4 Mindset Mistakes that Screw Up Your Sex Life

March 11, 2021

  minute rEAD

Every day, people reach out to me who are struggling with something related to dating or sex. So many of their questions are basically the same, regardless of the gender or age of the person asking.

A lot of these questions are less about what productive steps to take and instead are symptoms of deeper beliefs that almost always guarantee the apocalypse of sexual dreams, hopes, and desires. 

Does a life of sexual misery and perpetual “what if” thinking await in your future? 

Read on to find out how many of these mindset mistakes are already at work in your subconscious mind.

Mindset Mistake #1 – Commodification

How do I attract a high value man? I’m short, does that mean that everyone will pass me over? I let slip that I own a house, do you think that’s the only reason she’s dating me? The dating market is stacked against me – what do I do? I don’t know if I measure up to their past partners, what if I’m not as exciting?

Capitalism encourages us to commodify each other and to always be looking for how we can make the most beneficial exchange. But good sex isn’t a transaction – it’s an experience.

Thinking like this will limit you when it comes to sexual pleasure. You stifle possibilities because you’re not able to really be present when you are with your partner, and carnal pleasure is only ever experienced in the here and now. 

Commodification is the birthplace of all performance anxiety. 

Mindset Mistake #2 – Self-Sacrifice

He waited 3 hours to respond to my text and only sent a boat emoji, is he still interested? Why do women ghost me when I am always so polite and careful to not cause offence? I’m really interested in someone, but I’m also a really big person, maybe she’s intimidated by me, but she also seems to like me back, but I don’t want to come across as aggressive… what do I do?

As gently as possible, your endless dissection and litany of questions about some other person is really boring. 

Where are you in all of this? Where are your desires? Where is your spark? 

Sex and relationships where all one person wants to do is give in an effort to validate themselves leaves everyone feeling dissatisfied. If you follow this mindset, you’re going to wind up perpetually disappointed at best, and simmering with resentment at worst.

Mindset Mistake #3 – Dominance

How can I make her like oral? How can I make him like me? How can I make them be my friend with benefits?

You can’t. You don’t have any control over those things. You never do, and any illusion to the contrary is a defense mechanism that separates you from actually having the experiences you want. The thoughts, feelings, and actions of others are always self-directed.

When you try to manipulate a situation toward your own predetermined outcome, what you’re demonstrating is a total disregard for the sexual autonomy of the other person. There is no good sex without sexual autonomy.

You’re dooming yourself to lackluster sex at best and you don’t even know it because you think your intentions are good.

Mindset Mistake #4 – Gender Essentialism

What do women want? What do men want? How can direct communication work when women don’t like sex? What am I supposed to do when men just see women as sex vending machines?

Newsflash: patriarchy is poison that damages all people who are forced to drink it, regardless of the gender they were assigned at birth or the gender they identify with now. That’s because patriarchy’s main task is to separate and isolate. 

The belief that some things just are the way they are about people because of their gender, because “biology,” is antithetical to connection. If you follow this mindset, you’ll be forever stuck with the creeping sense that something is missing in your relationships.

All hope is not lost, though. Here’s how to keep these 4 mindset mistakes at bay:

#1 – If you do nothing else, treat human beings (yourself and others) as ends in themselves, rather than as means to another end. This will solve 95% of all of your problems.

#2 – Remember that good sex is collaboration, not sacrifice, and your validation HAS to come from within.

#3 – Focus on what you can control: your thoughts, and how you choose to respond in the moment.

#4 – The next time you’re wondering about “women” or “men”, replace either word with “people” and see if your question still makes sense to you.

About the Author

Sarah Martin, MA, CSC is CEO of Dignified Hedonist, a sexuality support company that guides introverted men to lead desire-led, sex-forward, and pleasure-focused lives. Sarah is the host of the Sexual Craftsmanship podcast, a weekly podcast packed full of actionable information and advice for sex and relationships in the 21st century. Sarah loves rainbows, books, and Pokemon Go.

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