Can you think of a time when you last felt the excitement and sexual craving that overpowered you? In case your answer is ‘I can’t remember” or “Never” you might be experiencing sexual repression.
In modern society, this is not an uncommon answer. Sigmund Freud identified the root of many problems in Western society as sexual repression. His ideas weren’t without critics, but sexual repression is a topic many people are affected by.
The more oppressive the culture, religion, and upbringing the greater are the chances for a person growing up in such circumstances to experience this phenomenon.
What is sexual repression?
What substitutes sexual repression can vary depending on the culture, but the phenomenon is connected to the inability of expressing own sexuality in a satisfying manner. Symptoms that usually occur include decreased sexual appetite, lethargy, irritation and unhappiness due to suppressed sexual impulses. Alongside those listed, feelings of guilt and shame usually occur too.
Assuming a person is experiencing sexual repression, the majority of the symptoms mentioned here persist regardless of the partner. This is a relation to sexual satisfaction that a person developed throughout the course of life and is typically something experienced in all intimate relationships. Until the cycle is reversed, of course.
The way we were brought up and conditioned by our close ones and society has a lot to do with the development of sexual repression.
Even as young children, we are taught what is “right” and what is “wrong”, by verbal cues and behavior modeling.
For example, you might have associated feelings of shame with sex when an erotic scene came up on the TV by noticing how uncomfortable your parents were. In some instances, it can be the result of sexual abuse or unpleasant and abusive sexual experiences.
How we feel about sex can be changed
There is some good news, though!
How we feel about sex can be changed since sexual repression is a product of the mind that portrays sexuality as something immoral or dirty (insert here your own name for it).
We were brought up to accept and value beliefs of sex as immoral, dirty and corrupt. However, add some personal development to the equation, and we can learn to believe in the opposite – sexuality is as natural as the air we breathe or food we eat, and joy and pleasure that, come from it, are nothing to be ashamed of.
What are the signs?
1. Agitation and bodily discomfort
Sexual energy, if not released, can cause a build-up of tension in the body. There can be a pain in the neck, shoulders, and hips.
The energy that is un-released during orgasm can burden the body causing discomfort.
At the same time these symptoms, if they stand isolated, can be a result of stress and lifestyle.
2. Insomnia and erotic dreams
Built up sexual charge can cause insomnia and sleep problems.
Additionally, you might even experience an abundance of erotic dreams.
This could be a way for your body to let you know you are not experiencing your full sexual potential.
3. Feelings of disconnect
People who experience sexual repression are not necessarily abstaining from sex. They might have sexual partners, but the pleasure is often missing in this act. Have you ever felt like you are not present during sex, no matter who you sleep with, when or where? Does this feeling persist and you find you can’t connect to the bodily sensations you experience? If yes, you might be under the influence of sexual repression.
4. Avoidance of nude body
People who suffer from sexual repression avoid looking at themselves naked. Of course, this can be due to any other number of reasons, but when combined with other symptoms listed it supports the hypothesis that it is suppressed sexuality indeed.
5. Abstaining from masturbation or condemning it
Some of us have grown up with the idea that masturbation is bad, can cause blindness, is a sin and it should be avoided. However, masturbation is a natural and legitimate way of unraveling what we like and what feels good.
6. Feelings of shame connected to urges
Humans are animals too and sexual urges are a part of us as is our need to eat and drink water. We are one of the rare animals that have sex not just for prolonging the species, but for the sheer pleasure of it too. Therefore, feelings of shame and guilt are unnecessarily connected to sexual urges and are a product of our psyche.
What can you do to liberate yourself?
When trying to solve a problem we need to first look into the cause of it and the way it is affecting our life. Before we attempt to resolve it we need to understand it.
Therefore, anything recommended here should be extracted cautiously. There are things you can do to try and liberate yourself, however finding professional help is a safe path to take, especially if sexual repression was caused by traumas. These problems can be solved. They are a part of you, but you can be free of them. You weren’t born with shame, guilt and devoid of a sexual urge.
At any given time in your life, you have the right to regain your sexual expression back!
Exchange those repressive messages with liberating ones and start your journey anew.
Perhaps you can start by noting down your thought and feelings in a journal. By doing this you will be able to find new meanings and comprehend better what you are going through. Additionally, inform yourself, start reading about sex and the benefits of it. Reach out to people you can trust and talk to them. This could help you shed some of the beliefs that kept you restrained, change your thoughts before you go onto altering your behavior. Once you are prepared, you can start exploring your body by looking at it in the mirror, under the shower, touching yourself to find what feels good, etc.
Remember, the road to change is not a straight line, there can be ups and downs and re-emerging feelings of guilt and shame.
In those instances, including professional help can be a smart choice and one that can make the process faster and stable. Ultimately, allow yourself to be creative and try some other approaches – explore reviving your sexuality through art, music, dance or dressing differently. There are many ways you can go about it, and you are allowed to find what makes the most sense to you.