- How to be better in bed — what’s the secret? One way is to know your attachment style.
- Attachment styles are rooted in attachment theory developed by psychoanalyst John Bowlby.
- There are four main attachment styles: secure, anxious, avoidant, and disorganized.
- Research shows that attachment styles are important to consider for couples with uneven desire levels.
- Understanding your attachment style can help you improve your relationship and teach you how to have a more satisfying love life.
How to be better in bed? Who would have thought that the answer was hidden in the way we were brought up as children! The attachment styles we learn as babies impact our adult relationships. Understanding your style can help you overcome differences in the levels of desire with your partner.
What Are Attachment Styles?
Attachment styles are rooted in attachment theory, developed in the 1940s by psychoanalyst John Bowlby and other experts. The idea behind it is simple: Our childhood experiences of attachment to a parent or caregiver impact our functioning later in life — including our romantic and sexual relationships.
The Four Attachment Styles
Most people have one dominant style of attachment, but some people have a mix of styles:
- Secure attachment style. People with this attachment style feel that they are worthy of love and support from others. They tend to be happy and satisfied in their relationships, and their partners are likely to feel the same way.
- Avoidant (dismissing) attachment style. With this style, you may appear confident and self-reliant. But there’s a dark side to it. You may avoid getting too close to people you care about and have commitment issues. Partners of people with this style often say they can’t get as close as they’d like. They may feel as if there is a wall between them and the other person.
- Anxious (preoccupied) attachment style. People with this style have a huge need for safety and are afraid of being abandoned, to the point of developing anxiety in a relationship. Low self-esteem is a common trait of an anxious attachment style. They need constant reassurance that their partner loves them and may get very jealous out of fear of losing the relationship.
- Disorganized (fearful-avoidant) attachment style. This approach is the most unstable and unpredictable. People with this style want to be loved but are afraid to let people in. As a result, they avoid getting too close to anyone. If they do start a relationship, they feel that pain and rejection are inevitable.
Attachment Style and Desire Levels
A 2021 study conducted on heterosexual couples revealed a connection between attachment style and sex drive. In general, anxious attachment style was linked to higher sex drive, while the avoidant attachment style resulted in lower libido.
Attachment Avoidance and Desire
A man’s avoidant style of attachment affects his own sexual functioning as well as his partner’s. For example, research shows that avoidant women function better if there’s a desire mismatch in the couple. Experts suspect that people with an avoidant attachment style are driven by disagreement.
Attachment Anxiety and Desire
A 2001 study found that an anxious attachment style in a male partner affects the woman’s sexual satisfaction. Researchers were surprised to discover that women were more satisfied in bed if their anxious partner had a higher level of desire.
It’s possible that the anxious man could express his love and need for intimacy by taking the initiative, which made lovemaking more satisfying.
On the other hand, anxiously attached women were more satisfied if both partners displayed high libido, probably as a sign of ongoing love and commitment.
How To Be Better in Bed Considering Your Attachment Style
Understanding the attachment and libido patterns of both yourself and your partner can make a huge difference in your relationship. It will improve your communication and increase empathy for one another.
Here are some tips on how to be a better lover according to your attachment style.
If you’re lucky to have this approach to relationships, you have a natural gift to read your partner’s emotions, facial expressions, and gestures. This helps you to be more attuned to him or her in bed. Use these skills to create a satisfying intimate connection, but don’t take full responsibility. Your partner should also make an effort.
People with this style are hypersensitive to the signs of relationship problems and their partner’s distancing. To function well in your intimate life, you should let your partner know what you need to feel secure.
Try to recognize the triggers that cause you to feel anxious and deal with them immediately. For example, when you initiate sex and your partner makes a strange facial expression, don’t rush to conclusions. Instead, ask and clarify.
For this attachment style, sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction may add an extra layer of insecurity. That’s why it’s important to find treatment as soon as possible and involve your partner in the process.
This style makes it hard for you to get too close to your lover. You may focus on small flaws in the other person to justify your inclination to distance yourself. For you, it’s important to be honest with yourself.
If you want a committed relationship, you need to recognize when you’re self-sabotaging. Sometimes working with a therapist can help. In bed, you should make a conscious effort to notice what’s working and what your partner is doing well.
People with this style usually see reality as black and white. Their feelings and reactions tend to be extreme, and they always expect the worst.
Since this style is often a result of childhood abuse or trauma, you may need to work with a therapist to resolve emotional issues. Being open with your partner is a great first step towards more understanding and improving your sex life. Tell them that it’s important for you to be reassured of their love and support in order to feel secure.
eDrugstore Is Here for You
If you’re struggling with sexual issues, such as erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, or if you’re looking for tips on how to be better in bed, eDrugstore can help. Check out our ED medication guide or follow the eDrugstore blog for more information about sexual health.
Anka Grzywacz is a sexologist, reproductive health expert and Certified Sex Coach™. In her online practice she helps busy women and couples solve their intimate problems.