Many adults believe that their sexuality isn’t only a source of pleasure, but also an incredibly important aspect of a healthy lifestyle, regardless of how that sexuality is expressed. However, for many people who struggle with mental health issues, this experience can be vastly different. They tend to battle with their circumstances far more than necessary, solely because they don’t have access to the necessary support and information that would allow them to solve the issues that often surround physical intimacy and mental well-being.
How the mind can greatly affect sexuality
Although we tend to think of sex as something purely physical, the truth is that a large part of our sexuality actually takes place in our minds, which play an important role in keeping the intimacy, arousal and sensuality alive.
For that reason, the struggle with mental illness can affect our sexual lives in many different forms. For instance, some people might have an unhealthy image of their body, actively trying to hide it as a coping mechanism, while others who are struggling with depression and anxiety might find it difficult to be relaxed and excited enough to enjoy, or even have sex at all.
In an effort to overcome these issues, it’s vital to set clear boundaries with a sexual partner and work towards a more positive view of intimacy, in order to feel more comfort and pleasure during acts of physical intimacy.
Becoming more positive about physical intimacy
When struggling with mental health issues, expanding your knowledge of sexuality and physical intimacy is one of the most constructive and encouraging things you can do for your relationship, as well as your own well-being. You can achieve this by reading good, valuable resources, or by visiting a counselor who will help you overcome any physical intimacy issues.
Having a positive outlook on physical intimacy essentially means you understand that sexuality is an inherently good thing that helps you express your identity and desires as an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. If there’s enough trust and support, this can also be done with a partner by exploring different locations and sexual positions, or even by experimenting with great sex toys that will allow for increased pleasure and satisfaction you might currently be lacking due to your mental health struggles.
Putting the focus on sensuality
Physical intimacy doesn’t only involve sexual acts; components such as laughter, creativity and even clumsiness and mistakes are all natural and healthy aspects of sexuality. If you make it a point to create enough space in your relationship for all of these essential aspects, you might make it more difficult for your mental health issues to undermine your sexual performance and well-being.
In order to take some pressure out of sex, and make physical intimacy a more enjoyable experience, it might be a good idea to put the focus on sensuality with your partner, instead of the sexual act itself. Try to focus on different forms of pleasure with your partner, such as synchronized berating, intimate massages or even something as simple as hugging and cuddling while naked.
By changing the definition of physical intimacy and exercising a different kind of closeness, you will allow yourself to explore and experience a variety of emotions that arise when you are sensually related to another person, while helping to relieve the stress and anxiety you might associate with sex.
In case of mental health struggles, it’s important to communicate with a partner, and come to the realization that it’s the illness that’s causing problems in a sexual relationship, and not the person. We all deserve to appreciate and enjoy our sexuality, so don’t allow your mental health issues to get in the way of your physical intimacy, satisfaction and happiness.