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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » sexual unease

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Author Topic: sexual unease
Anon648
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Alright. I've got no one else to really talk to about this. At least no one I feel comfortable talking to about this so I'll throw it out on here.

I'm currently single, 22, and I like sex. I have had it before, loved it, no real problems. However, now, when I get into a situation with a girl that is kinda sexual I panic. I get that feeling where my gut just drops. This happens even at things like a strip club where they are there to do those kinds of things. I have to have several drinks before I even come close to feeling comfortable about it. Even when I want that type of interaction.

Basically, I'm not sure what's going on. I want it, but I'm uneasy about it. I can't figure out why, and am looking for some new ideas or someone to talk me through this problem. Cause I'm not coming up with anything just thinking about it for hours on end. Thanks in advance.

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September
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What were those situations where you were comfortable being sexual? Who were you with, how did you feel about the other person(s)? What kind of relationship did you have with them?

What's happened since the last time you felt comfortable? How long ago was that?

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Johanna
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Anon648
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Well I've only had one sexual partner (my ex)however I've had other contact and stuff happen with multiple women.

However now it's any contact. Kissing bothers me. Even hugs for the most part. I'm just not sure why I'm not comfortable with the contact or any flirting really. And I use to flirt plenty as well.

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Robin Lee
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Hi Anon648,

How long were you with your ex-partner? How do you feel about the breakup?

When you feel panicky, what thoughts are going through your head?

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Robin

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Anon648
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A year and a half. And I initiated the break up. And I'm pretty much over her.

When I feel panicky there's not a lot of thoughts. A lot of the time I do want the contact and stuff to happen. I want the interaction with the person. My thoughts are favoring the idea.

It's my feelings though. I feel uneasy, I feel panicky, like I want to get out of the situation, leave, get out of the room. Frustration to some extent. But I don't know why I would be frustrated.

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Heather
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Can I ask what you do when you have those uneasy feelings?

Do you honor them, and step away from the sexual situation, waiting for only sexual situations you DO feel comfortable with, or do you push forward, dismissing those feelings, or try and drown them out by doing things like drinking?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Heather
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Also, a couple years ago, when you were still in the relationship I think you were talking about, I know there were some sexual issues, too.

So, perhaps it might help to think in w bigger scope about this, rather than starting post-breakup?

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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

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Anon648
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I'm impressed you remembered that and/or looked it up.

Anyway, no I don't honor them, normally I try to dismiss them as much as possible, ignore them, and yeah drown them out most often through drinking.

I'll explain that due to I prefer logic over emotion. I'm a very rational minded person. I rarely give any serious thought to feelings. That said, the only reason I'm really paying attention to this is because the feelings in this case are starting to effect my thinking.

As for you suggesting to wait for sexual situations I do feel comfortable in. I don't get in many. Which since I want them to happen, and seeing as I don't get many, I need to make the best of what I get.

Anyway, changing the scope seems reasonable. prior to the relationship I was apprehensive of these situations cause I wasn't sure what would happen, how it would go, etc. I was uneasy before due to uncertainty.

However, now that I've already experienced sex and those things I don't have any reason to be apprehensive of those situations. That's why to me, none of this make sense. Before I had a perfectly reasonable reason for being apprehensive. Now, I don't. :/

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Heather
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I tend to make a habit to review user histories: we're lucky when we have them to work with. [Smile]

It strikes me that the approach you've been taking to this is only likely to make you continue to feel MORE uneasy over time, not less.

Whether or not you consider your feelings logical, that doesn't change that they are the feelings you're having. The route to a healthy sexuality for anyone tends to strongly involve honoring the feelings we're having rather than trying to dismiss them, pretend we don't have them, or make them go away with booze or other intoxicants. Those are things we know, and through a lot of study, too, tend to make it more likely people have sexual lives they don't enjoy or really feel good about, and sexualities that don't feel good to them, especially long-term.

This idea you "need" to have sex you don't really feel comfortable with is a framework I'd suggest you try hard to dump.

Also, all of our sexualities have a bunch of facets, and emotional feelings are a big part of them. For everyone. So, sounds like it's part time for you to start finding ways to take feelings seriously. I'd say they keep trying pretty hard to give you that message.

