Mo wrote: ↑Tue Jan 31, 2023 5:02 pm
Glad we could be here as a place for you to talk about all this!
If it helps at all, you aren't at all alone in having this frustration. We get a lot of folks here who struggle to feel pleasure during masturbation, and it's something that I think people can feel really isolated about as it isn't always something they feel comfortable discussing. And that isolation can make the whole situation feel even worse!
One thing I do want to note about SSRIs is that they can impact feelings of arousal, but also they can impact sexual response and how sexual stimulation feels. So it could be that you're feeling more arousal now because your anxiety is better (great!), but you might also be seeing some side effects where that medication is making the actual process of masturbation feel not-so-great. Like Nicole, I had some similar side effects from this type of medication a few years back and it was frustrating, for sure. It might be worth talking about this with your doctor, but I know that switching medication can be its own frustration, so I totally understand if that's not something you want to deal with. Just mentioning it couldn't hurt, though!
I can definitely understand the difficulty in going into masturbation without that sort of "ugh why would this work when nothing works??" mindset. It's hard to get out of! I do have a couple thoughts you may find helpful, though. It sounds like you're trying to masturbate both when you're feeling aroused after waking up and at other times, do I have that right? It's pretty common for masturbation or genital contact in general to feel like nothing special when someone isn't already feeling aroused. Some people can bring on that arousal just from starting the masturbation process, but I suspect it's more common for it to only start feeling exciting if someone's already aroused before they start. So if you are trying to masturbate when you don't already feel aroused, I suspect that may be likely to make things more frustrating overall.
Also, how connected do you feel to your body in terms of experiencing physical pleasure in general? Not necessarily sexual pleasure, but do you find that you feel a sense of pleasure/connection from things like massage, dance, exercise you enjoy, tasty food, a hot bath, etc? You don't have to enjoy all of those things, of course, or even any of them, but sometimes leaning into these other ways of inhabiting a body in a pleasurable way can be a helpful starting point.
If all else fails I'll have a chat with my doctor about potentially swapping. I don't know if sensations were different before I started taking Lexapro simply because I never really tried anything before that point, because I didn't want to. Too busy worrying about everything, so I don't really have a basis for comparison there unfortunately. Worth a chance, though, like all things.
I have tried specifically when waking up aroused, since it's the best opportunity to try. I don't get aroused during the day because there's nothing on the daily that arouses me, since I'm asexual. Which is another problem too; people tend to say to imagine something arousing, but there's nothing like that for me. So, the only real time when it's super noticeable is when I wake up in the night from a dream my brain apparently really enjoyed. Occasionally, I've tried to do a sort of cross-reference testing; I'll find what causes those unspecial nerve ending sensations, such as clitoral contact, and try to see if they work when I'm actually aroused. So far, no dice, though. It'll just make the arousal fade away more quickly, so these days I'll just lay there and savor it while I can.
As for body connectivity, I've kind of disconnected myself from it in a couple ways because of my history of hypochondria. It was too overwhelming and terrifying to be aware of every sensation my body feels, so it was better at the time to erase them by ignoring them so long I forget they're there. I'm not sure how much of that has lingered, as I can definitely enjoy physical feelings more than I could before, but it's something to think about. I'd say my favorite physical sensation is running my hand along a completed drawing that's been colored and inked; it's very soft and feels nice.
Worth noting as well is a combination of factors that could easily impact me to this day. I mentioned being a crotch grabber as a young child, this much still stands, but I neglected to mention that my mother 'discouraged' this behavior by simply hitting me and yelling when she caught me. As a kid I tried to learn more about my body by looking at it, but she did the same thing here, telling me I shouldn't touch OR look at myself at all. To this day I'm afforded very little privacy; I'm unable to care for myself despite being 24, so I live with and depend on my mother still, who enters my room on the daily without permission and has told me she doesn't want me 'associating with men or pornography'. I don't listen to her at all, of course, but I wonder if some of her 'lessons' that my body is shameful and not to be observed or explored have subconsciously stuck with me still. She even bragged to a nurse once about me being asexual as though that means she raised me right and deserves credit, which, yeah, I'm sure I don't have to tell you lot how stupid that is.
I'm going to discuss this a little bit more with my regular therapist later today, and I'll keep updated on anything new or noteworthy. I do want to keep this going, since talking in depth for the first time really is helping.