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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Who's using who? My pleasure, theirs, or both?

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Author Topic: Who's using who? My pleasure, theirs, or both?
BustaEve
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First off, just wanted to say how fantastic this website is. The information is very detailed and practical.

My query relates to sexual satisfaction and relationships. Basically, I had no (I mean, absolutely none!) sexual contact/experience with anyone until this year, and Im 23 years old.
I've never had a boyfriend and on some levels I fundamentally believe I never will, because: I'm overweight (fat, actually), not beautiful, and I just don't think anyone I would be interested in would be remotely attracted to me.

Until recently I always thought I would 'save myself until marriage' but having realised I would never get married (getting a boyfriend at this point would be a miracle enough alone) this concept was squashed.
These beliefs have now led me to engage in 'casual encounters' - not always penetrative sex, more so manual and oral.
Although, I think it would be better to share an emotional intimacy with a sexual partner, this is seemingly not going to be possible for me and so I'm 'settling' for a physical sensation.
I don't want to throw myself at a guy who shows even only the slightest interest, but I fear if I don't then I'll never have any sexual experience. I want to be close to someone, to explore and share and at this stage it seems that will only ever happen for me in casual trysts. I wonder if this behaviour is healthy?

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Thanks for the kudos?

Is anyone using anyone here? In other words, I think I need some help understanding why you're framing it that way.

If both of you (whoever the both is) are only or mostly looking for something solely or primarily sexual, no one is using anyone, in my book.

Mind, I do think it might be sound to check in with your self-image and self-esteem here, and make sure you're not making choices from the place you're voicing being in where you have convinced yourself no one would be attracted to you or interested in you. You seem to be expressing you might prefer NOT to be having sex in a more casual context, so if that isn't really what you want, it's probably not a smart move for you to be seeking that out just because you think you can't get something else.

Because in that sense, if you're trying to "earn" something else with casual sex -- and not being frank with partners that what you really want is something else -- that is a problem and that is a dishonesty that's not likely to serve either of you well. I'd also say that no, that way of going about this likely isn't emotionally healthy, and in the long run, may hurt your self-image and esteem more than helping it.

--------------------
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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Kachina
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Please don't think that just because you are overweight you couldn't find a partner! It's just not true, there are many fat people that are with partners or married.

My partner did not have any sexual experience until he was almost 30, even though he is not overweight, but is very shy. With some people it might just take longer to find the right person, but that doesn't mean it can't happen!

Also if you are worried that you couldn't find a partner because of your weight, which is purely physical attribute, but you are able to find casual partners, which are usually based on physical attributes, then it would seem people CAN be attracted to you.

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~Kat
Scarleteen Volunteer

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

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BustaEve
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Thanks Heather for your reply. It reinforced what I was already thinking about the situation.

And thanks KatWA for your uplifting reponse.
I can see what you are saying about the physical attraction and casual partners. I guess I assumed (and I know this is a generalisation) that guys are just eager to be physical with whoever and as long the woman is not actually repulsive than a guy will engage in sexual activity with her.
Also, with these casual encounters, cell numbers are not exchanged so I guess that makes me feel that the guy wasnt really interested in me, just sex. But then again, I suppose my actions give the impression that a casual thing is all I want too.
Thanks to you both for responding.

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Heather
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I'd say that's a pretty biased view of men, and not only isn't true for all of them (any more than it is for all women), that kind of view alone is probably a barrier to healthy relationships for you with them.

So, how are you feeling about all of this now? Do you need help making choices in the most alignment with what you actually want?

--------------------
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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BustaEve
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I think it would probably be best if I don't engage in casual sex, as although aspects of it are quite enjoyable, if I am truly honest I would prefer to be in a committed (exclusive) relationship with a guy. I would prefer there to be an emotional connection and intimacy which would then form the basis for, and lead to, physical/sexual activity.
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Heather
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That all sounds very clear to me. It's great to get some real clarity around what we really want and to commit to whatever that is for yourselves.

That stated on your part, do you understand that that's totally within your reach, as within it as the sex you've been having that hasn't been in alignment with what you really want?

Since you're voicing some pretty low self-esteem here, my best advice would be to do some work on that before you enter into or pursue intimate relationships. Being in that kind of mindset and way of feeling tends to make intimate relationships very difficult and precarious, and can also make finding possibilities harder, since it is awfully tough to have that kind of relationship with someone who doesn't have real love for themselves first. It can also make it a lot easier to wind up in unhealthy or abusive relationships.

Want to talk about some options in that work for yourself?

--------------------
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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BustaEve
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Thanks again for the reply Heather, your follow-up, as usual, is excellent.

I think I've had low self-esteem for much of my life and I guess that will continue.
I can see that low self-esteem might be a barrier to healthy relationships.
However, at this stage it's still unlikely I'll be in a relationship so I guess it doesn't really matter.

Thanks again for your time.

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Heather
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Well, you're in a relationship with YOURSELF, and that's who will always stick around and who you always have to care for.

So, I'd say that rather than figuring that yeah, maybe you can work on that because it's unlikely you'll be in a relationship, you actually make a concerted effort to work on that and choose not to pursue or be in intimate relationships until you do.

Know what I mean? Your relationship with yourself so, so matters, and if it's crummy, no relationship with anyone else is going to fix it or likely be of much benefit to you.

So, why say your low esteem will continue? Sounds like a pretty awful self-fulfilling prophecy to me. How about deciding to make it better, which is totally in your power to do?

--------------------
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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BustaEve
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I have never really thought about it that way - the concept that I am in a relationship with myself.

I'm not sure how I could improve my self-esteem. I thought it was more of an innate thing: either you have high or low self-esteem.

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Heather
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I don't know of anything that supports that self-esteem is innate, in the sense that we're born with it at a given level, or it's just this way or that way.

Certainly, how high or low our self-esteem is, though, has to do with how we were raised, how we grew up, what messages/supports we did or didn't get about our own value. However, even when those messages were lousy or nonexistent, or things happened to us to cause our self-esteem to be low, that's never unfixable. We can always do things to increase our own esteem.

What those things are, and what will have that effect, tends to be pretty personal, probably in large part because our ideas of what make people valuable (which themselves may sometimes need some adjusting) vary.

If you'd like some help, maybe the best place to start is talking about what YOU think makes someone or their life of value and high worth? With people you really respect and admire, what is it you respect and admire about them?

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