Attachment Style and Sex
Attachment Style and Sex
Attachment styles develop in early childhood and become a blueprint for future relationships. Research shows that attachment styles are connected with the quality of an established relationship (Tu et al., 2022). Attachment styles can change over time depending on one’s relational experiences. There are two categories of attachment: secure and insecure. It is important to note that traumatic experiences can impact attachment. There are various quizzes and literature to help you find out what your attachment style is. If you are someone who falls into the insecure categories of attachment styles, then seeking therapeutic support for anxiety reduction and the understanding of behavioral patterns can be helpful.
Someone with an anxious attachment style tends to be fearful of losing a relationship. This could be a result of unstable caregiving patterns. A person with this style might have porous boundaries out of fear that their partner will leave them. In a sexual context, an anxious attachment style might look like doing something you are uncomfortable with because your partner wants to try it. This can also look like feeling afraid to speak up about what you like in bed. If you are someone who feels that you have an anxious attachment style, you might feel the need to seek reassurance from your partner.
Someone with an avoidant attachment style tends to be rigid in their relationships. This person is most likely closed off and struggles to trust their partner. Similar to an anxious attachment style, you fear getting hurt, abandoned, or rejected. Someone with avoidant attachment has difficulty expressing emotions and engaging in conflict. In a sexual context, this could look like avoiding sexual intimacy, including conversations about sex.
Someone with anxious-avoidant attachment tends to have both characteristics from anxious and avoidant attachment styles. This can look like experiencing emotional extremes or feeling “hot and cold.” In a sexual context, you might feel a need for intimacy and closeness but at the same time do not trust your partner and therefore do not engage sexually.
Someone with a secure attachment tends to be trusting, open, and independent within their relationship. You are able to understand and regulate your emotional experiences.
In a sexual context, someone with a secure attachment will express their sexual needs and listen to their partner’s needs. This person is most likely to feel comfortable or safe exploring new sexual experiences.
Regardless of attachment style, many people may struggle to communicate their needs in the bedroom. Societal pressures and past experiences can impact a person's ability to feel comfortable asking for what they want. Sweetums wipes are one way to help increase feelings of comfort and increase communication in the bedroom. Another great way to increase comfort with communication in the bedroom is by using questions as prompts. Check out the Sexy Relationship Card Deck in the Sweetums Blog and use them to get the ball rolling in the bedroom.
Tu, E., Maxwell, J., Kim, J., Peragine, D., Impett, E., & Muise, A. (2022). Is my attachment style showing? Perceptions of a date’s attachment anxiety and avoidance and dating interest during a speed-dating event. Journal of Research Personality, 100. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2022.104269
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