I don't feel anything physically during sexual activity

Questions and discussion about your sexual lives, choices, activities, ideas and experiences.
themoonandstars
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I don't feel anything physically during sexual activity

Unread postby themoonandstars » Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:43 pm

I'm 18 and consider myself to be bisexual, or more accurately biromantic, as I like both girls and boys and have kissed both but beyond that I haven't done anything and don't think I physically can enjoy anything.
I haven't had any partners do anything sexual to me (I've done to other people though) as I always get very self conscious of how I look down there and stop them, and the idea of sex just isn't appealing to me and my brain won't stop telling me it's dirty, even though I know it's normal.
Ive tried masturbating, ie rubbing my vulva all over and inside, using a shower head etc, but it just feels the same as any body part and not pleasurable, sometimes even uncomfortable. I read a lot of people advise that some people are more receptive to clitoral stuff so I tried touching my clitoris but it was way too oversentisive and felt uncomfortable. So I'm not sure what that leaves me with that could possible feel good?
Whilst I sometimes feel grossed out by the idea of sex, I do feel like im missing out on this thing that is supposed to feel amazing, but it doesn't seem like I'll be able to experience it.

Elise
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Re: I don't feel anything physically during sexual activity

Unread postby Elise » Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:20 pm

Hi themoonandstars,

It sounds like you're having difficulty finding a way to experience pleasure from both partnered and solo sex, which can be really frustrating. This is a really common experience for many people, so first please be assured that your body is normal and you are not at all alone in this.

When you say that you don't find the idea of sex "appealing", you have thoughts about it being "dirty" and it can make you feel a bit "grossed out" and uncomfortable. Would you feel comfortable unpacking this a bit more by describing how or why these thoughts occur to you?

A lot of the scripts we are given by society and the media tell us that sexual pleasure comes directly from physical stimulation, however this is not the case. Instead, our brain is a really important part of the process of sexual response: it plays a big part in desire and arousal, which are important parts of a process called the Sexual Response Cycle. Simplified, what this means is that without experiencing desire and arousal, physical stimulation is not going to create pleasurable feelings on its own. You can read more about this here: Sexual Response & Orgasm: A Users Guide.

Hopefully the above is a useful in assuring you that your body is responding in a way that is expected when a body isn't aroused.

With regards to feeling arousal, your answers to the above questions regarding your personal thoughts will shed more light on this. For some, lack of arousal can be an indicator that they are indeed on the asexuality spectrum, and for others, it can be because of other thoughts and feelings about sex causing stress and impeding arousal. It can also be that exploring physical pleasure in this way isn't what's right for you right now. I'll expand on these ideas below with some resources, potentially there will be some that resonate with you more than others.

The asexuality spectrum is diverse, and you will always be the best expert on what identity best resonates with you. Below are some articles that you might find useful, do any of the descriptions resonate with you? It is also completely fine if your answer to the below is "IDK" or "not sure".


It is important also to remember that sexual folks don't experience automatic desire or arousal. Arousal can be hard if our brain is preoccupied with thoughts of insecurities about our bodies, cultural scripts about sex being "shameful" or taboo, putting pressure on ourselves, or we are dealing with stress in other parts of our lives that is putting the breaks on our sexual response cycle. Below are some advice columns that unpack this a bit more, do these resonate with you at all? Moreso or less than the Asexuality resources listed before? (again "idk" is a fine answer here).


There is a lot of information here, so it is important to add there is no requirement for you to "know" all the answers right now. Exploring our sexuality and understanding ourselves is a process that will continue throughout our lives, and we are all on our own timeline. What this means is that it is also fine to take a break from sexual self exploration, rather than putting pressure on ourselves to work out what we like so we don't "miss out". Taking the pressure off yourself might look like taking some time off this exploration a few days or however long you need, and doing things you enjoy instead. Does that make sense?

themoonandstars
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Location: UK

Re: I don't feel anything physically during sexual activity

Unread postby themoonandstars » Sun Apr 18, 2021 3:10 am

Thank you for replying!
I think the reason I find the idea of it unappealing and "dirty" is I was raised in a very Christian household where I was told to save my self until marriage, and whilst I personally think so long as you're comfortable with the other person you should go for it, I think I subconsciously struggle to apply that to myself. I also just don't have any libido, and as I haven't ever found it pleasurable, that leaves either pain or no feeling, which isn't very appealing.

Also, I think the reason I haven't done anything with other girls is that I still do believe in God, and despite the fact that I know he loves and accepts everyone, I think I'm still subconsciously wary of engaging in homosexual activities because of traditional Christian teachings about it, so my brain just tells me it's better to abstain, hence why I panic and shut down Amy situations that may lead to it. I know this is something I'll probably have to come to terms with as it's probably my anxiety around the situation that's causing my body to not feel any pleasure.

If anything though, I more feel like I want to have sex as its this "great thing" everyone goes on about and I don't want to be missing out, rather than just wanting to do it for doing its sake.

I will definitely read those articles about asexuality, thank you!

