Move Back! Voices of Experience

Voices of Experience: Navigating Sexual Choices

What do I Want?!

Getting straight on how you want your sex life to go isn't easy.  The first step is yours.  Know what you want.  Don't wait and see.  Decide, don't slide into sex. 

Learn from the voices of others.

What works--and doesn't work--for navigating all the sexual choices you make? 

When things go right:  Voices on figuring out what works, saying it and sticking to it


When I was in high school having sex was either this silent or grunting thing, but it never felt as amazing as others described it. I never felt totally comfortable with any of my partners back then and thought it was just supposed to hurt at first and be hard and fast the whole time, so I never said anything. Then I met someone totally amazing and fell in love. For the first time I had a partner that moved really slowly, that listened to how my body was responding and asked me how the touch felt. I finally felt comfortable talking during sex, saying what I wanted... and... WOW!!! Now sex is better than anything anyone else ever described to me.



Getting comfortable with what I find pleasurable is a lot harder that you might expect. It gets easier as I have more experiences, but if you are inexperienced it's REALLY difficult and embarrassing. I went through this stage where I felt like I just couldn't have orgasms and I was frustrated because I didn't know if it was because I just can't have them, or maybe I am not asking for the right thing. Over time I got more and more comfortable, both making sense of what I like, and being able to ask for it. You just need to keep trying, its not a big deal. Learning about yourself and your sexuality is a process. 



I waited to have sex until I was in love.  It was hard because there were a lot of social pressures to have sex, and I was even with guys where there was a lot of sexual tension and on some level I really wanted to feel pleasure with them, but I knew that sex for me means more than pleasure.  So I waited, and when I had sex it was a really positive experience because I was in love and he was in love with me. I didn't feel worried after about what the guy thought of me, or if he was going to call me back, or any of that stuff that some of my friends deal with.  I know that for me, I only want to have sex when I'm in love and when I know I'll get love and respect back, but that takes waiting.  Even now that I've had sex, when I start seeing someone new, I know I have to wait and really get to know the guy before I know if I want to have sex with this person--sometimes that's hard to stick to when meet I someone really hot, or there's all the excitement of a new relationship, but I know it makes me feel better in the end to wait.   



I was really happy with my decision to wait till after high school. After high school you’re more equipped, going through those first relationships and understanding the different dynamics of like being with a person a lot. Just the dynamics of a relationships and how it works and adding sex makes everything a lot more complicated.   


I was starting to get a little frustrated doing oral sex on boyfriend. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, but like, every single time? Sometimes it takes a really long time and it takes a lot out of me. I knew it was embarrassing to him that it took a long time to finish, so for a while I didn't say anything. But then I realized I was starting to get resentful and trying to avoid sex. I really didn't want to ruin this over something as stupid as a sex act.   



It took me a long time to sort out two things I wanted--for guys to give me attention, and for guys to respect me.  They didn't always go together. My friends were hooking up with guys, and I really liked the attention I got from guys who were interested in me sexually.  But I found out that sometimes, once you hook up with a guy, he's not so interested in you anymore. Or maybe he is, but he starts playing games with you. I thought I was interested in sex just for fun, but then eventually I said 'why do I keep getting hurt by these guys I don't even like' and I realized it was because I really wanted a relationship.  I wanted sex with someone who really respected me and not just someone who would flirt with me when we went out.  It took a while to sort out, but now I know what I want and need which makes me feel good. I only wish I had taken the time to think about it before.  



There are some things that I'm OK with, and some that I'm not.  It's really important to have that clear for yourself, and make sure that you can tell whoever you're with about it.  The first guy I dated didn't respect what I said what I was comfortable with.  There was always pressure.  It wasn't until later that I realized how disrepectful that was, and now I've learned to really know what I want and don't want, and let it be known.



My girlfriend and I will just have really passionate hugs and we will sleep together and be very touchy/feely and it’s really nice. It’s very slow moving, but at the same time very sensual. . . occasionally we will bump and grind a little or I will touch her sexually, but that's not the focus for us yet.   I would definitely say the highlight for me is just being physically intimate.  I don’t want to say sexual but it is sexual - it’s like sexual/sensual and it’s really cool. I like it a lot.



The guy was pressuring me to do it and I didn't think that I wanted to.  But he really did, so I started to think about it. I was talking about it and he wasn’t even really listening because he was so focused on the outcome, and then at that point I knew he didn’t really care what I wanted and that made it so clear to me--I was NOT about to have sex with him!!



My sexuality is rooted in my emotional perspective.  Now that I have a more positive and independent emotional perspective, sex is not such an important part of a relationship because I realize that it’s not about pleasing other people, or  making myself feel wanted.  It’s about what my partner and I both want together and about our individual selves.  I see myself as an individual now instead of one half of a whole.



When things go wrong or get tangled up and blue:  Voices on being confused.  


I didn’t like the idea of touching his penis. I was so uncomfortable.   He asked: why not?  I didn't know what to say, I just felt like that was something I shouldn't be doing.I mean, I am fine with making out.  I love to make out.  Why can’t we just stay making out?  Making out is fine, it’s fun.  Why do we have to go further? Is he getting bored? I’m not bored.  I just want to enjoy making out until I am ready for something more. I just didn't know how to say it to him because I liked him so much and was afraid of losing him. So he got kind of rough with me, and I didn't like that.  I cared a lot back then that he broke up with me, but now I'm glad.



It's sometimes really hard to recognize when someone is taking advantage of you. Its not always so obvious as someone physically trying to rape you. Its subtler than that. You can absolutely be taken advantage of or violated when you're in a relationship. My first boyfriend totally ignored me when I told him I wanted to have sex but that it was important to me to always use a condom. He said if I wanted to use a condom, then he didn't want to have sex with me at all, so I gave in to him. Now I recognize how little regard he had for me as a person. He exploited my feelings and my sexual desire to get what he wanted, but I was the one who felt guilty and angry afterward. 



I do feel pressure to go and get sexual experiences in order to be able to talk about it. So I could put myself in a situation where someone isn't even really fully pressuring me, but just a little bit, and then I’ll give in because of all the other pressures combined. When I say this out loud like this, I see how confused I am.  With different pressures, I'm not sure which one is most important.  I'm not sure what I want. No one ever tells you to decide and get clear on sex.  People just don't talk about sex enough.



I feel like I am turning my back on my religion just so I won't feel bad about what I'm doing with this guy. It was never hard for me to listen to the priest preach, or go to lectures and talks about religious stuff, but now that I’m not following the rules so much it’s a lot harder to hear that stuff because it just makes me feel guilty.  I’ll always be religious and I agree that its wrong to have sex if you're not married.  But at the same time, it doesn't feel wrong to close my eyes and do what I really want to do with my boyfriend, and to enjoy it.  So I guess I just have to get this figured out for myself.


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