EDIT: Thank you all for your replies. I really appreciate them. I think I need to sit down and decide if sex is something I can learn to enjoy for the sake of the relationship, or if I really just want to end this and not work at it. I'm leaning towards working at becoming ok with sex. I need to talk to Mark, and make sure we take things slowly, so that I don't have another panic attack. If I do, then it might be time to go back to therapy. Thanks again.
I'm pretty much at my wit's end. My SO and I get along amazingly. We met in 2010, chatted online for a year, then started dating seven months ago. We cook together, go out for dinners, movies, and argue about politics. We spend equal amounts of time together and apart, and we get along with each others' friends well. Everything is going great, except for the sex. BTW, I'm 23. So sorry for the long post to come.
I never got attached to anyone I had sex with. I didn't think it was a big deal; I don't don't equate sex with love, or vice-versa. The first guy I had sex with wanted it way too often, and it got to the point where I'd just put up with it so he'd stop bugging me. For a few months, I couldn't have sex with him because of vaginismus, and his complaining that it was all my fault and that I needed to relax more wasn't helping. After a few months, I was finally able to sleep with him. It was fine at first – one weekend, we had sex about 20 times. It got incredibly annoying after that. Soreness, fatigue, just general not wanting sex on my end. We argued about how if I'm in bed, it doesn't mean I want to have sex, I just want to sleep. He couldn't catch the hint, and would grope me regardless. It was one of the reasons we broke up. Since then, he's realized he needs to cut that out, and I'm glad, since hopefully any new girls he dates won't have to deal with it. Sex was never something I really looked forward to as a teenager. I can remember being excessively curious about it from as young as 4, and I don't know why. To me, it was always just something people did, and it didn't require being attached emotionally to someone to do it.
The second guy I dated was a guy I'd been really into for a few years. We always got along well, and even went out a few times. He was always nice, always gentlemanly, and respectful. We shared many things in common. One night, after a drink, we ended up at his place and slept together. I thought it was great, because I really liked him. He didn't use a condom, and I told him I was uncomfortable with it, but didn't make a huge deal out of it. We slept together again after a couple of weeks, at which point he turned into the biggest douche I have ever met. I found out quickly after that point that he had a problem with cocaine and drank far too much (both of which he normally did in the privacy of his home, so no one would know). At one point, I saw him go through half a bottle of sake, half a bottle of wine, and a couple shots of tequila in the span of a few hours, while snorting a couple lines of coke. I asked how many lines he'd done that day, and he said about six. Thing is, he looked mostly normal. He was walking around and talking like he normally does; he was a little jumpy, but because I haven't had much experience around people on drugs, it wasn't too out of the ordinary for me. I realized that if he's so normal while doing that stuff, then he must do it a lot, and it was probably why he seemed so nice for the past few years – because he was never in his right mind to begin with. To be honest, I didn't react like I should have. I had a rough year, and at that point, I just didn't care anymore. My sister was dying (breast cancer that spread around her body), I had a crappy job, I was in and out of the clinic/hospital for various physical issues, and I was dealing with depression because of all of these things. I should never have dated this guy in the first place, but that's just where I was at that point.
After seeing this guy off and on for a couple months, and him avoiding my phone calls/texts and just calling me up when he felt like it, I moved on and started dating my current boyfriend, who is the most loving person I've ever met. A few weeks into dating him (I'll call him Mark), I ended up in the hospital for an intestinal problem. After running a bunch of tests, the doctor told me that they didn't find anything with my intestines, but that I had Trichomoniasis. I hadn't had sex with Mark yet, so I figured it was the ex. We both were meeting a mutual friend for a drink a few nights later, so I talked to him outside the bar. Long story short (I know, too late), even though he gave me an STD, he repeatedly called me gross when he found out I had it. He kept backing away and giving me this disgusted look, like I was a pile of vomit. I felt like a giant piece of crap and just went home.
Fast forward to my relationship with Mark. He knows about the Trich and we both got treated for it (didn't want to take any chances, even though we'd only done oral then). Kissing is fine. Making out is great. But the first time we tried to have sex, I had a panic attack and had to tell him to pull out. He is incredibly big down there, too big for complete comfort. That would be something I could deal with, if I actually wanted to have sex. I've had crappy history with sex, and because sex is not a symbol of a good relationship to me, I could easily do without it. Mark cannot. He is one of those romantics, who believes that sex is an expression of how much you love a person. He said he's had a one night stand before, and felt disgusted with himself afterward, because there was no emotional connection. He can't separate feelings from the physical, not to mention it takes him at least an hour to finish, and I get bored and sore after a few minutes. Honestly, I kind of hate sex now. I find myself looking at other guys, not for a relationship, but just for a one night stand, because I'd rather have sex for a couple minutes and get rid of the horny feeling than do the whole foreplay/cuddling crap that I hate just so my partner can feel good about himself.
We've talked about this many times, and he is incredibly frustrated. We've barely even made out in months, because he puts so much importance on sex in the relationship. He says it's at least 1/3 of a good relationship, which I don't agree with. We both just keep butting heads over this. We get along so amazingly on every other level, but he just can't get it through his head that sex doesn't mean love. He can't understand that the relationship is fine the way it is, and that even if I did want sex more often, I don't want to do it for hours at a time. I somehow find sex both boring and stressful. I get sore, and it's just not fun for me if I know it means way more to him than it does to me. I'm not in it for the experience of sex, I just want to get rid of whatever mood is rising so I can get on with my life. I don't know what else to do, because I really like being with him. I just can't stand how much pressure he puts on the sexual dynamic of our relationship. Again, we've talked about this many times. I don't know what else to say to him to get him to stop making it such a huge deal.
P.S. I was in therapy for depression, but it wasn't helping, so I stopped. I'm on birth control pills, and those might be affecting my libido, but no other pills.