How To Come During Queer Sex When The World Is On Fire & We All Have Anxiety

As I discuss every week with Gina during #SexTalk on the @HerCampus IG Story (yes, it’s a shameless plug, I’m the Social Editor, sorry not sorry), sex and sexuality is complicated af. Sex is something different to all of us, and its meaning is actually a lot more complicated than people give it credit for. But it can be especially complicated when you’re queer, and even more complicated when you’re queer, and you’re anxious.

Let’s be real: A lot of queer people have anxiety. It’s not surprising, considering the state of the world, and the U.S., for queer folks rn. It’s scary shit. As a queer person with anxiety, I know all too well the way that anxiety has impacted my sex life… and then that impact causes more anxiety. What a fun cycle.

In the last few years, I've learned a lot about myself, my body, my mental health, and my sex life, and how all four of those things interact. And here are just a few ways I navigate it all while being ~good and true to myself~ and still prioritizing my sex life, something that means a lot to me.

1. First: Stop shitting on yourself for having anxiety.

For me, a lot of my stress around being a person with anxiety stems from the fact that there’s this weird stigma around it. While anxiety by far does NOT have the same level of stigma as other mental health issues and disorders, it still definitely does have a stigma, and it can be difficult to sidestep.

I can tell myself I’m a bad bitch all day long, but I still struggle with feeling like I shouldn’t be anxious. Especially as someone who love, love, loves sex, it’s hugely frustrating when anxiety keeps me from having sex. But I can be mad at myself, or I can just try to love myself through it, or just like, at least not hate myself.

I’m a person with anxiety. It’s okay. And it’s okay if you are, too.

2. Find partners who respect your mental health.

Full stop: if you’re with someone who makes you feel bad for having anxiety? Get the hell out of there, yesterday. Obviously this is easier said than done, but there is absolutely no reason that someone should make you feel guilty for not being able to or just straight up not being interested in having sex. Like, ever. Anyone who would prioritize their sexual desires over your mental wellbeing can suck it and GTFO. It’s not fair, and it’s also just not healthy.

3. Find different ways to define sex for yourself and your partner(s).

One thing that has helped me a lot as a queer person with anxiety is discovering new ways to have sex, or even just to feel more intimate with my partner. Sometimes, I’m just too stressed and buzzy and wired to have sex with a capital S as me and my partner define it, but maybe I could be into something different.

Allow yourself to experiment with new things that feel good to both you and your partner or partners. Maybe this means mutual masturbation, or sex toys, or even some heavy making out. Maybe this means having sex, but not kissing at all. We all have different things that feel good, and it’s totally fine to have some acts that you reserve for when you’re feeling your best mental health-wise, and other ones you prefer when you’re feeling down or a little off.

4. Be honest with your partner(s).

You don’t at all owe your partner your entire mental health history. There are some things that can be just yours, unless it makes you feel good to share them. But it’s really, really helpful if you can be honest with you partner(s) about how you do and don’t feel, and what you do and don’t want sexually.

Find a language that makes sense for you. Maybe this means that you come up with some sort of signal. Maybe if you kiss them as soon as they’re home from class, you’re down, but if you wait until after dinner, you just need cuddles. Maybe you straight up sext them what you do and don’t want that evening. Maybe you high five if it’s time to ~get it on~, and thumbs down if you’re not.

Is it awkward? Maybe. But a lot of what being in a relationship or even just hooking up with someone is can be awkward, but it’s worth it to make sure you’re comfortable and that your partner is comfortable, too. Anyone who cares about you wants you to be 100% enthusiastic and won’t feel too great if they realize you’re compromising on something as Big as sex. So give them a chance. Assume the best of your partner(s), be straight up, and let them know where you’re at.

The beauty of being queer is that variety is endless. Everything is a spectrum, everything is breaking a rule, everything is new and glorious and lovely and exactly what you need it to be, sex included.

Don’t be afraid to re-define sex for yourself, to have awkward conversations, or to straight up refuse to have sex for a week or a month or as long as you need to focus on yourself and your well-being. You deserve it.

Rachel is the Social Media Editor of Her Campus. She graduated from Elon University in 2015 where she wrote for Her Campus's Elon chapter as well as the national LGBTQ+ section, and has since held editorial positions at Hello Giggles and Brit + Co along with running social media for Feather Magazine and Religion News Service. She is located in North Carolina, where she lives with her partner and their much-photographed tortie kitten. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @RachelCharleneL.

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