intimacy: recent publications

How Rejection-Sensitive Dysphoria Can Prevent You From Initiating Intimacy

Rejection-sensitive dysphoria (RSD) is a person’s heightened sensitivity to actual or perceived rejection. It can be quite frustrating to live with, as it doesn’t just make me hyper-emotional when I do get rejected, but it stops me from pursuing new things on the basis that I just might get rejected. It’s the ol’ “You can’t fail if you don’t try” theory turned lifestyle.

So what happens when you apply that lifestyle to your intimate life?

Intimacy and sexuality are two very normal parts of human life, and they’re also very vulnerable things. While some people do believe that sex can be just sex and nothing else, for others it’s not that simple. A lot of people don’t like making the first move when you’re just flirting because what if you’re rejected. But sex is a whole different ball game.

Also just to say it, we’re talking about consensual sex and intimacy during this story, nothing else. This isn’t “They said no so now I’m going to weaponize and gaslight them over it.” Not at all. This is about someone’s personal feelings after being turned away when looking for an intimate moment with a trusted partner that they respect and care for.

Have you ever been in a room with someone before an intimate moment, wanting a kiss or more, but you’re too afraid to try because what if they rejected you? Or maybe you did try, they rejected you, and you start spiraling thinking that you’re undesirable or gross, and making it deeper than it ultimately may be? That’s rejection-sensitive dysphoria. They could be turning you down due to libido differences, or they’re busy. However, due to the intense vulnerability that can come with intimacy and how pervasive RSD is, it’s genuinely a recipe for disaster, which stops people from even

initiative partner intimacy
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