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A sex one

(113 Posts)
LivingDeadDoll Fri 12-Feb-21 07:02:02

I'm in my mid 40s and have never had a good relationship.

I lost my virginity at 19 but didn't really have a lot of sex. Most of the sex I had was drunken, missionary and a bit dull. I was raped twice before 21 which really put me off sex and I became fearful of it although I didn't realise that at the time really.

I married a man who was a virgin. We married because we were best friends not because we fancied or romantically loved each other. We had sex a few times in the early days but he was very inexperienced and there was no passion. We were together for 12 long, dull, sexless years.

After him, I decided I was going to have a bit of a personal sexual revolution but it didn't really work put that way. I've probably had sex with 8 men in the last 10 years. First, was a fuck buddy and that was the first time I'd even shared a bath with someone - I was 38. After that, I met men who really only wanted to do missionary - roll on, grunt a few times, roll off. Or had ED and so preferred hand jobs or bjs.

In late 2019, I started dating a man who was very sexual. I was so unbelievably attracted to him but my past all came back to haunt me and sex was a disaster. I was hugely intimidated by his experience and I felt woefully inadequate which made me really withdrawn sexually. I realised that I'm not very good with the spontaneous aspect of sex and I need there to be a lot of communication around it - what's going to be done, how etc. I told him about my past and how there are certain positions I find really triggering. He was incredibly understanding but I think it made him a bit fearful of initiating and upsetting me and he started waiting for me to do so. This, in turn, knocked my confidence further and I felt like he had gone off me sexually so I didn't really and, 5 months ago, I ended it.

There is obviously a lot of care and affection still there. For the first few weeks after breaking up, we saw each other only as friends. As Christmas approached, we became a lot closer. No sex or even hints at it but we spent about 3 months taking it slowly and getting to know each other again without the pressure of a label or expectations. We flirted and become a lot closer emotionally. A couple of weeks ago we had sex. It was really nice but I still had anxious feelings around it. We've seen each other about 3 times since. Had sex on one other occasion but the other times not. There's no expectation of sex and he is really respectful when we do.

I suppose none of it is simple in my head. I want an exciting and interesting sex life within a loving relationship but I'm plagued with feelings of inadequacy and the knowledge that, whatever we do, he'll have memories of doing similar with other women who were younger, slimmer, more confident and better skilled than me. I don't want him to feel he's having to 'teach' me and I'd feel small and insecure and stupid if he did. Although he's nothing other than kind and caring.

I feel big and awkward having sex. I'm torn between trying to sort this out and just accepting that I'm approaching 50 in the next few years and that sex and relationships are just something I need to accept isn't going to happen for me and put it in the past.

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LivingDeadDoll Fri 12-Feb-21 07:03:33

I just wish I could feel confident and sexy as much as anything rather than inadequate and ashamed.

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Shoxfordian Fri 12-Feb-21 07:11:20

I don’t think you just need to accept you can’t have a happy sexual relationship but you might benefit from some specific therapy to help you

LivingDeadDoll Fri 12-Feb-21 07:23:08

I've had therapy. It hasn't really helped with the confidence issue or feeling insecure and inadequate now.

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LivingDeadDoll Fri 12-Feb-21 07:24:44

Because my lack of experience for my age is a significant issue and I can't replace that.

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Heartbeats0708 Fri 12-Feb-21 07:30:44

Agree that some therapy is a good idea- it's still available on zoom/telephone. I think it's also great that you have someone kind, respectful and that you trust while you work through this.
I really wouldn't give up on the idea, you're just beginning!
As an aside, lots of men are actually quite attracted to less experienced women so try not to think of it as a bad thing, he'd probably enjoy being your 'teacher'- but if that approach isn't going to be helpful to you then that's fine too.
I also don't think that people who have had lots of partners necessarily know what they're doing, everyone is so different and sex is such a personal thing. Everyone enjoys things differently (or of course not at all!) So it's like starting all over again with someone new anyway.
Throughout your post it's clear that your confidence and self esteem is on the floor- in most cases this really can be fixed/improved, particularly with the right help. Good luck OP, you deserve fantastic sex too!

noego Fri 12-Feb-21 08:25:01

Have a look at Psychosexual Tantric Somatics OP. It may be a way of helping you flowers

