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Author Topic: 'virginity'
georgiexx
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I feel a bit confused about how I think about things. Obviously I've been having 'sex' for a year and a half cos thats how long i've been with my boyfriend. but, i still feel like a virgin. i dont feel like i have had sex. its really difficult to explain. I have never ever liked or enjoyed it, and sex is meant to be something enjoyable, and pleasurable, or to make babies. Obviously I dont do it to make babies, but i have never enjoyed or liked any aspect of any type of 'sex'. So have i even had sex? I probably sound really stupid and not making much sense. But i really feel like i havent yet lost my virginity. even though technically, i have had sexual intercourse many times with my boyfriend. meh.
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Heather
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What I hear you saying is that you don't feel like you have yet experienced sex in any way you have enjoyed or found meaningful to you.

I don't think it's sound to take out the physical aspects of what sex is, or to figure someone has only engaged in sexual activities when they enjoyed them, especially from a standpoint of sexual health, where that would be highly problematic. I also, think, too, that it's sound to figure that we can, for example, gone dancing, and we know we did that, but find and express that it hasn't met our expectations or felt like what we wanted or expected it to.

"Virginity" is a highly arbitrary terms with a long, problematic history, both in terms of sexism and violence, but also when it comes to its usefulness, since it is so arbitrary. So, I can't help you out much with talk about "feeling like a virgin" or not, because I don't think there is any way we could define what that feels like, both because people's definition of "virgin" varies so much, but also because people's life experiences, with and without sex, vary so much.

Have you yet been about to connect with that sex therapist? Or been able to stick to not having sex you don't enjoy?

[ 03-07-2011, 12:34 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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georgiexx
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well, i only used the word virgin because i didnt know how else to explain it. I dont think to myself "i am a virgin". i just feel like iv not had sex, if that makes sense. i dont know :/ i dont particuarly like the phrase virgin, i just didnt know what other word i could use. i feel like i havent yet experienced sex. i feel like i havent had my 'first time' yet. perhaps thats just because i hated my literal first time, i dont know.

i went to the doctors about it, she told me to ring the hospitals gum clinic and ask about sexual therapy. i went on their website to check it out first, and it clearly stated at the bottom of the page "we do not provide any therapy here" which was a bit annoying. the hospital in another town in my county provides therapy, but it is well out of my way and i would have to pay the pricey transport ticket prices to get there each week. Im not really sure what to do about it to be honest.

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Heather
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At the very least, have you stopped having any sex you do not enjoy?

How about connecting with a general therapist, many of whom can also work with sexual issues?

We can talk some more about this if you like, but I still think you're going to be best served by having someone in-person to work with.

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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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georgiexx
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yeahh, well we dont really have sex anymore. i wanted to the other night, i sort of initiated it, and it was pretty horrible. felt like crap and like i had some stranger on top of me. but i told him this and i think it was a mistake on my part for initiating it. he doesnt seem fussed that we dont do it which is good i suppose. its just making me feel rubbish about the whole relationship though.
i dont really want to see a general therapist, i've done that before and its not what i want/need. but i will continue finding out about the sex therapy.
thank you for your reply

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Heather
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You know that you can seek out therapists who are general therapists but also work with sexuality, right? That's actually quite a lot of them since sexuality is such a huge issues for so many people.

I hope that it's okay for me to be frank and say that even with the best therapist in the world, I suspect that you are going to need to not be in a relationship which is sexual or where there is any expectation on anyone's part that it should be or will be. I'd be willing to bet that if you can see a sex therapist, they would be likely to start with the same advice.

I'd actually be very curious to just even see how you feel without feeling that expectation as a constant (I suspect it'd be a lot better), but I also think that's going to need to be your starting place, regardless. I'd say that includes keeping yourself from situations where you'd seek to initiate sex knowing it's not something you yet enjoy and probably are not likely to without some real changes, including some focused work on getting to the bottom of what's going on with you and what you DO really want and need and what does really work for you and doesn't.

Even if and when things change for you, expecting a relationship which has been so bad for you sexually to be able to become a good one with all those associations is pretty much asking the impossible, in my book.

