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Porn and sex

I have always had really really fearful and anxious feelings about porn and sex. Even though I am older now I can't even look at it, and even if I see a pop up ad online I become disgusted and offended by it. I'm worried I'm not normal, because other people are very comfortable with it.

I've never had a boyfriend, though I have had nice boys offer. I have never been attracted to a boy, (or a girl) and when I had offers I get panic attacks. I have never liked people in a physical way ever. I'm scared and cannot imagine ever having sex. I can't even bare to be touched or have my hand held. I don't want to feel like this forever.

I do get aroused, and have seen pornography but I can only watch it when it's animated or of cartoons that are not human-like, otherwise I can't tolerate it. Why am I so afraid of intimacy? I don't even like being spoken to about it. When I was very young I masturbated and felt like I was going to go to hell, but I don't feel like that now. While I know it is natural I still can't change how I panic.

Why am I this way?

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Thank you for your letter.

You’ve described lots of difficult feelings and emotions around sex and pornography and how this is affecting your thoughts about possible future relationships.

You haven’t been in a relationship yet and it’s normal to feel worried about the future, but it’s important to remember that everyone is different. People reach the point where they’re comfortable with intimacy at different times. Being ready for sex happens at different times for everyone too. There are people who never want to have a sexual relationship, which is okay too.

Looking at pornographic images can affect people in different ways. Although pornography is made for adults and isn’t meant to be watched by children and young people, I do hear from lots of young people about this subject.

It can create false ideas of what sex really is. Porn is very different to what may happen with someone that you care about. These untrue ideas can give unrealistic expectations about sex and relationships. Even if you don’t choose to look at pornographic images, when you’re looking online it can be easy to accidentally see images that leave you feeling uncomfortable and upset. You have little control over the pop-up ads that sometimes appear.

You asked why you’re like this and that's difficult for me to answer, but sex can seem scary and it’s okay to feel confused.

Good relationships start with friendships and building trust. It takes time to know what sex is all about and it’s important to remember that pornography doesn’t show sex in the context of a loving relationship.

You’d be welcome to talk about this with one of our counsellors – either by ringing 0800 1111, logging on for a 1-2-1 chat or sending an email. You can also talk with other young people on the message boards. Whatever you decide we’ll be happy to hear from you,

Take care,
Sam

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