Why does the potential of being sexual make me uncomfortable?

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Luckywolf
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Why does the potential of being sexual make me uncomfortable?

Unread post by Luckywolf »

So, I was wondering if you guys could help me process this stuff.

I’ve been questioning my sexuality recently, more like, I’ve recognized I there’s something I feel needs exploration and defining. I’ve been wondering if I’m somewhere on the asexual spectrum, grey ace and demisexual being what I’ve been using for the past three or so months.

But one reason why I’m not sure if I’m demi is because my base line for sexual experiences is screwed up. And by that I mean, my two previous relationships had some body boundary problems so I don't have the best experiences to compare and draw conclusions from. The affects of that seem to be showing these past two months, before they were minor and barely crossed my mind once a week. I keep mulling this over and it makes me uncomfortable and I think of these experiences when I think of my sexuality and when I think of exploring sexually with my current partner.

In the first (that lasted more than 12 hours) relationship I had, which my first posts on this board were about, he never trampled on my boundaries. There were just some moments I felt self conscious of my body and said, “sure,” when I should have said, “I’m on the fence, please don’t it makes me self conscious.” So, while I felt really respected in that relationship, I just wasn’t good at being clear and I was self conscious of my body.

My second relationship, let’s say it’s with C, was where things got bad. C would tickle me, “zap” me, etc. because it was something he and another friend of mine did. I didn’t mind it, though it kinda hurt sometimes, because it only happened a couple times a week and I found it funny. It began to bother me was when we would sit together on the bus, and he would tickle me and wouldn’t stop and I’d almost end up on the floor trying to make it stop, and when I would tell him to not do that again, he’d listen for a few minutes or until we got back on the bus. (Note: I’m super ticklish and it hurts if it’s for more than a second.) Then he started French kissing me. After a few times I realized I didn’t like it and so stopped kissing him whenever I felt his tongue on my lips. I pulled back a few times before I specifically said, no. (This was over a year ago so from [ to] may be out of order.) [He didn’t French kiss me for the rest of that trip but there were a few times after that he tried to or asked to. We’d be kissing and I’d like it, and then he’d try to stick his tongue in my mouth, I’d get super grossed out, stop kissing, and feel funny and not kiss him for a period. But then when I would go back to kissing him, he’d do it eventually again. I have also found a draft letter that I wrote to him listing things he had done I was uncomfortable with and it reminded me he put his hand on my inner thigh, butt, and breast and that made me self conscious/uncomfortable as well.] So, one night a friend and I were hanging out at C’s house. We were kissing up in his room while the parents and our friend where downstairs chit chatting. He tried to kiss me multiple times and I pulled back, because at this time I only felt like cuddling and kissing chastely once before going back to playing board games and talking. He asks me if he’s making me uncomfortable, I go home and organize my thoughts into an email and send it. We don’t see much of each other after until he texts me and breaks up with me. I was relieved ‘cause I would have done it soon if he hadn’t.

There’s a chunk of stuff that happened next but it was never in a sexual or SO relationship context so I think it’s not necessary for this part of the backstory.

There was a conversation I had with two friends and my current partner that either started this refixation on what happened with C or just increased it but it had already started, I can’t remember.

So, now I’m in the present and this is all still running in my head to a degree. My estimate is I think about all this stuff once or twice a week and think it affects my emotions at least once more in addition to that. And what I want is help figuring out if these experiences are affecting my comfort levels being sexual with my current partner, or if it’s not really affecting that and I could be grey ace.

So about my current partner. He’s a good friend. He’s been a source of comfort and uncomplicated friendship these past several months. We talk openly about LGBTQ+ issues, feminism, and sexuality, and this started before he asked to go on a date with me. So we’ve agreed to do only things we’re both comfortable with but also be really open to exploring a sexual relationship/sexual activities. We go on dates to places when we can but it’s easiest for us to be at the park between our houses or hang out at my house. So we text a lot and hang out at least once a week. We talked kind of early on about both being interested in BDSM and sharing our interests in that area. We also recently started talking about our fantasies and what things arouse us and have been texting links back and forth. So what we’ve been talking about recently is doing some more sexual things.

What we love doing most is cuddling, [strike]but beyond that there’s not a whole lot I feel driven to do, sexually.[/strike] I do want to do sexual things, I want to have a sexual component to our relationship by exploring sexual things. As a way to have fun and because I want to have those experiences. Like, I get nervous about doing sexual things (being partially naked (something I want to do), possibly giving/receiving manual sex or mutual masturbation (something I suggested)) and a little self conscious of my body. Even though I masturbate and have a pretty good grasp on my sexual relationship with myself and fantasize/desire to do sexual things with a partner.

