feeling sexually frustrated on my period [vent][tmi]

Questions and discussion about your sexual lives, choices, activities, ideas and experiences.
alriune
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feeling sexually frustrated on my period [vent][tmi]

Unread post by alriune »

i know just from reading the title a lot of people are going to say "just have sex and if you can't do that then masturbate" but both are basically logistically impossible for me

the reason why i can't have sex is because i'm currently out of town, so if i had an s/o i couldn't have sex with them and hooking up is not an option logistically either. and there are an entire host of reasons why masturbation is just not feasible either. i know that it's possible to masturbate on your period and plenty of people do, but for me it's extremely difficult:
  • i know period blood isn't any different chemically from blood elsewhere in the body, but i'm repulsed by blood in general
  • i've mentioned in a different post i very likely have vaginismus, which means that i'm basically forced to use pads*
  • the physical sensation of masturbating on my period is like sticking my fingers in entrails
  • my periods are very heavy and tend to have large chunks of clots/endometrial tissue

so i can't use my fingers, but what about a vibrator? luckily the one i have currently is silicone, waterproof, and easy to clean. but there are more issues

as i said, my periods are very heavy so putting down a towel will probably mean that towel is going to have a huge stain on it. the other reason requires explaining how i usually masturbate:

the usual way i masturbate with a vibrator is by putting it near my clit, squeezing my legs together and grinding while laying down (the details of how this works would require going into my specific anatomy and this post is too tmi as is) and manually usually involves a mix of rubbing and grinding.

this is the ONLY consistent way i've been able to get off. no other position i've tried works. but i can't do this on my period. i've tried masturbating other ways or in other locations (shower/bathtub) with varying results. not only that, but the physical presence of period blood makes it harder to get off because for some reason it dulls the sensation.

all of this together makes it basically impossible to get off. it doesn't help that my period makes me emotionally feel horrible (as it does) and physically uncomfortable, and not being able to satisfy sexual urges just makes it that much worse. to make matters even worse, i've basically been having a months-long mental breakdown starting in january that didn't lessen in severity until june and has been on the decline again as of late, and my period started yesterday. on the day i had to attend a funeral and then subsequent events surrounded by relatives who i feel alienated from, in addition to the fact that i'm already very neurodivergent and quite possibly autistic. the entire day i felt like my insides were being ground up in a meat grinder and just barely avoided a breakdown.

this is all to say my mental fortitude has been worn down to barely even a nub to the point where talking to or even being around friends is too taxing for me. not being able to do something as (relatively) simple like masturbating which also serves as a way of relieving stress is making me feel worse, as well as the reminders that my body apparently doesn't work the way it does for everyone else. i don't know how everyone else does it.

*i know period panties exist but i don't have any pairs and they're kind of pricey
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Re: feeling sexually frustrated on my period [vent][tmi]

Unread post by Latha »

Honestly, it seems like you're having an awful time, and it makes sense that you're so exhausted by it all. You're right, there isn't a simple solution for your situation- if there was, I imagine you'd have found it already.

It sounds like your periods are generally difficult, given that they feel horrible emotionally and hurt so much. Would you like to see if we can brainstorm ways to make your periods more comfortable?
alriune
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Re: feeling sexually frustrated on my period [vent][tmi]

Unread post by alriune »

i was pretty upset while writing this so i forgot to mention that my periods at least tend to be short, so today there's still been a little bit of runoff but only enough that i would need a panty liner, thankfully

though i made it sound like the main issue is my period, i think the main issue really is that i feel like my own body isn't even on my side. i already have a whole host of psychological problems but my body not really working the way it should just makes it that much worse. i think the details of my personal problems are way above the paygrade of everyone here, but i would really appreciate advice on self-care and what i can do to cope in the meantime while i search for a therapist.

the other problem is i find a lot of "self-care" advice to not be very helpful at all, but advice on keeping myself sane is still appreciated
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Re: feeling sexually frustrated on my period [vent][tmi]

Unread post by Michaela »

Hi alriune,

We would be happy to help with some coping and self-care strategies. First, I have a couple of questions. Are you looking for advice more based on dealing with the frustration you feel towards your body? Self-care around masturbation? Or self-care strategies more generally?

It might also be helpful if you mention some things that you have tried that have or have not worked for you. And what about those specific practices you found beneficial or frustrating.
alriune
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Re: feeling sexually frustrated on my period [vent][tmi]

Unread post by alriune »

hello, apologies for the late reply.

the issue i have with a lot of self-care advice is generally that it tends to revolve around things like taking nice baths and curling up in soft blankets and watching feel-good movies---not all of it is like that, of course, and those things are all well and good but many attempts at relaxing along those lines just don't work for me at all. and frankly, when i'm struggling and i'm told to relax and watch a disney movie while eating ice cream i find it very patronizing.

generalized self care tips and ones more specific toward masturbation and feelings about my body might help, but i've found that a lot of tips around those topics aren't very helpful to me either for the same reasons i outlined above, and also because they come off to me as "well have you tried just not being insecure :)" more often than not.

usually what happens when i try to seek out self-care advice that might actually work for me, it seems like whoever is trying to give me advice gets stumped and i get something along the lines of "yeah it definitely seems like what you need is therapy" which not to be flippant but. obviously yes i need therapy. what i'm trying to look for is something that can help me cope in the meantime, and what i'm looking for is more along the line of thought exercises or practical skills (which i understand is literally the job of a therapist, but it doesn't have to be super personalized or life changing, just enough to get by)
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Re: feeling sexually frustrated on my period [vent][tmi]

Unread post by Sam W »

So, if I'm hearing you right, it sounds like the resources that might be helpful are the ones geared towards giving people skills or exercises to either use along with therapy or as a means of looking after themselves when they can't or don't want to access it.

