Sex and Love Avoidance

  • Are you in a sexless marriage or relationship?

  • Do you sometimes think about love and sex but shut down when in the presence of a partner?

  • Is it easier to engage with others outside of your relationship but have no desire nor feelings in the presence of your partner?

Sexual anorexia, aversion or avoidance are disorders of intimacy and sexual desire. For the anorexic there is a disconnect with their partner both in and out of the bedroom, outside of a superficial connection. That is, there is a withholding or a denial of the emotional and sexual experience, as there is with eating the food anorexic. As with an eating disorder, the cause of sex avoidance is multi-determined. There is typically one or more of the following: rigid parental or family attitudes, rigid religious beliefs, body dysmorphia, unresolved sexual identity issues, highly repressed desires and emotions or early childhood trauma or sexual abuse and boundary violations.

Behaviors exist to create the physical separation and sexual deprivation in the relationship and the anorexic goes to great lengths to avoid the possibility of sexual contact and the terror that accompanies it. Finding some reason to be busy or not socially engaged sets up these individuals’ lives for scarcity. Yet there are often cross-addictions, as someone can be either engaged in excess or deprivation with other objects like food, money, substances and the internet. There are times too where there is excessive sexual acting out with anonymous or unavailable people and instances where addiction and avoidance cycle, not unlike the restrictor and bulimic with an eating disorder.

The love avoidant is terrified of intimate connections. As they may fear engulfment, control and suffocation, they may also be a love addict, sex or porn addict or have another cross-addiction that will accomplish the intimacy void. They may remain distant via objectifying their partner, criticizing, creating conflict and drama or by lies, threats or intimidations, anything that periodically reduced connection.

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Reconstructing a healthy relationship with sex, your body, food and money can be difficult. I understand the pain of addiction and am available to resolve your trauma and guide you through your recovery. Take the first step and reach out via phone or email with any questions or for an initial appointment at my Boca Raton office.

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