So if you guys have read this novel you know I’m really confused and scared and don’t feel like I know where my nerves and motivation (and lack thereof) are coming from. And I could use advise because we’re going to talk about doing more (different) sexual things next time we hang out just us (which is Tues. after I get back from this five day camp thing, which I leave for about noon Fri. and will have to be on mobile to see any responses) and may want to do a few of those things. I’d really just like to know how I should handle myself: am I possibly grey ace and should proceed as such, am I possibly being affected by bad previous experience and should I be aware of myself as such when going forward and setting boundaries, or am I just super nervous about doing these types of things with a partner for the first time and need to remember to relax, go slow, and trust in my partner?

I didn't know how to cut this all down, I'm sorry, and I thought it was all relevant to give a clear understanding.
Sam W
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Re: Why does the potential of being sexual make me uncomfortable?

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi Luckywolf,

It sounds like there may be several different things overlapping here to create this situation. It's totally possible that you're ace or demisexual, but it sounds like those definitions are not quite fitting for you. Given that the last two physically intimate relationships you had were not good and had boundary pushing in them, it's not surprising that part of you is wary of being sexual with your current partner. That could easily translate into nerves because your brain is worried about your boundaries being stepped on again.

It also sounds like you're not totally comfortable with your body. Which is okay, learning to feel comfortable naked is a process and not something that happens overnight. But that insecurity could also be making you nervous about doing sexual stuff.

I think a helpful question to start with is: when you feel those nerves, do they seem connected to a certain thing? For instance, do they seem to focus mostly on your body? Or do they focus on him?
Luckywolf
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Re: Why does the potential of being sexual make me uncomfortable?

Unread post by Luckywolf »

Hmm. I think the nerves are more self focused. (It's early so I had to sit and gather thoughts around the things we've talked about doing. And I realize going over this stuff that, I think I have contradictory feelings surrounding some of these things?)

Kissing, I enjoy it. But not any kissing that's really "spitty" if that makes sense and not really, prolonged either? I'm good with one kiss, or a few quick kisses in a row. But like, I get self conscious if we try to hold a kiss and if I think about having a really long kiss I just feel nope.

With being naked. I get really self conscious when I think about myself being shirtless in a sexual context. Locker room context, I'm really not. If I think about him being shirtless I'm pretty good. If I think about him being completely naked, embarrassed to say, I'm kinda like, "what do I do? Ah a penis, what am I supposed to do?" :oops: (That's honestly how that thought train has happened and I don't know why. I know it's just a body and part of a body and people have those. But I honestly almost get squicked when I think about this as a "might happen" instead of in a picture or erotic fic sense.)

We've talked about starting sex with mutual masturbation. We both think it could be pretty nice and a way to start being comfortable with each other's bodies and such. And I suggested it. But as we continued talking about this stuff I just started feeling self conscious again. I'm kind of scared?, self conscous?, something, about interacting with another person while I masturbate.

We haven't talked about manual sex, but I've been thinking I'd like that to happen before we try intercourse of any type, and I feel like next time we talk in person it's going to be brought up. But, I don't know. I get those "what do I do feelings" and almost squick, "it's another person's body, how do you touch them, do I really want to touch :oops:," I'm uncomfortable feelings again. Again, I know his body is just a natural thing, that he's being vulnerable too (which is why I'm scared to admit to the squick feelings), and deserves to know I appreciate his body and don't find him or his body gross.

Gah! This is all very confusing.
Sam W
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Re: Why does the potential of being sexual make me uncomfortable?

Unread post by Sam W »

Thanks for elaborating, that was really helpful :) The good news is that you two seem to really trust each other and have good communication, which will make some of the things I recommend easier.

With things like not enjoying a certain type of kissing, most people will have certain physical activities that they don't enjoy or that make them uncomfortable. And that's totally okay! We tend to think of of sexual activities as progressing on a set scale from "things almost everyone likes" to "things only a few people like" but that's not how it works. Someone could love being spanked but absolutely loathe tongue kissing. You get to decide which things do and do not feel good to you.

As for not knowing how to feel or what to do with him being naked, am I right that this would be the first time you saw a partner without any clothes?

If mutual masturbation or manual sex is feeling like too much (and mutual masturbation can be tricky, because while it can be very arousing, it can also give people performance anxiety), there are some other steps you could try. For instance, what if you took turns giving each other a massage where the recipient is mostly or all the way naked? That could help you get used to be naked around each other without the pressure of sex (plus it feels good).

