If you haven’t figured it out by now, I love talking about sex.
Up until now, it’s been a relatively safe topic for me to talk about on here because it was something distant, something I wasn’t actually experiencing and could comment on from my little pedestal, unlikely to make my relatives, parents, or in-laws that uncomfortable.
But now I am having sex, and am compelled to write about it from a new perspective; that is, the perspective of having it. And for those related to me, this could be unpleasant.
I shared this with Clifford last week as we stood in our kitchen, newly outfitted with various wedding gifts: a teapot, a stand mixer, a rolling pin. I told him how I feel compelled to write about sex in a transparent way, but having my parents or grandparents imagine me in any type of sexual situation would be about as comfortable as saying goodbye to someone and then walking the same direction as them: we could get through it with anxious laughter while slowly dying inside.
Clifford, now the long-suffering partner of one who puts personal details of her life on the Internet, said, “Look, all of those people you’re afraid of making uncomfortable have had sex. And I guarantee that at some point they went through the same kind of things you would be writing about.”
He’s right, of course. Anyone I would be afraid of traumatizing by discussing my sexual escapades has, in fact, already had decades of sexual escapades of their own. I just happen to be putting mine on the Internet.
As a Christian woman, it’s difficult to find other people willing to talk about sex. Like, really talk about sex.
I don’t mean the types of conversations where people talk about “staying pure”, or having children, or missionary-style sex that Christian women are assumed to enjoy with a demure, angelic glow about them. I mean conversations about whether using sex toys is a good idea or not. (For the record, I did not have an angelic glow. For the first few attempts, the only glow I sustained was a bout of fear-sweat as I silently wondered if this would ever be a pleasant experience.)
It can be easy to feel alone, especially as someone new to sex. What’s normal? Does everyone experience this? Why am I feeling this way? Are other women walking around in a constant paranoia of being pregnant?
So let’s talk about sex.
Even in these first few weeks of having sex,* there have been times I have texted my best friend to tell her just how fun sex is, and there have also been times where I’ve cried in the bathroom because it’s so frustrating to not yet know how to orgasm during intercourse.
So here are some things I’ve been telling myself to keep sex in perspective that I hope help you as well:
It will probably get better with time, effort, and patience.
As a wise friend once told me, “It’s a sex life, emphasis on life.” It’s not a sex toaster. It’s an evolving act created by the two of you that will change over time with practice, age, and transitions.
Anything you are about to experience in the bedroom someone else has already experienced, good or bad. In fact, you are probably friends with someone who has experienced that exact same thing.
Take comfort in the fact that you are not special.
Your body is different than someone else’s, and you will respond differently. Sex isn’t something that just has to happen to you; you can actively participate in the quality of experience.
Christian women, I have noticed, are not encouraged to understand the intricacies of their body or body response to sex before marriage. This mostly sets us up for confusion (and sometimes shame) in the bedroom when we lack the knowledge or confidence to enjoy an equal give and take of pleasure.
Don’t be so hard on yourself for feeling frustrated or un-sexy for not finishing. If you’re new to sex, it’s likely you haven’t yet figured out what will make you finish, especially with a partner.
Also, by doing a simple Google search you can learn that most women do not finish through intercourse alone without other stimulation (you are but one of millions; keep that in mind).
Whether you’re new to sex or not, I would also highly recommend the Free Sex Podcast. This podcast is hosted by two married Christian women who will talk about any question you have ever had about sex but have been too afraid to ask. It’s awesome, healthy, and helpful.
*If you’re new here and wondering why a 26-year-old woman had yet to have sex, read this.
Whether you are married, in a relationship, or single, what has been your experience? What has been helpful? Good? Frustrating? I’d love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org