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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » I am paranoid about sex and I hate it.

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Author Topic: I am paranoid about sex and I hate it.
SittingPretty12
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Hi all, I have been sexually active for 6 years and have always been paranoid about sex, most notably STIs. I consider myself very cautious because I have always insisted that my male partners use condoms for all genital contact and I have been on the Pill for 5 of these 6 years (I recently went off).

If you look at my history, you can see that I am always paranoid about sex. Here's the problem: I have sex and for a few days, I'm worry free. When I have some free time, I start to have delusions and/or think about "what ifs?" which probably have little to no truth. These are classic symptoms of anxiety, which I suffer from. I know it's easy to say, "Don't put yourself in these situations," but I always feel OKAY going into it and WORRY much later. Isn't that odd?

Here is a great (and VERY recent) example: I had sex on Wednesday night with a friend. We were WASTED drunk but being as I am paranoid, I said to him, "Look, I'm not on the Pill, we definitely need to use a condom." He wasn't concerned about it, and I watched as he rolled one on. We had sex and he came quickly. Then he put on a second one -- this one I helped him put on. I pinched the tip and watched him roll it on. I checked periodically to make sure there was no slippage of breakage (I know, pretty good for a drunk girl, huh?). The last thing I remember is him asking me if he could finish on my breasts and I suggested (I think) he remove the condom right before ejaculation. He did and did not ejaculate near my vulva (I remember semen getting on my wrist and making sure not to get it near). We had sex maybe 2 or 3 times, I'm not sure how many times. I remember him opening a first package finishing and taking it off. I remember looking the drawer for another condom, and found a Trojan ENZ, and put it on him. I do not remember a 3rd time (but do not remember a 3rd condom in his drawer), but I did not black out. I can recall little details about it all. Now I'm sitting here wondering if maybe he misunderstood me and MAYBE put his penis in when I asked him to finish or maybe the condom slipped off somewhere in between and I didn't notice. See what I mean? All maybes.

What I remember is condom usage, what I don't remember is any breakage, slippage, etc. After sex, I went on my merry way until yesterday. That familiar feeling of dread set in. I started playing bad situations in my head and convincing myself that they were true. I KNOW me and I know I would never let a naked penis near me and I would freak out and probably sober myself up pretty quickly if I noticed anything. I didn't even think about Plan B until today which means that I felt fine for 4 days.

I must have some sort of guilt about sex, because even though I do everything right (I think), I end up freaking out. It's so weird because I promise myself every time that I will never have sex again, but then I do, then I get weird.

I know I should seek therapy, but I have no resources right now (no insurance, no money, and I just graduated so I cannot use student services anymore). I know this isn't a mental health website, but I figured since it was about sex, maybe someone can shed some light on this? Any experiences? You all are such a lovely group of women and I love this site, so I appreciate any/all input.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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The thing is that if you know you already suffer from anxiety, this is really more an anxiety issue than a sexual issue. It just sounds like sex is one of your triggers for anxiety.

That's hard;y surprising, of course, because while sex can be enjoyable and relaxing, it can also be stressful, and certainly involves dealing with or managing some things that are scary or stressful.

So, really, the very best advice we can ever give anyone in this situation -- and it is advice we have given before -- is to do what you can to get some help with your anxiety, and until you do, to do yourself a favor and try and avoid things that trigger your anxiety when you don't have the help or the tools to manage that anxiety.

Does that suck? Of course it does. At the same time, I think it seems pretty clear that this isn't working for you.

Are you eligible for public health in your state?

--------------------
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

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SittingPretty12
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Hey Heather,

Thanks for your replies over the last couple of days. I know I need to refrain from sex until I get my anxiety figured out professionally.

I promised myself I would remain abstinent after my recent HIV scare, but here I am again -- worrying yet again about pregnancy and STIs. Like I said, I'm 90% confident my partner did not remove the condom, but I can't shake that feeling. It's so exhausting.

I do not qualify for public service because my parents make too much money, they are in transition between jobs and in transition between insurances. I'm worried about bringing this up to them and using their insurance. My mom wants me to be perfect. She's a great mom, but puts me on a pedestal. I don't want her to be disappointed that I have a mental health issue (and have had this issue for years -- I once brought up that I thought I was depressed to her and she sort of dismissed it).

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Heather
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I'm so sorry to hear that you feel unable to seek out help with your anxiety because you think your mother would be unsupportive.

And I've no doubt you feel exahausted: anxiety certainly uses a lot of energy.

Is talking to her about this so you can get that help something you'd be up to trying?

If not, what about at least looking into some DIY, like via some self-help books for anxiety sufferers?

--------------------
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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SittingPretty12
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I think I am going to talk to my stepmom, she is very supportive. I've mentioned to her before how my mind races and how tired I am. She was really helfpul.

