I don’t know about you, but I occasionally experience a pang of anxiety when it comes to sexual intimacy.
Silly thoughts invade my mind, and I stay up late entertaining all of the comical and terribly embarrassing scenarios of what could possibly go wrong. There are lots. Even now, after 13 incredible years with my partner I can still get a little self-conscious, though I do find my inability to relax during those moments fairly amusing. Yes, I can get a little neurotic.
So, when I found Neurotica: Erotica for the Slightly Anxious, I had to share it with all of you, but first things first.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, with National Anxiety & Depression Awareness Week kicking off the whole shebang on Sunday, May 3rd. This is the perfect time to point out the fact that generally, anxiety is a completely normal and totally reasonable response to stress. Although, when anxiety persists longer than 6 months and is left untreated, it can very well evolve into a full-blown problem. It’s best to avoid this whenever possible.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): “There are a wide variety of anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and specific phobias to name a few. Collectively they are among the most common mental disorders experienced by Americans.” Furthermore, women are 60% more likely to develop an anxiety disorder over the course of their lifetime than men.
Living with anxiety is not easy; there are just too many things occupying your mind, creating tension and discomfort in your body, and fostering relationship issues with the people closest to you. It feels like you are constantly putting the pieces of your world together, as if it’s a jigsaw puzzle being dismantled by ants. It makes it impossible to relax – you simply don’t know how. Jenne Guillaume hit the nail on the head when she wrote about the 24 Things Only Anxious People Will Understand for Buzzfeed.
Now that you are in the know about anxiety, at least a little bit, lets get back to Neurotica: Erotica for the Slightly Anxious. Written by Sonia Weiser, who swears to be a “functioning adult living in New York City”, the short story is more of an anxiety-prone Danielle Steel romance than a work of actual erotic fiction. And it’s absolutely perfect for a bit of entertainment and plenty of laughs. At least I couldn’t stop reading it, and it’s not even dirty!
It starts off like this:
“He pulled me close to him, his hips grinding up against my own. ‘I promise you,’ he said. ‘I’m not into you because you remind me of my mother who was emotionally distant after my father died.’ I kissed him, my heart pumping furiously now that he has answered one question that had been plaguing me all along.”
And it just keeps getting better! The story perfectly illustrates the type of racing thoughts or ongoing internal dialogue an anxious person in a sexually intimate situation would have. And so, it’s impossible not to enjoy reading it, but it looks like Weiser is turning the story into a series. She recently released Neurotica: The Bookstore, and it is excellent! But you should start at the beginning.