Sad and touch-starved

Submitted by Zelin on
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Does anyone else experience this? How do you deal with it?

Sometimes I feel like I am freezing over inside and if somebody even touched me, I'd burst and just swamp them. I'm feeling so desolate that it's hard for me to feel motivated to do anything sometimes and like I'm missing a vital nutrient. I'm sad to the extent that I have trouble just getting through my day sometimes. I can cope with it for the most part - but if I'm a little under the weather health wise, or PMSing, the feelings come right to the surface :( Sometimes I feel like I am slowly dying or slowly going crazy. I seriously can't dredge up the motivation to do anything. I'm 38 and back in school, in my last semester of community college before transferring to a 4-year, and I'm struggling with having the energy to even do my coursework. I'm having trouble even taking care of my health because I don't even feel very motivated to be on the planet at times. I don't eat very much anymore. It takes too much energy just to get dressed and brush my teeth sometimes. Everything takes too much energy. I've let myself go a lot :( I have a chronic health condition that is directly connected to my stress levels, and I know that if I don't bond with someone, it will not improve. Sometimes I feel like I will die if I am not close to someone.

I am in a really needy spot sometimes and don't really know how to cope with it. I just keep it away from other people so that I don't scare them off. I am having trouble seeing how I will change the situation in the near future, so what I need is to tolerate it. What have you done when you were in that situation? How do you cope with it?

I don't remember feeling this bad when I was younger, and sometimes I just want to know that it will be better eventually and I'll be through this :(

I am a gay woman and I am very isolated from my community. I don't meet other gay or bi women, for the most part (I live very deep in the suburbs without a car; any gay women that are in my community, I have already dated), my friends are exclusively heterosexual (it just ended up that way) and for the next year it may not be a resolvable situation. Occasionally I get hugs or cuddles from straight female friends on the VERY rare occasion that I even get to see them, and the advice of the board here has helped me to stop feeling "worked up" and frustrated when they get close to me. I have occasionally also gotten touch from male friends but it doesn't feel right or meet that need. Still, it's frustrating that I am the only person I know who doesn't seem to be entitled to have a lover. I had a straight female friend that I was very close to, I had feelings for her, but I accepted it'd never be anything. It was still better to be affectionate with her than to not have anyone to be close to, even if it was frustrating at times (and I'm finding that abstinence from arousing myself or having an orgasm is helping me with that frustration) and even if being her friend meant a kind of personal martyrdom. Still, she moved away, and it's been pretty sad for me since she did. I miss her very much, but she is with a nice guy now and it's best this way.

Following the advice of this board I've stopped pleasuring myself some time ago, hoping that I could become less "goal oriented" with women and I hope that will help my friendships with them, and because I'm tired of fighting sexual feelings every time I'm close to a woman. At this point I'd just as soon not ever have sexual feelings anymore if it would make me feel better. My sex desire has dropped off a bit, but I'm finding now that I am feeling really, really lonely for intimacy all the same. It makes me sad though that everyone around me couples off eventually, but I feel like friendship is what I may have to settle for (possibly for the rest of my life because the lesbian community is really really screwed up) and no matter how close I may be to a friend, she will always have someone else to go home to... I'm incredibly jealous of my straight friends because they don't go through this and they don't even know what it's like. They think that as long as gay people have equal rights with straight people, all of the problems of being gay will go away, but news flash, they won't!! There still aren't enough gay people in the world for most of us to have a partner. Probably more of us get old alone than is true with straight people, just because it's harder to find each other.

I don't know what's wrong with me.

It's never been this hard before. I used to date and have an active social and romantic life.

I really thought I could just channel my energy into my studies but I hit some kind of a tipping point where I got too lonely to actually function. I don't even feel like a human being anymore.

I feel for you

I am really sorry you are going through such tough times. I know it's tough, but are you getting exercise? And, is there somewhere perhaps where you could volunteer? It seems that helping others can really help.

Are there any massage classes you could take?

That's a good way to get/give touch with healthy boundaries. And you may be able to create a network of those who share their skills.

It is very healthy to want connection, because it really does have an impact on wellbeing. We're tribal primates, not self-sufficient primates. And our brains strongly urge us to find trusted connection. So the good news is that you're not crazy. Smile The bad news is that you really do need to find your tribe and get some touch in the meantime.

*big hug*

This is actually something

This is actually something that worked for me awhile ago. I was craving touch and wanted it to be in a safe environment. Receiving regular massage was wonderful. It can get expensive, but many massage schools run student clinics that offer full massages at very reduced rates. I have gone this route. It seems that if you do your research and go to a school with a good reputation, the quality is still quite good. It might be worth checking out at least.

I can relate

Hey Zelin, don't worry, there is nothing wrong with you. I am a 25 year old male who is going through a similarly tough time, having not had any affection from a female since I came out of a long relationship over a year ago. All I can suggest is making each day exclusively YOURS. Think of something every night that you will do first thing when you wake up, and shoot out of bed to do it. Make sure you remember yourself and your right to be happy with each breath you take. If you live this way, things will start looking up for you. Hope it happens, for both of us, sooner than later.

Hi, I really identify with your post...

I haven't been dating at all for months (quit PMO last July) and I maintain a *very* active schedule (probably too much, if I'm honest.)

This is a particularly difficult time of year in the school schedule yet with summer coming relaxation is right around the corner. I would like to point out that this isn't all your fault. We live under harsh and difficult political and economic conditions. The watchword of the past five years has been: AUSTERITY. That does breed a certain kind of anxiety just by itself being single and very busy on top of that can have a compounding effect. Thankfully, there is a budding political response to it that I am participate in the best I can, there is always hope that things will change now that there is an organized fight back in our country.

I'm not gay but I'm also not your typical mainstream kind of person and therefore there are only certain "types" of women that I'd consider as mate material - and they aren't exactly in very large numbers where I am either. In many ways I feel lonely and rejected even in regular interactions with women I feel attracted too, even if they aren't relationship material, I'd still like to go on the occasional date you know? Anyway, let me try to cheer you up even though I'm in a very exhausted state of mind.

I've found that for me I have to call my friends a lot when I'm feeling this way. I need to hear voices of people who love me and support me and who think highly of me. I start to feel better when I tell them what I'm going through (not unlike this web forum) and get feedback about what is in my best interest. The problem is that I have a built in desire to isolate and want to just be left alone sometimes. I have to counter that by reaching out and that is a constant thing. This too shall pass, my friend.

All I can say is that you really aren't alone and there are many, many people who feel exactly like you. Don't give up hope, keep working on yourself and as you become your fullest potential a fantastic woman will recognize that and you will hit it off. Anyone who doesn't recognize that isn't worth your time, so this person I describe is *worth* waiting for. That's the hope that motivates me during these "touch-less" lean times. May your hope spring eternal!


Hi Zelin, sad and touched

Hi Zelin, sad and touched starved has been a daily experience for me although the extent to which I feel this has gone through many cycles these past few months. When my husband and I split up a year and a half ago, I was elated (cause our relationship was so bad), but soon I felt the absence of human touch - I thought that feeling was a lack of sex so I satisfied myself by becoming very very good at giving myself intense orgasms. I became incredibly horny, which led me into some messed up dynamics with others and some serious heartache. In late December I read Cupid and cut out orgasm. With the horniness gone, I felt much much better that before, but then the intense longing for human touch settled in. I've blogged some of this already. I can relate to a lot of what you are describing - lack of motivation, feeling like I'm missing a vital nutrient, more intense with PMS, not wanting to exist, not wanting to scare anyone away with my neediness, not having experienced this when I was younger, feeling like I'm the only person who doesn't seem entitled to have a lover, not wanting to have sexual feelings anymore, feeling that maybe all I'll ever get is friendship...It's been exhausting. But it's getting better - or less intense - and here are some of the things I've found helpful:

-being outdoors most of the day.
-doing physical labour
-practicing breast massage and moving sexual energy upwards through my breasts as a daily meditation
-cuddling with my daughter
-having intense, wonderful conversations with others and talking a lot about the ideas in Cupid and about human relationships and sexual relationships (this has helped with quelling feelings of hopelessness around relationship)
-inner work...all that stuff around not looking for approval from someone else, etc etc. ..(I'm so tired of this though!)

I think what would really be great is a cuddle buddy. Alas, those that could be eligible candidates I've kinda messed that up through past sexual dynamics.

Have you had your thyroid checked? I had a low thyroid for a year or so after my daughter was born and I thought I was dying - I had no energy to do anything at all - I'd lay in bed and contemplate the energy it would take to get up and get dressed and felt like it was impossible. That feeling went away immediately after taking thyroid supplements. (fyi, later I quit eating soy 100% and no longer needed the supplements to regulate my thyroid)

This seems to plague the

This seems to plague the Western world and especially North America. I recently went to a talk on somatic healing with two presenters who have known each other as colleagues for a while. The guy was pretty free about touching the woman in a way unusual for Americans. It wasn't just casual touch. More like gentle holding. He has learned to use non-verbal cues to back off if she cared. At times she seemed unsure and would then morph into appreciating it, especially when she got stuck in losing her thought and things of that nature. His way seemed to be a function of his temperament, work, and living in Asia for a many years. Or maybe they were lovers once or are now.

Worse than touch starving ourselves is perhaps the shame and blame we use to justify continuing this behavior. I don't see an easy solution now that we've criminalized basic touch in many contexts. We all have a choice. Yet, women who want men to initiate have added this criminal hurdle that didn't exist before. Then mix in the casual sex mentality that devalues touch. One wonders if even married folks are touch starved.

