Trying to do sexual text things but anxiety keeps interrupting me

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Iwanthelp
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Trying to do sexual text things but anxiety keeps interrupting me

Unread postby Iwanthelp » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:23 pm

Tl;dr: trying to...let's say sexting someone online, but for the second time in a row I've felt too anxious to continue and had to cancel. Its' frustrating me a lot, I have some identifiable patterns/reasons why but not the whole picture and I don't know what to do. It sounds pretty small-potatoes but "have pretendy characters do the thing in text" is honestly a big part of escapism in my life for me so yeah, this problem is upsetting me a lot. The wall of text as follows is because I want to sort this out but I also don't know a hundred percent how or what is wrong. Feel free to selectively read if that's your preference before responding.

I don't really know how to word this exactly since I'm in the midst of the anxietything right now but here goes I guess. I keep having feelings of anxiety when I'm trying to roleplay erotically(erp) in text to the point of weird abdominal sensations that sometimes seem to hit before the emotion itself does, today it kind of extended to jaw joint tingling/weird dizzy warmth in the head (It might have been something else). This is the second time I've had to stop with the same person before the anxiety got to the point I couldn't ignore it.

For backstory: the first time with this person there was some communication mishap, character A thought character B's statement about how they could 'carry'* something referred to a more literal 'in a wheelbarrow' sort of action so they agreed and character B proceeded to undress them. I tried to kinda...'push through'? The initial "oh accidental not-consensual undressing isn't my thing" feeling to essentially try and talk myself out of feeling anxious and 'make it okay' but it couldn't, it took a little into the scene for me to have to go "actually I got to stop here it isn't working for me" before any penetration started. It came out that yep, was feeling anxious, shit was awkward and the mood was ruined. Explained it wasn't their fault and they didn't accidentally pull me into a not-consensual scene, re-explained it the next day more coherently to which they expressed relief because they were worried that was the case. I felt pretty bad because I really don't want to make somebody feel like they accidentally went through with a not-so-consensual act you know? The person is a friend so I felt pretty bad that they had essentially had a day to themselves to feel like that was the case because I hadn't explained properly.

*I don't feel I can explain the specifics indepth of that asterisk without weirding out the boards just a bit honestly.


Today was a different thing, it was going fine but I had a lingering feeling of "don't screw this up, it has to go okay this time, don't anxiety-out and exit scene ohwait thinking that makes you feel self-trapped in the first place great now you feel stuck try to rationalize yourself out of feeling stuck" with more or less the same result. Said I needed five minutes earlier on into things as the physical sensation progressed to weird sensations inside my head to the point I thought "oh maybe its' mild anxiety but maybe I also feel sick, this one is new, maybe I better take a break". So we talk it out a bit and yeah, turns out its' probably just anxiety on its' own again I guess.


I'm just...really getting sick of this, I want to be able to go back to doing things and not worrying about "what if you force yourself to do it aha now you have to do it to prove it and now you feel trapped and anxious and not enjoying it by proxy". I hate it. I hate feeling like this, I feel like such an annoying pain in the ass inconvenience who can't even do basic things even when they want to. I hate feeling like "here's a new thing you're anxious about, best not talk about it with them ever because you probably can't even articulate it well also you'll ruin everything with your stupid irrational feelings you'll never escape and you'll make the feelings happen when you try to".

I want to fix this and I don't know how and I don't know what to do and I have did text scenes with them before and had everything go fine, I don't know what the hell is wrong with me nowadays. I don't know if this is related but we've shared pictures before and they look like an older dude, I have a kind of close age cap limit for irl-related things as older adults feel on a different level to me - the text erp is essentially done with pretend characters and no real person bleed-through so I'm not sure its' just "can't do it with older people at all" or another thing where I worry I'm going to mess up and/or feel anxious about it and not manage and then try to push through and then mess up by proxy.

