Navigating sex and intimacy can be a challenge, especially if you are dealing with mental health issues. Sexual and emotional intimacy can be crucial to our well-being, but it can also become a source of anxiety, stress, or frustration. Even if you are struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, or other mental health conditions, however, you can still enjoy fulfilling sex and intimacy with your partner or partners. As it is currently mental health awareness month, we have delved into the topic and are happy to provide you with six tips to help you enjoy sex toys, intimacy, and mental health.
Communicate openly with your partners
Effective communication is essential in any relationship, but it becomes even more critical when one or both of you are dealing with mental health-related challenges. Be open and honest with your partner(s) about what you are currently going through, how it affects your sexual desires, and what you need from them. This does not have to be a graphic or explicit conversation and can be something as simple as letting them know you’d like them to be gentle, this time. Avoid guessing or assuming what your partner(s) want or need from you and encourage them to do the same. When you are both aware of each other’s feelings and needs, you can work together to find solutions that work for everyone involved. The resulting orgasm will be worth the extra effort!
Prioritize your own self-care
Good self-care practices, such as regular exercise, healthy eating, getting enough sleep, and practicing mindfulness, are essential for maintaining good mental health. You don’t have to hit the gym and max out the weights every day to be healthy, though. Self-care can include things like taking a walk through the park, browsing your favorite stores, or doing something that makes you feel good about yourself and your life overall. These practices can also enhance your intimacy and sexual experiences with yourself and with your partner(s). When you feel good about yourself, accepting touch and intimacy can become much more comfortable and enjoyable.
Experiment with sex toy pleasure
Sex toys are a great way to explore and enhance your sexual experiences, alone, or with a partner. They can also improve your physical and sexual health over time. If you’re experiencing sexual dysfunction related to your mental health condition or taking medications that interfere with sexual function, sex toys can help you achieve pleasure and overcome these side effects by retraining your body and increasing your self-control. Vibrators, dildos, and anal stimulators are among the most popular types of sex toys to try, and all are readily available online or in stores.
Let Others Help You
It’s essential to seek professional help when you’re struggling with mental health issues that affect your sex life. Therapy has become increasingly common throughout society, and a therapist or licensed sex therapist can help you work through any underlying issues and develop coping strategies to manage anxiety, depression, or other conditions that may affect your sexual relationships or any other aspects of your life. If your mental health treatment includes medication that interferes with your sex drive or orgasm, your psychiatrist or prescribing physician can help you find a medication or dosage that doesn’t affect your sex life and better suits your lifestyle.
Be mindful of triggers and boundaries
Trauma, anxiety, and depression can affect your sexual desires and preferences. Be aware of your triggers and boundaries and communicate them to your partner(s). For instance, some people might prefer certain positions, activities, or sensations to feel safe and comfortable, while others might be triggered by certain sexual practices or situations. Listening to your body’s cues and communicating your needs with your partner(s) can help you negotiate boundaries and avoid triggers. Safe words can also help navigate these boundaries as you learn more about yourself and your own mind and body.
Remember, it’s normal to struggle sometimes
Sex and intimacy can be challenging, especially when dealing with mental health conditions. Remember, there will be days when you don’t feel like being intimate or when you feel anxious about sex. That’s okay. Give yourself permission to take a break when needed, and don’t beat yourself up for needing that break. Remember that the quality of your relationship is not determined by how much sex you have, but rather about the love, care, and trust that you and your partner(s) share.
Navigating sex, intimacy, and mental health can feel overwhelming or impossible at times. Remember that you are not alone, and seeking help from professionals is essential. Communicating openly with your partner(s), prioritizing self-care, experimenting with sex toys, seeking professional help, being mindful of triggers and boundaries, and remembering that it’s normal to struggle sometimes are some of the key tips to navigate sex, intimacy, and mental health. By treating yourself with patience, compassion, and a willingness to learn, you can enjoy and benefit from the intimate connection with yourself and your partner(s) while also taking care of your own mental health. It can only get better from there.