How to Untie the Link Between Relationship Anxiety, Sex Anxiety, and Shame

by | Jan 8, 2022 | Anxiety, Relationships, Sexuality, Sexuality Collection | 59 comments

We talk about social anxiety. We talk about relationship anxiety. We talk about transition anxiety. Now it’s time to talk about sex anxiety: not only how anxiety in general or relationship anxiety in particular kills libido but how much anxiety we carry about sex itself. The conversation, as always, begins with talking about fear itself and a discussion on the direct effect that fear has on our bodies’ ability to open or shut down.

One of the first things women learn when they’re preparing for childbirth is the effect that fear has on the birthing process. Put simply, when we’re in a fear state, our bodies contract, which is why women are encouraged to give birth in the location where they feel safest and are then taught techniques for how to open through the fear that arises during labor. In order to give birth, we have to open in every sense of the word. Fear causes contraction; safety leads to expansion.

The same applies in the rest of life, especially around our sexuality. If we’re in a contracted state, it’s going to be very difficult to open to the flow and joy of our sexual selves. Living with anxiety puts us in a nearly constant state of fear, so alongside working with our anxiety in daily life we also need to address how fear and anxiety appear in our sexual lives if we’re going to step into our birthright as empowered and free sexual beings. Yet, as with the taboo around admitting that grief and fear exist around life transitions like weddings and births that the culture says are supposed to be only happy, and like the taboo around admitting to the darker thoughts that traipse through the anxious brain, so we live in a culture that places tremendous taboo around admitting that we have anxiety about sex.

Our taboo-laden put-on-a-happy-face culture thus divorces us from recognizing the reality that sex and anxiety go hand in hand. In fact, I know very few people who haven’t experienced anxiety around sex at some point in their life. So the first step, as always when we’re working with anxiety, is to normalize: Sex anxiety doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you or your relationship. Rather, it seems to be a part of being human, especially in a culture that offers no healthy roadmaps for navigating this most tender and vulnerable aspect of ourselves.

Excuse me while I digress for a moment to rant at our incredibly misguided, often psychologically dangerous culture that not only offers no healthy roadmaps for what sexuality can and should look like but then splatters an expectation across mainsteam media that says that sex should be hot, sizzling, effortless, instantly arousing, orgasmic, and magical. When the disparity between expectation and reality is vast and we’re not given tools that might help us bridge the gap or information that would help us soften the expectations, the result can only be anxiety.

So we start here: working with and unpacking our anxiety around sex and our bodies. And we start with recognizing another truth that can quell the anxious spikes: Like relationship anxiety, as long as you’re in a loving, healthy relationship, sex anxiety usually has very little to do with one’s partner. That’s not to say that it’s not essential to learn how to communicate sensitively and effectively as two people are discovering the intricacies and nuances of how their bodies and souls ignite each other or shut each other down, but if a woman is struggling with her own internal states of fear and anxiety – ones that predate her partner – she’s swimming upstream at the outset. So in order for sacred sexuality to flow, we need to explore the personal, familial, societal, and historic downloads of fear that nearly all women living on the planet today have absorbed. When the channels clear out through diligent yet gentle exploration, the rivers begin to flow again. A dam blocked with the fear-logs that accumulate over a lifetime will remain jammed until we tend to each stick, fallen tree, and bit of debris that are clogging the passageways.

Shame has the same constrictive effect. In fact, it has been said that of all the emotions, shame is the one that causes us to hide behind a wall and go silent more than any other. Shame clamps down on our voice, stealing our words. It holds our bodies in a vice, stealing our freedom to move and express. Shame is closely linked to guilt and also linked to caring about what others think, so when we’re caught in the web of shame-guilt-self-consciousness, we’re in an immobilized, silent place.

How can you feel open and free in your body if you believe that you’re dirty, broken or wrong in some way? Sacred sexuality is about learning to connect to your innate body-wisdom and celebration, first alone and then, perhaps, within the safety of a loving relationship. But if you’re carrying shame stories that then lead to anxiety, your body-wisdom remains underground and your celebration never receives the first log of the bonfire. I often hear some variation on the following: “I don’t want my partner to touch me because I feel ashamed of my body. I never want to receive oral sex because I’m too ashamed of the way I look, smell, and sound.”

