Sex Info Books and probably therapist needed.
October 16, 2013 1:42 PM   Subscribe

Trying to find resources to help female with a large knowledge gap and issues.

She is brilliant, beautiful, educated, mid 30's, hetero, and a virgin; I'm a male who has had a number of relationships. We've been dating a few months.

She was raised by religious parents, one of whom gave her many sex-negative messages. She was not allowed to take sex education in school, and has not pursued the subject (ie has not read "The Joy of Sex" nor "Sex for Dummies")
She says that she has not been sexually abused.
She does not seem able to fully deal with genitalia, as we have not seen each other without pants, she will only rub mine while wearing thick gloves, and my slow attempt to touch her's ended when I reached her pubic hairline and she burst into tears freaking out a little. (she had been "ok" with being rubbed over her pants). She did not anticipate having that reaction.

Any books she or we should read?

Can you recommend a Chicago area or online therapist with expertise in this sort of thing?

Yes I realize this implies a plethora of questions about "normal" and changing for a partner and should we DTMFA, but I'd rather deal with a qualified therapist for that.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)

Hmm for what its worth I have trouble being touched and find that having my partner request to touch me right before doing so, then accepting the request, even though we both know that generally I'm down, helps me process that I am ok with it.

In the very beginning, when I reacted more like your partner, my guy simply stopping when I was teary and hugging me very close and not acting like my reaction was insane though it was, really helped me trust him and slowly open up.
posted by cacao at 1:53 PM on October 16, 2013 [5 favorites]

Sounds like Our Bodies, Ourselves fits the bill nicely. It's a practical, down-to-earth, kindly written book about women's bodies and sexuality.
posted by Specklet at 2:53 PM on October 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

Has this woman expressed an interest in receiving books on the subject or seeing a therapist? If not, then by no means should you at ALL be giving her these things in the spirit of 'being helpful'. This is likely to make her feel even more insecure or deficient than she already feels. If she has expressed a desire to read or seek therapy on the issue, then you are being a supportive partner. If not, you are not being a supportive partner.
posted by greta simone at 4:30 PM on October 16, 2013 [5 favorites]

Does she masturbate at all? I think, frankly, that if she's interested in approaching this problem that her becoming comfortable with her own body and starting to associate it with pleasure is the first step. On that note, the eroscillator. It is amazing. If she does show interest in masturbation, it would be a great gift for her.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:32 PM on October 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

Nice Girls Do

Also, I would encourage her to do nude self portraits and, if I were you, I would consider asking to simply look at her naked body without physical contact. I found that much more psychologically powerful than I expected. Touching in the dark without looking is sort of a standard cliche for uptight people. Looking is kind of more taboo, ime. I experienced doing so as both more innocent than touching and more freeing. Plus, there is an element of trust and vulnerability in divulging yourself to another person that I don't quite know how to put into words.
posted by Michele in California at 4:37 PM on October 16, 2013

I am going to respond as someone who is actively going through therapy for issues around sex and sexuality, though not at all the same things your girlfriend is facing.

The number one thing you can do for her is to help her feel comfortable in her own body and her sexuality. That means not pressuring her to not go any further than she is comfortable going. That means holding and touching her in a way that is about affection and isn't always going to lead sexy times. Just holding and touching someone in a nonsexual way can be very powerful and develop trust.

I also dated a lot of guys who were very focused on cutting straight to orgasm. thanks porn! that is a ton of pressure for someone who isn't comfortable with her body, sexuality, or sexual performance. It's actually not that sexy, but rather stressful. And that doesn't really help someone who is already nervous about sex to feel better about it. So focus on sloooooow sexy times when SHE is ready to do so.
posted by so much modern time at 11:07 PM on October 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

Mod note: Note: as per conversation with OP, some non-essential details deleted to maintain privacy.
posted by taz (staff) at 2:13 AM on October 17, 2013

The Guide To Getting It On is pretty thorough. It has a sense of whimsy that might help her get comfortable with reading it.
posted by Candleman at 5:38 AM on October 17, 2013

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