T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 109710
posted 03-02-2014 04:30 PM
Hi, I am 20 years old and for the past 4 years I have been scared to lose my virginity. I have been in a relationship for nearly a year with someone I love very much; but my fear of having sex for the first time is sort of creating a barrier. He is in no way pressurizing me; more like I am pressuring myself because of my age.
I am very scared of the pain; mostly because I have never had anything inside me; no tampons, fingers nothing, not for lack of trying. I have tried but it hurts, even when lubricated. My BF has tried also but I panic so he stops. I almost brought up having sex last night but freaked out at the last second, after panicking for hours about it. I know most people are going to say wait, because I am obviously not ready but I am 20 years old so I should be ready, so many people expect someone of my age to have lost their virginity. It is embarrassing. Any advise would be appreciated, it is really getting me down. I feel like I can't move on with my life because of it.
Member # 103815
posted 03-02-2014 04:55 PM
Welcome to Scarleteen. I totally hear you about where you are at right now, and you are not alone with your fears and self expectations. Let's start with some questions. 1. How do you visualize/expect your first time to be? That is, do you visualize/expect it to be painful regardless of how aroused you might feel in the moment, or do you also fully believe that if you are totally turned on that you would feel no pain at all? 2. How do you feel about sex in general? Do you feel it must happen within certain confines of a person's life? 3. How much do you know about sex? Are you familiar with other types of sex that don't involve penetration of the penis into the vagina? 4. How much do you know about the consequences of sex, such as pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections? Do you know how to use a condom--in your case, a female condom, but also, do you know how to put a male condom on your partner? Are you aware of what kinds of sex can cause pregnancy, and what kinds can't? 5. I see you using and identifying with the term "virginity." What would it mean for you to "give up" your virginity? What does it mean to be a virgin vs. not being one, and why does the latter one seem so much more favorable to you? 6. What are you basing your decision on when you say that "I am 20 years old so I should be ready"? If you can help us answer some of these questions, we can help you in return by taking a look together and seeing how we can offer you some really good advice besides just telling you that you are "obviously not ready." Perhaps in doing so, you can also see from your answers some conclusions you can make regarding how you feel about your decision. I'm attaching here a link to one of our articles about sexual readiness that you may find helpful and informative as well: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/relationships/ready_or_not_the_scarleteen_sex_readiness_checklist [ 03-02-2014, 04:56 PM: Message edited by: Patricia H ]
Member # 109710
posted 03-02-2014 05:21 PM
Hi. Thanks for your quick reply.
1. Considering I have been thinking about it for over 4 years, I have visualized it going fantastically well with no pain/ awkwardness. I have also visualized it going badly, with the awful pain that my friends told me about. I should also mention with a previous BF he tried insertion with his finger and penis, but I was not aroused so it also hurt considerably and didn't work ( meaning he did not go further than the entrance of my vagina). My worries could stem from this attempt. 2. This is difficult to answer. I don't feel sex should happen within a certain time period for everyone, I think it depends on the person; but for me in particular I feel like I am on the edge of the time scale of being a virgin, being 20 years old. I feel to me, it is a path that I have to face but I keep putting it off- therefore I can't continue with life. I constantly think about it. 3. Since me and my BF have being going out for nearly a year we have done other stuff, Oral sex for example. I also know about anal, but I couldn't even contemplate that idea. I don't know of other types of sex. 4. I feel very knowledgeable in the consequences of sex. With regards to STI's. My BF has only ever been with one other partner, 3 years ago. I know how to put a male condom on, I am also on the contraceptive pill for reason other than contraception. 5. Virginity to me is a massive weight on my shoulders, losing it would mean losing that weight off my shoulders. Aside from my family/ friends thinking I am not a virgin, and expecting I am not a virgin from my age. I feel naive and immature simply because I yet to lose the V-card. I also think it is putting a barrier in my relationship. Not many men would wait one year for sex, whilst I am not worried about my partner leaving me I understand it is usually a big part of being in a relationship. 6. Many people I know lost their virginity long ago. I don't see many people making a fuss about it as much as I am. I feel as though my age should stand for me being mature enough to accept pain is part of losing ones virginity and I should just accept it and get it over with. Despite my fear, I feel as though I am ready, I just need the courage to do it. And maybe a little Vodka. ( I am in the UK, and drinking is legal at 18)
Member # 103815
posted 03-02-2014 06:24 PM
