How To Freak Out During Sex

Be sober. Be so sober. Every touch stuns you with some electric charge and you’re left hanging like a limp string of spaghetti. Limp. Oh wait, we’re not there yet. Give me a second.

You have sober sex and you have drunk sex. There’s no unhealthy inequity though, nothing that would suggest a larger problem with drinking and achieving intimacy. You prefer having sex with someone for the first time when you’re buzzed to calm the nerves and then, if you enjoy it and your partner, you’ll happily transition to the kind of sex that’s anytime, anywhere, in an unaltered state. Your partner has to earn that though. They don’t get to have all of you at first. You’ll give them Drunk You: A floppy body, a sloppy tongue, and a numb heart. You’ll give them selfishness, an excuse of being tired to get out of a blowjob because you feel like nothing is owed. That can change, of course, but it’s something to work toward.

Meet someone you like and do everything backward. Have them come over to your place at 1:45pm with the sun shining through your windows (it’s as if the sun is saying to you, “Really? You’re going to have sex now?”) and watch your body start to tremble like you’re John Cusack in Say Anything. Kiss their lips for the first time and realize that they are soft and plump, and think to yourself, “Oh, I think this will work out just fine.”

But it doesn’t. For the first time in your sexually active life, it doesn’t work out. You’re kissing on the bed and everything feels amazing but you notice that something’s a bit off. You’re getting distracted and focusing on what’s going to happen next and what will be expected of you. You’re getting blinded by the sun and touching this unfamiliar body and feeling your mind drift to the scratches in the paint on your wall. You try to reel your mind back in and think, “Naked. Sex.” But you know it’s fruitless. Your body is being groped but you feel detached from it somehow. It feels like it could already be somewhere else. In Reno maybe, doing the slots. Or in Bogota doing whatever it is you do there. Wherever it is, you know your body is no longer here. Your mind has detached itself, which prompted your body to fly away as well. You’re freaking out. You’re not going to be able to have sex with this person.

There’s this notion that you can only be “not ready” to have sex when it’s your first time. You can be indecisive and wishy washy when you’re a virgin because, yes, sex can seem terrifying. But once you take the plunge, it should be a cinch for the rest of your life. Telling someone “I’m not ready” when you’re 23, after you’ve already slept with a handful of people and maybe even had a one-night stand, is met with utter confusion. “What is there to be ready for exactly? You know what’s coming to you. It’s come before.”

It doesn’t matter how much sex you have or haven’t had. You can always not be ready. And it’s usually a good thing. It usually means “I like you. Having sex would be too easy and I don’t want this to ever be easy or expected.”

Push this person off of you and give them a variety of different excuses as to why you and your penis/ vagina can’t proceed. Feel a swirl of guilt and shame rise inside of you and wonder if something is wrong, if your body is broken. It’s not. On the contrary, it means that everything, at last, is working fine again. Your heart is no longer numb and your body is just now waking up after being checked out. It’s the jet lag. The f**king jet lag…TC mark

image – Howard Lake

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


More From Thought Catalog

  • Becky To


  • Skbatson

    What the hell…..???? I don’t get it. 

  • Anonymous

    Yup, this is apt.

  • boherubi

    ryan o connell i love you

  • natasia

    The best way to keep yourself from freaking out during sex is to try to lighten the mood with some light hearted jokes. Like saying “I’m your long lost cousin! JK!” will totally make everyone comfortable.

  • larz

    ryan, go read a book and stop daydreaming bb.

  • Shawn

    I… don’t know what you’re trying to say.

    • guest

      it’s funny. i know exactly what he’s trying to say. and i’ve never been there.

  • Mara

    this is strangely amazing.

  • lolwat


  • Calledbrandan

    Thanks for phrasing it in words for me

  • lady

    been there. still feel like that sometimes with people i’ve been dating a while…but since i’m a ~lady~ if i don’t feel like disappointing, or honestly want to have sex and just can’t really get there, i tend to just grit my teeth through it. comments about how i’m not as wet as usual? “oh, it’s just part of my cycle i think.”

  • becky

    I guess this means I had sex with my gf to soon bc I was always distracted…until recently.

  • AR

    Oh hello, my life….just about right.

  • Charlie

    I find it helps to reinforce the intimacy and familiarity between you. “I see you as a sister” works quite well.

  • Jess Hurst

    Telling someone “I’m not ready” when you’re 23, after you’ve already
    slept with a handful of people and maybe even had a one-night stand, is
    met with utter confusion. “What is there to be ready for exactly? You
    know what’s coming to you. It’s come before.”

    ^THIS. Thank you!

  • Kim

    there’s also the freaking out during sex because things are changing between you and your partner and you start to wonder if they’d care if they hurt you, or if they’d say I love you back in the moment…. but you don’t test that one out because wondering it is already painful enough. Fighting back tears, or maybe going so far as to stop the whole thing because you feel used – or wishing you had stopped the whole thing so you didn’t feel so empty and alone afterwards. 

    I thought thats what this article would be about… I guess I’m glad I was wrong, and I hope this endearing type of freak-out is what I experience next!

  • Gregory Costa

    I’m skeptical…but using someone as obscure as a step-aunt makes me reconsider.  It has to be valid!  Sign me up.

blog comments powered by Disqus