I Feel Disgusted When Touching People

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’m 17. When I first got into a relationship a few years ago I realised I felt very awkward being close to someone. The reasons are;

1) I’m so terrified I’ll lose control of myself.
2) I have this mind set where it’s either hugging or going all the way but don’t know what to do in between and because of above reason this means I stick to hugging.
3) I feel awkward showing affection to anyone including my parents.
4) when kissing I start to feel nauseated and very tired after a while and have to stop (usually I am an energetic person). I avoid kissing because it just disgusts me for some unknown reason.
5) I seem to have no sex drive and am disgusted by my ‘female parts’.
6) sex doesn’t stimulate me, it doesn’t turn me on, it doesn’t do anything.

I have an average perception of my body, I don’t love it but I don’t hate it. I am not attracted to women, in ANY WAY although I do find myself worrying and obsessing about this. I think it’s one of the only reasons I actually do seek out relationships. When I like a person I will fantasize and obsess about them until I go out with them, a few weeks go by and I find myself detaching more and more due to the above problems (especially my awkwardness with affection) until I no longer feel anything for the person and the relationship ends.

My fantasy life and relationship is usually completely free of all the above worries and restrictions and in fact fantasising seems to be so much better than real relationships because I can actually function in them! The problem is, a lot of these fantasies are about being overpowered, not being able to make the choice but still wanting it. Which isn’t normal and I’m pretty sure isn’t a good state of mind.

I’m young, I should be raging with hormones, the people I get involved with have none of these worries and they have to persuade me to do anything with them. But I can’t simply laugh and forget these issues, they are integral to how I act in a relationship.

Why am I feeling this way? How can I change this on my own?

A: Thank you for writing. People mature sexually at different times and different rates. The first thing to consider is that maybe you’re just not ready yet – in which case, stop pushing yourself and punishing yourself. Your time will come.

On the other hand, it could be that something that started out as a medical issue became psychological as well. When people don’t react and feel as they expect to, they often get anxious. The anxiety then prevents them from feeling “normal” which makes it harder and harder to relax and let “normal” happen. And around it goes.

The very first thing to do is to see a gynecologist and an endocrinologist to make sure that all is well with your “female parts” and your hormones. If all checks out as fine, then please consider seeing a counselor to help you sort out your feelings about sex and sexuality. Your fantasy life tells you that you want something more. It makes a kind of sense that others make decisions for you in your fantasies. At this point, you have lost confidence in yourself.

You made an important first step in writing. Please take the next steps. Make those appointments and sort this out. You deserve it.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Jun 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). I Feel Disgusted When Touching People. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/06/14/i-feel-disgusted-when-touching-people/

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