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Avoiding triggers or accepting them during intimacy

triptych

Learning
I have a few very specific triggers that I have asked my partner to avoid when it comes to intimacy. But I’ve found the more I try to avoid these triggering actions the more actions adjacent to those actions become triggering to me. The problem has gotten quite bad over the past few months, this coincides with me starting to see a therapist and untangle some of my feelings which could also be the root of the problem.

Have you had experiences where therapy has put you off sex? Do you try to avoid triggers during any kind of physical intimacy or does that just escalate the problem and land you in a complete fear of any touch at all? Is it possible to accept the triggering moments and work through them & if so how?
 
Well… I’ve found that the more I avoid triggers/stressors the more… broad… they become.

It’s one of those… you… were there. So even your own heartbeat can become a trigger. Or the rhythm of your breath. Or the way your eyes blink. So? The more one tries to avoid triggers? The smaller one’s life becomes. Until you’re triggering yourself. Just by being alive. No bueno.

I was lucky enough to have been raped so often I had very few triggers around sex. The ones I did have? I dealt with this way >>> Sexual Assault - Rape/exposure Therapy
 
I have a few very specific triggers that I have asked my partner to avoid when it comes to intimacy. But I’ve found the more I try to avoid these triggering actions the more actions adjacent to those actions become triggering to me. The problem has gotten quite bad over the past few months, this coincides with me starting to see a therapist and untangle some of my feelings which could also be the root of the problem.

Have you had experiences where therapy has put you off sex? Do you try to avoid triggers during any kind of physical intimacy or does that just escalate the problem and land you in a complete fear of any touch at all? Is it possible to accept the triggering moments and work through them & if so how?
I've had to go the other way and avoid my triggers for a long time and that worked better over all for me... It would just end in a complete sh*t show for me if I tried to do things which would trigger and then intimacy would become all about me and my problems. Which I hated. So avoiding things was definitely the right option... up to a certain point...

years later, the narrow choices we have with sex, because of my triggers, have made me feel increasingly guilty that we only have a certain amount of things that we can do (I feel I limit my partner and his pleasure as a result) and that it can feel quite 'samey' / monotonous even... More recently we've been experimenting with me doing a bit more pushing what I can do, edging towards actions which are similar to or are those triggers...

i guess because I've reached a certain level of trust with my partner i can do that a bit more but its not always successful and can set reactions and voices off... then it takes a while to process that etc...it has taken years as well..I would say for me it's not pleasurable to work on those triggers (obviously!) , but I'm determined to do it on one level so i can begin to break the fears associated with them and to move forward... it's a really long process and I'm not there with it..I only do it when I know i can attempt it which isn't often and its just a constant work in progress... I'm not sure it's something you can commit to and expect to be 'fixed' and expect to be done with I'm a few weeks or months.. it's a process which forms part of the longer term relationship.. and may even be life long (for me anyway)

Good luck!
 
in my personal case, avoidance is a psycho landmine. avoidance all too easily leads to that proverbial rabbit hole of denial and repression. i can use it mindfully as a coping tool, but i handle it like an addictive drug. lots and lots of mindfulness.

i go for acceptance and distraction. oftentimes, acceptance is enough to let me disrupt the flashback, it passes and i end up more grateful for the compassionate lover i currently embracing. when acceptance is not enough, i go for distraction. "hey, hon, did you notice how bright that moon is tonight. let's go howl."
 
I've just always endured it and dealt with the fallout. Now I'm starting to get flashbacks and there is no way around it. Yesterday I ended up having a memory come back and ended sex by crying and ruining it all. I felt so bad. I have to fight to keep my mind present. The problem is now my husband is afraid to initiate anything. It really sucks. I feel your pain! There isn't a right answer to this I don't think but learning to manage the emotions and pain to heal. What you can handle or choose to endure in the meantime has to be you. Avoiding does seem to make them worse..but working on staying present and grounded is helpful.
 
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