Back to the Start: Sex in the real world, part three

Things had been going so well. I felt hopeful that everything would continue to improve with patience and practice.

I started my period on February 11th. This was only the second cycle I’ve had since getting  the Nex.planon birth control arm implant in September 2012. I’d had three blissful, period-free months. One of the most common side effects (and most commonly cited reasons for having the implant removed) is prolonged periods. The first cycle I’d had with the implant was 11 days (mine are usually seven). It was annoying, but so light, just a few drops a day, that I felt it was worth it if they were then going to stop for months at a time. This time around, it was 16 days, and I was beginning to wonder if it would ever end (it can go on for months, hence the getting it removed). I was starting to panic, not wanting to get it removed, but wondering how long this could go on and still be worth it. And again, it was just a few drops. Plenty of people have sex when the woman is on her period. But I wasn’t comfortable with that, and I told B I would let him know when I was ready again.

By the time I was ready and we were together on March 1st, it had been three weeks for us. (Let me tell you, by the way, that in the interim, I still did not become a handjob expert, but I got some practice.) I loved getting into bed naked late that night and waiting for B to emerge from brushing his teeth. I contemplated putting on lube while I waited, but I wanted to wait and see how things would go. I loved making out with him. The thought crossed my mind–I’m in bed naked with my boyfriend and we’re going to have sex–and it still feels so new and exciting, yet natural and wonderful.

I still need lots of practice speaking up and giving guidance and direction while things are going on. It’s so important to be able to say, “a little gentler,” or, “maybe try it like this.” But it isn’t easy. B’s having such a nice time and making all these sexy noises, and trying his best to give me a nice time…and I just don’t want to interrupt him. And break the mood or make him feel bad. Anyway, I was hoping I was ready enough for everything to go smoothly. But I wasn’t. It hurt when we tried, and we stopped for lube. Goodbye any whisper of arousal. But once we’d gotten past the mechanics, it was so nice to be back together again, to hear his sounds and watch his face and know that I was giving that to him.

But afterward, I was so disappointed by the amount of lingering pain I felt, and I let him know we were going to have to work on insertion. Later, I realized I was bleeding. Just like practice runs one and two, there must have been a tiny tear. I was frustrated with myself–why hadn’t I just used lube at the start, why hadn’t I just made sure I was really ready? Now we’d have to wait for me to heal. Again.

I didn’t want to tell B. He’d be so disappointed and sad, too. I googled it and found, of course, that I’m not the only one. That plenty of women who have had plenty of sex deal with this. The skin of the vulva and vagina is very delicate! Usually lube solves the problem. And of course, if you don’t wait to heal completely, you can open up the tear again. But how do you know when you’re completely healed? Nothing hurts right now, but it might if we try. I don’t want to be scared to try and I don’t want my body to associate sex with pain. Last time, after practice run two, we backed off for about a month, so I don’t know what would have happened had we only waited a week.

It’s a week today. Two days ago, when B came over for dinner, I did tell him. I told him that we’d have to be more careful, that if we find that things are not working, we can’t force it. That we must not be in the right position and we need to just make an adjustment–try a different angle, or a bit to the right or left. I’ve just thought of an analogy. It’s kind of like getting hole-punched paper into a three-ring binder when the holes are just a little off. You have to pull the paper and the hole might rub and get stretched fitting over the ring. Ouch. And you know it would fit if you could just move it over a little bit… There was that time that penetration took us by surprise, so we know it can happen with ease. We just haven’t been able to replicate it. There’s both of our inexperience to contend with. There’s our height difference. There’s possibly a size issue–but we can’t really know. And of course there’s my cerebral palsy. Which just makes everything difficult. And there’s my struggle with reaching and maintaining arousal. Which isn’t making B feel great, I know. God, I wish this were easier. This never happens in fiction.

We need to relax. Be creative. Try new things. B took this new development pretty well, I think. Asking, “What do you want to try?” And we talked about it, a little sadly and carefully. He turns on my mind and my heart, so why is my body making things so difficult? I do feel thrills and pleasurable anticipatory squeezes downstairs when I think about sex with B. And it’s not just imagining sex anymore. It’s my actual experiences that I can think about and feel my body react to in a positive way. I need my body to do that, and keep doing that, while I’m actually with him, not just thinking about him! I want so much for us to have a fun and fulfilling sex life. What is it going to take for us to get there?