Countingthebeat Fri 12-Feb-21 08:52:03

Shoxfordian

I don’t think you just need to accept you can’t have a happy sexual relationship but you might benefit from some specific therapy to help you

Wow can’t is a harsh word of course she can , in time and yes some more therapy would be a good idea

PornStarHotChocolate Fri 12-Feb-21 09:09:20

This is all in your head OP. Men are not thinking about your hang ups, they are just glad to be having sex. Fake your confidence until it comes for real. Confidence is the real turn on. Wear nice, flattering lingerie. Maybe watch some (tamer/non-degrading) porn and imagine yourself doing those moves. Read Tracey Cox's book about Hot Sex post-50.

Come on girl! You can do this.

Sexboardsafename Fri 12-Feb-21 09:10:55

Try not to worry about him comparing. He WANTS sex with you. Enough that he came back, enough that he is happy to go slow. Inexperience isn’t a bad thing, keep communicating. Tell him what you are enjoying, encourage him to tell you what he is enjoying. Be gentle with yourself, it all sounds really hard.

LivingDeadDoll Fri 12-Feb-21 10:41:47

noego

Thanks. That looks interesting. I've subscribed to their emails and they run a once monthly free online introductory workshop so I'd like to do that.

PornStarHotChocolate

All porn and even sex scenes in films make me tense and anxious because I feel so much shame and inadequacy. I read a post the other day from someone who checks the parent guide on imdb before watching everything to make sure there's no sex or not. I do the same. I can't even watch films with romantic themes in them because it makes me feel so tense. I just don't connect with that aspect of me at all. So that wouldnt help. I do wear nice lingerie. That doesnt help either because I feel like a fraud sad

He WANTS sex with you. Enough that he came back, enough that he is happy to go slow.

I hadn't really thought about it like that! Although I can see now that he was giving me plenty of signals and green lights to go ahead - none of which I took of course. In the end he made a move or it never would have happened.

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gaijinetal Fri 12-Feb-21 10:53:24

I'm plagued with feelings of inadequacy and the knowledge that, whatever we do, he'll have memories of doing similar with other women who were younger, slimmer, more confident and better skilled than me.

It doesn't really work that way for most people.

You may get some shallow, not v nice people who think like that .. but most people don't and he doesn't sound like that at all.

I also find it ironic that you're worried about lack of experience when many men aren't all the keen on their partner having had loads of experience.

As for "teaching" - each person is slightly different sex wise and inevitably there's a bit of teaching/learning what the other person likes, even with experienced people ... So how's it any different.

(I've had bf's who told me that experienced women did things they really didn't enjoy and were uncomfortable with - presumably because their previous partner enjoyed them eg biting his nipples ... So it's not the case that experience equals being able to magically make sex great for that particular person).

He knows you've had past sexual trauma and a relative lack of experience (relative being the optimum word because lots of people don't have much experience) and he's still there, he's happy to have sex with you; so it's obvious he's ok with it.

You've had counselling and don't think it's helped so you're going to have to "practice" and he sounds like s great person to practice on. Just see it as that.

gaijinetal Fri 12-Feb-21 10:57:36

Also men like all different body types..and what they like tends to be heavier/curvier than what women think is ideal.

I'm naturally skinny and I know I'm not a lot of men's type at all. The heaviest I've been is when I got most attention from men.

I think they prefer boobs & ass, alongside genuine enthusiasm over anything else.

(Not getting into the emotional/connection aspect).

Helloandhelloagain Fri 12-Feb-21 11:59:34

I think you could have all the skills in the world and you’d still find something to hinge on too because it’s easier that way isn’t it.
It’s in your head. I think you’re struggling with it because he actually doesn’t use you, takes his time and no pressure.
From reading your Post you obviously had two horrendous sexual crimes you went through and then kind of let men get there’s after if I’m reading it right. No wonder you feel you lack skills, but you never questioned there lack of skills have you?
Confidence is the only thing you lack and you must change this perception of yourself. I’ve been there! I think you should be honest with him . Also if he shows you a few things what’s the problem? I always ask as I want them to have a nice time too . Not everyone likes the same ! Try and write down a positive and negative list . For every Neg write down a positive! Then actually burn that negative list and put that positive where you can see it. You’ve gone through so much and you deserve to be feeling good about this ! Also I wouldn’t watch porn don’t think it will help at all whilst you’re comparing yourself x

SoulofanAggron Fri 12-Feb-21 12:40:16

the knowledge that, whatever we do, he'll have memories of doing similar with other women who were younger, slimmer, more confident and better skilled than me. I don't want him to feel he's having to 'teach' me and I'd feel small and insecure and stupid if he did. Although he's nothing other than kind and caring.

