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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Can't seem to get turned on by sex

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Author Topic: Can't seem to get turned on by sex
CeeCee127
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Oral, manual, intercourse – nothing. Not even close. I don't get it. My boyfriend and I have tried just about everything, and there's literally nothing he wouldn't try if I requested it, but I don't even know what to ask for at this point. I've told him it's fine, because he feels bad about never getting me off, but I'm worried that privately I'm starting to resent him for being able to orgasm when I can't. I don't even like to talk about it, and get snappy when he brings it up. I don't know what there is to talk about.

It's even more frustrating because I can give myself fantastic orgasms through masturbation with hardly any touching, but any time a guy's involved, nada. I lost my virginity to my current boyfriend, but fooled around with several guys before we got together, and those hookups didn't do much for me, either. I just want sex to stop feeling like a chore. [Frown] Any advice? I'm 20, if it makes any difference.

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Karybu
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This may seem like a bit of a silly question, but do you want to be having sex with this person? You say that you don't find any kind of sex turns you on, but arousal really starts before any sex happens, in our brains: so before you get to the sex part, are you turned on by the idea of having sex with him?

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"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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CeeCee127
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I don't know. Not really. :\ Don't get me wrong, I find him cute. He's funny and incredibly smart. Being with him feels natural. So I couldn't say whether my lack of interest at the thought of sex is because *he* doesn't turn me on, or because I've already come to think of sex as being tedious. I'm probably overthinking this... x_x
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Karybu
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Okay, so have you ever found anyone really sexually attractive? It's entirely possible that you just haven't yet met someone with whom you have real chemistry - just because we find a given person funny and cute and smart doesn't mean we'll have that extra spark with them, and it sounds like your boyfriend, as wonderful as he is, may not be someone with whom you have a lot of chemistry.

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"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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CeeCee127
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I have been with people I found extremely attractive before, and they couldn't really turn me on either. I'm rather shy, though, so maybe it was self-consciousness distracting me from enjoying the moment? When I think about it, the most fun I've had during hookups have been with guys I considered rather average-looking. (Both had that kind of snarky humor I love in my boyfriend, though!) :S
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Heather
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Can I check in with you about what you mean by attractive? That might sound silly, but people we find aesthetically appealing, that doesn't mean we have sexual feelings for them or feel chemistry. Sounds like you already know that, though.

But also, before you even try to have any kind of sex, are you turned on FIRST? In other words, are you starting any kind of sex when you're not at all turned on yet, then looking for sex to provide that arousal by itself?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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CeeCee127
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I did mean aesthetically, yes. I'm not sure if I've been relying on sex alone to bring on arousal. I start out with an *interest* in sex, but it never seems to lead to much else.
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Heather
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Would you say that's the same kind of interest you tend to start off with when masturbating? Or is it different? If so, can you think about how it's different?

Also, when we ask about feeling sexual chemistry with someone -- more an an aesthetic attraction, more of a "I have a strong desire for us both to be naked NOW" kind of feeling -- is that something you feel like you have experienced and can identify if and when it happens or not?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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

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CeeCee127
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I'd say it's the same kind of interest, but it's never really strong. When I'm alone, I can act on it, or I can ignore it pretty easily. But when I'm with a guy, it just doesn't build into anything.
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Heather
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So, let me ask you a couple other things, to see if it gets us anywhere.

When you decide to initiate or otherwise pursue a sexual relationship with someone, how are you making that choice? Are feelings of sexual desire/excitement about that person part of the picture? Are you really initiating those relationships at all, with those feelings as part of them, or is it more like you are agreeing to what the other person wants and feels, following a desire they feel -- or that with romantic relationships, you just figure they should be sexual, even if you're not experiencing strong (or any) feelings of sexual desire/chemistry with that person?

When you're alone and masturbating, are you fantasizing? If so, are there other people in the picture or not? With those fantasies, if there are other people, are they at all like the people you date? The sex in your fantasies, is it at all like any of your real-life sex? By any chance are the kinds of sex you're fantasizing about way different than your real-life sex? For instance, a person may often fantasize about BDSM with masturbation and be very aroused by that, but not explore that in their partnered sex lives.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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

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turtle_lady
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I come across this sometimes too! I think I shall monitor this conversation, unless I am allowed to jump in. How very fascinating.

Only thing is that I do not masturbate. It just doesn't appeal to me at this point in my life. If I do masturbate, it's like...once every 2 months, sometimes less. The only pleasure I recieve is from my partner. Sometimes I'm REALLY turned on and could have sex every day, multiple times a day and sometimes that is the case. Then there are periods where for WEEKS, I'm not sexually aroused or anything, even by sex with my fiance. Sometimes I just tend to doze off, I even have just been so tired, I stop everything and go to sleep on the nights I stay at his place.

Are there reasons for this flip slopping? Does it have to do with a certain stage in my cycle? Sometimes I get crazy turned on at the thought of his touching my waist and kissing me...sometimes, I really could care less. So I guess I can kind of understand where you're coming from CeeCee127...sometimes I just can't get turned on. No matter how much I want to or try. I wonder if it's just that I don't want to...it's strange...

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~Kayla Christine~

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CeeCee127
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Turtle_Lady – feel free to jump in!

Heather - It's funny you suggest that. I fantasize about BDSM scenarios quite a lot. After some prodding I admitted it to my bf, and he's all for trying it, but I'm not sure how well those fantasies would translate to real life. I don't think there's a whole lot of consistency in the type of guy I think about, though, and when I try to describe the sort of sex I picture... I don't know. I just can't quite communicate what I want (I was raised in a kind of prudish family), or when he follows my directions, it just doesn't do anything. I usually blame it on talking ruining the mood, but who knows.

Pre-boyfriend, I had a fair few "one night stands," some with guy friends and some with strangers, all consisting of make out sessions and/or oral. After a while I realized it wasn't really making me happy, because I always felt under pressure to "perform" or please them, usually at my own expense. Even when they reciprocated, I didn't feel much, and eventually I just started declining the offers. I thought finding someone I had an emotional connection with would somehow fix that, but so far, no luck.

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