Thinking about other people during sex and masturbation, feelings of guilt and shame

Hi,

I’ve always had issues with getting it up during sex and it’s been something I’ve been working on a lot recently.

One thing I’ve been wondering about, and has always made me feel a lot of shame and guilt, is that I tend to think about people I know, or have known, during masturbation. These might be people I’ve got with in the past, or people I was attracted to that I didn’t have the confidence to pursue due to my erection issues, or it might just be people that I was vaguely attracted to but didn’t really have that much interest in pursuing. This always felt a bit taboo, and like I shouldn’t be doing it. Especially during a relationship it felt a bit like I wasn’t being faithful to my partner, but it was just always what I tended to fantasise about. I wonder whether the reason I tend to fantasise about this is because it’s more real, and in these fantasies I’m able to get it up no problem. There’s a sense of control that I don’t have in real sex where I’m constantly spectatoring and getting into my head.

I’ve also found that during sex I tend to think about these same fantasies when I start to get into my head. When I’m present and connected with my partner it’s fine, but it’s almost as if I turn to these thoughts as a fall back when I feel as though I’m beginning to spectator or I’m going soft. it’s almost like its something to occupy my mind with to stop it from thinking about how hard my penis is or whether I’m aroused or not. The trouble is these thoughts make me feel a lot of shame and angst. At the moment I’m seeing someone new, and when these thoughts pop into my head during sex it’s almost like I’m having this internal mental struggle. I start spectatoring and getting into my head, then comes these fantasies to try and keep myself aroused, then I start feeling guilty that I’m thinking about someone else when I should be present with my partner. And when you tell yourself to stop thinking about something, it becomes the only thing you can think about ironically. Once I start feeling this guilt during sex it often leads to my going down and I’m back to square one.

I’ve spoken about this before with my ex and it went down horribly, she was very upset and made me feel like I had this disgusting problem. While this new girl I’ve been seeing has been quite understanding about my problems with performance anxiety, this is something I’m very nervous about sharing, given my ex’s reaction.

I wondered if anybody else has these sort’s of fantasies and thoughts? and if anybody has found a good way of approaching this problem? I tend to swing from thinking these thoughts are quite normal and lot’s people have them, to I’m disgusting and I should never think about these things again. I’d love to hear what people think.

Cheers

Thanks for sharing. I have dealt with this for 25 plus years in marriage. I have these fantasies in my head that wont go away. I have thoughts of others even me being someone else to thoughts of being with other women. It is filled with shame and guilt. It has negatively impacted my ability.