If that's the case, can you give me a sense of what issues you want to prioritize so we can do our best to find those resources? For instance, if what you really need is resources for folks with, say, PTSD, I don't want to grab you ones that are about general anxiety.
alriune
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Re: feeling sexually frustrated on my period [vent][tmi]

Unread post by alriune »

Sam W wrote: Tue Jul 11, 2023 8:25 am So, if I'm hearing you right, it sounds like the resources that might be helpful are the ones geared towards giving people skills or exercises to either use along with therapy or as a means of looking after themselves when they can't or don't want to access it.
pretty much!
If that's the case, can you give me a sense of what issues you want to prioritize so we can do our best to find those resources? For instance, if what you really need is resources for folks with, say, PTSD, I don't want to grab you ones that are about general anxiety.
that is a little bit of a problem because i'm not exactly sure what resources i need, i think resources for people who have body image issues (especially caused by depression) and a troubled relationship with their sexuality, but i worry that's a big vague
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Re: feeling sexually frustrated on my period [vent][tmi]

Unread post by Sam W »

If you can get a hold of a copy, it might be worth checking out "The Monster Under the Bed" by JoEllen Notte; it's about depression and sexuality/sex more generally, but I suspect she might address the ways in which depression interacts with how we feel about our bodies. You may also want to check the work of Kate Bornstein; she writes at the intersection of a lot of different identities, including depression and bodies, and her work tends to be really thoughtful rather than shallow.

With the sexuality angle, one thing that could help narrow it down is: do you have a sense of what that relationship with sexuality is coming from? Like family, cultural messages, or something else entirely?
alriune
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Re: feeling sexually frustrated on my period [vent][tmi]

Unread post by alriune »

some of it might be familial, since my family just never discusses sex ever unless it's the punchline of a joke. some of it might be internalized messaging, but i'm not quite sure

i think it mostly comes from feeling like my own body hates me. i've mentioned in other threads that there's a high likelihood of me having vaginismus which definitely doesn't help, other things include how my clit seems to have inconsistent sensation with or without arousal. sometimes it feels dulled nearly to the point of numbness, other times touching it feels a little bit painful (akin to something close to carpet burn, this also happens even when aroused) or i can't get aroused when i want to, or i can get a little bit aroused but not all the way. and other times everything will work as if there were no problems to begin with.

i think i mentioned this in my vaginismus thread, but shockingly i have pretty much no problems reaching orgasm. the issue comes from the fact that i gain no pleasure from it. i can feel it happening, i know when it happens, but it feels like nothing. to make matters worse, information on this is extremely sparse and most of it is about cis men.
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Re: feeling sexually frustrated on my period [vent][tmi]

Unread post by Amanda B »

Hi arilune,

Thank you for providing more information about your experience of orgasm, as well as some potential influence from family around sexuality messaging.

Since you mentioned not experiencing pleasure when you orgasm, can you tell me a little more about other types of pleasure or motivations you have for masturbation? Orgasm certainly does not need to be the main event of sexual acts, and it could be helpful to focus on other aspects of masturbation that you do experience pleasure from.

Also, while it sounds like your family does not discuss sex very openly, do you have some friends or other close people in your life that you can discuss these things with?
alriune
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Re: feeling sexually frustrated on my period [vent][tmi]

Unread post by alriune »

hello amanda, sorry for the late reply things got pretty hectic in my personal life

i masturbate because i still need to get it out of my system sometimes and it still feels good physically. while i have dry spells i do masturbate a fair bit i would say, definitely not as much as i used to where i was going at it twice or even thrice a day. now it's about once a day or so but not super consistent. usually when i do it to get it out of my system, it'll help in the short term but return pretty quickly and sometimes with a vengeance too (back in march there were a few days i was so horny i felt kind of nauseous) and i wonder if not being able to feel an orgasm is leaving me unsatisfied, because while i have a relatively easy time finishing it's always incredibly underwhelming and disappointing.

with friends...yes and no. yes, as in we have touched on these topics before and it's not something they make a big deal over (my friend helped me realize that i probably have vaginismus) and no as in i don't feel comfortable talking about it often because i'm too embarrassed to.
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Re: feeling sexually frustrated on my period [vent][tmi]

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi alriune,

It's possible that not reaching orgasm, or finding that if you do it's underwhelming, could be contributing to that desire/urge to masturbate. But it's also possible that this is just where your sex drive is right now; some people do have points in their lives where they're experiencing a lot of arousal or desire from day to day. I do think that if the net experience of masturbation is frustration, taking a break could be beneficial if only to give yourself a break from the frustration itself.

As a side note, arousal can release adrenaline, which can make you lightheaded or dizzy, which may explain those bouts of nausea you noticed.
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