My Ex & I Had A Sexually Dysfunctional Relationship And It Really Screwed Me Up

Sex is a complicated thing. It’s amazing how much it can either liberate you or screw you up, depending on your experiences. It seems like the more you have it, the more baggage you acquire. I personally had a really messed up sexual relationship a few years ago and I’m just now beginning to understand how much it traumatized me.

  1. It made me fearful. I almost dread entering into a sexual relationship with someone now, even though I love sex. Having such an unhealthy love life with someone I really did care for screwed up my head. It feels so much easier to stay abstinent than to deal with all the awkwardness and weirdness of being with a new sexual partner. I’m terrified to have to navigate that territory again.
  2. It made me afraid to speak up. I created a dynamic with my former partner that was extremely bad for me. I stopped speaking up about what I liked and didn’t like because everything was so twisted and screwed up and wrong. I lost the strength of my voice and allowed a lot of stuff to happen that I didn’t feel comfortable with. Now I’m scared to talk about my preferences because I don’t want to create conflict with someone.
  3. I’m constantly on edge with new partners. I don’t know what to expect and I always fear the worst. I hope that it all goes well, but sex is a strange and awkward thing pretty much every time two people experience it together for the first time. Even before that, from the first kiss on, I’m constantly analyzing a guy’s sexual behavior. Is he going to push me? Is he too aggressive and demanding? Does he listen to me?
  4. I feel extremely sensitive when it comes to sex. I know I have to tell a man what I want, but I get so weird about it sometimes. I want him to just magically know my body and how to treat it. I feel like pretty much every guy in the world watches too much sex online and has no idea what to do with a real woman. It’s frustrating and I get bummed out every time I give someone new a chance and he doesn’t seem to care about my needs.
  5. I’m worried I’ll be rejected for not wanting to do something. I know that I have the right to refuse to do something I’m not comfortable with, but my ex pushed me so hard all the time to do stuff he knew I wasn’t into that I feel like guys are going to think I’m boring or prudish. I know — that’s not my problem and he should go find someone else then. Still, because of how much that relationship screwed with my head, I don’t want to tell a guy no.
  6. I don’t trust guys when it comes to sex. I just don’t anymore and it’s unfortunate. I feel like they’re going to objectify me and treat me like a toy, even if they profess to care about me. I feel very disconnected during sex sometimes because I’m afraid to go to an emotional place, only to find out the guy isn’t there with me. I’m never sure if we’re on the same page and it stresses me out.
  7. I don’t believe my partner really cares about what I need. Very rarely have I actually been with a man who asks me what I want and don’t want. Either guys aren’t vocal at all or they’re clearly only in it for themselves. They pretend to be interested in my pleasure, but really they just want me to perform the function of turning them on so they can get off. It’s gross and demeaning and I hardly believe there are sexually mature men left in this world.
  8. I’m insecure and self-conscious about sex. It doesn’t matter how into me a guy is, I don’t feel confident. My ex was super attracted to me to the point that it was oppressive. It didn’t even feel like it was about me as a person because he was so gross and graphic about everything. He would film us all the time and keep going and going long after the point when I was over it. It didn’t make me feel desired for who I am. It made me feel like a prop in his sex-addicted fantasy.
  9. I’m afraid to get emotionally involved. I really cared about the guy who wrapped me up in that dysfunctional relationship and that’s why I ended up doing a bunch of stuff I never intended on doing. It really hurt me that I loved him and yet he didn’t seem to care that certain sexual activities made me feel degraded and mistreated. Now I’m scared to bring my feelings into sex or care about someone too soon in case he doesn’t truly care about me back.
  10. I worry that I’ll find a wonderful guy and then the sex will ruin everything. I get really scared that I’ll meet someone and then we’ll get to the sex and it won’t be good. We won’t have chemistry or he’ll be weird about it or into some really kinky stuff that isn’t my thing. I know that it’s normal to discover things about a person gradually and that it won’t always work out, but I have so much anxiety surrounding sex that sometimes I rush it just to see if it’s any good or not. It’s not healthy and I want to stop. I know that my nerves come from my past experiences and I want to heal and move on.
A former actress who has always loved the art of the written word, Amy is excited to be here sharing her stories! She just completed her first novel, and is also a contributor for Elite Daily, Dirty & Thirty, and Thought Catalog. Amy is the founder of What If Journey and can be found on Twitter @amyhorton18. You can also visit her website at