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July 14, 2012 12:23 PM   Subscribe

Imminent break of self imposed celibacy after a few years. Going away on romantic trip next week. Gentleman in question unaware of my choice or relationship history. How to prepare? Do I tell him this? What can I do to prepare myself?

This is a sockpuppet so that I can answer questions. I am an adult woman past 40.
posted by a2 to Human Relations (45 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Just so you know, this is only a big deal if you want it to be one. People's sex lives ebb and flow; it's not unusual to not have had partnered sex for a stretch of years, by choice or by default.

Is there a reason you feel the need to prepare especially? I promise there are no cobwebs! If you feel awkward, you can say "it's been a while" or "I'm out of practice." But to be honest, first time sex between two given people is often awkward so I'm not sure anything will particularly distinguish this.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:32 PM on July 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


I think this is where you say to him "just be gentle with me ok? It's been a while" and blush.

It's up to you if you feel he needs to know the back story or not - was it anything traumatic?
posted by lizbunny at 12:33 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Before deciding whether or not to say anything, ask yourself what you would hope to receive in reply to such an admission. For instance, do you want to tell him you're breaking a long streak of celibacy in order to convey to him how very much this sex will mean to you? If so, I would be more direct in expressing that sentiment.

If you're just worried that you may need a more gradual introduction back into the saddle, then I agree with the above suggestions -- all you need to say is, "Let's take this slow tonight, it's been a while for me!"
posted by artemisia at 12:35 PM on July 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is there something behind your celibacy decision that you want him to know about? That's the only reason I can think of to bring it up.
posted by J. Wilson at 12:36 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, I'm slightly unclear on your question. If I have it correctly, you are about to have sex after a few years of voluntary celibacy and are wondering if you ought to do/expect anything in order to make things go as well as possible for you and your partner. Assuming I've got it right, here is my advice:

Do mention it to him, but don't make a big deal out of it. Wait until things are really starting to get going (like, when the clothes start coming off) and then just say something along the lines of, "hey, just thought you should know that it's been a little while", and then maybe add if you want that you'd appreciate it if he'd kind of take his time, not rush into it.

That's probably all you need to say. I really doubt that it'll be a big deal on his end -- if he's even a halfway decent lover he'll just pay a little extra attention to how you're doing, maybe check in with you a little more than he would've otherwise. I'm sure it's not going to bring the proceedings to a screeching halt or anything.

On your end, just try not to overthink it. You have done this before, and I promise you haven't forgotten how. I can't speak to aspects specific to 40-year-old women (I am a 27-year-old man) but I imagine that you'll be a little bit nervous at first (as most people are anyway with a new partner) and you'll just have to be OK with that and kind of enjoy the heightened awareness that comes with that. Just try to relax and get out of your head (I know this is controversial but a small amount of alcohol might help here) and enjoy yourself.

Do listen to yourself though and give yourself permission to back out if for some reason you start to freak out or something, but really you should be OK. I've been there. It'll be alright.

You'll be fine. After you get past the first time, you'll be even better. Have fun!
posted by Scientist at 12:39 PM on July 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


As the male half of a past romantic getaway that didn't go very far in the bedroom, I think it's important that you let him know early on in the vacation where you stand, or the poor fellow may get rather frustrated when you're back in the hotel room at night and his advances don't reach the conclusions he might be expecting.

I'm not saying you have to compromise your principles, just let your partner know early on.
posted by Null Pointer and the Exceptions at 12:44 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thank you for your supportive answers and for making me feel "normal". I think what I was asking was "Do I need to tell him this?" or, as all of you advise, will "be gentle, its been a while" be fine? Will he think I'm a loser for having been out of practice for so long?

Scientist, you're spot on with your understanding of the situation but my beanplating has me wondering if I even remember "first times" anymore... meh.

Null Pointer etc, my principles here are to have those couple of drinks with him and let him take the lead. I'd rather try to hide my accidental reactions (if any) than act the middleaged virgin. I'd prefer he didn't guess just how out of practice I am, to be honest.