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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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georgiexx
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i could look into it, see what general therapists deal with sexuality also. i really do want to see someone about it.
i do agree, and we dont usually have sex anymore, we just sleep in the same bed, and cuddle. its just that sometimes, like the the time i said earlier, i just want to express my feelings for him in that way, even though i know it wont be how i want it to be when i actually do it. but i do agree, and we have pretty much stopped having sex.

that last part, do you mean that even if these issues change for me, i will never have a good sexual relationship with my current boyfriend?

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Heather
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I think it would be awfully tough with such a longstanding history now of having sex with him you don't enjoy, yes.

That's not to say I'm saying it can't happen, as it can for some folks sometimes. But it would likely be very hard. My opinion is also that until you can start a relationship that's sexual and walk into it -- if you choose that kind of relationship ever, at all -- without feeling any "shoulds" about things you should be doing or should be feeling or should be liking, but instead be better able to identify what you more authentically want and enjoy, there are going to be big problems and you are probably not going to feel good in them.

Have you and your boyfriend talked yet at all about changing the nature of your relationship so that it is only an affectionate friendship? In other words, have you yet tried making a clear agreement that sex is just off the table, period, and then given it a few months or more to see how that goes?

[ 03-07-2011, 01:35 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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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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georgiexx
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oh.
we havent spoken about it and made a clear agreement, no. but he understand that i'm not into it and he doesnt initiate it or expect it. however, i do think he wants it sometimes, because thats the kind of realtionship he wants, same as me, but i clearly cant.
so i dont think he would be happy with us just being affectionate friends, and neither would i.
i have always seen a future with him, and he sees a future with me, as boyfriend and girlfriend.
so the idea that we cant be like that sucks.
i dont really know what to say now, its just really upset me that realistically, we cant be in the relationship that we both want. this sucks

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Heather
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I don't know if this will be helpful to you, but both in my personal life and when it comes to what I observe in working with people around interpersonal relationships, what becomes more and more clear to me is that approaching relationships as something where we want ne kind with someone, then try and fit each other into that isn't a sound approach, especially long-term, as relationships tend to shift and change throughout life.

What usually works a lot better for everyone, short-term and long-term, is to connect with someone and then try and sort out what our best relationship is with them at a given time, and overall, fitting the relationship to us, as unique people who also uniquely connect, rather than the other way around.

Do you know what I mean?

So, if you two are sitting around waiting for you to feel or want or experience things a certain way you might not because that's what you two want in general, even though it's very obvious by now it's not the right things for you two now (and doesn't sound like it has ever been), I'd say it's past time to have some big talks about that and really revisit why you're both trying to do that, rather than trying to go with what DOES seem to work for you two together, and then support each other in seeking out things that aren't a good fit for the two of you with other people in your lives with whom it is or could be.

And for your own mental and emotional health, if you are sticking in something in a way where the setup is that this person is waiting for you to try and be something you aren't, or aren't with them, or just don't like, and you're staying around waiting for that to happen too, that's actually a pretty miserable equation for both of you, no?

Maybe I can also ask why you feel like it would be so terrible to have a kind of relationship with this person that DOES feel like a right fit and does not involve you doing something like having sex you don't enjoy? How is that worse than staying in something that already isn't what either or you really want, or expects things of either of you that for one or both of you, don't feel good or right?

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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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georgiexx
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well, i dont think we are trying to fit each other into being a certain way. i just naturally feel sexual urges and i fancy him and care about him alot and i genuinely feel that i want to do these things with him.
i wouldnt be happy with that kind of relationship because it doesnt feel like a right fit to me, that feels very wrong. i dont see him as a friend, i see him as something a lot more than that.
i have sent him a long message about how i feel about sex, but he wants to talk about it in person and we havent seen each other yet, we are tomorrow.
its so hard to explain. i actually feel sexually frustrated. i dont know what that phrase means to other people, but for me, i have a physical frustrating feeling.
its really really weird, during the day, when im with my boyfriend mostly, i have a heavy feeling down there, like it needs to 'release' something, i cant think of any other way to describe it.
and i wake up in the morning, and its literally contracting, its like, going crazy, and it actually feels quite nice. but as soon as i am fully awake and aware of whats going on, it just goes, and theres nothing i can do to bring it back.

i understand that some people may have better, happier relationships in all sorts of ways, but the thought of just being friends with my now boyfriend, reduces me to tears. i love him.

