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Deepening of intimacy with a partner

For some, the deepening of intimacy with a partner can be a boner killer.


Upon first meeting, the sexual desire + chemistry with this human is hot, only to dwindle as a relationship forms. Perhaps this manifests as a difficulty in maintaining erection, reaching orgasm, or desire all together.

The partner fears this is about their own desirability or skill as a lover, + perhaps the person themselves might believe this, as well.

Yet the root can run deeper than this.

For someone who is more on the avoidance spectrum when it comes to attaching in relationships, deepening intimacy is mentally perceived as a threat for a potential loss of connection or rejection.

“If they know who I really am, they won’t want me.”

Often this is not in their conscious awareness, but the nervous system responding as if to protect against the distress of harm.

“Shut the attachment down before I am hurt.”

The brain cannot delineate between emotional + physical harm. It gets input the same way + the body responds in accordance.

Sexual desire + arousal are influenced by contextual factors that brake or accelerate them, therefore if there is a contextual factor (as this deepening intimacy) that implies danger, then desire and/or arousal may be braking instead of going.

So if you have experienced or continue to experience in your life a partner who just as things were going deeper emotionally, their libido vanished or erections had a challenge—and this is a pattern for them—neither of you are assholes, but rather the receivers of a deeper programming at play.

Can this be worked on?


But both partners have to be willing to do the work.

You cannot function for your partner + they must be willing to feel whatever emotion lies beneath the avoidance.

Avoidance in attachment manifests because it is a challenge to be vulnerable for fear of how it will be met or perceived. There is a fear of disapproval of them + their authentic process + needs. There is a fear of losing themselves to another person. There is a fear of being alone—even if they are quite expressive about needing alone time + space.

Things you can do:

  • Playing with polarity in its many forms can be a fun way to build desire + passion again (and I don’t mean by becoming helpless so they can rescue you).

  • Going to couples or sex therapy + getting at the root of what’s transpiring.

  • Connecting with your emotions so you can be vulnerable

  • Mindful masturbation practices to connect with the stages of arousal.

  • Breathwork + relaxation skills

  • (Self) Exposing the fantasy of a person in comparison of the real version (your partner).

Sounds easy?

It’s not.

We all have a different volume of love that we speak + different capacity for depth in intimacy.

Some of us are highly expressive + open,

Bold in our declaration + wanting to dive into the depths of knowing one another.

Some of us take awhile to warm up, slower in pace to open + needing consistency of safety in each interaction of revelation to do so.

Sometimes this matches the person we are with, + sometimes it does not.

No matter.

For it can be incredibly attractive to see someone love so hugely, inspired by their big heart,

Or attractive to be grounded by another who goes slow.

Unless we are unconsciously placing our own expectations + conditions on them to meet us in our expression.

“I do all of this for love, why aren’t you doing the same for me?”

Feeling like they are withholding love from us.

Not trying.

Perhaps even a sense of abandonment—

Yet this would be a sign we are re-experiencing a story.


“I need to go slowly for fear I’ll be all consumed.”

Feeling like we might lose ourselves amid the heat + the passion that’s being put down.

Needing to hold our ground in space + pace to prevent it.

Perhaps even a sense of being overpowered—

Yet this would be a sign we are re-experiencing a story.

A story from a younger version of self holding an unmet need or injury we must have had.

Here lies a part of you that pushes up so that we may work on her. Integrate her into our adult self, realizing we do actually have the power to hold + heal + voice what it is we need.

We are not at the whim of whatever their decisions are.

We get to make decisions ourselves.

Egoic attachment is the holding on to the form of this person being the one to heal us + this unmet need or injury from an earlier time.

Discernment is our key to untangling the cords.

Does what you want + need match what this partner can provide?

Or are you trying to cast them as the lead character in your childhood story to resolve what was not met there?

If you keep feeling hurt by the same repeating patterns with them or find that your definition of love includes some form of self-abandonment, then here lies a sign that you are trying to make them the source of your healing.

And no one else can really be that for you.

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