So here’s the thing about me and sex. The most easily articulated thing, anyway. It has to do with sensory overload and hyperfocus. I wrote about some of how that feels here.
I’ve also written about feeling like I switch between being either very focused on my own feelings, or very focused on the feelings of the person I’m with, with very little middle ground. I could say that that’s caused by sensory overload-ish stuff, but I’m not really sure. Either way, it’s a thing I experience.
For purposes of this topic, when I say “sensory overload”, I don’t mean something that’s inherently harmful or even significantly unpleasant. What I mean is a situation where my mind is filled by one thing to the exclusion of everything else, including (or sometimes, rather than “everything including” it’s “individually and specifically”) conscious/verbal/”higher-level” thought. “Hyperfocus” might be a better word, but I feel like it implies a process of being gradually drawn further into focusing on something that you chose to focus on– like getting absorbed in reading a book or working on a project– and what I mean here is a bit more sudden, a bit more worthy of the word “overwhelming”, than that. I simply do not have room to think about anything else.
So, sex is, obviously, a physically intense thing, and I often feel this kind of overload during sex. This means that usually, most of my emotions and thinky thoughts about sex, most of my processing, happens either before or after the actual sex. During it, I’m usually too focused on what’s happening to have very many feelings about its larger emotional context or whatever.
It’s not that I don’t have feelings and thoughts about sex beyond physical enjoyment. They’re just less likely to be directly part of that physical experience. And I want to be clear, I keep saying “mostly” and “sometimes” and “less likely” deliberately. Some experiences are more overwhelming than others, and sometimes I’m more easily overwhelmed. This isn’t an “always” or “completely” kind of thing.
So IDK if I actually place less emotional importance on sex or if my feelings around it are actually unusual, but that time-disconnect does affect how I perceive sex, at least a little bit. Because the… meaningfulness, I guess… of sex is sometimes a thing that I have to process and think through and realize after the fact, it makes sense, doesn’t it, that the connection between sex and emotional meaningfulness would be less direct in my mind?
I really do appreciate sex, and physical intimacy in general, as expressions of emotional intimacy, it’s not like that idea isn’t there, like, have you seen my favorite books? It’s just that processing that meaning takes more time when I’m actually involved in the physical experience.