Got Sexual Intimacy Issues? Use Sex As An Art For Healing

Steffo Shambo

Updated on Aug 11, 2023
sexual intimacy

What if I were to tell you that sex can change everything? Sex can heal your deepest and darkest traumas. It can expand your mind and your consciousness to greater things than you ever thought possible. And sex can open your heart to a sweeter, more tantalizing, and delightful love than you ever tasted before. Does this sound true to you?

It is true. Sex really can do all of these things for us. Sexual energy is the most powerful energy on the planet and when implemented correctly, it has no limitations.

You may be wondering what the catch is. Something as enjoyable, pleasurable, and available as sex having all of this potential? Surely not…

Well, here is the catch: I am not referring to just any kind of sex. A quick f*ck before you and the Mrs rush out of the door to work in the morning won’t cut it. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the kind of sex 90% of couples are having won’t cut it.

The kind of sex that can heal, expand the mind, and open the heart requires knowledge. It requires work. It requires study, training, and practice (yay!).

In order to be able to make love to heal, transform, and grow, you need to make peace with bringing intimacy into the bedroom and into your love life.

Sexual intimacy does not come naturally to most men. It is a skill. Sexual intimacy is an art that requires knowledge and practice. It, therefore, needs to be learned and trained.

Sex is just like playing a musical instrument. If you don’t put in the time and effort, you will never become good. How could one expect anything other than this?

man feeling the energy of the woman filled with flower

Lack of comfort = fear of sexual intimacy

Fear of rejection or of being truly intimate with another can usually be reduced down to a lack of comfort with oneself.

If you are not comfortable inside and with yourself, this will show up in your sex life as a fear of being seen.

Intimacy issues and being ‘seen’

How do you feel about being seen? What does being ‘seen’ even mean to you?

In going about our daily lives and daily tasks – going to work, the supermarket, the gym, etc. – we are seen by many, many people each day. If we had a problem with this, existing in the modern world would be quite difficult!

Some people, for example, those with social anxiety, actually do have problems with being seen in this very basic, non-intrusive way.

This isn’t the kind of being ‘seen’ that I am talking about.

I am talking about allowing someone to see past the superficial and deep into your soul. The kind of ‘seeing’ we experience when we gaze into the eyes of our partner while making love.

This kind of being seen takes courage and willingness. For those with sexual intimacy issues or a fear of sexual intimacy, this kind of being seen is very difficult. The sad truth is that most people do not even know that this kind of being seen is possible. They live their whole (sex) lives carrying the burden of sexual intimacy issues without even knowing it.

These people have no idea of the true potential of lovemaking.

blindfolded naked man and woman feeling their sorrundings with roots at the background

When two people are looking at each other deeply in the eyes during lovemaking, their hearts are fully open. They are emotionally present as well as physically present. No matter what their connection might be in the physical world, they are showing up for each other with full vulnerability.

Where do sexual intimacy issues come from?

As with most human problems, issues with sexual intimacy and being seen often have their root cause somewhere in childhood.

Stemming from the way in which our parents treated us as children, human beings each have a certain attachment style. When this attachment style is anxious or avoidant in relationship, we exhibit low self-worth and a lack of self-confidence. Despite these two attachment styles seeming outwardly very different, the root cause is the same.

If this lack of self-confidence, self-worth, and self-love remains unaddressed, it will impact our ability to be truly intimate with another. It also can leak into our sex life and cause low sexual confidence.

TRUE intimacy stirs up and brings to the surface all of our suppressed pains, traumas, and suffering. This is both confronting and uncomfortable. Most often we don’t want to deal with it. Or rather we don’t want to deal with the emotions and energy brought forth.

As soon as the lid starts to open slightly and the uncomfortable feelings spill out, we quickly gather them up, put them back in the box and close the lid tightly. The box goes back on the shelf. Its contents – the unaddressed pain – are still there. They are just suppressed.

Sooner or later we will need to open the box and deal with the ugly contents. If we do not, the consequences will haunt us for our entire life. Like a scratched record repeating the same line over and over again – our negative and self-destructive patterns will repeat themselves. Over and over and over again.

Since sex is where we are at our most raw and vulnerable, the negative patterns will likely have the biggest impact on our sex life. Sex impacts the quality of our relationships and the quality of our relationships impacts sex. Can you see the issue here?

