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The Great Mystery I've Had Since Age 17

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The Great Mystery I've Had Since Age 17

Postby wies12345 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:48 pm

The fact that several of these posts have hundreds (and in some cases, over a thousand) of views, and no replies kinda troubles me, but if nothing else, this will be the first time I tell this problem to other people, especially in an open forum.

I have a sexual dysfunction problem that I'd like as much advice and feedback on as possible, because it's not as simple as "I have erectile dysfunction" , nor is it as clear cut cause/effect as "I was raped and now I can't be intimate". Basically, I have a problem, symptoms, and what I think is the cause, but I don't know for sure.

So if you do read this, please don't be one of those hundreds/thousands of views that is only that, a view. Any words of wisdom or reassurance would be a huge help.

Apologies in advance for its length, I'm trying to paint as complete of a picture as possible. This will also be my first post, so if this belongs in a different forum, apologies in advance for the mix-up.

Anyway...here it goes.

SYMPTOMS:
I'm a twenty-eight year old straight male. I've never had an orgasm from a woman. No matter what she looks like, what she does, what I do, she's never able to help me climax. The only times I've been able to have been from masturbation while viewing pornography, which has been the standard since my first orgasm....which happened while porn was on, and just kind of happened. More worryingly, I have problems maintaining or sometimes even achieving an erection when I attempt to have sex. Even if I achieve a full one, it will inevitably go limp during sex. Sometimes I can still keep going, other times I go completely limp, and there's nothing anyone can do to remedy that. One can imagine the number of awkward exchanges I've had with females as they wonder what's wrong with me, or if I don't really find them attractive, or what have you. In truth, I honestly have no idea where this comes from or why, I only know I've dealt with it for my entire adult life so far. Again, this happens every single time I try to have sex, and I've never came from a woman's touch.

MENTAL SYMPTOMS:
From time to time, I've considered exploring and eventually curing this problem, as that is a rather significant one. It's just that on one hand, I'm well aware that men of all ages, types, lifestyles, etc. can have erectile problems - hell, you can get Erectile Dysfunction when you're twenty - and while there are factors that make it more likely than others, no one is "safe", so to speak. On the other hand, I have no idea how to treat something that is purely psychological. Clearly I can achieve and maintain an erection, and clearly I can have an orgasm. So, it's not a physical problem, but a mental one.

I've tried to mentally walk myself through having sex, like imagining a girl undressing me, touching me, performing sexual acts with me, to see where the breakdown is. Then I noticed, for example, if I asked myself, "What would you do if a girl started pulling your underwear off?" my first answer was "Tell her to stop". No second thought, no hesitation, tell her to stop. Okay great, wonderful, I know how and when to say no, but that's not what we're getting at here. So if I tried to "force" myself, so to speak, to imagine myself having intercourse, my mind will either do one of two things:
1. either it will pull up any and every possible thought, imagine, memory, sound, song, anything it can throw up, and start cycling through them like changing channels on a television (this also happens when I'm having actual intercourse as well), and it does so in a way that doesn't immediately allow me to go back to thinking about sex, like my mind runs away and I have to chase it down, or
2. it goes completely blank. It becomes a dead zone, where there's no sights or sounds or anything. If before my brain starts frantically trying to change the channel, here it just unplugs the TV altogether. Again, it takes several minutes of actively thinking of something else before it returns to normal. Usually when this happens, I start feeling pressure in the back of my head, as if my brain actually tried to scoot itself backwards to cower in the back of my skull. Now I did learn that such pressure between your brain and your skull is a real thing, and usually associated with anxiety.

Now, based off of this, I theorized "You either lose or fail to achieve your erection because your brain distracts itself, like at some point you just hit a dead man's switch where your brain decides it's not having fun anymore and wants to run away. Mind you, most of the time, I can achieve an erection, it's just that after a few minutes, it unceremoniously dissipates and can't be revived. This, coupled with not wanting to think about sex, suggests you're afraid of it. Your brain associates sexual intercourse with pain, fear, negativity, and so on." Long story short, though I want to have sex, and try to have sex, I'm scared of having sex, on a level I'm not even fully aware of.

POSSIBILITIES:
So the first thing I'm trying is limiting my porn and masturbation. I only ever did it 2-3 times a day, but I have been doing both for quite a few years, and the whole "get hard for 3-5 minutes then go soft again" problem started spreading into when I watch porn as well, although in that case, I can achieve both an erection and climax.
I've read about men becoming so desensitized to porn/masturbation/both in tandem that they can't perform otherwise. Your brain gets so used to watching sex on a screen that it doesn't know what to do with real sex. Additionally, your brain (and penis, I guess) gets too used to your hand to react to anything else. So it might be as simple as letting my brain rewire itself to physical contact with someone else, someone else touching me, not me touching myself. I wouldn't say I'm an addict for either one, but I will admit I do have rather strong "urges" to relieve myself, urges I feel in both my brain and even in my solar plexus, for some reason. But hey, maybe I'm overthinking all of this, and the real answer is to just give it a few weeks, or months, and try again.

