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Nervous for sex

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Mandy asks:

Ok I have a few questions. I’m 18 and have been with my boyfriend for about a year and have not been sexually active with him or anyone else in any way (no oral, hand jobs/fingering, or sex). I have fun making out with him, but he recently told me that he doesn’t want to make out heavily anymore because it isn’t turning him on as much anymore without the “big O at the end”. Is this normal? I sort of want to do more but feel a little uncomfortable. My bf is supportive of my limits (especially he since he didn’t lose his virginity till he was 21) and isn’t trying to force me or anything but still really wants to do more. I love him and I want to do more but am nervous. He is much older and much more experienced than I am. I have talked to him about being nervous and stuff and it has helped a little but not a lot. I have another question too: I have a LOT of clear discharge when we make out and dry hump. Is this normal? I feel nervous about letting him finger me because of this. I am also nervous about giving him a hand job and oral because I don’t know what to do after he ejaculates. It all just seems very messy. I feel like I don’t know enough about how to get into and out of the sexual situation… I feel ready but just too nervous to go on… Is there something that I can do that will make this more comfortable? What can I do? Please help!
P.S. Thank you so much. This site is amazing.

Hollie replies:

If you're uncomfortable with doing anything else sexually with your boyfriend, the best answer I (or anyone) can give you is to go with your gut instinct. There is a reason you're uncomfortable with this, and while it is a very sound idea to explore that (alone and with your partner), it is NOT a sound idea to just do it because your partner wants you to or you think you're supposed to.

It sounds like your boyfriend is saying that if he can't have an orgasm, he doesn't want anything at all. Fair enough, if that's all there is to it. However, I worry that this may be your boyfriends way of coercing you into other sexual activities. This way, if you want to make out, you know you have to go further or he's not interested. I worry that your boyfriend IS pressuring you in ways that you're not seeing as such. Anything other than "I understand you're scared/nervous/uncomfortable and we'll go at your pace. I don't want to do anything that is going to make you feel that way, and I don't want you to do anything just because you think I want to" is less than supportive.

Another thing to consider before you go ahead with anything else sexually is sexually transmitted infection screenings. This is especially important because your boyfriend has been sexually active in the past. You both need to have two screenings, six months apart, and maintain a monogamous relationship until then. For any sexual activity between now and then you need to be using condoms for all genital contact. Conveniently, this also takes care of what to do with the ejaculate; put on a condom beforehand, proceed with the handjob or blowjob, and allow him to dispose of the condom and its contents himself. There is no reason for you to have any contact with ejaculate (and good reasons for you not to!)

The clear discharge you're asking about is most likely normal vaginal lubrication that comes with arousal. It is normal and nothing to be ashamed of. It's a good thing.

It sounds like your lack of information is really contributing to your nervousness. You've come to the right place! Another great resource is your local sexual health clinic or gynecologist. If you haven't started going for annual gynecological exams, you need to do so. You can discuss your anxieties with your gynecologist, and s/he can address those concerns with you. It's important to remember that we all had to learn this at some point; we're not just born with this information or the knowledge of how to go about conducting a healthy sexual relationship. It takes time and patience. And you're seeking out the information, asking the right questions, which is leaps and bounds ahead of what some other people your age do, so give yourself huge pat on the back for that.

We have a LOT of articles around here that I think you'll fine useful. It'd be a good idea to print them out and go over them with your boyfriend.

written 28 Sep 2007 . updated 31 Jan 2014

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