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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Pregnancy and Parenting » When partnered sex is scaring you, but you're doing it anyway: what's up?

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Author Topic: When partnered sex is scaring you, but you're doing it anyway: what's up?
Executive Director & Founder
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I'd very much like to have a conversation with those of you who have found, or do find, yourselves freaking out a great deal about possible pregnancy with any given kind of sex, but continue to engage in that kind of sex.

Truly, I'm just pretty mystified, and I'd like to try and understand this better.

Long story short, we get this from a lot of users, who are in a pattern of engaging in sex when they keep freaking out about pregnancy risks that truly aren't possible or realistic, or are using multiple methods of contraception, but still don't trust them. Or who know they have profound anxiety around sex.

From my view, all of these kinds of situations are cues that, for whatever reason, something is amiss and whatever kinds of sex have someone freaking, it's not the right time for them to be engaging in those kinds of sex. Sometimes, people seem to realize that, figure out what their real, underlying issue was, and work through it, later coming back to sex and feeling very differently about it.

But other times, people seem to ignore those cues -- that's how it looks from where I'm sitting, anyway -- and keep doing the things that have them full of fear and anxiety.

If this has been or is you, can you try and help me better understand, so we can potentially better help you and others in this spot?


Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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I don't know if I specifically apply to this. But I know I kind of do. So here was my situation:

I know I have an anxiety problem. I have barely shared this with anyone, and I plan to get help when I'm independent. Me being somewhat prudish, along with my anxiety, had me abstaining from sex until I was pretty old, 22. But at 22, while dating a girl who wasn't a virgin, and I was very drunk, I had sex with her. I knew she was on BC. And we both decided when it would happen I was going to use a condom. But I wanted to wait a bit longer and decided that I wouldn't get the condom so it would keep me honest.. Course that didn't happen. I was so panicked afterward, vowed to never have sex again. Of course her BC worked. Period came on time. Worry was gone. Decided we weren't going to have sex again, didn't buy condoms. But I felt pressures to because she wanted it, and we had done it before.. Thought it would be better this time because I lived it once already and it turned out fine... So panicked again afterward.

Got her period, BC worked again. Now I use condoms and I usually ask to make sure she takes her pill on time. That is good enough for me. But I lived the anxiety. I just wish I could have felt how I felt afterward, before.. If that makes sense.

I put myself in situations where it was too easy to say "oh 1 form is just fine, I want to do this. I'll be fine" until afterward. Took some trial and error I guess..

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Thanks for sharing, Davepoke.

I'd love to hear from anyone else who wants to share, because like Heather, I'm pretty baffled by this idea of continuing to have partnered sex when it's freaking you out in some way.

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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I'm this same way. My anxiety is diagnosed, and I take medicine for it. I want to have sex with my boyfriend for the same reason that most long term couples want to. I want that intimate bond, but it terrifies me. Not to say I don't enjoy it, but I always get this stupid fear afterwards. I since have decided to hold off, because I didn't want to freak myself out. I feel bad and my self esteem seems a little shattered from it all.

I was on the pill though, and he always wore and condom and we never had any failure. I just kept taking pregnancy tests to make sure. They were always negative.

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I can weigh in on this, definitely.

Sex is amazing in theory. Talking about it is great. Fantasizing about it is fun. And doing it in the moment is often amazing and exciting. But afterwards, maybe even ten minutes afterwards, I freak out; even if we had used the pill, condoms, and nothing broke and he didn't even penetrate me.

I think I have some anxiety as well, but I am slowly trying to curtail it. I try to just rationally tell myself that whatever I'm worrying about is a minute possibility (for example, a pregnancy after taking my pill on time and a condom/withdrawal being used). I'm far from perfect with my rationality-plan, but it at least helps me a lot now for things related to sex or non sex-related.

I guess I have sex because I like the person I'm with (not that he's perfect or I am, but still); and because I too "feel good" before it's happening and while it's happening. I guess your mind takes a mental vacation when you're sort of neutral and outside of the situation, you know? It's odd.

"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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[ 08-15-2013, 10:18 AM: Message edited by: Roxie102 ]

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Well, I think in my case I am still doing it because I think I will get used to it if I keep doing it (being sexual). But then, we will face many new pregnancy scare scenario in our head, aand back to this amazing site to get some explanation done (sorry guys) [Smile]
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I'm slowly managing to get over my anxiety. I think mine is because my mom (back when the pill wasn't nearly as effective, nor were there as many varieties to choose one that works best) got pregnant with my half-sister while she was on the pill, and as a consequence she raised me that anything more than kissing before marriage is too far. (It took well over a year to trust my boyfriend enough to go the whole way with him, because of how my mom acts - she still doesn't know, and I plan to keep it that way. My dad knows, but he also knows we're safe and sensible about it and agrees that since we're both legal adults, it's on us to be safe.)

Along with that, I think being on the pill has increased my anxiety. I have it all month long - I was anxious earlier this month, after my withdrawal bleed but before I'd seen my boyfriend, that it was a possibility, because I was more bloated than usual! Never mind that I have IBS and was having dreadful gas, my mind locked on it and wouldn't let go for hours. When I get back to school, I'm going to try finding a counselor on campus to figure out how to manage anxiety (I know it's from the pill, but even before I was on it I'd stay up all night worrying about things like homework or tests or projects) and try to figure out other coping methods that will work for me.

I still engage in partnered sex because I know my fears are irrational and I don't want to lose that element of our relationship, knowing we're as safe as we can possibly be and both actively working to avoid any unintended consequences.

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I feel the same way with sexual activity in the past. Personally, i am always in a mindset of "be smart. You dont want the risk" But once i am in the situation, things change and i just throw risks out the window. Until later of course. When my severe anxiety fully convinces myself ive become pregnant. even in the most rediculous situations. After i get my period im relieved and say "ill never do that again" and the cycle continues. Its stupid, really. I should have learned by now. This post is quite thought provoking. Thanks
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I agree with crazyhorseperson "being on the pill has increased my anxiety."

PS: Also if anyone would be willing to answer my question from my first post it would be greatly appreciated.

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