YOUR SEX

Ex­perts ex­plain how you can over­come your neg­a­tive at­ti­tude and start en­joy­ing sex again

Move! - - CONTENTS - By Boi­tumelo Mat­shaba

NO ONE CAN TELL YOU HOW TO FEEL ABOUT YOUR SEX­U­AL­ITY

SEX is an act of be­ing in­ti­mate with your part­ner and it is meant to be en­joyed by both par­ties. How­ever, life’s chal­lenges can hin­der your in­ter­est and at­ti­tude to­wards sex. All is not lost be­cause you can re­vive your mind­set and start en­joy­ing sex.

WHY YOU HAVE A NEG­A­TIVE AT­TI­TUDE ABOUT SEX

Alessan­dra New­ton, who is a coun­sel­lor at the Fam­ily Life Cen­tre, says many women who have been or wit­nessed some­one be­ing sex­u­ally as­saulted may have a neg­a­tive out­look on sex. “Rape can scar vic­tims for life, es­pe­cially if they do not seek pro­fes­sional help. Vic­tims may view sex and rape the same way,” she says.

“Some women, who might have seen their par­ents have sex, may hate sex as they were ex­posed to it at an early age.” Your par­ents might have given you lots of warn­ings about sex which in­stilled fear in you, like the fear of get­ting pregnant. “You may also fear con­tract­ing sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted in­fec­tions (STIs) be­cause you’ve wit­nessed or heard of peo­ple who have suf­fered due to their sex­ual ex­pe­ri­ences,” she says.

UN­PLEAS­ANT OUT­LOOK ON SEX

Alessan­dra says af­ter giv­ing birth, sex might be the last thing on your mind. “You might feel unattrac­tive or sim­ply want to fo­cus on your child,” she says.

She adds that menopause and never hav­ing par­tic­i­pated in an en­joy­able sex­ual ex­pe­ri­ence are some con­trib­u­tors to an un­pleas­ant out­look on sex.

One of the worst sit­u­a­tions that will hin­der your at­ti­tude about sex, ac­cord­ing to Alessan­dra, is if you and your part­ner took a sex video and some­how it got leaked. “The video might be shared on so­cial me­dia and peo­ple might com­ment neg­a­tively about you. This can be ex­tremely trau­matic,” she says.

VIEWING SEX DIF­FER­ENTLY

Life coach and au­thor, Amanda Ndiki, says you need to find your per­sonal per­cep­tions about sex.

“Start by ask­ing your­self, ‘What is my at­ti­tude to­wards sex­u­al­ity in re­la­tion to my­self and oth­ers? What does be­ing alive sex­u­ally mean to me and how does it make me feel?’” asks Amanda. “Sex­u­al­ity is a unique and mean­ing­ful way to feel close and con­nected to some­one, but no one can tell you how to feel about your sex­u­al­ity. When you can un­cover and ac­cept your own feel­ings, you can feel more ful­filled in your sex­ual re­la­tion­ships. It is very im­por­tant to peel off the neg­a­tiv­ity from ex­ter­nal forces and start find­ing a new voice within your­self.”

OVER­COM­ING YOUR FEARS

Alessan­dra says if you have been abused, go for coun­selling and speak to a pro­fes­sional about your ex­pe­ri­ence. If you have a fear of con­tract­ing in­fec­tions, she says it is bet­ter to get to know the per­son, their life­style and habits be­fore sleep­ing with them. “Al­ways use condoms and con­tra­cep­tives. It is also im­por­tant for you and your part­ner to test reg­u­larly for HIV.”

If you are a new mom and you are wor­ried about your im­age, Alessan­dra ad­vises that you speak to your part­ner and find a way for­ward. “You can also have oral sex and avoid pen­e­tra­tive sex un­til you are ready,” she says. When you want your part­ner to please you sex­u­ally, but you find it hard to say, Alessan­dra rec­om­mends that you show your part­ner, for ex­am­ple, take your part­ner’s hands and place it where you want it on your body.

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