experience at all in the bedroom. If you get the job done and don’t have any complaints from your partner and seem to enjoy yourself in the process you may consider giving yourself a pat on the back…but before you do that, read the next set of statements and see if you can relate:
- I have time at this moment to initiate but in fifteen minutes I have to be done.
- Our sexual routine works; there is no need to change it.
- As long as we are having sex regularly, how we initiate is not important.
- I don’t have to think about what I or my partner likes because I already know.
- We are having good sex so there is no need to think about my partner’s desires.
- We have a sex pattern that we always fall in to.
- Sex…orgasm…that’s it.
- Great sex is all about performance.
- I change positions often and my partner is always accommodating..
- I don’t need to stop and think about my feelings, what is there to think about!
- My partner enjoys it and I get pleasure out of it, that’s good enough for me.
If you can identify with any of these statements, you may be classified as a stagnater. You have the ability to become aware of you and your partner’s likes and abilities…if you take the time to actually focus in. At this stage, your focus lies in the performance rather than the nuances between the act and experience. Being stagnant can be depriving and awkward overtime because what you do in your intimate moments at age 28 has a different appearance at age 58 due to physical and sexual changes of the body overtime. When you are a stagnator, you can become so complacent in your routine, which in your eyes appear to be working, that you don’t pay attention to your partner’s verbal and non-verbal cues that will give you clues as to what works or not currently and overtime. For example, your partner moans when you touch them in a certain spot. You don’t even pay attention to the fact that the moan is a sign that is telling you that your partner is into what you are doing at the moment. Without an emotional awareness, you could just about experience these acts with just about anyone to get your needs fulfilled, which is a detriment in a committed relationship. The sex may be good for a period of time but will reach a plateau causing your performance to grow stale, boring and limited over time. This can only be overcome by growth on your part. For instance, you and your partner have great sex for five years. One day your partner comes to you and states, “I want more. I want to feel a spark. I want you to do the things I like. I want to feel passion”. But wait, you are confused because up until now you hadn’t realized that there was a problem. In your partner’s eyes, in this case, they could set off fireworks, light a rocket, and start a fire in the bedroom all at the same time during sex and you wouldn’t even notice the chaos because you are engulfed in getting to point B and not opening up or senses to allow the awareness of your partner’s cues. Overcoming this plateau will take effort on your part by listening to your partner and creating an emotional awareness that will result in growth and a more enhanced experience between you and your partner.
Also, you may not be aware of experiencing a heightened level of intimacy because you are stuck in your own comfort unwilling to acknowledge the presence of the underlying feelings, needs, moods, connection, and awareness of self. Without experiencing the emotional awareness to self, how can you experience it with your partner? Practice awareness by opening your senses to awaken your feelings, thoughts, and sensations that align with your intimate behaviors. For example, ask yourself, “What do I feel when my partner touches me here?”, “I like it when they do…but would like it more if they were to do…?”, “I just felt a shiver, does that mean I like what they are doing or not?”; think about the smells in the room and from your partner that are intriguing to you, the sounds your partner likes that turns you on, the sight of your partner’s body movements that are sexy and drives you crazy, and so on.
At this point, you have become aware of Sexlosteem as well as stagnation that can lead to a limited sexual experience. The evaluation of self can affect the evaluation that your partner develops of you. Furthermore, having an unawareness of self and partner can prevent you from enhancing your intimate experiences. To learn to overcome these setbacks, check out these links: