Dear Dr. NerdLove:
First off, thank you for all the help! Your writing is exactly what so many people need to hear compared to the baseline internet dating advice. It has let me make immense strides with myself. I would not be having this issue without you; I would be 10 steps further back. There is always more work to do, however.
I am a Bi 20M in college who is scared to be sexual/flirt/initiate in that way with anyone. I am a virgin, and am mostly okay with this, but I will have chances to have sex thrown in my face and am almost comically unable to do anything, even though I know exactly what is on the table. Understand that this is a confusing and somewhat scary topic for me to broach. One time, someone asked me if I wanted to go to their room with them and “watch Netflix” and I stood there and said I had to play basketball with my friends. I hate basketball! I like her too! I do these things in third person it feels like, I’m just watching someone else do things I do not want. This is one of a myriad of situations I find myself in, consistently enough to be very frustrating. I was asked once to dirty talk over FaceTime (I did not understand the cues until I was essentially flat out asked). I could not do it. She would tell me just to say what was on my mind, it was completely blank. I felt completely inadequate when the call ended. Every sexual encounter I have had has been initiated by the partner.
I understand it is okay to be more restrictive with sex as a man, I don’t have to have sex with a ton of people to gain “value” or prove something, but this has become a problem. There will be mutual interest, and everything will go well, but I don’t make any moves sexually and things will fizzle out. It’s an important part of a relationship and something that I do want. I considered asexuality, but I decided that does not describe who I am.
It feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy, every failure compounds the anxiety the next time I find myself in these situations. Not having sexual experience is creating the anxiety that makes me recoil from sexual experience. What should I do about this? Read some smut and take notes? Keep at it until I get over The Fear? Find someone who understands and can take it slow? Stop making a big deal out of something that is not so (sex)? Is this intentional?
-Fear is my Mind Killer