Why is it that no matter who I’m with relationship-wise I cannot stand them looking me in the face when we have sex; I can’t even look them in the face when we have sex. I’ve been in a few long-term relationships (1-3 years) and no matter how comfortable I get around them I just can’t get past this. It isn’t a self esteem issue I don’t think because I don’t mind the lights on just as long as I can cover my face or theirs. I also don’t like looking people in the eye naturally so that may have something to do with it? The sex therapist said it might be a psychological issue.
In fact, this does sound like it could be related to self-esteem.
Let’s begin by focusing on the fact that you don’t like looking people in the eye naturally. I’m going to make some suggestions to you that are going to feel uncomfortable, but they may help you feel more relaxed sexually and with just being looked at in general.
The first thing I’m going to get you to do is to spend 10 minutes everyday just looking at yourself in the mirror. Put this into your routine, before bed or first thing in the morning. Set an timer for 10 minutes and spend the time looking at your own face and feeling comfortable doing so. Do not do this when you are brushing your teeth or washing your face. Rather, let it be an activity where you are just exploring your perception of yourself. This may be difficult at first, but over time, it will get easier and increase your confidence.
The second exercise is even harder. Find a couple good friends or close family members who you can explain your situation to and who would be willing to support you. Ask them to look you in the eyes for 20 seconds. While they are doing this, it is your job to take deep breaths, and calm your heart rate down. Complete this exercise twice a week with as many people as you can.