Anxiety about New Relationships b/c Past Experience AND Minimal Experience

Any questions or discussions that you ONLY want to discuss with our staff or volunteers.
(Users: please do not reply to other users here.)
Snowflake_Gal
newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:57 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I really love my curly hair and I can ripstik.
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: Bisexual/Questioning Asexual
Location: Michigan

Anxiety about New Relationships b/c Past Experience AND Minimal Experience

Unread postby Snowflake_Gal » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:17 am

I couldn't decide if this fit under sexuality, sex and sexual health, or relationships because it kinda involves a few of those things so I hope it's okay that I'm posting it here.

So to clarify that subject line then, if I were to try to sum up things then I would say this: I'm a 19 yr old (almost 20) bisexual woman (questioning ace/gray ace but can't seem to decide if it's that or just a low sex drive?). I have had one past relationship of nearly 2 years from ~17-19 years old with a man who was nearly 2 years older; in hindsight, the relationship was relatively unhealthy and I wish I would've ended it at about the 1 or 1.5 year points where I considered it before. I'm in a position now where I have some people I like and I'm interested in trying to date, but I clam up because 1) I probably realized I was bi around 16 but I have zero romantic or sexual experience with women (excluding like personal masturbation), 2) minimal sexual experience: only oral, never kissed w/ tongue, and 3) having realized how unhealthy some aspects of the relationship were in retrospect has me scared about missing or ignoring those same warning signs.

Not much of a summary, but yeah.

I recognize the influences from socialization with media and friends on my brain, but I always can't help but think of how I always imagined and wanted myself to be this sexual and free being who knew what to say and knew what she wanted. But I get so nervous--and my two closest friends who I talk to about this kind of stuff are so much more sexually experienced than I am. They talk about hook-ups and Friends-with-Benefits; one time, I overheard my friend's roommate poking fun at her and her boyfriend for having sex for 3 hours! Another time, before she had the boyfriend, this same friend was telling about a girl she had went out on a date or two with and that she liked but then "she wasn't a very good kisser," and things fizzled after that.I guess this is a long way of saying that I'm worried I'm going to really like someone and then I won't be a very good kisser.

Or that I won't want to ever have sex. In the past relationship that I mentioned, the guy would be upset with me for not wanting to have sex as often. Once, he even pressured me into helping him finish. I knew it felt wrong and we talked about it later and he apologized, but part of me could never get that from my mind. We were each other's first relationship and first sexual experience so initially there was less pressure I think, but later on it felt like we were just trying to check off experiences just because? I just recall feeling more uncomfortable.

Still though, I also feel like abstractly I do want sex though. I want to experience it and I've had sexual fantasies, some even about past crushes or current ones. But there's a disconnect in my brain between thinking about it and actually pursuing the things that would get me there.

Also regarding anxiety with relationships in general, some thoughts I've had recently are concerns with big changes coming up in my future like a potential transfer to a college over an hour away or post-college, I'm looking to go abroad or travel for an extended period of time. In my past relationship, I ended up facing enormous pressure from him regarding my college decision and desire to live and travel solo. I feel like when it comes to a relationship that I don’t have a healthy idea of how much a partner’s opinions and feelings should influence a major personal decision. I feel like it would be unfair to a new relationship to be like hey person, I like you, I’m gonna move away for an extended period of time now whether or not you can come with me because that’s the life I want to live? Is that okay?

Lots of thoughts, lots of things, yeah :/

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 8223
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago

Re: Anxiety about New Relationships b/c Past Experience AND Minimal Experience

Unread postby Heather » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:07 pm

Welcome to the boards, Snowflake_Gal. It's not a big deal to us where people post a thread, by and large, so if this feels like a good place for it for you, it's fine with us. :)

There's a lot to talk about here, but I don't want to overload you, so I want to start with one major thing I think I'm seeing here, and an invitation to see it differently.