And yes, he is special enough that I'm taking this step, but I'd much rather do it without a heavy conversation on the whys and wherefores of my past and my decision to have been celibate until now.
posted by a2 at 12:53 PM on July 14, 2012


Sounds like sex is going to happen. I would just go with the flow, and maybe afterwards say something if you feel like it. Sex is even more reflexive than riding a bicycle, so I would not worry about being rusty, if that is part of where you are coming from.
posted by snaparapans at 12:56 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think "its been a while, woo I feel like a nervous teenager" is very sweet and absolutely sufficient. have a lovely time :)
posted by supermedusa at 12:59 PM on July 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


By the time you hit 40 no one will have expectations that you/re anything other than an adult that has made adult decisions. Just be truthful and who cares?
posted by cjorgensen at 1:02 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Birth control - is this still a conversation? STDs? The unromantic side of sex... How to bring this up? When? I don't currently use anything.
posted by a2 at 1:08 PM on July 14, 2012


As long as you are still even potentially fertile, birth control is a needed conversation. Don't assume he will bring condoms; you should have your own supply.
posted by Forktine at 1:14 PM on July 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


Oh, shoot--you should have put that up top. Have condoms on hand, a couple different kinds wouldn't hurt. If he doesn't reach for his own at the appropriate moment, smile and hand him one or offer to put it on for him. If there's any reason you think he be adverse to using one, I'd pass on doing the deed.
posted by BlueHorse at 1:14 PM on July 14, 2012


Unless you've been menopausal for at least a year, birth control is a must. Bring condoms and lube!
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:16 PM on July 14, 2012


"It's been a while" is enough if that's all you want to share.

Enjoy!
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:17 PM on July 14, 2012


Birth control, STDs, yes - you don't need to have an explicit discussion unless anyone has anything they need to disclose but everyone who thinks they might be having sex (that means you!) needs to bring condoms to the party. And use them. Are you going to be okay laying down that parameter if he doesn't? Do you need help with that?

(You should be confident and secure with the condom thing, absolutely, but you seem a bit insecure about this whole deal so I am asking specifically.)
posted by DarlingBri at 1:19 PM on July 14, 2012


Birth control - is this still a conversation? STDs? The unromantic side of sex... How to bring this up? When? I don't currently use anything.

If you don't use anything, bring condoms for STD protection. I think most people, especially adults, consider them mandatory for any sort of penetrative sex. Accordingly, there doesn't have to be much of a conversation, usually, other than "Did you bring condoms?" and/or "I have condoms." or some other obvious indication of same.

When I was an adult person almost 40 having a romantic engagement with a new guy after it had been a while I did what most people here have suggested, even more like "this is fun, it's been a while" or something. Other than that just being clear that there are probably overlapping emotions with your feelings for this particular person and your feelings about yourself and moving on from your celibacy decision and all that entails. Have a good time, try not to get too into your own head, don't drink too much (if you drink) and try to give yourself enough open/free time to enjoy yourselves.
posted by jessamyn at 1:29 PM on July 14, 2012


I would totally send a flirty email like "you're packing lots of condoms...right? ;)"

I've had partners who balked at condoms and it's better to know before you're 2 seconds from getting it on. Stopping things to have an "I can't keep an erection while wearing a condom" conversation is really unfun.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:31 PM on July 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


A little follow-up based on your feedback:

I'd like to reiterate that I seriously doubt he is going to judge you (or think of you as a loser) because you haven't had sex in a while. I've been there myself, and I've had that worry, and it's never turned out to actually be a problem except inside my own head. The only person judging you for not having had sex recently is you – and if you can manage to let go of that, then it ceases to be a problem at all in that regard.

I'd also like to mention that if you want to have sex with this guy, and you haven't had sex with him before, and you feel a little nervous, then it's important for you to give clear, strong signals that that is what you want. If he's a caring, sensitive sort of guy who is maybe a little prone to overthinking things himself (as so many of us are) then it might be all-too-easy for him to read your nervousness as you not being ready for him to make a move. He's going to be nervous too – I can almost guarantee it – and if you're not giving a clear signal that you want to have sex, he may not initiate. I have been that guy. I know you're nervous – you don't have to necessarily look him in the eyes and say, "I want to fuck you" – but you should maybe be ready to do some of the fun-awkward work of escalating things from cuddling to making out to foreplay to sex, though you should check in with your guy as things go along to make sure that he is also OK with the direction and speed in which things are moving.

As far as the birth control thing, I would say it's definitely still a factor. You're 40, you're presumably still fertile, and I'm assuming you're not ready to have a kid with this guy yet nor is he ready to have one with you. STDs are also an issue, of course – I guess you don't know this guy's status, which is normal enough for a first time; it's really hard to have that conversation with someone you haven't yet had sex with, especially if you're not both mutually aware that you want to have sex with each other.

