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Topic: 22 years old, male, massively sexually frustrated and depressed

14 posts, 0 answered
  1. h12
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    19 January 2017

    Hey everyone; for the last few months, and on many prior occasions, concerns about sexual contact, loneliness etc have been like a leaden weight in my mind. I'll put down a few connected specific thoughts and some questions, in the hopes of getting some advice, any general thoughts, and just maybe giving support to others who are going through the same sorts of struggles.

    A snippet of context for you: I'm a 22 year old male. I have severe depression, anxiety and OCD. I've always had these but things really kicked up a notch or ten in late high school and uni. I stopped uni after a year, and for the few years since I've lived with my parents and been on various meds with very limited success.

    I don't usually have all 3 main conditions at once. Right now the stand out is depression and it's mainly connected to being very sexually frustrated - I've had two sexual experiences, firstly with a friend (she wanted a relationship with me, I didn't feel the same way but she was the first non-family girl I'd ever talked to (I was 20 then) and I was totally clueless). Second was with my first girlfriend, now ex, early last year.

    All I can think about recently, literally for large sections of each day, is how much I crave physical intimacy, how lonely I am (I only have a couple of friends, old school guys), how insanely jealous I am of other young people who seem to be able to get sex whenever they want with whoever they want, how unattractive/inadequate I feel, how low (wait, let's be honest, non existent) my self esteem is etc etc. And a surging storm cell of unanswered questions: how do other young people get sex so often, so easily? Where do they even have sex given that most still live at their parents' houses at my age?? (that one really confuses me!) I've gotten the impression that most girls these days say they don't want meaningless sexual encounters and don't like guys who are pushy wanting sex, yet I also get the impression that everyone (including said girls) is having sex all the time - how do I possibly reconcile that??

    I'm an odd type of guy in that I'd preference genuine intimacy over quick hookups (honestly I wouldn't be against the latter but have never had an opportunity). I'm introverted, nerdy, value sincere, deep conversation, loyalty, commitment, not really a party person - not really attractive things at all!

    The cultural standard of having lots of sex by my age, the jealously, confusion, longing - is even a hug too much to ask for??

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  2. JessF
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    23 January 2017 in reply to h12
    Hello h12, I think you might be making the mistake of assuming that just because people are saying they've done things, doesn't mean they've actually done them. When I was younger, boys would always be bragging to each other about their "conquests", and I know from my circle of friends what a load of rubbish it all was. Comparing yourself to others, in any area of life, is a recipe for unhappiness. Especially in this era of Facebook, people only present the perfectly crafted facades of their life - the photoshopped, greatest hits, as it were. Ignore the false advertising and concentrate on yourself. Pursue your interests and dreams, and you will find interesting and passionate people of both sexes along the way. The best relationships develop out of shared interests I find. In short, you can't play the ball unless you're in the game, and at the moment it sounds like you're sitting in the grandstands.
    3 people found this helpful
  3. MarkJT
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    23 January 2017 in reply to h12

    H12, I am backing up Jess here and saying I would think that half of the "conquests" didn't actually happen and even if they did, they would be non loving, no intimacy and quick events, something that you have quite clearly outlined that you are not interested in. I would encourage you to put these thoughts out of your head as they are not you.

    I think you will find that there will be an equal female wandering around thinking exactly like you. You just have to meet and it will happen. You cannot rush this. Finding your soul mate can be instant or can take a lifetime but you will know when you meet her.

    Do not buy into this facade that blokes have to be super fit gym junkies who look good and have lots of money. I know a few of those blokes and they are not happy campers. Unfortunately they expect themselves to hold up a certain persona which is just not sustainable. Once you come to the conclusion that you are you and that's what will make you so very special to a woman. You are not anyone else, you are you.

    I don't want to sound condescending but you are very young. You have so much living to do and you will be fine.

    You say you have a heap of questions, ask them here. This is a very protective and supportive place and we will happily answer as many as we can.

    Mark.

  4. MarkJT
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    23 January 2017 in reply to h12

    Just wanted to clarify what i meant by you being so young.

    Not in any way am i saying your so young, you shouldnt have issues. No chance.

    What i am saying is that you have so much time to find your soul mate. Dont hit the panic button.

