Talk

Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Just 'cause I've had premarital sex,doesn't mean I am particularly sexually open..

(44 Posts)
AwkwardCatholic Mon 24-Nov-14 14:41:57

Will try and keep short.
OH and I have been married 7 years, together about 10. I am his first sexual partner but he is not mine. I slept with 2 other guys before him in stable relationships.
As my username suggests, I was brought up Catholic though I am no longer in the least religious. However, I do think that my upbringing in Ireland and its lack of sexual permissiveness has probably contributed to my attitude to sex. I generally just end up feeling awkward if I am not giving as well as receiving. Similarly, I have never been one for masturbating really - I give it a try but my brain doesn't shut off easily and I often end up just leaving it be.

OH's doesn't understand how I could feel self-conscious and awkward with my husband. He didn't have sex before me but it seemed once he found the one to be with, that was fine, all floodgates open and he doesn't feel awkward about it. I think he feels that I was probably swinging off chandeliers before him (though I have told him it was not like that and he actually sexually awakened me to a large extent) and can't reconcile how I could not be that bothered about losing my virginity as a big thing but then feel awkward about other stuff. He feels hurt or like it's a rejection of him that I do feel awkward and I have no clue how to explain it really as it's just how I feel.

Any tips?!

AwkwardCatholic Mon 24-Nov-14 15:01:06

P.S. I have name-changed for this but am a long-time person here though sporadic at posting. I know about Pom Bears and Penisbeaker and the Mumsnet scarf and so on and so forth.
Any words of wisdom would be most appreciated 'cause I know he feels hurt and rejected by this but then, of course, I can't be expected to lie back and feel awkward rather than let him know how I feel and change what we are doing to be more satisfying.

Lweji Mon 24-Nov-14 15:16:03

What other stuff are you awkward about? Is he making you feel awkward?

Even if you like sex, you don't have to necessarily like or want every possible sexual position or activity.

HumblePieMonster Mon 24-Nov-14 15:19:05

So, is your problem that you feel awkward about sex even though your husband is not your first partner?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 24-Nov-14 15:19:40

With your previous sexual partners, did you feel the same way? I ask because, in my experience, the quality of sexual experience depends a lot on the generosity and sensitivity of your partner as much as your own attitude. A good sexual partner can create a relaxed and trusting environment where creativity feels natural. With a bad one, it's easy to feel self conscious and awkward.

AwkwardCatholic Mon 24-Nov-14 15:22:31

No, he is not making me feel awkard. It's more that if he decides to concentrate on me, especially if it takes a little while for me to get turned on, my mind will wander and I just begin to feel a bit awkward/vulnerable.
he wants to pleasure me but I want it to be more mutual.
I know I don't have to enjoy it all and I know it's nice he wants to pleasure me and I also understand, a bit, why he feels rejected if I won't let him. Not sure how to communicate clearly that it's MY issue, not him.

I did say that to him - that it's me, not him and that it's how I am.
I guess it's just a question of keeping on communicating. Sex has been a bit of an issue recently - the oh-so-common mistmatched libidos and kids and tiredness stuff - so he's more sensitive to "rejection" than ever.
He will be seeing this as 1. he tries something new and I won't let him and 2. I don't feel comfortable with him (possibly with him also thinking that I was with my other partners) and don't like sex with him.

loveareadingthanks Mon 24-Nov-14 15:26:13

I sympathise with you both, but can empathise more with him.

I had a long term partner who had a lot of hang ups about sex, due to a religious upbringing. No masturbation, thought sex was something that should only happen in bed, under the covers, in the dark. Was uncomfortable about nudity out of the bed. Sex was all a bit naughty and dirty, to him.

Over time it really hits your own confidence being with someone like that. His not being comfortable around nudity turned into 'do I look awful naked', for example. Try and bring in something new, or instigate sex in another room, and you are made to feel like some pervert. I can understand why he feels hurt and rejected; I did.

