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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Will I ever have a normal sex life?

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Author Topic: Will I ever have a normal sex life?
MissTK
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Hello again!

I feel kinda uncomfortable talking about this but I guess that's this website is here for. Just to clarify before I start, I am a virgin and I've never had a boyfriend before.

Over the past few weeks, many of my friends have either become engaged, pregnant or really settled into a long term relationship. I'm guessing sex is a pretty important part of a relationship but I'm worried that one day if I ever am in a relationship, that I won't be able to do it. Just the thought of it makes me uncomfortable. I know many guys these days aren't even willing to bother with you if you don't put out or at least want to fool around a bit.

I come from a staunchly Christian family and any kind of sexual activity out of wedlock is viewed as dirty. I don't want to but I can't help judging people I know are sexually active and not married. I don't even know why I do because I'm not even that religious myself. I mean, is it unreasonable for me to just want companionship without the sex? Is it naive? Am I just waiting for something that will never happen? Do people still even wait anymore? And even though I'm waiting, I feel like I'm waiting for the wrong reasons. Like, because of this bad attitude I've been taught, not because I'd want to. Would my future husband even respect me for waiting or would he look down at me because of my inexperience?

I dunno I think I'm very overweight and my body issues are this ball and chain I take everywhere and maybe that's why men aren't attracted to me but say I were to be in a relationship. Can you just go from lifelong celibacy to being completely comfortable with somebody? I'm really worried I'm gonna make a mess of things I find somebody and I don't wanna do anything.

I'm sorry if I'm not making sense. My thoughts are a bit all over the place.

Posts: 24 | From: South Africa | Registered: Sep 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
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Hi MissTK,

I hear how much you're struggling with all of this. So, let me start by saying that there is no such thing as a normal sex life. It sounds like it's pretty overwhelming to see all of your friends showing signs of being sexually active and entering serious relationships while you're not. This doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you, and it doesn't mean that everyone at your age and in your stage of life is doing the things your friends are doing.

Really, when people start engaging in sexual activities is deeply individual. Furthermore, lots of people start a sexual relationship with someone before they're truly ready. So, some of the folks who are around your age or in your stage of life are probably starting sexual relationships they're not actually physically or emotionally ready for. People of all ages and in all stages of life do this.

Lots more people choose to wait, or have started sexual relationships earlier. There's just no one way it's done. [Smile]


In other words, there's nothing abnormal about where you are with this, both because there just isn't such a thing as normal--such a thing as something everyone does--and because you get to do whatever you need to and want to do regardless of what anyone else does.

Having said all that, it does sound like you have a lot of really big concerns here.

What do you feel like is the most important thing for us to start with?

--------------------
Robin

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MissTK
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Thank you so much for your response.

I guess the biggest thing for me, even though you mentioned that that's not the case, is feeling like I'm a failure. Like there's something the matter with me because I've failed to capture anybody's attention. It feels like I'm not worthy enough to have time and effort spent on me, to be complimented or loved or spend time with. Seeing all my friends is making me feel real lonely and the friends I do have don't seem to be able to give me the support I'm looking for.

I'm going home for the summer holidays in a week (I'm at uni) and I'm getting anxious about going back home because I know what's waiting for me.

1. Criticism for being fat, therefore ugly, lazy, not looking after myself
2. Old school friends that are ALSO settling down and sexually active.

I mean it's just natural isn't it? If you aren't nice to look at you can just sort of forget it. I feel like I shouldn't even have a sexuality because I just feel gross about how I look. Even though I doubt I'd do it, there was a time where I just felt like going on a hooking-up spree just to stem the loneliness I was feeling. Even if it was just for a little while.

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Robin Lee
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Hi MissTK,

I'm sorry to hear you'll be going home to so much negativity. Would it be helpful to talk about ways to deal with the negativity you're expecting to get at home?

Where do you think these feelings of failure come from?

You know, the idea that someone is or isn't nice to look at is, like when someone chooses to start having partnered sexual relationships, so very very subjective and variable. Yes, many cultures have this nasty, nasty attitude that anyone who is larger, fatter, or shaped differently than they think that person should be is unattractive. That's a lot more about how societies view fatness or body shape than about reality. These views are also really about the time we're in now.

I know this doesn't help you now, but to show how subjective all that is: Fifty years ago, curvy women were considered the most attractive. If you take a look at pictures of most models and actresses from that time, you'll notice that they look a lot different than the models and actresses these days. I confess I'm not really up on my cultural icons, either contemporary or from times past, but if you need a specific name to Google, there's always Marilyn Munro.

Leaving aside what other people think, or what you're worried that they think, what do you feel like you need to feel more confident and have a stronger body image?

As to your sexuality, that one is all about you. You get to, and actually do have, a sexuality that is all yours, regardless of what other people think of you and regardless of whether you have a partner. Everyone has a sexuality, even before they ever start thinking about sex, and whether or not they ever have a partner. Sexuality is part of us.