I just...I really don't know what to do and I get it sounds dumb as hell because "it's text, pretty easy to go "oh not feeling it today" and cancel out" but this is ruining something I should be enjoying. And I don't know if that's me putting the word should there or past experiences colouring a sense of 'feel obligated to do it' or what but I just really want this shit fixed so I can go back to normal. I hate this stupid problem that shouldn't exist interrupting a base level of escapism in my life that's supposed to be about not feeling and worrying about things. I don't know what to do. I get nervous at dumb things like asking what I think of them when I'm drunk because "ohshit they expect honesty what if I secretely have a negative opinion and anxious up and can't express it", I'll sometimes note small stuff like 'discussing how a scene would go' eg if one of their suggestions doesn't look 100% consensual for the characters and I feel I have to correct it to something else. I dunno if I really want to educate in a friend/personal capacity in that area, y'know?
In case backstory is relevant and may shed light on the problem: I've had fun doing sexual text rp over the years but I've also had bad experiences, as a teenager a pedo tried emotionally abusing me and having their character attempt to rape mine more than once (And say things like it was 'rough love' and that it was totally k because an older cousin tried to do it to him when he was younger or something and he liked it?), an 18 year old ex had a scene lead up to my character being raped when I was 15 without clearing that with me before-hand, an older friend joked about...something to do with me, him and the ex and double penetration 'while you scream' and it persisted for way too long before it became obvious I was uncomfortable then he felt bad. The emotionally-abusive ex friend would kind of...not do things I was into because 'x is unrealistic' but then push for things/tropes he wanted as 'realistic', since my pool of who I scened with at the time was smaller I kind of went with it but it was one-sided at times and not all that great. (He's upgraded himself to stalker and sent a sexually-harassing anon message to a different blog since then so yeah, putting him in this paragraph for a reason)

On the less severe side of things there's times with other people where I just kind of did the online equivalent of 'lie back and think of England' because "well x is nice and not a dick or a creep or whatever and also a friend and I like XYZ so why shouldn't I be down for this really" to the point sometimes I just flat-out would not realize my own disinterest. Like literally would not and even a time I kept trying to get back to a scene and not realizing why I'd not feel motivated enough to push past a headache or a cold whereas if I was motivated enough I might be able to. Or if they gave me a ping I'd go 'sure' and we'd just...organically wind up not scening together because I wasn't motivated because the person was nice but I just didn't feel it. One time I even practiced writing out a 'sorry not not feeling it' without hitting send to tell myself I could just say no if I wanted and that if I took them up on it everything would be fine. (That one turned to another slow-fade so nothing happened)

I've also did the "wait until things come too close to looking nonconsensual in the context of the scene" with another person, cancelled before it got to that point being completed thankfully but remember thinking it was a bit frustrating that "I want to roleplay a combative pouty character but not that". It sucked and I keep feeling bad firstly because of how I feel in the moment but...maybe chiefly because of the other person? I don't want them to feel like they accidentally did a not so consensual thing and that eats at me a lot. I've had fears of "what if you hurt another person" before, the idea of putting that feeling into someone else makes me feel horrible.

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Re: Trying to do sexual text things but anxiety keeps interrupting me

Unread postby Mo » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:54 pm

I think that even if/when you want to be able to do this without feeling anxious, it's going to be a good idea to not do it once you notice that anxiety. Pushing through that feeling isn't likely to be helpful, and may well just make you more anxious, and make the rp less fun. I get that you don't want to stop doing a thing that should be fun, but for the moment, I think it's probably good to either take a break or really scrutinize who your rp partners are and how they're making you feel.
If you feel like this one partner's age is starting to feel like an issue - even if it didn't before - it's ok to phase out those interactions. You don't owe them roleplay just because you've done it together in the past.

I know that people approach rp scenarios in really different ways, but do you think that talking a bit more about shared boundaries and limits beforehand, and not rping with people who aren't willing to do that, will help? If you can go into a scene knowing you've talked a bit about what you're both looking for, scenarios you definitely want to avoid touching on, etc. it might make your anxiety more managable. Or, you may want to just stick to people you feel like you can trust based on good past experiences, even if that means you have fewer partners or rp opportunities for now. Maybe it's a good time to re-evaluate what you just don't want to talk about at all in roleplay? Are there things you've never said are off-limits that you realize you want to be more explicit about?

It sounds like you don't want to upset or inconvenience a potential rp partner by bowing out of a scene, but just like with an in-person sexual encounter, someone who's a good partner with this sort of thing isn't going to be angry with you, even if they might feel disappointed. If you tell someone no, cut a scene short, or try to talk about boundaries beforehand, and they get mad about it? That's going to be a really clear sign that they're probably not a great partner for this anyway. I realize that fact doesn't necessarily help with your anxiety, but I do think it's a good thing to keep in mind.

