(Warning: this post contains some mature material but is not graphic. Proceed with caution.)
I remember when Scott came out to me wondering if we would ever have sex again. Life suddenly seemed so different somehow.
In fact, I told him that I supposed there was no reason for me to need sexy lingerie. He agreed and said probably not, but if lingerie made me feel better about myself, made me feel prettier or more sexy, that regardless of the fact that it does nothing for him, it still might be worthwhile overall. I’m not sure that was the answer I wanted at the time.
A day or two later, Scott started to come onto me after we had tucked ourselves in bed for the night. I was so uncomfortable. I thought he was just doing it for me. I kind of started to freak out (like a panic attack of sorts). He kept reassuring me, calmly and lovingly telling me to relax, that everything was okay. I told him he didn’t need to do this just for me. He replied that he wasn’t, that he *did* enjoy intimacy with me. I calmed down a bit, but it definitely wasn’t the best experience ever.
We had to talk. I had to know exactly what all of this meant to our sex life.
Since being gay was kind of a new idea to him as well, he couldn't answer all of my questions regarding our courtship, honeymoon and marriage so far. He claimed to be attracted to me, but not in the way he is attracted to guys. I guess the dating/courtship feelings had to do with love and romance being new to him, so he assumed that it was the way it was supposed to be. When we married, he was looking forward to sex and the new experiences and feelings that come with it (we were both only 21, after all!), so he was not repulsed by me at all, but rather attracted to the idea of being attracted to me. And since he has never had romantic experiences with anyone but me, he has had nothing to compare it to that would make it seem any less than it is.
Here is an approximation of how our conversation went, since I can’t really remember exactly.
Me: Are you attracted to me?
Him: (stammering a bit) yes… (but?)
Me: How can you be attracted to me and not to any other woman?
Him: Well, I am more attracted to who you are, to your personality. And I think I have learned to react to you physically because you are the only one I have ever been with, but I can never imagine that with any other woman.
Me: But you can imagine it with a man?
Him: (pause) yes
Me: Do you ever think about being with a man while you have sex with me?
Him: (timidly) Sometimes (sad face). I don’t want to make you feel bad.
Me: (sadly) Thanks for being honest with me.
One of the problems he said that he had with our sex life is that I would climax first and then seem to be uncomfortable waiting for him to finish (I tried to hide my discomfort, but I am not very good at faking anything). He was always in fear of hurting me because he wasn’t as quick as I was, which is basically why our sex life had spiraled down to nearly non-existent. (As a side note: condoms made his problem worse, but birth control pills have always made my anxiety worse, so I had given up on them, leaving condoms as the best alternative. We have recently fixed our birth control issues with surgery. Yay! I never have to be pregnant again!)
We decided that I would be honest with him from now on about how I was feeling during sex, and we would stop at any time if it became uncomfortable. Just adding that honesty factor took the pressure off of him emotionally and actually made it easier for him to relax and enjoy himself, which means he’s actually more likely to climax sooner, which often means there isn’t a problem to begin with.
Also, I don’t remember if we discussed this or if it was just something that occurred to me, but if Scott’s main concern was that I was not feeling good, and that could be avoided by him fantasizing about a guy once in a while to help him along, and I benefit from it too, then what is the harm in that? As a result, realizing where his thoughts might be when we are having sex does not bother me anymore, because I know that it is just making the experience better for both of us, and that ultimately, Scott loves me and wants me to be happy, and is happy being with me. I used to ask him what he was thinking and feeling during sex, but I no longer need to know. I know he loves me, and that is enough.
I already mentioned in a previous post that our anniversary in August was nearly like a second honeymoon for us, although it has slowed down since then. And while I assume that we are not as sexually active as many heterosexual couples, I am comfortable with what we have and how it works for us.
I wanted to mention something about how all of this affects my self-image and self-esteem. I have always lacked confidence in the way I look. I could make a long list of all of the things I hate about myself: acne (that has never gone away), grey hair (first one at age 16, way too many to count now!), dark hair on my arms, bony and pokey wrist bones, numerous moles that resemble freckles on my arms, awkward clumsiness, now extra fat on my belly and thighs, etc., etc.
It is likely that in the back of my mind I used to think that one reason our intimate life might have been lacking was that I was not pretty enough. I don’t think that anymore. I still frequently struggle with my appearance, but I do not think it is connected at all with my sex life (or lack thereof). I know that Scott would be attracted to me if he could be, and that it is neither his fault nor mine that he is not necessarily as attracted to me as I would have liked him to be.
I guess I need to find a way to improve my self-image that does not rely on attraction or sex. I know, I need to learn to see myself as God sees me and not worry about how I look. But maybe someday I will find just the right makeup or skin-care regimen that will help. Or maybe some new jewelry...
...or, maybe I should use my birthday money to buy myself a new lacy nightgown, just for me!
5 weeks ago