Is sex linked to self esteem?

  • By Team TDO

Man is a curious creature, full of quirks and contradictions. Sexual intercourse, something that most people consider an intimate and private experience, is spoken about in hushed tones and often, with some discomfort.

We don’t reveal or talk about our sexual desires, as readily we discuss our salary packages or food habits. This is quite ironic seeing how sex is an important gauge for a person’s self esteem and also an indicator of his/her social desirability. The very thing that we do under covers, we somehow choose to “keep under cover”.

The Link between Sex and Self Esteem:

Self esteem is an important factor that determines the mental & physical well-being of an individual. All of us have a craving to be understood, liked and appreciated; and these form the equivalent of our basic needs on the inverted pyramid- Food, clothing and shelter. For a human being to flourish and prosper, consumable food, without the mental food of appreciation, is not enough; and sexual intercourse or an intimacy with the opposite sex, is one way of validating that need.

Sex therefore, ceases to be just a physical need instilled by nature for the perpetuation of the species, but goes into the larger emotional cum psychological dimension of self actualization and realization.

Though some of us might be embarrassed to broach the topic of ‘whether or not we are getting enough’, the truth is that every human seeks to achieve his sexual potential, even while he or she might, not be aware of it.

Most of us have the ability to get the foods matching our taste preferences onto our plates, but with sex, this could be a little difficult, since sex, is a complex subject with a lot of social, moral and religious links. The truth is evident in the number of marriages (the very cornerstones of civil society) that fail on the basis of sexual compatibility, either by setting unrealistic sexual expectations or by not owning up to, or even identifying, one’s sexual needs. This has repercussions on the psyche and self-esteem of a person, and this is especially true in the case of men in particular, as they may feel completely inferior for not being able to attract a sexual partner matching his desires. In some people, this also leads to a case of self-loathing, for having sexual needs which a partner doesn’t understand, or much worse, needs which are considered taboo and sinful (Homosexuality, Anal Sex, Group Sex, Fetishes, etc.) These complex emotions can wreak havoc on a person’s self-esteem, by creating severe internal conflicts and serious self-doubts.

Now socially, sex can either liberate a person, or hold him prisoner. At times, the unfulfilled needs may get repressed and banished to the shadows, only to be played out later, in the form of sexual adventurism and crime. Just one look at the sexual crimes in our society today, and we can clearly understand just how healthy our collective self esteem is!

The very society that frowns upon prostitution, is actually responsible for creating it, though everybody would like to pretend otherwise.

The crux of the matter is that “sex” and “self esteem” are closely related; and one should not shy away from addressing any issues one might face regarding one’s sexuality. Physical love is necessary for the survival of a relationship and one needs to make time and efforts to successfully create one’s own sexual space.

The positive effects of a good sex life can be seen in an increased work productivity, fewer illnesses and an increase in one’s overall efficiency. Some people are haunted by sexual guilt and confusion and when they keep it all locked up, they suffer from unexplained physical pains and feel ‘down in the dumps’ mentally.

Another problem with appreciation from the opposite sex, is the addiction to external validation. Some people feel utterly worthless until they receive positive feedback about their looks or abilities on a regular basis. This can be downright devastating, as in these cases, there is a great dependence on external factors for one to feel good. While no one denies the “feel good factor” of sexual appreciation, it is up to each one of us, to decide just how much of control one must be giving to external factors, to determine our personal self-esteem. The appreciation may be theirs, but the esteem is entirely of the self and only the self can decide how much of appreciation and sex is enough.


Top