When I hear these statements, my heart breaks, for they speak to the insidious and cross-cultural messages that degrade women and deprive them of the innate knowledge of their beauty and glory. Women are magnificent. Women’s bodies are powerful and beautiful and wild. Somewhere, deep inside, most women know this. Somewhere, we remember the young girl who danced unabashedly in her bedroom at night to the light of the full moon. Somewhere, we know that we are meant to be adored, honored, and celebrated. The path of Sacred Sexuality is about excavating what we already know so that we can retrieve the gold that is rightfully ours. 

If you would like to begin the process of retrieving your gold, please join me for the seventh round of Sacred Sexuality: A 40-day program to heal body shame and ignite desire. The course is almost three-quarters full and it will begin this Saturday, January 15th, 2022. If you’d like to listen to a free webinar on sacred sexuality and the link to creativity and aliveness, click here and sign up in the first box.

Note: I only run this course live once a year. In addition to receiving support from other like-minded course members, I am also active on the forum, and you’ll have opportunities to connect with me directly on the three group coaching calls. All calls are recorded, so if you can’t make the live event you can listen to the recording afterward. Call times for this round are as follows:

Call 1: Tuesday January 18th at 12 noon ET

Call 2: Thursday February 3rd at 4pm ET

Call 3: Thursday February 17th at 1:15pm ET

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Is my doubt about my relationship an offshoot of my own anxiety or is it a warning that I’m with the wrong person?

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59 Comments

  1. Sheryl,

    Thanks for sharing this information from a woman’s point of view. Us men would benefit from whatever you might be able to share from the man’s viewpoint/struggles with sexual anxiety as well.

    Thanks for your consideration.

    Reply
    • While my course on sexuality is for women, nearly everything I’ve written in this post and many others on sexuality applies to men equally. When anxiety is in the forefront, desire and arousal will often suffer for both men and women, and then a vicious cycle is created where sex itself becomes a source of anxiety.

      Reply
    • This really spoke to me tonight! I’m a 27 year old woman who’s about to be engaged to my amazing boyfriend – Once my general RA settled down (thanks to your Breaking Free from Relationship Anxiety course 🙏🏽🙏🏽), I began to get anxious at times about our sexual relationship. Were we having sex enough times a week? Is it bad that I didn’t always achieve orgasm? Am I bad feminist for still wanting to have sex even though I don’t have an orgasm? But I recognize immediately now that this is just another form of anxiety, and I’m being gentle with myself in exploring these feelings. And I find that doing that, instead of my usual ego-based reaction, is helping me work through this with care and love instead of shame and fear. Thank you, Sheryl.

      Reply
  2. Hey Sheryl,

    I’ve been reading the last few blogs you’ve sent out and I’ve been struggling with some of the things you talk about. My husband and I were wondering if the course mostly relates to body image and sex? My original issues started as what I think was PTS from the birth of my first child and some other stressors that possibly added to some sort of post partum depression. I didn’t feel any distance from my baby at the time but sexy made me completely tense up, shut down and end in tears. My husband was amazingly supportive and never forced me to do anything but it did create wedges from time to time as he was longer for that kind of intimacy with his wife. I honestly felt like I had zero sensation down there, he might as well have been touching my elbow. Lol. I felt broken and have still felt from time to time and we have now had our second child who’s almost 6 months old. For the most part I feel good about my body and my hubby adores me from head to toe(not to be over confident, I quite often get annoyed and awkward at all his compliments ?). I know breastfeeding and lack of sleep affect sexuality but we can’t seem to get back or even close to where we were before marriage. My husbands just as sexy as he was when I married him so my outer attraction to him has not changed. There’s been a few things in our marriage that we continue to work through but obviously every couple has issues that can turn each other off. Would your course still be helpful?? I have suffered from relationship anxiety and have taken your course previously and continue to follow your work. You are a gift, a gem, a blessed woman!

    Reply
    • It’s VERY common for the transition into motherhood to shut down our sexuality. Physiologically we’re wired to pour our energy into our babies which doesn’t leave much left over for ourselves or our partners. Add to that the trauma of childbirth, breastfeeding, sleep deprivation, and hormones and it’s a recipe for sexual shut down. So please know first and foremost that your situation is extremely common and you’re far from alone.

      That said, as you know from my work, beliefs and patterns about ourselves are activated during transitions, and my guess is that there’s an opportunity here to explore your relationship to your body and your sexuality at a deeper level. To answer your question, the course extends far beyond a superficial conversation about body shame and instead delves deeply into uncovering the negative messages and downloads that we’ve all received. My sense is that the course would help you to slowly and gently open back up to yourself as a sexual woman and your husband again.

      Reply
  3. Hi Sheryl– Thank you for another fantastic post. I’ll be joining you for this course and am so excited! I wanted to see if you had any thoughts on the sex education that middle and high schoolers often receive in schools. I’ve always thought it was such a shame that the sex education taught in schools is often fear and shame based, focusing on sex as a “bad” act and emphasizing disease and unplanned pregnancy. I don’t mean to suggest that there is no merit to discussing risks and consequences, but I do feel this can be a place where young people start to feel shame and fear about sex and sexuality. It’s unfortunate.

    Reply
    • I completely agree, Cassie. Our education system fails us in so many ways, not the least of which the way in which it introduces young people to sex. There’s a much better way to do it!

      Reply
  4. Thanks Sheryl, for another inspiring blog!, Wouldnt life be boring if we didnt have issues in all aspects of life. This is how life is meant to be. During our journey on this planet, I believe we meet all sorts of people from all walks of life. I am very blessed to have met, anxiety is a gift. Only way to deeply learn and grow about the truths of life. My husband suffers from social anxiety, He dosent want to attend social family gatherings because of his fears. Do you recommend therapy? What type of professional does he need to see?

    Reply
    • Therapy would be great. I wouldn’t recommend any particular modality as much as finding someone with whom he feels safe.

      Reply
  5. Ali,
    I feel as though I could have written your exact post. Word for word, you describe everything I have been going through since giving birth to my first 13 months ago. Being a new mother is hard enough, but the residual PTS from the birth experience together with mild PPD and anxiety have made it an extraordinarily difficult year. I’m sorry you have gone through the same experience but it really does help to know I’m not alone. I have to say that I’m very impressed that you were able to go on to have another baby… Right now my husband and I barely have any intimate relationship at all because of me feeling exactly how you described. Sheryl, it never occurred to me that this could be an additional form of anxiety – I had just assumed it was still related to my hormones recovering since I’m still nursing, and still not sleeping well. Anxiety makes much more sense…it explains why I avoid the physical contact whenever I can, which kills me when I feel myself doing it but I can’t seem to stop. I recently starting working with a therapist to address the PPD and anxiety so I’m hoping that slowly this will resolve through the context of the rest of the therapy, but I had to tell you that this really came at just the right time. Thank you.

    Reply
  6. Morning to you from England.
    An interesting article about fear and sexuality. I’m struck by the etymological root of the work anxiety which comes from the Latin word ‘angere’ which means to narrow or choke; how anxiety narrows each of us and stops that authentic flow of life and joy.
    I’m also interested in a male approach here. Men need simplicity, self-control and gentleness and yet our culture celebrates people of money, sex and power.
    I’m also struck by the thought that our TV programmes often revolve around perfect looking friends living in community and yet many watch TV alone.
    Aristotle believed that a good society included role models, people we could look to, to provide an example of virtue or good character.
    As a Roman Catholic Christian I’m also aware of the need for sexuality to be integrated into the whole person, so as to enter into a creative and loving relationship with the Creator, and with others.
    Kind regards,
    Chris

    Reply
    • We absolutely need sexuality to be integrated into the whole person – men and women both. I wish I could offer more insight into the male psyche when it comes to sex, and in fact, much of my course would apply to men, but I simply cannot know what it is to be in a male body and, thus, don’t feel qualified to write about sexuality for men.

      I love the etymological root of anxiety! That’s exactly it.

      Reply
  7. Dear Sheryl, I’ve been following to your work for several years, it helped me to make right choice and to get married and open up me heart to my partner..

    My question is – what if some senasations are unbearable for you? Not painful, but too intense to go on – sometimes too tikclish, sometimes just too overwhelming and you have to stop before you experienced your maximum? Does it have to do anything with anxiety or is it your body characteristics. I don’t feel any body shame especially with my husband, but i would happily refrain from few things because they are just too much for me…

    Many thanks in advance..

    PS i might have some sort of social anxiety (feel not good in places where many people gather, need more space and distance, i feel these things might be connected)

    Reply
    • What matters when it comes to exploring the topic of sexuality is to know that everyone’s body is different, there is no right or wrong way to experience touch, and when we approach our experience with the headlight of curiosity firmly attached (as opposed to judgement), everything changes.

      Reply
    • Dana,
      Thank you for bringing up this aspect of feeling overwhelmed. I wonder if it could be that us sensitive people are easily over-whelmed and hence might seek less stimulation. Sometimes I feel that just talking with my boyfriend is so intense so that I just want to calm everything down. Making love would add to the intensity so I dont really look for it. Before in my life, I was approaching sex when I was bored or wanted more stimulation. Being in this relationship now is however so intense that sex seems less of an option. I know that you talk explicitly about physical touch but I wonder if this could apply to “psychological touch” as well.

      Reply
      • With “psychological touch” I mean that I get overwhelmed and resist even if my boyfriend does not touch me, but if he approaches me and wants to be close.

        Reply
  8. Cassie,
    I absolutely agree with you!! I know you’ll be wanting to hear from Sheryl, but just wanted to say I think you have brought up SUCH an important point for discussion. Really look forward to exploring it with you and the others on the course. See you there! Thanks for the great post Sheryl. DK the best, Zoe xx

    Reply
    • Looking forward to “meeting” you in the course, Zoe!

      Reply
  9. Hi Sheryl,

    What if your anxiety stems from the fact that you don’t feel wanted by your partner or your partner has a lower sex drive than you? As women we’re taught throughout our lives that men want to sleep with us all the time and we are the ones who have to reject those advances. I struggle being in a relationship where that’s not the case and wonder if that means I should leave my partner because maybe he’s not really in love with me. When I talk to him about it he assures me it has nothing to do with me and is because of his own anxieties and insecurities, but it still troubles me and seems like an insurmountable obstacle to overcome. Do you or your course have any guidance on this?

    Reply
    • This is a common and painful scenario, and one that isn’t talked about very much in the culture. I have written about it in other blog posts and I do address it in the course, but it’s not the crux of the course. Has this always been the dynamic with your partner or was it different in the beginning? And do you struggle at all with your own desire or arousal?

      Reply
      • It was very different in the beginning. In fact, it was the most comfortable I have ever been in a sexual relationship with anyone. I don’t struggle as much with desire, but more with feelings of resentment and anxiety that make me want to avoid being in a situation where I may feel rejected. I am just not sure what to do or if we can continue to be in a relationship that makes me feel rejected and insecure.

        Reply
        • If it was different in the beginning then this is likely a couples’ issue, by which I mean there’s a cycle playing out between you that’s causing him to shut down sexually and you to feel rejected. If the two of you are open to couples’ therapy I HIGHLY recommend EFT. You can learn more and find a couple’s therapist here:

          http://www.iceeft.com/index.php/find-a-therapist

          Reply
  10. Thank you for this post! I notice that I feel desire for my husband when we are apart and then when we are together and begin to move towards having sex my desire vanishes. Is this common? It’s strange because I have very tender, loving feelings towards him and he is a good man AND I can feel my desire when we’re apart. That is a bit confusing.
    Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • This is extremely common, Marlene, and a symptom of anxiety. It’s a lot easier to feel turned on in the abstract when there’s no possibility of true intimacy than in the specific.

      Reply
    • Marlene,
      I dont know if it is common but it is the same for me. Thanks for bringing it up.

      Reply
  11. Hi sheryl

    I took your course on self trust and loved it and want to take the relationship anxiety and sexually anxiety courses

    I have a lot of relationship anxiety and it affects my relationship because I am insecure and question if the relationship is not right for me because it brings out my insecurities!

    One reason I have relationship anxiety is because of my sexual anxiety. Although I love my partner and want to make a life with him, I struggle with physical attraction to him and I don’t enjoy intimacy with him. We have been together for 3 years and he wants to marry me but we have had fights over sex because he can be a selfish lover or touches me in a way that is more “rough” and sex can be painful because I am not turned on. I feel like I am settling for an unfulfilling sexual relationship because I want to make a life with him and get married and have kids and I’m scared a marriage won’t last with our sexual incompatibilities. I compare my sex life with my ex who I loved having sex with and my current boyfriend and I will never have that kind of sex life because we are just very different sexually. He likes it quick and his goal is orgasm where I want to feel loved during sex and i want to feel very turned on! I’m worried it will get worse with kids and time and one or both of us cheating! Am I setting myself up for disaster?

