Ask Sam | Relationship & Sex Questions

1. "Hello. Idk if this is something you'd want to talk about in your blog post but basically I grew up in a culture and family where sex is taboo. I'm now in my 20s and it's ruining my life b/c I can't have sex due to feelings of extreme guilt. Not just that but I am cautious of men in general as I was raised in a religious environment that separated males and females. I feel like I will end up alone because of this. Any advice to get over this guilt and my mistrust of men? Thanks."

First, let me say I am so sorry this is how you had to grow up. Sexuality and sex are very natural parts of being human and to have them viewed as something so evil and negative must really take its toll on you. I hope I can help you so I will try to do that right now. 

I think all the conditioning will be very hard to get over but it is not impossible. I never view life in possible and impossible but rather what is easy and what will take some serious work. To beat this conditioning you're going to have to work really freaking hard but I think you can do it. First, you'll have to literally retrain your mind and reshape your morals. Sex and being sexually active is NORMAL, HEALTHY AND ALLOWED. Every morning and before you go to bed literally repeat that like a mantra. When you find yourself feeling guilty for having sex, repeat this mantra. Remember that we shape our own reality and we can reshape it at any moment as long as we are willing to do it. 

On the note of building out your new moral standards, I think listing down everything you believe in versus what you've been told will be helpful. Get a notepad, write down on one side "What I've Been Told" and on the other side write down "What I Believe In." Your new set of morals will be in the "What I Believe In" column and all the stuff you were conditioned to believe will be in the other column. Sometimes it helps to really write things out on top of repeating them to yourself. 

Now, your mistrust of men is a little bit harder to deal with but it can be dealt with. Besides reaching out to me anonymously, have you considered seeing a relationship counselor or a sex surrogate type of counselor? I ask because these people are trained to help get to the root of the mistrust of men and help you with getting over the phobia which your mistrust is. 

I had a mild trust issue when it came to men for a few years due to a situation I found myself in. How I got over it involved a lot of forcing myself to be aware of where I was and who I was near at all times. I would recite to myself that it isn't fair to mistrust men when women can do just as much harm to me if they wanted to. I also pushed my own boundaries constantly with guys I trusted, both friends and partners, after explaining to them my issues. I think a lot of the mistrust will ebb away after you get comfortable around enough people in your life and you continue to condition your mind to accept that anyone on this planet can harm you so you have to just be vigilant and try your hardest to avoid situations where you can be harmed. 

Overall, I hope I helped! I'm sorry if I didn't. I really hope you can work past all of this and get comfortable in your sexuality and really just enjoy sex. Sex is freaking great, unless your partner sucks or there's no chemistry. 

2. "Hi!! My name is Kenzie , and I have a question, well I kinda have feelings for my best friend , well at least I think I do, and that's the problem. I don't know if I ACTUALLY do have feelings for them or if they are platonic feelings.."

Platonic feelings and the more that can scare us can feel similar. I would say if you are questioning your feelings you feel at least a bit more than friendly towards your best friend. You may not be in love with the person but you are definitely in the weird zone where you view this person as a potential partner and are at least physically attracted to them, if not emotionally, physically and mentally attracted. Sometimes these feelings go away but more often than not, they manifest themselves in other forms because we try to tell ourselves we're okay with just being friends. 

I am pretty sure you are viewing your best friend in a light more than friendship and want something more from them. Watching your interactions with your best friend, try to see if they treat you as something more or if it just a really good friendship. Sometimes we fall for what we think we see and want when the person isn't doing what we convince ourselves they are. 

I really hope it all works out. My best friend turned boyfriend was one of the best and worst decisions I ever made. It was the best for the first year of the relationship because we understood each other so well and the chemistry was off the charts. It was the worst decision because when we broke up I lost the one person I could always reach out to. 

3. "Hi!, Sam. When guys give me compliments I'm not sure if they are genuine or if they just want something from me. Any help you can give with explaining that?"

Oh, boy! More times than not guys give compliments because they are appreciating what they are looking at or hearing. A lot of really strong feminists get offended when men compliment them on their appearances but I bask in the compliments because it means the guy took notice of how I look enough to say something. Usually men aren't ones to go out of their way unless they have a reason for it which can be said about most people in general. If a guy has an ulterior motive when giving you a compliment, wanting a date or otherwise being sleazy, you can usually feel it in their tone. You'll feel really uncomfortable and awkward if they are being a sleaze rather than flattered and possibly interested if they are after a date or something. It also depends on the delivery because some people have not mastered communication habits. 

4. "This guy is always really sweet to me, goes out of his way to spend time with me and stuff but doesn't really make moves on me. Is he just being friendly or like building up towards letting me know he likes me as something more?"

This is so tough because I don't know you as a person. This could go either way really. For instance, if the guy has picked up on the fact that you are easily spooked and introverted he might be slowly building up to asking you out on a date, possibly asking you to be his girlfriend and so on. Then again, he could be a really great guy and just honestly trying to be friends with you. The other thing to note is that USUALLY we as people like to befriend people we view as at least slightly attractive. 

5. "Can you write about how to cope with never having a love life? I.e. Never been kissed, never had a boyfriend or any male attention when I'm well in my 20s, is this common or is something wrong with me?"

There is nothing wrong with you. Don't think that, okay? Love life usually start in the mid to late teenage years simply because that is when women can carry children and in the centuries before, life was shorter and the need to carry on your line was high. While we've moved beyond encouraging teenage pregnancy and marriage, we still begin our love journeys in that time. The other part of the reason it begins then is because of hormones and awareness. 

You just haven't found someone that appeals to you or that is willing to go that extra mile to get to you. Honestly, everyone experiences things in their own time. Have you thought over your sexuality at all? You may be bi-sexual, gay, lesbian or even pansexual (attracted to any kind of person under the sun). If you have found yourself to be heterosexual then that is fine and a good guy might just not have come into your orbit. 

Kissing, intimacy, dating and sex are all very personal experiences and there is no timeline of when things are supposed to happen. I have friends that haven't had their first kiss and are literally 22 years old. I have other friends that have never been in a relationship but have had sex with anything that walks. People all are different and so you have to just realize that your life plan is just different than someone who has had their first kiss, boyfriend and so on. 

If not having a love life at all is really bothering you, try online dating or having a friend set you up. The dates might end miserably but they might go great. Put yourself out there and see what comes circling back. Go out with friends to bars and clubs and try picking up a guy there. Flirt a bit, maybe even have him kiss you. If your first kiss is something you want to savor and relish, try going on dates rather than picking up someone from a bar. Sometimes life forgets about you so you have to take it into your own hands and put yourself out there to get anything back.