Here’s a fitting meme, to lighten things up…

simpsons meme about meeting someone with dope sipiritual connection

The trap of mediocre sex

Many of us go for years from relationship to relationship, having mediocre, just-OK, at-best-good sex. We are good lovers, but not amazing.

Meanwhile, we read about tantric lovemaking that goes on for hours, the merging of souls, and witnessing God through the eyes of our partner. Yet these experiences remain firmly imprinted on paper and our iPhone screen. 

Although we yearn for deep connection and intense sexual experiences, they evade us.

We blame this on not having met the right person yet. Telling ourselves that it’s because the chemistry isn’t right. We wait patiently in earnest, hoping for someone to turn up with whom we do have the right ‘chemistry’.

This assumption is actually a trap that keeps us from experiencing what lovemaking can actually be – when done correctly.

The issue is not chemistry.  It is that one or both partners have a fear of sexual intimacy.

As a tantric coach for men, intimacy issues are a favorite challenge of mine to take on. I feel strongly that it is the birthright of every man and woman to experience the full potential of sex. And learn to use sex as an art that can heal us. This is why I love this topic and am so passionate about it.

Sexual intimacy issues and fear of intimacy in the bedroom are so common, but easily moved through with the proper training, guidance, and practice.

In this article, I am explaining what intimacy issues are, where they come from, and how to move through and PAST them. When you manage to do so, you will have deep, moving, soul-nourishing sexual experiences that will blow your mind, body, and spirit.

Sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system

One area I am continuously working on with my clients and mentioning in my writing is the autonomic nervous system of the human body. The autonomic nervous system is comprised of two component parts: sympathetic and parasympathetic.

To allow for the deep kind of lovemaking I am pertaining to in this article, it is necessary to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. It is necessary to ensure that it is more dominant than the sympathetic nervous system.

The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for feelings of relaxation and calm. It is the ‘rest and digest’ system. If the sympathetic nervous system (the fight or flight system) is more active than the parasympathetic, a man cannot maintain a strong erection. This is where performance anxiety comes from and why it affects our ability in bed. If a man is worrying about his performance or his penis size, he will find it very difficult to become hard.

To activate the parasympathetic nervous system, you can use techniques from the yogic and tantric systems. When you are able to consciously weave awareness and breath into lovemaking, you can ease any tension that arises.

Society and the need to ‘complete’

Alongside hormones and past traumas/experiences, societal pressures have a big role to play in sexual intimacy issues.

Society projects a need to ‘complete’ onto the masculine. Men are expected to be results-focused so that they can ultimately earn money and provide for their offspring. With this constant need to complete, compete, and come out on top , there is very little room for emotions. In fact, emotions are best kept out of things because they complicate matters and get in the way.

This attitude is carried over into the bedroom. The masculine energy is more goal-oriented than feminine energy. Full emotional intelligence and embodiment comes with difficulty.

unhappy woman sitting on the bed with her back on her man

How to move past sexual intimacy issues

One of my clients once told me how his girlfriend used to run to the bathroom, lock herself in it, and cry after they made love. They had a good relationship and cared about each other. Only inside the bedroom were they unable to connect.

In my time working with men from around the world on issues involving sexual intimacy, I have heard countless stories like this.


Boost your confidence, master your sexuality, and find your purpose.

So you can reignite the passion in your relationship or attract your perfect woman.

This kind of thing can be damaging and cause many relationships to eventually fail and break up. Issues with sex go DEEP. We are especially sensitive to energies when we are having sex, and if a woman feels that she is being objectified or that her partner is not fully present, it can be extremely painful. Over time, distance will appear and get bigger. The relationship will not withstand its inevitable ups and downs.

Thankfully, if you are a man with intimacy issues, there are some easy steps that you can take in order to overcome them. Regardless of whether you are having sex with your partner or a one night stand, it is possible to let down your emotional walls and show up with full presence. Always.

1) Communicate

In today’s world, we are expecting so much of our intimate partners. We want our partner to be our best friend, our business coach, and the person we get lost in conversation with until the early hours of the morning. Simultaneously we want to have passionate and intense sexual experiences with them.

If you are reading this and shrugging to yourself and thinking “yes, Steffo, and..?” Maybe you could do with reminding yourself that this is an awful lot to ask of just one person.

