We are strong advocates for sex – good sex – at Kossie, and there’s nothing wrong with having lots of it! Sex can bring you joy, pleasure, fun and also…be an escape. Having sex to escape your feelings once in a while is fine, especially after a long day or a particularly busy week at work. However, if you’re using sex as an escape from reality on a regular basis, this can actually hinder you if you’re not facing up to your real life.
Jane, 28 said: “In the past I have used sex as an escape. I know where I am with sex. I can lose myself for an hour or so and forget all my problems. Once it’s over, I am thinking of when I can do it again. It’s not because I love sex so much, particularly – it’s because it gives me something to think about that’s not my worries. I have a really stressful job that I don’t enjoy, and I’m hoping to leave soon but I haven’t made any moves to.
“I also have a bad relationship with my mum,” she continued, “it’s really difficult and having sex helps me completely forget. I’m in a bit of a cycle.”
Using Sex As An Escape, Instead of For Joy
If sex leads to any of the below mentioned repercussions over a period of time, it’s time to talk with someone.
- Feelings of loneliness and emptiness
- Emotional dependence on sex to feel normal
- Damaged relationships
- Feelings of insecurity and worthlessness
- Lack of motivation
If your sexual indulgence is for exploration, then you’re good to go. Exploring and trying out new things is good – it helps us understand our sexuality and expand our horizons. It’s worrisome when we begin to rely on sex to cope with life and feel good in general.
The key is to be mindful about our sexual habits and preferences. If we’re in sync with our sexuality, we are bound to establish deeper connections and relish our sexual experiences in entirety.
How to Ensure You’re Using Sex Healthily
To take control of not just your sexual habits, but also your life in general, try out these things.
If you think it would be useful, sex therapy can help you learn to tolerate distress in your life and to choose healthier ways of coping, rather than escaping reality. If you learn to identify your triggers of stress that make you to seek sex as a way to self-soothe, it would help. What are you trying to escape from? Recognise the triggers and learn ways to manage these triggers better – this can look like using distraction techniques.
“Another great way to reset your mind is to focus on intimacy in your relationships instead of the act of sex itself.”
A good way to stop using sex as an escape is to learn about healthy coping techniques. This can include things like relaxation, meditation, making use of your close network, improving communication, breathing and grounding techniques, body awareness, exercise and journaling.
Another great way to reset your mind is to focus on intimacy in your relationships instead of the act of sex itself. You may have difficulty being emotional vulnerability because to you, intimacy is perceived as risky and stressful. It might take time, but you can learn to increase your comfort level for emotional closeness and learn ways to express your needs to your lover.
Also, don’t let your moods take over! Negative thoughts often lead to poor mood, so learn ways to challenge the negative thinking that influences your mood. By identifying and changing negative thoughts, you may notice improvements in how you feel.
You’re not stuck – and you can still enjoy sex without using it to escape reality. Working on these things can lead to making healthier choices in life – good luck!