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Hi Dr. Robert,

I am having some difficulty figuring out why sex makes me feel guilty, dirty, violated and the sudden urge to cry. I was not raised to believe sex was wrong or immoral. I have never been sexually or physically abused. And I have only been with 2 men. What happens is...When I am having sex or even masturbating I will stop (or fake an orgasm) before I actually come. The reason I stop or fake it is because I become overwhelmed with a feeling of disgust in myself, and I know that if I don't stop I am going to lose it and start crying. This is even more puzzling for me because I am not a crier. I have a hard time crying even when something bad happens. I can't cry, so instead of feeling nothing I cut myself in a pathetic attempt to feel anything. So during sex, right before I climax I get the urge to cut or cry, seeing as I can't do either I stop having sex. Another thing, this feeling only occurs if I am in the doggy-style position, or there is deep penetration of the G-spot. I don't know if this relates back to first time I had sex in that position or not. But the first time i had sex like that was with my first boyfriend. I knew he didn't feel about me as strongly as I felt about him, so when he wanted to do it doggy-style i felt as though he was proving to me he didn't love me, simply because he didn't want to see my face. The fact that he had to vomit after sex (80% of the time) reassured my beliefs. This may sound petty, and I was young and naive (17 years old), but in the end I was right. He didn't love me. I doubt that relates at all, but just in case, there's a bit of background. I don't know what's wrong with me but i would LOVE your input and/or suggestions.

Thank you


Hi, Natalee--

If you will read my reply to the young women who was cutting herself, you will see that one of the many functions of this self-injurious behavior is to repress sexuality and sexual worries. In other words, when feelings--especially sexual ones in your case--begin to seem overwhelming, cutting and the pain involved, along with the concentration necessary to cut through the skin without going too deep, take the focus away from the emotions, and put that focus on the physical process and physical sensations of being cut, thus reducing the impact of the emotional experience. There are many other reasons that people--mostly girls and young women--cut, but repression of sexuality is one of the main ones, and I believe from what you have written that it is the one that best applies to you.

Cutting often is an attempt to deal with depression, and I imagine that you use cutting to relieve generalized anxiety along with the fairly serious depression I hear in your story as well.

Your situation requires psychotherapeutic treatment, and you should not put this off. The cutting certainly needs to be addressed, and so does yor inability to express fully and to enjoy your sexuality, but, as I said, reading between the lines, I notice signs of quite serious depression, and this needs immediate attention. There is no way that I can help you further in a letter, so I urge you to find a therapist who has experience with cutting, and that you get into treatment as soon as possible. Judging from your letter, I imagine that you might do better with a female therapist, but that is just a guess.

Be well.

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