There are two ways you can approach this. One, you can have that conversation with him. It will probably be really awkward and it will definitely mean that he knows you want to fuck him. It will also mean that you have a clearer picture of the risks going into things, and maybe if you feel like something isn't to your satisfaction then you can either decide not to have sex with him or else insist that you and/or he get tested for STDs beforehand.

The second option is to just have the conversation after your first encounter or two, when it's obvious that this is going to be a regular thing, and to just use condoms (Bring your own! Don't count on him to do this!) and cross your fingers. This is what most people do and it's not ideal but then a lot of things in this life are not ideal. You need to look to your own comfort level here.

Regardless, you should bring condoms – if you want to be prepared then bring a couple of kinds. Latex and non-latex, maybe some flavored ones if you want to use condoms for fellatio as well. That's your call there – the major STD risk for fellatio is herpes which is common, sometimes unknown by the person carrying it, not usually medically serious, socially stigmatized, and permanent. There are a whole host of other risks out there regarding sex in general, which you are presumably at least passingly familiar with. They are real risks and you should protect yourself.

Do wear condoms on this trip – they're no fun, and they don't provide perfect protection, but really you should insist. Your health is not worth risking over this. If this becomes a regular thing then you can both get comprehensive STD tests, you can go on some form of non-barrier contraceptive if you so choose (or he could get a vasectomy, or perhaps even already has gotten one) and you can decide what to do from there.

On preview, the young rope-rider's advice is excellent. Sending that e-mail kills a few birds with one stone: it lets him know that you want to have sex, it establishes that you are going to insist on protecting yourself, and it lets you know if he's a jerk who refuses to wear condoms. (If he can't keep an erection with a condom on that is his problem, not yours, and you should not have sex with him until he either learns to deal with that problem – a whole other AskMe – or you both do the STD-test/non-barrier-contraception thing.)

Sorry for the lecture! But seriously, condoms.
posted by Scientist at 1:42 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know I should have brought it (birth control) up but it hadn't struck me till now. I suppose those out of date condoms from 2008 in my cosmetic bag won't do, huh?

Are you going to be okay laying down that parameter if he doesn't? Do you need help with that?

Absolutely. Its a dealbreaker. But I appreciate your asking.

(You should be confident and secure with the condom thing, absolutely, but you seem a bit insecure about this whole deal so I am asking specifically.)


If you've picked up on the insecurity its because I know he has been "active" and something he'd said implied he thinks I've been 'normally active' too (since our respective divorces). That is, we're coming to this with widely varying experiences.

I'm on my period now and will be "safe" when we leave but condoms are a must for health risks.
posted by a2 at 1:44 PM on July 14, 2012


Sorry for threadsitting, but on preview and Scientist's long and much appreciated answer (which is exactly the kind of preparatory advice that I was hoping to receive) have me adding one more thought.

It will also mean that you have a clearer picture of the risks going into things, and maybe if you feel like something isn't to your satisfaction then you can either decide not to have sex with him or else insist that you and/or he get tested for STDs beforehand.

This is a risk I'm very aware of and probably one of the things that might dampen the fun for me, to be honest. If he's been active, there's a risk and a higher one than the norm, for reasons which I will not go into now and here. I've been wanting to ask but at the same time preferring to take that less than ideal option of using condoms and not bringing it up till after. Ideally I'd want him to get a certificate clearing him medically. Given the situation, the circumstances and the timing, I might need to compromise by bringing it up after the first time but before our vacation ends and simply be a bit more careful the first time. Unless he magically brings it all up during drinks.
posted by a2 at 1:56 PM on July 14, 2012


A four year break in an entire lifetime of sexuality is really nothing; you should maybe not feel the need to be so anxious about this. I don't want to pry but you mention a divorce; is this is the first person you're planning to have intercourse with since your ex-spouse? Is it possible that some of your anxiety is related to that and you're displacing a bit?

Because I totally have to tell you the "I have only had sex with one person for 15 years and now it's time to do it with a totally new person" freakout is 100% normal and 100% par for the course. Everyone who's been monogamously divorced has been through it, and eveyone who'd ever slept with someone who's been monogamously divorced has been through it and it's completely, totally okay.

