Sexualization is a psychological defence when negative experiences, with the help of sexual thoughts and activity, can be transformed into positive ones. For example, painful feelings when going to the doctor are transformed into sexual fantasies about nurses. This allows anxiety to be controlled, self-esteem to be maintained, and discomfort and shame to be distracted.
Women more often sexualize dependence, subordination, and the process of learning, which manifests itself in masochistic tendencies, and men - aggression, the desire for possession, power, and money.
Sexualization begins to manifest itself at a very early age and is often hardly realised. When a young child is very anxious, he or she may begin to masturbate, as this will be the only available way to defuse and switch to pleasure. You should not shame or scold your child for this way of responding; teaching your child alternative ways of releasing tension is more effective. Often the target of sexualisation is traumatic events that can be turned around and presented as life-affirming.
If in adulthood, turning to early sexualized memories helps to maintain harmony in the psychological state, pleasantly diversify the sexual life, and satisfies the interests of both partners - this is a constructive application of protection. For example, a partner who feared his teacher at school occasionally turns this into a sexual scenario, where a subjugation relationship is played out as agreed.
Suppose this defence has led to an intense fixation on a particular method of pleasure, which becomes impossible without specific attributes, which is burdensome for the person. In that case, there is a reason to consult with a specialist. If a partner who prefers the submissive position needs to experience absolute terror for arousal, he chooses aggressive, violent people and may become a victim of sexual abuse and exploitation.
Thus, sexualization is not inherently problematic or destabilising to the psyche. Only the context and consequences of the defence in adulthood determine whether it should be seen as a positive adaptation, an invisible habit, or a pathological urge.