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How do I convince my partner it was normal?

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Paul asks:

The other day my girlfriend (15) and I (17) were hooking up and I fingered her until orgasm, then we lay for a few and I fingered her again. And then she took off my pants and started to give me a handjob for the first time, the only thing is it had only been 10 minutes when she stopped and I never reached climax and never came. This was my first handjob ever and I was really nervous. Now she thinks that it is her fault because she thinks she was bad and that is the reason, now she is really embarrassed and I'm really afraid I may lose her. I've tried to tell her that she was not bad and that I was just really nervous however she thinks that I'm lying to her to try to make her feel better about her being bad (but she wasn't). What do I do? I am really bugging out that I may lose her over something so insignificant in our relationship.

Sarah replies:

It's pretty difficult when we let our self-worth get tied up in whether or not we "satisfy" a partner (especially based on criteria like orgasm). Unfortunately, the only thing you can do is explain what happened to your partner and be as honest as you can (which it sounds like you have been). What you describe is really really normal. When we are first participating in sexual activities (at all or with a given partner), it's not uncommon to be nervous and distracted and experience difficulty reaching orgasm. If your partner doesn't want to believe you, then there's unfortunately not much you can do about it. You may want to suggest that she come here and read some of the information about sexual function and how orgasm works. Because of the way sex and orgasm are portrayed in the popular media, it's not uncommon for people to honestly not understand how it works and thus assume that if you do "X" (whatever that is), the automatic, unchanging, everytime result will be an orgasm. Otherwise, it may be wise to consider holding off on sexual activity until everybody's clear about exactly how all of this works. It can really create some weird dynamics in the relationship.

You both may want to check out the following links:

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