Sasha Answers: When Will I Be Ready For Sex?
Sasha- I am casually dating this guy, we'll say John, and have been for a while. Things are great. We see each other when we can, but talk all the time, and are pretty close. This has been going on for about two years (but mind you, it was a year before we went on a real date, kissed, etc. because of scheduling and distance. We spent the first year as friends, and this last year as something more.)
I am so happy, and I know he is too. We have found something in each other that neither of us has had before, a real companion, two peas in a pod. So here is the kicker. We haven't slept together. I desperately want to, but I keep avoiding it. It is a long, and not very happy story, but in high school I lost my virginity in a date rape. Naturally since then, sex has been kind of an odd territory for me. I finally told my family and a couple of close friends after seven years, including John. I don't know that he understood the gravity of the situation, but that is okay. All things in time. But for me, it has been a real source of unhappiness, and that paired with the stress of school, my father losing his job, no longer speaking with my best friend of 18 years, etc. has brought me into a pretty deep depression.
Now, I have been seeing a therapist, taking medication and working on repairing my emotional self. John has been a real source of happiness in my life these last two years when things were less than joyous. But, with depression comes other issues, such as weight gain. I have gained a ton of weight (like 50lbs) since meeting John, while trying to battle my demons. I know that he likes me for the person I am, but I cannot help but worry that I will disgust him when we finally (!) get to have sex. Now that things are a little better with me emotionally I am beginning to work on getting back to my old weight, but it takes time. I have been using the scheduling and distance as an excuse to avoid him, because I know once we get in the same room, I will be dying to have sex with him, and I worry he will no longer be interested. Since sex is already such a worry for me, add in my fear of rejection and I am paralyzed, but I am afraid if I don't get things moving, I will lose a guy I really, really care for. HELP!! E
E, I’m so happy to hear that you’re seeking out help and getting through your issues. This can’t be easy and you should be so proud of yourself for taking action. John sounds like a great guy and a great support system in your life. These are all very positive things!
The first thing that come to mind is that I really want to make sure you don’t feel like you have to give up the goods to keep John around. I would hate for you to rush the process out of guilt or pressure, so please make sure you’re mentally prepared first, because jumping the gun could be devastating to you and your relationship. So keep talking this out with your therapist and I also think it’s important to have another talk with John about this. I know it’s hard and I know you don’t want him to see you as “damaged goods”, but he needs to know that this is a process that takes time and may take longer than anticipated.
Now if after that, the issue is just about your recent weight gain, then E don’t sweat it. I touched on this topic the other week. To summarize: The majority of guys are weight blind - you either look good to them or you don’t, but they sure as hell don’t base it on your body fat percentage.
Here’s a Tong family rule that I’d like to share: my mom has always told me to never tell a man about my physical imperfections. Of course once a relationship gets serious everyone’s ugly is out on the table, but until then keep your insecurities to yourself. Don’t point out your cottage cheese thighs, your disproportionate arms, your crooked nose etc…it’s one thing to look at yourself and see your flaws, but to invite another person to judge them with you is double negative.
I’m sure your weight gain doesn’t feel awesome, but as long as you’re working to shed the pounds, it’s all good. And let’s get real E, if you finally decide you’re ready to hit skins with him, he’ll be so insanely stoked that you could tell him you have some highly contagious curdled vaginal disease and he’ll still think it’s the best news ever.
Look, from what you’ve told me John has given you no reason to doubt his commitment; the only person casting doubt is you. Right now the most important thing to do here is focus on piecing back your emotional well-being, so do me a favor, step aside and don’t get in the way of it. Okay?