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Old 01-22-2012, 09:14 PM #1
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Default Sex/intimacy issues

I've been trying to decide if this post would better fit here or in the relationship forum, but I decided on here because of the sexuality aspect of it.

If you've read any of me previous posts, you might know that I have a fear of intimacy. At least that's what I am labeling it because I don't know of a better way to describe it. It's not so much the emotional aspects of sex/relationships that scare me (I actually want that), but the physical, sexual parts. The idea of having sexual relations with anyone freaks me out. I get really anxious and just freeze up. At first I thought it was just because I wasn't attracted to the guy I was with, but this has happened more recently with guys I actually wanted to sleep with. I worry I won't be good enough. I worry I won't want to have sex with them as often as they would like (or more than they would like). I worry they'll think I look gross/fat/ugly/etc. I worry they won't want to be with me again after that.

On a separate but possibly related note, over the past year or two I've started to think about what it would be like to be with another woman. The idea of that doesn't freak me out quite so much as it does with a man, but I wonder if it has to do with the way I seem to idealize situations I can't/won't experience. I've never actually met a woman I would want to be with physically, but I have met several men I would like to be with. I have begun to question whether I am actually straight or if I am bisexual. I don't have a problem with being bisexual, but I can't figure out if it is more of a "I feel intimidated/anxious being sexual with men, so let's substitute women in their place" type of thing.

I had a friend once tell me she was bisexual but would only be with women because she found them less intimidating and dominating. I have a strong need to be/feel independent and in control of my life, so maybe I have started thinking the same way? One guy I am a bit interested in is more of the dominant type, however, and I think part of me would be interested in a sexual experience like that.

Maybe "fear of sex with men" would be a better label that "fear of intimacy" in this case? Whatever the label, I'm not sure how to solve the problem.
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:28 AM #2
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Default Re: Sex/intimacy issues

I guess the first question is, do you actually want sex, or do you just think you ought to want it?

There are a number of asexual people who post here occasionally. (I'm afraid I wasn't very supportive when I met them last, but I've done some growing since then...) They would tell you that society puts great pressure on people to be sexual. But is possible to have a life partnership with someone without any sex at all. Would that meet your needs?
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:40 AM #3
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Default Re: Sex/intimacy issues

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Originally Posted by CantExplain View Post
I guess the first question is, do you actually want sex, or do you just think you ought to want it?

There are a number of asexual people who post here occasionally. (I'm afraid I wasn't very supportive when I met them last, but I've done some growing since then...) They would tell you that society puts great pressure on people to be sexual. But is possible to have a life partnership with someone without any sex at all. Would that meet your needs?
I've thought about the possibility of being asexual, and honestly, part of me would be ok with the idea of not wanting/having sex, but a bigger part of me wants a sexual relationship. I don't think it's so much asexuality as it is a fear of losing control over my body, becoming vulnerable, the idea of not being good enough in some way (appearance, performance, etc). I believe it is more anxiety based than orientation based, but I could be wrong. The problem isn't wanting sex, it's having sex. I can get in the mood (to keep it PG-13), but I freeze when it's time to act on it.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:47 AM #4
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Default Re: Sex/intimacy issues

I feel the same as you chipper. Except I have only been like this since the age of 18. I used to crave sex and then suddenly at the age of 18, seemingly overnight, everything changed and for some reason I no longer want sex, but I do want a female partner. I have absolutely no idea what could have triggered this sudden change though.
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:23 PM #5
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Default Re: Sex/intimacy issues

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Originally Posted by emre43 View Post
I feel the same as you chipper. Except I have only been like this since the age of 18. I used to crave sex and then suddenly at the age of 18, seemingly overnight, everything changed and for some reason I no longer want sex, but I do want a female partner. I have absolutely no idea what could have triggered this sudden change though.
Mine was sort of sudden too. I've had sexual relationships in the past. It seemed to change when I turned 18 or 19 as well, oddly enough. I've never experienced anything traumatic sexually, and I do still want a sexual relationship (or at least the idea of it).
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:15 PM #6
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Default Re: Sex/intimacy issues

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Originally Posted by chipperdear View Post
Mine was sort of sudden too. I've had sexual relationships in the past. It seemed to change when I turned 18 or 19 as well, oddly enough. I've never experienced anything traumatic sexually, and I do still want a sexual relationship (or at least the idea of it).
Yeah, I should have made it clear that I am also desperate for a sexual relationship (although again at least the idea of it).
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Old 01-26-2018, 03:17 AM #7
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Default Re: Sex/intimacy issues

Chipperdear, I have almost exactly the same feelings as you do about sex.

From the age of 13 or 14 I was desperate to get a girlfriend, but this never happened. I was very shy, and later in life suffered from social phobia, which I did not get over until I was 38.

Nowadays, I am not particularly shy, and occasionally take the plunge and talk about things that are difficult for me, or even flirt. But very seldom my problem with sex. It is very liberating to hear from people with similar problems.

I have had a full fantasy sex-life, and believe I may have suffered from sexual anorexia - ie. binging on pornography and avoiding any real-life sexual relationship.

As I progress further into my middle years I am finding my sex-drive is slowly decreasing. I like to talk to attractive women, but have come more and more convinced that trying to 'get anywhere' with them would just bring back all the pain, frustration and embarassment that it has before, and half of me avoids that at all costs. I've even given up porn.

It may sound like I am drifting into a pleasant asexuality, which is somewhat the case. But I feel very alone. When sex is mentioned in chat with male friends I do a lot of implicit pretending. I feel it is wrong to flirt with women when I intend no sexual relationship of any kind (though I might want one), it is the nearest to sex I have been to for a long time and I find I sometimes cant help myself. Whereas I used to subconsciously self-sabotage these attempts (I think), I now do it more or less consciously.

I'm afraid I'm offering no solutions here, other than the therapy of talking and listening. The few friends and family I have opened up to do not want to face it and deny I have a problem.
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Old 01-28-2018, 02:53 AM #8
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Default Re: Sex/intimacy issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by chipperdear View Post
Mine was sort of sudden too. I've had sexual relationships in the past. It seemed to change when I turned 18 or 19 as well, oddly enough. I've never experienced anything traumatic sexually, and I do still want a sexual relationship (or at least the idea of it).
What do you mean by “the idea of it?” A sexual relationship is kind of black-and-white, is/is not, you know? You are either having sex or you are not having sex.

Even though I was a boy-slut for the majority of my life - and unrepentant - I had a number of genuine partnerships/relationships with women which consisted of emotional/intellectual/sexual compatibilities* and nothing in life was ever any better. Some had unfortunate endings but I have fond and kind feelings for each woman who was able to tolerate my insanity. One is sleeping beside me again.

There is always going to be a degree of intimacy in any sexual relationship. The word is synonymous with ‘sexual intercourse’ (I would say ‘genital contact’ as a 21st century update).

As to your fears of sex: we men are right basterds and 80% of us might make whoopee once or twice and move on. Or move on after one or two years right under your nose. We have a societal need to spread our seed. But you can’t let that stop you.

I understand that a fear of rejection can be frightening but, damn it, you can’t let that stop you from making the moves. Frozen by fear? That’s no way to live. I have no reason to believe that we have any more chances than this to move or to remain still and, to me, it’s best to be the monster slouching toward Bethlehem rather than the golem bogged in the mud. I fly high and I crash sometimes but, oh, the high is sooo good.

My advice: Fly.

*Love. It happens. Not often mentioned in this forum.
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