    I met my wife who was from interstate overseas and it was the last thing i expected. It will happen mate.

    Now, what are the other questions?

    Mark.

  5. h12
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    25 January 2017 in reply to MarkJT

    JessF and MarkJT, thank you both so much for replying, I really appreciate all your thoughts.

    Essentially I agree with everything you have both said. I agree that young guys often lie about what they've done - there's such an unspoken competitive culture surrounding this topic and a lot of guys resort to giving out warped perceptions of themselves in order to get ahead in this game. And I also agree that finding a soul mate etc can happen at any stage of your life.

    I still, however, think that having some sort of physical intimacy is important at my stage of life and that I would really benefit in terms of my mental health improving if this is something I was able to have - not all the time of course but just more so than now (which is none). I have actually been actively trying to look for ways to be more social - a few days ago I went to a meeting of an outdoor activity based youth club, which was absolutely terrifying given my social anxiety etc. I'm thinking of going to another similar club tonight to see if I find it better or worse - and yes to be honest I'm partly doing all this in the hope that some chances for physical intimacy may result. Any thoughts on this?

    At a more fundamental level I think it comes down to the feeling of acceptance you get when another person allows you to be close to them, which can really have an immediate effect on my self esteem (currently less than 0 in the sense that I am very self critical). It's also the feeling of support and safety etc. All this is what I'm after more so than just to get a superficial feeling like I'm winning at some sort of 'game' with other guys my age.

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  6. JessF
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    25 January 2017 in reply to h12
    h12 said:

    At a more fundamental level I think it comes down to the feeling of acceptance you get when another person allows you to be close to them, which can really have an immediate effect on my self esteem (currently less than 0 in the sense that I am very self critical). It's also the feeling of support and safety etc. All this is what I'm after more so than just to get a superficial feeling like I'm winning at some sort of 'game' with other guys my age.

    Hello h12, I can understand this feeling, as I used to have it a lot myself. I would say, be careful if you are looking for validation from others, no matter how small. If you have that insecurity within yourself, until that is resolved, you may find yourself like a mouse inside the running wheel. Once I achieved physical intimacy, then my mind started to look for other "conditions" required for fulfillment, such as constantly second-guessing whether the intimacy meant as much to me as to him, or looking obsessively for signs of interest waning etc; and then of course there's the very personal feelings of rejection when the relationship ends. Until i was comfortable with myself, and in my own intrinsic value, I found these patterns just repeated and repeated. If you can find a way of being your own anchor, then no one can ever take that away from you.

  7. MarkJT
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    25 January 2017 in reply to h12

    h12, I think it is absolutely brilliant that you have found the courage within to go to these events. The chances of physical intimacy aside, that alone for your mental health is huge. You know as well as I do that depression makes us want to remain indoors so you doing yourself a huge service by getting out and about. Well done!

    Further to this, the more self confidence you get by going to these events and discovering that you can actually control your social anxiety and not bow to the depression, the positivity you will project will be on show. Certainly not saying that the girls will be lining up but your own self confidence will grow and that is a great stepping stone to meeting someone.

    You are clearly very clever, you can tell this by the way you write and the way you describe what we are discussing. I really do feel that if you can get control of your social anxiety and get out some more, you will hopefully stop the self doubt and will project a whole lot more confidence.

    Don't ever change the way you think about women. You will gain respect a whole lot quicker than someone who is bragging about their falsified conquests that is for sure.

    Thanks for answering and look forward to hear how you go at the next event. Remember if you go and take off because of the anxiety, this is NOT a failure. It is a huge positive. Mental health is about taking things slow. baby steps if needed.

    Mark.

    1 person found this helpful
  8. h12
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    26 January 2017 in reply to MarkJT

    Thanks again for replying Mark and Jess. I certainly appreciate the point about being wary of seeking external validation. And yeah, I do feel like even just going to these events over the last few days has given me a boost in confidence, but it has also been very difficult and stirred up a lot of anxiety, depression and also OCD.