Here's an article that will, I hope, explain that a little more.

http://www.scarleteen.com/article/body/sexuality_wtf_is_it_anyway

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Robin

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MissTK
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Hello Robin

Thanks so much for the link, I'm going to go read it right now. Where do my feelings of failure come from? I'm actually not sure. I think it's something that I've imposed on myself over the years because I see the people around me in relationships and they seem happy and fulfilled. Somehow I associate that with success.

Also I've tried losing weight a few times and I just find it so difficult to follow through. I end up losing motivation then feeling more ashamed and like a failure than I did before because other girls I know here at uni have been able to do it. Now I feel pressured to lose weight because everybody else around me is becoming so body conscious. I know it's unintentional but I hear how my friends talk about gaining weight like it's the end of the world and how they're so afraid to gain even a few kilos. Like how hard they need to work out and how bad it is if extra weight shows on their faces. Meanwhile they're like 8 sizes smaller than me and I've been overweight my whole life.

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Robin Lee
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You know, one of the things that doesn't get talked about enough around body size is that we're all going to be a different size. The idea of the ideal weight, or ideal body shape, doesn't--actually can't--apply to everyone. Not only can people be attractive at any size, but they can also be healthy at any size. With all the messages that bigger people are inherently unhealthy, less attractive, and so on, I don't wonder that you've learned to feel bad about yourself. Those messages are wrong, though. [Smile] All of those things are not all about weight, and very often aren't very much about weight at all.

Do you feel like, outside of what your weight and clothes size is, you take care of yourself the way you want to be taking care of yourself? If so, what are the things that you do that make you feel good? If not, what are the things you do that you feel like you sabotage yourself with? I'm talking here about things that make you not feel good physically or mentally, not about your weight. [Smile]

You are entirely allowed to say to your friends that you've been struggling with how you feel about yourself right now, and it would be helpful if they didn't discuss things like weight and weight loss around you. We all get to set boundaries about what we have to listen to or be exposed to, particularly when it makes us feel as bad as it sounds like you're feeling.

What do you think after reading that article about sexuality?

You brought a lot of worries and issues to the table in your first post. Are we talking about things that are helpful to you, or is there something we could be discussing that would be more beneficial?

--------------------
Robin

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Robin Lee
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Also, regarding body image, I thought this might be helpful for you to read if you'd like to: http://www.scarleteen.com/blog/heather_corinna/2009/12/20/from_us_to_you_some_volunteer_aunties_talk_body_image

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Robin

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Molias
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Hi MissTK,

I'm wondering if you've seen, or would enjoy reading, any body-positive/size-acceptance blogs or websites. There's a lot of fantastic writing and activism online about weight, body size, and self-image, and I have found a lot of these sites to be really inspirational and helpful.

I love Marianne Kirby's writing on The Rotund (and I've talked with her a bit and found her to be a wonderful person), and Shapely Prose, while no longer updated, has amazing stuff in the archives. The FAQ alone is worth a look.

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MissTK
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The article on sexuality was awesome and it really helped clarify a few things for me. I'll definitely be sure to check out these new links as well.

Yes, definitely the stuff we've been talking about is pretty important to me and it's been very helful. I guess the one thing that I'm still very unsure and scared about is sex. I've read a few articles about it here on the website so now I'm a bit more informed but like I said before, I have this negative view about it that I can't seem to get out of. Any suggestions for that? Also, what's the likelihood of finding a boyfriend if you won't engage in some kind of sexual activity? My friends tell me a guy WILL leave you eventually if you don't agree to fool around. But for me, sex will force me to have to face my own body and I don't know if I can do that. Like, I dunno I'm just scared. Truth be be told, I just want to be held and kissed more than anything. But a part of me is also curious as to what partnered sex is like, I just haven't had an opportunity yet.

Thing is, I'm easily swayed and I feel like I might get talked into making bad choices regarding sex. I've had all these notions of what I should be looking for in a relationship, sex not being one of those things, now I'm at uni and it seems like that's the only way to go. Now I'm just confused because it's conflicting with these values I've had for so long.

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Molias
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It's definitely not true that every guy will leave a relationship if sex isn't happening. Plenty of men and women will feel happiest in sexual relationships, or will choose only to date people who are interested in being sexually active, but that's not universal. It's also the case that some people who like having sex are ok being in a relationship with someone who either isn't interested in sex or is only interested in physical intimacy like snuggling and kissing.

When you're in a social group where a lot of people are talking about sex, it can be easy to extrapolate from that and assume that everyone is sexually active. That's often not the case, but even if the majority of people around you are sexually active, that doesn't mean you have to be if you aren't interested or don't feel ready. And honestly, when people have sex when they aren't really interested in it or feel like they have to say yes in order to keep a partner, that tends to equal pretty unenjoyable sex and a lot of unhappiness in a relationship.

It sounds like you have an interest in at least some physical intimacy with a potential partner; I'd encourage you to just talk about how you're feeling when you find yourself dating someone. It may be helpful to make it clear from the start that you enjoy kissing and close contact (or whatever it is you feel comfortable with as a baseline), but are interested in taking anything else very slowly.

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