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Heather
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From what I can tell, so far, it's not that you don't have sexual desires and feelings. Rather, it's that, again so far -- or with just this one partner? I forget, I'm sorry -- you find that some ways of expressing those feelings, like genital sex, are not enjoyable for you. It also seems like you're having some issues sustaining desire. And probably, at least in part, I think this is about being in a sexual relationship, or one with that expectation, that's about kinds of sex you don't enjoy.

My intent wasn't to upset you, I just strongly suspect that some of what the issue with might be about fighting what really does and doesn't work for you to try and do what someone else wants you to do or what you think (and they think) you "should" enjoy, based more on what they want or on what other people do than what works for the person YOU are right now and so far.

I'm also sorry that it's going to be a little hard for me to understand why having a friendship that might work better vs. a sexual relationship that isn't is sad because you love someone. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with feeling that way (even though I suspect it may be part of why you often feel unhappy), just that I'm not sure I understand that, especially if and when we recognize that friendship is the core of every relationship and something being sexual doesn't mean it's a more important, meaningful or better relationship than all others.

But if you want to talk about that more and help me understand, or talk more about this with us just accepting I don't get it (which we can do: I don't have to understand everything, after all), we can do that.

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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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georgiexx
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i have only had full sex with my current boyfriend. so its just with him i have had this problem. the few people before him where i did other sexual things with, was drunken and meaningless but i didnt even care at the time cos i didnt care about them.
a friendship just cant work. if we are not boyfriend and girlfriend, i dont think i could even see or hear from him again. it would be like torture. if we were just friends, that would mean no sleeping in the same bed, no intimacy, no dates, no holding hands, no intimate cuddles or touching, no kissing, not even just being naked together.
if we were just friends, i wouldnt be able to move on and be with anyone else because i love him. and if he got a new girlfriend? that would be devastating, horrible.

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Heather
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I had an afterthought I thought I'd run past you.

I know it might sound random, but can you identify ways in your life that you don't just accept, but really celebrate the ways that you're different and unique? In other words, ways you think it's awesome and treat it as awesome that there may be ways you are others are not, things you want others don't, things you don't want others do?

Over here, we'd talk about that as being the way we let our freak flags fly, is what I said above didn't resonate with you. In other words, the ways we celebrate and appreciate our uniqueness and nonconformity?

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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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georgiexx
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i like parts of my personality that are different, that other people find odd. i appreciate those kinds of things, like things i am interested in that no one else is.
but those things are good, they make me feel good because they are things i like.
im not going to celebrate the fact that im incapable of enjoying something thats meant to be so natural. sex is supposed to be natural, its supposed to be enjoyable. what if i never enjoy it? i plan on being with my boyfriend for a long time. and i know its thinking way too ahead but as an example, what if i want children when im older? i will want them, but i wont enjoy the process of even creating them? it makes me upset

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Heather
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One thing I want you to know is that among people who study and work in sex, who really put in the most time and study around us, the sentiment that sex is "natural" is one we usually identify as being VERY problematic, especially if a) that means one certain kind of sex and/or b)it implies it's something easy for most people.

Mostly that's because we all know all too well that neither of those things are true. And you can make that a double vote for those of us who don't only know this professionally, but personally, whether that's about our orientation and those ideas, our gender, the way our bodies do or don't work, what have you.

One thing I can suggest is that you really try all you can to try and think about what YOUR sexuality is per what you DO enjoy and to frame that positively. Like, so far I am hearing that you are all about the cuddle. So, why not -- cheesy as I'm sure it sounds -- try to better embrace the fact that you're like, the Snuggle Goddess?

Do you not think there are other people in the world who, temporarily or permanently, find that physical activities which are not genital but very full-body contact are the sex they like to be having? If not, let me assure you that there are.

On some of your what-ifs? One thing I can say around babymaking is that an awful lot of people don't find that to be an enjoyable process, since that often is a very different kind of sex that, unless pregnancy is accidental, tends to be a lot less about enjoying oneself than about being a means to an end. I know that might seem weird, but when you get a little older and hear more people talk about being in or through that process, you'll get what I mean.

