I feel emotionally distant after sex. (Photograph posed by models.) Photograph: Alamy
I often find myself despising the men I have sex with. Whether on a one-night stand or with someone I initially like, after a few dates, once we have sex, I feel emotionally distant and a little disgusted by them. I have hadrelationships where these feelings fade to the background after a while, but they never go away.
Our sexual desire and our ability to enjoy intimacy is always influenced by the messages we received when we were young. Even if sex was not directly discussed, children usually manage to glean a sense of how their parents or carers feel about sex, nudity, eroticism, sexual experimentation and so on.
You may have internalised feelings of disgust about sex long ago. Many of us are brought up believing it is "wrong" or "dirty", that "nice girls don't do it", that "all men are untrustworthy", or other negative notions. These beliefs can make it very difficult for a person to reach a high level of comfort with adult sexuality, even within marriage.
Examine your long-held beliefs and your targeted disgust, and spend time pondering where they may have come from. Perhaps you can pinpoint exact moments in your sexual awareness or development when such ideas formed. Once you have identified the source of your disgust, you can work to rationalise and correct. Replace your negative feelings about sex with positive affirmations such as "sex is healthy", or "sexual desire is normal". Say these out loud every day until you believe them.