/u/Throwaway__56 on /r/deadbedrooms and /r/relationships writes…
“I [22M] got married two weeks ago. It’s technically an arranged marriage, but we’ve been getting to know each other over the past year and a half and I really am happy to have married her [21F] We never had sex because she wanted to wait until marriage. I was fine with it. We are also from a culture where it is common to wait until marriage.
So, our wedding night two weeks ago. I tried to get her in the mood, but she was just too nervous and scared. So we stopped. She was really apologetic and said its her fault, sorry, etc.
The next day, I tried again. We were kissing for ages, but as soon as I tried touching her (through her clothes!) she froze up again. She told me to just keep going, but I don’t want to feel like I’m raping her/ also don’t want to hurt her. So I stopped, and I could tell she was relieved.
I know she feels really guilty, but I don’t know what to do. We talked about it a few days ago, and she said that she really wants to, she just is scared. She said she is definitely attracted to me, and she loves kissing, but I don’t want us to only be kissing for the rest of our lives. What should I do? were any of you afraid of sex? What did you do?”
Dear Throwaway 56,
This is another one of those circumstances that where I wish the other party was also present so that we can talk more about this disconnect at a more therapeutic setting.
There is a lot of missing gaps in what you have outlined. Have you tried to explore other forms of intimacy outside of intercourse (i.e. mutual masturbation, assisted masturbation, etc)? Have you talked in more detail about what could make you both feel more comfortable to exploring intimacy in your relationship? All of these could be one possible way to close that intimacy gap that feels so wide between you two.
It sounds like there is a lot of sexual negativity and hangup surrounding her sexuality. So instead of trying things that have consistently failed, why not try looking at this from another angle?
Maybe we’ve been approaching this from a completely wrong perspective. Have you ever considered having her approach you and initiate first instead? She already knows you are interested. She already knows you are mentally prepared to have sex. If she needs to do that same mental preparation beforehand, it might be better to just take that pressure off and have her come to you at her pace first. That should help establish basic level of comfort in her own terms before she involves you in her sexual headspace.
Conscientiously and intentionally approaching each and every step of your next developments should also help guide you. But it is also important to keep in mind that intercourse is not the end-all-be-all. 25% of gayfolks do not have penis-in-anus intercourse. In the same way, there’s plenty of sexually rewarding levels of intimacy you can explore without genital-to-genital contact. Find joy in exploring each and every one of those steps as well.
Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.
I want to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you liked my advice for this post, please subscribe below to get alerted when my next advice column is published!