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How does attachment style affect sex?

Emily Nagoski
Emily Nagoski on behalf of Good In Bed
Psychology
Attachment style predicts pretty much all the things you might expect when talking about sex and practicing safe sex:

  • Anxious attachment is associated with not wanting to use condoms because it puts a barrier between you and your partner; avoidant attachment is associated with more consistent condom use for the same reason.
  • Securely attached adolescents are the most likely to have monogamous long-term relationships, fewer partners and better communication around safer sex practices.
  • Anxious style folks will use sex as a way to allay fears of abandonment, and they report preferring the affectionate aspects of sex to the plain old sexual aspects.

Weirdly, among adolescents, anxious attachment is globally protective for boys but not for girls, in terms of not-so-good health consequences related to sex. Avoidant attachment protects girls but not boys from those consequences. Secure attachment is better than either insecure attachment style, in both boys and girls.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.