Lifestyle

I'm desperate to lose my virginity, but get too scared every time I try to have sex


I’m a 21-year-old virgin. I’ve been going steady with this guy for nearly two years, and he has never put pressure on me to have sex. Every time it’s mentioned, it’s me that brings it up. He has tried to use his fingers a couple of times, but I am too scared and tense up. It hurts or feels uncomfortable so I push his hands away. When I am turned on, I really want to have sex, but when we are together I get really nervous. I have tried lube, but it just doesn’t seem to work. The guy I am with is very understanding, and does not force me to do anything. Are there any tips or advice you can give me?

Don’t push yourself into it or allow anyone else to push you. It sounds as if both of you are focusing on penetration, but that is a mistake. There are many ways to have highly erotic non-penetrative sex, and I suggest you discover all those pleasures first. You need to teach him exactly how you like to be touched, and to learn how he likes it too. Focus on acquiring those skills first. If he doesn’t understand the importance of your clitoris, educate him. The goal should not be to lose your virginity – that will be easy in due course – but to simply give and receive pleasure.

  • Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.

  • If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to private.lives@theguardian.com (please don’t send attachments). Each week, Pamela chooses one problem to answer, which will be published online and in print. She regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence. Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions: see gu.com/letters-terms.

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