Hi, thanks for taking the time to answer all those questions. I know they were pretty general questions and aren't meant to be all-inclusive, but did you find them somewhat helpful? It seems like you are letting your friends and society define how you feel about sex, particularly your sexual identity (for example, "...with the awful pain that my friends told me about," and "many people I know lost their virginity a long time ago.") when in fact, sex is actually a very personal thing that only you get to define and develop as a part of who you are. That's what people mean when they say that sex is special--it's special because no one else has to know about it unless you want them to, and it's something that came out with you when you were born and will stay with you for the rest of your life. Sexuality/sexual identity doesn't just "begin" after you've had penetrative sex, nor does it end once you hit old age; it is there and a part of you every time you make a judgement about your body, other people's bodies, what makes you feel good (or not) and who you feel sexually attracted to, among other factors. I guess after asking you all these questions about you, perhaps I (or you) could turn these same questions, after some modifications, to your current partner. How are things with your partner outside of the bedroom? Are you two able to communicate effectively and clearly to each other your wants and needs as well as your thoughts and fears? Are you respectful of each other boundaries, and can you handle disappointments graciously? What is the whole point of this relationship, e.g. are you both looking to grow old together, or simply exploring your own individual sexuality through each other, trying to see if your partner is good match for you and vise versa? With that, I'm going to give you some homework. Did you manage to take a look at that link I sent you? I know it's a bit wordy, but if you don't want to read the whole thing, just focus on the readiness checklist, about halfway down the article. In addition to my questions that I started you off here, I feel that being able to honestly answer those questions while you go through the checklist will help you figure out what you want to do from here. You mentioned you don't know of other types of sex besides oral and genital sex. You also didn't mention how knowledgeable you feel about pregnancy from sex. This link may help you: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/abuse_assault/can_i_get_pregnant_or_get_or_pass_on_an_sti_from_that You might also find this helpful: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/sexuality/first_intercourse_101 And lastly, I'm going to leave you with this quote from one of our links as food for thought for you (for the full article, see: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/bodies/10_of_the_best_things_you_can_do_for_your_sexual_self_at_any_age) quote: Most of all... ... don't forget that sex and sexuality are supposed to be pleasurable and bring you joy and richness. So many of the messages sent out to young people are about the dangers of sex or dating, are about saying no to sex based on very general and arbitrary ethics that may not be your own, and make sex out to be the Big Bad, when really, it doesn't have to be. If you aren't ready for sexual partnership, then no, sexual partnership isn't going to be right for you right now. But even if you try something out and discover it isn't, it's unlikely to cause you lifelong trauma. We all err sometimes; we learn, we move on. We're an adaptable species like that. Your sexuality is yours to have, explore and enjoy even all by yourself, and yours to share with partners, when and if you're ready and willing to do that. When you respect it and you, it's a wonderful part of who you are, one that has the power to enrich your life and make you feel physically and emotionally great. And it can be great responsibly and healthfully: a lot of the time, we plop sex and adventure into the same pile, and assume that for sex to feel great, it has to be risky or we have to feel "naughty" doing it, and that just isn't the case. In fact, it's reasonable to say that if our culture could ditch a lot of the taboo and shameful attitudes it has about sex, the whole lot of us would be a much healthier people, physically and emotionally. So, if you're engaged in sex in any way that makes you feel bad, stop and look at that. Sometimes, sex can be disappointing, either alone or with partners, that happens the same way any aspect of life can be disappointing or just plain lame. But if that's the case continually, it's time for a change, be that by splitting from a partner, pulling back on something you're doing or asking for things you want but aren't getting, taking better care of your sexual health or spending more time getting to know your own body, reevaluating your sexual identity or taking a break from sex altogether for a while. If you can't feel or experience the joy of sex, then it's just not worth doing. And when you can? Let yourself enjoy it. That's what it's there for.
Member # 109796
posted 03-14-2014 07:07 PM
Everyone's already given wonderful useful advice, but I thought I'd add that if you're having difficulty with things like tampon insertion, it's worth seeing a doctor to make sure it's not a matter your gyno could help you out with. From what you've described, vaginismus seems like the likely explanation, related to your nervousness.