DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I’m a sixteen year old girl who is dating a massive gaming nerd, and while I’m pretty into gaming and anime myself, I find it insanely hard to relate to a lot of the conversations we have. I love him to death, and it’s never that I get bored during the conversation, I just have no idea how to respond and I really wish I did. Also, I’ve noticed how your website is more sexually inclined however a lot of the articles relate more to men and I’ve asked my friends and family about my problem but their advice never seems to hit home.
I had a few delusions about sex before my boyfriend and I did the deed a month ago. We’ve been having steady sex since then, however I haven’t been able to get off a single time since we’ve become sexually active. He’s a ram and bam type of guy and typically ends up going fast until he comes, and that doesn’t really feel good to me. He’s also not small and ends up hitting my cervix most of the time and it doesn’t hurt but it doesn’t feel good either. I was a virgin before, so I don’t have any experience at all in this category and I don’t know if it’s me or him that’s doing it wrong. I’ve lied and told him I’ve come every time we do it, but I do voice my concerns and try doing different things and none of them work. To be honest I’ve never come while masturbating and I’m really afraid I’m defective sexually. Please help!
DEAR FIRST TIMER: Let’s slow your roll a little bit, FT. You’re letting a whole lot of things steam-roll into one giant ball of anxiety. Fortunately, the solution all around is simple: you need to use your words. However, I get that this all feels massive and consequential, so we’re gonna pick things apart a little.
Let’s start with the sex, because sorting this out is going to set you up to be able to sort out the other issues as well.
I despair for the sex ed in this country because, quite frankly, it’s awful. If it’s not a glorified plumbing diagram, it’s a giant parcel of lies about sex and abstinence and leaves out all kinds of critical information like “sex is supposed to feel good,” “this the clitoris,” and “porn is nothing like sex in the real world”. One of the things that doesn’t get covered in sex ed is that most women can’t get off from vaginal penetration alone. If you were to believe porn, women start to orgasm as soon as the guy penetrates her and has “look ma, no hands!” orgasms one after another. In real life however, 99% of women need direct clitoral stimulation in order to actually climax and you’re not going to get that through someone jackhammering away at you like a construction worker digging up the street.
But here’s the thing: if you want your partner – whether this guy or someone else in the future – to know how to get you off, YOU need to know how you get off. And that takes some experimentation. Having a penis is somewhat of an advantage here; because it’s external, it’s easier to get started playing around with things and figuring out what’s going to do the trick for you. As a result, that makes it far easier for folks as what got pensises to come to partnered sex knowing their arousal patterns and exactly what sort of stimulation you need. But if you have a vagina and a clit, on the other hand, it’s a tad more difficult – doubly so because of how stigmatized female sexuality is.
So what you need to do is to explore yourself and your body and experiment with different ways of masturbating. Just your hands, with a sex toy or a vibrator, with the shower head… figure out just what you like, how hard or soft you like it and where and how you like it. Vary the pressure and intensity and location – some women need to have direct clitoral contact, others need indirect contact (to the sides or top of the clitoris) while others need pressure on the vulva or pelvis as a whole. Keep in mind that everybody’s different; some people take a long time to get off and require some pretty intense stimulation while other people are easier to get off than an old pair of shoes. That doesn’t make one defective and the other “right”, that’s just how they’re built.
Once you’ve got a fairly solid handle on what gets you off, then it’s time to start practicing a skillset that’s going to serve you well for the rest of your life: communicating your needs and desires to your partner.
Right now, the sex you’re having is all about him and his orgasm. Not only is it not doing anything for you, it’s actually pretty damn uncomfortable. While there are women who enjoy the feeling of getting pounded hard and hitting the cervix, it doesn’t sound like you’re one of them. The problem is that you’ve been telling him what he wants to hear: that he’s been getting you off every time. This means that he doesn’t have any real motivation to, y’know, change things up. All that stroking his ego (ahem) in this way does is encourage him to keep doing what he’s doing because a) he gets his and b) he thinks he’s doing the trick for you in the process. That, in turn, means that you’re less likely to get your needs met.
So instead of faking your orgasms and telling him he’s been doing it just right, it’s time to come clean and admit the truth: that you didn’t know what to say or how to ask for it and that you didn’t actually get off when you said you did. Then, ask him to do what does get you off.
I know this is going to feel intimidating, awkward and scary. Trust me: you’re sixteen, you’re not expected to know all of this. This is the time when you learn how to speak up for yourself.
Don’t be afraid to speak up about what you need or about what you need him to stop doing or do differently. He is not a mind reader, (nor are any of your future partners) and you’re not telepathic. Unless you say something, he won’t know to do it. If he won’t do it… well that’s a different conversation entirely and one that may need to go in a very different direction.
And while we’re on the subject: don’t restrict your idea of “sex” to just penetration. Oral sex, hand jobs, playing with sex toys, mutual masturbation… these are all different and valid ways of having sex. These give you options besides having to default to penis-in-vagina style banging every single time. And one final thing: having said “yes” once before, or even many times, doesn’t obligate you to have sex with someone any time you don’t want to. Neither does being in a relationship with them. You have a right to define when and how you do and don’t have sex with someone.
But getting back to using your words…
That same “speak up” philosophy applies to your conversations with him as well. Let him know that you’re not really connecting with the things he’s talking about and be willing to change the subject or lead the conversation yourself on occasion. Everybody’s going to have their rhythm and patterns within a relationship and one person will likely do more of the leading, but that doesn’t mean that they get a monopoly on all conversational topics.
Trust me: the sooner you get comfortable with advocating for your own pleasure and needs, in bed or out of it, the better the sex and your relationships will be.
DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I just recently walked for university. I have one more semester but it’s going to be abroad. Regardless, most of my friends I know are done with university and are onto other things. My tight-knit group is being separated and it’s really upsetting me. I get the feeling I may never see them again, which is ridiculous of course, but it just makes me incredibly sad to see them go.
I’ve always been afraid of being alone, and this just enhances that feeling. At the moment I’m sitting in my hometown at my family’s house, whom I love dearly, but this town just enables me to pout and feel sorry for myself.
Am I doomed? Is there any way to deal with this? I feel like I’m being cut off. They were my rock while I was adjusting to university life and now it seems like it has been broken. I just hate feeling alone, and them being hours away just enhances that.
DEAR OUTWARD BOUND: You’re not doomed, OB. The pain you’re feeling is premature enlightenment. The fact that your social circle is starting to go in different directions doesn’t mean that you’re alone or being abandoned, it just means that you’re moving into a new phase in your life.
The anxiety you feel is perfectly natural, perfectly understandable and completely inaccurate. You’re not alone. In fact, in this day and age, between texting, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Kik, Instagram, FaceTime, Snapchat, Skype and every other social media service under the sun, you have more ways of keeping in contact with them than ever before. Hell, now that VR is slowly starting to enter the consumer market, it’s entirely possible for you all to hang out in the same room even when you’re thousands of miles apart.
But rather than just sitting around feeling sorry for yourself, you need to be proactive. Now is the time to go out and start practicing your social skills and connecting with new people. Don’t worry about trying to find people who you’re just as tight with as your current group, just make a point of being social and building that network of people around you. Maybe some of them will be as close as your current friends. Maybe some of them will only be part of your life for a little while. Either way, that’s fine. Having these new people in your life will help remind you that no, you’re not alone. Taking control – knowing that you can meet new people and make new friends – will help push that fear away.
And don’t forget: you and your current friends can make plans to get back together and see each other. Maybe now’s a good time to start planning for a group vacation a few months down the line.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, email@example.com)