Via Judith Orloff on February 19, 2018
Because empaths are sensitive to energy, there is no such thing as “casual sex.” During lovemaking, energies combine; we can pick up both anxiety and joy from our sexual partner, and often sense his or her thoughts and feelings. That is why we must choose our partners wisely—otherwise, sex can be filled with toxic energy, stress, or fear—particularly if we are a sexual empath.
What is a sexual empath?
Someone whose empathic abilities intensify during an erotic encounter. They are highly sensitive during sex and even moments of flirtation, often experiencing heightened stress or bliss. They are more aware of their partner’s emotions than usual, and in order to feel their best, they must learn to share physical intimacy with someone who can reciprocate their love and respect.
In my work with empaths, many of my patients have made missteps when it comes to sexual partners and relationships, especially if they have been single for a long time. If someone comes along who sparks their sexuality, they are often so eager to enter a relationship, they ignore intuitive warning signs. So they engage in a sexual relationship early on with someone who isn’t the best choice.
They fear that because it has taken so long to find someone even remotely interesting, they need to stay with this person despite the red flags. But we open ourselves to unnecessary hurt when we become attached to unavailable people who aren’t capable of loving us back.
One of my patients told me, “I haven’t been in a serious relationship for five years, but when I dated men who I was fast and furious in love with, I turned into this love-crazed person. I didn’t listen to the warning signs and was disappointed. But now, I go slower to make sure the person is available.”
Instead of just waiting for the right person to show up, I’ve found that attending a tantra workshop can help us learn about the power of our sexual energy. Tantra is an ancient practice that combines sexuality and spirituality via body-centered exercises. In private or group sessions, we are taught how to tune in to our bodies, tap into our sexual energy, and work through old traumas, destructive relationship patterns, or emotional numbness that keeps us from fully connecting.
These sessions can increase our sexual energy and keep it flowing during the waiting periods between relationships.
A few years ago, I became involved with the wrong person too quickly. I attended a few tantric sessions because I wanted to address why I kept choosing unavailable men or feeling stuck in long periods of aloneness––but I was tired of talking about these issues with my psychotherapist. These tantric sessions helped me open up blocked energy and attract a more compatible partner.
Once we’ve found the right partner, the basis for intimacy is to combine our heart energy with our sexual energy. Empaths thrive on heart energy; when sex, spirit, and heart are combined during lovemaking, it is sublimely nurturing to our systems.
Part of maintaining a heart-centered sexuality is learning to set limits with our partner, especially if something feels “off.” For instance, if your partner has a frustrating day at work and comes home angry, it might not be the best night for sex since empaths can absorb this energy. Talk to your partner and explain why you’re choosing not to be intimate when he or she is upset or under extreme stress.
It’s important for empaths to lovingly educate our partners about our sensitivities so that they can meet our needs. Compassion and patience will make all the difference in both our emotional and sexual intimacy.
Adapted from The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People by Judith Orloff MD.
This is very interesting. I've always known that I am an empath. However I never realized how it affected my sex life. This article really hit home with me. I have always had the inability to have casual sex. Sex to me is more about the emotional exchange than the actual physical act. Thanks for sharing this, it was very enlightening!
You are very welcome and I'm glad it resonated with you. I have come to see that sex for me is more emotional than just a physical act as well.