It’s even MORE to ask of them if you expect them to be psychic and know what your needs are without you expressing them.

Sex is just another form of connection. All forms of connection require us to be clear about what we want and expect.

2) Practice vulnerability

It’s a buzz word at the moment, but practicing vulnerability in our daily life can have dramatic impacts on our ability to be vulnerable in bed.

In any context – sexual or non-sexual – vulnerability is a gateway to intimacy.

If you are struggling with intimacy yourself or your partner is struggling with it, you may need to rewind things a little bit.

Go back to basics and first develop intimacy through communication and words. Right from the start, with the person you want to be intimate with, practice being vulnerable. You can do this by simply being more honest and sharing things that are deeply personal or through vulnerability exercises.

When you really get to know a person – their past, their dreams, their vision, their pain, and their struggles – you are on a fast-track to deepened intimacy with them.

For a lot of men, tearing down the iron walls surrounding the heart and being vulnerable in the bedroom can take a lot. Being more vulnerable in your verbal exchanges is an excellent way to start.

3) Slow down

For many men, maintaining eye contact and being emotionally present in bed is very confronting.

In order to move past and above the need to ‘complete’, we can simply slow down and practice non-goal oriented sex. When there is no goal, time falls away. We can open ourselves to experiencing love in its entirety.

The problem with our society is that we are living inside a fast-food global culture. Swiping left and swiping right. We are wanting everything and more of it, right here and right now.

The real problem is not so much our desires for deeper intimacy but the fact that neither our bodies nor our nervous systems have been trained to give and receive deeper intimacy.

As with many tantric hatha yoga practices, slowing down begins with the breath. To deepen intimacy, first take a breath deep into your chest. It continues on to heightened awareness, a calm and relaxed nervous system, and an activated heart center.

From here, the world takes on a whole new color and a new range of possibilities. Our bodies become more open and available.The experience of what love truly is, and can be, changes forever.

yellowish image of man and woman half hugging each other

Using sexual energy to heal sexual intimacy issues

The above suggestions WILL help, but if you REALLY want to heal your intimacy issues and experience the magic of sex at its full potential, you need to harness your sexual energy.

In order to move through your fear and trauma surrounding intimacy, you need to let your sexual energy circulate through your entire body. It must be fully witnessed and felt during lovemaking.

Your sexual energy holds more power and charge than any other force on earth.

For this reason, manipulation of sexual energy should not be practiced without caution and without proper prior knowledge.

If not done properly, manipulating your sexual energy can be dangerous and cause great harm; sex is when we are most open, available, and malleable.

Sacred sexuality

Therefore, the sacredness of sex must be preserved. Sex must be treated with openness. Once this is so, it will become a divine instrument for healing.

The deeper you can allow yourself to go within your experience of sex, the more profound a level of healing you will be able to experience and benefit from. If things are feeling lacklustre in the bedroom, taking this attitude can also help to spice things up.

The reason for this is because trauma and pain are stored in the muscles and organs of the body as tension. This tension is especially strong in the gut, pelvic floor, and genitals.

When you release the powerful and vibrant sexual life-force in the body, you give it permission to flow to where it’s needed. Sexual energy has somewhat an intelligence of its own. Once you allow it to move, it will open blockages of its own accord.

After these blockages are removed, you will be able to open yourself to truly intimate sexual experiences. This will act as a catalyst in your life and you will be able to give and receive more intimacy in other areas, too.

Intimacy issues can both be painful to experience and cause pain to others.

Ultimately, in order for a man to be fully present whilst making love, he needs to feel safe enough to do so. Even if he is not aware of this need to feel safe, it is there.

Only love can fuel true intimacy

Deep sexual intimacy can only be fuelled by love. Contrary to what most people think, love is not something that happens to us or something we slip and fall into.

Love is an action. A force of energy. The myth surrounding love is that we need another person to have ‘hot sex’ and ‘chemistry’.

In truth, we can create this profound, blissful state of openness at will. When you experience it for the first time, there is no mistaking it. This state has an orgasmic quality to it. It is like an electrical current coursing throughout your whole body. We can learn how to practice and manipulate it through breathwork, mindfulness, movement, devotion to God, and tantra yoga.

