Bridging the Experience Gap
October 17, 2008 6:37 PM   Subscribe

I think my new friend broke my hooha. How do I recover from my most disastrous sexual experience?

I (an early 30-something girl) met a very compelling (early 30-something) guy on the internet. Said guy lives in a different universe (swinging, bdsm, adult whatever, libertarian) than me (late bloomer, bookish, liberal), but his universe is one I might like to visit. We established early in our conversations that our experience levels were very different, but that we wanted to hook up if all went well when we met and that the universes clashing would be interesting. Well, yes, if by interesting you mean a first brazilian bikini wax that had me contemplating going to the ER (resolved, mostly, before we met) and discomfort leading to bleeding after the second time we had sex (I think this had to do with the angle of penetration -- my legs were up over my head) and my diplomatic declining one of the tricks he had in his bag (a dildo of equine proportions). He knew about all these things as they happened. I like this guy, but things so did not go how I (and I assume he) envisioned. He lives a few cities away. He has initiated some contact, but not the constant stream of titillating texts, e-mails, and videos like before. Dinner was awesome, at least.

1) Is this at all salvageable?
2) Is there something I can do to bridge the sexual experience gap?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

i think from your descriptive prose the gap isn't as wide as you think it is.
posted by Frasermoo at 6:52 PM on October 17, 2008 [5 favorites]

1) Is this at all salvageable?2) Is there something I can do to bridge the sexual experience gap?

1) Nobody knows. Worth trying.

2) Just keep going.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:54 PM on October 17, 2008

Seems like there are two things you can do: 1) Don't try again and stay mortified about this experience, or 2) Initiate at least one more date and keep trying. If you keep going, this is going to be a minor funny thing in your history together, not the most disastrous experience ever. I vote for two, if only for your ego. Good luck, and let your hooha rest a few days before going at it again.
posted by alpha_betty at 6:59 PM on October 17, 2008

I think he needs to fucking chill out a little if your experiences are that disparate and he knows it right off the bat....jeez! Give a girl a break! A brazilian, a horse dildo, legs over head? EASY TIGER.
posted by tristeza at 7:25 PM on October 17, 2008 [21 favorites]

Is his interest in bdsm leading to him not fully prepping you? Preventative care and general going slow could take care of the sexual experience gap. Most likely, it's all salvageable. Talk through it, see if he's got any thoughts on the subject as well.

Best of luck.
posted by piratebowling at 7:26 PM on October 17, 2008

next time tell him to bring a smaller dildo and more lube. have fun.
posted by matteo at 7:35 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

- If you like him make sure he knows that you like him, you are having fun trying new stuff with him (despite a few mishaps) and you would like to see him again. You don't want him assume that these issues left you sour on the relationship
- It is the nature of sexual experimentation that you end up doing things are uncomfortable or don't really work. If the diplomatic declining of the dildo worked for both of you (you felt comfortable saying it, he was happy to go onto something different) that is very promising. If you guys can handle miscues and mistakes without getting anyone's feelings hurt, you have a great sexual future together.
- The gap is not a problem - you just need to let him know if something is too much for you (as it becomes a problem, don't wait for it to be a disaster) and he needs to listen to you and respect where your limits are (at least for now). If you are uneasy but willing to try something, be sure to tell him so - let him know he needs to go slow and you may need to back out and switch to a different activity. As long as you are both flexible (mentally, that is), there are always interesting alternatives. There is also the option of you taking the initiative to shift positions or start something new as way to move on past something that was the wrong angle or not working for you without a big discussion.
- Maybe before the next date, he could suggest several different things and you could let him know which ones interest you (and maybe add a suggestion or fantasy of your own if you want).
posted by metahawk at 7:38 PM on October 17, 2008

