Your own story regarding fear of sexuality or intimacy

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  • #3146
    Ani
    Participant

    I realise this requires some openness, but maybe we can exchange some helpful advice, some words that can help us through this, or simply find someone that becomes a best friend or more due to similar experiences and comforting each other.

    Personally, I am 32 years old, and I have erotophobia since age 16. Half of my life 🙁 Yeah, I didn’t exactly celebrate my 32nd birthday…

    Prior to age 16 I was a normal boy when it came to sexuality. Like in puberty all people do, you develop an interest for the other gender (or same gender, but I’m heterosexual myself) and I was no exception. I was very fascinated by girls, loved looking at pretty women, even enjoyed arrousal. It was at that age too that I bought some “men’s magazines” which included revealing pictures of famous women or models. I also was exposed to some softcore erotic stuff on TV, such as Playboy Late Night. But no hardcore porn, that was not available on TV back then. Sexually loaded websites were out of reach as I only got my first internet connection a few years later when I already had become an erotophobe.

    But for just a few years I was like most teenage boys. When going to the beach, I took walks to look at the topless girls sunbathing, I liked nudity in films (but never was exposed to true porn), I loved looking at pretty women, … Me and a classmate even, purely for fun, drew 1 or 2 page comics that were excually sexually loaded parodies on very innocent real comic books characters. In our parodies, we did show how the Smurfs kept their population intact (the real comics never show that!).
    During a holiday in Croatia I remember spending two hours on the town square because the waitress in the local tavern was so cute, and photographing buildings right when “accidently” some girls in bikini passed … My parents didn’t really believe that photo was a coincidence 😛 But they’ve Always been very open and tolerant, if I had not developed a fear of sexuality I cannot imagine they’d ever have complained about sexual activities as long as it would be done in a safe way.

    Anyways, that normality ended age 16 when I developed a severe OCD, which included erotophobia. Suddenly I found myself touching everything i cared for with gloves, in order to keep things clean. When reading books for school work, my mother used to turn the pages as I did not want to touch them. I often had 4 or 5 showers a day and swimming pool visits increased, but mostly for the idea that it was purifying (in fact it isn”t, but the idea of bathing in water gave that illusion that I was cleaning myself again)

    Where initially I liked watching pretty girls and fantasised about nice women like all boys, once erotophobia started off I didn’t even dare to look at magazines or TV shows anymore if I was afraid the odds for nudity were high. If exposed accidently to nudity, I usually reacted badly to it, doing a lot of cleaning rituals. When meeting girls, I would try to look away from the pretty ones, as even the slightest arousal was very dirty in my thinking. One time I accidently could see down the cleavage of a very pretty classmate, probably a lot of boys saw it but I was the only one who had to look away, immediately taking a shower once I got home from school.

    The strange thing is that I did not know how the phobia developed. I remember I was disgusted by the look and smell of sperm/semen but it would surprise me that that would be sufficient to develop such fears.

    Throughout my adult life the fears decreased and I slowly began hoping to have a girlfriend one day. I even dated a few girls, but I noticed thereby that the very deep emotional connection, the Mutual understanding (like the soul mate feeling) and shared passions for travelling and art, were the parts I liked most. I knew deep inside that things would not have worked if we had ended up being lovers physically, but especially an extremely deep connection with an Australian girl meant a lot to me. We wrote each other every single day, for months and months writing her was the priority of each day, often spending 3 hours writing her. She did exactly the same and said knowing my message was awaiting at home made her look forward to the evenings after work. We shared an intense love for arts and travel but could also reveal our deepest emotions to each other. If you ask me now what is most beautiful about love, I would say exactly that: the desire to be united, each and every day again, and the emotional connection so deep that it cannot be broken.

    Later on a similarly intensive communications occured again one more time. Those two girls made me realise that actually love could be beautiful even without sex, and that my fear of sex would not necessarily mean I could not have a relationship. However, years later and I still never had a girlfriend, although I hope to find her soon.