I can't really empathise with your side of things, although that doesn't mean you shouldn't have your own feelings about it all. But it's damaging your marriage to feel awkward about something that is a natural and perfectly normal part of marriage. Churches, including the Catholic church, stress how a good sex life is important for a good marriage.

Can you get to the root of how you feel about sex? Being Catholic, yes there are some more restricted attitudes relating to premarital sex, but the church doesn't disapprove of sex within marriage. Did you get the impression when you were growing up from someone, that sex itself is somehow 'wrong' or dirty?

Can you try to talk to him about it again, hear his side, expain your side, and find a way forward from this together, because right now neither of you is happy with your sex life. Sex therapy is sometimes available on NHS, and you can access it through Relate and other organisations (or private qualified sex therapists).

AwkwardCatholic Mon 24-Nov-14 15:26:59

Humble Pie - my problem is that my husband interprets my awkwardness as rejection of him rather than something in me.

Cogito - yes, felt the same with previous partners. When my first partner wanted to go down on me, I kept using the excuse that I had tights on and it would be too awkward!! I do trust my husband but I think it's a question of if he's down there and I take a while to warm up, my mind wanders and I start to feel awkward. I asked him to come up so we could cuddle, and do mutual stuff but, at this point, he felt that I was rejecting him/trying something new. I said I was just a bit cold and self-conscious and wanted him close and he got upset about that.
When he's upset, he needs to go off and calm down - there's no talking him out of it.
I have told him, via text - that it's me not him, that I crave closeness in sex more than just being pleasured, that I like it to be mutual and that when I got cold, I began to feel exposed and awkward. I told him I understand that he felt rejected and have asked him for his side. I guess that is probably all I can do.

HumblePieMonster Mon 24-Nov-14 15:32:18

Well, he's a silly sausage, isn't he?

From the other things you've said, it sounds as if he's being selfish and inconsiderate. Sex is about what you both want, surely, not just what he wants to do?

Teeb Mon 24-Nov-14 15:33:29

Ah I understand you op. A lot of men can feel offended if you don't want to be 'pleasuresd' in the way they deem appropriate, or how they've read other women like to be. Seuxal relationships aren't about other people, what Cosmo tells us we should like, or porn or ex partners, it's about the two or more people involved want and enjoy. You should never feel pressured to enjoy something because you are supposed to when it isn't something that you are actually enjoying. There can also be a sense of obligation or pressure to perform when you are receiving sexual attention, that you need to make all the right obliging sounds on cue or you'd be disappointing him.

I'm not sure what to suggest going forwards though, I find these men quite difficult and draining to deal with.

AwkwardCatholic Mon 24-Nov-14 15:34:18

lovereading - thanks for your long reply. Not in the UK and I don't think either of us would be up for sex counseling, really.

We have had sex in different rooms, I don't mind the lights on and I am comfortable with nudity, generally...so long as I am warm!

I also fully agree that sex is part of a healthy marriage and it's important in ours and couldn't give a stuff - intellectually speaking - about what the Catholic church has to say on the matter either way! However, I do think that being brought up in that environment (my parents were not over-restrictive but it's fairly pervasive in Ireland, I think and I did go to a convent school too) has maybe affected how I feel about it all. I don't think trying to explain that to him would work so well as I think he'd be like "well you had sex before marriage so it can't be that much ingrained in you".

I have asked for his side so I hope he will share. It's interesting to hear your side, lovereading. His main issue seemed to be when I mentioned "self-conscious" - he feels like he is my husband and I have nothing to feel self-conscious about but the fact is, when I am lying there, I find it hard to fully relax and am more likely to be ok with it if we have a cuddle and a snuggle and some mutual stuff first. I will emphasise that again, I think. It's a question of turning my mind off from the day, a bit, I think which is easier if I am also concentrating on him but he will hear "oh, I am so crap at it, I can't even get her to stop thinking about the washing" or whatever...

