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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » I don't think I'm sexually healthy in the mind

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Author Topic: I don't think I'm sexually healthy in the mind
midnitesandwich
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Member # 96087

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I'm a male college graduate trying to sort out my relationship/ intimacy problems. I couldn't bring myself to have sex with my now ex.

When I say ex-girlfriend, we only dated for a month right before we graduated but truth be told this was my longest lasting relationship. Having no job offers, I moved back home.

In retrospect, there were a number of reasons it didn't work out:

• I kind of new this relationship would have a time limit, as I'd be moving away from the college town back home or wherever a job would be.

• My sex education was lacking and one sided (Catholic schooling, tight lipped parents) and a relationship was never a priority of mine, so I was going in with no experience. I really wanted her to hold my hand through the whole thing, but...

• Our communication was terrible/ nonexistent. I was unable to voice my concerns about protection/ birth control/ my poor sex education/ my fears of the future/everything. On the last night I spent at her house I blurt out that I'm not comfortable having sex, that I'm afraid of pregnancy and STDs, that I'm paranoid of all protection failing, that I want to get tested, that I need help. Even though I tried to make it clear these are my problems, she got offended and told me to leave. (Rightfully so I think)

I know I set myself up for failure. I trusted her but not enough to be intimate with her.

A year later we're on amiable terms. We met at an alumni function, where the first thing I did was apologize again. She accepted my apology with a kiss on the cheek. Beyond that we've barely spoken.

Not that I spend every waking moment thinking about it, but I'm sure you can tell I've spent an unhealthy amount of time mulling things over in my head, burrowing deeper and deeper into my mind to 'fix' myself and overcome my problems.

Alas, to no luck. I'm still terrified of STDs/pregnancy/BC failure. I've lost most of my religion (George Carlin would say I'm a recovering Catholic) but I've not spoken to anyone about my problems. Having moved back home, I only have the tightlipped parents/ same conditions that fostered my poor education. On top of that the dating scene back home is just as uninteresting as it was in high school.

I'm looking for any advice. Should I be talking to a professional? Should I just not worry about it and know/hope that I'll find an understanding girl who I'll be able to spend more time with and will help me though my problem?

How can I fix my thinking?

Posts: 2 | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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You know, it sounds like you have a pretty good handle, all by yourself, of what the problems with this were, and what you need for a sexual relationship or interaction to be something better for you, and that you feel better about, in the future.

For instance, you can certainly get more of the sex education you didn't get. You obviously found one great place to start doing that, and I'm happy to connect you with some more if you like.

It also sounds like before a sexual relationship is going to be right for you, you need to get a handle on building some good sexual communication with someone first, and some confidence in doing that, too.

I'd say this stuff isn't about finding a lover to help you sort through this stuff. That doesn't strike me as a sound plan at all, and I think it's clear you also see how that isn't the best setup for a relationship that works.

Certainly you can find someone to support you in this process, and perhaps even someone kind of more at your own pace so you can both develop some of these skills and knowledge together, and without feeling like you have to get in over your hear first, know what I mean? But really, a lot of this is your work to do, work I'd say is likely best something you invest some serious time and energy in before another lover, rather than only once you have another one.

By the way, I'm not so sure it was "rightful" of your ex to tell you to leave or to get offended when you said what you did. Certainly,a person could respond to what you said by saying that they can't help you with that stuff, or that it's clear a sexual interaction isn't sound, but I'd say someone getting offended and giving someone the all-out boot in that kind of situation doesn't speak well for a person's emotional maturity. When someone is in that kind of clear distress, it's obviously about them, not us, and shifting gears to being emotionally supportive and like a friend would be, IMO, the more reasonable and humane way to deal 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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
midnitesandwich
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Thank you, Heather!

I like to think I have a good "theoretical" foundation (thanks to resources like this website [Big Grin] ) but I'm lacking the "practical" application.

I had this idea of what would happen in my first relationship, especially a nice long honest talk about our expectations and desires. I didn't get it, but I was really just happy to be desired after all this time in the dark. A talk like that would have been good, but I didn't have it in me to force this relationship into my mold. How could I force her to do anything? That's the exact opposite of my model, not to mention non-consentual.

Now I've got a tangential question: Is it healthy/wise/normal to have such a mental model of what I really want in my life and in a relationship and look for someone who fits the mold, or will natural attraction and being comfort with someone ipso facto change what I want?

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Redskies
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 79774

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Hi, midnitesandwich. Just checking in with you: do you feel that the "theoretical" foundation you have includes a good basic grounding in "enthusiastic consent" and how to go about it in relationships, in how to communicate within relationships, and in how to talk about sex?

Also, did you try to ask for the talk you wanted to have, or try to bring it up?

[ 06-21-2012, 10:00 AM: Message edited by: Redskies ]

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Well, if by the practical application, you mean putting that all into practice with someone, then yes, to some degree how that goes is going to differ from partnership to partnership, because we're all different people who communicate in different ways, come to each other with different preferences, limits, boundaries, histories, wants and needs, etc.

So, it's not one or the other: we all have ideals or frameworks we want and find people to fit them exactly, or we all need to come to each relationship or interaction and reinvent the wheel. It's something in the middle. Make sense?

Btw, I don't think having someone not push you out the door would have meant forcing them into a talk. Look: if and when we are going to or do get sexual with people, things will come up, and some of it can be heavy. Sexuality can be a very big thing, a very loaded thing, for a whole lot of people. So, if we don't want to risk heavy stuff coming up, then ideally, we opt out of looking to engage in things which can GET heavy. Catch my drift?

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