Remember: sex is a fundamental function. It's basic. It's physics and friction. It's very likely to be okay; mother nature wants you to succeed.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:59 PM on July 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


One of the things about peri menopause is that any kind of FAM gets way more complicated, even when you are doing the daily checks. If you're not currently tracking your ovulation status, judging "safe" times based on your menstrual cycle alone isn't sage for anyone over 40.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:01 PM on July 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think most people, especially adults, consider them mandatory for any sort of penetrative sex. Accordingly, there doesn't have to be much of a conversation, usually, other than "Did you bring condoms?" and/or "I have condoms." or some other obvious indication of same.

Both anecdotally and statistically, this isn't true, and much more so as you go up the age brackets. I think you absolutely have to be ready to negotiate their use, both in general and in specific. On paper, it's really clear -- "condoms for penetrative sex," right? But what about when you are naked and kissing and rubbing on each other, for example? In the heat of the moment, there are definitely decisions to be made (often along the lines of "OMG this feels so good, is this the moment to discuss condoms?, but wait, this is feeling so good...") that are maybe less binary.

Ideally I'd want him to get a certificate clearing him medically.

Just as an FYI, there is no single standard STD clearance panel. Some things can't be tested (eg HPV for men); others are normally only tested for in the presence of indicators (eg herpes testing when there's a sore). Some doctors will test for more things, others will test for fewer, and there are other, rarer, things that no one is going to run tests for except when you are showing signs of infection. Definitely getting tested is good, but be aware that when someone says "I was cleared" it can mean a variety of things.

If he's been active, there's a risk and a higher one than the norm, for reasons which I will not go into now and here.

If he's high risk for HIV or hepatitis C infection, for example, you might want to make different choices than if he is super low risk -- these are not diseases that are spread evenly across the entire population, and part of how you keep yourself safe is by assessing risk from both a partner and a particular sexual act.
posted by Forktine at 2:09 PM on July 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


About that 2008 trip to Italy? We both got the runs. Story of my life, but those condoms were left unused. And yes, we broke up shortly thereafter. So its more like 8 years, actually.


If he's high risk for HIV or hepatitis C infection, for example, you might want to make different choices than if he is super low risk -- these are not diseases that are spread evenly across the entire population, and part of how you keep yourself safe is by assessing risk from both a partner and a particular sexual act.


Tell me more.
posted by a2 at 2:16 PM on July 14, 2012


Follow-up to your follow-up: If you already feel that his risk of being infected is higher than normal for whatever reason, I would encourage you to take Option 1 in my advice above, despite the awkwardness. There might not be time for him to get a checkup, but maybe he's already had one recently and would be happy to share the results! Or maybe he's aware of his positive status for some STD and hasn't disclosed yet for whatever reason (not necessarily because he's a bad guy, he may have been planning to do it later when it was clearer that sex was going to happen). If you have to do it through e-mail or something then do that.

You could perhaps expand the young rope rider's advice to something like this: "Hey sweetheart, you're bringing plenty of condoms on this trip, right? ;-) By the way, have you been tested recently? Is there anything I should know about there? I have/haven't been tested recently and/but to be honest you're the first person I've been this interested in since the divorce, and I know/think I was STD-free back then. We should use condoms anyway just in case but I thought we should just get this out in the open now so that the awkwardness has a little time to die down. ;-) Looking forward to seeing (more of) you!"

Amend as necessary of course, but something like that would just about cover most of your bases I think. Awkward, yes, but then you have the benefit of going in knowing what your risks are, that condoms are going to be used, that he knows you want to have sex with him, that he knows it's been a while, and everything else. It would kind of clear all the air all at once, leaving you free to enjoy the trip without any of that stuff looming in your mind.
posted by Scientist at 2:16 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


If it's been awhile, you might want to go get waxed. Men expect that these days.
posted by zadcat at 2:19 PM on July 14, 2012


If a man "expects" you to have different pubic grooming than you do, that is a very useful douchefilter.

Also, if he's your contemporary age-wise, it's doubtful that he'd "expect" it. Pubic waxing seem to be the in thing with folks 18-40, not so much over 40.

Do whatever you do.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:26 PM on July 14, 2012 [11 favorites]


zadcat, you and I have clearly been sleeping with very different men. A tidy trim can be a good thing, but waxing is by no means expected by the majority of men.
posted by mollymayhem at 2:28 PM on July 14, 2012


Men expect waxing? Whoa. Not this man.

I mostly came here to 2nd the comment about this only being a big deal if you want it to be one. Just enjoy yourself. Do what feels good. Don't do what doesn't. And you don't even have to tell him it's been a while (a long while). If you're nervous, let him take the lead.