AwkwardCatholic Mon 24-Nov-14 15:36:11

THanks Teeb! Yes, it can be a bit draining but he is worth it!!

Yes, HumblePie - he is a silly sausage! It would be just selfish if he wasn't feeling hurt about it, I guess and he needs to try to see if from my point of view just as I am trying to see it from his. I am just trying to figure the best way to help him see my side!

Dirtybadger Mon 24-Nov-14 15:38:48

How do you feel about your body? Are you comfortable wandering around naked with your husband, etc?

Does whatever your husband does when trying to "pleasure you" feel pleasant? There are some things which partners do, expecting to culminate in an orgasm (I think?) which I enjoy and I suppose are sexual but are really more on par with a nice massage, for me, in sensation. By all means crack on but the only thing making it more "sexual" than a massage is the fact it involves genitals. We're quite genital-orientated when we think about sex.

Could you suggest some other options to your DH which you might feel "freer" to enjoy, because they're not as sexualised. Massage, light touch, kissing, etc. I think it's hard to snap out of the genitals + boobs= sexy bits thing, but if you enjoy other things more and they turn you on...just ask him for that instead! Perhaps you'll "let go" more to enjoy these as they aren't so tied up with "sex"?

Hopefully that wasn't completely useless advice sad

AwkwardCatholic Mon 24-Nov-14 15:46:08

Thanks Dirty! I am find walking around naked (as long as I am warm!!)

What he was doing was beginning to feel pretty good and sexual and then I heard DD cry out in her sleep so I guess I got a bit snapped out of the zone. Was looking for closeness - cuddles- both for warmth and to get back in the zone but he then felt that I was rejecting this new thing.

I think it's more about me needing to communicate with him about my preferences in such a way that he doesn't think I am rejecting him. And he needs to buck up a bit and remember it's about pleasuring me, not trying out whatever new thing, no matter what!!

Dirtybadger Mon 24-Nov-14 16:02:02

I follow a little bit better. He feels like you should be pleasured how he sees fit. You feel you should be pleasured in a way which is pleasurable.
I think a lot of men (people? but probably men more so than women) have this bizarre approach.

AwkwardCatholic Mon 24-Nov-14 16:04:25

A bit like that, Dirty. And he feels if I am self-conscious or awkward, that's a reflection on him rather than me. I guess, in full truth, it's a bit of a reflection on both but I am surely not alone in finding it hard to switch off after a day and get onto the sexing so I think we need to get hot and bothered together before attempting such things...maybe I can say that!

Lweji Mon 24-Nov-14 16:12:45

Skimming through, sorry, but it does feel it is mostly about him, his expectations and so on.
Whatever happens, you should be happy about it and him feeling hurt could be emotional manipulation (even if it isn't conscious). In relation to you, he should follow your lead, and anything he offers should only go as far as you want it. No pressure from him and no criticism from him, really.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 24-Nov-14 16:19:17

If that's typical of the problem then I'm sorry but it's him, not you. Good sex involves communicating. Not necessarily verbally but each taking cues from each other about what happens next. If you're not enjoying something and the other person is ploughing on regardless then they're being insensitive at best. If they go off in a strop they're adding insult to injury. Really immature.

Sex is something you do together with someone to achieve mutual pleasure. A bad lover thinks it's something they do to someone for their own pleasure.

AwkwardCatholic Mon 24-Nov-14 16:20:07

Yep, Lweji, I agree, it is my body and my feelings and that needs to be respected.

As I said, I think it's a communication thing, we need to find the way to communicate our needs without one feeling hurt or rejected.

Lweji Mon 24-Nov-14 16:48:28

Somehow I get the feeling that you assume that this communication is your responsibility.
That you should express yourself better.
It is not necessarily the case. He should most and foremost respect your feelings about it and be alert to it in a considerate way. It should not be about how you communicate it, unless you were putting him down.