You can't know he's thinking of anyone else, he's probably thinking solely of you.

I'm torn between trying to sort this out and just accepting that I'm approaching 50 in the next few years and that sex and relationships are just something I need to accept isn't going to happen for me and put it in the past.

50 isn't old. Don't give up if sex etc is what you want to get into.

I've had therapy. It hasn't really helped with the confidence issue or feeling insecure and inadequate now.

Then that probably wasn't the best therapist for you. There are loads, and lots of different schools of therapy. EMDR therapy is the best for trauma. www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/ It can have a knock-on effect on all aspects of your life, because a lot of what's happening, a lot of the tension, the triggering etc, are the result of what happened to you.

Because my lack of experience for my age is a significant issue and I can't replace that.

You've had more than the average number of partners people claim to have.

Weirdfan Fri 12-Feb-21 13:04:40

I can't even tell you how much I identify with your post OP, I could have written most of it. My sexual history prior to DH was very similar to yours, raped at 13, which screwed up my attitude to sex from the outset obviously, followed by mostly drunk, uninspiring, missionary sex with partners I felt no connection or intimacy with, mostly just to prove to myself I was 'normal'. The older I got the worse I felt, I was so scared of my inexperience showing, of embarrassing myself or making myself vulnerable and so I just couldn't seem to get past the 'basics' with anyone, even longer-term boyfriends. I realise now it was all about trust and intimacy for me, I didn't have either (or know how to build them) with anyone prior to DH and it's taken a really long time to get there even with him. I'll come back later when I've more time if that's ok, lots more I want to say but I'm already late flowers

LivingDeadDoll Fri 12-Feb-21 13:33:11

followed by mostly drunk, uninspiring, missionary sex with partners I felt no connection or intimacy with, mostly just to prove to myself I was 'normal'. The older I got the worse I felt, I was so scared of my inexperience showing, of embarrassing myself or making myself vulnerable and so I just couldn't seem to get past the 'basics' with anyone

Gosh, yes, I'm ticking every one of these. Yes, please do come back flowers

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Amblu81 Fri 12-Feb-21 15:55:27

I could have written this post too!!! At 39 sex feels very daunting. You are completely not alone xx

Weirdfan Fri 12-Feb-21 16:18:23

Right, I have time to post now, get comfy cos it might be long smile First thing I want to say is no, you absolutely shouldn't give up or accept it isn't going to happen for you. This man clearly cares about you and you about him and there's attraction/chemistry there, that's a really good start. I wish I'd realised all the stuff I'm going to try and tell you sooner, I've wasted so much time and missed out on so much because I was scared and it turns out there was nothing to be afraid of.

Some of it has already been covered, the idea that every partner is different, has different preferences etc so previous experience actually counts for nothing with a new partner was a bit of a lightbulb moment when it finally sank in for me. It's a different ball game (grin) when you realise it's actually a level playing field, he knows nothing about what makes you tick either! Confidence too, not just body confidence but confidence that he's just happy to be there with you, that he doesn't care whether you 'know what you're doing' because just being close to you feels good. It took me far too long to believe that of my DH and it's a minor miracle he was patient enough to wait.

There is a leap of faith involved, probably more so for you than me as I was 18 years into my relationship with DH before things really clicked for me so I was about as secure as anyone could be. This man is demonstrating patience, kindness and some level of commitment to you though so I hope you won't waste time like I did. I'm not saying it will be quick, it takes time to learn how to switch your insecure voice off and concentrate on feeling instead but that's essentially what you have to do.

But it starts with trust, DH and I talked a lot once we really started to address the problem and he asked me once what I thought was going to happen if I did something 'wrong' or inexpertly. I don't need to explain the level of shame and embarrassment that would cause me to you but telling him made me realise how ridiculous it actually is. You haven't judged, laughed at, ridiculed or thought less if any of your previous partners if they haven't quite 'hit the spot' have you? It's insecurity caused by past damage that makes us feel like we're different, like we will somehow be more harshly judged, that's us turning it in on ourselves because we've been hurt.