It could also help to re-frame some of those "so..what do I do with this?" feelings. Instead of a "ack, I've got no clue" perspective, try thinking of it as an opportunity. You get to explore and experiment with your partner and his body for the first time, which can be really exciting. And there's no rush, you two can go as slow as you need to. And if you do end up doing something silly or awkward, that's totally normal. Sex, especially when you're new to it, often has an awkward component to it that's actually kind of charming if you take the pressure off yourself to be good at it right away.

I think you might find this article really helpful, as it deals with some of the worries you're describing: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/gende ... fectionism . And with all of this, if there's something that just really freaks you out to do, you don't have to push yourself to do it just because you feel like you should.
Luckywolf
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Re: Why does the potential of being sexual make me uncomfortable?

Unread post by Luckywolf »

Thanks. :P I'll read that article.

This wouldn't be the first time I've been shirtless with a partner. The other time it was very "I feel comfortable trying this but now that I've tried it I don't have a burning passion to continue," my feelings on it were between "meh" and "self conscious."

I never really thought about the performance anxiety that could be around mutual masturbation. But I feel like I was feeling some of that.
Sam W
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Re: Why does the potential of being sexual make me uncomfortable?

Unread post by Sam W »

You're welcome!

Have you and he tried doing some of the sexual things you're interested in with you being mostly or partially clothed? That might cut down on some of the self-consciousness. Too, if something leaves you feeling "meh" you can figure that's not something to concentrate on.

Yep, performance anxiety can pop up in all sorts of places. Some people really like the idea of being watched, while others find it makes them more self-conscious.

I'm wondering, are there sexual or physically intimate things that make you feel excited when you think about them? Or ones that you find arousing when you read something erotic? Because part of this may be finding the things that get you the most excited and focusing on those.
Luckywolf
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Re: Why does the potential of being sexual make me uncomfortable?

Unread post by Luckywolf »

The meh experience was with one of my previous partners and I haven't done something like that with my current one. There is one thing I've been thinking about doing that involves him being shirtless, but we haven't discussed it yet because we got sucked into cuddling last time we hung out. I think we both would like to explore massages more, we both enjoy them.

I think about cuddling and being petted a lot. When I have fantasies with me involved and not a character from fic, I'm usually just curling up with them or being comforted with physical contact. Sometimes getting kisses but most of the time not.

I mostly read gay male fic, so that means I have to be a little creative with translating that to real life things, but hm...my favorite parts tend to be the foreplay-like stuff, kissing and touching, and also rougher sex. But then that doesn't much help me if I'm not ready for those things or don't like those things in real life. I also like the BDSM, BDSM themed, and kink stuff I read (don't know if you want me posting specifics).
Sam W
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Re: Why does the potential of being sexual make me uncomfortable?

Unread post by Sam W »

So it sounds like touching is really important to you, which is a great thing to know about yourself. I think massage is definitely a thing to try. You could try kissing and being kissed on different body parts (back, neck, legs) to see if that feels good.

From what you're describing, it seems like staying in the area that many people think of as foreplay is what makes you happy. The two of you can experiment with lots of different things in that zone of activity. If you find that spending lots of time there makes you want to try something like manual sex, great! If you just love being in that zone and don't want to move to another activity, also great!

With the BDSM elements, do you find those set off the nerves/self-consciousness when you think about doing them in real life? You could find ways to introduce some BDSM elements into that cuddling/touching space. You could add in one element at a time to see if there are ones you like (or if there are ones that make you go NOPE), rather than adding in a bunch at once. For example, you could try the touching with one person being restrained or blindfolded. My biggest caution with the BDSM is to keep being really communicative about what's okay and what's not and be ready to speak up and stop is something squicks you out.
Luckywolf
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Re: Why does the potential of being sexual make me uncomfortable?

Unread post by Luckywolf »

Thanks. That actually helps a lot, just putting things that way. :P

Some of the BDSM activities are the one's I'm actually most comfortable with. I know I don't feel ready to delve into some things, but there are things like roleplay activities that I'm really excited to try and one's really touch oriented, so plus!
Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 9952
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
Age: 33
Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
Primary language: english
Pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity: queer
Location: Desert

Re: Why does the potential of being sexual make me uncomfortable?

Unread post by Sam W »

You're welcome :)

And glad to hear there are some things you're comfortable with and excited to try. I hope the experimenting goes well.
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