Dear Dr. NerdLove,
I grew up in a religious household, one that strongly believed in the idea of no sex before marriage. I had chosen to remain a virgin until marriage, but wound up losing it anyway. This upset me pretty badly, made worse when my family found out. I’ve since had more experience (always feeling guilty), had in toxic relationships that I stayed in only to validate the activity. It’s been a long struggle, but I’ve become comfortable with myself and who I am and want to be, especially sexually.
I am now dating someone in my own faith and assumed I would wind up returning to my original choice to wait, especially since he was a virgin. As you may guess, this did not happen, but I find that this time, I’m actually comfortable with the result and enjoying myself and him in a way I never did before. I’m still having one problem, though. He is aware of my sexual history before him and, while he’s never said or even implied anything derogatory, I still feel embarrassed and ashamed at anything that hints at my past. I feel uncomfortable with the fact that I know what I’m doing and with telling him what I like. Half the time, I find myself laughing uncontrollably while I try to spit the words out, but mostly I just want to curl in on myself. I’m almost there, but can you help me cross that final barrier to being a confident sexual being?
– No Longer Waiting