Iwanthelp
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Re: Trying to do sexual text things but anxiety keeps interrupting me

Unread postby Iwanthelp » Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:13 pm

Thanks for the response, I forget its' not early o' clock outside of my region - will take a while to process this. What you're saying makes sense, I think I'm just so hung up on "but I want things to be like they were and good and fun and accessible without any weirdness or inconvenience all the time" :/. A lot of the stuff I'm not into (accidentallying the consent in fiction) can crop up as a common trope and it doesn't help that I like arranging scenes that may look like they're edging at that. Makes me feel like "welp what can I expect really" sometimes or that I'm just sort of too confusing-looking and hyper-specific on what I want to expect any different.

Iwanthelp
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Re: Trying to do sexual text things but anxiety keeps interrupting me

Unread postby Iwanthelp » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:21 pm

Bump because I think the edit timed out (or because I can't find an edit button, wouldn't put it past me) but how does one tell the difference between "just anxiety, push through" and "anxiety is actually a sign to abandon ship in this specific situation"? It gets increasingly difficult and confusing for me because sometimes with stuff like social anxiety in non-sexual Rp the correct response is to push through until it kinda fades for me because if I duck out it'll become a problem later.

I think some of the problem is my confusion there and also that I kind of...I dunno, I get in this state of "but if I try to will the anxiety away then I won't have to say no and nobody has to deal with disappointment or awkward feelings". Can't imagine two scenes tanking for the dude I play with because the person he's playing with had flare-up of bad feelings would feel nice. (I get disappointment over 'oh thing didnt pan out' is just a thing folk have to deal with, just uh. I'll apologize a lot about the outcome 'cause I don't want people to feel bad and yyyeah)
might not be making sense in articulation because it is late o'clock here, whoops

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Re: Trying to do sexual text things but anxiety keeps interrupting me

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:28 am

Hi Iwanthelp,

I think even when anxiety is closer to the "push through" end, it still acts as a pause button. As Mo said, even if the anxiety could be pushed through, it's often better not to. So, feeling anxiety is a sign to at least take a break to acknowledge the feeling. Where does the anxiety seem to be coming from? Is it something you can alter so that you can make yourself more comfortable? Is it something that, when you step back and look at it, does feel off to you (like the way a rp partner is acting)? Depending on what you notice as you reflect on the anxiety, you may be able to tell what the next steps are. Sometimes all you need is a five minute pause to feel more comfortable and get back into whatever you're doing, other times the solution is to bring to interaction to a close completely. Does that make sense?

Iwanthelp
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Re: Trying to do sexual text things but anxiety keeps interrupting me

Unread postby Iwanthelp » Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:51 am

...aw man the "take a pause at the least" makes so much sense to the point I remember doing that in the past with a different person and it basically worked :| welp. I think some of the identifiable patterns is if a character isn't super explicitly going "sign me the fuck up to this shit" I may feel nervous as stuff proceeds. There's been moments with different people where their characters just Did Thing and I tried to kinda rewrite the narrative like "oh x is k with this everything is k" or just otherwise have the character say something but not myself say something, which hasn't been a great approach obviously. Didn't result in anxiety as bad as this post but I doubt it helped for a long-term mentality either.

Also remembered the ex-friend-now-stalker once said I was 'selfish' for being up for erp with more than one person (aka a person that wasn't them >_>) but another time when I said erp with me was off the table (Was having a weird 'sky is falling' religious breakdown) they tried asking me anyway. That probably hasn't helped in terms of putting my needs first and not defaulting to being a people-pleaser or worrying about being an inconvenience for being 'picky' etc.

Iwanthelp
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Re: Trying to do sexual text things but anxiety keeps interrupting me

Unread postby Iwanthelp » Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:31 pm

Dunno how relevant bumping this is. I have more of a handle on things as of late (gonna finally access a debit card at some point, go me) but it also feels like a lot of unrelated things are piling up on me (friend has a lump in breast that'll take two weeks to be seen to + friend got kicked out of a group in a way that feels shady/unjust + relatives' dog I remember from back to my childhood died, it's tripping my religious paranoia of "punishment from deity because you turned away from Christianity". I can't remember everything on the spot but yeah, I got the house to myself for a week and it should be more 'yay time to myself' but it feels a bit rough to be honest)


actual on-topic segment marked in between bold text because I ramble a hell of a lot
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also I like asterisks

So with all that going on I'm kind of circling back to addressing this I guess: I still feel kind of the same. Meaning "yeah I still can't erp/cyber", I'll kind of try doing borderline stuff then "oh right yeah nah gonna have to cancel that, anxiety+not feeling it welp". And I think part of what I didn't address in the walloftext first time around is I'm kind of...terrified? Of the possibility of "oh what if friend accidentally did a not consensual thing, then he'd feel bad and you'd feel bad if you ever mentally addressed something like that or the mere possibility".

