Friday, 13 June 2008

Something For The Ladies #16

Ladies: If there's ever been anything about men you've wanted to know but were afraid to ask, or wanted a male viewpoint on a certain relationship niggle you're going through, drop an email to us at todger dot talk at googlemail dot com. Every week, we shall pick one out and answer it to the best of our capabilities.

Gentlemen: We would very much appreciate your input, so the comments section of each Something For The Ladies post will be yours and yours alone for 24 hours. In other words, all female comments will be deleted. Sorry ladies, but in this case we'd be very grateful if you'd hush those sweet keystrokes and let the chaps have their say. Just for today, though.

This week's question...

Anonymous writes: I am currently in a long-distance relationship with a wonderful man, who I see for a week at least every four months (we usually endeavour to meet more often than that). Things are going as great as you can expect a LDR to go, except for one thing. We're not having sex. That is not to say we don't do *anything*; we have a great time fooling around, and I wank him off most of the time. We just never get to the point of the old in-and-out, as I have a tendency to freeze up if he goes anywhere near my genitals, and I don't know why. We're both virgins, but I don't feel as if I have any issues with sex - so why do I freeze up? I don't know if it's because he's not very good with his hands. I don't think it's the case, though I would appreciate advice on how to bring up the issue of practising with him (only way to learn, but I recognize it's a sensitive subject).

There is one thing that might be relevant, and that is that I suffer from tokophobia (fear of childbirth/pregnancy). The thought of having something inside me growing and living completely freaks me out and puts me into a state of panic. I can't bear using a tampon. Not because it hurts, it's just, having something in my body freaks me out and I suspect it relates to manbits as well.

How do I approach him about how to work on this problem? I love him so much and I do want to have sex with him, but I just can't. I know it's not good for our relationship, because I'm beginning to resent him for it. He gets to come and I don't (me not letting him touch me on the relevant parts do have something to do with that obviously, I know it's not a rational feeling). We've tried working on it, but it's just led to me breaking into a sobbing mess on several occasions. I think he's retreated to the "it'll go away if I give her space and time" position, but I don't think it is, and I can't do this on my own. I'm at a loss on options and things to do to solve it.

Sam Says: Well to be honest, this sounds like something you have to sort out yourself. Really it’s a bit like complaining that a man won’t put his pet spiders on your body when you have a terrible fear of spiders. You’ve got to be cool with the spiders in the first place! Phobias create can create very strong reactions – I would strong recommend seeking professional help – try for a local qualified therapist.

Perhaps you could learn to masturbate yourself first with a vibrator, and then show him how to do it. If you use a vibrator, you might be able to start teaching yourself that when things go near your vagina it means pleasure not pain! Then you could just gently suggest that he is having all the fun, and that you would like to have some too, and then show him how to give it to you.

'Mr Sex' says: Ooh, this is - forgive the term - a proper Snatch 22, in't it? You've got the double-whammy of long-distance relationship and virginity to overcome. Either one of those conditions is a catalyst for Godzilla-sized expectations; both of them together must be an absolute nightmare.

I'm not your man for the
tokophobia issue, and I don't know how old you are, but speaking as a previously-frustrated teenager, let me reassure you that 99.9999% of female virgins suffer from fear of pregnancy (and a lot of male ones, too), so you're not exactly alone. Not only that, but I feel the pair of you may be loading the losing of your virginities as a massive, daunting, life-changing experience. Trust me, it probably won't be. Virtually everyone who has sex for the first time goes through the 'Oh, Is That It, Then?' thing; it's not until later, when you lose your inhibitions and let go of preconceptions, that it becomes a natural, enjoyable thing to do.

As for your bloke, he has the patience of a saint, and you both deserve better. He deserves to know what you're going through, and you deserve to have as much fun as he's having. So I suggest that you try to drop at least some of your inhibitions. You say that he's not very good with his hands (and no wonder - he must be on edge most of the time) and I'm assuming you masturbate (you didn't mention anything about your own fingers near your lady-garden), so a good way to break down the barriers is to masturbate with him - under the covers in the dark at first, if needs be. Eventually, if all goes well, you can actually show him what you like (which is how all men learn, even the ones who think they've seen it all before, because no two women are the same), and you can both take the first step towards what you really want.

Gentlemen of TT: Comment!


rpg said...