Well, I have a bunch of experience in BDSM (not so much his other interests) so I can see this a bit from his side (though I'm female). I'm 99% certain from your description that he's a top or a dominant, and probably the latter since he told you to get a Brazilian. Dominants have a pretty clear idea of what they want, so I'm guessing he laid out some sort of agenda. He may be hanging back because he's disappointed in how things went (you weren't as eager to come over to the "dark side" as he'd hoped) or because he's trying to exert more control over you by making you come to him. If the latter is the game you want to play, then fine. Don't wait for him to contact you. If it's the former, he may be concerned you're not freely consenting to these things or will withdraw your consent as he ramps up the kink (e.g. the declining of the dildo). I would be honest with him that you want to take it slow (actually, I'm not sure what you want, but whatever it is, make it clear to him). Nothing makes BDSM more miserable than being expected to read the other person's mind.

He may be attracted to you because you're something of a blank slate w/r/t BDSM. Proceed slowly and with caution. The mention of bleeding really alarmed me. How did he react? How did it get to the point where it was that uncomfortable? A good top or dominant always takes care of the well-being of the person he/she is with. Really get to know this guy before you let him do something like tie you up. Once he does, he literally has your life in his hands. Some people in BDSM claim to have more experience than they actually do. It's totally kosher to ask him for references. If you want to explore further with him, don't depend on him for all the information about BDSM. Don't look at him as some all-knowing creature just because he's done more adventurous things. And hopefully he doesn't act that way or lord his experience over you. There are good books and web sites out there, and if you want to tell me where you (or he) live, I can point you to resources. Feel free to memail me.

This gap can be bridged, but both of you have to have patience. He can't rush or coerce you into things, because your natural reaction will be (or should be) to recoil. You have to develop trust in him. I've seen this work (mostly the other way: experienced male submissive, n00b female dominant). If you guys are a good match otherwise, you'll figure out the sexual aspect. (If you're not looking for more than a romp in the sack, though, then just ignore all this and bail. It's really not worth trying to figure out all this unless you have a romantic connection.)
posted by desjardins at 7:40 PM on October 17, 2008 [7 favorites]

You know how people dip their toe in the ocean, to see if the temperature is alright before they completely dive in? Dip a part of your toe in for this situation. Part of that might mean doing this with another guy, especially if he's surprising you with a horse dildo by the second time you've had sex.

You may be in over your head with this "very compelling guy", which can be fun, but it doesn't sound like you've been having fun.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:47 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

You know, "discomfort leading to bleeding" isn't part of "swinging, bdsm, adult whatever, libertarian" -- it's called being a really shitty lover. (Unless of course you are into the discomfort and bleeding thing, and it was intentional, but neither looks to be the case.)

It sounds to me like this guy is really good on the build-up side of things (hence the "constant stream of titillating texts, e-mails, and videos") but really poor on the follow-through. Unless you represented yourself really falsely ("yes, I love huge dildos and getting rammed until I bleed and waxing and more!"), he blew it, totally. He managed to take someone who was good/giving/game, willing to try some new things and be initiated into the Jedi Knights of Perversion... and make her physically and personally uncomfortable, worried, and scared. That's not what any lover should do, and least of all someone who is claiming to be Mr BDSM-kinkster.

1) Is this at all salvageable?
2) Is there something I can do to bridge the sexual experience gap?

1) Probably, but why would you want to? The world is full of people who are good lovers and can give you some perverted good times without hurting you (or who can confine the pain to "hurt me so good!" consensual experiences, as it should be). This guy is a dud and you should move on post-haste.

2) As noted above, it's not a sexual experience gap. You could be the Whore of Babylon, and him being too rough would still have made you hurt and bleed. (Speaking as a man, it's actually really easy to cause pain when fucking -- being totally in control of yourself and being aware of how your partner is reacting should be a really basic part of one's sexuality.) You aren't lacking practice -- you are lacking a considerate lover. Again, move on and find someone who can rock your world.