    Reply
    • It’s essential that your partner is open and available to listening to your needs around sex and adjusting his needs and expectations accordingly. If he’s truly a selfish lover I would suggest a round of couple’s counseling to see if it’s something that can be worked on. And just so you know, “rough” sex isn’t okay or loving unless it’s mutually satisfying for both people. Sex should never be painful, and if it is it’s time to stop immediately and slow things way down so that you can talk about what’s happening and find a way to connect sexually that is satisfying for both of you.

      Reply
  12. I really liked this post. I have been trying to work through sexual anxiety for years. I am now newly married, thanks to your blog and book Conscious Brides. Growing up I was always taught that sex was bad, shameful & just not appropriate. I have had a VERY hard time overcoming this mindset that my mother put in my head. In fact, after talking with my now husband about this, I was able to nail down that my lack of sexual desire roots from the traumatic experiences I had with my mother when asking for birth control and confessing my legitimate need for it ….. it is crazy how something that I thought I brushed off can have such a lasting, major effect.

    Reply
    • This is exactly the type of conversations and experiences that we’ll be addressing in depth in the course. It’s those micro-moments, especially around the vulnerable topic of sex, that lay down the grooves for how we develop sexually.

      Reply
  13. Little bit off topic.. sometimes I find myself looking at other men and finding them attractive, I know this is okay and normal as we are humans but I sometimes feel like I’m trying to look good in front of them or impress them. I don’t know why I would do this as I’m happy in my relationship. Is this a part of relationship anxiety? Can I have some insight on this please? Does anyone else deal with this or have done?

    Reply
    • And I was just wondering if you could break down this comment “it’s okay to find other men attractive, just don’t act on it” what do you categorise as acting on it? I feel like I’m doing something wrong for laughing with a guy, if a guy is a speaking to me at work just general chit chat and he makes me laugh, I feel guilty, if I see an attractive guy and i look over in their direction my heads all like “you keep looking at him, you’re trying to get his attention” blah blah, id never kiss or touch another man. I’d never cheat. I just feel like my heads trying to make me feel like I’m being partially unfaithful to my relationship just by being friendly, makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong and that it’s not okay to look at another guy, or wanting another guy to think you’re atttactive or laughing/smiling with them.. really struggling with this at this moment

      Reply
  14. I’m afraid to ask this, but I wonder what it means that I always feel sad after sex – im often in tears afterwards. My partner is always really considerate of my needs and preferences during sex. He’s so kind and loving. But afterwards I feel ashamed, guilty and dirty. Sometimes I even wonder if I just used him to meet my needs. I feel sick at that thought. My partner worries as he doesn’t understand why I’m upset and nor do I really. And any idea I do have would hurt him and that’s the last thing I want. He always comforts me anyway which makes me feel more guilty still. I also really dont want him to think its his fault (spike: what if it is?). What do you think? Do you think this course might help? I seem to be a bit of an outlier with my issue.

    Reply
    • This is extremely common, H. So common, in fact, that I’ve included it in next week’s post. And yes, the course would help enormously.

      Reply
  15. I can’t convey how much this post/ upcoming course applies to me. I struggle with relationship anxiety and feel as though that intertwines so intricately with wed anxiety as well. Sometimes I even flinch, or have a knee-jerk reaction of pulling away when touched or at the thought of intimacy. It is refreshing to know that I am not alone. For the longest time I let my anxiety try to convince me it was just another reason that my husband wasn’t “the one”, I’m glad I refused to believe that. I struggle with this so much and hope to be able to afford this course, along with most of your others in the future. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Reply
    • I meant *relationship anxiety not wed anxiety. Typo

      Reply
  16. My sexual anxiety I feel also stems from the fact that my husband is not your “typical” always on and needing sex. I don’t get rejected ever really and he’s into it within seconds but I feel that he could care less to initiate or go 2 weeks without it and be completely fine. This poses a lot of insecurities in me that he really doesn’t care for it and just does it to do it, although he no question enjoys it. We don’t have a lot of “hot” moments (just through out the day) ever either and it worries me. Would this course help with these issues?

    Reply
  17. I have been imensely anxious and depressed for the last few days, and this blog seems to be the only thing capable of bringing me some peace. However, after reading the comments, I realize that although some people seem to learn how to manage their intrusive feelings a little better over time, they keep coming back and fighting after many years without ever seeming to solve the problem once and for all. Does this mean that this is going to be a lifelong journey?