AwkwardCatholic Mon 24-Nov-14 16:53:49

Thanks Lweji - yes, I know - 2 way street and then, ultimately, my body so I need to be able to say how I feel and him deal with that as long as I am not being unkind or insulting.

What I did was send some text messages to explain how I feel. Worded them carefully and sent them and then deleted from my 'phone so I can't over-analyse them! And then came on here to let it out a bit more and see what people think.
I also asked him if he wanted to meet for lunch/coffee (we work close by) to state his side of things as that might be easier than later in the day after kids are in bed so I think I have done my bit overall. if he wants to huff, then that is his problem as I am trying to explain and understand. (not that he is necessarily huffing - he could be busy at work!)
We are not UK - based, btw and it's only just lunchtime here

loveareadingthanks Mon 24-Nov-14 17:00:49

This is starting to sound a little bit different now.

So sometimes you kind of lose your mojo and want to slow down/go back a stage or two. I don't think that's at all unusual and your husband is being a bit funny about it. I don't really understand why he's taking it so personally. I'm a weird fussy bugger when it comes to sex. One day something will feel great, the next day it'll feel yuk. Poor DP does his best to keep up but has never got annoyed or offended by being asked to stop doing something, it's just the way I am, and the mood I am in at that moment. If X is not working for me right now, ok, let's have fun doing Y or Z instead.

Am I right in thinking this example was his going down on you? for the first time? Yes, a lot of women feel rather exposed and vulnerable then. You've got to be relaxed and confident. I totally understand how your child's noise broke you out of the moment and you needed to take a bit of time reconnecting with him.

The communication is a two way street. You have to talk to each other, but also listen to each other. Somewhere the real message is getting lost between the two of you.

SlowlorisIncognito Mon 24-Nov-14 17:06:58

AwkwardCatholic I had a totally different upbringing to you, and have been a lot more sexually promiscuous, and I don't really enjoy men performing Oral sex on me. I know it is something women are "supposed" to like, but I also find it awkward and would rather feel like an active participant than just lying there having things done to me.

Maybe because he is not sexually experienced, he hasn't realised that not all women enjoy the same things, even things that every woman is supposed to love? Perhaps he feels he has to do things a certain way, or try certain things, to keep you interested, especially as he is generally insecure about his performance?

I think that he needs to be aware that if he tries something new, you may not like it. That is not a rejection of him, that is a rejection of the act as it doesn't bring you pleasure. If he can't cope with that, I think that's his problem, not yours.

He sounds very insecure, but his insecurities shouldn't mean you don't get to enjoy things.

Perhaps, you could suggest things you do enjoy as well as talking about what you don't? If you say "I really love it when you/we do x, but I don't enjoy y and z" he may not take it so personally?

Joysmum Mon 24-Nov-14 17:17:51

I've posted a few times this suggestion as it helped me and my DH. We would have different nights where we would concentrate on pleasuring the other and they would need to say what they did and didn't like, as well as combinations of things etc.

I think it's very difficult for both people to find out what the other likes as it can be difficult to say, I want more of that, or that's really not doing it for me if the other appears to be enjoying it, or that their technique is a little off.

By starting off saying I want to make sure in doing the best I can for you, it gives to the lead for you to train him up a little the next time. Although that means being able to verbalise your wants, rather than texting.

specialmagiclady Mon 24-Nov-14 17:22:01

Haven't RTHT but I have to say I feel exactly the same as you re being gone down on! Unless I'm completely and utterly rampant (and warm enough etc) I can weirdly end up feeling a bit left out while my dh fossicks about in my nethers. Actually the thing that turns me on most of all is snogging. And fellatio. Having something to do basically. If I'm really turned on then I'm okay with sitting on his face as it were because then I can control it and it feels good and I have something to look at. (My uni boyfriend had a poster of the kings and queens of England that I used to read while at it!)

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: