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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Possible Partner Sexual Performance Anxiety?

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Author Topic: Possible Partner Sexual Performance Anxiety?
Relic
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Member # 45640

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I think I’ve asked questions about this several times throughout the years but as more time passes I have more information. Anyway, this is about my boyfriend’s aversion to sex, something that cropped up almost two years ago when we first started having it.

Now for awhile, almost a year ago, he was mostly selfish about sex. Only wanted to do it a certain way and suddenly the passion came out of it. And I don’t mean like usually as people get older losing passion. I mean after we started having sex he began avoiding it like the plague. Eventually we stopped having it altogether, going something like six months without it. Which is odd for two young people who both just began participating in sexual activity.

Anyway, because of a lot of different stresses on out relationship we decided to take a break and the day after realized we wanted to be with eachother in the end. After three months of both of us fixing problems in ourselves we began trial dating again and things were absolutely wonderful. I nixed absolutely any possibility of sex, which made him really want it. I told him that for the first few weeks we wouldn’t even be able to kiss, and suddenly that was all he wanted to do. It was peculiar because suddenly his passion returned. You see, all through highschool I refused for us to have any type of sex and he was very passionate, enjoying make out sessions and the like, but once we did it was like he wasn’t interested anymore.

Anyway we got back together and eventually had sex again. Actually many times, but it slowly returned back to how it was before. At first he enjoyed everything but then he began only wanting to do one specific position everytime, then he would ask us to “hurry up” with the foreplay that he used to enjoy, explaining that if he didn’t hurry up and have sex he would think too much about it and it would freak him out. For awhile he did really try but it seemed like he was being kind of mechanical about everything. Like his mind was somewhere else while we were doing things. After that he started “forgetting” to pick up condoms, and finding issues with the condoms we had so that we couldn’t have sex, and also refusing to go out and get them because its late or he doesn’t want friends or family in town seeing him buying them (which I understand being a bit embarrassed). After that I noticed (although I realized that this happened more often) that he would all of a sudden, while we were kissing, stop kissing for a moment to talk about something that happened during the day or ask me a question completely irrelevant like, Did you take the letter to the post office this morning?

Now the last time we had sex, he stopped us in the middle of it and said “No we really need to stop, I’m not going to be able to finish…. The condoms make me unable to feel you.” Obviously I was humiliated and it was like, boom, end of sex drive for me. Suddenly I am not interested in having sex either, it just seems like way too much work. Anyway, I know this is important to relationships and I know that he finds me physically and sexually attractive (as much as I find him) so I encouraged us to participate in other things, like kissing and stuff, while taking sex completely off the table until he works his aversion out.

Then he began avoiding this stuff, refusing to let me give him handjobs and last night stopping in the middle of pleasuring me, first stopping to talk, then stopping to hug me for a long time, then just suddenly stopping without explanation and just giving me a backrub. When I asked him what was wrong and why he kept asking me questions he told me that stopping to ask questions made him calm down, made him feel less stressed out.

So here is what I know. He suffers from severe anxiety, and used to suffer from bad depression but it has recently improved a lot. He is slightly overweight, exercises very rarely although he has a physically strenuous job, and his diet isn’t the best but he has made motions to improve. He also thinks his mother may have given him an unhealthy view of sex and he is a germophobe. (Alright but those are all the negative things, just so you know there are a ton of really positive things about him or else I never would have had us get back together).

Finally, and perhaps the most important thing, is that he is willing to do anything to fix this. He understands how stressful this is for me, and I know how stressful it is for him so we are willing to work together. Next week he is going to the doctor to get anti-anxiety medication. Mostly, we both know how much we want to be together and are willing to do what it takes to make the relationship work.

What I want to know is, what could the problem be and ways that both of us could possibly work on fixing it? I personally think it might be a performance anxiety disorder but I’m open to any suggestions.

Posts: 27 | From: United States | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Relic: I've read and reread this a couple of times, and I'm feeling like this is one of those situations where I feel unable to do or offer much without talking to your partner about it, rather than you, and doing so without you present.

I mean, my gut feeling on all of this is that he might be one of those folks who wants to want to have sex, but doesn't earnestly want to have sex, if you get me. I hear a lot of things that just tell me this isn't something he's ready for or feels able to handle, nor something he's earnestly comfortable with. The easiest answer to that, and in my book, the best one, is for anyone in that position to step away from sex and work that out, outside a sexual relationship (where we're always going to feel pressure to engage in sex to some degree, even if no one is exerting it). I think that sounds like what needs to happen here, but what's missing in all of that is what he needs to be working on (save, for sure, getting help with his anxiety, which is most likely a part of the issue) per the why of all this and how it's all gone.

In other words, I feel like I need a lot more of HIS why of this to try and get to the root of what's going on, and his why not as he talks to you, his partner, but as he talks to someone else for whom it's obviously going to be a lot less loaded.

Is that something he might be up for? If not here, with us, how about with a therapist in a private setting?

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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
Relic
Neophyte
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He is willing to go to counseling, actually he has gone twice already, but it ended up being pretty expensive. Right now he is saving up money so he can go but I'm not sure he'd be willing to talk to his counselor about that specifically. I have noticed that it is easier for him to talk about stuff through writing so maybe talking online could help him out.

I agree that there is more to it then just anxiety but its odd because when there is no pressure he suddenly wants to.

And I agree that I wouldn't be able to be present either. He needs to work this stuff out without me around. I don't get mad at him but he knows that sometimes what he says hurts my feelings and he doesn't want to make me sad, so me being out of the picture would probably be a good idea.

I will talk to him about it and see if he would be willing to talk one here. Thank you for your help and quick response.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Well, I don't necessarily think that it's odd that he feels more desire when there is less pressure. In fact, I'd say that's actually quite common and very understandable.

But I also think that one thing a dynamic like that can tell us is that when sex IS an actual option or is going on, and someone then feels very differently, something is clearly amiss.

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