    When looking forward to a future girlfriend, I can only say I really would love it, and want it to be a relationship serious enough that we could maybe stay together for life. Kissing passionately, carressing each other’s face, holding her in my arms, cuddling, … no longer scares me, in fact I look forward to experiencing it 🙂 However, the phobia has not reduced to such extent that I could have intercourse without being very afraid.

    I do see sex can in some circumstances be beautiful. You surrender entirely and give yourself away to the one you love, but as you fully trust her, you do it with pleasure. I can see a lot of beauty in that. However, the problem is the actual intercourse, the bodily fluids (sperm disgusts me especially, the female fluids don’t scare me off much but semen and sperm I find disgusting) …

    At the same time I am scared of what will happen. I stopped oppresing my desire to have a girlfriend ; if it depends on me I meet a girl that I have so much in common with that she’s like a soul mate, with an extremely deep emotional bond ; I would love to be together with her every single day even from the early stages of relationship, and get married after a year or so. And make sure we share a lot of romance. But I am unsure whether such intense love can actually reduce my fears to have sex. Especially if my girlfriend is asexual, there is no problem now as my fears of sex are too high, but what if that would ever change?

    On top of trying to function without being hindered by the phobia too often, I also do worry about how it will affect my possible relationships. It has ruined many moments in my life, and I would like to anticipate in such way that it will not ruin the moments still to come too…

    #3147
    Ani
    Participant

    PS I copy-pasted it from a document I had written, as I discuss the issue of sex fears on multiple platforms. I hope the text is clearly understandable, copy-pasting can ruin the text’s line-out.

    Anyways, I look forward to hear your stories, and hopefully some members here can comfort each other, give advise how to deal with things, or offer that listening ear that is sometimes hard to find.

    #3184
    Crystal
    Participant

    In short, I have a fear of intimacy due to certain traumas in my past both in childhood, as a young adult and recent. Because of this, I have difficulty with orgasms and have been pressured by former partners to achive one, which has lead to pain and/or unwanted touching. This only made my fears worse. So now I never have intercourse or oral (of any kind). I only go as far as light and loving touch. I’m so afraid that I refuse to go to anyone’s home or invite anyone over if I go on dates.

    I miss the romance, the affection and the bond. I’ve never really cared for sex, only the bonding and loving. Most everyone I’ve dated refuses to respect my boundaries and I find myself lonely in not having the deeper connection with someone (man or woman).

    I have only dated men and lean more preferably towards them, but I have kissed and cuddled with women. I find both genders physically attractive, but more so only when I am romantically and emotionally connected. I hardly find any people physically attractive in general and I’m even more selective about those that I find emotionally & spiritually attractive.

    I end up spending a great deal of time alone or with friends and lack the motivation to date because of my fears and very seldom desire for sex with another person.

    #3191
    James W
    Participant

    At a younger age ( im 19 now) I too was caught up in looking at pretty women when I was out and talking to my friends about women as well. My fear came about a few years ago when things moved to fast and other traumatic experiences that made me feel humiliated afterwards. I would love to date and while I enjoy the hugs, kisses, and cuddling, I feel the strong lack of sexual desire is what holds me back

    #3372
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Way to personal to go into detail, but I’m basically afraid I’ll end up humiliating myself in some way, although I’m sure everyone thinks like this at some point, right?

    #3379
    Ani
    Participant

    Thanks for the contributions so far!

    I think the fear of not being able to have a relationship due to not having sex, is very common amongst asexuals, but what makes erotophobia different is if you would like to have sex but are afraid of it somehow (as opposed to simply not feeling desire). Maybe this is something to think about, maybe some of you are sexually restricted due to fears. To find out what those fears are, can help to step by step open up. Of course, if you’re simply asexual and have no desire for sex, that’s very fine and nobody should criticise that decision.

