Dating : A letter to my date about bad sex

h2>Dating : A letter to my date about bad sex

The letter

Hey ____,

I’ve had the chance to reflect a lot on our last date and what my true experience of that was. I think it’s important I share it with you. Please keep in mind that this is how I experienced and interpreted things, and while that’s subjective and likely to not be 100% accurate, its important to consider it.

This is about our sexual interaction and communication that night.

In the beginning, when you started fingering me, I was uncomfortable, and told you I don’t really enjoy that. You didn’t stop immediately, it took a few minutes. I didn’t like that. I told you that I didn’t want to go below the waist or take off my clothes. I stated clearly that I didn’t want to have sex on our third date, and it seemed like you understood. A few minutes later, I recall you saying ‘I’m horny’ and proceeding to dry hump me. It didn’t feel good but I was trying to play along and dismiss it. I was relieved when you got up and admitted that you’re not a 19 year old and don’t need to do this.

The second time we started making out, you went back to fingering me even though I had shown discomfort and said no in some way earlier. I didn’t want it, but you were getting really into it so I decided to just go along with it. I tried to make the most of it and tried to enjoy it by telling you what I like and when you did that, I did enjoy it to some extent. Maybe you took that as indication that I was turned on enough to have sex so you got up and led us to the bedroom. Even though I had been clear earlier that night that I didn’t want to have sex. I’m guessing you assumed I changed my mind, and I didn’t try to correct your assumption.

Another indication of the fact that I didn’t want to get more physical was that I wasn’t touching you when we were making out. At some point you asked me to touch you (in a nice way, granted) and I didn’t know how to say no again, so I did. In that moment, I ignored myself and decided to just go with the flow because doing otherwise felt more uncomfortable. I convinced myself that it was okay, that I just changed my mind.

That takes us to when we were having penetrative sex. I usually like this part, so I tried to enjoy it. But I wasn’t really feeling turned on or great in any way. When you asked me if I want to do it for the second time, I paused, and then said ‘Sure.’ That could have been a point where you picked up on my lack of enthusiasm. You partially picked up on it and asked me a second time whether I wanted to do it, but it sounded like you were assuming that I obviously want to go again and that you were just teasing me for not being more committal than ‘sure’. Again, I didn’t know how to say no in that moment, and decided it would just be easier to go along so I did.

After I left your home when I was walking to the car, I felt strangely dissociated. I found it puzzling because I didn’t think that anything had gone seriously ‘wrong’. I went on a drive to soothe myself and figure out what was happening inside me, and I decided it was just a case of not enjoying the sex and that I did enjoy the other parts of spending time with you so I’d rather focus on that. I must have been trying really hard to focus on this, because I even sent you a text the following day saying that it had been good to see you.

Over the course of the week, it all started hitting me — all the small red flag moments that I had noticed and tried to dismiss. But it all felt wrong, so I’ve been trying to get clear on what happened and how I feel about it. I’ve felt angry about your insensitivity and I’ve felt ashamed about my inability to speak up.

I want to acknowledge that it seemed like you were trying to consider my needs and did want me to come and to have a good time too. But you wanted to consider my needs within the context of us already having sex, and weren’t considering my more fundamental need to not have sex at all.

Yes, it can be really tricky to read cues. It’s hard to imagine someone who seems to be willingly making out, to be not wanting it and having a hard time saying so. It’s hard to imagine a seemingly independent woman who asks for what she wants, to be unable to speak up and say no. I know it can be easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment, and it can be easy to convince yourself that the other person is feeling the heat just as much as you are.

So this is definitely not a case of sexual assault. But it is a case of bad sex driven by the same underlying dynamics that lead to assaults. A culture where women have a hard time saying no and leaving uncomfortable situations when it comes to sex. A culture where both women and men prioritise the man’s pleasure and needs over the woman’s.

I’m sharing this with you because you seem like someone who is trying to be mindful and sensitive, and who might be open to learning from this. I’m learning from this too. As a woman, I’m trying my best to work through my disempowered way of being. Its really hard because its so deeply ingrained into me. I can only hope that as a man, you try your best to work through your disempowering ways of being, knowing that too will be hard because its deeply ingrained in you too. It will serve both of us well to not judge ourselves or the other, and just try to move forward with more awareness and a continued commitment to doing things in a way that allows both sides to feel respected and to enjoy themselves.

Sincerely, ________

Read also  Dating : Heartstrings

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