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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » A lot of thoughts, no one to talk to...

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Author Topic: A lot of thoughts, no one to talk to...
IsabelJ
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As a woman I feel that my body and sexuality don’t belong to me. If I want to have sex, I’m a slut. If I don’t want, then I’m a frigid. Either way, I don’t get to say anything.

When I was just a kid my parents pressured me to lose weight saying that no man would ever like me. Then I lost weight and I was also too skinny to be loved. As a teenager, my mom found my box of tampons and she shamed me for using them because “only women can use tampons”.

As an adult, men think they somehow have the right to touch my butt in the bus. If I have a boyfriend and he wants to have sex and I tell him I don’t want to, I have to justify why. Apparently, I don’t feel ready it’s not a good enough reason. I lean in for a kiss, he gropes my breasts because it’s the same thing, right? I’m not allowed to enjoy a kissing session on the couch if I don’t want to go any further cause then I’m a bitch or a tease.

A close friend of mine got married. She returned from her honeymoon and she was feeling so wise and mature because of it *eyeroll*. She told me how bad it hurt when she first had sex with her husband and she was so proud of that, like that was proving that she was more of a virgin. Her husband is a douchebag, he’s jealous and controlling; one day she got sick and he didn’t want to take her to the doctor. But, hey, it doesn’t matter, cause she’s a married woman now; and she’s going to give him a dozen babies and then he’s going to change and love her.

A few years ago I went to the gyno for a checkup. When he tried to insert the speculum I told him it hurt, so he just shove it in. Just like that.

And the worst thing is: I’m my biggest enemy and critique! I’ve never had intercourse with a man, but when I first used a vibrator I didn’t think of using lube, I wasn’t even aroused. It hurt like hell but I thought it’s supposed to hurt like that; I forced myself. Although it hurt, I didn’t bleed. Guess what?! I questioned my own virginity afterwards! I thought that my mom was right and I regretted using tampons. And I didn’t even know back then that it was completely wrong. Now I hate myself for this.

I hate living in this world. I hate feeling like a piece of meat. Sometimes I wish I was born a man.

I’m rambling, I know, this is a big rant and I apologize! I know I’m not the only one facing sexism and misogyny. But I couldn’t keep all these feelings inside of me anymore, they were driving me crazy. How the hell am I going to live in this world and keep my sanity?

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Welcome to the boards, Isabel. [Smile] And by all means, it's more than fine to bring issues and feelings like this here: we certainly know how prevalent they are.

Let's start here: when you say things like this:
quote:
As an adult, men think they somehow have the right to touch my butt in the bus. If I have a boyfriend and he wants to have sex and I tell him I don’t want to, I have to justify why. Apparently, I don’t feel ready it’s not a good enough reason. I lean in for a kiss, he gropes my breasts because it’s the same thing, right? I’m not allowed to enjoy a kissing session on the couch if I don’t want to go any further cause then I’m a bitch or a tease.
or this:
quote:
If I want to have sex, I’m a slut. If I don’t want, then I’m a frigid. Either way, I don’t get to say anything.
...do you mean these hings have all happened to you? And keep happening?

--------------------
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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IsabelJ
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Hi Heather. Thank you for your warm welcome! [Smile]

Yes, those things happened.
It happens a lot of times that when I take the bus some men touch my butt or grope me; I speak out whenever I can but I'm getting tired and other passengers look at me like it's my fault for making a scene. I don't dress provocatively (although I know this is not the issue behind this behavior). I usually wear jeans and I dress a bit boy-ish, but honestly I would love to be able to dress how I want and not be afraid.

My past relationships were short because eventually they wanted to have sex and I didn't. I don't feel ready to get sexual with someone else and I don't see why I have to explain that; I don't even understand why I don't feel ready. But apparently they wanted some good explanation for that. Sometimes they would even try to convince me that they "magically have the cure for my frigidity".

My ex-boyfriend used to touch me whenever he wanted, however he wanted. I was feeling uncomfortable so I told him. He said he's a touchy-feely person. Bullshit! I'm touchy-feely, I like holding hands, hugs, kisses and cuddling but I don't start touching their genitals or chest all of a sudden. We were watching a movie on TV and during commercials we started making out. I stopped and I told him that I liked what we were doing but I wanted to let him know that I didn't want to go any further. He got so frustrated and and told me I'm such a tease. That's why I even talked with him early, so he could know my boundaries. Anyway, I usually broke up with them and sometimes they did.

So, yeah, those things happened, except for the "If I want to have sex, I’m a slut" part because I never expressed a desire to have sex with my exes, but it's the type of thinking that my friends and colleagues have when they talk about women wanting sex.