    So last night I did go to this second club meeting, and I got mixed impressions of the group. A standout point for me was that a lot of them (they are all around my age plus or minus a few years) seemed to be quite immature and were frequently making jokes about sex related stuff, which was difficult to listen to as it reminded me a lot of all the stuff I've been thinking about. I don't know how to respond to this sort of stuff, and whether I should try to persist with fitting in with people like that? I get the feeling though that I may be the exception for someone my age in terms of not seeing any humour in immature jokes about sex and that I shouldn't expect to find new friends that have much the same personality type as me.

    Hugh

  9. MarkJT
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    26 January 2017 in reply to h12

    Hugh, well done on going to the group and great to see that you felt a boost in confidence. The trick is now to continue to do that but not so much that you tire yourself out so much fighting the anxiety. Have to find that right balance and over time you will be able to go out more and more.

    It is also great that you are realising that seeking external validation is a dangerous exercise so yep, stay away from doing that.

    Peer group pressure is enormous so you can either choose to take part or you can choose not to. A really difficult situation to be in. If you are at an event and there are multiple groups of people there, you could go to one and if they are not vibing with you, i.e. being immature, head over to another group. You will find your crowd eventually.

    One of the best pubs i go to is filled with alternative crew. Young and old people covered in tatts, ripped clothing, beanies, unkept beards etc. The atmosphere is so peaceful because the people who go there are very happy within themselves as to who they are and there is no attitude within them. They are there to listen to music, have a few drinks and socialise. Society says that people who look like this are trouble, this has been formed over the years and in some cases it is true but at this pub, absolutely not.

    The point is that you need to find your crowd. It may be that your crowd is a lot older than you. Age is just a number don't forget. There are no rules that say you have to hang out with people your age, none at all.

    Keep socialising, keep building that confidence and keep looking for your crew. There is not an exact science to it though but just follow your instincts. Trust your instinct.

    Mark.

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  10. h12
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    1 February 2017 in reply to MarkJT

    Hi again Mark, thanks for your reply above.

    Basically I'm still trying to be involved in the clubs that we were talking about earlier. I've just come home from one of the meeting nights actually; overall I would say it was more positive than negative which of course is good. Lots of introductions of course, and a massive spike in social anxiety is still associated with each one. Having to explain to someone who asks 'what do you do with yourself?' that I don't work or study is a minefield of awkwardness for me as I try to make a good first impression while not being dishonest.

    I still have lots of issues though related to the topics that I started this thread with. Tonight I overhead a conversation between a couple of girls who were openly talking about the guys they'd slept with in the last couple of weeks. Just casually asking each other 'so how was the sex?' 'oh yeah it was amazing.' Hearing stuff like this cuts my mind in half, I honestly seem to have such an acute and involuntary reaction to it wherein I just feel so jealous and inadequate/unattractive.

    Obviously the reasons for this reaction are complex, partly because as we've already said, I think that I'd prefer more meaningful intimacy than the type of quick sexual interactions that I hear about. But perhaps on a more subconscious level, I really do crave even these quick interactions, and my self esteem is still so non existent that within a few seconds I'm thinking 'gosh I bet those girls would never even remotely consider me to be someone that they'd be intimate with, those guys they are talking about must be so much better in every way.' Yesterday too I read an online article that quoted some actual research that said that having sex once a week was really beneficial for health in so many ways - you can imagine how I felt about that! How on earth do people my age possibly access that level of sexual activity (which I know a lot of them do!)?

    Any thoughts on all of this, especially how I can try to respond internally to directly hearing about others discussing how much sex they've had? Anything appreciated, I'm feeling really depressed now to be honest

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  11. SweetAmara
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    4 February 2017 in reply to h12

    Hi H12,

    I read your post and I wanted to offer a different perspective since I am a woman about your age and I am in a relationship. My boyfriend lives 10,000 miles away, we have had no sexual contact, and I desperately miss the physical intimacy of simple things like hugging, having my hand held etc. He visited for ten days last June and ever since, I feel that absence unbelievable amount, it's so apparent that it hurts. So I understand that. But sex unfortunately isn't an option for us. Both because of the distance, personal preferences and also issues of mundane things like visas. We simply can't afford the risks associated with sex right now.