(To rehash, character A says 'oh sure' to "carrying" something because they thought it was in a literal pick up object/wheelbarrow it away somewhere sense, character B proceeds to undress them for inserting the thing to be carried, character A goes nope.jpeg and characters talk logistics rather than skip straight to penetration (None happened in the scene just a kind of close call), I tried to continue but I felt too moodkilled/anxiety'd and cancelled the scene because the more I tried to push through and 'make it okay'/get back on track the more that wasn't working basically.
I delayed on going "not your fault btw you didn't accidentally not-consent the scene(Forgot my exact wording ugh)" and I think they did mention they felt worried that they had happened and were kind of relieved. Felt bad they had a day straight to feel like that).

I guess the more I look at it the more it was just sheer in-character logistics misreading and idk I feel better for typing this, maybe I'll cycle back to feeling the same but for now...I'm feeling kind of overwhelmed from "bad stuff happening pile-up" and also: Yeah. I haven't got back to erping at all, maybe characters having questionable dialogue/doing Things but not straight-up actions, I notice in hindsight unrelated friends kinda...weren't always great at the in-character consent thing? eg characters touching relevant anatomy without asking first. Sometimes its' even friends that are like "yeah I don't like it when people do that/oops my bad I'll do better next time" and I think I just have this overall feeling of "what I want isn't a realistic expectation, why bother". Also a worry that re: the prior paragraphs, what if the 'carrying' experience mentioned does just register as "oops that wasn't consensual cue sexual abuse feelings"? Because it's not like I haven't had sexual abuse unrelated to any of this stuff happen anyway, irl and online so yeah. I feel I do kind of pull away from him and another dude that's went "oh sorry about (unrelated thing)" 'cause I've had to nudge dude2 about "oyeah don't touch charactername's boob without a go-ahead". Or I'll try to...fix myself? By engaging in sexual-ish roleplay but then still feel meh/not good about it. It feels like I'm just never going to have a consensual sexual experience that feels good again and some of that frustration leads to recreating "oh that doesn't feel good after all welp" because I'm just so ??? at "why can't I do this anymore when I used to be able to? What do I do with still having a vested interest in the topic of sexual roleplay when I can't even do it?".


doot doot asterisks flippantness is bes coping mechanism in response to typing out problems or something like that
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oh no the bold text and also asterisks, probably forgot to add something but ohwell

[spoiler]fuck, sometimes I just wanna give kid-me a hug, kids just shouldn't know too much too soon and I feel a lot of my life would be easier if I didn't have sexual thoughts from...well, the start (Before I really knew what sex was - just registered as daydreaming idleness that felt nice to me. Was surreal stuff that I guess carried over weird diapers/infantilism(Like...treating someone like a baby? Like that infamous baww meme comic not actual kids nope.jpeg) stuff into adulthood) ). uh I went seriously offtrack there but yeah.

I think I just didn't type on-site for forever because "oh I basically talk and don't do jack shit due to learned helplessness I probably sound a bit frustrating at this point". For whatever its' worth I feel like I have made improvements (Parents on holiday, house to myself with a supportworker check-in every day and I feel mishaps with 'derp left heating on overnight' aside I've been doing a pretty okay job by my standards). And...idk, thank you? For running the site in general, I feel like if mods could do an article on po/cd that'd be pretty good. Or maybe infantilization(Unrelated completely to the other word I dropped), at least that's what I think the form of abuse that's kind of...weirdly controlling, weirdly permissive/makes you feel spoilt is called. I think it's common with disabled people anyway.[/spoiler]

unrelated but I tend to feel better after typing stuff out sometimes because then it helps chip down the wall of "oh shit this awkward thing that you Cannot Acknowledge or Talk About because Awkward" so like, 10/10 recommends talking about the weird shit I guess.

