I really enjoy your blog. It’s helped a lot with picking myself up after my long-term girlfriend cheated on me.
I’m a bisexual woman in my early 20s who’s moving to a new place where I’m going to be hanging out with lovely cool nerds, some of whom I might want to date?
Things are going pretty well, with one lingering problem: in my last relationship (… which was also my first), I found out that any sort of penetration (v) for me is horribly, soul-crushingly painful. (Before you suggest anything… look, we tried it all. Just take my word here.)
The desire is there, but the pain is worse than a rib tattoo and there’s also a sense of “something has gone horribly wrong” that takes the mood out back and shoots it like Old Yeller. Right now, I’m in a place where women’s health sucks. The state pushes abstinence-only sex-ed, and even the Planned Parenthood I went to to get this checked out basically tested me for STDs (all clear, at least), said “man, that’s some weird pain,” and shrugged. Some health digging later, I’ve got the possibilities narrowed down, and the most likely culprit is Vaginismus, an involuntary contraction of the muscles that sometimes happens without a clear cause.
Now, you’re not a real doctor, so let me cut to the meat of the question. Even ignoring the move, getting settled in, medical costs, scheduling, etc… most solutions out there will take some months to do their thing, if everything goes smoothly and this is what I think it is.
However, I would really like to find my way to the dating scene and hold hands and kiss and have sex (that doesn’t include penetration) very soon!
Now how the fuck do I break this to potential partners?
I’m fucking terrified of one of them thinking I’m lying and subjecting me to horrible pain in a vulnerable moment, and I don’t want to present this as an “oh, well… someday” thing, because I don’t want someone sticking around for what could be rather than what’s there in the moment. And also there’s my anxiety brain whispering that THIS is why she cheated on me, even when I know very well that my anxiety brain is full of some hot bullshit.
When do I tell someone that a kind-of-expected-and-easy-for-most-people sex act is 100% off the table? Sometime between the second date and right before? In an ideal world, everyone would be cool, but unfortunately, there are Stealth Assholes and folk who never did the supplemental sex-ed and think penetration is supposed to hurt.
Not to mention potential hurtful gossip and stigma if I really misjudge someone.
Sorry, Dr. NerdLove, but this has been weighing on me.
The Spirit is Willing, but the Flesh isn’t Having It