Anyway, I know the world it's not gonna change; at least I hope that my grandchildren will live in better days. But I'm getting so tired of this! I also feel that I shouldn't even try dating anymore because I don't feel ready to have sex. And probably I don't feel ready because there's no one I can trust. Maybe I'm overthinking, but sex is a very emotional and vulnerable thing for me.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Okay. I'm really sorry they did. That obviously, utterly, sucks.

But what I'd say to that is to be careful -- if for no other reason than your own emotional and mental health -- not to generalize around those experiences.

For a personal example, the fact that men rapes and assaulted me? Doesn't mean that men will rape and assault me, or that that experience is sound per my whole view of men. It means THOSE men did. But even just looking at all my other life experiences? Way MORE men have not, did not, will not do that to me than those who did, you know? I have had far more men in my life be great friends to me, have had one be a wonderful parent to me, be good partners to me, respectful colleagues, etc. than those who haven't.

Of course, I could have internalized that, and goodness knows, a lot of people do. And it's understandable why. But I think we have to do what we can to really fight against doing that, because our quality of life, and our sense of self AND others is really, really going to suffer, you know?

In other words, your ex-boyfriend? Sounds like a shitty person, who treated you poorly, and who also wasn't an interpersonally healthy person, or someone who knew how to interact with you in healthy ways. he also sounds like the ex-girlfriend of a girlfriend of mine. IOW, how much was this about him being a dude and you not? Who knows. maybe a lot, maybe none at all.

Not going to deny that our world, on the whole, has a sexism and misogyny problem: it so does. Not that we also have a big problem, in many ways, with healthy interactions and relationships.

But this isn't about you being a woman. This also isn't about "how men are." It's about how some men choose to be when it comes to women and the good news is that some? isn't all. Or, IME, even anything close.

You body and your sexuality DO belong to you. Not everyone thinks so, that's true. But plenty of people, of various genders, do.

The other good news is that the one person you have absolute control over with this? Is you. So, what do you feel like needs to happen, or you need to adjust, for YOU to feel like it does? especially since not only is that what's most important, it also does tend to influence how other people respond to you.

--------------------
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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IsabelJ
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Thank you for your reply! It really helped me see things from another perspective.

Now that I think about it, I think I have accumulated a lot of hatred for this world and that’s not ok – not only it can insult other people who are not like that, but, like you said, it’s not doing me any good emotionally. But honestly I feel like I can’t trust anyone, men or women, stranger or family. Maybe it’s safer for me to not trust anyone than risk to be hurt again. I don’t know, I’m not sure how I should feel about this because it seems that every time I regain my faith in humanity I get disappointed again. Maybe there’s a fine line between trust and naivety that I don’t get. But every single time I let my guard down I get burned.

I feel so disconnected from my body and sexuality. I’m in my twenties and I don’t know what I like sexually. I still have a lot of guilt wrapped around masturbation; I only do it once in a while because I feel weird afterwards. And my body, oh, I feel like it’s not even mine. It has changed so much over time, I’ve never liked it and avoided to see myself naked in the mirror that now when I do it, it feels like I’m looking at a stranger. I don’t know what’s there to love and what not.

I know I have internalized a lot of negative messages. Actually, your website was the first place where I read sex-positive and body-positive articles; finding it 4 years ago (I think) was the best thing in my life. So far I struggle every day to change my way of thinking. I still have a lot of questions (and that’s quite embarrassing for my age) because I can’t seem to wrap my head around what’s good and what’s not regarding sexuality looking from a religious perspective; I don’t even know what’s good for me. Aahh, sorry if it doesn’t make sense, I feel very confused.

As for what would make me feel better, I think that would be confidence in myself. Sure it hurts when someone disappoints me but nothing compares with the fact that I often hate myself. [Wow, it’s amazing how many things come in mind when you start writing.] I think I have always waited for someone to love me so I can start loving myself; somehow in my head these two things can’t be inverted. No matter how much I try, loving myself doesn't feel right. And that’s probably the reason why I get in shitty relationships.

[ 09-12-2013, 04:37 AM: Message edited by: IsabelJ ]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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You're welcome.

I don't think it's anything to be ashamed of to have the kinds of questions you do, or not to know the answers to them. In fact, based on what I know about human sexuality and how it all develops for people, I'd say anyone in their teens or even twenties saying they have all those answers is either just not understanding how complex the questions are or has the answers *for now* but that, as tends to happen with sexuality through life, will probably soon find they change, or that they will LATER have all those questions, if you follow me.

Really, I'm not sure we ever have those answers past an up-until-now or for-now.But by all means, I'm hearing a whole lot of stuff here that's really less about other people and more about you. And one other thing I know, just about life and relating with others in general is that by all means, when we don't like, accept, respect or love ourselves, when others don't either? Holy molely, does it hurt so, so much worse. I think it can kind of be like the betrayals of others echo our own betrayals of ourselves: like the crappy things we've thought about ourselves wind up getting validated by others.

