Self esteem

  • seafrontbloke

    Posts: 300

    Dec 30, 2013 8:13 AM GMT
    I'm not sure whether this is the right forum, it might relate to just being gay, but it would fit as well into dating sex or mental health, sorry if I'm wrong.

    Ok so I'm wound up by being married yet not having a sexual relationship. This is all down to me, and my inability to see myself as a sexual being.

    I look at guys' pictures on here and on tumblr, and what I see isn't necessarily better looking than me, often not (excuse the big headed ness) but these are guys with self confidence.

    I don't have to put myself out there to have sex, I have a husband at home in the same bed... What's stopping me, and how do I resolve it?
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Dec 30, 2013 4:04 PM GMT
    Sometimes guys post BIG questions like this in the forum looking for help, advice, opinions. That's fine and good but lets be realistic. There is only so much a forum can do. We don't know you, all the important details about you, so the helpfulness of what we have to say is bound to be limited by that.

    I'm not totally sure I understand what you're saying. So, you're married to a man but you're not having a sexual relationship?

    Questions: Are you legally married or just living together? How long have you been together? Were you sexual when you first got together? When did you stop being sexual? Do you have no sexual interest in your husband? Does he have sexual interest in you?

    I could go on and on with questions like this.

    When you ask, "what's stopping me, and how do I resolve it?" how are we supposed to know the answer to that question if YOU don't? You titled this thread "Self esteem" … so is this a self-esteem issue for you? If so, in what sense? Body image? Sexual guilt? Feelings of unworthiness? How can we possibly know until you tell us.
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    Dec 30, 2013 4:17 PM GMT
    Self esteem you say?
    Imo, there are no short-cuts and quick results. You will have to work on that. The good thing is that you are trying to reach out for help. icon_smile.gif
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    Dec 30, 2013 4:33 PM GMT


    Which one of you is not interested in sex, seafrontbloke?
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    Dec 30, 2013 4:53 PM GMT
    This is a time when I think seeing a professional is definitely appropriate. You need someone who can work with you to identify why you're feeling the way you are and help you understand yourself and your feelings, work on them with your husband and find yourself, your worth and your self esteem.

    You can win it all back, it's never gone, you just have to find it within yourself.

    Good luck!
  • seafrontbloke

    Posts: 300

    Dec 30, 2013 6:20 PM GMT
    Hi, thanks for the comments, I acknowledge, MikeW that I threw out a particularly open question with not a lot of background information to help you answer me.

    To give you a bit of background:

    You're married to a man but you're not having a sexual relationship?

    Correct, we have had sex but not very often and I feel as though I can't be bothered (yet I do wank, it's more the doing something with somebody rather than the doing something).

    Are you legally married or just living together? We are in a Civil Partnership, have been together for 3 years and legally hitched for one and a half

    Were you sexual when you first got together?

    Not much, maybe 4 or 5 times in those three years,

    When did you stop being sexual?

    I'm not sure there was a specific cut off

    Do you have no sexual interest in your husband? I do, but I'm frightened to go there.

    Does he have sexual interest in you? yes, but I think my lack of response stops him

    I could go on and on with questions like this.

    I know, I think the important issues for me are:

    1 I find topping with a condom difficult, I don't stay very hard with them

    2 I enjoy bottoming but find it hard to admit to it, it seems ... lacking in masculinity.

    3 I was 36 when I first had sex, and was your typical mildly tubby accountant - not the grade A beef on the scene and I think that I have hang ups from that, seeing myself as unattractive.

    4 I'm not an emotionally open person - apparently when we do have sex, I don't appear to react - well or badly - and it stops communication

    eek, I seem to be opening myself up far more than I had originally though I would, but as none of you know who I am, and are unlikely to bump into me in the street, (at least with me recognising you) lets go with the flow!

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    Dec 30, 2013 6:27 PM GMT
    SELF-ESTEEM

    What's that? icon_neutral.gif
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Dec 30, 2013 6:30 PM GMT
    Ok, well, you've told us a lot, enough for me to know this is a deep, complicated issue for you. We can offer you support but as eb925 said, you need help beyond anything a forum like this can provide. No shame in that. I've had YEARS of therapy.

    We have to begin by accepting all that we are, including our apparent contradictions. It can take a long time to untangle them all and find out not only what we really want but what we can do to let ourselves have it. If you have an emotionally supportive relationship, that is an important step. Many sexually active men never get that.

    So my question (and not asking you to post an answer but suggesting you think about this, maybe for quite some time) is:: What do you *really* want and what are you willing to do to let yourself have it?
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    Dec 30, 2013 6:37 PM GMT
    Get some therapy.

    If the sex situation is also disatisfactory to your partner, consider couples counseling as well.
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    Dec 30, 2013 6:39 PM GMT
    You're a wreck and have come to the wrong body shop. You need to speak to a mental health professional (not us knuckleheads on RJ).

    THERE IS NO SHAME IN SEEKING PROFESSIONAL HELP.

