I desperately need help resuscitating my sex drive. Embarrassing, painful wall of text inside.
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (21 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Male, late twenties, with (up until recently) crippling anxiety and social phobia. I've made a lot of changes in my life, including moving to a new city, getting in shape, and dressing better, finally worked up the confidence to go out, and was pleasantly shocked when a female friend basically jumped me and dragged me into bed late last month. This is, sadly, where shit gets complicated.
Both times we've had sex, I haven't been able to keep a full erection, and had to make alternative arrangements. The first time (first time with her, and with anyone, ever) I was drunk and so nervous I was shaking, and neither of us really got anywhere. The second time I ended up going down on her and mutually masturbating both of us to orgasm.
Right now I'm trying to work out the exact nature of my problem and what angle to attack it from. I really, really like this girl, and while she is seeing other guys, she has a really high sex drive and she's playful and flirtatious with me- surprising me with a deep kiss, putting my hand on her breast, fondling me through my pants, etc. We've rarely been alone together, though, and it's always been in settings where I'm never fully at ease and have usually had a lot to drink, so again, I'm not, well, responding properly. This is especially urgent for me because she's a fair bit younger than me (a six-year age gap), with a lot more prospects, and I'd really like to be able to reciprocate and, um, give it my all sooner rather than later.
Here are the potential complications as I see them:
1. Nerves. As I mentioned before, this was the first time I'd ever had sex or really experienced any kind of physical intimacy at all- I'd never even been kissed before she cornered me against a building after a party. I'm hoping this is the main problem, since it's something I can overcome with time and familiarity. I'm also having to work through a lot of body image issues a lot more quickly than I was expecting to.
2. Alcohol. We tend to drink a fair amount when we're together, either alone or in a group, though never really to excess, and I know that can't be helping my performance (though it does ease my nerves, I can't rely on it forever).
3. Past health complications. I've lost quite a lot of weight in the last few years (down to 150 from around 230 at my worst), and I'm worried that carrying around that excess weight had lasting adverse effects on my health. I'm not diabetic or pre-diabetic- my last checkup a year or so ago showed normal fasting glucose, and perfectly fine blood lipid levels- so I doubt that's the case. I've also been to doctors for a set of issues that I thought might be thyroid-related (tight throat/choking, discomfort with collars and scarves, cold intolerance, bad skin), but my thyroid hormones check out as normal too.
4. The big one: my history of psychiatric medication. From a very early age, I've been prescribed a huge pharmacopoeia of antidepressants and other meds to control my anxiety, withdrawal and depression (though, ironically, I was never given a simple anxiolytic until I was 27), including but not limited to the following:
Ritalin, Adderall, Vyvanse, Strattera, Provigil, Risperdal (off-label for social phobia; this was when I was a teenager, and it messed me up pretty badly), Prozac, Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Paxil, and Pristiq (the last one, prescribed a few years ago when I was in a very dark patch and discontinued after it made me borderline suicidal). As you can probably guess, my sex drive has been all over the place for my entire adult life, and I'm not really sure what's normal for me. I'm completely medication-free, and have been for about three years, but I know there can be lingering effects.
5. THE DEATH GRIP. Yes, I've read the Dan Savage column(s). My right hand and I are taking some time apart to see other people. But many years of unlubricated, tight-fisted masturbation- which eventually turned into less of an erotic thing and more a grim, utilitarian process to help me sleep or temporarily boost my mood- can't have helped.
6. More complicated issues of sexuality. I'm bi/queer, and this girl is the first person I've ever been comfortable opening up to about this part of myself. While I've thought I might be gay at various times over the past decade or so, I'm positive I'm sexually attracted to her and I'm not just misreading my friendly feelings as attraction.
So, with all of that on the table, here are the steps I'm taking. Most of these were things I was already doing; I haven't made any drastic lifestyle changes.
1. Quit masturbating completely. See above re: death grip. I know a large part of this is going to be resensitizing my dick and learning to respond to stimuli other than my hand.
2. Continuing to look after my general health with plenty of weight training and cardio, though not excessively and with plenty of rest.
3. A balanced diet. I'm still going for a net caloric deficit to continue losing body fat, but I'm achieving the deficit primarily through cardio and making sure to get around 1800 calories a day.
4. A zinc supplement in addition to my daily multivitamin, D supplement and fish oil. Probably a waste of time, but it can't hurt.
Has anyone here dealt with a similar situation? What if anything helped? Should I see a doctor (and if so, what specialization?) Please, for the love of god, hope me, Metafilter. I've read previous Asks on similar subjects, but none of them covered the pharmaceutical angle. Second, I've set up a temporary yahoo address at, um, email@example.com.