Love and sex have never worked for me and I don't understand why.
January 13, 2013 7:22 AM Subscribe
Straight guy here, mid-30s. I'm a relationship virgin apart from two or three very brief and superficial ones, and would be an actual virgin if not for a handful of sexual encounters, almost all of them very unsatisfying. I've always fantasized about love and sex but whenever things get real my heart and body seem to lose all interest. What's wrong with me and are there other people out there in the same boat?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (35 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure how to start so I guess I'll go chronologically. I didn't get naked with a woman until I was 23 due to a mixture of natural shyness and self-consciousness from having pretty hideous acne throughout my teens/early twenties. And when I did my body wouldn't cooperate - when it came to the moment of truth it was like I didn't feel any attraction to the one thing I had been fantasizing about for years, a woman's naked body. This has happened to me again and again. Over the years I've had occasional, though infrequent, opportunities to kiss/make out with/have sex with women, and it's basically done nothing for me. Kissing a woman feels like touching someone else's mouth with your mouth. Touching a woman's breast feels like putting your hand on a protruding bit of flesh. There's no thrill, passion, or excitement. I'd just as soon be eating a good burrito.
Emotionally it's the same. I've always dreamed of finding someone to love but the number of women I've been emotionally attracted to can be counted on the fingers of one hand. And when I got intimate with these women, which happened once or twice, it was the same - no pleasure at all (which naturally turned them off as well).
To forestall an obvious question - I'm not asexual, nor gay-and-in-denial. I masturbate regularly and have had sexual fantasies, exclusively about women, since I was 9.
I don't understand this. My theory is that I missed the window of opportunity, i.e. I was such a late bloomer that by the time opportunity presented itself there was so much riding on it for me emotionally that I was too nervous to perform. But I don't actually feel nervous in these situations, I just feel numb and uninterested.
I guess what I want to know is: (a) what's wrong with me? (b) are there other people with similar stories? (c) are there online communities/support forums for people like me? (d) what can I do? The thought of living the rest of my life without love or sex makes me wish I'd never been born. I'm in therapy, which has helped a lot for depression, but not for this. But maybe unstructured talk therapy isn't what I need. Unfortunately I probably can't afford surrogate partner therapy, but if anyone has recommendations for particular modalities of therapy that might help (or particular therapists in the SF bay area) please share.