Even leaving kink aside, there are really nice ways to be sore from sex. It's great to walk around all day aware of how you spent your weekend. Find someone who can leave you feeling like that, not someone who hurts you and then follows that by wanting to hurt you more.
posted by Forktine at 8:12 PM on October 17, 2008 [29 favorites]

I'm not sure why you want to salvage it, exactly? Sounds like a crappy lover.
posted by Nattie at 11:07 PM on October 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

I'd guess that if you were bleeding after the experience he isn't as experienced as he might suggest. Reading your post, I would take his worldliness with a pinch of salt. If you do want to pursue this you need to tell him to calm the fuck down and to understand female anatomy/sexuality etc. etc.
posted by ob at 1:23 AM on October 18, 2008 [3 favorites]

If his sentiment toward you has cooled maybe the reality of the situation is that it was just a one time encounter. Maybe that is his deal maybe not, but it doesn't sound like this has much legs. You'll figure it out, but don't feel bad for not living up to whatever expectations you were having considering BDSM-make your own.
posted by Odinhead at 1:48 AM on October 18, 2008

Bleeding happens, some women have delicate cervixes that bleed when poked, even minorly.

Yes, definitely. I guess I had read the description in the question differently than you did, with "discomfort leading to bleeding" meaning that she was wincing and toughing it out, while he ignored her discomfort, kept plowing away, and made her bleed (possibly from the cervix, possibly from an abrasion or tear lower down). What you describe is normal, and can change during a monthly cycle; being too rough and not stopping before things get really painful is not normal and is not cool.

In his defense, maybe she is a superb actor and hid the pain really well. But usually, in my experience, people don't or can't hide pain very well, so that by keeping going he was ignoring all the signs that she was not having a mind-blowing time. Following up the bad sex with an attempt to use a ginormous dildo confirms for me that he just didn't get it.

I don't think he's a horrible person, per se -- I think he is misrepresenting himself as an expert in the naughty arts, when really he's an expert in talking about that stuff on the internet. He's just not a very good lover, in the sense of being tuned into one's partner, and causing pleasure rather than pain (or, not being able to be enough in control to cause the good pain rather than the bad pain, if that's the goal).

Desjardin said it really well:

A good top or dominant always takes care of the well-being of the person he/she is with.

He failed this test spectacularly, and I'd be cautious about giving him another chance. But perhaps with lots of communication, and taking things slow and careful, he can have his eyes opened and become the lover who will blow your mind.
posted by Forktine at 6:24 AM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

It doesn't say in your question whether you got into it knowing that he is trying to make you submissive in some way, not even necessarily even in a BDSM way, but a he calls the shots way. He asked you to get a Brazilian before you met? That'd be a deal-breaker immediately for me, personally, but if you knew he was going to be "in charge," then I guess that's what you were willing to do.

However, if that's not what you were hoping for, don't try to salvage it. He doesn't sound like a very good partner, regardless of his kink or whatever.
posted by fructose at 9:57 AM on October 18, 2008

I would take Forktine's and desjardins' advice, but I would also ad this caveat:

Perhaps the strongest tenet behind BDSM is "safe and consensual." Since you are new to each other, you as the bottom have the responsibility of letting him know your limits, while he, as the top, has the responsibility of respecting them and, as Forktine says, looking out for your well-being. I'm thinking that yes, he isn't as experienced as he lets on. I'm also thinking you needed to be more up-front about your limits. A lot of the unpleasantness could have been avoided by both of you not rushing things.

Express yourself! If you aren't sure what you want going in, you can certainly let him know when things go bad. For example, "discomfort leading to bleeding"--bleeding after the 'date' was over, or at the time? Because if you were incredibly uncomfortable and didn't let him know vocally, that's definitely the time to speak up and use your safe word (you DO have a safe word, don't you?). And if you were bleeding at the time, and he still suggested the "equine" dildo, I would really think twice about this guy.
posted by misha at 12:47 PM on October 18, 2008

I can't help but think that a guy who KNOWS you are new to this stuff, and that you have been having physical difficulties, and still insists on pulling out the horse dildo on boink #2, is...kind of a creepy ass.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:45 AM on October 19, 2008

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