    @ Shaun : I think indeed a lot of people are afraid to not do things right, especially the first sexual experiences. But often, the other person is equally insecure (unless she has a lot more experience than you do). Is there a particular reason why you are afraid to humiliate yourself, or is it just general insecurity? The latter is very common, but some couples end up discovering their sexual preferences together, experimenting and “improving” together. It’s not uncommon and definitely nothing to feel ashamed for!

    #3692
    Lenka
    Participant

    I´m very much sex-repulsed and afraid of getting hurt by a man. I wasn´t always so sex-repulsed and scared like now. It´s a paradox but my fear is a result of me trying to understand sexuals. It raumatised me a lot. The more I know about them and their needs, the more it terrifies me.
    I want my naivity back. When I didn´t know how important sex really is, I wasn´t afraid of sexual men. I even believed I could compromise in a relationship with sexual. But now…I could never feel safe with sexual man. It´s horrible how sex-obsessed this society is. Sex is forced to everyone, all the time. If you don´t sleep with a man at the very beginning of a relationship, he will not give you a time, he will just dump you.
    Sex has nothing to do with love. It´s quite the opposite of love for me. The most of types of sex are so disgusting, degrading and violent… I could never do it.
    I tend to attract the worst types of men – disgusting, dirty, drunk… they harass me and want sex from me. I live in constant fear I will not escape them one day…

    #3999
    Ani
    Participant

    Hi,

    Relationships between sexuals and asexuals can work, but a deep Mutual is required (although isn’t that the case in any decent relationship?). I’m sorry to hear you ended up traumatised trying to understand sexuals ; while in theory I am sexual myself (but erotophobic) I agree that society is way too sex-orientated. In the old days, sex was a taboo and people had to pretend to never have it, were uneducated about safe sex, ended up with unwanted pregnancies, … Luckily we moved on from those days, but now we ended up in the other extreme where having sex has become a status symbol, and an unmissing link in life according to many people. The golden in-between has been skipped and we just moved on from one extreme (total taboo) into another extreme (libertine-esque lifestyles as a standard)

    #4091
    Noelle
    Spectator

    Sex and sexual stuff has freaked me out for a good few years now, probably around three or four. I’m nearly nineteen. As I was maturing I seemed to have pretty normal feelings, though at a much lesser degree than my peers. I remember my friends in early middle school talking about how they wanted to touch on people of the opposite sex, while all I wanted was someone who was my best friend yet also a partner. I never had that stupid teenaged horniness, ever, though I didn’t realize what that meant until recently..
    The tipping point in my fear of intimacy was not too long ago, though. It was probably about six, seven months ago. I’d been dating this guy for two years without anything sexial really going on (though he would sometimes force things upon me though I didn’t like it). I went over to his house, and his father happened to not be there. We went to his room as I usually did when I’d visit him, though he’d typically just show me stupid YouTube videos or try to get me to play TF2 or something. But not this time. I have no problem with cuddling, and that’s what we began doing. Then he forced me out of my shirt and kept trying to do things that I had no intention of ever doing. I cried a little, but only a little; I’m not the type to let people know I’m hurt. So I stopepd, through the worst fit I could without disturbing his neighbors so he’d get tired of me being there, and had him take me home. I’m also not the type to throw fits, but I had to do something to get myself out, for he was far stronger than I. I got to my room and cried for the rest of the night. I could never be alone with him again, for he had broken my trust, and it ended up breaking us up scared the hell out of me, too.. That’s kind of my only story dealing with intimacy. That’s my only encounter of that kind, and unless somethi drastic in me changes, I kind of hope it’ll be the only interraction of that kind.

    #4096
    Ani
    Participant

    I’m sorry to hear that. I think it’s best that, in any future situation, you clearly set your boundaries. YOU are the only one who can decide those, and the rest of the world has to respect them. Doing things against your will or letting things be done against your will, is only going to strengthen your anxiety, whereas you don’t have to do anything against your will just to please people! It is your body, your temple, your boundaries. Nobody else has the right to even question that, and you alone can decide where these boundaries lay. Nobody else has the right to even try to move those boundaries, they just have to respect them.