Whatever you do, try not to overthink it. Have FUN!
posted by 2oh1 at 2:37 PM on July 14, 2012


Some men expect that these days

Fixerated.

Tell me more.

Has he been having high risk sex? Does he use needles? Visits brothels while traveling? Things like that. One way to think about it is, how worried would you be if the condom broke and his semen went everywhere? If he was high risk, you might be fairly worried; if he was the 40 year old virgin you probably wouldn't be all that concerned.

And there is a huge range of risk from different sexual acts -- rough receptive anal sex would be comparatively high risk; giving someone a handjob is about as low as it gets.
posted by Forktine at 2:37 PM on July 14, 2012


If he is high-risk, you really need to have the STD talk before you sleep together or plan to use condoms exclusively. He's not going to be prepared with any kind of proof that he doesn't have HIV/Hep C unless you ask him for it (and even then, "proof" is not always proof that he didn't pick something up a week ago).
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:37 PM on July 14, 2012


Oh and another thing to think about with regards to Hep C, don't use his razors.
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:38 PM on July 14, 2012


Will he think I'm a loser for having been out of practice for so long?

No, he will not.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:52 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Its none of the above however I do know he has traveled, frequently, to riskier parts of the world. He doesn't seem the brothel visiting type but I don't think you need to visit brothels, do you? It might just be a big plate of beans on my part, but Forktine, you've given me something to chew on and I'm coming to the conclusion I will be happier bringing this up beforehand somehow (even if its as late as our first evening and its the "couple of drinks" time when I finally bring it up, even jokingly/lightly as "You're not carrying third world bugs are you?" or some such.)

I wish I could send that email, young rope rider, but we're not there yet. We're Guess culture types even though we're very active communicators.


If it's been awhile, you might want to go get waxed. Men expect that these days.

He'll get what he gets and like it. Or else.

The advantage of deliberately chosen celibacy to focus on one's personal and intellectual development is that you outgrow worrying about things like this. Personal hygiene, good grooming etc is one thing but torturing yourself for external standards or other's expectations? Not worth it. Or as was better put above - douchebaggery signs.
posted by a2 at 2:56 PM on July 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


I will be happier bringing this up beforehand somehow (even if its as late as our first evening and its the "couple of drinks" time when I finally bring it up, even jokingly/lightly as "You're not carrying third world bugs are you?" or some such.)

That's a great approach. Maybe you've already done this, but a really great way to be able to bring this up (and to not sound judgmental or whatever) is to go get tested yourself, no matter how low- or zero-risk you are. Because why should he trust you but not vice versa, right?

Really, I don't mean to overstate risk. Even bareback sex with in that brothel isn't as risky as we like to think it is. We have a tendency to overemphasize the dirtiness and riskiness of sex, probably as some kind of puritanical legacy, and we like to overemphasize testing as if taking control of that one aspect puts the much scarier emotional stuff under control. The real point is that a) there's no standardized STD clearance test, and b) if he's high-risk in an ongoing way (as in, having anonymous bathroom sex every week) as compared to maybe did something once five years ago, you need to be realistic about it.

He'll get what he gets and like it. Or else.

If you are this awesome when you talk with him about condoms, you are going to be totally fine; you should be giving us lessons.
posted by Forktine at 3:09 PM on July 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Maybe you've already done this, but a really great way to be able to bring this up (and to not sound judgmental or whatever) is to go get tested yourself, no matter how low- or zero-risk you are. Because why should he trust you but not vice versa, right?

Yes. For work related reasons I have to undergo a complete physical and bloodwork every couple of years so I'm uptodate. In fact last week I actually brought it up and had hoped he'd say something in return.

If you are this awesome when you talk with him about condoms, you are going to be totally fine; you should be giving us lessons.


If I were, I'd not be here :) But believe me, I talked myself out of this morning's freakout in the shower on everything from "should I dye my white pubic hairs?" (white pubic hairs!!! when did they arrive?) to "well, a2, you ain't 25 anymore, are you luv?" while sucking in the tummy.

Intimate vulnerability as DarlingBri pointed out is natural it seems but not quite the same as personal self confidence.
posted by a2 at 3:22 PM on July 14, 2012


It might be an old wive's tale, but I've been told that you're more likely to get a UTI -- aka Honeymoon Cystitis -- when it's been a long time between sexual partners.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:52 PM on July 14, 2012


Seconding the condom discussion and underlining that you should bring it up before you embark. If he is pretty close to your age/demographic he probably takes them for granted, but I have been AMAZED by the people whom you'd THINK would know better and don't. He may, I kid you not, say, "oh, I'll pull out, don't worry" or something just that bizarre. It is not to be believed until you're actually there, trust me. You think, "oh, this guy is 40? 50? 30? years old? come ON he already knows," but ask anyway.

