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I can't feel romantic love, my life has no meaning...


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Hi there,

I am sorry, if this post is a little confusing, but I haven't really tried to put it into words before as I thought I would hold it in myself forever...:o

I'd like to confide here an issue I have lived with for practically as far as I can remember. I have never talked or written about it to anyone before and it is very hard for me to do so. I am ashamed of it and I hesitated for at least ten minutes before even registering to post here... I am aware it isn't as dreadful as some other people's problems here, but it weighs me down hardly. Right now I should be working towards a deadline an I can't even make myself work, because my mind races about it...

I will be 21 now and I haven't had sex yet. Don't stop reading, please, it's not about the inability to "get laid". There would be plenty opportunities if I had the drive to take them. But no. When guys at school around me started obsessing themselves with girls, I felt nothing of the kind. No attraction whatsoever. At the same time I was pretty sure I wasn't gay either, because I didn't feel attraction to guys either.. I thought "It'll come with time...". It never did. I had two very short "relationships" with girls, but it never went beyond kissing (which doesnt stirr any feeling in me either). I ended them both because I didn't really 'tick' with those girls mentally either and since I felt no desire for sexual intercourse, there really was no reason to pursue them.

I do masturbate but I'm not thinking about women or men. The only persistent fantasy that can arouse me is something that is outright riddiculous to almost anyone else (I do know there's an online community of this fetish). It is called inflation. For me particualrly that is 'belly inflation' of me...:confused: I have lived with it for my entire 'sexually aware' life and it's been very traumatizing to me. Even at the time when I had 'wet dreams', not once were they about a woman or even a man, it has always been this fantasy. I only thank my parents that they weren't religious and didn't imprint on me any prejudices against anything "abnormal", otherwise I'd probably be downright mentally disordered.

What really broke me down a few days ago was a movie. Brokeback mountain (about a tragic love of two gay cowboys that fell in love in the sixties and it destroyed their lives). I watched it because obviosly i still try to figure out WHAT exactly I am, so I thought "maybe a gay movie, maybe I'll feel something..". While none of the intercourses aroused me in any way, I didn't feel repulsed in the slightest either. But that's the usual kind of nothing that i feel even while watching a straight romance. I feel only the emotions and the love involved, nothing sexual. But this film broke me to tears and plunged me into such a depression I've never had in my life. I was thinking of killing myself. What this movie showed to me was that I can never be happy. I can fill my life with work and hobbies, but what's the point? I lost my desire to live, because I don't know what to live for. I will probably never feel romantic love to anyone, I never have thus far. And at the same time I am terrified of being alone and getting old alone all by myself. I would love to have children, I adore them. But that seems impossible..

I know this would qualify as asexuality if it wasnt for the whole fetish thing.. I thought maybe I could have sex with a guy, as there is male body involved in this fantasy - my body. And maybe because of that I could say i 'like' male body a notch more than female.. But not to the extent of actual arousal and the whole idea of gay sex seems unappealing and awkward to me, so probably that's not the case either... I wouldn't want to be gay, because of the whole discrimination thing, but hell maybe it would be better than not feeling anything...:( At least I would find myslelf.. And some to live with.. But I have never felt even a crush on a man. And not on a woman either.

Finally I'd like to say, that I'm not an insecure person who doesn't socialize. I have quite a healthy lot of friends with whom I chat and go to disco's and pubs (not much sport, I'm not very sporty), mostly from the college. The friendships arent very deep though, although I do love them, I can very well live without seeing them often. But they would probably tell you I'm very good hearted, optimistic and idealistic, almost naive, a lot of fun and quite intelligent. I also am the kind of "willow" person who always hears out, sympathizes and gives advice (although my personal life is a wreck and in need of advice).

But I never had the guts to tell anyone of my friends. I've got wonderful, friendly relationships with my parents and my sister. My parents almost never fight and almost never have. They are the ideal couple and they kiss affectionatly and have sex even after 20 years of marriage and in their late forties - early fifties. They have never beaten me and my sister, not even for punishment (very rarely). They always led us by talking to us and explaining, showing dissappointment when we did something bad, rather then beating us. Although I am rock-hard sure they would support me if I told them, I just don't want them to worry and I don't want to be looked at as if not being normal.

I know, that there is probably no way out for me, but I just had to shout this out somewhere or my head would explode. :(

Sorry for the awfully long essay.

I'd appreciate any insight anyone might have

Wish you all well...