Some of these problems are really difficult to comment on,but I didn't want to leave the comments blank.It looks like nobody cares.
First of all,this guy really really likes you.I'm going to stick my neck out though,and say that mutual masturbation isn't what he thinks about on the journey to your front door.He wants to rip your clothes off,bend you over the kitchen table and bonk you silly barking like a dog.
You've left your phobia as an afterthought.Masturbation tips from us plebs wont cut it when the touch of his hands makes you want to scream in terror.I'm thinking it's also very convenient you've got yourself a man who you don't have to sleep with every night.It seems to me you're making it as hard as you can to deal with your fear.When hes not there,you don't have to think about sex at all.When he's in your bed,you're blaming his lack of technique.
Go find a therapist.It might be a little embarassing at first,but they are trained to put you at your ease,and ask the right questions to get to the root of your fear.They've heard it all before.
I hope I haven't sounded too cold.I think once you're over your fear,you'll kick yourself for not dealing with it years ago.Get it sorted,climb on his dick,and ride it like you stole it..

tarainlondon said...

thank god, finally a male response for the poor girl.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I'm not sure about some of the responses to this problem so far. For one thing people are making a lot of assumptions about your BF, that he has the patience of a saint, that he wants to bonk you silly etc. Also that what you call fooling around is not "proper" sex, whatever that is. Speaking as a man, I hope not all of us are that impatient and rapacious (perhaps I'm too old to get into the mindset of a youngster). I also wonder if there is any physical impediment to penetrative sex and whether you have had a gynaecological examination to check this out? Freezing could be another way of describing vaginismus and there are well established treatments for this, for instance using vaginal dilators under the direction of a sex therapist (I also know of women who have read up on the condition and o=bought the dilators and done it themselves). In any case I'd have thought it was well worth you talking to your gp about a referral to Sexual Health for this problem. Good luck anyway

p.s. I do agree with dr sam and mr sex that it is important to try and talk more with BF about the kind of stimulation you enjoy - does he have to use just his hands?

rpg said...

Apologies for coming across as impatient or rapacious.I did read they were virgins,but it didn't quite register for some reason.That does put a slightly different spin on the situation.Maybe if he wasn't a virgin,he wouldn't have stuck around for so long.Still,he must like her a lot.He sees her for a week every 4 months.Thats quite a commitment when the sex is nothing more than her "wanking him off".He's been doing that himself since he was 12.
Look at the metaphor for sex she used."The old in-out".A term used by Alex from A Clockwork Orange.Just going by the film,the sex portrayed is mostly violent rape,until Alex is brainwashed and the sight of a naked woman makes him squirm on the floor in pant-wetting ring-puking horror.Nice metaphor.
If the girl had an eating disorder,would the solution be him eating smaller meals and puking in a bucket afterwards?
She has a phobia.She needs therapy.
Its pointless approaching the BF for solutions.What does he know?He's a virgin for starters.When it comes to sex,he is not dealing with a rational person.She will avoid confronting It.Their solutions will not address the fundamental problem of her phobia.
She needs to seek therapy and deal with her fear before they can discover together what they like and dislike about sex.

K said...

To be perfectly honest, I think that this is where a lady's comment might possibly help a little bit more than a bloke's. I can see how your fear of pregnancy means that you don't want to be penetrated in any way, but I don't think that explains why you won't let you touch him at all. You say that he's "not very good with his hands", and I wonder if you have let him touch you once or twice and haven't liked how it feels.

Sometimes an inexperienced man can be very rough, because he's applying the same pressure to your bits as he would to his. I have been with a couple of men who were like that at first, and it is very painful on the poor ladybits, and it is hard to stop yourself from cringeing away the next time they approach. It also doesn't exactly sell you on the idea of intercourse, because you're thinking that if that's what happened on the outside, goodness alone knows what's going to happen on the inside.

It isn't his fault or yours, it's just the result of inexperience. If I'm right, and what's making you tense up is the memory of the first couple of times that he's touched you, you need to talk to him and explain to him that you need to be touched far more gently - that the pressure you want is so soft that he probably wouldn't feel it himself at all, but that that's what works for you. Demonstrate the pressure you use on yourself on his hand, or take his hand and show him how to use it. And be prepared for him to need a bit of practice to get it right.

You do need to talk to him, though - in a non-critical way, because he can't be expected to know what you want if you don't tell him. If you don't, you're just going to carry on wanking him off for seven days every four months, because the chances are that he's feeling far too bad about his inability to intuit what you want to raise the subject himself. I am sure that you can both work this out with time and patience.

k said...

Oh, and the important thing is to concentrate on getting that right first. You aren't going to be ready for intercourse with him until you're happy to be touched by him. That's pretty basic. I'd put the whole question of the "old in-and-out" on the back burner for now and concentrate on learning to enjoy being touched by him. As you start to enjoy that, you'll start to feel curious about trying other things with him anyway.

Anonymous said...

talking from a woman's point of view (i know this is meant to be man-only comments but this is possibly one of those times when a woman's knowledge is needed) having a man's fingers inside you is completely different to his penis. I never have enjoyed being penetrated with a finger - to this day I just don't enjoy it that much. part of that is because I do have vaginismus as well but I do beleive with or without it fingers are not for me. So don't feel insane or abnormal (if you are thinking that) for not liking it. It can be the guy's technique, sure, but it can also just be a personal preference.

