How often do single people have sex?

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andrej
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How often do single people have sex?

Unread postby andrej » Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:41 am

Hello!
Sorry to bother you, but you'd always given me such good advice and I really need to vent one out.

So I'm 25 year old single gay guy and I've recently realized that if I don't have sex for some period of time I really start to feel worthless and like a freak. The thing is, I know I'm pretty attractive, smart, funny and I do work on myself a lot and I know I have so much to offer. And I do have a high standard when it comes to dating people and I never wanna go below that standard, I just can't make myself date or have sex with guys I know I'm not that into. That also means that I'm not into casual sex with strangers unless they're crazy attractive. I've been single for the past 3 years now and I had some short-term but super intense encounters with people with whom I've really connected and that was great, both the romantic and sexual aspect. Sadly, it's always been with people I met when I was out of the city where I live so it wasn't possible to continue the relationship as something long-term.

So I go without sex for approximately 3 months, sometimes less, sometimes more and it's really bothering me sometimes. I feel like everyone around me is in a committed relationship or having sex or something. I recently met a guy and had my hopes up. We were dating for 2 months and then he just told me he started hooking up with his best friend and...Idk, I thought I could be okay with that but I really wasn't so I broke things off with him and now I feel overwhelmed by the anxiety of how much time it needs to pass for me to start having sex again. I know it sounds stupid and I have no idea when did I start to attach my self-worth to the frequency of having sex. Do you have any advice on how to deal with that? It could be that I'm overestimating the frequenncy of how often do single people have sex, compare myself to that and start to feel anxious about not having enough sex in my life (while also not wanting to have meaningless sex) and 'wasting my youth' on being alone.

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Re: How often do single people have sex?

Unread postby Heather » Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:59 am

There's no one frequency. But my sense is that a whole lot of people -- both single and in relationships -- are only having sex a few times a year, so this isn't that unusual.

But it sounds to me like this is way, way bigger than just about how often you have sex. I also have had some similar patterns as you have in my single life over the years (I'm not now, but I have been), and also can relate to having self-worth struggles sometimes because of investing too much of it in people's sexual interest in me. I'm sorry you've been feeling that way, it sucks, especially in what can be such a lonely time right now. That news from the person you were dating also totally blows: I get why you feel pretty devastated by it.

Can you tell me a little bit about your self-worth story in general? Do you feel like your sense of yourself is generally positive? If not, was it always low? What are your other sources of affirmation and a reminder of your worth?
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

andrej
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Re: How often do single people have sex?

Unread postby andrej » Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:48 am

Thank you for a reply.

I feel like I do have strong boundaries and so far whenever I had sex, I had because I wanted to and it was always amazing. I'm just not satisfied with it occurring in high frequencies only for a few weeks during the year.

I think my sense of myself is generally positive. I'm good looking, ambitious, so far I've had great academic success, I have a lot of interests and hobbies, I do a lot of things such as theater, painting, choir singing, sports, creative stuff and I also have truly amazing friends. But that's why my current love and sex life are bothering me. The fact that if I were anything less than I already am, if I had any less to offer than I do, it would be even harder. And that thought gives me anxiety. I sometimes feel insecure around the gay guys I tried to date because they usually have that cocky, self-assured attitude (which I don't) but I quickly realize that they mistake their fragile narcissism (which I don't think I have) for self-confidence (after I break through some of my anxieties, I think my self-confidence is more quiet). Also, the last guy lacked self-consciousness which is why he probably didn't have any anxieties.

I'm really happy with all the other aspects of my life. It's only my love and sex life that are not that great and it's possible that I'm putting all of my focus on that area. But also, ALL of my friends are in committed relationships which doesn't help haha. And you maybe know how are gay guys on gay apps. Sometimes I feel like I'm too sensitive for dating ^^'

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Re: How often do single people have sex?

Unread postby Siân » Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:45 am

hey andrej,

I think this sentence of yours is pretty cool:

whenever I had sex, I had because I wanted to and it was always amazing


I think a lot of people have a bunch of mediocre sex - or mediocre relationships - for the sake of having sex and relationships. Hell, a plenty of folks have bad sex rather than go without sex for whatever reason. If all the sex you're having is pretty great then I'd say that's a kind of winning, and you can clearly appreciate all the things there are to like about yourself - which is great.

I also don't think that you're alone in wanting to have sex more frequently - for those of us single in places under lockdown the prospect of sex in-person with other people can seem really far away indeed! Of course if something is awesome and fun, then you're going to want it in your life. Unfortunately, whilst there are things that we can do to increase the chances of meeting someone we're into - living a full life (which it sounds like you do), meeting lots of new people generally, apps and internet dating - there is a whole lot of luck and patience involved in meeting someone we click with. Like you, I've spent a lot of time single, not because I'm not dateable (I totally am) but because I would rather have no relationship than a relationship I'm not really into, and acknowledging the role of chance and timing helps if I'm having self-doubt. How about you?

Of course, being surrounded by couples when you're single can make it seem like you're missing out and it sounds like you're putting a lot of focus on this right now, which can be stressful. Maybe it's worth trying to make some single friends too, to give you a different perspective? Being single can be a lot of fun in other ways, have you thought about what you DO like about it?

andrej
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Re: How often do single people have sex?

Unread postby andrej » Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:54 am

Thank you so much for your answer. I feel like I can appreciate the good things and at the same time be really concerned with the bad things (actually the lack of good things, I honestly don't have bad things going on in my life which is why I feel guilty on the top of not being satisfied with something as trivial as my love life haha).

I agree totally with what you said about being single but dateable (needed to hear that haha) at the same time and rather spending time alone than being trapped in a relationship I'm not into. The gay scene is just...really sexual and insecure and I quickly get pulled in the fear of missing out or falling behind everyone else. And the dating pool in my city is not much and mostly everyone already knows everyone and everyone's already been with everyone which also makes me a little bit anxious. Also, I know it's just my perception that is probably overblown, but I feel like a lot of gay guys I know do have a lot of sex and relationships that aren't mediocre. When there was a lockdown in my country I knew nobody was dating or having casual sex and I was so at peace with me not having sex either (I was unexpectedly dating that guy from the first message tho), and now that we are free to move again and go out, I got back my old anxieties about missing out on sex. Is it really not that weird or uncommon that single gay guys that have a lot to offer just don't have that much sex in their mid 20's?

I think becoming friends with more single people is a really good advice! Hmm one thing I definitely like about being single is that whenever I traveled and met someone I liked I had no reason to hold back and miss on an something as amazing.

andrej
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Re: How often do single people have sex?

Unread postby andrej » Sat Jun 13, 2020 12:16 pm

Oh and also, if I could get a piece of advice on this matter. This guy i was dating, I haven't seen him since he told me he's sleeping with his best mate 6 days ago, but I also haven't officially broken things off with him and now I'm conflicted. Should I just reframe my expectations and have casual sex with him while waiting for someone I'd be able to actually connect with comes? I mean, this guy was ditching me for his mate all the time while we were just going on dates so it'd probably be the same (but worse actually) if we'd start having sex. Also I feel like I trust him LESS now that I've actually met him better than when I first started talking to him haha so if I do the math, it's pretty safe to decide to stay the f away from him, but idk I'm still conflicted (possibly because I have no alternative rn) :S

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Re: How often do single people have sex?

Unread postby Alexa » Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:50 am

Hey andrej,

It sounds like you've answered your own question! If there isn't trust, it can be really hard to get to a place where it feels safe and good to have sex -- especially casual sex. I find that communication and trust is even more important when you are sharing a sexual partner with other people. Otherwise things can get confusing and consent to various relationship structures can get muddled.

I get that it can feel sexually frustrating to cut off sexual and romantic opportunities with people you are attracted to, though. Are there other outlets where you can engage with new folks, get your casual flirt on, or just otherwise enjoy that part of yourself without this person? In my experience, a little flirt goes a long way in terms of enjoying myself.
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andrej
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Re: How often do single people have sex?

Unread postby andrej » Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:06 pm

Wow, thank you so much for saying that even more trust and communication are needed in this type of situation. I've felt this way, but thoughts it's unreasonable to need more trust in a casual relationship than in a committed one.

I do flirt and guys do flirt with me and that helps a lot actually haha also I could try dating apps but I feel like they make me feel worse to be honest. I've realized yesterday that not having sex for a long time (what I think is a long time, I don't know what's the reasonable time to go without sex) makes me feel undesireable which sucks. I wish I could reframe that somehow.

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Re: How often do single people have sex?

Unread postby Karyn » Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:46 pm

Dating apps aren't for everyone, for sure. They work great for some folks, but for other people they're just not a good fit. If you know you don't enjoy them and they actually make you feel worse, then it totally makes sense to give them a miss!