Just so you understand, the worse thing the Brokeback Mountain movie did to me was take my illusions and hopes away. I allways comforted myself that I could probably be with a woman and have sex with her, although she wouldn't actually be the object of my arousal. I could have a family and children too. I would pretend to be normal as surely a lot of sexually "abnormal" (I don't mean anything offensive in that, simply stating the statistic and biological truth) people do. But this movie made me ask: "Do I want to live in pretense? Would I actually be happy? What kind of life would it be?..." This film clearly states: "NO, it would destroy you and everyone you pretended being normal to..." And it makes sense. But what other life can I actually have? I feel so lonely and shut off from others as if I were an alien pretending to be human..

Edited by Rob21
So you understand...
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I think the thing that stands out the most to me in reading your essay is that you're in a crisis right now, after seeing BBM and concluding that you don't want to live out a life that is a lie, but also don't see any choice other than to do that - you have this powerful sense that you cannot be happy without being normal, and also a powerful sense that you will never be normal, and thus you are feeling utterly hopeless - for the time being. Crises are painful things but at least this sort of crisis is not one that needs to crush you or drive you to suicide. The thing to do is to endure the pain of this crisis until it subsides, which it will. Intense emotions are generally just too demanding and energy-requiring to be sustained for too long and after a while they just dampen down on their own and you'll get a rest. It's easier to appreciate this when you're a bit older and have been through a few intense crises yourself and know that you can get through them. It is really difficult to do that when this is your first major crisis. But have a little trust that this can be endured, and that while the issue that you've identified may not simply go away, that it is something that you can start to deal with and find responses to when you are feeling a little bit more yourself again. Life is often about making due with what you have. It is seldom perfect or without flaws. And much of where you find meaning has to do with what you are chosing to compare yourself against, meaning that as time passes and you start to have a slightly different perspective, you will also start to understand your situation slightly differently and what seems to imply utter meaninglessness now, will have a different meaning then. that's vague, but only becuase I don't know the shape that your life may be able to take on; only that it will change.


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Thank you very much for your reply.. I really appreciate any kind of feedback, as I didn't have any of that before. I allready got over it somewhat even when i got to write it down yesterday - at least over the emotional part, the desperation is still quite there.

I had some minor crises about this when I first started to realize, when I was a teenager and found out I am different. Sure it is traumatizing to realize you're for example gay at the time, but seeing you can't fit yourself quite anywhere is just as bad.

About the "what you compare yourself against" part... That is probably one of the issues. As I said, I always was an optimist, an idealist and a big time dreamer too. Living in quite an ideal and loving family without big issues, I dreamed up my life to be just as good as that of my parents. Now that dream is being taken away from me and it just hurts so bad.. :o

I have a job that I really like and am studying a college in a quite different field. But I would love any of those two occupations and I know I could fill my life with them to the brim, but what would I be working for? Money? Of course money's good. I like nice things, electronic gadgets, cars and all, but that simply can't be everything in my life. Those are just comfortable cushionings to the life, there has to be something greater at the core. I have plans for a beautiful house in my head, but what terrifies me is that that house is not made for one person to live in. It is for a family. And right now I can't imagine I could ever have one...

But as you said the issue is probably the "right now". I do hope something will change. But sexuality is something that never changes. That's something I'll have to live with.

Just spilling out my mind again...:( I am really thankful that forums like this exist on the Internet. I'd probably never get this out of my head otherwise. It is a great relief to do it, thank you for being here...

P.S.: Funny.. A cousin of mine just called me... He's 30 this year and hasn't been seen almost ever with a girl around the family. I was wondering, if he could be having some issues too. But I would never dare to ask. Maybe sometime, when the time's right, wee'll talk...

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you know, Crises are great times to do some reading. I'm thinking that you might benefit from reading some philosophical works on the meaning of life. It's not all about sex, you know.

One famous work is by Viktor Frankl called Man's Search For Meaning

I don't know if this is the best thing to recommend, but it is what comes to mind. The author was a concentration camp survivor who went on to become a psychotherapist.

Another author who is very worth reading is Irvin Yalom, a contemporary psychiatrist and professor over at Stanford who is a novelist and is famous for (among other reasons) books on group therapy and existential therapy. His latest book is about coming to terms with death (see our podcast).

Life is potentially stranger than you are allowing it to be. the one thing you can count on is that your dreams will not come true exactly as you have imagined them. You have to appreciate the difference between what you have hoped for and what is and is becoming. If you get out of your head a little bit adn out of the narrative there now that is telling you how you are doomed, and just talk to people about themselves and their own troubles, distracting yourself in the process, I think you will find that there are many ways to have a meaningful life that do not involve having 2.5 children and a heterosexual marriage. So long as you are discrete about it and don't hurt other people, you can often (not always but often) make your own path.

