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She’s afraid of lovemaking

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Hello Aunty Julie,

I have been dating my babe for more than two years now. We’re both in our twenties and haven’t had sex yet, but during the last year and a half, we tried pretty much everything there is besides it.

I really feel this is the right time, but when I try to talk to her about it, all she says is that she is afraid. She says it is not that she does not believe in losing virginity before marriage but she is just afraid. I don’t want to pressurise her, but I just feel that maybe I am not the right person for her or something. What should I do? Thanks.

Yinka Bob-Manuel

Dear Yinka,
‘Losing’ one’s virginity or choosing to have sexual intercourse for the first time can be a major decision. Addressing your partner’s concerns is especially important, both in terms of respecting your partner’s feelings and for strengthening your relationship. Should you two ultimately decide to have sex, it is important that both you and your partner feel 100% comfortable with your decision.

You mentioned that your partner is afraid, do you know exactly what she is afraid of? Discussing the issues with your partner may give you a better sense of what she is afraid of when it comes to sex, and help you build your communication, trust, and respect for each other.

Does she worry about unwanted pregnancy? Above the pleasure, exploration, and fun, love-making comes with a whole lot of responsibility. It is important that you and your partner have a strategy for birth control, and have spoken about what you would do if she becomes pregnant. Fortunately, there are a multitude of methods to protect you and your partner from unplanned pregnancy. 

Or, is she concerned about sexually transmitted infections,STIs? Even if you and your partner are each other’s firsts, it can be reassuring to talk about STIs, including HIV. Having this conversation can be tricky, but it is a crucial component of being comfortable when having sex. Does she fear physical pain? It is important to speak with your partner about how you imagine your first time to be. For women who have never had vaginal intercourse, the first few times experiencing penetration can be uncomfortable or painful. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to minimize pain and maximize pleasure. 

Are you the right one for her, is she the right one for you? While this may be a difficult question to ask, it is extremely important to be honest with each other. Are you having fun in your relationship? Are you able to communicate well with each other? Are you caring towards one another both emotionally and physically? These characteristics of a relationship signify compatibility and maturity, both important for a satisfying and healthy sexual relationship.

After you bring up these questions to your partner, the two of you may need some time to think to yourselves. If something stands out or keeps coming up in the list, it might be an important topic of conversation to bring to the table.

Don’t forget to continue to enjoy spending quality time with your partner. Regardless of your sexual activity, being in a relationship is a unique journey filled with companionship, love, and just enjoying the little things together. Take the time to enjoy being with your partner, and continue to learn more about each other. 

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