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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Fear of sex - Is it a common thing?

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Author Topic: Fear of sex - Is it a common thing?
Nostalgia15
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I'm twenty years old and have been with my (first and only) boyfriend for about a year and a half... I'm concerned that my fear of sex is a bit odd. If I think of the act of sex it makes me physically sick - and I'm sure that I'd feel like that with any man (I'm pretty sure I'm not repulsed by my boyfriend...) Is this normal? I assume that I'm not the only one but I'd be grateful of reassurance XD

Also on this topic is it odd for me to feel that sex isn't a vital part of a relationship... I don't want to tell my boyfriend, but I'm actually alright with just messing about wearing clothes O_o Is this weird?

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Heather
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Well, sex and sexuality is a big, loaded thing for a whole lot of people in the world. And often all the more so for people when it's new and they're young.

So, I'd not say fears around sex and sexuality are at all uncommon: I'd say they're quite common.

It's not unusual or weird, either, to feel, in any given relationship, that sex isn't a vital part of it. After all, most of us wi at least some, and often many, relationships in our lives that aren't sexual, that we don't want to be sexual, or which might be sexual, but either rarely are, or where the sexual aspect is just the most minor or smallest part of that relationship.

However, in relationships that ARE sexual, and that we earnestly WANT to be sexual, sex usually will feel like either a vital part or an important part. Do you actually want a sexual relationship with your boyfriend? Without even getting to your fears, is that something you have actually felt a desire for in this relationship?

But maybe what we should do to talk about this is talk about what your specific fears are?

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Nostalgia15
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Ideally I would like to be able to have a sexual relationship with my boyfriend... but I find myself feeling that I can't/I won't let myself.

I feel all the more awful because I can't decide whether or not to tell him that I'm not sure that it will ever go to the next step, as he is very understanding and I'm sure he is aware that I have issues over the whole thing due to the fact that I've touched on the subject in conversation with him...as well as because I physically tense up and go make a cup of tea or something XD

However, saying that he has an inkling is exactly all it is.... I'd never bring myself to tell him that the idea of having sex with him makes me sick...and more embarasingly even body parts make me feel a bit queezy. (which used to be through naivety, but even now that I'm used to unfamiliar anatomy the queeziness seems to have stuck around and become an extention of the fear thing)

I wonder whether I fear the invasion of privacy that the whole thing seems to represent or simply my physical body - It's taken me a long time to get to the step just before the big jump.... But I feel like I'm stuck to the edge and I just won't budge O_o

Also could it be tied to my deep rooted fear of pregnancy and motherhood etc etc?

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Heather
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So, you feel strong sexual desires for your boyfriend, but the fear is a barrier to following those desires?

And when you feel those desires, then you feel fearful?

Not all sex can create a risk of pregnancy, so maybe, but maybe not. Are you only feeling fear around the kind of sex that can create a pregnancy, or with any or all kinds?

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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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Heather
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In other words, sometimes people *want* to have sexual desires: they're not actually having those desires, and that's something very different from actually feeling those desires.

Trying to see where you fall on that spectrum.

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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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Nostalgia15
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This is exactly my problem down to a T

I think I experience fear of pregnancy from all kinds of sex - for example right now I'm being paranoid over messing around with clothes on despite the fact that I've been doing this activity for a year with no issues (I've also read enough info to tell me that there's no real risk....but I still insist on being paranoid which is probably what's making my period late for two months) And I think this paranoia stems from that occasion that he er was a bit more in the right place than normal O_o (maybe TMI)...since then I've been asking my poor boyfriend to wear protection even when I'm wearing clothes which could be overcompensating slightly but oh well

When I really think about it, the major issue seems to be the fear of physical intrusion and the idea of that intrusion is what makes me feel ill...

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Nostalgia15
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I feel those desires.... they just seem dulled down by my fear :/
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Heather
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Can I ask why you're continuing to engage in any kind of sex where you're feeling big fears?

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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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Nostalgia15
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I guess I thought that it was something I have to do... in an attempt to get over the fears/ and also not to seem too freaked out to my boyfriend :/ which is a bad thing to do isn't it
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Heather
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Certainly, sometimes to get out of our comfort zones -- or DIScomfort zones -- we have to try stepping out of them a little bit.

But this doesn't sound so much like a little bit, and if you have been trying to do that, and the fears have kept up, or gotten worse, then no, continuing to do sexual things when you are feeling very fearful doesn't sound wise to me. It seems only more likely to compound your fears, and it also seems pretty unlikely you're actually even enjoying yourself (which is the point), if while you're engaging in sex, you are feeling scared or creeped-out by sex or body parts.

--------------------
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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Nostalgia15
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Should I attempt to explain the entirety of my feelings to my boyfriend? Surely he won't take 'You make me feel ill' very well.... :/
I assume speaking with him is all I can do isn't it?

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Heather
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How about you start by simply saying that your fears about sex are so big that having any kind of sex -- if it's happening with all of them -- just isn't something you can do right now?

No, I don't think "You make me feel ill," is a good choice, especially since it doesn't even sound like that's what's going on here. In other words, I don't hear you, so far, saying this really is about him, but is instead about you and about sex. he just happens to be the person you engage in sex with, that's all.

But by all means, if you haven't even let him in on you having these fears, I'd say you're way overdue in doing that. Not talking about them with him and having sex with them kept to yourself might even be part of why this all feels so icky.

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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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Nostalgia15
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Ok, I think I'm going to talk to him properly... Considering he's two years older and actually done this stuff before, he's listened to everything I've said so far and has been respectfully waiting for me to give the go ahead for sex anyway - so I shouldn't really be worried about telling him the whole thing and explaining myself...

Thank you so much for your time and advice [Smile] This has made me feel better about my situation and has convinced me that I need to start talking more to people!

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Heather
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Happy to be of help.

I know that conversation itself might feel scary too, just from a social/relationship standpoint. Do you feel okay about having it, or would you like any help 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

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Nostalgia15
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I think I should be ok [Smile] thank you for your help [Smile]
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Heather
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Awesome. You know where to find us if you need any more help! [Smile]

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