I'm a seventeen year old girl and I recently (sometime within the last three months) broke up with my boyfriend of over a year because I no longer felt any sexual attraction. That might even be an understatement - sexual acts - even french kissing - filled me with disgust. At first I thought it was him, and then realised that I do not seem to be attracted to guys in general. While sexual activities might feel vaguely or intensely physically pleasurable, they disgust me to the point of tears. It gets worse when I actually think about it - during intercourse if I think about what we're doing, I'm disgusted, images of germs and saws and all sorts of strange things flash through my mind and I have an urge to push the guy off me. When I'm less focused it's less of a problem. And this seemed to become more of an issue recently... my ex and I (still very close) had been having sex for at least a year, and while it was never something I looked forward to, I always enjoyed it or was neutral. The last few times we had sex, I ended up in tears.
Brief History of me that might be helpful - no sexual abuse in my childhood (that I can recall) though some shrinks have thought I was abused and blocked it. I highly doubt this. I have had sex with two people. Have ED-NOS (eating disorder that cannot be classified as anorexia or bulimia but in my case combines symptoms from both), but it is less severe than it used to be (I've had it for around 2 years).
Anyway, I've been sort of long-winded - I just wanted to give adequate background. My "unusual problem" is that I have realised that I am not attracted to males - my first thought was that I must be a lesbian, as I appreciate the look and personality of girls much more and notice their physical appearance (while I hardly pay attention to guys). Then I realised that <i>this</i> is likely the result of my eating disorder - I am much more critical of females and this is why I focus on them so much. I also desire beauty myself and therefore idealise attractive women. I do not actually want to BE with a woman sexually, or have a relationship of a sexual nature with a woman emotionally. I find the idea as offputting as the idea of being with a man.
Is this a common problem? Will it pass? Is it possible to be someone who is attracted to nobody at all? I think I remember hearing a name for it. Are there some kinds of sexual encounters that could explain this? Or even, does anyone have any ideas about what this is and how I should cope? I was thinking maybe experimentation with a girl would sort out my thoughts but it might simply add to the confusion.
after reading the "asexuality" thread, thought i should add that i think i HAVE been attracted to people... but i have stopped. just to clarify
Posts: 5 | From: Canada | Registered: May 2002
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You know, if you're feeling "turned off" by sex in general at the moment, it's okay to give yourself permission to be celibate until you find yourself *wanting* to be sexual with a particular person.
Our culture is pretty sex-saturated, so sometimes it's easy to forget that sex is not compulsory . It can be very liberating to remember "well, if I don't want to have sex with other people right now - I don't have to".
There could be lots of different reasons for your feelings of disgust about sex, but trying to force yourself to feel desire when you don't or when it upsets you probably isn't going to help. Giving yourself permission to "take a break" from sex with other people for as long as you want could be a useful first step in getting to know your sexuality on your own and figuring out if and how you do want to be sexual with other people.
There's some good info about celibacy (as opposed to "abstinence") in the article at:
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