Maybe can we talk about the sexual situations you find yourself in where you DO feel comfortable? What's the hallmark of those, versus those you don't?

[ 12-24-2012, 12:25 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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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

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Anon648
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Probably a bad analogy here but practice makes perfect? If I do it more, I should be able to get use to it / feel more comfortable with it? That's kinda been my reasoning so far. It's not so much that I feel like I need to have sex that I don't feel comfortable with, it's I want to try to do it more so I get comfortable with it. It's something I don't shy away from or get apprehensive about it because I'm use to it. I'm comfortable with it.

As for situations I do feel comfortable. I feel comfortable when I know the other person has the same intentions I do. For example, sex with my ex was easy because we were already in a relationship, it was the next step. Didn't have a problem. Other example was when I go to a strip club, their intentions is to work for money, mine is to give them money. I use to have no problem there either. My first problem is when I'm not sure what the other person's intentions are. Like a hook up at the bar, is it really someone being interested in me or a one night stand kind of thing. And the problem with all of this is it's a lot of attempts at mind reading on my part. I can't just go around trying to figure out what the other person's intentions are. There's no way I would be able to know for sure. So I've been trying to get past that issue and work on that.

My second problem, is that now even going to a strip club (which I didn't have a huge problem before) bothers me now. My apprehension has gotten worse. :/

So... Yeah... really I'm just trying to work past the issues I already know about. What I don't understand is why I'm getting worse. Why are things bothering me now that didn't bother me before.

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Heather
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I think there are some flaws in that reasoning, especially since doing things when you are NOT comfortable, and also doing things to try and shove down that discomfort -- like drinking -- rather than actually addressing it? That's not actually giving you practice with your own sexuality and where you're at: it's denying that. Get what I mean?

Also, I don't think you *are* comfortable with how things have been going. You are here posting about this because you're not, right?

So, if I'm hearing you right, one thing that makes you feel comfortable is when you feel very clear that the other person wants what you do. Also, when you feel like if there are any ulterior or different motives, you know what they are. Do I have that right?

If so, do you think that limiting your sexual interactions to either being in ongoing relationships where you have the time to find that out, and trust that's been built to work with OR casual situations where you and the other person are very direct with each other would work better for you? And sober, no less?

If not, can you perhaps talk a little bit about why not?

I think you're feeling worse and worse because you keep trying to ignore the strong feelings you're obviously having, act counter to how you're really feeling, or damp those feelings down with drinking. Like I said, this isn't a mystery to those of us who work in sexuality: these kinds of things are exactly the kinds of things we know tend to make a mess of people's sexual lives.

--------------------
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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Heather
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Also, if you haven't seen this yet, I think having a read might help better inform our conversation here: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/body/sexuality_wtf_is_it_anyway

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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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Anon648
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Yeah that's right. That's probably a better way of putting it than I did. You missed my second point to that though, there's no real way to really know what the other person wants. Outside of a relationship where you could talk to them about it.

"If so, do you think that limiting your sexual interactions to either being in ongoing relationships where you have the time to find that out, and trust that's been built to work with OR casual situations where you and the other person are very direct with each other would work better for you? And sober, no less?"

Yes. Problem is, as I am, neither situation of those is possible. I would either have to get into a relationship which I can't get in because I don't feel comfortable interacting with someone, OR try a casual situation which I can't really do either cause I can't figure out what their intentions are w/o directly asking them which I'm sure would go over real well... /sarcasm

Anyway I'll read that link here real quick.

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Karybu
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Can I ask why you don't feel like asking someone what they want outside the context of a relationship is something you can do?

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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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Anon648
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1. It's awkward.

2. Is it really normal for someone to go around doing that? How would someone even go about asking that stuff lol.

3. They may or may not tell the truth really. In a relationship you kinda know if someone is truthful. With a stranger, you have no real clue.

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Karybu
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It can definitely be awkward, especially if it's not something you're used to - you'll get no argument from me on that. But communicating about sex, checking in with a partner or potential partner about what they want? That IS one of those things that tends to get easier with practice. Something as simple as (if you're looking for a casual sex situation) "Hey, I just want to make sure we're on the same page, I'm not looking for a serious relationship right now, what about you?" It doesn't need to be a lengthy conversation, just a quick check-in at some point, ideally before things get sexual.

