Formspring Q & A: Avoiding emotional intimacy.

This question on Formspring is interesting to me, but there is no room for discussion there. I’m posting it here, first to see if I can get some bounceback from other folks who struggle with intimacy and emotional availability and secondly because I’m in “Don’t. Get. Attached!” mode with someone with whom  I recently hooked up.  I’m not sure how I feel about the effortlessness of my capacity to compartmentalize and mentally block even the concept of deeper connection with this person…so.

How do you avoid becoming emotionally involved when play and/or aftercare involves sexual elements? by coyotetoo

I am excellent at explaining to myself BEFOREHAND and thoroughly that the person with whom I’m playing is not an appropriate target for such affections. My emotional involvement with people either blindsides me or tends to grow slowly. The blindsides are tougher, but reality checks help to temper that initial blaze of intensity. Sexuality doesn’t immediately evoke emotional connectivity for me. It tends to be the other way around in a BDSM context.

Interestingly, I almost never have BDSM play move to sex. I wouldn’t be able to count above maybe 2 times in the past 10 years where a scene that did not involve my current partner (i.e., a casual play scene) moved on to explicitly sexual sexiness.

The past few times I have approached someone with whom I had played for sex, I was turned down. This shut me off but good against asking for it. I won’t say never but for the time being, I won’t assume / approach / move into a headspace of sex outside of the sexual masochism of a scene.

I would not recommend that as a technique for keeping the emotional connection from moving deeper (assuming that depth is inappropriate.)

I would recommend tracking your emotional response, keeping your sex playful and erotic rather than deep and intense if that depth and intensity is what triggers that connection. Whatever has triggered it in the past, avoid. Keep a hold of the affection, the caring, the friendship aspects of the encounter, let the sex be sexy, but if emotional involvement is off the table, you have to steel yourself to that.

And now I’ll unravel all of that to say this: avoid avoiding emotional intimacy.

What a rare gift it is when you feel that connection. Stifling that is a real disservice to life, the universe, and everything. You may well suffocate a flame that could burn and illuminate a heretofore unknown corner of your heart.

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  1. Utica on March 31, 2010 at 2:37 AM

    This is really good advice, for me it’s hard to turn it off (for lack of a better saying) I’m emotional or I’m not it’s hard to decipher the too, or separating the emotional from play, for me they are so closely related.

  2. Eboni on April 5, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    I have my own issues that make attachment something that I try to avoid. But it seems to have manifested in a positive thing because I really live in the moment. I have learned to appreciate things for what they are and understand what they aren’t. I think this is what allows me to be emotionally intimate and vulnerable within a casual scene. I don’t equate sex with intimacy at all but for me, the energy that I feel in a scene when there is a connection is extremely sexual. So a good scene for me always has some sexual elements. Maybe not so coincidentally most of my connections like that are made with people who are not local to me so any attachment on my part would seem silly. For the few local ones, I had to limit out of scene contact until I could discern what was lust and what was real interest. Usually it was just lust and once I was able to recognize that, I felt more comfortable, less guarded, around them socially and could enjoy the playful sexual energy that was there without all of the worry.