Sam W
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Re: I don't feel anything physically during sexual activity

Unread postby Sam W » Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:24 am

Hi themoonandstars,

Being raised with really conservative views around sex can for sure make sex less pleasurable, or make it hard to enjoy being with a partner. Our brains are our biggest sexual organs, so if some part of yours is repeating those negative messages about sex, that can kill any pleasure or arousal you might otherwise experience. If you haven't seen it before, I recommend taking a look at our Impurity Culture series: https://www.scarleteen.com/tags/impurity_culture. That series talks a lot about navigating sex and masturbation when you're still dealing with shameful messages about sex.

I think it's very insightful on your part to realize that the anxiety you still feel around your sexual orientation is playing a role here as well. We all get to navigate the relationship between our faith (or lack thereof) and sexual orientation as we see fit, but that can be a stressful process. Have you ever looked at Queer Grace? It's a sight that focuses on LGBT-affirming interpretations of faith, an might be helpful for you right now: http://queergrace.com/

You also mentioned in your first post that you feel self-conscious about how your genitals look. Is that tied into the messaging about sex (and things related to sex) as being dirty? Or is it coming from somewhere else entirely?

themoonandstars
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Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:31 pm
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Location: UK

Re: I don't feel anything physically during sexual activity

Unread postby themoonandstars » Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:32 am

Thank you for those links, I read some things from the queer grace site and it definitely felt uncomfortable to read in some ways, as it goes against what I've been taught, but then was reassuring in others.

I dislike how my labia minora are large than my majora and "stick out" quite far, as well as not being full symmetrical, and while I have read articles here about loving labia and how they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, watched the documentary "the perfect vagina" (which is actually about how there is no such thing and is about the variety in them), and have been to a gynecologist who said it was still within the normal range, I still don't like how it looks and think it looks "unclean", "messy" and "ugly", and cant see how anyone else would want to see it; another reason I shut down any intercourse before it reaches the point of someone feeling or seeing down there. In media I've only every seen neat little vulvas, and the one time me and some friends had a bit of a more "tmi" conversation about it, they all seemed surprised when I described mine and all said they had very small "neat and tidy" labias, which didn't help with my confidence about how mine looks of course.
So whenever I touch my labia when trying to feel something, I just feel gross touching them as I dislike them, so then they just feel like any other part of the body to touch.

Sam W
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Re: I don't feel anything physically during sexual activity

Unread postby Sam W » Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:17 am

I'm glad you're exploring Queer Grace, even if there's some discomfort; that's a big step, both in terms of feeling comfortable with your identity and in figuring out how you want your faith to influence your relationship with sex and sexuality.

It's great that you've been doing so much reading and viewing to help you unlearn those messed-up messages about genitals! One thing it can help to remember is that, even when we've learned the truth, those negative messages about how labia should look can be really hard to shake. I'll also say that, by and large, we tend to put more scrutiny on our bodies than our partners do. So, while you may be worrying what a partner will think when they see or touch your labia, odds are that in the moment their thoughts are going to be closer to "heck yeah, I get to do (whatever it is they're doing)." In a happy and healthy sexual relationship, people aren't pausing sex to evaluate whether the other persons' labia (or breasts, or testicles, or what have you) are symmetrical; they're too busy being excited and in the moment with each other. Does that make sense?

themoonandstars
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Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:31 pm
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Re: I don't feel anything physically during sexual activity

Unread postby themoonandstars » Wed Apr 21, 2021 1:19 pm

Ah I suppose when you put it like that it does make sense, yeah. I guess they'd be more happy to be about to be having sex than be scrutinising me, it's just a suckt thought that I struggle to get out of my head. I was considering cosmetic surgery since my self esteem about how it looks is very very low, but read that a labiaplasty can actually reduce your sensitivity down there and since I already struggle to feel anything physically, I have mostly decided against it

Emily N
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Re: I don't feel anything physically during sexual activity

Unread postby Emily N » Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:23 am

Hi themoonandthestars,

I want to echo what Sam said, it’s amazing how you are recognizing things that may be contributing to your feelings around sex, your body, and sexuality, and how important it is to un-learn them. But I totally agree, it’s so hard to take that step from recognizing how we should and want to feel about sex/sexuality/our bodies and actually feeling this way. As you probably know, this change likely won’t happen overnight or after one good resource, but as a compilation of good resources and support. This article on “Seven Ways to Love Your Body” is broad, but might be helpful for thinking about more specific parts of our bodies or selves, as well: https://www.scarleteen.com/article/bodi ... _your_body

I particularly like it’s suggestion that we “consider our inner goddess” and “Let the hateful thoughts run their course, then pass. It will clear space in your mind for positive ones to replace them.”

themoonandstars
not a newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:31 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I'm pretty good at art
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She/her
My sexual identity and orientation: Biromantic/asexual?
Location: UK

Re: I don't feel anything physically during sexual activity

Unread postby themoonandstars » Tue Apr 27, 2021 12:13 pm

Thank you!! I'll definitely give it a read <3


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