I remember when I was younger, I freaked out anytime a guy showed interest in me.
Like legit, had a panic attack.
And no, I’m not exaggerating (I wish I was).
On my first date with a boyfriend at 14, I was sitting on a wooden park bench and broke up with him because I was so utterly terrified.
(Although I guess it couldn’t really be considered a breakup after only one date 😂).
I thought something was wrong with me.
People at my high school called me “frigid” (which, according to Urban Dictionary is mocking someone who abstains from sexual interactions).
Isn’t high school sooooo much fun? 😅
It didn’t matter who it was.
Where it was.
I had a huge fear of sex.
And so I smashed that “abort” button 🚨 before anything even got started.
I felt so much shame about it all.
I lay awake at night wondering: “Where did this fear of sex come from?“
It happened all the way until I was 19, when I decided I’d had enough and started getting drunk just so I could push past my fear and resistance towards sex.
12 vodka sodas later and I could barely stand up.
Seems like a really smart, well-thought out plan, right?
My 19-year-old self thought so at the time.
But unfortunately, it didn’t end well.
What I later realised (through lots of learning, trial, and many many errors) – was my nervous system was going into fight-or-flight during all of these sexual encounters.
I was in survival mode – and that was at the core of my fear of having sex.
All because of my history with sexual abuse.
I didn’t feel safe in my body when I was around guys.
Even if they were the most lovely, kind, funny, and caring guys — all I felt in my body was pure terror, and so I tried to escape and run away as fast as I could.
Because that’s what my nervous system believed it needed to do to survive.
My nervous system was dysregulated.
And it happens to the best of us.
And if I didn’t feel safe with someone, then my whole nervous system shut down any sexual desire I previously had.
This is because your fight-flight-freeze survival responses are linked to your autonomic nervous system.
So when your nervous system perceives a threat (even if it’s a false alarm) – it will shut down any physical processes that aren’t necessary for survival (like sexual arousal or desire, hunger, or bowel movements).
Maybe you’ve experienced something similar – with sex, work, social events, or certain situations.
There’s a trigger, and your nervous system just reacts.
Quicker than you can think.
Maybe you don’t even know why your body reacts this way (I didn’t at the time).
What I learned is that it’s not really about the story behind it, it’s about what’s happening in your nervous system.
Getting caught up in the story only makes it feel worse.
And seemingly insurmountable 😓
Once I started listening to my body and nervous system, I began releasing all that stored, survival, sympathetic stress from when I was younger.
And my whole sex life transformed for the better (in ways I couldn’t have even imagined).
I feel safe in myself and around others.
I burst with confidence.
And I run a 5-star dominatrix dungeon here in Peru (I’m only kidding but a girl can dream, right?).
I can share my I’m-going-to-die breakup story with you totally unashamed.
Because my body was just trying to protect me.
Just like yours is, every moment of every day 🙌
Once I realised that, I felt such a beautiful safety in myself. A strong connection to my body. Overwhelming gratitude for my nervous system ❤️
So wherever you are in your journey — don’t give up.
Your fear of sex won’t last forever.
Even when it seems darkest or doesn’t make sense to you, over time – it will shift.
And if you want to learn more about the power of sex and being in your body, check out this podcast episode I did with Alice Little.
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Ellie Goode — Host of the Provocative “Sex, Money & Rage“ Podcast, Nervous System Junkie, and Plant Psychonaut 🌿
I created Sex, Money & Rage to talk about everything that’s taboo. BDSM. Plant medicine. Healthy Rage. Kink. Emotions. Boundaries. Money issues. Less thinking, more feeling. How to get into your body and silence your overactive mind.
Sex, Money & Rage provides straight-up, powerful nervous system tools to help you dominate life’s toughest moments.
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