Afraid of intimacy?

By Holly Counts, Psy.D.

Q: I’m 33yrs old and a virgin. I do have self-esteem issues and
find it difficult to meet new people most of the time. But if I even try and imagine being physical with someone, I feel extremely anxious and end up cutting or burning myself. I am in therapy but can’t talk about it because I’m afraid my doc will think I’m perverted or obsessed with sex which I don’t think I am. On one hand I want to be in a strong, loving relationship but on the other it terrifies me? I’m also concerned that I was maybe molested as a child but don’t remember – what other cause could there be for being so afraid of sex?? Please help!

A: I’d like to start by saying to everyone who reads this… no therapist can ever help you if you aren’t telling them the whole story. It is our job to listen without judging. We have heard all kinds of things so please don’t worry about talking to your therapist about the issues you are describing here. I strongly suggest you start opening up so you can work through this issue. Being a virgin isn’t necessarily the problem. It’s ok that you haven’t been ready. However, the anxiety you are describing that leads to self-harm sounds very serious and I hope that you will begin to address this in your counseling. It is impossible for me to say where your fears are coming from, ie: sexual abuse question. This is something you need to explore. I also hope that you give someone a chance to be in a relationship with you before worrying about the sex part. A truly loving and patient partner could help advance your healing. Good luck.

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Jan 2007

APA Reference
Counts, H. (2007). Afraid of intimacy?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/01/10/afraid-of-intimacy/