But what if I really am afraid of sex?

Let's assume my hypothesis is correct. The obvious question here is, "why?" I don't have a history of sexual abuse. I was never molested, fondled, or raped. My mother talked about it openly, in a "you're going to do it anyway so might as well talk about it so you're informed" nature. There is absolutely nothing I can think of that would cause me to carry a deep-seated fear of sex, or women.

....Or is there? My mother also told me, repeatedly, not to get anyone pregnant. On one hand, she has a point; an unplanned pregnancy, especially in your teens or early twenties, can have quite the adverse effect on your life (no disrespect whatsoever to anyone that that may apply to). But on the other hand, she made it sound like "If you get someone pregnant, your life is basically over, you'll have to go work a $#%^ job somewhere, she's gonna stay at home and be lazy and say 'I need to be here for the baby' if you ever confront her about it, you both are going to fight all the time, she's going to leave you and take you to court for child support, you'll never get to go anywhere or do anything...." you get the picture. Don't have sex, you could get pregnant and die, right?
So my thinking is maybe her scare tactics worked...too effectively. Even if she legitimately only meant "Don't get anyone pregnant until you're ready to and can afford to", hearing about that so many times, especially in such overwhelmingly negative detail, may have caused my mind to associate sex with "DON'T HAVE SEX YOU'LL GET HER PREGNANT!" and freak out (and yes, this still applies even if contraceptives are used). This way, my mind acts as a deadman's switch: you can't ruin your life if you can't get her pregnant, you can't get her pregnant if you can't climax, you can't climax if you aren't erect. Simple, but effective.

A third option is one I've came up a few weeks ago..."What if you were sexually abused at some point in your life, and you either don't remember, or you just repressed it so completely that the memory isn't there, but the reaction is?" This is the most troubling part...well obviously, I'm talking about sexual abuse here...because that would mean I'd have to dig up the memories and experience to work through them, and I have no way of knowing if anything happened, and my family is definitely the "ignore the elephant in the room" type. If I was ever abused, no one would ever tell me, and they probably blocked it out themselves. Now that one is definitely worst case scenario, since I'm pretty sure you don't "think" you were abused, you either were or were not, it's not something you're unclear about. But it does fit the whole "sex terrifies me" narrative.

Any way, that's all I've got....if you're still here, thank you for reading, and please, especially if this has happened to you or someone you know and double-especially if you/they worked through it, a word of advice, encouragement, or "don't worry you're not crazy" would be most welcome. All I have is a problem, symptoms, and theories, I'm still not sure what I'm supposed to do here, so anything steering me in the right direction would be great.

Otherwise....thanks for reading, I guess. This would be the most people I've ever told about this problem.
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Re: The Great Mystery I've Had Since Age 17

Postby Tyler » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:57 am

Sorry to hear that you're going through this. I'm there with you though. I've had erectile dysfunction since the age of 20. i have a loving boyfriend who works with me though. We used toys and oral to do our sexual stuff.

As for you problem, I have a few suggestions and a possible theory. The first one is what my sex therapist told me: Stop watching porn all together. Don't ease yourself off of it, just quit it, cold turkey. Never go back to it. It may take a while, but that was his suggestion.

As for the idea of you being scared, and I don't mean this to be mean, but I read that thing about your mom telling you "don't get someone pregnant" and thought "boy, he sounds horrified." I'm not trying to be rude or malicious, but I think you may be afraid. There's always that chance that a condom has a hole in it, or something goes wrong. Condoms aren't 100% bulletproof. I think there's only a 98% chance it works right.

On top of that, how old were you when you mom started drilling that into your head? If it happened at a young age, say 13 or so (give or take a year), then yes, you could be afraid. Depending on how frequently she said it, there's a part of your brain that remembers that, and has remembered it. You wrote what she told you in incredible detail, and a long paragraph of it.

Also, can you not ejaculate at all when with a woman? Or is it just because you can't get erect? My boyfriend performs oral on me when I'm flaccid, and I'm able to ejaculate. Do you go from erect to flaccid and then just give up? That could be a part of the problem, too. If you know you're going to get flaccid in the middle of it, you've convinced yourself you can't do it, and your brain tells itself "why even bother?"

Something i also would suggest, if you have intercourse with a woman in the near future, try having porn on while you're having intercourse. I've seen it done before. May just work for you.

Hope this helps.
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Re: The Great Mystery I've Had Since Age 17

Postby josh0745 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:21 am

This is deep, and yes you have performance anxiety it seems. It was probably triggered the same way mine was as I too sexually matured with my dick in my hand and my dads porno mag in the other. Such cruel irony to have something seem so good when you’re young to bite you in the ass so hard when it’s time to do the real deal.
Reassurance, a lot of mind work like meditation and CBT is the current path I’m on with my wife (she really isn’t fully on board yet).
I agree with stopping porn, my current no watch stint is about three weeks. I seem to still have the urge rather strong in my mind. I don’t really want to “fight” it so I’m trying to channel it in other ways like writing, exercise, etc.
Also try to take your sexual experiences as not being so erection centered. Please her fully first and that may get you off enough to stick it in there. My only good and great sexual experiences happen when I’m fully committed to the animalistic mentality of sex. Being in your head will just set you up for failure every time, I know it does for me.