As we open ourselves up to a richer sexual intimacy, we find that the same qualities our lovers are craving from us are those that the world is wanting from us. The flavors or energies we are withholding in our sex lives would not only make us better lovers. They would also enhance us in other ways. Through discarding our inhibitions around sexual intimacy we become more magical, trustworthy in relationship, magnetic, unique, vibrant, and irresistible.

Want to move past your intimacy issues and master the sexual art of deep and profound lovemaking? You can watch my free training here. Join hundreds of men from across the world to cast off your intimacy shackles and step into the magic of sex.


What does intimacy feel like?

There are various types of intimacy. Physical intimacy is being physically close to a person, such as when we hug, kiss, hold hands and touch. Emotional intimacy is when we are emotionally close. Two people who are emotionally intimate with one another may know a great deal about each other’s lives, hopes, dreams, fears and secrets.

What are the examples of intimacy?

We can be intimate in various ways. Sexual activity leads to and expresses intimacy, as does emotional connection.

What are the different types of intimacy?

The main types of intimacy have been identified as: spiritual intimacy, emotional intimacy, physical intimacy, intellectual intimacy, creative intimacy and experiential intimacy. All kinds of intimate experiences fall into one of these categories.

What does intimacy look like in a relationship?

Intimacy inside of a relationship is when both partners are loving and supportive of one another. There is implicit trust and confidence. When one partner is struggling, they know that they can lean on the other. The support is mutual.

How do you build sexual intimacy in a relationship?

Sexual intimacy is a healthy, vital part of any relationship. In order to build sexual intimacy, you need to drop any masks, false pretenses or ego. Be confident in your sexuality, your sexual behaviour and your sexual orientation. If any sexual issues come up, voice them and confront them head on. Sexual intimacy tends to improve and increase with time.

What is the difference between physical intimacy and sexual passion?

Two partners who do not have a high sexual flame, that is to say they do not have strong sexual passion – may have a lot of physical intimacy. Physical intimacy is a feeling of general closeness and can come from cuddling, kissing and caressing. Sexual passion relates only to sexual activity.

What is the most intimate act?

In terms of physical intimacy, sexual intercourse between a man and a woman is the ultimate intimate act. This is not to say that two people who have sex will always also be intimate in other ways, but it is likely that they will.

What does intimacy mean to a man?

Intimacy to a man is not that different to intimacy to a woman. Physical affection, a strong sexual connection and a deep emotional bond all help to build healthy intimacy between a man and a woman. A feeling of emotional closeness can come about from the hormone oxytocin, which is produced when we cuddle. Men differ from women in that they feel more intimacy from having a sexual relationship with a woman. Women on the other hand tend to feel more intimacy from conversations or experiences with their partner.

What are the signs of intimacy issues?

Signs of intimacy issues are discomfort in being emotionally or physically close to a partner. Signs of sexual intimacy issues are refusal or inability to have intimate sex and problems with sexual function. For a man this can present as erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation. For a woman it can present as vaginal dryness. Signs of intimacy issues within a romantic relationship can be an inability to talk about one’s deep feelings or refusal to commit to a partner.

Does physical contact increase attraction?

Not necessarily. It can indicate attraction or desire, but it doesn’t always build it. Sexual intercourse can increase attraction due to the fact that it causes release of the hormone oxytocin. We tend to become more beautiful in the eyes of the person we are making love to.

How do you build intimacy with a man?

Allow him to take on the traditional role of a man whilst you take on the traditional role of a woman. Men feel emotionally intimate with a woman when she allows him to take care of her. Sexual arousal is also important. Allowing him to meet your sexual needs by providing you with sexual pleasure will also make him feel intimate with you. Of course, meeting his emotional needs is also important. Allow him to feel safe to open up to you and be vulnerable.

How do you know if a guy has intimacy issues?

If a man has intimacy issues, he may want to skip getting to know you and go straight into the bedroom. His sexual behaviour might be quite extreme. He may avoid physical intimacy outside of a sexual setting or be unable to look you in the eyes whilst you are talking and/or making love. Despite providing you with sexual satisfaction, he may leave you feeling emotionally unsatisfied and empty after lovemaking.

What are the 6 parts of intimacy?

Intimacy is a broad term and it comprises of spiritual intimacy, physical intimacy, emotional intimacy, experiential intimacy, intellectual intimacy.

