Dating without sex

Over the years, people have been quick to write off my vaginal pain conditions as me being a tease or as anxiety stemming from past sexual trauma.

But who wouldn’t be anxious about having sex when it had been so traumatic every single time I tried?

I also started to date again I’d had boyfriends in high school and dated some in college, and I enjoyed it.

All I could think about was the disappointment that I would cause and the disappointment that I would feel after yet another failed dating attempt.

My “sexual experience” consisted of doctors poking and prodding me and men looking disappointed at me for something I couldn’t explain or help.

My doctors told me I could have a sexual experience in other ways.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted, other than to feel like a normal 23-year-old going on dates. As several friends and fellow sufferers over the years had pointed out, oral sex exists.

I studied each guy’s five-picture collection and tried to look for clues in them as to whether or not they would be accepting of my issues. But the feeling of arousal was so often accompanied by emotional distress that I never wanted to try.

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