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Re: Trying to do sexual text things but anxiety keeps interrupting me

Unread postby Heather » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:55 pm

I'm so sorry, Iwanthelp. I'd like to help you, but the syntax you're using throughout all of this just isn't working at all with the way my own brain works. I simply am unable to follow and understand your thoughts the way they're written here in this very perspnal stream of consciousness way.

Perhaps it'll work better for someone else, or, since it probably won't (stream of consciousness writing is a great tool for journaling, but our own brains are all so unique that it just doesn't usually very work well for others to try and read and understand) perhaps you can give this another try, with an attempt to write it in a way that might be easier for others to read?
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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Re: Trying to do sexual text things but anxiety keeps interrupting me

Unread postby Mo » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:36 pm

It sounds like some of the conflict that's happening is that roleplay partners (or potential partners) either aren't having the amount of conversation about how consent will be navigated in-character that you need to feel safe & ok roleplaying with them, or they aren't remembering/taking seriously limits that are being set. I know that's something we talked about a bit earlier upthread too!
It sounds like it's upsetting for you to get anxious about this, and that you want it to be easy without having to set up boundaries more explicitly or vet your rp partners more carefully, but ultimately I think it's better to do those things than not do them because you're bummed out that those steps are necessary at all.

Iwanthelp
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Re: Trying to do sexual text things but anxiety keeps interrupting me

Unread postby Iwanthelp » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:19 pm

My bad, will try for conciseness this time, it was 50/50 on the 'vent about anything and everything'. Translating/cutting out the fluff:


* I still feel essentially the same as when I made the thread, re: not being able to do sexual texting (with typing out pretend characters) like I used to, which feels frustrating because it's a thing I liked doing and now it feels like "okay, its' months later and I still can't do it, what gives?".

* I feel like some of my anxiety with the first incident is "what if they accidentally did a non-consensual thing, then they would feel bad and I would feel bad for addressing that possibility". I don't think that's the case but its' so bloody awkward to feel that anxiety and I think it's factoring into me pulling away from the guy in question and growing more distant. Sometimes I just feel like if I disappeared on him+a guy that's gone whoops re: boundaries in character scenes more than once it'd be kind of a relief, if a bit cruel and not really what I want. It'd save me the talking or having to confront "does having this discomfort surrounding specific people I interact with really work" I guess.

* Mo's correct, adding to that: I think in a sense I feel bad because "if I can do it with one friend but not another (That I used to be able to do it with no less) I'll feel bad or like I'll have to hide it from the other person and I think that feeds into my personal inability to do it right now". A lot of unwitting self-sabotage I'm only noticing as I type things out, welp.

* Posting again was prompted in part by "huh, I'm still sorta here in the same place mentally, what's with that" + a lot of bad shit was kind of piling on this week, have been entrusted to have the house to myself for a week with people checking in on me which is nice but a friend has a "not sure if benign" lump in breast, relatives' dog I was fond of died, I forget what else but its' tempting to feel like some outside source is conspiring to basically punish me and make things bad rather than good at a time when I'm basically practicing looking after myself. Feels a bit more isolating when it's just me and a cat in the house most of the time?

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Re: Trying to do sexual text things but anxiety keeps interrupting me

Unread postby Sam W » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:19 am

Hi Iwanthelp,

Thank you for rephrasing! It's understandable that you're feeling frustrated by the fact that you used to be okay doing something and now have gone an extended length of time feeling not-okay with that thing. But it may help to try, when you can, to be patient with yourself around this topic. Your boundaries are in a process of adjusting, and that's ultimately okay.

I think you can also give yourself permission to worry slightly less about how other people may react to these boundaries. If you address a non-consensual thing and the other person feels uncomfortable, you're not actually the cause of that discomfort: their choice to do that behavior is (too, it's okay to be the cause of someone's discomfort if you're pointing out that they're doing something not okay). Like Mo said above, it's actually a good thing to have uncomfortable conversations about boundaries and consent during role play. Similarly, it's okay to be comfortable doing an activity with one person and no another, and that's not necessarily something you need to hide. Most people understand that other people have boundaries that differ depending on who they're with, so they're not going to take it personally (and even if they did, it's still okay for you to have those boundaries). Does that all make sense?


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