Worried in the Bedroom
Q: I am engaged and planning to get married soon. We have been having a few problems in the bedroom lately. It started a while back, but only occasionally. If I thought she wasn't getting turned on enough by what I was doing, I would get self-conscious and start having problems. We have had a few talks about it and have found out ways that I can get back on track. Even when I am very turned on I start to get worried that it will happen again, and of course it does. I can't get it out of my head. I am worried about where this is going to lead if she continues to think it is her that I am not attracted to. How can I get back to showing her how attractive and a turn-on she is to me? -- Adam, 33
Dr. Susan: Bedroom "difficulties" can happen anytime, to everyone, at all stages of a relationship. Your problem sounds like pure anxiety that sometimes spirals into something physical. You need to find ways to reduce that sense of performance anxiety that you seem to be struggling with. You both can't expect each lovemaking session to be perfect, a "10" with fireworks. The lovely thing about a long-term committed relationship is that you can try again and again, and your mate is your best friend who is on your side. Your girlfriend may be anxious too, if she immediately thinks it's her own (lack of) attractiveness for any little problem. How about finding a really good book about sexuality to learn more about the physiology of it all. People shouldn't get nuts when everything is so normal. You should both keep in mind: This session doesn't matter. Nothing major hinges on what we do right now. Just have some fun and learn to tap into your playful sides rather than your anxious ones.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.