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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Turning myself off...?

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Author Topic: Turning myself off...?
Member # 31183

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Every time I try to masturbate lately, I find that I can't even get aroused. It dosen't matter what I'm looking at/thinking about or where I am or who else is there or whatever, it's just like I try to get started and I look down at myself and I just...get turned off I suppose. I used to be able to do it just fine and I liked looking at my body while I did things like that, but now I can't do it without completely losing my drive.

I'm 22 years old, 5'7", and 125 lbs. I've been told that I don't look really "fat", but lately I've really really felt fat, which is weird because I've been starting to work out for 4-5 hours a day lately. I'm not exactly the most perfect example of a female in the world - I have naturally oily (greasy) skin, I sweat a lot, and I don't "smell like a girl". I hang around with guys all the time and they always joke that I fit right in with them in terms of smell (I don't take offense to it when they say it). I'm not really flexible, so when I try to do "things" it takes some effort. That's one thing that I think turns me off because every single girl that I know can do the splits and touch their toes and everything else. I still have really bad acne on my face/chest/back and I have people making comments about it a lot.

I've had self-esteem issues for as long as I can remember and I've never managed to improve them. My boyfriend tries to tell me that I look fine whenever I get depressed about my looks/body but I can't make myself believe him at all. I can't even bring myself to going to see him without putting on a layer or so of cover-up. My mom used to make comments all the time about my looks, like I would buy a new bathing suit and go out to the pool and she would say something like "You do know that suit's not exactly flattering on you, right?". It would ruin me and I'd have to go back into my room immediately and put on pants and a long-sleeve shirt because I'd be so embarassed.

I can't take it anymore. It's one thing to be self-conscious around other people, but being self-conscious when you're by yourself is just sad. I want to look at myself for once and be happy with what I see. As it is, after I fail at trying to have some alone time, I'll actually start to cry and I become even more disgusted with myself because I get 10x uglier when I cry and whenever I see other girls cry, they just look different, not uglier..

I'm a quiet person, so I don't really tell people that I feel this horribly about it, not even my boyfriend. If I'm standing off to the side of somewhere while my boyfriend is doing something a way's away and a girl starts hitting on him (which many do) I automatically realize that she's way more thin/voluptuous/beautiful than I am and I start to feel ashamed. The last time this happened was at the store. He was paying at the counter and a nice, tall, thin girl with perfect ebony locks and crystal blue eyes and flawless ivory skin who was wearing as little as she could without being guilty of public nudity started talking to him and I clearly heard her ask "So...would you like to come back to my place?" and I just remember my blood running cold and I thought "Oh god..." and dropped the newspaper I was reading and immediately walked out of the store. I was practically shaking and a number of obscenities kept echoing through my head. Most girls would get angry when this happens and go tell the girl off or wait to see how their boyfriend reacts, but I was just so embarassed and ashamed and fear-struck that I couldn't stand even looking at her. He told me later that he'd told her to F off, but I still couldn't get her out of my head.

I want help. I want to fix this. And please don't tell me to seek counseling/therapy because I hardly like pouring my heart out over the internet and much less to a fellow psychiactrics student or doctor.

Any advice would be much, much appreciated...

[ 07-07-2007, 11:22 PM: Message edited by: Itami139 ]

Posts: 21 | From: North America | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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You know, it's really well documented that one thing many women with eating disorders and/or poor body image often have in common is growing up with family being cirtical of their bodies. And it's often shown that when a same-sex parent or sibling does it, those effects are even more profound.

At your height and weight, not only are you not fat, you may even be underweight unless you're exceptionally small-framed. But, believe it or not, positive body image doesn't rest on feeling fat or thin, anyway. There's plenty of earnestly fat women out and about in the world who have positive body image, even in spite of culture's attacks on them.

You might also want to considering reframing how you define your own femininity. In other words, girls smell all sorts of different ways, because despite having XX, we also vary widely in terms of race, nationality, what we eat: all sorts of factors that influence our individual smells. Women and girls also aren't gymnasts by default: some women are very flexible, others are not, and the only reason flexibility -- when it does -- gets put up there are some sort of femme trait is that men (and women, sometimes even when men don't) will present it as some sort of sexual prowess (as in, "you can bend me any way you want to," blah blah de blah). Same thing with the type of skin you have: women -- and with skin, it's mostly about nationanlity and race -- have all different sorts of skin types.

There IS no "perfect example" of what is female. We vary. And it's smart in terms of body image, self-esteem and gender identity to be self-aware in terms of how WE define our own sex or gender, the places that comes from, and how very arbitrary that can be. Too? It's pretty typical to be more self-critical of our appeartance than we are of others.

Thing is, you KNOW this is making you miserable, and body image really is all about mind-over-matter, since people who fit a given ideal can have poor body image while those who don't can have awesome body image. And if you know something you're thinking is making you miserable, then it really is just a matter of unlearing that and reframing how you think abiut yourself.

You might want to try writing a list of positive affirmations just to keep handy and start saying or posting up in places you can see them. For some, you might want to reframe something negative into a positive. For example, rather than "I don't smell like a girl," maybe "I smell earthy, passionate and warm."

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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