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Sexual Health and the Idea of Never Having a Partner

Community Member

Hi everyone, I'm not sure how to put this but hopefully it will make sense.

I am a 24 year old male who currently is in therapy and sees a psychologist regularly. I have OCD, anxiety, depression, and autism, and when you put those all together, it becomes understandable why socialising is a major problem for me. One major cause of my current situation is the fact that I have never hd a girlfriend or had sex. Because we live in the digital age, it is almost impossible to avoid the fact that a lot of people are in relationships and that modern society is obsessed with the concept of sex. You would almost have to live on a deserted island in order to completely avoid all the triggers associated with it.

My cause of concern is that I have no one that I can relate to on this and that I feel like I struggle to articulate how bad it is for my mental health. My psychologist says that I am well in the normal distribution for young men but that doesn't really make me feel any better. Because I am shy, introverted, and have a lot of hobbies and interests that are not in line with contemporary society, I genuinely feel like I will never have a girlfriend, never have sex, and die alone. This fact alone has meant in the past 6 months, I have had 5 separate stints in a psychiatric ward due to concerns of my own safety. I was wondering if there are any other young men out there who feel the same way and are currently in the same boat, and if there are any young mens health groups around? I feel the latter would be important for me and reassure me that I am not the only one who feels this way.

789 Replies 789

Dear azzdog

I am a lady, and single at the moment - for now by choice. I read a comment someone posted about have you thought about the women who are not on dating apps etc. I know i tried it for 2 weeks and was so overwhelmed with the comments and attention that i removed myself based on confusion rather than being picky. The few men i became friends with told me how quiet it is for them on it, whereas as a women i couldnt keep up with the attention, and i wasnt even showing my face in any of the pics. In short, dont take apps as an indication of your value, wht i realised is that there must be so many more men on it than women.

I certainly know i will never go back on one.

I loved another idea someone posted about hobbies, ive met the most lovely people through local Slacklining groups - theyre all over australia and i have found then to be particularly accepting and caring group of young people- and they love new faces. Im still hopeless at it, but i love the friends ive made.

At the moment, im healing from some painful relationships that destroyed my self worth and although i feel so much stronger and better i know that a good relationship requires work and dedication. And ive realised that i want to just meet new people and have friends - without the sex. And i am enjoying it. Honestly. Sex for me is only good if you have a connection with the person. So my focus is buildong new friendships and the rest will come. And if it doesnt, i have still gained new hobbies and new friends.

Everybody is different but for me hobbies that take me to the beautiful outdoors are so good for my mind and heart. I go stand up paddle boarding, am learning to kutesurf (another awesome micro community), go on hikes (there are plenty of meet ups. And most of us who go are women- wed love more males to join).

All these things may help you meet new people, make new friends, feel good about yourself.... and love may be a little cherry on the top.

I have a soft heart and and am saddened when i see men who feel all women are picky/moneyhungry/high maintenance. We're not all like that. Its just that those who are are possibly more in the focus of society, theyre out there.

One of my personal favourite mottos is to not allow my bad/painful experiences make me Bitter, instead I want them to make me a better person.

big cyber hug from me.

Hi Holding On To Hope,

I just want to thank you for this lovely message you have shared with us. Forming friendships is valuable, they help us become more fulfilled as does finding ways to fill in our days with positive experiences, new adventures hobbies, interests and happenings.

It certainly sounds like you are finding ways to fulfil your life.

sam gc,

Yes, it would be wonderful if everyone was able to be in a stable, loving, caring, validating relationship having all their needs met. Even in a good relationship that is not always possible! Trying to find ways to create our own happiness can help with some of the loneliness we experience...even when in a relationship.

Not all men are the same and not all women are the same either. Maybe we all need to be a little more considerate and respectful while trying to achieve our own goals in life.

Friendships can happen over different age groups, different cultures, different sexes. Maybe we just need to be open to the opportunities out there.

Cheers all from Dools

Community Member

Hi Azzdog,

you're not the only one!! I just missed out on being the archetypical 40 year old virgin, with someone I thought was a girlfriend, but who was really only after jewellery, a car, a holiday, and a trip interstate to catch up with her family.
I'm not tall, or physically attractive, I love reading, I don't drink, so I had adopted the strategy of trying to help people so that they might realise that although I wasn't a tall, handsome, muscular socialite, I wouldn't beat them, do drugs, get drunk, or cheat on them. Unfortunately, there are people out there who will prey on "helpful" people.

