T O P I C ††† R E V I E W
Member # 48737
posted 12-08-2012 08:32 PM
Using the title as an excuse to use a favourite euphemism.
To be frank: Iím having issues with masturbating. Iím not even at the point of having issues with orgasm Ė my problem is with getting aroused in the first place. My sex drive is dead. The interest and the fantasies are there, but it seems like thereís never any physical response. I think itís at least partially due to my birth control Ė Tricyclen 21, to which Iíve switched from Diane 35 (this was done about a month ago). Needless to say, Iím pretty stressed about it. Worse, every time I try now I just get so negative and anxious about it that my headís not in it, so of course nothing happens physically. Again. What makes things even WORSE is that I have a really close friend Ė to whom I can usually talk about anything Ė who can get horny at just about the drop of a hat, and so of course is pretty unsympathetic to my situation because she doesnít understand that I canít just ďgetĒ aroused. Thereís also the fact that I am in the process of being romantically involved with someone, a relationship that could very well have a sexual aspect to it in the future. Iíd really really prefer to be able to masturbate before I get sexually involved with anyone else, because a) I want to be able to pleasure myself and b) I donít want to put that kind of pressure on another person Ė I want to be able to teach them how to pleasure me, not expect them to figure it out for me. (It should be noted that this relationship is long-distance until the next academic year, so this aspect of the problem is not an immediate concern.) So not only is this stressing me out, itís making me feel distressed and kind of broken. There are two options that Iíve thought of to help: a) try a more visual stimulus, i.e. pornography, and/or b) start looking into a new birth control pill. To address a) pornography. I have no issue with pornography whatsoever and would be open to trying it. The only issue with this is that Iím living in residence at my university and have no idea how internet usage is monitored. The aforementioned close friend is at a different university and watches porn pretty frequently, and obviously has no issues, so Iím pretty sure it would be the same here. But Iím not entirely certain so it makes me a little nervous to do that. And for b) the pill. The problem with this is that Iím under my parentsí insurance and I am technically on the pill for my acne (which is why I started Diane 35 when I was in grade 9). I had a few reasons why I switched to Tricyclen 21 Ė Diane 35 is extremely expensive, even under our insurance; it has a really high risk of developing blood clots; and, of course, my lack of sex drive. I didnít mention the last bit to my parents because theyíre pretty shame-y about sex (when my mom found out that my sister had lost her virginity in grade 12, she stopped talking to her for days) and Iíd rather not now. So the problem here is that a) Iíd rather stick to the pill, since itís the only form of BC that I know of that helps keep acne in check (stress is already causing me to break out more than is usual) and b) in order to switch pills again, Iíd have to lie to my parents about my reasons for switching and then make the actual reasons clear once I visit the clinic on campus here to get a new prescription. Sorry that this was so long. Iím really just looking for advice on what to do. Does the above sound reasonable, or do you have any other suggestions? This is just causing me a lot of unnecessary stress. Thank you so much.
Member # 41699
posted 12-08-2012 09:40 PM
The side effects of the pills are always at their strongest in the first few months of starting that brand. So it could be that after a few months, if your low libido IS a side-effect of the pill you're on, that will change. So we always recommend that users stick with a pill brand for at least more than 3 months to know whether any side-effects will really be a problem for them.