Then you can tell him to bring whatever kind he likes--ask what kind that is, and get some too.
posted by skbw at 4:30 PM on July 14, 2012


No, just traveling to "riskier" parts of the world does not put you at risk for STDs without having unprotected sex in those riskier parts of the world. Yes there are parts of the world where the population HIV rate, for example, is much higher than in the US but who he was having sex with and how (condoms always?) matters more than just whether it was someone local or someone in India. Get your facts straight before you go asking him if he has "third world bugs", which sounds downright xenophobic.

Also, just having a physical and blood work recently does not guarantee you were tested for the full usual battery of bacterial STDs (syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea) and/or HIV unless you got specific negative lab results back for those things. This goes for you and him- you can trade your lab reports if you really need to see the confirmation for yourself.
posted by slow graffiti at 5:16 PM on July 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I am a little ahead of you in this.

In my experience, mature sexy guys have neither a problem with your pubic hair (well done you already on your pov) except in a practical sense (which can be handled with a judicious use of scissors, nothing more) nor sexual health hygene.

However, I have one tip: make sure that the condoms you have come in different sizes (this was news to me- and there's something scary about seeing a guy trying to put on a condom that is too small). Of course you would think he would think of that, if he requires a different size - but sometimes people are forgetful.

Oh and these sexy mature guys have viewed any time off on my part (that I chose to disclose) as sensible and a key to my mental health and self respect, rather than anything else.

First time with a new body rarely goes like the movies - but there is a sweetness to someone opening up and sharing themselves like this - so no expectations except for courtesy and respect.
posted by b33j at 5:19 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


what i mean by practical pubic hair is if you like oral sex - clipping the hairs a little can save on pubic floss for your partner.
posted by b33j at 5:20 PM on July 14, 2012


Yeah, I learnt practical hair grooming back in college :)

On condoms: After reading all answers and discovering how important to me his attitude to risky behaviour will be, I'm leaning towards playing it by ear on that first night. That is, if he has not brought condoms, there will be no penetrative sex, which will allow for two things - one, the fooling around and getting comfortable with physically interacting with another body after almost a decade and two, a conversation on safe sex, birth control and future planning (for the next night?). If that doesn't feel right to me, then no matter how wonderful he may be, he is not someone I'd be comfortable entering into an LTR with (which is what this trip is all about).

This is not about being prepared for spontaneous, slightly tipsy sex that happens unexpectedly i.e. I'm not simply choosing to give up celibacy and get back in the groove, so much as its a planned trip as a signal (symbol?) of our moving the relationship to the next level. Finding out these things about him will be as important to me as the right lube or condom. If he's bought the tickets and he's booked the hotel, and then "forgotten" the condoms, there's a flag right there, isn't it? (Or, he can nip out and get some from the hotel's bookshop, whatever)

I have sufficient experience drawing the line on bareback sex no matter how caught up in necking or whatever we may be. We're in our 40s and he's not a teenage boy. This is the time to find out how responsible and mature he is.
posted by a2 at 3:28 AM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


It sounds like you're settling on an approach that makes you comfortable, but if you're interested in considering another variable that gives you more direct control over STI protection, I've had good experiences so far with the FC2 female condom - it takes some getting used to, but the male partner I've used them with also likes them.
posted by EvaDestruction at 7:28 PM on July 15, 2012


To be honest, I'm not even sure you have to have a "condom discussion." Just bring some. If, when the fun begins, he doesn't reach for one of his, you can reach for one of yours. Or, you can make things clear from early on by giving him one of yours long before things even heat up. I had a woman do that with me once and it was awesome.

Before we even went back to my place, she said something like "Hold out your hands, I have something for you. For later. I think we'll both like it" And she placed a condom in my hands. She took the initiative and she said it as a positive thing rather than as a negative. And like I said, it was awesome. All of the weirdness about 'are we going to have sex tonight?' was lifted in an instant, and that led to a marvelous evening.

I was really impressed by how she handled that. I'm a big believer in safe sex, and it really made me feel comfortable knowing she was too.
posted by 2oh1 at 11:04 AM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


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