    All the best man.
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    Dec 30, 2013 7:10 PM GMT
    Like what other RJers have recommended already, I strongly suggest that you see help. I personally had similar experience with sex when I was suffering from major depression, and it is a problem that I've only been able to address myself after lengthy discussions with different psychiatrists. It will be a challenging process (e.g. the psychiatrist won't hesitate to ask you uncomfortable questions), but it will be a rewarding experience. Just be patient and also make sure that the psychiatrist you are seeing is the right one for you i.e. not all psychiatrists will be able to understand and thus help you with your problem.

    As for the problem you've brought up in regards to having erectile dysfunction when using condoms, you might want to be a bit more experimental with that and try different sizes of condoms until you find the right size. It goes without saying that condoms that fit loosely will hardly offer a reliable protection, but the ones that fit too tightly can cut off blood flow in that area, which can lead to difficulty in stimulating/sustaining erection.

    Another thing that might help with your self esteem is to figure out what brought about your low self esteem and how that is directly affecting your sexual behaviour. I feel like the fact that you were 36 when you had sex for the first time is one of the end-results, not the cause, of your low self-esteem. The problem may be more deeply rooted than that, and it may help you to keep track of the random memories of the past you come across, as well as thoughts that seem out of place to just appear in your head.

    Best wishes!
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    Dec 30, 2013 7:32 PM GMT


    seafrontbloke, I'd like to address these three items:

    "2 I enjoy bottoming but find it hard to admit to it, it seems ... lacking in masculinity.

    3 I was 36 when I first had sex, and was your typical mildly tubby accountant - not the grade A beef on the scene and I think that I have hang ups from that, seeing myself as unattractive.

    4 I'm not an emotionally open person - apparently when we do have sex, I don't appear to react - well or badly - and it stops communication"

    OK,

    2 There's nothing masculine or feminine about anal intercourse. It just is. How you behave doing it determines whether it's masculine of feminine.
    3 Except that you ARE attractive; your husband thinks so, and interestingly, so do I.
    4 Get going, my friend, be emotionally open, you can do it, and take your time; little steps.

    I say the above because sometimes it helps hugely to simply hear it from someone else. icon_wink.gif

    I wish you a Happy 2014, may your relationship flourish, and may you both discover a newness in it. Cheers!
  • seafrontbloke

    Posts: 300

    Dec 30, 2013 8:38 PM GMT
    Thanks guys, you have effectively confirmed what I thought the answer was, to go and see a counsellor. My only issue with this is that it always seems open ended and I rather prefer my costs to have an end date.

    Having said that I'm sure I'll manage.

    Meninlove, thanks for the compliment, oddly, I know that there is no masculine or feminine in the role one takes in gay sex, but I think we hold to what we are told when we are young, even when we know it's wrong.

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    Dec 30, 2013 8:51 PM GMT
    Whether or not counseling sounds uncomfortable to you, you need it. Holding out sexually from your partner isn't fair for him; we are sexual beings, and sexual intimacy is important for stable marriages (so I hear, not from marital experience, but it makes sense). If you love your partner, as I'm sure you do, get help. You won't be the only one benefitting from it!
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Dec 30, 2013 9:23 PM GMT
    seafrontbloke saidThanks guys, you have effectively confirmed what I thought the answer was, to go and see a counsellor. My only issue with this is that it always seems open ended and I rather prefer my costs to have an end date.

    Be sure to tell your counselor this. Perhaps you can work out some sort of arrangement, such as an end date that can be renegotiated.
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    Dec 30, 2013 9:32 PM GMT
    you cannot judge your self on someone else's clarity. self esteem is often times based on limiting factors as it is contingent on other things outside of your self. For whatever reason we put this value on things that dont matter, dont give us peace of mind and ultimately leads to damage to our sense of self. being confident is being compassionate and accepting of your self within all of who and what you are. I suggest going to a therapist if this is an issue you cannot resolve in the confines of your relationship. bring it to your partner, talk with him and let him know you need some help.
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    Dec 30, 2013 10:16 PM GMT
    seafrontbloke saidMy only issue with this is that it always seems open ended and I rather prefer my costs to have an end date.


    You will know when it is time to stop seeing psychiatrists/counsellors. Even the most talented professionals have limit as to how much help they can provide to a person suffering from an internal problem. They will be able to provide you with a lot of lifesaving tools (including medication where necessary), but there will come a point where it will be entirely up to you to deal with your issue.
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    Dec 31, 2013 8:41 AM GMT
    evan_ish saidWhether or not counseling sounds uncomfortable to you, you need it. Holding out sexually from your partner isn't fair for him; we are sexual beings, and sexual intimacy is important for stable marriages (so I hear, not from marital experience, but it makes sense). If you love your partner, as I'm sure you do, get help. You won't be the only one benefitting from it!


