Why do I hate other people's love?
November 30, 2012 6:10 PM Subscribe
I have extreme negative reactions to witnessing public displays of affection (PDA) or overhearing sex (e.g. anger, disgust, heart racing, crying). I get that I need therapy, but what kind should I be looking for?
posted by Manlee Forresiddy to human relations (11 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Hello all! I've slowly realized over the past couple of years that most people probably don't react so negatively to these sorts of things, and that I might be able to fix this about myself. I just don't know where to start! I'm super embarrassed about this, so apologies that I have no clue how to talk about it. More detail for those interested:
Examples of things that lead to a "mild" response (e.g. anger, disgust, frowning without realizing, heart racing, avoiding, ears pounding for some reason):
- seeing/overhearing people kiss in public
- seeing people grope one another
- hearing people say sexually explicit things
- extended lusty gazes between people
Examples of things that lead to an extreme response (e.g. nausea, muscle weakness, heart racing, crying, straight-up fleeing the scene, fear over encountering these situations in the future):
- overhearing sex
- overhearing a faint sound that might be sex (e.g. dog barking, rhythmic noise, people's voices on television)
Background: I'm pretty sure this started the first time I (at least knowingly) overheard sex, when I was a teen (mom's first post-divorce-from-my-dad boyfriend). I then had to hear it A LOT in college, naturally. I think my disgust with PDA followed from the sex thing, where before, I thought PDA was kinda gross and annoying but I didn't get emotional about it.
I'm 23 now, and am generally happy with life, social connected, etc. I have a happy/healthy sex life with my partner, but have had somewhat traumatic sexual experiences with an ex when I was 17-18. I don't think this last thing is relevant, but I'm not sure. Also, fwiw, deliberately watching porn alone doesn't cause this reaction.
The goal is to not have such extreme (esp. physical) reactions so that I can get through life more easily and not think that kissy people are lecherous assholes. I've done CBT before for other issues, and I'm not sure it would work for this. I'm looking for thoughts on types of therapy/intervention/resources that would be helpful. As a bonus, I'd really like to know if I'm not the only person in the world that has this problem!