Ironically, I Used To Use Sex To Avoid Intimacy

Ironically, I Used To Use Sex To Avoid Intimacy ©iStock/PeopleImages

Sex is meant to be a lovely act of intimacy between two people. It’s to make us feel connection, pleasure, and joy, right, but I didn’t have those things when I had sex. Instead, I used to use sex as a distraction tool to avoid getting truly intimate with another person. I was terrified of emotional intimacy so I used physical intimacy as something to keep us occupied. It was very sad.

  1. If we were sleeping together, we didn’t have to talk. Talking to someone and actually letting them see me is far more intimate than sex. Getting physically intimate is easy; it was the emotional intimacy that I found incredibly difficult. I jumped into bed with people to avoid having to let them get to know me. Neither of us could really talk that much when I had my lips on theirs.
  2. I was terrified of letting someone in. The idea of letting another person experience my vulnerability in a romantic capacity was absolutely terrifying to me. I wanted to keep people out as long as I possibly could. The way I did this was by using sex to avoid getting to know each other. It was really easy to distract the other person with my body and avoid having my spirit be truly seen.
  3. Sex hid the fact that we weren’t compatible. I was having sex casually with whoever came along my path. Never did I stop to consider if we were actually a good match or not. I didn’t have that skill yet because it would have taken the ability to be vulnerable and truthful with myself. Instead, I just assumed everyone was a match and I barreled head-first into the relationship. Continuing to have sex meant I didn’t have to think about if we were compatible or not.
  4. I wasn’t a good judge of character. I never slowed down or respected myself enough to hit the pause button. As a result, I wasn’t able to accurately assess if the people I was sleeping with were good for me or not. I just decided that I was going to try a relationship with them on the basis of sex. I definitely was not a good judge of character because I couldn’t be at that point in my life.
  5. It was easy to get sex as a woman. When I was sleeping with men, getting them to sleep with me was a piece of cake. Most men that I found myself with wouldn’t hesitate to get into bed with me, even if we didn’t know each other well. This fed my problem as I seldom had anyone say no to me. I’m not saying I’m a huge catch, I just found myself with dudes in the same emotional place as me. This perk of being a woman was only causing me harm.
  6. It also gave me a false sense of control. I felt as if I had control over the relationship when I was having sex with someone. I felt as if I could control someone with the power of my lady parts. In some sense, I did have a bit of control, but how was that really benefitting me? For the most part, I had no control over how the relationship was going to turn out, no matter what I thought.
  7. I disassociated during sex. One of the saddest parts of all of this was that I’d check out during sex. I was terrified of any sort of intimacy and I had a history of sexual trauma, so I’d detach my mind from my body. I’d stuff my emotions and I’d be disconnected from what was happening.
  8. The guys I was choosing were probably not capable of intimacy either. I was meeting people who were at my level. This is probably another reason why people never said no; we were both totally emotionally unavailable. It only makes sense that I chose people who wouldn’t actually try to break down my walls. I wanted dudes who’d leave me alone emotionally and just use me like I was using them. It was awful and I’m glad that I’ve mostly grown out of this habit.
  9. Now I go super slow. These days I move at a snail’s pace when I’m dating someone. I take multiple dates to even hold hands or to kiss. I do this because I’m no longer avoiding emotional intimacy. Instead, I welcome and cherish it. I hold off on the physical stuff for when we know each other better.
  10. Currently, I only have sex with people I’m in a relationship with. I now save sex with someone for when we’ve already been dating a while and we’ve had the talk about being official. I will only give myself in the context of a committed relationship with someone I’ve actually developed emotional intimacy with. Now I work hard to build emotional intimacy. I don’t run from it.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at