What if you never enjoy certain kinds of sex? Well, then you're like most people, since most people don't enjoy every kind of sex there is to be having. What if you never enjoy some of the most common kinds? Then you make sure you're seeking out lovers who are more simpatico with you and who enjoy what you do, which is what we all tend to need to do for excellent sexual relationships no matter what our likes and dislikes are.

And really, that's a big part of what makes sex enjoyable for people when it is, is when people go with what they like, don't do what they don't, and connect with partners who they have plenty of common ground with in terms of your sexuality and theirs being similar and/or complementary. If anyone is telling you sex has historically been so enjoyable for everyone, they need a history lesson, especially when you consider that for the vast majority of it, way more times than not, oppressions and inequities alone have made it so that often, what was enjoyable for one person was not for the other.

[ 03-07-2011, 04:09 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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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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georgiexx
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okay, i understand what you're saying, and yes i love cuddles. but cuddles are not a type of sex? and my guess is that im going to find it very difficult to find a guy who is happy with only ever cuddling, just because men and women have different needs, surely? women are all about being intimate, but men like intimacy in a different way, like sex. well thats what is said in all the books and articles and tv shows and everything.
im also jealous, because i want to feel the pleasure that other people are able to feel. i feel like im missing out.
i really dont know much else that i like, i dont think there is anything.
i'll stop going on about it now, you have been helpful and thank you

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Heather
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Cuddles are a kind of sex when they are a way someone seeks out sexual pleasure and/or explores sexual feelings, sure!

I think it might first help for you to read this, then we can check back in, and maybe also unpack some of the gender binaries you're setting up/signing on to (based on TV and magazines, no less, which are usually the worst places to get sexuality information most of the time), gender binaries that don't accurately reflect the diversity of human sexuality OR gender expression and experience.

Then we can also talk about more of you seeming to be stuck on this idea that X or Y kind of sex is pleasurable for everyone but you. If you don't want to talk about this any more today, that's fine, but if you do, I'm around for a while to continue the conversation and it's okay for us to keep talking about it.

Here's that link: What's Sex?

[ 03-07-2011, 04:40 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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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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georgiexx
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I dont really get any sexual pleasure out of cuddling though, its more just because it feels comforting and loving.
in the list of things that can be examples of sex in that article, i dont find any of those pleasurable [Frown] i like kissing, but i only like it because its affectionate. it doesnt make me feel sexually pleasure or anything.
i know it says at the bottom of the the list 'something else entirely' but i cant really think of anything that i do for sexual reasons.
i dont even know what counts as sexual pleasure. i like cuddling because its cosy and comforting, but its not really sexual pleasure is it?
i like being stroked but thats again the same reasons as i like being cuddled.
if im honest, cuddling is actually getting a little boring.and the feeling of comfort i get from it is fading also, because its all we ever really do.

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Heather
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Really, we can't classify sex well by activity. Context is key, so people feeling sexual with activities, and finding (or not) they're ways they can sexually express themselves and feel sexual pleasure is really the bigger issue than what those things are. That's also why we can say, have one part of our body engaged in something that sometimes is sex, but other times is healthcare or sexual assault or toileting.

So, to make sure I get where you're at, the kind of cuddling and stroking you'd do with your partner, it's the same as you'd want to do with friends or family? And you find you feel the same ways as when you cuddle those folks?

Let me check in with one other thing: let's say it's one of those times where cuddling and stroking turns into something like frottage (dry humping) or muttal masturbation. Is something like that not feeling good for you and not feeling sexually exciting?

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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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georgiexx
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well no, i dont really like cuddling anyone else, just him. i dont really cuddle family anymore, and i hug my friends, i dont cuddle him. cuddling for me is for a longer period of time, and physically closer. its more affectionate with my boyfriend. so i do feel differently when cuddling him then say, if i hugged my mum or my friends. so, does that mean its sexual?
and no, thats never felt good to me. as soon as it turns to things like that it doesnt have any affect, thats the problem. i wish it did, i wish it felt good, i wantt to feel good, but it doesnt. theres been a handful of times where its turned to sort of dry humping, and its felt nice in my head, like at the time i would be thinking "this is close and loving, this is a very loving situation" but i wouldnt really call it sexually exciting.

