Our first time didn’t go well — it was re­ally awk­ward

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Health - with Suzi God­son Send your queries to suzigod­[email protected]

“When you meet a new part­ner, your lev­els of sex­ual de­sire ought to be at their most in­tense

I started see­ing a new woman re­cently. We took it quite slowly at the be­gin­ning, and waited to have sex. There was a lot of an­tic­i­pa­tion as we both re­ally fancy each other. But that dis­ap­peared as soon as we started hav­ing sex. It was re­ally clunky, awk­ward, and all the lust just went.

>> First-time sex is of­ten awk­ward. Your mis­take was not ac­knowl­edg­ing that and then mak­ing light of what­ever went wrong. When sex be­comes self-con­scious, hu­mour is the only an­ti­dote. It takes the ten­sion out of the sit­u­a­tion and makes every­one feel more re­laxed. Also most peo­ple who agree to have sex with you, do ac­tu­ally like you, so it is gen­er­ally safe to as­sume that if things go a bit pear-shaped, they will be will­ing to give it an­other go.

I am a bit puz­zled about why you chose to take things so slowly. You don’t spec­ify how long you waited, but de­lay­ing things for too long can have un­in­tended con­se­quences. When you meet a new part­ner, your lev­els of sex­ual de­sire ought to be at their most in­tense. Wait­ing demon­strates that you are ca­pa­ble of po­lite re­straint, while also giv­ing you time to con­firm that your new squeeze is not a psy­cho. How­ever, de­sire is a pow­er­ful force. The re­sults of a 2017 You Gov Om­nibus sur­vey that asked: ‘How many dates should you wait be­fore hav­ing sex with some­one?’ re­vealed that 35% of men aged 35-44 had sex on a first date and 35% had it by the third date. Women in the same age group were slightly more con­ser­va­tive: 40% had sex by date four and only 9% had it on the first date.

There are good rea­sons, such as per­sonal safety, why women pre­fer to hold back for longer. When you go out with some­one who is al­ready on your radar, you have a vague idea of their his­tory and the kind of per­son they are. In con­trast when you meet some­one through an on­line dat­ing plat­form, for ex­am­ple, you have no prior knowl­edge of that per­son so it is sen­si­ble to ex­er­cise more cau­tion. How­ever, once two peo­ple know and trust each other, de­lay­ing sex can in­di­cate other un­der­ly­ing anx­i­eties. At­tach­ment or aban­don­ment is­sues, his­toric abuse, sex­ual as­sault or a pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ship that ended badly can make it more dif­fi­cult for women to let their guard down enough to con­vert a ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship into a sex­ual one.

Anx­i­ety is a dis­trac­tion which can make men lose their erec­tions and in­hibit or­gasm in women. De­lay­ing sex can ex­ac­er­bate those feel­ings. Be­cause sex is not a uni­lat­eral event, when an anx­ious per­son does even­tu­ally agree to sex, their anx­i­ety is trans­mit­ted to their part­ner and what should be a glo­ri­ous cli­max to weeks of wait­ing be­comes an em­bar­rass­ing dis­ap­point­ment for both.

The good news is that you both have come through your first at­tempt at sex rel­a­tively un­scathed. You still fancy each other, so my ad­vice would be to get back in the sad­dle as quickly as pos­si­ble. Get­ting your part­ner to re­lax is cru­cial. A glass of wine will help. More than two won’t.

Don’t rush it. Spend time kiss­ing, cud­dling, laugh­ing, talk­ing and touch­ing, Ex­plore the way she re­sponds to your ca­resses. What does she like? What makes her flinch? Pay at­ten­tion, and make sure that you spend plenty of time on fore­play. The aim is to make sure that she is fully aroused, so that blood flow to the gen­i­tals in­creases, which will raise the like­li­hood of or­gasm. Once your part­ner reaches the point of no re­turn, your in­hi­bi­tions will fall away and that first en­counter will be for­got­ten.

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