Aside from that, it really sounds to me like you're putting a lot of pressure on yourself to "get somewhere" with your masturbation. You seem to be placing expectations on yourself and getting frustrated when you don't meet them. Placing that kind of pressure on ourselves can in itself be a major mood-killer! What I suggest is trying to let go of other people in this picture -- they're not a part of this at all. So, that friend who can get aroused at the drop of the hat? Who cares! They're not you. You shouldn't compare yourself to them; everyone's different And if she's being unsympathetic towards you around this, you can talk to her about how you feel about her responses so far, or you can decide that she's just not someone you can talk to about this. I also suggest letting go of your concern for when your LDR becomes not-so-L-D. That's a whole year away -- that's a looooong time! So try not to focus on that as a sort of time limit for yourself, okay? One thing's for sure: you're not "broken"! That's another thing you should try to let go of, as it's not a very positive thought It IS possible that pornography would help you out with this. It might, and it might not -- there's no way to know unless you try! And figuring out what arouses us, and what ways of masturbating work for us, is an exploration. As for the university's internet, I don't think there would be any problem with you looking at pornography, I'm pretty sure universities don't monitor the internet usage closely (if at all?). So if you feel like pornography might help you out with this, go for it! As I said, it seems like this may have a lot to do with the pressure you're putting on yourself. I know it can be really hard, but try to take that pressure off yourself. Take some you-time to just relax and think whatever sexy-funtime-thoughts you may have, and don't worry about how your body responds or any of that. Give yourself the mental space to just be relaxed and enjoy your thoughts, and go with the flow from there. And experiment lots! What do you think? Does it seem to you like maybe you are putting too much pressure on yourself around this, and that it could be affecting your libido? Do you think you could try letting go of comparing yourself to your friend or worrying about possible sexual activity in the future and just focus on enjoying yourself no matter what happens? Here's an article that might give you some food for thought:
With Pleasure: A View of Whole Sexual Anatomy for Every Body
Member # 48737
posted 12-10-2012 09:42 PM
Sorry for not responding earlier! I think I'm definitely putting a lot of pressure on myself, and I was getting more frustrated than anything. Another couple of obstacles I've run into are a) I have to wait until my roommate is out for an evening/night, and b) our room is freeeeezing (although this is solved by doing my business in bed)! Since my last post my roommate spent the night in someone else's room, which left me some time to experiment (and dedicate the evening to some much needed self-care - exams, you know). I was definitely reacting physically to some pornography, although I'm still having trouble getting into it mentally. I realize this will take a lot of time, so I'm just being as patient as I can and I'm willing to experiment with a lot (I'm considering trying some erotic literature as well). Just by consciously letting go of certain external factors, I think my mindset here is already a lot healthier.
Thank you so much for helping me thus far.
Member # 41699
posted 12-11-2012 07:15 PM
No problem! I'm glad to hear you're experimenting and finding things that might work for you, and that you're working on letting go of your self-pressure and frustration. Those are really awesome steps! I hope you continue to make good progress with this.
I'm linking an article that it sounds like you already know most of the content for, but I think it'll be good to remind yourself of some of this stuff, and it might just help you think about it all. Sexual Response & Orgasm: A Users Guide Also, you say you took some much-needed self-care time the other night, because of exams. You know, stress in other areas of our lives can be major contributors to a lowered libido. How long have you been experiencing this lower libido/issues with becoming aroused? Do you think your stress from school could also be playing a part in this?
Member # 48737
posted 12-11-2012 08:56 PM
Well, my school stress really peaked for the past three weeks or so, just because I had a lot of final assignments and exams. I'm finished for the holidays, though, so that's done for now.
One other issue I've been having does relate to school, though - This is my first year of university, so I was facing a lot of life-questions towards the beginning of the year (whether or not they're questions to be asking in my first year of uni). What resulted was a lot of anxiety within the first month or so, and coming to the realization that this school is just not a good fit for me. I've found a great school a few hours away in a city that I already love, and I will be transferring there next year (thus the soon-to-be-not-LDR - it should be noted that I met him AFTER I'd made the decision to transfer, though). Realizing this and making the decision brought on a lot of relief, but at this point there's an underlying discontent because I just want to be THERE already. Now that I know where I'm going to go, it feels little like I'm wasting time at my current school, although I'm trying really hard to enjoy myself. So it's not so much an active stress as a constant buzz in the back of my mind, but I can see how that would affect me physically as well as mentally.
Member # 41699
posted 12-11-2012 09:51 PM
Okay, so it sounds like you really have a lot on your plate right now! Transferring schools is a big change, and I understand that you are feeling pretty restless right now about not being able to just be experiencing the awesomeness already. Big life decisions and changes like that can definitely contribute to a lower libido, so it's very possible that's got to do with it for you.
When we're going through big life changes -- even positive, exciting ones -- it's always important to make sure we have enough self-care time. There are a whole load of big feelings tied up with changes like that and they can leave us pretty drained. And also the changes themselves (lots of paperwork, having to find somewhere to live, etc) can leave us without any time to really just sit back and forget about life and relax. So even when we have a positive change in our life, it's important to give ourselves time to just relax and have you-time. You took part in some of that self-care the other night, which is awesome. Do you feel like you're dedicating enough time to being self-care time? Do you have any comforting personal rituals you make sure you have the chance to do when you're feeling stressed out? Sometimes we can really forget about making time for ourselves, especially when life gets busy -- sometimes it's necessary to set up a "date" with ourselves to ensure we get that necessary downtime. Do you feel like you're getting enough time for self-care, or do think you'd like to work on making those kinds of "dates" with yourself?