    To make matters worse, although I have never been extremely attracted to my boyfriend, I can feel myself crushing (i’m not sure if this is the correct expression in english)and longing for other men in my life, like daydreaming about them and feeling extremely guilty. I just want this to be over. I don’t know what to do anymore.

    Thank you for your patience.

    Reply
    • If you’re prone to anxiety, anxiety will always make an appearance from time to time, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be a victim to it. Keep in mind that the comments you’re reading on the blog are mostly from people who haven’t taken the Break Free course. If you want to truly break free from the cycle of intrusive thoughts, I suggest taking the course. This blog offers information, reassurance, and some tools, but it’s not meant to replace the comprehensive teachings in the course:

      http://conscious-transitions.com/break-free-from-relationship-anxiety-e-course/

      Reply
  18. Thank you, Sheryl. I’ve been anxious since a little child and i attended therapy for over 11 years, but I never felt like therapy was providing any tools so that i could soothe myself on my own. I’m currently saving for the ecourse.

    Reply
  19. “…an expectation across mainsteam media that says that sex should be hot, sizzling, effortless, instantly arousing, orgasmic, and magical. When the disparity between expectation and reality is vast and we’re not given tools that might help us bridge the gap or information that would help us soften the expectations, the result can only be anxiety.”

    Yes, when I first started having sex, I kind of just expected the magic to happen and for it to be wonderful, and I got a bit underwhelmed, wondering what I was doing wrong. “Is this how it’s supposed to feel?”

    I think this course will be good for me to help figure out those things that are blocking me, as I feel like I have difficulty getting mentally into it during sex. Excited to join you. 🙂

    Reply
    • I look forward to meeting you there, Marianne.

      Reply
  20. Hi- Will this course be offered again? My struggle has always been a lack of desire for sex in my marriage and a lack of physical/sexual attraction and I am wondering if this course would help? I already did the conscious marriage and breaking free.

    THanks

    Reply
  21. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 6 years and really started having intercourse around 1 year ago. Every time we have sex it hurts so much, like he can’t even insert his whole “thing” inside me because it hurts. I’ve been super scared it’s because of a lack of attraction (especially since I can’t have a genital arousal with him, although I do desire sex and intimacy, I know, it’s weird). I’m scared this means I’m forcing to stay with him and that I’m not attracted. Note that this is my first boyfriend ever and that I don’t really masturbate so I don’t really know what I like I guess … what do you think? Do you know other women in the same position as mine?

    Reply
    • Hi Emma,

      I know you commented this a while ago, but I just wanted to say that yes, this is so relatable to me. Sex was very painful for me until recently. Every time we tried we had to stop because he could barely put any of it in without it being very painful. It took a while and a lot of patience. Going really, really slow, communicating, and focusing on other types of pleasure. Now it usually doesn’t hurt at all and often feels really good. When it does hurt, if it’s persistent I don’t push it. We just do something else or just try again another time.

      Reply
  22. I really want to take this course. It sounds incredible and just what I am looking for at this stage if life. But I simply don’t have the capacity over the next few months to fit it in, especially with the time difference from Australia. I know you run it once a year… is it usually around the same time each yeah, Sheryl? If so, I’ll sign up next year. I’ll really look forward to it.

    Reply
    • I usually run it in January, Clara. I’ll look forward to connecting with you through this course whenever you’re ready :).

      Reply
      • That’s wonderful! Thank you, Sheryl. Next January should be perfect timing for me.

        Reply
  23. Hi Sheryl!
    My comment regards the message on your Conscious Transitions eZine thar presented this article. I hope it’s ok to post it here.

    It’s about the new podcast episode, you wrote that the subject will be “covid and the HSP”.

    And you mentioned that you will be addressing the question “how do we find our center point, our place of calm, when it feels like the world is splintering apart?”.

    I would love if you could address that question beyond the covid pandemic.

    The thing is, for many people around the world, me included, due to our particular social context, the sensation that the world is falling appart precedes the pandemic.
    The consequences of the pandemic are more symptoms of things falling apart.

    I know that the covid pandemic only is a huge theme, full of it’s particularities regarding the health issues, isolation issues and so on.

