Sex for the first time in 20 years

(32 Posts)
PanHaggerty Wed 14-Oct-20 10:02:43

I'm quite embarrassed about this, which is why I've name-changed, but I'm posting in Sex rather than Relationships because I want to focus on the here and now situation, not the whys and wherefores.

For various reasons relating to my mental health, I haven't had sex for about 20 years. I'm now seeing a man and it's looking like sex will be on the cards fairly soon, and although I really, really want to do it, I'm worried that I won't be able to remember what to do! Also that things have changed so much in the last two decades (!) that I don't even know what expectations guys have going into a sexual relationship these days.

I have reasonable self-esteem and have had a lot of therapy and treatment, but I'm still not crazy about my body. But if I sit around and wait until I love myself before I get into any sort of relationship, I'll probably never have sex again, and as I said, I'm pretty keen on this guy!

I don't want to dump all this on him straight away, so I was just wondering how to approach it. I'm so inexperienced I might as well be a virgin, and I don't feel confident with stuff like giving a BJ or being able to go on top. If I were to say something like "It's been a while since I've done this, so can we take it gently?" (without specifying just how long) or even suggested that I'd find it really sexy for him to take the lead, would that be off-putting to most men?

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AverageGuy Wed 14-Oct-20 12:20:46

Firstly flowers for your situation, and well done you, for taking these what must have been very scary steps!

I don't think you need to worry too much, I'm sure it will all come flooding back grin - at the end of the day, bodies haven't changed... just do what feels right, and don't be pushed out of your comfort zone.

Communication is key. I think your suggestion of "It's been a while since I've done this, so can we take it gently?" or something similar is a great one. Maybe tell him how long afterwards?

My last FWB hadn't had piv sex for about 6 years, due to her previous partners medical issues, and she was honest about it. We did take things gently at first.

Speaking very much for myself here, but it's definitely not off-putting for me to take the lead!

Good luck!

noego Wed 14-Oct-20 13:01:03


I recently experienced this with someone who had been sexless for 15 years.
Tell him the truth. You need to have the discussion and how both of you feel and how to approach it.
He should respect your wishes and take it as slowly as you want him to and if you feel uncomfortable stop when asked to.
It helps if you can build a little anticipation into the run up to proceedings.
Good luck OP.

PanHaggerty Wed 14-Oct-20 13:12:44

Thanks both, that's reassuring.

When I said that "things" have changed, I was being unhelpfully vague! I meant a) my body (I think lube is going to have to feature now to some extent) and b) the sorts of things that men might be expecting from sex early on in a relationship that wouldn't have figured 20 years ago until much later, if at all. I've read a lot of horror stories over in Relationships where women have experienced men trying to choke them or slap them during first-time sex, or wanting anal straight away. I can and will say no to anything I don't want but I admit it's weighed on my mind a bit since the possibility of sex arose.

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noego Wed 14-Oct-20 13:23:16

That's why having the conversation is required. It is okay to start of vanilla (despite what you've read on other threads} in fact it is what you should do. Then lead up to more adventurous sessions.

edwinbear Wed 14-Oct-20 13:32:20

I think many of the threads on Relationships are discussing the outlier situations. I’ve had a number of FWB set ups and have never been choked, slapped or had a man expect anal on the first encounter - I think you’d be very unlucky if that was the case.

As with other PP’s I’m sure it will come flooding back - enjoy!

PanHaggerty Wed 14-Oct-20 13:42:52

noego and if I never want to do anything other than vanilla? I don't really want to overshare about my mental health issues, but suffice it to say that I find the whole idea of BDSM repellent and triggering. Will I have to talk to him about that before we even start so that he can decide not to get involved with me? It's all very confusing to me.

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noego Wed 14-Oct-20 14:09:16

I would outline what you're comfortable with and what you're not. BDSM isn't everyone's cup of tea.
He might be vanilla himself and how would you know unless you have a conversation?
Honesty is best policy and goes a long way to building trust.

FinnGermey Wed 14-Oct-20 14:14:22

Surely there are plenty of men out there who are happy with normal piv sex without the need for choking, slapping, anal, bdsm etc, or am I just a bit naive? blush

PanHaggerty Wed 14-Oct-20 14:58:01


Surely there are plenty of men out there who are happy with normal piv sex without the need for choking, slapping, anal, bdsm etc, or am I just a bit naive? blush

I honestly don't know! I haven't had any experience of sex since internet porn became so widespread so I don't know how many men have been influenced by it. Perhaps amongst my age group (I'm 42 and so is new bloke) vanilla is still the norm. This is really where my inexperience has combined with my tendency to overthink and has come up with a load of worries that I probably don't need to have.

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StarlightLady Wed 14-Oct-20 16:25:17

I’m a similar age to you, although l have not experienced the gap without sex. I’ve been sexually active since my teens. Sex hasn’t changed.

As for choking or slapping, anyone into that would be out the door. l’m comfortable with oral though; saliva is fhe best lube.

But nobody forgets how to have sex. The one word of advice l would give is “condom”.

SnakesandKnives Wed 14-Oct-20 17:21:44

I would assume if you like him and his character enough to have sex with then he’s prob fairly normal so also worrying about stuff!

I was same as you with my new guy and basically blurted out that I hadn’t slept with anyone in 5 years. He just grinned at me and said ‘I’m scared about size, stamina and the protocol of asking before I do anything to you at all, your turn!’ Hadn’t really thought he would also be worried about being crap in bed or doing something wrong. Really helped to be honest!