Re: dating sites - in about 4 years on Tinder, POF, eHarmony, and RSVP, I have had 2 conversations, and 1 cup of coffee with a lady who immediately SMSed that "it was her, not me" and deleted/blocked her profile. It's not just you 🙂

So, I feel I've been where you are. Moving forward, I have noted (in print, and received in advice) that asking for help is a key interaction to practice. (I'm not referring to seeking medical intervention for mental health issues, just "Will you hold the door for me, please?" type stuff)
I'm self-reliant, and generally competent, so it went against the grain for me to ask for help, rather than be offering it, but it's worth researching this, as many people internally keep score, and can feel uncomfortable about being helped too much, rather than helping equalling being helped.
Asking for help can actually help you feel better about yourself, as you are worth being helped, and most people feel good about being able to help someone else.
So, as a practical suggestion, find small things to ask for help with - directions, passing you something, musical advice, recommend an electrician, then follow up with a "thanks" and a smile.


Community Member

Hi everyone, sorry for the late reply to some of you. I will try to address all the points made but feel free to say if I've missed anything.

The one question I've noticed a lot is the one on do you want a girlfriend or sex? The answer is both but, being the socially anxious nervous nelly that I am, I would absolutely want to have a girlfriend first then sex. For me, it would not solve my problems and I am not naive enough to think that it would. I have body dysmorphia and having a girlfriend would challenge these preconceived notions I have about my personality, which I think is boring, and the way I look, where I think I'm hideously ugly. Women have ignored me my entire life and it would be reassuring to know its not because of my appearance but rather my poor ability in picking up social cues and social anxiety.

I've always felt that women and men are picky, but then I see a guy who hasn't got his things together, isn't ambitious, doesn't really have any hobbies, and has an attractive girlfriend and I'm like why? What is it about him that is so damn attractive? I'm about to start my Masters of Teaching, I am about to start tutoring high school students, I have written over 40 songs in the past year and a half on my computer (where I have a program where I can write fully fledged compositions), I look after myself, treat people with respect, and want life for myself, and those around me, to be the best they can damn well be. I have spent more money on dating sites than I care to admit and obviously have nothing to show for it.

The reason I like late 70s early 80s rock music, (and mid to late 60s rock music as well), is because of how exciting and innovative it was. Here was a young group of disenfranchised people from around the world, looking to take on the political and musical establishments by showing that anyone with a modicum of talent could be in a band as long as they worked hard enough to do it. Not only that it also put forward the "Straight Edge" movement in which I'm a proud member (even though there really isn't a group as such around). I've the last few days with a new keyboard I borrowed from someone writing some post-punk songs (in the vein of Killing Joke/Joy Division/New Order) which has helped give me some space from the thoughts, even though they are not far behind me. Thanks for all the responses everyone let me know what you all think.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Azzdog~

That was a lovely detailed and thoughtful reply. Time taken is never a problem, you post when it makes sense. Perhaps I'm mistaken but I seem to see two different 'modes' of writing in your posts. There is of course the discussion over your lack of female companionship and how you feel as a result.

There is also your views on music, which are not given by someone who is boring or limited. Add to that an ability to study, to compose and hopefully to teach. A pretty well-rounded person.

Perhaps I'm wrong but maybe you feelings over lack of success with females are 'spilling over' when in female company. As an example there might never be a 'casual' interaction, as each is loaded with high stakes - eg: will it work out?

This may not alow others to be at ease, despite your best efforts.

Do you think I'm on the wrong track?

I did like HoldingOnToHope's post, (sorry to talk about you in the 3rd person HOTH) it sounded very genuine and sensible and might give some insight into why dating sites, clubs and all only attract a small proportion of the female population. So thanks HOTH.

I'm off to look up "Straight Edge"


Community Member

Hi Azzdog. I can identify with a lot of the frustration over dating that you've expressed here. I've been single for almost six years. As a fairly plain, overweight and introverted women in her 30s with regular bouts of crippling depression, men are not exactly lining up at my door. I do all the things people are supposed to do - travel, spend time with friends, focus on my career and hobbies, but I still get lonely and have to fight every day not to become bitter and self-loathing. I have also grown tired of platitudes like "you'll meet someone as soon as you stop looking" or "the right man is out there for you." The truth is, not everyone gets a fairy tale ending. I think about whether I'm able to make peace with the idea of being alone. I think I could, but I'd prefer not to.

I spent most of my early 20s in the punk scene and had loads of straight edge mates. There are still straight edge girls out there too, as well as women who just prefer not to drink. There are women who have a genuine interest in the type of music you're into, other introverts, other women who battle mental health conditions. It's tough meeting fellow introverts - we so rarely go out!

This may or may not be helpful, but I can tell you what makes me swipe right on a dating app. Conventional attractiveness has nothing to do with it for me, and for lots of women. I am attracted to photos where the guy looks like he is enjoying himself - travel photos, playing with their pet, playing in a band, etc. Whatever makes them smile. If there is any hint of aggressiveness or anger in the profile - complaining that nobody replies, things like "are there even any good women left out there?" it's a huge red flag for me. Just a simple description of interests and maybe a little joke is the best type of profile. If I do match, the best first message is asking a question about one of my photos or something in my profile. "Is that Italy in your photo? I've always wanted to go there!" etc. Don't talk about anything too intense up front, don't talk about sex straight away. You probably do all of this already, but that's what I look for anyway.

Community Member

Dear Croix,

Yeah I liked HoldingontoHope's post as well. However, it was something that has been brought to my attention in the past. Women do get approached more often which makes it harder for shy, introverted guys to make conversation. I don't know but I get the feeling, not just from women, but than any shy, introverted person seems to require too much effort to socialise with.

I guess I have well rounded views on certain things because I've spent an enormous amount of time developing my interests and broadening my mind. I don't want to come across as smug or arrogant, far from it, but I do believe I understand this world better than more than half of the people my age. It's not necessarily a good thing because of the way politics is right now, it makes me really anxious and depressed about the future.

You're not wrong at all. I was talking to one of my occupational therapists the other day about this exact issue. When I'm around men I don't think as much whereas around women I put too much pressure on myself to say the right things and be as exciting as possible. I can't seem to find the middle ground where I can just be myself and not have to be this extraordinary person. I'm not extraordinary, I know I'm flawed, but I feel very inferior to be around women than men.

Community Member

Hi BluBelle, thank you for taking the time to respond.

I guess the problem is hard to avoid isn't it? Almost impossible. The problem here being that the idea of falling in love and living happily ever after is such a beautiful image that most people would love to achieve. It's all over in popular music, movies, t.v. shows, advertisements. It really does my head in. I am so with you on platitudes like "you'll meet someone as soon as you stop looking". I spent the best part of 6 years doing that and absolutely nothing happened! It is counterintuitive when you think about it. Is that the same logic that that person applies when they are finding a job? "You'll get a job as soon as you stop looking". I know what they are trying to say, as in put your focus on your hobbies and interests, but it comes across as condescending.

That sounds awesome that you were in the punk scene! Are you still into punk? I don't know anyone who has any sort of interest in punk apart from like Blink-182 and Green Day. Personally, I don't really consider them as punk anyway. Green Day, maybe, but not Blink-182. I prefer the classics like The Clash and The Ramones. It sucks that those kinds of introverts I'll probably never meet. I was once called 'Un-Australian' because I don't drink alcohol. Pretty ridiculous right?

Unfortunately, while I do have lots of pictures from my time in South-East Asia, I don't like photos of myself due t my body dysmorphia. I have never taken a selfie and the photos I have on dating sites are okay but not really showing all my interests. I can't look in a mirror alone look at a picture of myself. I never talk about sex ever on dating sites. I genuinely want to get to know the other person but that doesn't really seem to go anywhere. I always mention something about one of their photos or in their profile for the first message, still doesn't get me anywhere though.

Community Member

People in relationships are often condescending without meaning to be. Especially people who have been attached for a long time and don't know just how tough dating is these days. I think loneliness is about like hitting your thumb with a hammer, once the pain is gone you forget just how bad it was!

I do still listen to some punk. Usually bands like Bad Religion, NOFX, Against Me, etc. I like some heavier stuff too - straight edge kinda came out of punk/hardcore with Minor Threat. Most straight edge kids I knew were able to band together and avoid some of those judgements from the general population.

I'm sorry to hear you have body dysmorphia. I'm not familiar with it myself but I imagine it makes things difficult. Would it help if someone else chose some nice photos of you and put them up on your profile? That way you wouldn't have to look at them. Bumble might be a good alternative dating app, as the women have to message you first which can take the pressure off!

Community Member

Only people in relationships have that condescending attitude towards how hard it is for us singles to make sense of the dating world. I struggle to see how it will change for me and I get very angry about it but what's the point?

Ah yeah. Bad Religion are really good. I don't own much of their stuff though but I do like some of their material. I wouldn't know where any of the punk scenes are and I would be too scared to go even if I knew where they were. I'm not good at meeting new people, even more so at a high octane event. The life of someone with social anxiety is tragic really.

It makes things really hard. I can't go to the movies anymore in case there are actors that make me feel insecure about the way I look. There are certain t.v. shows and topics in music I can't listen to as well. It makes it hard to live. I actually did. The problem is that there weren't many photos to begin with. Its a bit sad really. Don't get me started on Bumble. People told me it would be a good app to go on and I have been on there over a year and have had only one conversation on it that ended abruptly. In my opinion its just as bad as tinder is.