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georgiexx
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like, nothing physical happens to my body when that happens, nothing physical at all. just my thinking.
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Heather
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Are you open to me just tossing out a bunch of ideas and thoughts about you around all of this, like where my thinking is at with all the information you've shared since we've been talking?

Mind, I still think it's not going to be as good as what you can get to with a therapist you see regularly for a long period of time in person, but maybe they're just some existing and additional places to start feeling/thinking out that might help you.

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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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georgiexx
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umm, yes, go for it. id rather just hear an outsiders honest point of view rather than what i just want to hear i guess.
i will probably just call up the gum clinic in the other town, its better than nothing, and i really feel i need to talk to someone so it must be worth it

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Heather
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Okay. Figure what I'm putting out here is certainly coming from a place of my doing this job for over a decade, but some of it is also about some intuitive guessing.

1) I actually don't know much about your sexual history in terms of knowing if you only feel attraction to men (in other words, I don't know if orientation has anything to do with this), or if you actually feel sexual chemistry with this partner per comparing to previous people -- I know this has been your only sexual partner, but what about feeling of attraction to other people? Additionally, I don't know anything about how you feel about your body and gender as a whole, as those can always play big parts.

2) I am still having a very hard time getting a sense of if you wanting to want to be sexual is coming from a place of sexual feelings or from a place of a) feeling like you should want given things and/or b) feeling like you have to want/enjoy. do certain things in order to have a long-term intimate relationship or to be "normal." This is another area, too, where again, it might make sense to talk about your identity and how much of it you feel is affected by having a boyfriend, etc.

3) I know you already know this, but I strongly feel like until you are not in ANY relationship where there is or has ever been any expectation of you being sexual in ways you don't like or truly want (not want to want, earnestly want), it is going to be anywhere from difficult or impossible to get to the bottom of things here. As well, since this has been your only partner, and it got sexual before you'd really have wanted it to, I do think it's entirely possible that at least some of this may be simply not being sexually attracted to this person and having earnest sexual desires for them. We don't have those feelings for everyone we love, after all, and when we don't have those feelings, most if not all kinds of sex can tend to feel anything from ho-hum to downright awful.

4) We haven't talked about asexuality yet, so I don't have a good sense of if it's possible you have sexual desires, but just don't feel a strong desire to enact them, alone or with others.

5) It might make sense to try and maybe make a map that's kind of your spectrum of pleasure in your life experience. Pleasure of ALL kinds: ways in which you feel pleasure. Then, after you do that, maybe identify some, if any, that have, so far, been exclusive to you in romantic and/or sexual relationships.

6) I think it also might help a huge heaping lot to talk more or for you to read more about what the real, whole spectrum of sexuality can look like. When we talk, I get the impression you think everybody has and loves intercourse or genital sex, that intimacy is always or usually genital, that sexual differences are only about who is a man or who is a woman (or at least mostly about that), that people who have romantic feelings always have sexual feelings, that lots of people are NOT having any struggles or issues with their sex lives or sexual pleasure.

Now, ideally I think it'd be most helpful if you could maybe just accept that it's clear a lot of what you think you know about human sexuality is wrong (and don't sweat that, that's true for most people) and then move on from there without continuing to make comparisons to what you think other people have and experience. But you might also need to kind of explore those facts more before you believe that enough to be able to move on like that.

7) One last thing we might want to try and talk more about is that I feel like you're trying to figure out what it feels like to be sexually excited based on other people in whose bodies and heads you obviously can't be living to know. Talking about where you've gotten your ideas and information about sex in your life might be really helpful.

8) I'm wondering a little about your life history in general. Have you ever had any life experiences that were just really outside the box? Where you felt free and able to follow your bliss, no matter how weird it might have seemed? Where you just felt free and strong as a person, all by yourself?

9) Lastly, I'd be curious about your life history as far as ANY kind of abuse or assault goes, including any neglect.