What are the 5 levels of intimacy?

Psychologists have uncovered 5 levels of intimacy that people typically experience inside an intimate relationship. With 1 as the lowest and five as the highest, they are:

  1. Safe communication
  2. Others’ opinions and beliefs
  3. Personal opinions and beliefs
  4. My feelings and experiences
  5. My needs emotions and desires

Do guys get attached after cuddling?

Men are different to women in this way. For a man, cuddling and even sexual activity does not necessarily lead to feelings of attachment. This is due to differences in the hormonal systems of men and women.

Does a closer relationship mean more sexual satisfaction?

Perhaps. If you have a very close relationship you will likely be able to discuss your sexual behavior, satisfaction and any sexual dysfunction that may be affecting your satisfaction. This alone will create more sexual satisfaction. Healthy sexuality is generally more satisfying and comes from honest conversations. Such honest conversations often require a fair amount of intimacy to have already been established.

How do you touch a man emotionally?

To touch a man emotionally, you need to express both desire for and appreciation of him. When a man feels needed and like he is ‘being a man’ by catering to your needs, he will feel emotionally closer to you. Not only this, but he will also feel more relationship satisfaction.

Why do guys suppress their feelings?

Men often suppress their deepest, most vulnerable feelings. The reason for this is very simple. They have been taught to do so from a young age.

Can sexual passion last without love?

The flame of sexual passion tends to burn out after a few months of regular sex. This is because the hormones that make us feel so passionate and alive – drop with time. It is partly the excitement of a new lover that causes dopamine levels to become so high. When the lover is no longer low, dopamine levels drop and the sexual passion feels much less intense.

Can a relationship work if there is no sexual attraction?

Probably not. Sexual attraction, arousal and a healthy sex life are all fundamental parts of a romantic relationship.

What causes a lack of intimacy?

Sometimes there is no ‘reason’ for a lack of intimacy between two people. They simply have no chemistry or common ground. If there are no shared understandings, ideas, habits or sexual attraction then there will be no intimacy. Intimacy requires two beings to meet both physically and energetically. When there is absolutely 0 common ground to bond over, intimacy cannot develop.

When are sexual difficulties distressing for women?

Sexual health issues such as erectile dysfunction or rapid ejaculation are common. They are usually only distressing for women when there is no communication about them. The woman may blame herself and believe she is unattractive or not desired. As long as there is healthy communication, she should not become distressed.

When is it time to see a sex therapist?

If it is hard to initiate this kind of conversation, you might want to see a sex therapist along with your woman. Sexual concern can often be linked with mental health issues.

When is it time to see a sex therapist?

If it is hard to initiate this kind of conversation, you might want to see a sex therapist along with your woman. Sexual concern can often be linked with mental health issues.

Can relationships last without passion?

Relationships can and do exist long after the passion has burned out. Some couples value having a lifelong partner and friend so much that they accept a passionless relationship. This is not to say that it is desirable. Neither is it to say that the passion cannot be revamped. There are many excellent methods for reigniting the passion within any relationship.

Can a man love you and not be sexually attracted to you?

Yes. Women can experience platonic yet real feelings of deep love for a male friend. Men can experience the same although it is less common. This is because for men, sexual attraction is what tends to lead to love. Without sexual attraction, it is harder (although not impossible) for a man to feel love towards a woman.

What can you do to alleviate feelings of sexual shame?

Get acquainted with your naked body and your own sexuality. Masturbate naked in front of the mirror, or in front of a partner. In order to free ourselves of shame, we need to first go through it.

Can chronic illness impact our ability to be sexually intimate?

Yes. One study by Livestrong showed that over 65% of cancer survivors reported issues with their sexual function after their cancer treatment.

What is the most intimate part of a relationship?

Often, the most intimate part of a relationship happens in the bedroom. When there is strong sexual desire and soul-shaking sex, unparalleled levels of intimacy are created.

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Steffo Shambo

Steffo Shambo

Men's Tantric Relationship Coach

Steffo Shambo is the founder of The Tantric Man Experience. The #1 masculine mentorship program in the world, where he’s helping men master confidence, sexuality, & purpose to reignite the passion in their relationship or attract a meaningful relationship. He’s on a mission to spread a conscious sexual revolution for men worldwide so that they can show up as integrated partners, fathers, and leaders.

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