Never in a mood for sensate exercise?

Hi all,
I’m at phase 6 and I’m struggling to dedicate time for the couple sensate exercise. It seems like both myself and my wife find it difficult to get in a mood for this exercise. Overall, our sex drive has dropped significantly since my ED issues and I don’t know what to do. Did anyone experience this? Any tips how to overcome it?

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Hi. I’m a 48 year old gay man and I’ve lost all desire for sex. I’m just not finding guys desirable anymore. And I want to. I haven’t had sex in 7 years and rarely RARELY with myself. When I do jerk off it’s a very concerted effort to finish and I don’t get hard. I had a very traumatic experience 4 years ago and a thinking that might have something to do with it. Just looking for any advice or suggestions on this. I feel lost.

@sick-sapphire-coyote That sounds frustrating and I’m sorry it’s been your experience. I suspect once you do the exercise things will start to turn around so you’re both looking forward to it. Remember the Sensate exercise isn’t sex… in fact the guidelines say no sex don’t they? So that can totally relieve any pressure either person feels. It’s just receiving and giving touch. It’s relaxing in fact. And pleasurable.

If your spouse just isn’t into it then the self Sensate exercise is the way to go. You could do it solo several times and then eventually offer to do a one way with your spouse so all they have to do is receive — and that may flip their desire to participate.

Keep hope brother. Things will progress with or without the exercise.

YES! Same here. I’ve been stuck in phase 6/7 for about 3 months that it ticked me for another subscription. I think it’s telling that we don’t take time to prioritize our sexual health and do the work. It’s like avoiding the gym and then being upset you don’t have muscles or a healthy heart and metabolism anymore. You have to lift the weight. We have to use the sensory experience or be curious why we are avoiding it and how we can get it in. Maybe you’re not at the point of frustration with things and are fine being sexless for now. If that’s the case, then go with it and take the pressure off yourself. If it’s not the case, then you need to prioritize the experience (if you believe it may help). If you don’t think it will help, you can skip it.

What helped me get started here was paying for a massage from someone I found attractive. And some massages are better than others, you know.

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I can relate. If you have a bunch of bad experiences, why would you keep having them?
What helped me was a therapeutic massage from a handsome guy as well as taking the time to masturbate without porn after doing the sensate exercises. I also found giving a free massage to an attractive guy was also helpful, even if non sexual. A 3 min wank with porn is avoiding your sexuality. You may hate or resent your sexuality too right now (I did, and sometimes do). I’m frustrated with the overly sexualized competitive sex society that is ruining human relationships. The hot guys are can seem like they are often behind paywalls (e.g. Onlyfans, paid escorts), or we are considered useless since we’re older now.
You might need to see someone about the trauma so you can process it or journal thoughts/feelings/actions of the past vs future on your own if you don’t have a good therapist. Maybe get in touch with where your numbness is localized in your body, how it feels, and pay attention to it. My penis used to be hypersensitive or numb, which is a nervous system response to trauma localized to that body part. Bessel Van Der Kolk, the pioneer in trauma processing, says you need to have a physical component of any therapy to get through trauma. He is a fan of yoga, but I don’t resonate with yoga and already exercise regularly. I had to just physically keep touching my penis in good ways, ways that used to feel good, and recreate new fantasies in my brain. I found my brain lacked a fantasy bank after a bunch of negative experiences. I went back to my younger high school version of myself and all the guys I fantasized back then, which helped, and even took those fantasies further than I did then because I was limited by fear back then.

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@novel-indigo-meadowlark Great answer! I hadn’t stopped to think about the trauma dimension but it’s so true. This wasn’t my post but wanted to say thanks for chipping in on the conversation. You’re the first person in the chat area that I’ve seen address the trauma dimension.

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