I don't like this idea that the guy just wants to hump your brains out and you're lucky to have had him "stick around" this long. My boyfriend loves me and so if it hurts then we stop, if I don't like something then we stop doing it and try something else. So don't heap more pressure on yourself about that. If the guy only sees you as a hole to get inside then he's seriously not worth it (it doesn't sound like that's the case: but the previous commenters seem to be implying it).

It's an old cliche but talking these things through thoroughly does help and it makes all the difference. It might seem embarrassing but think how much it'll help you in the long run? If you're long distance maybe you could email him instead, to hide your blushes, or think of some way where you'd feel more comfortable bringing it up.

Finally (wow what a long comment: sorry), losing your virginity is a big thing but it's also nothing at all. You have to be relaxed or else he won't be able to get in any way (without causing himself just as much pain as it would cause you if he really pushed). So make sex something you can talk about, make it fun. Sex is meant to be fun.

rpg said...

I don't think I'm being some kind of shallow minded shark.I'm sure there are men and women who only enjoy hand shandies,but they are in the very small minority.She doesn't say how long this relationship has been going.If its only been 3 "dates",that's a year.That's a long time for anybody to date without sex,isn't it?
This woman has an irrational fear of pregnancy,and she has downplayed the importance of that fear;its just an afterthought.It is having a negative effect on her sexlife.It has nothing to do with her partners technique.She is being selfish when she blames him.
Any discussion about what she likes and what he can do to improve are irrelevant at this point.They are nothing more than coping strategies.You are telling him to eat smaller meals and puke in a bucket.
She needs therapy.I think she knows this too.Its not enough to know/admit you have a problem.She doesn't make it clear she has even told him she has this phobia.If she hasn't,then she's being a proper bastard for blaming him.
I think her phobia is lucky the guy is a virgin and lives hundreds of miles away.It gets to fester away in its host undisturbed for 4 months at a time,and then the poor sap gets the blame when his stupid fat fingers make her scream in terror.
He's coming away with the impression that his sexual technique is rubbish.He's not likely to try it on with someone else,and will keep coming back once every 4 months to try again at the only opportunity for sex open to him.
You don't know what you like,and you have no right to judge your boyfriend,because when it comes to sex your mind is clouded by your fear.Stop blaming your boyfriend and start talking about your phobia with a trained professional.

Anonymous said...

Wow rpg, this has really rattled your cage! You are reading loads into this that isnt really there: how on earth do you know that BF is coming away with the impression that his sexual technique is rubbish and that he must be desparately frustrated cos all he ever gets is a hand shandy?? What is more she actually says she doesn't think his technique is that bad and doesn't blame him! So far the women have had the most sensible things to say about this problem by far. I think the girl should follow their suggestions and do some work herself before she gets in the trained professional therapists (speaking as one of the latter) and coughs up her hard earned moolah or goes on an NHS waiting list.

Anonymous said...

Hello ladies and gents,

It's been a while but I wanted to stop by and say thank you for all the advice, I'm mulling over it all and I've gotten some really valuable insight and advice I think. Sometimes an outside opinion can make a huge difference.

I wanted to clear up some things I might've been unclear about though. I do masturbate regularly on my own, with and without a vibrator, so that's never been an issue. I really like sex. I like all the things we do together, I love how he can make me feel, I love how I can make him feel.

So one of the reasons I wrote to Todgertalk was because in no way was I expecting this problem. The first time we attempted to have sex it literally hit me like a truck from an alternate dimension. No idea where this came from, it makes it a bit trickier to solve, from my point of view at least.

rpg, I am not blaming my boyfriend for my phobias, I own them, and I know that they're in my head and nowhere else. However, the issues only come up when somebody *other* than me attempts to touch my "lady garden". That's another reason I asked for tips on how to bring the issue of practising up with him, I need his help to overcome this fear, I can't confront it if I never let it manifest, can I?

We have talked about these issues before, I apologize for not being clearer about it. It's been a while since we talked about it though and to be quite honest, it's difficult to bring this up.

I also wanted you all to know that we're making slow but steady progress. I'm feeling confident that we'll eventually get over this hurdle, and I'm planning on acting on some of the advise I've been getting to make that happen.

Once again, thank you all for the advice. It has really helped.

hannah said...

I just wanted to second comments made by two previous posters:

1. You are certainly not alone in your fear of pregnancy. I was so paranoid about it that for a while after I started having sex, I had to buy a pregnancy test after every single time just to check I wasn't pregnant, even though I was using contraception, and properly. Fortunately, the more I had sex and *didn't* get pregnant, the fewer times I felt the need for re-assurance. It was getting to be quite an expensive method!

2. Losing your virginity is everything and nothing. It's natural to be worried, but if you relax and take it slowly, it really won't be unpleasant. It might not be OMGTHATWASAY-MAYZING!! But it'll be, you know, nice.

I'm glad to hear other people's advice has helped and I hope you manage to sort it.