Are you feeling broken or just plain fucked up when it comes to sex and not wanting to have sex right particularly right now during this lockdown? I want to talk about today. That that is just okay for right now, but then I also want to talk about why this might be happening and if it’s problematic what you can do. Hi, I’m Doctor Catalina, The Intimacy Doc and thanks for tuning in and this week’s episode of Sex Marks the Spot. I really want to speak to this fact of this week. I have heard so much about people Saying that they feel broken. I did a webinar yesterday about sex after cancer and feeling like our bodies are letting us down and feeling disconnected and doing the same things in relationships over and over and I’ve talked to women and men where they are. Just feeling absolutely averse to having sex whether that be because you have an have had some type of either. Either sexual trauma or physical trauma illness or surgery something that has caused physical sexual changes such as vaginal dryness pain during sex or some chronic pain period whatever it has been. What we know is that it does not take very long for our bodies to learn. This is danger. And once it starts to think that this is dangerous. It becomes aversive. This is how aversions happen and unfortunately intimacy and sex. Is it happens often? Because it is the most vulnerable part about us, you know, it is in our relationships and and that we actually make ourselves vulnerable we open ourselves up. So if there is a time where we may get wounded or hurt it is in relationships. That’s why relationships can be so hard. but I keep on hearing so many people saying that they feel so guilty and bad for their partner or how are they gonna they’re gonna leave me and I hate hearing this because the number one thing I want to get across is know that if you are finding that this aversion to sex has gotten more and more and more is increased over time know that you do not have control over this your body has taken over your brain is doing this to protect you. Okay, so all of that guilt and shame that you may have around sex and intimacy know that absolutely this is a conditioned response. Okay, and we talked a lot about emotion regulation and perhaps you’ve heard of polyvagal theory and the research is still beginning to connect attachment and Neuroscience to actual sexuality. But a lot of my work is is integrating all of what we know in neuroscience and attachment Theory and relationships and cognitions and Havior ISM to know that we absolutely when our bodies feel threatened. It is fight flight freeze, right everything vasoconstricts. So when you think about any kind of sexuality or particularly intercourse, this is often why women are our hips will close up we won’t be as open. Our vaginas will tighten they will narrow they will shorten because our cortisol levels will go up. Our hormone levels will go down. Our Beto will go down everything vasoconstriction next thing, you know, if you are trying to have intercourse, it’s painful and then your body begins to have an aversion to that pain and you see this going and going and going and getting worse next thing. You know, you see people who have Are in if they are married or in a real long-term relationship avoiding sex for years or if they’re dating sex always have it becoming a problem over and over and over that they no longer. They literally become so averse to sex and don’t want it the partners and feeling rejected and they feel guilty and ashamed and again when we think about how our bodies all our bodies are trying our mind our brains trying to do is protect us keep us safe.