Helloandhelloagain's post really resonated with me, I actually had a further lightbulb moment (to add to all the others I've had recently) reading it because DH's respect for me, consideration for my pleasure etc is something I've really struggled to accept. I guess I didn't trust that it was real or genuine and I suppose that comes from repeatedly being treated like shit and believing that's all I was worth. I almost feel like I've spent years looking for his ulterior motive, waiting for him to make me feel all those things I was so afraid of and keeping him at arms length in case he did, which is kind of what you're doing now maybe?

I'm going to stop there for now, this is plenty long enough, but I'm happy to talk more if you think it would help, PM if you prefer.

LivingDeadDoll Sat 13-Feb-21 14:43:38

Weirdfan

Thank you so much for your post. It all makes a lot of sense.

I find it very difficult to talk about though. That's the only thing. I really struggled telling him the basics and that it makes me anxious. I haven't told him anything about feeling inadequate or insecure and I'm realy scared of doing so.

Especially as what we are is undefined at the moment. He clearly cares about me and, believe me, that is not something I am going to see where it doesn't exist!!

Perhaps I just need to be brave...

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adventurealice Sat 13-Feb-21 16:14:56

It’s not for everyone but I personally like to draw under a line under things that don’t really work for me despite trying for years (not sex in my case but other life things) - it saves the heartache and headaches to move on to something more productive. It’s entirely up to you of course but there is no shame in it.

Weirdfan Sat 13-Feb-21 16:56:57

God yes, talking is excruciating! It was so bad (DH isn't much better) we had to do it by text to start with blush It does get easier the more you do it, as do most things grin

Yes there is an element of just being brave but you still need to take it at your own pace, maybe start with a brief chat (by text if you really can't do it any other way) just outlining your fears and see how he responds. That's what I meant by building trust, if he handles it well you know you can trust him and it's safe for you to open up a little more.

Talking is key ime though, it still makes me cringe sometimes but communication is everything where sex is concerned and, if you think about it, it's probably the biggest thing lacking in your previous experiences. I know it seems like a massive hurdle to get over but you don't have to do it all in one go and there are rewards along the way that give you incentive to keep working on it smile

I never had counselling (probably should have) but I have spent a lot of time thinking about where my issues come from and why certain things made me feel the way they did and I think that's been really important, counselling is probably quicker if you can access it though!

LivingDeadDoll Sat 13-Feb-21 17:21:52

That's really helpful thanks.

I don't think he's always comfortable talking about difficult things either so he'll understand that.

We haven't really talked about what we are now tbh, but, the other week, I opened up to him about a load of stuff and he responded brilliantly so I don't doubt his response. I know I could trust him but its still tricky and I guess I dont want to scare him off either by landing it all on him at once! wink

I mean, he's coming tomorrow to help me pack to move house, which is not the most exciting of days for him. So I know he cares - he offered!

Speaking of which, I have a bit of A Romantic One as an aside...

I guess I do want to open up to him a bit more generally. I was thinking of making him a valentine's day card. Nothing fancy, just a simple one with a heart on the front. That says 'Happy Valentine's Day, love from ?' inside. He lives about 20 mins from me so i was going to drive over in the morning and post it through his door before he wakes.

Does that sound silly?

I guess I just want him to know I care about him too but without the awkwardness of handing him a card in person. Esp as we haven't really defined what we are now.

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moanieleminx Sat 13-Feb-21 17:25:41

I think a Valentine card is a lovely idea.

LivingDeadDoll Sat 13-Feb-21 17:34:49

It’s not for everyone but I personally like to draw under a line under things that don’t really work for me despite trying for years (not sex in my case but other life things) - it saves the heartache and headaches to move on to something more productive. It’s entirely up to you of course but there is no shame in it.

I think that, if I can't make it work with him, I will do.

He feels worth the effort but if I can't do it, then I can't do it. I feel closer to him on a more genuine level that I've felt to anyone in a very long time. Slow and steady really is working. And he has been really patient with me.

I think a Valentine card is a lovely idea.

I think I'll make it and then see how I feel about delivering it in the morning! grin

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