With your concern about not having sex making you feel undesirable, can you dig into that a little more? What is it about having sex that makes you more desirable than someone flirting with you, for instance?
"Where there is power, there is resistance." -Michel Foucault

andrej
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Re: How often do single people have sex?

Unread postby andrej » Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:19 pm

I'm not totally sure, but it's something close to the feeling of missing out. For example, I remember seeing my ex in a gym maybe a year ago and he was with his boyfriend and I got really upset but instantly knew that I wouldn't be upset at all if his new boyfriend wasn't hot. It gave me this same feeling of not being desireable enough. I'm not sure when exactly I connected this feeling of undesirability with the lack of having sex. Maybe just the idea that desirable people do have a lot of (good) sex with other desirable people. Sex is an extra mile, more invested effort compared to just flirting. When someone just flirts with me I feel they're like 'nah, you'll just do for texting and killing some boredom'. And when I first ended my 5 year long relationship, I wasn't emotionally ready to date anyone for a year which also meant no sex for a year and I remember feeling later sooo embarrassed about not having sex for year and then it kind of became like a compulsion, this time tracking and feeling bad about it.

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Re: How often do single people have sex?

Unread postby Sam W » Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:37 am

Hi andrej,

There are definitely messages out there that say that only people who hit a certain benchmark of "desirable" are having sex. But from what we see here (and what we know about research on people's sexual behavior), we know that's a major oversimplification. Part of finding a partner is about being in the right place at the right time and meeting someone who sees you as desirable, rather than you having to meet a certain, random standard of desirability.

It might help to reframe flirting for yourself. Even if it isn't sex, flirting is still an investment of time and energy. So if someone is flirting with you, they certainly think you're desirable enough to invest those things in, y'know?

It's really sound of you to recognize that tracking how long it had been since you had sex became a compulsion and something that was unhelpful for you. Do you still struggle with focusing a lot on how long it's been?

andrej
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Re: How often do single people have sex?

Unread postby andrej » Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:47 am

You're absolutely right, it is an oversimplification and it's so genereal and out of my control and random which is why it's giving me such anxiety. I get compliments on how pretty I am, but I rarely feel desirable because I'm skinny instead of muscular. I think I kind of internalized that image and got the idea that gay guys are exclusively into manliness and muscles.

Unfortunately I still focus on how long it's been since I had sex. If it gets more than few months, I start to feel embarrassed and like a freak for not having sex regularly.

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Re: How often do single people have sex?

Unread postby Sam W » Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:49 am

I feel you on things that are out of your control being a bit anxiety inducing. And, unfortunately, there can be still be damaging norms about how gay men are "supposed" to look in order to be attractive. There are a few things that can help with the feelings that brings up. One is to remember that people's preferences are way more varied than media and common narratives have us believe. Just like with personalities, what one person likes in their partner's looks can be totally different from what another person likes. So while you may not be everyone's cup of tea, there are going to be people out there who think you're hot stuff no matter what you look like.

Too, conversations about how gay men are under pressure to look muscular and manly to be attractive have been going on for awhile (that's where you get things like the Bear community from). Have you ever had a chance to read things that push back against that ideal body type? If not, would you like to?

Do you have much experience interrupting negative thoughts or focus on something? If not, there are some tools that we can talk about that might help you break that focus on how long it's been or at least help you stop feeling bad about yourself when you do notice.

andrej
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Re: How often do single people have sex?

Unread postby andrej » Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:46 am

Yes I would like to read some texts about ideal body image if you have something to recommend. And also on stop breaking the focus from negative thoughts and stop feeling bad about myself ^^''

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Re: How often do single people have sex?

Unread postby Sam W » Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:07 am

Okay! For breaking the focus on negative thoughts, or challenging those thoughts, I really like this MoodJuice guide as a starting place: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-an ... help-guide.

As a starting place for unlearning some of those messages about body, JP Brammer tackles body image for queer men a few times in his column: https://www.intomore.com/you/do-i-need- ... find-a-man, https://www.intomore.com/you/what-to-do ... and-single, https://www.intomore.com/you/what-to-do ... r-than-you. This article of ours also addresses the myth of there being a type of body or face that appeals to everyone: https://www.scarleteen.com/blog/sam_w/2 ... _and_types

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Re: How often do single people have sex?

Unread postby andrej » Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:17 am

Thank you so much!

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Re: How often do single people have sex?

Unread postby Sam W » Mon Jun 22, 2020 7:06 am

You're welcome!


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