Cheating with Friend


Cheating with Friend


your avatar   Kat, 18-year-old woman

Something very weird happened to me when I was a kid and I developed a huge fear of kissing. Actually, of being intimate with someone I actually have romantic feelings for. A few months ago I met a great guy. He makes me laugh and really likes me for me. But he doesn't have a lot of attitude and my almost phobia of intimacy just made me pull away every time he tried something. This turned into a huge bother for me since we couldn't get intimate, because I just could not overcome my insecurities. So I asked a friend of mine to teach me and give me feedback. When she touched me for the first time I started hyperventilating, but I eventually let her. It was almost like a class, she just told me what to do and what was wrong, and none of us actually enjoyed it. But I feel really guilty! Did I cheat on him? I felt no pleasure and I just did it because I wanted to be perfect and ready for us to take it to the next level. My friend and I never talked about it again. We're both heterosexual but she just helped me out. What should I do? Was this so wrong?


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Dear Kat,

The simple answer is no, you have not cheated on your boyfriend. You and your girlfriend have intuitively engaged in the correct therapy for your problem. You have developed a phobia. The best way to get rid of that is "in vivo exposure:" forcing yourself into the feared situation until the fear fades. If you can make yourself face the fear long enough, it always does fade away.

You would benefit from reading my little self-help book, "Anger and Anxiety: Be in charge of your emotions and control phobias."

My real question is: where did the phobia of intimacy come from? My strong guess is childhood sexual abuse. To really solve the problem, you need to deal with that. Please find a competent local psychologist who deals with childhood sexual trauma, and get therapy. Then you can build a good, full life for yourself.


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit:


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