Will people always tell you the truth? No, they won't, and ultimately, that's a chance you just have to take. (And there's no guarantee in a long-term relationship that your partner will be truthful either.)

[ 12-24-2012, 01:38 PM: Message edited by: Karybu ]

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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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Heather
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This might help: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/how_and_why_to_root_for_team_awkward

Long story short? Sex tends to be awkward, especially with new partners or potential partners. And it's okay. It's okay for it to be awkward.

Is it "normal" for people to be direct about what they want sexually? As normal as it is for people not to be. Ultimately, people in control of their sexual lives and sexualities tend to be more clear and direct than people who aren't. It can, and usually is, a process for people to get there and, like it sounds is the case with you, more people feel most comfortable being direct once they have built some trust, like inside a relationship.

But, like Karyn mentioned, it's not like that's something we or others can't do when things are more casual, either. People are absolutely capable of doing that.

When you talk about not knowing what's true, that's yet another cue that tells me you simply might be someone who feels much better about sex inside a relationship where you have built trust to have a much better sense of when someone is being truthful.

You say you can't be in an ongoing relationship with someone because you "don't feel comfortable interacting with someone." Do you mean that right now, you are having social anxiety about ANY kind of social interaction? In other words, you're saying you can't possibly pursue or try to build a new relationship because you can't even get to "Hey, want to go have a cup of coffee with me?"

You're right, no one is psychic and people can lie. Sex isn't something that comes with guarantees, period. It's one of those ares in life that involves at least some measure of risk and a lot of vulnerability. The good news is, that's always optional. So, if you don't want to be in that position, you don't have to be.

--------------------
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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Anon648
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Thanks Karybu. At least that gives me an idea.

Still not solving the biggest issue but that solves a small part of it.

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Anon648
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"You say you can't be in an ongoing relationship with someone because you "don't feel comfortable interacting with someone." Do you mean that right now, you are having social anxiety about ANY kind of social interaction? In other words, you're saying you can't possibly pursue or try to build a new relationship because you can't even get to "Hey, want to go have a cup of coffee with me?""

Yeah pretty much. I didn't use to be like that. It's gotten worse. Before I could talk w/ no problem and not even be worried about if it goes farther to even a kiss at the end of the night.

Now, I panic even thinking about that thought.

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Karybu
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Have you ever talked about these anxieties with a counsellor or therapist? If you're having difficulty initiating conversation with anyone at all, that's a broader issue that goes beyond dating/sexual relationships, and some counselling could be very valuable in helping you deal with it.

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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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Heather
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Cosign with Karyn: if you're having general social anxiety, that's something to get help with first, and put sexual interactions -- some of the most loaded social interactions there are for most people -- on the back burner until you make some headway with that.

--------------------
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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Anon648
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A few times a few years ago. He basically told me to get out and practice talking to people and stuff. Which I never really did cause of the anxiety / lack of wanting to do it.

And I don't have the money to see one currently. So that's kinda out of the question.

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Heather
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Well, that doesn't sound like you really did any ongoing work with this person.

Do you want us to look into what might be available for you locally? Free or sliding scale counseling services are available for people in many places.

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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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Anon648
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Not on that issue no. There were other issues at the time. Including my old relationship. So yeah we didn't go over my social anxiety much.

Also the few times I have looked I couldn't find any free or sliding scale counseling.

Anyway if you didn't mind looking you could. What info would you need from me to look?

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Karybu
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A zip code or what city/area you're in.

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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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Anon648
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Winfield, KS. 67156
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Heather
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How about starting by calling them over here: http://ccmhcc.com/index.html

They look to be connected with public health services, and if so, their rates are likely very low or sliding scale.

If they're not, they look like the right local people to ask about services you *can* afford.

--------------------
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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Anon648
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Sure I'll give that a try. Thanks for the help. [Smile]
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Heather
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Of course.

Do you want a couple books to look at in the meantime that might help, too?

--------------------
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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Anon648
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No thanks. I'm busy enough with school right now I'm sure I'd never get around to reading them unfortunately. [Smile]
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Heather
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Okay. Just holler if you change your mind. [Smile]

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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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Karybu
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Are you in college or university? Many schools have counseling centres for their students, so that could be another option to look into.

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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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