I lost my virginity at 27 and not in a good way. Now I have huge trust issues, and my efforts to fix my problems have just made things worse

In a nutshell, I loathe my body. I feel nothing during sex or dissociate entirely – I’ll sometimes even feel a void, an emptiness where a feeling or sensation should be. I lost my virginity at 27 and not in a good way. My difficulty reading body language complicates things enormously and I’ve a basket-load of trust issues. I’ve tried guides to fixing such problems but trying to follow them made things a lot worse. I’m well into middle age with almost no experience – yet older men are supposedly attractive with wisdom, confidence and stability that I totally lack.

Dissociation is an important symptom. I suspect that your words “not in a good way” represent a vast understatement, and it is really important to address that issue as a priority. People sometimes enter dissociative states as a coping mechanism to avoid the pain of trauma or to exit an unbearable situation. However, “disappearing” in this way will not help you to heal, and healing is a necessary precursor to enjoying sex in the way you want.

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