I see what looks like you having the idea that what sexual liberation (for lack of a better word) must look like are things like having lots of sex, feeling comfortable with pretty much everything, not worrying about anything, knowing what you want and always saying it, etc.

For sure, it can look like that for some people. But in my book, what sexual liberation is in the most general way is basically radical self-acceptance and self-love. So, in your case what that might look like is acknowledging, accepting and honoring the things you feel uncertain or nervous about. Taking your time -- whatever time you need -- to find the people and situations where you feel comfortable and safe to put your desires out there and invite others into them. Learning and knowing that there is no right age to have a certain level of experience, because having a bunch of sex that isn't right for someone isn't good for anyone, and we're all just too different -- as people, and also in terms of what our opportunities are -- for there to be one right way in this regard, just like there isn't in so many other aspects of sex or other parts of life. I think that recognizing you haven't had good, healthy experiences so far and deciding to be sure your next ones ARE wanted, are safe, are healthy, are equitable, are affirming, are pleasurable is VERY sexually liberated, IMHO.

Get what I'm saying here? Can we maybe talk more from that place, instead of a place of shame and a lack of self-love and acceptance?

I also want to toss you a couple pieces I think might be affirming for you, as well, in regard to you talking about concern you won't want to have sex:
https://www.scarleteen.com/article/advi ... dy_for_sex
Don't Want To Have Sex?
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

Snowflake_Gal
newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:57 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I really love my curly hair and I can ripstik.
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: Bisexual/Questioning Asexual
Location: Michigan

Re: Anxiety about New Relationships b/c Past Experience AND Minimal Experience

Unread postby Snowflake_Gal » Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:47 pm

Hi Heather! I got super swept up in school so this was my first chance to check back on here, but thank you so, so much for your response.

I looked over both things that you linked and truly, I did find those very affirming. I feel very validated and a bit called out on some of the thought processes going on in my head, but in a good, gently correcting or redefining way. It was shame and it was uncertainty that I felt before (and if I'm honest, I'm still dealing with now, albeit better equipped beyond a vague sense that it's wrong). I'm somewhere in between ace and allo, I think, but I think I can accept that right now, I'm not in a place to be having sex with anyone and if I want to seek out any kind of relationship, I need to make that clear.

So, next step I guess would be figuring out how to approach that kind of conversation. Again, no relationships going on right now, but I do have some people that I like and I want to be able to be honest.

And honestly, I think that sexual liberation is an appropriate term and that the concept of lots of sex and not any anxiety about it was the sort of image I had in my mind. Thank you for helping me see how being confident in my decision to -not- have sex can be just as liberating.

Amanda F.
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 259
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:16 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I love to go rock climbing outside!
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: Queer
Location: Los Angeles, USA

Re: Anxiety about New Relationships b/c Past Experience AND Minimal Experience

Unread postby Amanda F. » Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:35 am

Hi Snowflake_Gal,

It might be a little easier to have those conversations if you come at them from a positive end. It's not a bad thing to *not* want to engage in different sexual activities; rather, it's actually very good and empowering to recognize what you do and don't want to do, and to be able to express what you're up for.

While you're figuring out what you want (and part of that may take place with a partner, too), try to figure out what kinds of activities DO sound good to you in addition to those that don't. "Sex" can mean so many kinds of things. A useful place to start might be here: Yes, No, Maybe So: A Sexual Inventory Stocklist

With that list, you can start to think about: what would feel good to me? Which ones am I pretty sure I don't want to do? Are there any I'm on the fence about? And then you can use that as the foundation for a conversation with a new partner.

Remember that just as you have your boundaries, needs, and wants, other people will too. Partners that are good for you will understand this and respect those boundaries, and work with you to find ways so that you can both have your needs met. If someone isn't down with your boundaries, that doesn't mean you aren't liberated or that you've done anything wrong - it just means you aren't on the same page, and that person isn't a good fit for you.

If you'd like to share, I'd be curious to hear whether any thing on that Yes/No/Maybe list stands out to you or if it helps you figure out where you stand.


Return to “Ask Us!”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests