happens both ways! Thanks to an excellent conversation with the awesome B&B this morning, and an analogy that they illustrated for me, I feel like I have a bit better handle on my own psychological workings when it comes to developing intimacy.
Most of the men that we know have experienced sexual performance issues at one time or another. We know some women who have as well (I have, too). It's pretty clear to me why this might happen: relaxation is a prerequisite to having the physical ability to getting turned on. If you're not relaxed, for whatever reason, you can't "perform." Some people might completely shut down to sex at this point and not even be interested because the cycle feels too difficult to break. The more pressure you put on yourself, the less relaxed you get, you can't get turned on, and you put more pressure on yourself. Yuck.
Well. Just so happens that phenomenon also describes pretty well my own psychological battle with emotional intimacy. I have put a lot of pressure on myself in the past to be in a certain head and heart space with a new partner or partners, even if I know I probably am not there because chemistry isn't there. Or, when we are seeing a new couple and I am witness to the chemistry and emotional intimacy that J is building with someone new, I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to experience the same thing that J is. Part of that reason is because I really want to experience those things, too. But I have to relax because if I don't, I end up shutting down emotionally to new partners. And then I get even more freaked out because I really don't feel emotionally intimate with these new partners. And then I freak out more. It is a reminder to be present and relax. Sheesh. :-)