Is It My Natural Anxiety or Repressed Feelings Keeping Me From Enjoying Sex?

Mon, 11/11/2013 - 17:04
Submitted by Betty Dodson

Dear Betty,

I'm an 18 yr old girl and I have anxiety and adhd which do go hand in hand. It's genetic and comes from my mom who is very supportive and i can talk to her about almost anything. In my early puberty i became very religious and active in my church. For the past year i've changed my perspective alot and i don't agree with alot of christianity or at least the way they conduct it. I'm not athiest and still trying to figure things out for myself so i'm just calling myself agnostic right now.

This last spring i got involved with a boy i had disliked for years but had never actually talked to him. We took it slow and the first time we had kissed i got so worked up (anxiety) that i couldn't look at him and he had to do it. Same thing when we first french kissed. Then he wanted to manually play with me, and i started to kinda freak out even though i wanted him to do it. But he took it slow and laid my back on his stomach. Same thing when i first let him see my breast it was my idea and i was still having freaky anxiety. And again when i tried to touch his "part" for the first time i had to close my eyes and kept saying "omg omg omg" freaking out. And the day after our 6 months together we attempted to penetrate. Which was kind of a fail. I was freaking out so much i couldn't look and he had to put a blanket over my legs while i put a pillow over my face and i felt bad for him cause he didn't really know where to go and neither did i and i was also freaking out too bad to help him.

I do masturbate regularly and so does he.  He's even done it in front of me. I know how to orgasm that's not a problem and i've been experimenting looking at myself and penerated for my first time today by myself. My question is why do i keep freaking out? It gets better the more i do something but it still there somewhat and i don't know if that's normal or is it my natural anxiety coming out or repressed feelings i don't know and i hate it cause it makes me feel like shit and i also feel bad cause it ends up putting more pressure on my boyfriend who is sweet but also has no idea what he's doing.

Thank you for reading i'm sorry it's so long and any advice i don't have to buy would be very helpful my mom is nice but my dad isn't and he makes the money and i'm in school and don't have a job. So thankyou again for whatever advice you can give.

Dear B,

As far as I'm concerned, most 18 year old girls have some degree of what you call "anxiety" so forget the ADHD label and realize that you are simply human. Doctors can prescribe all kinds of destructive meds once they determine a person has a "condition" that is usually just the natural process of growing up in a crazy world. These meds are supposed to help, but in my opinion they make things worse. What's missing is a decent sex education for our teens.

Getting rid of Christianity was a step in the right direction. Define your own higher power and get away from all that damnation and body loathing. Since you are only 18 I'd put off full vaginal penetration for now. Chances are good you don't have any birth control in place and he doesn't know how to use condoms. Since you don't want to get pregnant and start a family, just doing manual sex makes more sense. It's only natural that your BF doesn't know what to do. Since you masturbate, I suggest you show him how you touch yourself. Take turns sharing masturbation and learn about each others' technique.

And STOP using the word ANXIETY. Just breathe more deeply and know we all go through these kinds of feelings when something is new or unfamiliar. In other words, you're perfectly average or normal! Now stop fussing and continue to explore your bodies and talk about it with each other. Communication, especially when it comes to exploring sex, is very valuable.

Dr. Betty

Liberating women one orgasm at a time

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Hi Dr. Betty, I am usually a

Mon, 11/11/2013 - 17:42
Maude (not verified)

Hi Dr. Betty,
I am usually a great fan of your responses and the work you are doing, but I think that this answer was unusually flippant and incredibly dismissive of a very real mental illness that many people (including myself) deal with. Depression, ADHD, and other anxiety related illnesses are VERY REAL. Furthermore, they can most certainly be an incredible obstacle when it comes to intimacy and physical touch. I agree that doctors and medication may not always be the proper way to treat them, but that does not erase their existence. I would ask that you consider this and educate yourself a bit more on these topics before handing out the somewhat disparaging advice to "stop fussing." It is not always that simple and I think this young girl deserves a bit more credit and concern if she is having small panic attacks during her first sexual encounters.

Here we go again!

Betty Dodson's picture
Mon, 11/11/2013 - 18:45
Betty Dodson

Another complaint about my stand against taking meds for any kind of psychological problem. Unless a person is unable to function then maybe some anti-depressent or whatever they're  prescribing for Attention Deficent Disorder might be necessary. But my reading of this young woman is that she is quite average in her search to understand her sexuality in a world that is drenched in porn with all kinds of sexual imagery BUT without any useful or valid information about how to understand sexual pleasures. So we will have to agree to disagree.

These complaints usually come from a person who is taking a med and they get defensive if I say they're worthless unless under extreme circumstances. Growing up in a sexually sick America will not be solved by taking a medication. And feeling anxiety is not a panic attack. It's OK to have different opinons and I respect yours.
Dr. Betty

Some info on ADHD meds and diagnosis

Tue, 11/12/2013 - 10:13
Ken A (not verified)

A recent article on overdiagnosis:

Some inks to long-term studies, cited by Robert Whitaker in his book Anatomy of an Epidemic, together with Whitaker's summaries:

NIMH collaborative multisite multimodal treatment study of ADHD. Richters, J. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 34 (1995):987-1000.

In the 1990s, the NIMH mounted a long-term study of ADHD treatments. As it did so, researchers acknowledged that the “long-term efficacy of stimulant medication has not been demonstrated for any domain of child functioning.” The MTA trial would be the “first major clinical trial” that the NIMH had ever conducted of a “childhood mental disorder.”

3-year followup of the NIMH MTA Study. Jensen, P. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 46 (2007):989-1002

At the end of 14 months, core ADHD symptoms were reduced more in the children treated with stimulants than with behavioral therapy. However, at the end of three years, “medication use was a significant marker not of beneficial outcome, but of deterioration. That is, participants using medication in the 24-to-36 month period actually showed increased symptomatology during that interval relative to those not taking medication.”

Mta at 8 years. Molina, B. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 48 (2009):484-500

At the end of six years, medication use was “associated with worse hyperactivity-impulsivity and oppositional defiant disorder symptoms,” and with greater “overall functional impairment.”

Thank you Ken A

Betty Dodson's picture
Tue, 11/12/2013 - 11:18
Betty Dodson

Since I suspect all medical evaluations when it comes to shoving more pills down our throats, I really appreciate your adding actual research. I simply can't retain all that medical jaragon. But people need it in order to understand the seriousness of Big Pharma on steriods.

Where's Ken?

Tue, 11/12/2013 - 15:39
Jake E

Are there posts here I can't see because the only person I see posting here Betty is you. 

Yes Jake, his post is above mine. Refresh and see it he's there.

Betty Dodson's picture
Tue, 11/12/2013 - 17:22
Betty Dodson

The first one is:
A recent article on overdiagnosis:

Some inks to long-term studies, cited by Robert Whitaker in his book Anatomy of an Epidemic, together with Whitaker's summaries:


Wed, 11/13/2013 - 15:50
Jake E

I see them all now. I wonder why that happened on all 3 occassions I visited this thread. Thanks anyway.