    +1
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    Dec 31, 2013 1:44 PM GMT
    Keep in mind that some men who are in a loving relationship do not engage in anal intercourse. Consider asking your mate to take a kind of break where anal is off the table and the two of you explore together the many other forms of sexual intimacy. Each of you should vow to have every release with the other in some form of intimacy, even if it's only brief and even for those times that arise more from necessity than anything else. Make sure the two of you do for each other outside of the sexual arena as well--that's going to boost your self esteem relationship wise. After you tackle this together (and I'm talking months here), you can return to the issue of anal intercourse with renewed perspective. At that point, you may just find that the problem has resolved itself--one way or the other. Your therapist undoubtedly is going to recommend this at some point, so it's worth a shot.
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    Dec 31, 2013 2:07 PM GMT
    Let's me get this straight! You wounded up married to a guy without having sex with him or done anything dirty with him yet? Lol, and your husband said yes/ok to this ? Lol, Sound like a problem like Charlotte/Trey from Sex and The City! You just need to be more sexual, watch porn, talk to a therapist and be more sexual period, try toys, dildos maybe? lol. Personally, I wouldn't want to marry/getting serious with someone without getting a test-drive first !!! History shows us that if you withhold sex from a partner, he will end up getting it from someone else!!! Your problem may be just all mental thinking and not physical!!
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    Dec 31, 2013 2:35 PM GMT
    stevee90 said
    seafrontbloke saidMy only issue with this is that it always seems open ended and I rather prefer my costs to have an end date.


    You will know when it is time to stop seeing psychiatrists/counsellors. Even the most talented professionals have limit as to how much help they can provide to a person suffering from an internal problem. They will be able to provide you with a lot of lifesaving tools (including medication where necessary), but there will come a point where it will be entirely up to you to deal with your issue.


    I agree, mental health professionals are only there to offer you support while you are going through something that you feel you need support on or possibly you want to better understand. Psychiatrists have the power to prescribe medication if it is deemed that there may be something chemically imbalanced. There sometimes is stigma against medication to which people can sometimes forget that it is meant to chemically re-balance them back to a feeling as close to normal as medically possible. Personally I believe in trying out all holistic options before medication is introduced, unless an individual's symptoms are severe or they become dangers to themselves/others.

    Overall elective therapy/counseling is meant to eventually get a client to come to some sort of internal catharsis about a situation or multiple ones. Through introducing an individual to new coping mechanisms, life strategies, personal reflections, and basically just being an active listener to the individual it has the power to shape that person in a better way to tackle some issues. Once they are resolved internally and the client feels ready to face their world without guidance is when therapy can end. This could be a couple of months or a few years, the decision to start or stop therapy at any time is ultimately in the hands of the individual. In terms of cost this is where insurance comes in and finding a mental health professional that takes it. There are also some who go by sliding scale based off of income.
  • LuckyGuyKC

    Posts: 2080

    Dec 31, 2013 4:21 PM GMT
    What are you worth? Are you worth being loved? You must believe it because you got married. So you are also worth the physical affections of your husband.

    Are you carrying baggage about your sexuality? Somewhere in the back of your head are you hearing voices from the past about the gay sex? If so you and your husband deserve for you to see a thoughtful mental health professional that can help you erase those thoughts.
  • seafrontbloke

    Posts: 300

    Jan 02, 2014 11:06 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI don't mean to sound cruel, but I do not understand why you got married. If you have hangups regarding receptive anal sex or initiating sex then I have trouble understanding why you got married. I know that marriage isn't all about sex but it is a big part of a fulfilling and loving relationship with a partner. I just think these issues should have been handled first before you took the step to making a lifelong commitment to someone.



    I understand where you're coming from, and I don't consider your question cruel or unfeeling.

    We both knew where we were before we got married, I however want to resolve it in a way that we can happily have intercourse without either of us being unhappy about the way it happens or what we individually or jointly get out of it.

  • killercliche

    Posts: 948

    Jan 03, 2014 7:03 AM GMT
    seafrontbloke said
    1 I find topping with a condom difficult, I don't stay very hard with them




    are you in an open relationship?
  • PolitiMAC

    Posts: 728

    Jan 03, 2014 7:12 AM GMT
    Well, I'm hardly a marriage or relationship counsellor, but I've had brief times where I didn't see myself to be very goodlooking.

    (To be honest, I think it was because I was wearing pajamas for too long icon_razz.gif)

    But really, if you're in love enough to get married, and you're both on the same page of the non-sexual side of the relationship, I would just say to let yourself go. Tell him about your problems (couples usually do), and see if he understands.

    Simply exposing yourself to him might be useful. A loving husband will love every part of you (fairy tale version of reality, I know icon_razz.gif), but seriously, I don't think there would be anything to worry about. I know that I just dressed myself up, put on some makeup, and I looked good to myself once again!

    Maybe do the same thing (not the makeup if you don't want to ;)). Get dressed up, go out for dinner, feel good about each other, and let yourself go into a nice relaxed mode for the final deed and you'll see where it goes icon_smile.gif

    ...Or, I'm just full of shit and have no idea what I'm talking about icon_razz.gif