    PS: the feeling of just wanting a partner who is also a best friend, is very recognisable. I think many of us have felt that sentiment before. Probably more so than people who are not asexual or demisexual. For us, love is a very pure thing, with focus on emotional intimacy rather than other forms of intimacy.

    #4101
    Raell5
    Spectator

    I used to wonder why I wouldn’t look in a mirror, was disgusted at the thought or sight of my own genitals, even the odor brought nausea. I only allowed males in my life as play pals, for dancing, hiking, extreme sports where having a male companion was safer.
    I had no fear of males, and even looked down on them since I could beat them at most sport despite my petite, feminine body, and knew karate also. Yet I couldn’t really relate to females very much, finding them boring and only concerned with topics I found trivial.
    The only people who seemed to enjoy talking politics, sports, science, or doing anything active, were male, so they were my main pals. However I had no sexual attraction to them, and only acted like a pal, competing with and teasing them.

    I always assumed “other women” thought as I did, found sex disgusting, hated men to look at them sexually, and wanted men to be their best friends.

    When an old high school friend, who came out as a transsexual M to F, told me everyone saw me as male I began to read up on the subject and soon realized I’m a partial transmale..about 60 to 40 percent. Furthermore, I’m gender fluid..moving back and forth between the gender viewpoints, as they are located in different parts of the brain-male traits mainly on the right hemisphere, female on the left.

    Any gender or gender combo can attract me sexually initially, but before I can imagine anything sexual, those feelings are immediately canceled by the “same sex” gender mode, quickly followed by disgust.

    This is my theory on the cause of asexuality.

    If someone is a close companion for over a year I can eventually feel sexual attraction, but when it kicks in, my libido is like that of ten men and I love to switch roles, do the costumes, play mild S & M, etc. that only bisexual men seem to enjoy.
    Straight men are only horrified by it, and their idea of “jump on, jump off” sex is so boring I had to “zone out” to endure it.
    At one point I decided I would never “get off” another person or allow someone to get me off. So from then on I did what I enjoyed doing, and took care of my own orgasms, when desired. Suddenly, sex with a long-time mate was fun!!

    Luckily, my companion at that time was a 50-50 bisexual who felt the same way. But his feminine traits also made him dangerously treacherous and jealous and I had to dump him for safety reasons.

    I’m convinced I would do better with a female, except that most females try to control and “fix” what they consider to be my irresponsible behavior, and the moment someone tries to tell me how to live my life, I am gone.

    A typical straight male seems to love being controlled and long to give their wills over to a female, and most straight females seem to instinctively manipulate and control men through the silent, or withdrawal treatment. The male better do exactly as she wishes, or the female becomes increasingly unavailable, saying things like “This isn’t working out” or “I have other plans,” until the males learn to obey her every whim or lose her.

    I don’t have that instinct, so, unsurprisingly, males walk all over me, disrespect me, until finally I reach my limit and kick them out, and never let them return.

    Thanks to that behavior I always end up alone, but each time I heave a sigh of relief and dance a jig, glad to have my “space” back.

    Now that I know what I am, I any dating would have to deceptive since I realize I have NO sexual attraction to anyone, but qualify for the demisexual label. I love to hang with “fellow males” but I can only play with them so long before they want more and I have NO INTEREST in giving them anything, and lack the female “tease” abilities.

    I could just as easily go the female companion route, but every female who has had a crush on me has immediately tried to control me. It’s their instinct..something I lack to be able to have a male companion.

    #4120
    Ani
    Participant

    I don’t think control should be part of a healthy relationship, and this is something I would say to both males and females. The moment one controls the other deliberately or intentionally, there is a balance lost in the relationship. I very much believe a relationship is giving and taking in both ways, whereas I fear things get unhealthy the moment one party does all the giving and the other does all the taking. In a healthy relationship people both give and both take. I doubt it is healthy when anyone (doesn’t matter male or female) would deliberately control the other.