Keep us posted

Josh
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Re: The Great Mystery I've Had Since Age 17

Postby wies12345 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:10 pm

That's interesting. This actually coincides with another theory I'd had, where I'd tried to be intimiate with a female, and she broke it off, which is fine, but I noticed my entire body was shaking. Not in a convulsing, seizure, otherwise visible manner, and outwardly, I was fine, but my body was still trembling as if I was really cold...or really scared.

I honestly am beginning to think that some part of me is legitimately terrified of sex, though I haven't the slightest idea why, or how. I don't know if it's performance anxiety, or maybe it is, just because I've come to deal with not getting off for so long that I'm already bracing for the awkwardness, the questions, whatever, but I am afraid of...something, about sex. I don't know what or why.

Would cutting back on porn and masturbation help when the problem is fear? Serious question.
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Re: The Great Mystery I've Had Since Age 17

Postby ClipboardFlan » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:29 am

I'm sorry to hear about this extra stress you're having but don't worry - you're not crazy. Sexual intimacy is really challenging and complex in many more ways than any given person really realizes usually.

Personally my experiences aren't terribly relevant for you I think - but what I've found to help and what I've learned may give some insight. Generally both porn and masturbation can be very healthy and natural parts of a person's life. Pornography is a little trickier since without good relationship and intimacy role models otherwise some people can get confused with what it should look like, though possibly not an issue here.

So somewhat stream of consciousness as I think of things

- Generally sexual abuse is external ... but I have a feeling that if someone masturbates as an adolescent without really "giving them-self permission" (i.e. they do it because they need to release the energy or some-such but not so much actually wanting to) it is a form of non-consentual sex and so is in some way abusive to one's own self. While this would definitely not be as horrible as sexual abuse, I still feel from what I've read that the emotional responses, self-criticism patterns, and the feeling of loss of control can have some similarities (though downgraded). So for something like this maybe exposure to sex-positive discourse (such as sexplanations) may be helpful. I mean, even if parents are very open about sex from an early age and overall positive how the child processes the information at that time is another matter (though I believe your mom's approach for the "might as well make sure you're informed" part is pretty responsible and reasonable). Speaking to a therapist and paying very close attention to the subtle negative unconscious thoughts (NUTs) that pop up may help too since you can better see what part is difficult and what is the response.

- on that I've definitely heard of/met people who used sex, masturbation, or pornography as an escape mechanism from stress when they don't have many other ways to manage it. Both can be used for escapism especially in adolescence. But then the acts themselves (and consequently sex) isn't seen as expressing intimacy or sharing pleasure as much as to push away undesired emotions. Some people can then for one reason or another develop a fear of intimacy. Sexual intimacy -> fear -> acute stress -> loss of erection. I think I read a really old treatise (forgot what it's called) that suggested focusing on intimacy without sex and only gradually introducing sexual interaction once genuinely wanting it by both partners (or self). So then the author suggested starting with no sex but just cuddling in the nude (idea is to focus on intimacy and learning to care for the person), then gradually allow for slight stimulation, only after maybe month or two working up to what the couple viewed as sex. Harder solo, but still can use similar ideas to refocus on it being for pleasure rather than dealing with stress (make sure to learn other ways to manage stress if this is the case of course)

I'm saying these things not so much because I think they're the most likely but because they're somewhat reasonable and both are entirely possible with how you described your mental exercise of imagining sex (which was I think pretty clever and well thought out). Your mention of fear also seems pretty reasonable. I mean it can be a pretty scary thing and if there is some emotional turmoil from the situation it makes sense you'd not be sure of how to process it at first.

If you haven't tried it before maybe try just cutting both out and see how your body/mind respond.There isn't much harm from taking a break, though it'd be stressful. For myself and a few others we have to wait to masturbate not until I'm getting urges (which can be a sign of just the habit and ignoring them doesn't hurt anyone - it generally helps), but until it seems appealing and exciting then I can go ahead. I've also seen as a step of thing some people recommend just practising masturbation without porn, and really focusing mentally on the feelings and experience. Cut out porn for a little bit not because it's inherently bad (though I've learned of some companies not being very honest or progressive and fair in treatment) but simply as an experiment to see how it affects you and learn what differences are with and without. Sorry pretty rambling and maybe not useful. I had my own very different problems and I found to heal enough to have sex with a person I first have to work on being able to have a more positive masturbation experience. Not sure, but hopefully one of the comments helps
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Re: The Great Mystery I've Had Since Age 17

Postby LuckyLoser » Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:06 am

Literally just quit porn. Not even jerking off although that would help with your actual penis health.
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