[ 03-07-2011, 06:24 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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georgiexx
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im really tired and have college tomorrow so im going to answer this tomorrow some time if thats alright? but thank you for the reply, and taking the time, i just cant think as clearly when im sleepy so my reply might not be very accurate
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Heather
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Oh, of course! I didn't put all that out there expecting you to respond to all of it now, or even with the expectation you'd respond to any. I just wanted to toss things at you I am thinking about in your situation so that you could have them to think about, too. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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georgiexx
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okay so im gonna just go through that list as best i can.
i have only ever been attracted to men, so i know orientation isnt an issue. About comparing sexual chemistry i have with my boyfriend to other people, well im not really sure. at school i used to be infatuated with boys. i used to get very very depressed because i was incapable of even starting a conversation with a guy, in fact i couldnt even bear to look at someone i fancied in case they saw and thought i was 'weird'. if a boy spoke to me, i would pretend i couldnt hear them, even if it was someone i really fancied.
i was borderline obsessed with one boy at school for 3 years, and at the time i felt 'sexually attracted' to him, i used to fantasise about it with him and stuff (though never had a conversation with him, not once), same goes with the next boy i really liked. bearing in mind i knew absolutely nothing about them, only that i thought they were good looking, and i basically fell in love with the image i had of them in my mind, i used to imagine what they were like as people. the way i feel about my boyfriend is different. i actully KNOW him, and im not the same person that i was at school. the way i feel about my boyfriend is totally different to how i felt about the boys i was infatuated with at school. i dont know what this means. as soon as i started having sex, my sexual feelings towards anyone just disappeared. i still find people attractive, but i dont imagine having sex with them. before i was sexually active i used to imagine it all the time.

i want to be sexual because a) i want to feel physical pleasure, i feel physically frustrated that i dont get any. basically i just want to feel something physically pleasurable, i feel like my body is dead. and b) because i want to express how i feel about my boyfriend in that way, its just what i want. i want to go to bed with him and feel pleasure WITH him. i dont even like watching sex scenes on tv, (i know its acting) but i actually get jealous that i cant feel anything close to what they are acting out.

i must be sexually attracted to him, otherwise i wouldnt have fancied him in the first place. i fancied him before we even spoke the first time. and the first time i ever did anything sexual with him, i was excited. but then afterwards, i felt deflated and a dissapointed because as excited as i was, i felt nothing physical. that was only manual 'handsy' stuff, not full sex. my mum also says this to me alot, and now im starting to believe that im not attracted to him, but i am confused because i dont know if i think this just because people are telling me thats what it is. [Frown]

i dont know if i have sexual desires, to be honest. i used to. before i had done anything sexual with anyone, i had very strong sexual desires. although whenever i tried to masturbate it wouldnt work. now i am sexually active, i just dont know. perhaps its the fact i never feel anything thats put me off. well, its not really put me off, i still WANT to do it, but wanting to do it doesnt change the fact that i feel nothing when i do. i dont fantasise about it anymore really, because i dont see the point. i do sometimes, but i start imagining that it feels great, then get upset cos in reality it doesnt.

theres not much in life that gives me pleasure. i dont know if im saying that just because im in a miserable mood or because its true. i cant say theres much in life that makes me go "wow, this makes me happy". there is nothing that does that.

i know there are lots of people who struggle in their sex life, i know this. but it always seems to be people with different sexual problems to me that are highlighted. i rarely hear about people who feel absolutely nothing through every type of sex. this makes me feel like its not particuarly common and im on my own.

i feel i do have a fair idea about whatother people feel when they have sex. iv got the information from what my friends say, what tv programmes say, what medical books and sexuality books say and all things like that. i also have an idea because i have felt pleasurable feelings before, which i have explained. that time with the guy i was with for the first time sober. though i didnt like him, wasnt attracted to him or anything, it felt nice. also i said the other day, i get a pleasurable feeling when i wake up in the morning, more or less every other morning now. it contracts down there, and feels good, but it feels like i want to start rubbing it, or someone else to. but as soon as i do, the feeling goes, and as soon as i am fully awake, it goes too. it lasts about 20 seconds. so im guessing when other people feel aroused, thats what they feel.

the last question, i dont really know. i have left a very long post here before to you about my childhood, im not sure if you remember it, but it will be here somewhere. it wasnt a particuarly nice childhood. and my parents were not sexual or romantic towards each other. they just argued and screamed and i spent alot of my childhood scared and nervous everytime my dad came home or everytime my mum said something he might take the wrong way. my mum shared a room with me and my sister since i was about 8 to the age of about 15. she nows sleeps in my brothers old room.
i would say emotional abuse was definately present in myfamily. my dad was and still is sometimes a bully and manipulative and horrid.