    But I would love if you could address the question you made from a broader point of you. Don’t know if it could be done in the next episode or another.

    Thank you!

    Reply
      • Thank you Sheryl! I think I’ve listened to this webinar but it looks like I have forgotten about it. It will be great to listen to it again. Thank you.

        Reply
  24. I LOVE WOMEN!!!!!! Women are magic. Our bodies are incredible. The more I learn about how women’s bodies work – our natural rhythms and cycles of rest, recharge, creation, how our menstrual cycle is a CYCLE and not a one time bleeding event until the next one, how spirituality can be woven in to complement these cycles, the potential spiritual initiation of birth – the more I fall in love with being a woman. It is so incredible. And the fact that no one teaches us this!!!!! Maybe we get lucky and have mentors or a mother who is tuned in and can pass down wisdom. But I think largely we have to discover this on our own.
    I have been learning much more about my cycles lately. It was REVOLUTIONARY and mind blowing when I learned at 22 from another young woman that I am only fertile at certain times and that I can avoid pregnancy naturally. I knew it intuitively after having an IUD for a month that my body essentially pushed out itself and then trying hormonal birth control despite not wanting to. I just felt like there HAD to be some other way. I was blown away and overjoyed to learn about tracking my cycles!!! I am reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility again now at 30 to gain an even deeper understanding. I highly recommend this book.
    I just feel so full of excitement and PASSION about this topic and couldn’t help but shout about the magic of being a woman, in my experience. I know this comment comes off like an infomercial 😂 My appreciation for this body only grows the more I learn about how to honor and truly live in alignment with my female biology and my menstrual cycles.
    Sheryl, you are amazing, THANK YOU for everything you so generously and lovingly offer to the world. And to all you women out there, you are incredible.

    Reply
    • I love this, Brittany! Thank you so much for sharing your love of women and our miraculous bodies. We really are quite amazing 😉.

      Reply
  25. Sheryl,

    I am delighted to be back on your site after experiencing relationship anxiety in a past relationship about a year plus ago. My past relationship ended up not working out for me and I was okay with that – no real anxiety involved 🙂 I found my clarity.

    Now I am in the early stages of a new relationship and am facing some difficulties. Every time I think about this possible relationship, I think of the negative feelings associated with my ex… The boredom, the pain, the anger, the insecurities, the loss, etc. All I can think about with this new, amazing, sweet human is that I’m gonna feel the same feelings and just be miserable again… Would you categorize this as relationship anxiety?

    Reply
      • Is the thought “what is even the point of a relationship” or “do I even want one?” related to relationship anxiety?

        I can’t feel the infatuation and all I can think about is the negative experiences with my past ex and believe that that’s all there is to a relationship given it was my first one.

        Reply
  26. Hi Sheryl,

    I have taken your break free from relationship anxiety course as I got pulled into a dark place after I moved out of my childhood home for the first time, bought a house and got engaged all within 2 months.

    I am still working through my anxiety, but this blog makes me think back to something I began struggling with even before we got engaged. I suffer from vestibular migraines and I was on a medication for them for about a year and it severely reduced my libido and also blunted my emotions. Last year I got off of that medicine and tried another one which also decreased my libido. I noticed myself begin to get irritable with my partner when he would initiate sex and I also found myself continuously thinking about “if I was in the mood or not” when I was not with him and question “does this mean I don’t love him?” This would only pop up every now and then otherwise I was really happy with my partner. Then when I was hit with all those 3 big life changes at once that’s when I got into the downward spiral of relationship anxiety. My question for you is is it a bad sign I was having those questions even before we got our house and got engaged and does that characterize as sex anxiety? I would sometimes feel numb when I would ask myself “do I love him?” And that would really freak me out. I’m trying to move forward because I know I love him but once the anxiety hit after our engagement my mind went immediately back to when i would have those questions and anxiety around sex and i was worried that i missed a warning sign or something. And to clarify I am in a healthy loving relationship and we had no falling out or fights or large disagreements. We get along very well and love each other a lot.

    Reply
  27. Sheryl I have a question if I may. I consider myself sexually attracted to my partner, but I have recently learnt that whilst she is still a virgin like I am, she has had other experiences so to speak with previous partners whereas I have not. Since finding this out I feel somewhat anxious, uncomfortable, maybe even repulsed dare I say it? What is happening here?

    Reply

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