I left off on Saturday, September 29th (Practice Run #2). The following week was quite busy. B finally got a job! Full-time! With benefits! He was so happy and relieved, and so was I. He was to start on October 28th, which seemed far away on October 5th.
October 5th. B came over Friday evening. I’d finally cleaned my whole place that day, while blasting music (Ragtime and Miss Saigon), and it had sorely needed to be done. I made dinner and cookie dough balls dipped in chocolate, and I felt relieved and accomplished that I’d pulled myself together and done some housework and cooking. It also felt good to anticipate B’s arrival the whole day. After dinner, he asked me how I was doing, sex-wise. I believe he said, “So, how’s the sex?” =) And I said, “We need to talk about the sex. Have a sex talk.” I’d been thinking about it all week, researching, and I knew what I wanted to say. I also knew it wouldn’t be easy–to say or to hear. I still find it scary to bring up something so personal. I get nervous and can’t say the first words. I told him we’d talk about it later.
October 6th. On Saturday, we went to a neighboring town for the day. I’ve found that sometimes talking in the car is easier, maybe because you don’t have to look at each other. The car ride was too short though, and I chickened out! Back at home at the end of the day, we found another package on my doorstep. Inside were the Guide to Getting It On (7th ed.) and I (heart) Female Orgasm. There are a lot of sex books out there, and I did a lot of research and reading of reviews. I think B was a bit amused that I was buying sex-related things (the wedge and now two books) because I don’t shop much and when I do, it’s usually at a thrift store or second-hand book/music store. He might have also been a bit overwhelmed, like I’m arming myself with all these things, and we are going to follow these books and use this wedge and it shall be good, dammit. So I tried to keep it light. We flipped through The Guide. It’s over 1,000 pages, and it has a lot of detailed illustrations that took me by surprise. Even though I knew I was holding a guide to sex in my hands, I was surprised to see sexually explicit drawings when I flipped a page! (I’m used to the book now though, and it’s definitely educational, accessible, tasteful, and not without faults.) B and I looked at various illustrations of vulvas and he asked about mine (as in, which one of these pictures represents yours?). Of course, mine doesn’t look like any of the pictures. While the author writes that asymmetrical inner labia is very common, none of the pictures quite captures mine! Flipping through the book helped me embark upon The Sex Talk.
I was disappointed/discouraged that our two practice runs both included pain and several days’ recovery time. I knew that sex should not be like that, especially with lube and a gentle partner. So I took a deep breath and I told B that we are dealing with two things: CP and a virgin vagina. Now of course, I don’t know if my CP affects the actual vaginal muscles (has anyone ever studied that?), but my hips/pelvis are definitely affected, so I assume it’s a possibility. And I told him about the slight tearing (at least, that’s what I think happened). And I said we need to back off penetration for a while. As for when we could try again, I used the word “eventually” instead of “soon” and gave no time frame. I needed to work on stretching things out on my own. B wondered why, if I knew tight vaginal muscles would be a problem, I hadn’t been addressing the issue/prepping earlier. But I hadn’t realized the extent of the issue.
Everything I’d read emphasizes how important it is for the woman to be fully aroused for penetration to be comfortable. The hardest part was admitting that I hadn’t been aroused with him–ever. He was surprised, I know. Though there had been stirrings, there’d been nothing sustained long enough for my body to progress toward full-on, physiological arousal. I talked more about my hooded clitoris. [Wherein the hood does not retract to expose the glans. This is something I discovered long ago when I was frustrated that I couldn’t properly locate and stimulate my clitoris. After plenty of trial and error, I discovered that, yes, it’s there and it works, it’s just permanently under the skin.] I explained that I just don’t feel much if he’s touching me over clothing, and that we needed lots of naked time together. He countered that he’d encouraged me to be naked plenty of times. (“I know, but I wasn’t ready.”) I said we’d just skipped some steps. We needed lots of time with foreplay. “It’s not a bad thing–it will be fun and enjoyable for both of us.” I wanted to spend time on all the good, fun, sexy stuff, without penetration, to find out what I needed to be aroused with a partner. But I knew it’s difficult for any man to hear “no penetration” and not take it as rejection. We looked at The Guide a bit more, and at some point B said, “Can we stop talking about this now?” So I put the book away and we lay down on the couch. I felt anxious and sad because I knew he was feeling bad about it. I asked him what he thought, and he hummed out “I don’t know.” I ventured quietly, “I just don’t want you to feel bad or disappointed.” My throat started to hurt as if I might cry. B made a sound. “Are you saying you do feel those things?” I asked. “Mmm-hmm.”
I did feel like crying then. I knew he wasn’t disappointed in me, and I knew no one was to blame, and that nothing was wrong or bad. We just needed to slow down and go back. When B spoke again, it was to voice his concern that maybe he’s not “arousal material.” That if I was with someone else, this might not be a problem. I said I didn’t think that was true. That all my life, the only times I’ve been aroused I’ve been alone, and that now my body and subconscious need to learn something new. We talked some more and he used the phrase again, not being arousal material. He apologized for being insecure about it. I said we both have insecurities. He said we’re insecure about different things. That’s true.
Earlier in the day, we had been watching literal versions of music videos on You.Tube. (There are pretty hilarious ones, like “Take on Me.”) As we lay there on the couch, B glanced at my movies shelf and said there should be a literal version of West Side Story. And he started singing about snapping your fingers. I said, “See? This is what you need to understand. I don’t want to do these things with anyone else because I love you. There are so many things I love about you. Including your naked body in my bed.” Yeah, I said that. And it’s true. The last time I’d given him “manual stimulation” he’d lain next to me naked afterward, and I’d said, “If there had been more female painters, there would be many more nudey portraits of guys, because this,”–running my hand over his hip–“is lovely.”
I was finally on my period, so we didn’t have any “naked foreplay time” that weekend, but B did stay Sunday and left Monday as I left for work, as had become our custom.
October 10th. On Wednesday, B emailed, asking if he could bring dinner over that night. Of course I said yes. I asked him what he thought of The Sex Talk, now that he’d had time to process it. It wasn’t easy for him to jump into talking about it. I said, “Would it help if I didn’t look at you?” and put my head on his shoulder. That’s how we’d ended up saying the difficult stuff on Saturday, holding each other close, but not holding each other’s gaze. What he had to say was, “Did I rush you? With all the questions about ‘soon’?” I said no. And I hadn’t felt rushed. I told him I’d wanted to and didn’t regret it. “But saying ‘no more penetration’ and that we need to back up sounds like regret. It sounds like we shouldn’t have done the second practice run,” he said. I told him that I’d wanted to try again, and we did, and now it’s time to try things a different way. We talked more about my needing time to completely relax before the physical process of arousal could begin. I’d come up with an idea: the difference between excitement and the physiological arousal response. The first, I feel when I think about B, the second just hasn’t happened yet. Also, men’s and women’s response times are different, and everything I’ve been reading says that often 15-20 minutes of foreplay is needed before a woman is fully aroused. And B can get an erection just thinking about me. It’s not at all fair. We talked about all of this a lot. I think B is starting to understand, and he’s glad to know I feel excitement for him, even if I can’t seem to let my body go down the arousal road yet.