Maybe rent a copy of "Goodbye Mr. Chips" - a very old but very good movie about a teacher who thought his life was meaningless but who discovers that it had meaning towards the end of his life. That is coming to mind.

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Well, I'm over it now...:)

I knew it would go away, but what wouldn't occur to me was that I would actually feel better than ever before..

After I read your last reply yesterday, I had a long train of thought about it all.

I probably explained myself poorly in the first post. I know it is not all about sex. For me less than for anyone else. The main problem for me was that you don't bump into partners who don't expect sex as a part of the romantic relationship on every corner. So the problem for me was that I couldn't have a relationship on the basis of not being able to provide sexual gratification for the partner. Sure life can be a lot of things but what it is, and should be above all, is love, don't you think?

Anyways, as I was lying in bed last night, I was trying that little exercise - trying to imagine sex, if I would feel something. Although I didn't much, there was something else. When I tried to imagine sex with a guy, my parents opend my bedroom door in my imagination.. :) And to my astonishment I realised I would not be embarassed if that happened for real. Well not more than I would if caught in flagranti with a woman. I don't feel insecure about my sexuality anymore. I feel I could talk to them about it without embarassment if it came to that. Because there isn't really anything to be embarassed about, is there. We're all what we are...

So now I embraced the fact, that I don't care if I end up in a heterosexual, homosexual or asexual relationship. I just want to have a companion and I will wait from which direction the wind will blow. I feel so free now and it's all thanks to you, that I was able to confide somewhere and receive comforting words. It seems to have unblocked me somehow.

Your forum has been very helpful to me and I think I'll stick around and try to help others if I can. Thank you for being here..

Wish you well...

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Hi Rob,

It is great that you are opening up about what is troubling you.

My best advice to you would be to see a sex therapist/sex psychologist perhaps he/she could offer you some insight to what may be the root of what is ailing you and will be able to help you develop feelings and attraction for someone/people. You can find someone that can help you. You might need to see a few therapists to get to the right one for you. Different therapists have different techniques/approaches and its good to find the one that works best for you.

If you believe in God, perhaps you can pray about this as well.

Best of luck to you Rob!


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I'm new here, so I'm perhaps not the best suitable to give advices, but I read some interesting advice in another thread on this forum! Feelings and pulsions connected with orgasm get strengthened. So it's possible that if you keep masturbating with your fetish fantasies you just strengthen them. I have also some strange fetish fantasies, and even if they aren't dangerous things like pedophily I would like to get rid of them, cuz they can be an obstacle to normal sexuality. So after reading that thread I'll try to have more 'normal' fantasies when I masturbate. Perhaps you could try that too. And one more thing: you aren't even 21, probably your sexuality is not stable yet (provided there is such thing as a stable sexuality), which means you may well change it, but in your post you sound like you feel hopeless. Don't. I've had 'psychological problems' since I was a child and from experience I know that being in the middle of such problems makes them feel bigger than they are in reality. Look for qualified, professional help and be hopeful and confident! I wish you the best for the coming year.

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Thanks very much for your supportive reactions.

After I got over the crisis, I had a wet dream concerning this fantasy. :o Something that hasn't happend to me in years. And I was thinking "this really isn't helping me...". But it seems it did. I haven't had the urge ever since then and it doesn't seem sexual to me anymore. I'm not saying it couldn't return, but it feels like I unblocked something. I'm still not feeling anything sexual towards women or men, but I have somehow come to terms with my inner homosexuality, which I always feared. Thanks to that I feel much more balanced and less insecure.

I had a thread of thoughts about this too... I think everyone has a homosexual side to themselves. If you take women, all of them would tell you female body is beautiful and sexual and very little of them would tell you they find the idea of cuddling or sexual intercourse with a woman disgusting. That is a statement you wouldn't get from almost any man. But I think it's not that they don't feel male attractivenes. It is because they repress it. They view such thoughts as being gay, even though they aren't. So as everyone probably knows, the most of homophobia probably comes from repression. Funny world, isn't it...:)

So I am quite at peace with myself right now and I hope it stays like that. If the fantasy comes again, I will not act on it, thanks for the advice there, Almost. As I said in previous posts, I'll socialize with people and try to find that soul that is close to me regardless of gender, try to connect on an intellectual level and hopefully fall in love, and maybe the sexual attraction will come after that. Or not.. I will take it as it comes.

Another thing... I have since told all this to my sister... She was awesome and understanding, she apologized that she never knew what I was going through and we cried a little together.. :o She told me she could be bi...:o

Again, thanks to you all for taking the time to read and respond, it really helped me very much.

Best wishes..

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