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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Sexual anxiety

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Author Topic: Sexual anxiety
sweetgreendreams
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I've been in a relationship for a while, but it's been primarily romantic, not sexual. Recently, my boyfriend and I have been fooling around a lot, and I've started to realize that his genitals make me nervous. I don't really want to look at them, and I'm not sure what to do. He gives me advice, but I get nervous and embarrassed a lot if I do it wrong. I've told him that I'm really shy and I want to get better, but I don't know how to tell him that I'm probably afraid of penises.

I don't know where this "fear" is coming from. My family was pretty sexually open, the idea of sex before marriage was always accepted, and I wasn't abused growing up. I don't watch porn because it's never interested me. My boyfriend is a great person, very understanding, very kind.

I'm scared that I won't be able to get past this. I want to experiment more (right now, everything has been manual) –– to give blowjobs, for example, or intercourse –– but I'm too scared to actually try it.

Does anyone have any advice? This is freaking me out, and we probably won't have a chance to be intimate for a few weeks.

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September
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How recently are we talking about in terms of this relationship becoming more sexual?

And how quickly did you move? Did you give yourselves plenty of time to ease into this new stage of your relationship?

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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sweetgreendreams
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We've been experimenting for a long time, and we've always gone very slowly. It's only recently, though, that we've actually started to communicate about what we're doing. So it wasn't sudden or pressured.

He's been really patient and understanding. I have no idea why I'm so afraid.

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September
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Alright, so it sounds like you are off to a good start! Those are pretty important components of a healthy sexual relationship.

Moving on, then, let's see if we can figure out why you are feeling so anxious. When did you and your partner start being naked around each other? Have you only been seeing him naked recently, in a sexual context? Or have you two been casually naked with each other before, like for showers, etc?

Can you pin-point the source of your anxiety? Is it nudity in general? Male genitala in general? Or the idea of being in sexual contact with your partner's genitals?

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Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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sweetgreendreams
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I've only been seeing him naked recently. We had a period a few years ago where we were more comfortable sexually, but even then, it was very much non-verbal (and less effective) communication. Then our lives got very complicated, and our relationship got shoved to the side (including physical intimacy), and we were long-distance for some time. Over the past year, we've been working our way back up.

I think male genitalia freaks me out. The sexual contact also makes me nervous, but as far as manual sex goes, he has a lot more experience with himself than I do, and it's hard for me to figure out how to do (or copy) what he does. He knows this and told me not to worry, but I keep putting pressure on myself to get it right when I can't. I don't know if I'd feel the same way if it were something that he couldn't do by himself.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I'm still wondering if perhaps any or all of this hasn't been too fast for YOU, uniquely, and in this situation and relationship, uniquely.

In other words, I hear you saying things have gone slow and without pressure: but do you think they have gone slow enough for you? Slow enough to give you time to get more comfortable with his body -- and maybe to also make sure that he's someone you really want to be sexual with, since we won't want to be sexual with every person we have feelings of love for -- and to not come to sex with the idea it's about doing things "right?"

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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sweetgreendreams
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I think pressure is a big part of it. He's not putting pressure on me, but the situation does.

The next day we had a more intimate experience, but at least initially, other things were going on, so it wasn't like the intimacy was the focus of what was happening. I felt more comfortable easing into the situation.

I also think the uncertainty in our relationship is also contributing. In another thread I talked about how we might become long-distance soon, but we haven't talked about whether we're going to stay together. This is a source of anxiety for me, and I'm having a lot of trouble bringing it up.

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Allie R
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I'm hearing that you seem to be comfortable in situations that are not solely focused on intimacy.
I'm also hearing that the pressure is coming from you, in that you feel that he has more experience with himself than you do... Though your boyfriend told you not to worry, maybe this is something you need to continue discussing with him?

The thing is, he's been familiar with himself for however long he's been around, so he's probably perfected the art of making himself feel good- it wouldn't be fair to expect you to do the same thing in a relatively short amount of time! Intimacy also isn't always about just being a pro at physically pleasuring someone- there are other aspects that make it just as pleasurable and enjoyable.

Also, alleviating your anxiety, in terms of talking to your bf about your future plans, may help- but I acknowledge that's certainly easier said than done. Can you put your finger on exactly why you're having trouble bringing this up with him?

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AAR

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sweetgreendreams
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This is true. I probably just need to communicate with him better on that, or maybe try something else until my anxiety clears up.

I'm nervous because I think he hasn't thought about what it would take for us to be long distance, and he might say "no, let's break up," when I really don't want to. I know that if we have differing priorities, we should break up, but it's still scary!

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Allie R
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It is a scary thing to think about, yes... we can help you shoulder this burden a bit, though!

I looked over your previous threads about starting the conversation- it's totally up to you to decide when you have this conversation.

On one side there's talking about it early, where you two could potentially decide to stay together early on and feel good to have talked about it openly, or to break up then and there, regardless of when you separate, because you know an LDR isn't going to happen.

On the other there's talking about it right before the date of separation. If you two were to not try having an LDR, you've had all that extra time to be with each other. But for that extra time, you may have been growing a little more anxious day after day.

I don't mean to have condensed the issue so simply/put words in your mouth, and again, there's pros and cons to either decision and it's entirely yours to make. It's certainly a toughie, but we'll be here for you discuss this and other sexual anxieties further, if you need [Smile]

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AAR

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sweetgreendreams
Neophyte
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I realize that this is probably the wrong place to continue this thread, so let me know if I should move it elsewhere.

We just talked a little about this. He says he's not ready to decide, especially because he's worried that if we decide too soon, we run the risk of missing out on good times.

He told me not to read too deep, that I shouldn't his mistake living in the moment/uncertainty for wanting a breakup. We can't know until we have a proper conversation about it.

I don't think it's the right time to make a decision, but I'm also pretty cut up that he isn't 100% certain he wants to stay with me, even though I know there are some real considerations before entering an LDR.

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