    The fear of the own body is quite common I think amongst those with a serious sex fear. It is not necessarily the case, but I think in many cases the one contributes a lot to the other (and vice-versa ; if one has an aversion for the body, this will increase the odds to develop a fear of anything sexual)

    #4289
    Lenka
    Participant

    You are right that control shouldn´t be a part of a healthy relationship but how many really healthy relationships have you seen? I haven´t seen any. All people are constantly fighting to have a control over their partners, to gain more than to give…or from the opposite side – they do anything to please their partner because they are so much afraid they might lose them. The first type usually goes for the second type. It is like a curse. In perfect world it would be easy to be in a relationship but in real world it´s almost impossible, even for sexuals who have much bigger dating pool.

    #4295
    Ani
    Participant

    Maybe this is true in many cases, but would you want to live life feeling chanceless when it comes to love? I for sure prefer to believe in true love existing, it’s much more hopegiving than the idea that every relationship in the end would fail. I am quite sure true romance exists. Also when it does not include sex. Maybe sometimes one person gives and the other one takes, but I believe in a healthy relationship one gives and takes, and the other person does as well. And as long as there is a “more-or-less balance” there’s nothing wrong with that!

    #4444
    Lenka
    Participant

    I feel chanceless when it comes to love. I felt chanceless even before I knew I´m asexual.
    False hopes are worse than cruel truth.

    #4485
    Lenka
    Participant

    Ani, don´t you think you should look for a girlfriend rather among rape or sexual abuse survivors than among asexuals?
    Let´s imagine you´ll find nice asexual girl. You´ll be in a relationship for many months ot years and you will feel so safe and relaxed because she´s asexual and never puts you under pressure of sex and your erotophobia will slowly fade away… but her asexuality will never go away because asexuality is not trauma, or disease which can be healed. What then? Could you stay celibate without any problems?

    #24118
    Ani
    Participant

    That is an interesting question, but I had low libido even before erotophobia developped. I think and feel quite sure that if I love someone for years, I would never want to lose that person. My erotophobia could fade away, but if the love doesn’t fade away, I would not want to give that up because of sex. I believe it’s perfectly possible to have an intimate relationship without sex ; because intimacy is such a wide spectrum. Sex is one way of intimacy but there’s so many others. I don’t believe it would be hard to not have sex, even when erotophobia fades away ; the spectrum of intimacy is so big that there’s plenty of ways to be really close to each other without ever having actual sex. I don’t believe this would form a problem. It may depend on the individual, every erotophobe is different, but I can see myself love an asexual girl and fully respect her desire not to have sex, even when erotophobia would fade away.

    #25980
    Virginia
    Participant

    For me it all comes down to vulnerability. I don’t cry infront of anyone, not even my mother. I have a terribly difficult time asking for help. I am uncomfortable with anything that makes me feel exposed, especially emotionally. apparently I have horrible managing/coping skills when it comes to intense emotions. I become overwhelmed and that lack of control/management is terrifying, so hide behind my walls.

    #27011

    I don’t know if I would call it “fear” of being sexually intimate, but more of uninterested and possibly even disgusted by it? I don’t see how sex really affects a relationship in a positive way, you know? Cool, you just made yourself so vulnerable you could have had a kid. Cool, some guy is inside of you. Not really interested in that whole thing. Not many teenagers now a days understand that there is more to a relationship than just being sexual.

    #27160
    Ani
    Participant

    Hello Natasha.

    Many people on sites like this simply are uninterested in sex, or feel repulsed by it. Which is totally fine, nobody has the right to tell you what you should do or not do inside your own bedroom 🙂 This group was created specifically for those of us who also have a true fear about certain aspects of sex, or sexual acts alltogether. The nuance is that someone who is simply uninterested can go through life simply not having sex ; someone with a serious fear could end up having panic attacks when unexpectedly confrontated with sexual issues (as opposed to simply not caring and feeling indifferent). Hence this group came into existance 🙂

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