Attachment Adaptations impact our adult relationships, including sexual behaviors and our ability to develop intimacy. Securely Attached couples can enjoy both the physical and emotional connection fostered by a healthy sexual relationship, look out for their own needs and those of their partners, and develop deeper connections through shared sexual satisfaction.

Attachment Adaptations can mean that the emotional and sexual connection between partners can have a disconnect for one or both individuals.

#1 Sex as a Means to an End

Using sexual behavior as a way to get something that you want from your partner, or withholding sex, often creates negative feelings around sexuality and intimacy, ultimately undermining the trust in the relationship.

Sex often presents as a power struggle, especially when partners have different sex drives. One partner becomes the beggar, and the other becomes the denier.

#2 Sex Replaces Connection

For Avoidantly Attached individuals, sex may have a heavy emphasis on the physical sensations rather than emotional connection. Since Avoidantly Attached individuals have difficulty expressing their needs, sex may become a way to artificially connect without fear of rejection.

Avoidant partners often withdraw if they feel too vulnerable and leave their partner feeling disconnected and dissatisfied. They may also forgo sex entirely, preferring the safety of pornography and masturbation.

#3 Confusing Sex and Love

Often, individuals with Ambivalent/Anxious Attachment adaptation crave true intimacy but use sex as a means to feel loved. During adolescence, this may present as a promiscuous teen searching for Secure Attachment lacking in their childhood and caregiver relationships.

The desperate need to feel constantly reassured and validated, even through false means, can temporarily provide reassurance, but may quickly fade once they are separated from their sexual partner, generating even more anxiety than before.

We Are Designed to Heal

Moving toward Secure Attachment can mean deeper and more connected sexual and intimate relationships that result in higher satisfaction. Our DARe trainings are designed to give therapists the necessary techniques and skills to assist their clients in healing Attachment injury.

DARe 2: Creating Healthy Adult Relationships is just around the corner in Boulder, CO July 20-22, 2018 and is also available online.