DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: My boyfriend and I have been together for over a year, and we’re both in our mid 20’s. We’re going to move in together in a month, and we’re both excited about it. He is a very kind, very respectful person: we haven’t had insertion-type sex yet because I was shy about it for a long time, but we’ve both gotten comfortable with each other, and have over the course of our relationship found our own ways to be intimate with each other (mutual masturbation, etc).
He has said that he is ready to have sex with me as long as I’m comfortable and ready, and mentally, I’m really turned on by the idea of having sex with him. I have started taking the pill and we have gone over our histories and feelings with each other. The issue I’m having is probably a combination of physical and mental.
See, I have trouble… opening up… down there. The only sex toy I can use is about the width of a thumb, and my boyfriend is much larger than that. I don’t get much pleasure from internal stimulation with it, either. At the moment, I still live with my mother (another reason I’m excited about moving in with my boyfriend), and when I’m with him or masturbating, I clench up when I hear any kind of sound that could be another person in the house– even when I’m fully aware that I’m the only one home.
I know it’s a muscle and can open up from foreplay, etc. but I can’t seem to get past a thumb width at the best of times. I’m almost a technical virgin in the vaginal sense, but have had enough experience to know that I like the sensations that accompany sexual activity. I’m just not sure if it’s a muscular thing and I just need to try and use the vibrator more often and do Kegels or something, or if it’s tied more to my nerves, or if I should talk to my gynecologist about it.
My boyfriend and I have agreed that we’re not going to have that kind of sex until we live together, mostly because of our current living situations, but I want when we try it to go well. What steps should I take to make it easier to relax and, frankly, fit my boyfriend inside me? Is it because I’m worried so much about it that I can’t go any further?
Thanks for reading,
Ready to Bloom
DEAR READY TO BLOOM: So this is the part where I remind everyone that Dr. NerdLove is not a real doctor and that medical questions should be directed towards an actual doctor. Which is very much what you should be doing here, RTB. This could be any number of issues from vaginismus to “just have a tiny vaginal opening”, and there are equally as many potential treatments. Those treatments may well range from “lock the door, smoke some weed and let your boyfriend go down on you until he grows gills” to needing a series of dilators (i.e. medical grade dildos) to help promote your muscles to expand and increase elasticity.
So start with your gynecologist, RtB… but be ready to advocate for yourself. A depressing number of doctors – including OBGYNs – will brush off issues surrounding pain or sexual dissatisfaction as being unimportant or in your head. If that’s the case, don’t be afraid to insist on a second opinion.. and possibly finding a doctor via the American Association of Sexual Educators, Counselors and Therapists’ referral page.
The other thing I would suggest is not getting too hung up on penetration as being the only form of sex that counts. Oral sex is still sex. Mutual masturbation is still sex. Anal sex is still sex. Phone sex, frottage… all that’s still sex and still valid, even if you’re not able to get his penis all the way into you. And believe me: training him to go down on you exactly how you like it or the best way to use a vibrator on you will be all kinds of fun for the both of you.
DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: So there’s this boy who I recently started talking to but he has a girlfriend.
For the first month he told me he’s loved me and that if him and his girlfriend ever broke up that we’d be together. I didn’t think much of it because it, obviously, isn’t true because he has a girlfriend. Anyway he kept flirting with me and before I knew it, I was falling for him. I decided I wasn’t going to talk to him anymore because if I was his girlfriend. How would I feel if he was flirting with somebody else? Then he refused and kept flirting with me, insisting that we still talked, we’ll eventually he realised what he was doing is wrong and decided to stop talking to me.
But now, I want to talk to him again. We went from talking every night about us being in a relationship to us not talking at all. And only then did I realise, I’m in love with him! But he has a girlfriend! What do I do?
Not The Side Piece
DEAR NOT THE SIDE PIECE: You kick his ass to the curb and move on, NTSP. A little flirting without intent can be fun, but leading someone on with bulls
t promises, love-bombing her and ignoring her attempts to put some distance between them? That’s sh
ty behavior at best and a pretty significant series of red flags at the worst. It’s not fair to his girlfriend and it sure as hell isn’t fair to you.
Wipe his texts, delete his emails, block his number, his Facebook, his Twitter, his Snapchat and everything else you ever used to flirt with him and forget he exists. Your crush on him – and it’s just a crush – will fade in time and you can find someone who isn’t an asshole.
DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: My husband, age 63, says he’s just not into sex anymore. He says maybe early in the morning but I’m too sleepy… Which is generally true… But also he knows that he can just get up out of bed when I’m asleep and just say oh well sorry. But he really isn’t seeking any intimacy at all. I’ve told him it’s really important to me and he says he sorry. I’m taking good care of myself, I’m not overweight or horribly ugly or anything. I’m not sure how to handle this we have a good life except for this …. And I have a powerful sex drive at age 58. His testosterone levels are good he works hard physically and he loves it. Any ideas?
Sexless in Seattle
DEAR SEXLESS IN SEATTLE: There are two possibilities here. The first is that he’s not interested in sex.
The second is that he’s not interested in sex with you. And if he’s pulling back from all forms of intimacy… well, that would be where I’d start to hedge my bets towards the latter.
Either way, this is going to be an ongoing issue, especially if he’s not feeling motivated to try to rekindle the spark in your relationship. While a satisfying sex life is important to a relationship, if you can be satisfied with a relationship that’s about other things than sex – your emotional connection, children you have together, etc. – then you could transition to a more companionate marriage. It could well be worth having a conversation with him about letting you get your needs met elsewhere – whether you have a semi-regular, NSA hook-up with someone likeminded or a boyfriend on the side – while the two of you stay married.
However, that’s IF you want to stay married to him. After all, not feeling desired by your partner or being denied physical intimacy by him can be pretty damn gutting, emotionally. You may well decide that you’d rather find someone who wants to be with you – physically as well as emotionally.
So I’d suggest having a long, serious chat with your husband about what’s going on. Be willing and ready to hear some things that may hurt… but also consider how you want to proceed from there. And if you do decide to open things up, I’d recommend you check out More Than Two by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert and Opening Up by Tristain Taormino.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, email@example.com)