In the past, I have felt used by sexual partners and it has made me suspicious and prudish. I completely trust my current boyfriend, and don't think he's using me at all, but I can't shake the same old feelings! Sometimes I get offended by his advances or suggestions, and I don't even really know why, other than the fear of being a sex object. It stresses me out that I can't enjoy sex as much as I used to, and I'm sometimes afraid that it will drive my boyfriend away (though he has never suggested that).
I realize that I have a lot of negative, irrational thoughts regarding sex and trust, so how do I fix them?
This is a very common issue, especially for women that have been objectified sexually by men in the past. It can be very hard to trust someone completely after being treated this way. Good intimate sex does not happen without trust and real connection. In order to develop intimacy, it is important to understand that the act of sex is not necessarily the same as being intimate. If this is a good relationship and you trust your boyfriend, then it is important for him to understand the difference between "sex" and intimacy. You should not have to fix this problem all on your own. An intimate relationship should be one in which trust and intimacy are built together, over time, and with lots of experimentation, risks, and fun together.
We have come to expect that men just want physical sex and nothing more. And sadly, many men, for lack of experience and self-awareness, have accepted this as well, so they don't look for anything more. The fact is, just as many men are afraid of real intimacy as women are. Most men have no idea what they are missing. The rewards of real intimacy are states of ecstasy, love and passionate connection that any human being would long for.
To be deeply, sexually intimate also requires both partners to be intensely present - deeply connected to their own body, energy and emotions. Without this, sex will quickly become boring, routine, self-indulgent and meaningless. If you and your boyfriend are both willing to practice this together, while respecting your boundaries and fears, and going slow, there is not limit to how great your sex life can be.
Don't be afraid to communicate before, during and after sex. Respect your own limitations, practice touching and being touched without any expectations of sex. Practice breathing together.
On your own there are some things you can do too. I would highly recommend trying some EFT (Tapping) to clear your negative feelings about your past relationships with men. Tapping is one of the best techniques for clearing emotional traumas of all kinds (and the irrational, negative thoughts that go along with that). Until you clear those past associations, it is possible that those feelings will be triggered in your current relationship.
If you make it a priority, anything is possible.