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My boyfriend got so angry at me when my first time hurt. Will lube fix it?

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coco23 asks:

I am 24. I am a virgin. I tried to have sex with my boyfriend. We didn't use condoms. He tried to put it inside of me. I was in pain. He went in a little. I was feeling uncomfortable. He was so angry. I told him, I wasn't ready. He was very angry. He told me to get over it. He is so frustrated. Is there way to get over the pain? Does lube work?

Heather Corinna replies:

Lube can do some great things, it's true.

But you know what it can't do? It can't turn a lousy partner into a good one. It also can't take pain away that's being caused by a partner being a jerk.

I'm so very sorry to hear about how your boyfriend treated you. But this isn't about your body being a problem, nor even about you experiencing pain being a problem. The problem here is your boyfriend, and that's crystal clear to me. I'm more than a little concerned that, based on this post, it sounds like that isn't clear to you, or even on your radar. It really needs to be, because the way he was behaving just is not at all okay.

Above and beyond all else, I think what is most likely here to make you feel a lot better is to choose a partner for whatever kind of sex it is you ever want to have who doesn't act anything like this one. Very few people will ever feel good with a partner who is abusive or otherwise mean and thoughtless. being with someone like this is painful, even if that pain is emotional, not physical.

I think we can probably agree that getting angry at someone we care about when they are experiencing pain is not the kind of response we'd expect. We'd instead expect someone who cares about us, even if our being in pain was frustrating for them for some reason, to be mostly concerned about us, and more concerned about us having pain than about them getting what they wanted from us, especially while we were experiencing pain, of all times.

I think we can probably agree that if someone we cared about told us they weren't ready for something you wanted to do with them, "Get over it," would not be the way we'd respond. Instead, we'd respect that, even if we felt disappointed, ask what we could do to help, check in again about what they really wanted, and let them know that it's okay if they aren't ready yet.

And it'd be reasonable for us to think those things, because those things are what people who really do care, or can care, for other people do.

I don't think you need to get over it. I think you need to get over this guy, ASAP. And get far away from him. Or, at the very least, choose not to be intimate with him again.

At the very least, this person was really cruel, self-absorbed and inconsiderate. But it could be more than that. If that "get over it" was a response to you asking them to stop what they were doing, and they did not stop, but said that and kept going with sex, this person sexually assaulted you. If this way of responding to you in general, or when he doesn't get what he wants, is a pattern with him, you may be in an abusive relationship. But whether we're talking about the best-case scenarios or the worst, this guy is bad news for you, no matter how you slice it.

You -- as everyone who does the same for others does -- deserve a sexual partner who treats you with kindness and care, who has the emotional maturity and the ability to see beyond just themselves and their own wants to truly understand that sex with you is about more than just what they want. You deserve a partner who can be patient, even when things aren't going the way they'd like or how they imagined they would. This is very clearly not someone like that. Instead, this is someone who I suspect is going to keep causing you pain, physically, emotionally, or both, no matter what.

I think you could take a bath in lube and still be unlikely to have sexual experiences with this person which felt truly good to you, in your body, heart and mind.

Now, that's not to say that if and when you have a sexual partner who is caring, respectful, patient and mind, you might not still need or want lube.

You might, as plenty of people do, sometimes or always, especially with activities with entry or friction. But if you have a partner who gets angry with your discomfort, who just cannot deal with the fact that during sex with someone else he has to, you know, consider that other person as another person, then we're nowhere close to talking about things like a possible need for a lubricant, because there are some big basics you're missing that everyone needs to have first.

Like a partner you are safe with and can feel safe with: you don't have that yet, and with this person, you probably never will. A clear sense that you have a right to your own body and the way it feels, even when it doesn't feel the way you or someone else wants it to, and that anyone being intimate with you absolutely needs to respect that and respect that your own body is just that: yours, and not something that's about what they want or feels entitled to. You don't have that with this person, either. And since you've had this experience, you're also likely to find it very, very difficult to try and be intimate again without feeling anxious and fearful (valid feelings when someone has acted like this, since you have reason to feel afraid), instead of turned on and relaxed, the latter of which is vital for pleasurable, not painful, sexual experiences.

As all too many people know, I'm a person who can really go on sometimes, but you know, there really isn't much more to say here than I've already said, because with the kind of things you're saying, it truly is this simple.

The most likely cause of your pain, or, at least, the biggest cause, is the partner you have chosen. It seems to me that the most likely way to change the pain you're experiencing is to change that choice. You can't change him, but you can change choosing him, or anyone else who acts like this, as a partner. You can choose differently and, let's be real about it: better. Better for you, better for anyone. Heck, I think we can figure that if this guy found himself with a partner acting like he has here, he'd choose differently himself.

So, I'll tell you what: if and when you have another partner in your life who isn't anything like this one, who treats you and any sex they pursue with you with care, patience, kindness and respect, and you do find you're experiencing pain again, you can come right back here and we can talk about that. You also, as always, can check in with a sexual healthcare provider to make sure you don't have a pain condition. Since this person didn't use a condom to reduce the risks of infections, I'd suggest doing that soon anyway for testing for sexually transmitted infections.

The trouble is that as of right now, I think you absolutely do and will have a pain condition, it's just probably not about your body, but about the relationship you're in.

I'm going to give you some links to look at about all of this. You also are more than welcome to come to our message boards and talk more in-depth if you like, about the experience you had, or to get help and support moving away from a partner who treats you poorly, instead choosing to seek out partners who treat you well. While that's always a positive, it's often still not easy, especially if a relationship is earnestly abusive or controlling, or if you feel like you can't tell what's healthy and what's not.

But whether you come talk or ask for more help or not, I would really advise you to, indeed, do something likely to decrease your pain substantially and prevent more in the future: ditch this guy.

written 08 Feb 2012 . updated 21 Jan 2014

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