    It's really great that you have ceased the opportunity to be out and social more despite the awkwardness. As I started a degree several years ago that I haven't completed still, I often find that "What do you do?" question so uncomfortable. From what you've said, you have very little self-confidence, so hearing girls referred to their sexual experiences makes you feel bad about yourself. For everybody there are things they take pride in, their body, their intellect etc. what is that you take pride in? Is that an area to explore? Going to the gym or pursuing an interest of some sort. Whatever it is that interest you. It may sound silly, but from experience in my own situation, the loneliness, the jealousy and inadequacy gets worse when you aren't filling your time. I am not saying it'll be easy but worth it, if you apply yourself. People are usually attracted to people they see as outgoing, fun and lively, they see people out there living their lives as intriguing. Weird but true.

    I think we've all experienced that "Why can't I have it easy?" thought process. I did for a long time, when it felt like everyone I knew was leading a carefree existence, I think that's what it really is. This perception we have of other people and their lives, while looking at it from the outside in. But I am a serial monogamist and would hold out for real intimacy any day, everybody is different though. You're also grieving the loss of your ex, which is what makes these feelings more acute.

    Lastly, I think when you hear these discussions, you'll need to train your brain to be more positive. More of a "Good for them!" attitude and "I am looking forward to experiencing that again when the time comes!" You'll have to change your thinking in order to really redirect your thoughts positively.

    Best of luck!

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  12. h12
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    5 February 2017 in reply to SweetAmara

    Hey SweetAmara, thanks so much for taking the time to reply and give me some of your thoughts. It's just amazing that there are people like you on the forums who take time out of their day to give meaningful help to others.

    I have lots of hobbies that I do by myself that I take pride in, like gardening, cooking, photography etc. I do a lot of cleaning around the house (partly an offshoot of my OCD really) and always take pride in being organised and helping with housework. Perhaps at a more abstract level I take pride in being able and willing to talk to others about difficulties they may be having and to not be judgemental towards anyone. Obviously I get really concerned that all of these things do not make me an attractive person, as in someone who a girl would actually want to get to know better. In my experience girls my age tend to only be attracted to guys of a particular personality type which I would describe as extremely relaxed, self assured and self confident etc. - whereas I'm someone that tends to have a very serious approach to life; I'm always thinking about the hidden suffering that others may be going through, I dwell a lot on things like problematic cultural trends and the stigma surrounding mental illness. I don't seem to be able to relax given all the difficult days I've been through, including many many times when I've felt like giving up entirely.

    I've been really struggling over the last few days, my relationship with my father is rock bottom, I can't tell you how much I'd just like a hug from someone my age. I feel so unattractive and inadequate. My self esteem couldn't be lower and I'm worried I'm at a point where something small could really make my depression much worse.

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  13. h12
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    11 February 2017 in reply to h12

    Hi again,

    I'm feeling like I may need some more help on this subject because I've been struggling immensely recently with it. Last week I went to one of the club meetings and as I was leaving I overheard some girls saying that they wanted to make sure there were going to be spare bedrooms at a house party they were going to because they were intending to hook up with guys - in fact as I write this that's what they are probably doing right now. From my point of view I found a couple of these girls really attractive and I've been in the depths of depression and jealousy since, feeling completely inadequate and like I'd never have a chance with them in comparison to other guys.

    At the meeting, they were also talking and laughing with a guy who was making lots of sexual jokes etc. - I'll never be the person to do that myself and if I'm not, will I ever be attractive if this type of humour (as part of a broader specific personality type of course) is all that girls these days are after? I've heard of other young guys saying they haven't had much intimacy, but by choice, not because they haven't had opportunities as is the case for me. I feel very torn up about this and don't know how to possibly put myself in a position where I would even have the chance for intimacy.

    I feel embarrassed that this is all I can think about, but I can't understate how much of an issue it is for me and I am struggling to get by day to day - I have even thought that I might have some weird case of being addicted to sex, but obviously only to the idea of it, and that this is something wrong with me/warrants treatment.

  14. Novocastrian
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    30 December 2019 in reply to h12

    Hi h12,

    I've just discovered this forum post in a Google search today, and found that I, a depressed and anxious 25 year-old male, resonate with your situation quite profoundly. I noticed that you didn't receive a response to your previous two posts. May I ask how you've been handling this since then?