It is safe to say that I have done enough internet research to confirm that I can’t find the answers I am looking for there. So, I decided it was finally time to talk to someone, especially someone who is an expert talking about sex and who could help me find the answers I’ve been looking for a very long time.
I’m 21 years old (she/her) and I have only ever been with men, although I can’t say I’m heterosexual because I could be with a woman, I just never have. So, I’m not sure of my sexuality.
I don’t like having sex, I never have. I had sex for the first time at 16, I am now 21 and I still don’t enjoy having sex.
After listening to my friends’ advice I thought it would only be the first few times because they hurt, but it just kept hurting every single time I had sex. Eventually, and just a few months ago, I started having “painless” (or less painful) sex, but I still don’t like to do it!
With my own personal reasons to search for answers, I sat down with sex positive advocate, Jasmine King, who spoke to me about views on sex.
A chat with Jasmine
“Have you ever contemplated the fact that you might be asexual?” Jasmine said.
Well, let’s say that it had slipped my mind before. And, although I won’t fully dismiss that possibility, according to The Asexual Visibility & Education Network (AVEN), “An asexual person is a person who does not experience sexual attraction.” But that’s not me! I do experience sexual attraction… sometimes!
Then, she thought it could be that I have some physical problems, like vaginismus. Again, something I had done a whole lot of research for and, for a very long time, I was completely sure I had it.
For those who don’t know, vaginismus happens when your vagina involuntarily contracts when there is some kind of penetration, like a penis or a tampon. And it’s painful, very painful! And although I’m no doctor, and can’t know for sure, I am pretty sure I used to have it before… until sex stopped hurting.
I thought that would be it, finally, after years of painful sex, I could do it without feeling any pain! But the problem is I also don’t really feel any pleasure! “I’m feeling the pain, feeling the pleasure…” Good for you Zayn. I don’t feel EITHER. So, we are back to square one. I still don’t enjoy sex.
After a long chat about what could and what could not be, Jasmine said something that made me see everything so clearly.
She said: “I think you might see sex as a chore.”
As simple as that.
I never want to do chores. And to me, or, better said, to my brain, sex is just an addition to the list of chores like doing the laundry, doing the dishes, or going to the gym.
But why could that be? She said I might have had some bad experiences with previous partners during sex that have caused sexual traumas, which definitely happened.
Why do I not like sex?
Jasmine said: “Your brain is your worst enemy. If your brain tells you sex is going to be a shitty experience and that you won’t enjoy it, it will most likely be like that.” And it is.
So, if you put together: past sexual traumas, my inability to relax (I suffer from severe anxiety…), the fact that women have always been taught to be prude and that sex is something bad (of course I had to come from a conservative and catholic background), which also links to my parents never EVER talking to me about sex or anything related to it. By omitting it, they are just making it something taboo, something bad.
All those things together = me not being able to enjoy sex.
It’s very complicated, but at the same time, very simple.
Thanks to Jasmine, I finally found the answer I had been looking for. Sorry Taylor, you know I relate to you on basically everything… But I am realizing that maybe it’s not me, hi, maybe I’m not the problem!
Now I just need to learn how to unlearn everything my brain has been absorbing my whole life and understand that I am not the only one – so, I hope by being vulnerable and sharing my experience, I can help others who feel the same way to learn that we are not alone. And that we are okay.
Edited by Imogen Bowlt and Elena Baeza Ruso