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Heather
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Thanks for sharing all of that with me. Before I say anything else, I want to reiterate that you are not the only person who has have or does have the issues and experiences you are having. You're not even the first or only person in this kind of pickle I've talked with about it over the years, and I'm just one sexuality educator.

So, my gut-feeling takeaway from all of this is that it does sound like you experience and have experienced sexual desires, and it does sound like you feel attracted to your boyfriend.

It also sounds like you may be suffering from depression, which can have a HUGE effect on desire and on sexual response. Have you ever been evaluated or treated for depression?

I also suspect your upbringing/family may be playing a part here, both around depression and around your sexuality and relationship issues.

I know you were bummed that so far, a specific sex therapist has not been available for you, but looking at this, I actually think starting with a more general therapist is probably a better bet, anyhow.

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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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georgiexx
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i do believe you when you say that, sometimes its just difficult to not feel alone.
i have been on and off anti depressants for depression and anxiety (which i know affect libido) but i started taking them months into my relationships, when my problems with sex had already started so i know its not those. and i dont take them anymore at the moment.
I guess the depression itself might be causing it. again though, i have friends with depression and anxiety and they have a better sex life than me. i know i shouldnt compare but its hard not to.

okay, a general therapist is better than no therapist.
Thankyou for your advice, im sorry i keep going on about the same things

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Heather
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The range of effect depression can have on sexuality is vast. For some people, it appears to have little to no effect, where for others, it is totally debilitating and basically wipes out their sex drive and their ability to experience pleasure in sex. Since you are expressing that you find you can't experience pleasure in ANYTHING -- which is often a signal of severe depression -- 1) you can't expect sex to be any different and 2) it sounds very much to me like depression may be a major part of this.

You also have to remember that comparing to friends isn't sound, for a whole bunch of reasons. For starters, friends are more often dishonest, or only partially honest, with friends about their sex lives. Two, everyone's bell curve of what "better sex life" is is not the same. But again, depression does not impact everyone the same way, and a handful of people also does not a sound source for overall statistics make.

I think a general therapist is actually the BEST start for you here, not some kind of consolation prize. Can you get in the queue for that, or are you already? When you talk to them, I'd make sure to absolutely talk about what's been going on sexually, but also talk about how you find you can't enjoy anything in life at all, about your childhood history, much of what we have talked about here. I'd also bring up you have been on medication before but are not now, and make clear that if you're going to take medication again, you want a provider to work very hard to choose a medication where sexual side effects are least likely.

You don't have to be sorry about continuing to talk about the same things. I do think that with some of this, you're kind of staying stuck in certain ways of thinking and behaving and that that is not going to help you, but at the same time, I understand how hard it can be to change in that way, all the more so if and when you are severely depressed, when it's hard to even get out of bed in the morning.

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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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georgiexx
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perhaps it is because of the depression then.
i cant imagine my friends being dishonest about it, i know friends that arnt so close might, but my closest friends, i just cant see him lying, because they know how shitty i feel about it. then again i could be wrong.
im not in the queue for that at the moment but i can be. there is a place that i got told to call up after i left my other counselling, i had to leave because of my age, it was only for adolescents.
i know im stuck in the same mindset, and i really really have no idea how to get out of it. it sucks. but i guess thats what therapys for. i dread doing normal daily things, such as going to college, or work at the weekends, the thought of going makes me feel drained and lifeless and pointless.

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Heather
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But maybe they feel shitty about it, too: it's really often amazing how hard it is for some people to be honest about sex, even when their dishonesty hurts or isolates someone else, even when that's the last thing they'd want.

It really sounds like depression may be the biggest part of what is going on here. I'm not going to say getting that treated and treated well will magic everything perfect, but if you are as severely depressed as I think you may be, I think treatment is going to make things a LOT better.

That's not all there is to do, obviously, but I think it's the best place to start, because if you have untreated severe depression, and thus, dread all of life and find pleasure in nothing, there's not going to be any way to change things. Like I said before, we really can't expect that we'll find joy and pleasure in nothing else, or really feel engaged in nothing else, but can somehow find all of that in sex. Our sexuality and our sex lives tend to be a reflection of who we are and what's going on with all of us, rather than the other way round, if you catch my drift.

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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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