Yes, I relate to the issue of

Yes, I relate to the issue of touch being "criminalized"... I have always been afraid to be too friendly with other women (which shoots me in the foot, because what if I did meet another lesbian?) because it would mean I was some kind of a pervert and I tend to almost always assume that my attention is not welcome. I could be in a room full of gay women and this feeling does not go away because I've had it for so long. I had to keep my feelings to myself when I was younger, and it doesn't just open up again so quickly.

I am *very* tactile but I hold myself reserved in a lot of ways. I've been able to open up a little more, but I still don't open up as much as I'd like except when my friends initiate it because I'm afraid of violating their boundaries or being too friendly and seeming like I'm hitting on them. There isn't anyone in my life presently who would welcome being hit on by me. :/ I kind of feel like a sexual/sensual pariah and like I must want this weird perverted thing that no one else wants.

I want so bad to rest my head on someone's chest and hear her heart beating, but even more, just not to have to squinch myself up on the far end of a couch to avoid touching someone. Something I envy in couples is how they are able to sit together and not have to not touch each other and how it's okay even to brush past each other in the hall without having to recoil away.

Just the idea of actually being able to sit next to someone on the couch and not worry if my leg is touching hers, is almost beyond my belief. I was like that with my straight friends for so long (I wouldn't even hug them).

I feel like the only way it would be "okay" for me to be affectionate with a woman sometimes... is to go to a gay bar, and grab somebody and make out with them, but the times I've done that, weren't very fulfilling (and it doesn't happen very often when I do go). It seems like it'd be easier to find sex than affection :(

I just want to put my arms around someone and for it actually to be OKAY. For it to be a GOOD THING. That THEY WANT ME TO DO. :(

I recently started going back to my Buddhist organization and doing my practice again. I hope that I get some help from that. :/

I haven't gotten much from my relationships. I used to have hetero relationships before I came out and the men never seemed to want me to be affectionate with them, they felt engulfed. My woman partner didn't want affection because she wasn't entirely comfortable with being with another woman but also I think that our sexual dynamics, passion cycle, etc may have screwed things up.

The idea of actually holding someone and being loving and loved, sometimes seems barely imaginable.

I've been abstaining from orgasm, self touch and sexual fantasy for some time and now I find I am going crazy from skin hunger and affection neediness :(

I'm guessing you're not in a

I'm guessing you're not in a crowded city where there can be times one is squished between all sorts of strangers. Some touch is common in cities. I realize this isn't the touch you seek.

Have you tired slowly increasing your touchiness? If you ask, many people will be ok with touch. What about seeking environments where touch is common such as massage, energy healing, dance, partner-based yoga/martial arts, etc.

I really am VERY isolated. I

I'm in the deep burbs. I really am VERY isolated. I hardly ever see any friends, because they live too far away (twenty miles or more). There isn't access to much in my area and I don't have transportation (which is a major issue here) so I can't really go anywhere at night. Seriously, church and bowling are the big activities where I live. I don't like to socialize locally because I'm not comfortable being very "out" as a lesbian here (I'm out to my friends and family, but where I live, I'm not comfortable with total strangers knowing). I'm really hoping I can make some friends via my Buddhist community which is very gay friendly.

I really feel like I am going crazy sometimes. My friends are mostly in couples, and what I usually have is some unrequited long standing feelings for some straight female friend, and then sometimes loneliness, then stuck on another friend... I rarely actually get to go out with anyone. I'm 38 and stuck in this awkward moony teenager stage of life and feel like I don't get to move on and grow up and go on dates like a normal person. Other people actually go on dates and get confidence and all, and I'm stuck staring at my shoes because I have no idea what else to do.

My loneliness is going absolutely insane since I stopped self-pleasure. It's like my skin is burning and I'm lucky if I can get through a day without crying. This has gone on for weeks. WTF, how long is this supposed to last?? Do you ever feel normal again??

Maybe I was better off the way I was, because there is no potential partner in sight to actually pair bond with so at least being desensitized felt better and I could get through my day. I am so disrupted by the mood changes that I'm having trouble with my studies and other things I need to do.

Do the locals need to know

Do the locals need to know you as a lesbian just to be social? Perhaps without orgasm you'll enjoy the locals more. Hard to know if you don't try.

Withdrawal can be nasty and affects people differently. It gets better and one gets better at knowing it's just withdrawal.

What about inviting friends with transportation over to you? Or visiting friends and staying over night?

I'm actually recognizing that

I'm actually recognizing that I was an addict.

There was a generalized pattern of fantasy addiction of which the sexual component was a part. It really started to become a problem during a very long dating "dry spell" and I never quite got out of that pattern for a long time. I actually am recognizing how I was "checked out" in my relationships and not really connecting with my partners emotionally or sexually beyond "getting off".