I think I'll check out some books for anxiety. I have been looking into Cognitive Behavioral Therapy because I doubt that medications will help me.

I base my feelings off of "what ifs" and not facts. I hate it.

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xo.

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Robin Lee
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Anxiety truly is exhausting so it's little wonder you feel worn out.

One thing I see you saying in these posts is that you're having trouble staying away from sexual activity even though you know (and don't like) that it makes you anxious. If this is the case, did you want to talk about some ways you can make some decisions about what sexual activities will work for you and how to stick to your guns with the decisions you make?

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Robin

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SittingPretty12
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Yes, I really try hard to abstain from sex. I honestly would have never had sex with my last partner haven't I been drunk.

The thing is, I KNEW it was a bad idea when I went home to change. I should have just got in my bed and called it a day.

Then, I figured I'd be okay and whatever. After we had sex, I felt awesome. I was like, "We used a condom, no worries!" Kissed him goodbye and went home. I didn't feel anxious until 4 days later (I had a lot of idle time to think). I'm not sure if this is my "gut" or if I'm being paranoid.

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xo.

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Heather
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You know, my sense is that it's usually folks with anxiety who are the most prone to having sex when intoxicated, or getting intoxicated with the idea of sex, which isn't surprising, since it often makes people feel ,ore relaxed.

But, of course, it's a catch-22, because it also fiddles with judgment and decision-making. And then it also messes with your memory, so the anxiety you have after is likely even worse than it would have been.

None of those things are judgments, btw, just observations. But I'm wondering if it might help you to maybe create some rules and scripts for yourself around that if you think this might continue to be a situation where you have a hard time choosing what you know does and doesn't work for you? Maybe even have a friend you call to remind you of what you really want and need for yourself for the time being?

[ 05-21-2012, 07:16 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
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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SittingPretty12
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No worries, I didn't take those as judgements. That is actually an interesting perspective. I did not really think of it like that.

I know I need to start acting like an adult. I'm 22, a recent college grad. You would think I would have more logic and some more common sense.

I like the idea of having a script; luckily, I won't be in many of these situations anymore since I have moved home with my parents (!!!). I just wish I had someone to talk to about my concerns without judgment because I think I sound a little crazy sometimes.

I guess I'm just worried about this particular experience because I have never had sex off the Pill. I'm still waiting for my period and it's really unnerving. I already have my yearly appointment coming up with my gynecologist for STI screening and a pap smear, so I'm already taking the first step to be tested.

This is my second month off of the pill and I'm pretty sure I ovulated the night we had sex because I had thick, clear, sticky discharge. So I'm REALLY hoping that the condom was used correctly. I guess I have to wait 9 more days to take a test. [Frown]

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xo.

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Heather
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I can certainly see how that would amp your anxiety further. And heck, all of this situation would create anxiety for plenty of people who don't usually have issues with anxiety.

I don't think you're without logic or common sense, nor that you're not...well, acting your age. Especially since plenty of us know full well that "acting like an adult" is a wide and varied thing. Being an adult also doesn't mean not worrying about things, making the perfect choices all the time, being totally self-aware in every situation, etc. If only! [Smile]

I know waiting this stuff out blows, but I hope you can hang in there through it. And while we aren't qualified or set up to counsel around anxiety disorders specifically, we're certainly happy to talk to you in the ways we can to give you some extra support while you're exploring how to get the things you need we can't provide.

--------------------
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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SittingPretty12
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Thank you for the kind words, you are really helping me calm down quite a bit. Like I said, I keep on trying to rely on my first instinct that I had. I was VERY concerned about the condom when we had sex and I kept checking it. I 100% remember that (my system jolts upon sex). So I'm hoping it's just my anxiety talking. If I had any glimmer of worry, I would have taken the morning after pill. I just know me. Normal me and anxious me are two totally different people. [Frown]

Thank you for giving me your support, I can't really talk to others about any of this. What would I do without this site? [Smile]

--------------------
xo.

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Heather
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Of course, and I totally understand. That's pretty much the deal, too, with mood disorders, be it anxiety, depression or something else: in the throes of one, a person really doesn't tend to feel like themselves.

(And hopefully you'll never need to find out what life without us is like unless you want to! [Big Grin] )

--------------------
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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SittingPretty12
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[Smile] I did have a talk with my mom today about this particular experience. (I didn't talk about my anxiety).

She was really cool and told me I'm probably worrying for nothing, and worst case scenario -- if I fall pregnant, she will help me (she had an abortion in 1982, so she's understanding). Of course, I am getting WAY ahead of myself here. It was just good to get it off my chest.

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xo.

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Karybu
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I'm glad your mom was supportive and talking to her helped you feel better!

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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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