Sunflowergirl1 Wed 14-Oct-20 17:50:24

All good advice really but just be honest with him when getting near and ask to go slowly. Lots of kissing, touching and maybe some massage and see how it goes.

What I do suggest is make sure you spend time making yourself feel get some lingerie you like and think about the personal grooming and how you want to be.

Best of luck and enjoy

Whatliesbeneath707 Wed 14-Oct-20 19:30:08

There are so many lovely positives to your situation OP. You are in a new relationship that is going well enough for you to be heading towards having sex with your new man. Exciting times ahead.
I don’t think you necessarily need to say how long it is since you had sex - saying “it’s been a while” is enough. I think that lube is used far more than it used to be and it’s become commonplace, even amongst 20 somethings! Use it with confidence.
Some wise advice that’s often given here is that enthusiasm and confidence are often more appreciated than experience and expertise!
As others have said, good communication is the key. If you can be open enough to say what you do and don’t like, that will be a good basis for your relationship. Remember to laugh when things don’t go quite to plan😃 Enjoy every minute @PanHaggerty and try not to overthink things. Let us know how things go.

PanHaggerty Thu 15-Oct-20 11:05:06

Thanks all. He's a really sexy guy, the sort who you just know is going to be good in bed, and I'm still in a state of surprise that he appears to want to have sex with me - ME, a somewhat overweight, middle-aged woman who is going to have to go shopping for underwear that hasn't been selected purely for comfort. I guess I am feeling worried that I'm not going to match him sexually and he'll think I'm boring and unadventurous. I overthink everything so much that I end up ruining it for myself and I really don't want to mess this up too.

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Sunflowergirl1 Thu 15-Oct-20 12:47:29

I @PanHaggerty

You sound so lovely and I'm sure that what also attracts him to you.

Very few people are perfect but there is still strong attraction and I'm sure that is there for him.

When looking at lingerie, suggest you have a look at some online sites before, even if you want to buy in person (although I don't think you can try on in many places). Use a variety of online sites and look at what you like and whilst being (as you describe) not just for comfort, go for something that whilst evidently sexy is still something you will be ok wearing, ie not too risqué (you can move on to that later).

Make sure your clothes are comfortable and removed easily enough!

Finally, grooming. Treat yourself to the beauticians. One aspect is deciding whether you want grooming below, and if so how much...or everything off!

Just do what you feel ok with and I'm certain it will be a lovely experience getting back into the may find he is nervous and need some reassurance as well?

Oh and let us know how it went when eventually happens

NameChangeNemo Thu 15-Oct-20 12:59:05

@PanHaggerty - You could ask him to show you how he likes to be touched/ask him to masterbate in front of you. If you are happy to do the same, you can show him how you like to be touched, too.

It's also perfectly normal to be worried. You've had a long break from sex, but so many people, in different situations, will still have concerns, and those that don't should still be able to understand and empathise with you if they are decent people.

Rgy3250999 Thu 15-Oct-20 13:05:42

I think most people will experience a mix of excitement and nerves on their first time together so don’t think you’ll be alone.

I would personally just go with the flow. Trying to forget about the mechanics and just see how things feel, can make it less awkward. One thing will generally lead to another if it feels good and your body will take over. You’d be surprised how it all comes back to you if you just relax.

Good luck and enjoy....exciting times ahead!

Crazymadame Thu 15-Oct-20 15:41:09

I'm similar age and met my dp about 8 months ago after no sex for 6 years.

I didn't tell him this at the time but I made sure I felt comfortable/ prepared for the first time. Eg had dressed up, sexy underwear etc, condoms, lube all available. I remember we were both a bit introverted and I had to ask him to kiss me! But once we started it all felt completely natural. He kind of took charge but we took it nice and slow.
Amazing. I'm smiling thinking about it smile.

Seeing him tomorrow and can't wait, we've got a bit more adventurous since then and I enjoy things with him I never imagined i would grin

PollyPelargonium52 Thu 15-Oct-20 19:30:32

Gagging and choking is something younger guys see on porn I believe. I dont think it is widely done. Although people of all ages have tried anal even that isn't so widespread so just being vanilla should be fine.

StarlightLady Fri 16-Oct-20 05:34:15

OP, to add to my previous comments. As someone who gets a confidence boost from starting each morning with nice underwear on a daily basis, pretty lingerie is your friend. Comfortable, stylish and a little sexy are not opposite ends of the spectrum. They can go hand in hand together. Every day is a best knicker day here.

Have a lovely time.

PanHaggerty Mon 19-Oct-20 09:00:30

Well, I messaged him last week, just during the course of a normal chat which was going that way anyway, and made a very casual, lighthearted reference to the fact that it had been a while and I hoped we could take it easy to start with. I made a joke about hoping I could remember what to do etc. Aaand... he's ghosted me!

I suppose, if he's the sort of man who would rather have no sex at all than gentle sex, he wasn't the right one for me in my current situation. But I do feel disheartened. Is it really going to be so difficult for me to find someone who will be happy to take things at my pace?

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StarlightLady Mon 19-Oct-20 10:16:00

flowers OP, well, at least you have found out what he is really like at this stage. Better now than later.

And hopefully you can bank in your head, any of the issues of concern that you had and store them for future use.

Hopefully at least you got some new knickers out of it. The tide will turn for you. And you are ready to go!

noego Mon 19-Oct-20 11:14:54

What a wanker!!

Most men would love the chance to re-introduce a woman to her sexual identity

Happyhusband Mon 19-Oct-20 11:27:46

Very much his loss. There are decent people out there. You will find one.

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