The funny thing is, though, I was never a participant in my own fantasies... I would fantasize about *two other people* and I was neither one. It'd be like I was some director or such coordinating their relationship.

I guess it doesn't help to experiment. The link you just suggested to me suggests that people try to fantasize about "potential partners" for myself instead of usual "fantasy material", i.e., imagine someone that I would like to be with.

My fantasies tend to be very romantic, though, culminating in an orgasm and fantasy about laying with the person afterward, rather than direct "getting off" sexual type of fantasies.

Interestingly, I've converted over from imagining sexual situations and feeling frustrated and now feel frustrated about wanting to pair-bond.


I know it's been a while, but somehow I ended up stumbling upon this group again.

I ended up deciding just to focus on my studies/work for a while and my health had also taken a turn for the worse for some of that. I graduated from my school program, but ended up not transferring to 4 year, but did take on client work. After I stopped going to school and started working from home, I fell in with a group of friends locally that I play games with/see films with/eat meals with regularly. I also adopted a very affectionate cat.

I've been in a relationship since 2016! Surprisingly, with a man! One of the people from my game group. I think if I had still been actively in an addictive process then I would not have recognized the feelings, as it grew very, very slowly (we were old friends but had started hanging out regularly in 2015) and I used to be expecting things to show up hard and fast. The emotional part showed up before the sexual part did. We have trouble with getting very much "alone time" until we are able to move in together (which we are planning to do this year) but it's good when we do get away, and we spend a lot of time together otherwise, and I feel like this has actually been a positive.

Since being with him, I feel like my sense of focus has returned, and my health has been improving significantly.

Thank you! I feel like the

Thank you! I feel like the things I picked up from this community, as short a time as I was here, had a part to play.

My relationship is the best one I've been in. Previous ones I've been in, it seemed like all of the energy would leave the relationship as soon as we had sex, and or the focus would start to be on having sex as often as possible, and the sex would start to feel tedious, and there'd be an escalation of kinks/fantasies/toys/funny outfits, then boredom or repulsion would set in. There was often a weird transactional vibe.

My partner and I have a "typical" sex life in some respects (maybe I will need to revisit this board again once we live together; maybe not) but it's fairly vanilla; we don't get to be sexual very often because of our present living circumstances/privacy issues, but we spend a lot of time together and there is a lot of flirting and affection. We work together on projects, play games, help each other with things, and spend time alone and with our friends. We're a fixture around each other's families and we have the same friends, which is something I didn't manage to have with either my ex husband or ex-partner. The relationship grew organically from within my group of friends in the very small town I mentioned needing to leave, and the funny thing is, we may end up settling down here. Everything I needed was right here all along.

We're monogamous. We're very emotionally "in tune" in ways I haven't been with other partners. We've been dating since 2016 (the feelings started showing up in 2015, after we had been spending a lot of time together) and things are still growing and we are still falling in love. With other partners, it's like we'd meet, get together quickly, have a lot of sex, then the boredom had started setting in within a few months of starting to go out.

The thing is though that I wasn't looking for a relationship or even trying to date when it fell into place, we really were just good friends to start with, and it makes me think about how a lot of people find a good relationship finally when they actually aren't looking for one... I bet a lot of it is because the sexual marketplace culture is so heavily geared *against* pair bonding and falling in love.

We have some friends who are poly (it is becoming such a norm in our social world) and I can't help but think that it's only because we're monogamous that either of us feels this free.

We both had body image issues before being together and having one safe, trusted partner is so helpful, there isn't the pressure to constantly feel like you're having to compete with new partners or like you're constantly in the "meat market" and it's healing. I notice that our poly friends seem to spend so much time on their dating lives, even after having a primary relationship, and so much focus on trying to be "sexy," that there isn't a lot of room for other pursuits in life. Especially in our age group where one may have both children and aging parents! Whereas with my partner and I, we're freed up to focus on our career lives, our creative pursuits, friendships, hobbies, personal growth/spirit, etc.

Thank you for your beautiful post

Very well said. I, too, had to figure out by a long road that close, trusted companionship had rewards worth protecting, and that "sexy" always led to the same fundamental sense of frustration.

Our biological programming can really go haywire when enticing 'promises' of endless sexual highs are everywhere in our culture. As you point out, whatever their advantages...their pursuit is exhausting and leaves no time or energy for tackling Larger Things.

It's great that you and your sweetheart are figuring out together what is right for you. Utimately, rules can't be imposed from outside. On the other hand, thanks in part to "outside rules," it used to be easier to get a fighting chance of experimenting with a monogamous relationship now and then. Biggrin That option is becoming less and less likely given the current mating fads. So increasingly, people don't even realize what options they're giving up in pursuit of "sexy."

We live in interesting times for sure!