I apologize for the atrocious length of this post in advance, but I feel this is something I need to state in detail. Iíve come here several times over the last few months, starting to ask a question about a sexual experience I had and how it was effecting me but never been able to come out with it, either because the situation that provoked me wanting to ask dissipated, or I felt as though I had worked it out myself. But obviously, since Iím here again, I havenít worked it out and the truth is every time sex comes up in my life this issue comes back.
So the background then:
I am 20 now but at the time I was 18 and I was in my first relationship. In fact it was my first everything, my first real kiss, my first time being felt up etc. etc. We were long distance at this point and I had gone up to visit him for the weekend. On my last night there things got pretty heated Ė we were making out and clothes came off. At first I was ok with it but when he started rubbing his penis against my vulva I got freaked out (I had never been naked with someone before, had never even really thought about whether I wanted to be naked with someone, and it felt like everything was going too fast). I told him to stop and reluctantly (though maybe Iím playing the reluctant up a bit in my memory) he did.
We got dressed and I asked if we could just cuddle so we did. But he was obviously pouting so I asked him what was wrong and after prodding he started on a long rant about how ďwe only ever did what I wantedĒ how on our last nights together ďit was always about what I neededĒ about how we always ďcuddled and were sadĒ and how he just wanted to go back to ďwhat we were doing before, could we please just go back to what we were doing before.Ē And it seems silly looking back but at the time the guilt trip totally got me, those stereotypes you see in sitcoms of woman who are always so unreasonable to their men, who when a man says something they spin it on them to make it something atrocious, came back to haunt me. That plus the experience of growing up with a mother who I often felt as a child was very irrational towards my dad. For that, or whatever other reason, I felt I really was being unreasonable and gave into his pressuring and said ďok, we can go back to what we were doing.Ē
I did not want to, I had no desire to continue what we had been doing before, but I let him take off my pants and underwear without so much as a kiss and with the only words out of his mouth being ďI donít have to take off your shirt too do I.Ē
I remember him getting on top of me and rubbing his genitals against mine again, until his penis was basically entering my vagina. I remember feeling powerless and empty and trying to conjure up to will to tell him to stop. Eventually he went in too far and I yelled out because it hurt. He asked if he could keep going. I said no. He asked if he could keep doing it if he did it differently. I said no.
So we stopped, and we got dressed. I remember sitting on the edge of his bed and I donít remember if I cried but I do remember I felt numb and empty.
The sad thing is this isnít where the relationship ended, in fact that was only about the halfway point in what would become a year and half long relationship that I would eventually end. Throughout the rest of the relationship the sex dynamic (which very quickly became the most important dynamic) was essentially the same. I cried often after sex in his presence, but he always wanted sex again later, and sometimes Iíd even come on to him. Regardless I never felt in control during sex and incapable of asserting myself or asking for what I wanted.
The situation left me confused on a lot of levels. Partly because I was still grappling with the fact that my parents religion (which at the time I was not sure was my own or not) did not consent to pre-marital intercourse and partly because it felt good sometimes, my body reacted the rubbing and the stimuli and I enjoyed it physically albeit not emotionally (which is a phenomena I feel is poorly conveyed, especially in regards to women, in sex education). But mostly I was confused because I had a hard time coming to terms with whether what happened that first time (and so many others) was consensual or not. In fact itís still something I wonder about. I didnít want it, but I said ok, and he resisted a bit but he stopped when I said no out loud. But while this question does still bother me, itís no longer the most important on my mind.
Since then Iíve had one other real relationship, with someone who was a close friend and was aware of my past sexual experience. I was, for whatever reason (too much baggage, feeling he was too closely connected in my mind to the person I had had so many bad experiences with, a lack of concrete communication, just not enough attraction) never able to be sexually involved with him. In fact I never let anything progress to below the waste. Maybe in a bit of a backlash from my past experience of powerlessness? Either way we ended up breaking up, and one of the big points (though he never used this wording) was the fact I wouldnít put out.
Flash forward to present and I find myself casually seeing a guy I like. We go to university together and met in class, weíve gone on a number of dates over the past month and we seem to get each other intellectually (something both of my other relationships really lacked). And then a few dates in we end up having sex. The weird part for me being that even though up until before weíd started doing anything that evening I was still thinking ďwell obviously my boundaries are waste upĒ I enjoyed, and wanted the sex. And I donít just mean enjoyed physically, I mean for the first timeÖ ever, I didnít feel intimidated during sex, dominated, or guilty afterwards. Which while I realize is a normal experience for most people hasnít been for me. I mean I actively took part in undressing him (something Iíve never wanted to do before), was able to tell him (without feeling angry or violated) when he accidentally hurt me and actually suggested me being ontop during sex, which is a position I never felt comfortable in (not wanting the sex youíre having doesnít make it easy to take a position where you have to actively participate). We could even joke during sex and the awkward pause of taking off our glasses turned into laughter. Iím not trying to portray this experience as god like or world altering, it was good sex but it wasnít from another world, just that it was strangely easy and uncomplicated.
And the point is that all this makes me a bit confused. Not because I feel guilty or ashamed (which I donítÖ though if I think about it long enough, trust me, I can work myself to a point of guilt or shame) but precisely because I donít. When I felt bad after sex I might have been confused about why I let it happen, but never about why I felt those emotions. But suddenly, with a guy I honestly donít even know all that well, sex just doesnít feel like a big deal. Itís a very unexpected (and not consciously decided) 180 from a girl who only a few months ago was broken up with for (in not so many words) refusing to put out. The fact I didnít consciously come to this conclusion before hand especially sends me a curve ball because I was so sure I was someone who didnít want sex at all, for a very long time.
I guess my question is then:
Do you think it was an unwise decision to have sex with him considering my past experiences and confusion in the area?
Do you think I should bring up my sexual past with him despite the relative newness of our relationship now that weíve had sex and may very well keep doing so?
Do you think I should make him aware at least of the fact Iím still learning what a normal, healthy sex relationship feels like and that I might want to tighten boundaries occasionally and have certain activities (like giving oral) that Iím just very not ok with because of past experiences?
I assume the answer to at least one of the last two is yes, so in that case HOW do I bring these situations up. I mean Iíve read through your material on how to talk about sex with partners but Iíve never been able to fathom a way to actually start one of these conversations.
If youíve made it this far through the post I thank you so much for taking the time to read it, and just for additional points:
-over the last year (and especially the last two months) Iíve really opened up and been able to talk to many close friends about my bad experiences with sex
-Iíve come to terms with the fact that religiously I really find nothing wrong with pre-marital sex
Posts: 245 | From: British Columbia, Canada | Registered: Mar 2010
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Hey, skiesofgreen! First of all I am very sorry to hear what your first time and relationship were like, nobody should put up with that.
I think it was a good decision from you to have sex, *especially* after that first bad experience. I think it has shown you sex can be enjoyable and fun, and I hope it will encourage you to explore that side of your life, if you feel like it. I totally recommend it!
Second, I don't think you should tell him everything, not by now, but maybe explaining you've had difficult experiences and that you're not as good at this as other girls your age. I'm sure he won't mind, in all honesty there's nothing funnier (and sexier!) than learning new things in bed. Letting go is never easier so take your time, the way you have described him I am sure he will understand where you are coming from.
I think the best time for you to bring up this is after you've had sex, which is an intimate moment. You should say something like: "you know, I know I'm not very good at this stuff but I've had some bad experiences and I'm still learning".
And I'm glad you've come to terms with pre-marital sex not being wrong. I think it is actually very healthy!
Posts: 7 | From: Liverpool, England | Registered: Nov 2010
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