Managing fear of sex noises/PDA
December 16, 2013 12:45 PM Subscribe
How can I manage my fear of PDA and sex noises?
posted by bluekazoo to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I am a college student who's living with an apartment with two other people. I didn't realize I would have a problem with this until I had to be exposed to it, but I'm uncomfortable with other people's displays of affection and sex noises.
I seem to get really uncomfortable whenever my roommate (let's call her Alice) brings home her friend-with-benefits. Hearing them (and to a lesser extent just knowing he's there) makes my stomach knot up. My other roommate (we'll call him Bob) has noticed I start to clam up and act irritably whenever this happens too.
It got really bad when I was at a friend's party and Alice and Bob came with me, and everyone except me and Bob ended up essentially making out with each other. I tried to keep my composure until Bob wanted to leave, but then I became incredibly afraid of the situation. I left in a rush and acted pretty hostile when people asked me what was wrong. I was simultaneously scared that I might be raped or molested and that I wasn't being asked to "join in" because I wasn't "good" enough in some way.
It's worth noting I don't feel afraid or uncomfortable when:
-I view porn
-I am making out/having sex with someone
I'm pretty sure I know that the discomfort comes from these things:
-Fear I am not attractive enough to have sex
-Fear of having my boundaries violated
-Fear I might be attracted to friends who I don't want to be attracted to
-Fear that my fear makes me a bad feminist/prude
-Fear that my fear is weird and that people will disrespect me for it.
And this is how I tend to react:
-Avoidance (occasionally to the point I want to leave the apartment)
-Becoming keyed up and on edge
-Slight nausea and stomach discomfort
-Pent up resentment towards the people having sex/making out/etc.
So how can I manage my fears and not let Alice's sex life destroy me or our friendship? My friends think I just need "more exposure" to these kinds of situations, but the idea just seems counterproductive and makes me sick to my stomach. I'm wondering if I have a phobia of some sort, but my reactions don't seem quite bad enough to be the result of a phobia.