It sounds to me like you've been really introspective so far, and very willing to look at some hard truths, including about yourself, which often we, as people, struggle with and aren't so great at. But without that, we really can't even get started with things like this, so it's great you DO have that start.

Can you maybe fill me in on your life in general right now? What you're doing with it, what you're passionate about, what your dreams and goals are, what things you do where you DO feel engaged and of value and excited and whole?

--------------------
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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IsabelJ
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Thank you for letting me know that it’s normal to still have questions without answers. As crazy as it sound, I have never thought about that. When I look at my friends and colleagues they seem to have everything in order, you know? They seem to be so relaxed and casual regarding sexuality; like hooking up with someone they’ve just met at a party it’s no big deal, it’s just fun. I feel left out when I hear them talking like this. I’m not judging them, no, but I’ve always wondered why I can’t look at things like that. Why are relationships such big and important things in my life? And why is sex so emotional that I still don’t feel ready?

I don’t know if there’s much to say about my life. I’m a student so my studies consume most of my time. I’m also an introvert so I don’t go out much and I usually spend my free time reading, listening to music or playing the guitar. Pretty boring actually. This summer I have got more active and have very much enjoyed cycling in the park so now I’m thinking to join a gym and maybe start packing on some muscles [Smile] So lately I’ve spent a lot of time searching about nutrition and bodybuilding.

My focus usually shifts from one thing to another and I tend to temporally get passionate about different things. Maybe that’s because I don’t have a sense of fulfillment in my life and I can’t say that I have one thing that represents me. As I’m writing this, I realize that I always seem to think about relationships as THE thing that gives me value and brings passion in my life. This doesn’t sound healthy, does it?! But like I said, I’ve always waited for someone to love me so I can start living and enjoying my life. Meanwhile, my life is actually happening – without me. And I very much hate this. Weird how the mind works.. Do you have any suggestions on how I should start changing this way of thinking? I would appreciate that!

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Heather
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Oh, just give them five minutes or a life experience that throws everything into disarray. Seriously. Any of us can only somehow have -- or think we have -- everything all sorted for so long until something in our lives comes along and changes everything up or makes us go, "Oh, WHAT now?" [Razz]

quote:
Why are relationships such big and important things in my life? And why is sex so emotional that I still don’t feel ready?
Well, why do *you* think that is?

per your studies: are you loving them, and studying things you're very interested in and excited about? Is reading, listening to music and playing guitar boring for YOU, or are you saying it isn't, but might seem so to others? Is nutrition and bodybuilding something you're pursuing because it seems like fun, like something very interesting to you you'd enjoy exploring?

By all means, making intimate relationship THE thing, the only thing, that give us value and are where we're passionate about life doesn't tend to work out so well, yes. Relationships with other people are ultimately about sharing ourselves and our lives, living our lives WITH others, not through them or only when there is someone else in the picture. Know what I mean?

I was happy a few weeks ago to find that someone had made a web version of this, which is, I think, probably THE best book ever written about healthy relationships, one which happens to actually be a children's book, but which I think is really relevant to all of us, no matter our age: http://osorhan.com/bigo/

Take a look at it, would you? I think it might really help us out with some of this conversation. [Smile]

--------------------
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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IsabelJ
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You have a point and I get it. And the story of the Big O is really interesting and I'll reflect more on it. But then I think: if I'll ever find some kind of fulfillment in my life and get to live happily single, then what's the point of relationships after all? Why do we even look for someone else or seek companionship? I know I did to keep away loneliness. Sounds selfish, doesn't it?! I didn't mean it that way. Maybe I'm just a little tired. It's like I have two brains: one that understands that is not healthy to have relationships just to give me some sense of value and one brain that still wants to be loved and can't understand how I could ever find true happiness being single. It's like a constant battle with myself.
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Heather
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If we're happy with ourselves, it doesn't mean there's no point in ALSO being happy with others and having others in our lives.

To me, that's a little like, "We had dinner, why do we need dessert?" And, of course, we maybe don't need it per not starving to death, but it's yummy, we want it, it offers us things dinner doesn't, you know?

Relationships with others are about adding things to our lives, adding people and interactions we enjoy where we get to be ourselves, and enjoy ourselves, but also enjoy other people, interacting with them, and all the extra things they can bring to our lives, like opportunities for us to grow, companionship, love, fun, intimacy, even the challenges of getting along with and learning to understand someone/others who aren't us and aren't the same person we are.

--------------------
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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IsabelJ
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It makes sense.
Sorry for so many questions [Smile]

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Heather
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No need to be: I'm happy to talk about this with you, and questions are always good things. [Smile]

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

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

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