Hi all.. I’ve been commenting here for a couple of weeks now, and I’m feeling a bit more comfortable about talking now.

Last July my boyfriend and I were diagnosed with genital warts. Neither of us have ever pointed blame (even though I showed symptoms first), as we’ve both had partners and are aware how common it is. We always had sex using condoms, and were both STI checked before we stated dating (we were a one-night-stand firstly.).

I managed to clear up my warts by November last year, but his have persisted, somewhat due to his blas? attitude to the treatment at first. Since getting his act together, he’s been in and out of the doctors every couple of weeks, but as the warts have spread to his shaft, and allowed for a second variety to set up camp, they are unable/unwilling at this time to use other in-house methods such as freezing.

At this point we’ve not had sex for several months, and the lack of intimacy has tainted other aspects of our otherwise brilliant relationship.

Yes, I know PIV sex isn’t everything, but with blow-jobs off the table, and him being frankly terrible at all things involving his mouth or hands near my clit, I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’m bordering abusive in the way that I’m talking to him (bringing up the fact lack of sex might break us up, that I worry about cheating on him.. being overtly honest really). Really, I’m having a hard time being ‘nice’ about it considering that it’s gone on for so long.

This does unfortunately for me come from a very abusive ex relationship where I was guilted into or deprived until I would agree to do sex acts I was very uncomfortable with. This in the end sent me into an eating disorder nose dive. I’m now healthy, but the lack of intimacy is bring back some old demons, and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to be at all intimate with him, to the point when I have started getting drunk to ‘help’ myself get over those feelings. Right now I’m eating properly, but I’m far more aware and negative of my size then I have been. In any case, my attitude towards him is inexcusable, and is really the first thing I need to address.

To make things worse, I’m moving away in a few weeks for training for my month-long job in Malta and I really want us to regain some of our solidarity before I go. I feel like I’m letting this relationship slip away, and I have no idea how to keep it together.

Does anyone have any advise for me?

Thank you everyone.

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25 Responses to Waiting for STIs to clear resulting in lack of intimacy

  1. MirNa says:

    Have him find another doctor who is willing to get rid of the warts right away.

  2. UceNet says:

    To be fair, the doctor he has seen has said that it is not possible to do in house treatment because his penis would swell up to *indicates side of a balloon*! They are waiting another fortnight, and then will refer him to a specialist at the hospital. He has seen at least 3 different doctors (its a walk in clinic) so far.

    But yes, a fair point.

  3. Etafornia says:

    while bicrim is correct that he probably needs to find a doctor who will take care of his warts issue, you can do all you want and he cannot be forced to take care of himself. period.

    while a sex life IS important to most relationships, you can have a relationship without it. maybe try to strengthen the foundations of the relationship without sex? treat your training time as not only job training time but time to think about where the relationship is headed, and whether its going in the direction you want to go with your life.

    you’re trying to take care of yourself and have healthy situations to be in. he’s showing you by his actions that his health is not as important to him as your (and his) health is to you. that can be detrimental to your health in the long run if you stay together, because you can fall into bad habits by sheer laziness.

  4. UceNet says:

    You’re absolutely right. And that is how I’m trying to see this, well.. forced ‘break’ in the relationship. Honestly I’m looking forward to being on my own temporarily, if just to get my head straight, as you said 🙂

    We have had the ‘your health is my health’ talk, and he responded very well to it. However at this point there’s very little extra he can do on top of going to the doctors and doing as they suggest 🙁 It’s frustrating that he could have avoided this if he’s just acted sooner however; he should care enough to do it himself (and I can’t help but feel his lack of proactiveness reflects badly on me).

  5. SmaNY says:

    I’m just curious as to why you’ve taken sex off the table. Is it painful due to the warts? Once infected by the HPV virus, your body will develop immunity to that strain, so you can’t get ‘reinfected’. My husband passed on HPV to me when we first started dating nearly 5 years ago. I didn’t assign blame, since it wasn’t a wart strain and there really isn’t a reliable way to test men for HPV without the presence of warts. My body cleared the HPV after about a year and a half – but I did not stop having sex with him during that time frame. I have not had a recurrence of it since.

    Granted my experience with HPV is difference than yours, but if intimacy is very important to you, be intimate with him.

  6. UceNet says:

    For one reason, he now has 2 strains of the virus (one technically not genital warts) one of which I haven’t had. Secondly the solution he’s been prescribed erodes condoms and I’m not on any other form of bc.

    Although I am hoping to get a iud fairly soon, I’m reluctant to have it done before heading abroad just in case of complications.

    If these weren’t an issue I wouldn’t have a problem with continuing to have sex, but I think we both feel it’d be pretty irresponsible to do so. 🙁

  7. SmaNY says:

    Oh I’m sorry, I did not know that.

    🙁 That’s crummy of him that he didn’t take getting treated seriously at first.

    Are there any other non-hormonal birth controls that you could use temporarily? Like a diaphragm + spermicide?

    I don’t really have any advice, maybe like another commenter said, use your job training as time to reevaluate your relationship. :/

  8. UceNet says:

    Thank you so much for trying! I know I’ve been through all the options in my head.

    I’ve never tried a diaphragm before, I’d always thought they weren’t an option because I’m prone to UTIs. Also the doctor scared me off them with a statistic of just above an 80% success rate, yikes!!

  9. SmaNY says:

    Yikes, yeah, that success rate would probably scare me off too!

    Good luck <3

  10. SseNope says:

    If the solution erodes latex condoms, will it erode polyurethane ones? In addition to regular style polyurethane condoms, you can get insertive/female condoms. These might be beneficial, because they do not grip the penis, and therefore it might be more comfortable for him.

    (Where are you heading abroad? Depending on your destination, you might be in a place that has as much support for IUD users as the UK.)

  11. UceNet says:

    That’s an interesting thought, I’ll take a look at the documentation that comes with it. The doctor didn’t specify.

    His warts aren’t painful at all, so actual condoms aren’t the issue. Finding a brand that fits him however isn’t so easy as he uses the ‘large’ size, but we tend to buy online. I suppose there is always the option of withdrawing if the integrity of the condom can’t be trusted, but I would still be worried about catching the new strain of warts he has.

    As for IUD support abroad, I’m possibly going to be working in Malta for a month, and where as I know that 80% of the population speak English (so am confidant I’d be able to get my point across), embarking on a new (and potentially painful) form of contraception isn’t exactly ideal 🙂

    Thank you!

  12. SseNope says:

    Ugh, I googled “Malta contraception” and what I found was disheartening in general. I understand why you would want to wait until returning to the UK!

    Do you know what you want from oral or manual sex? Can you teach him? I understand that he’s not very good at it, but he can’t be expected to get better without help.

    I should really take my own advice on that one; I’m still sorting out what I like from oral, but know that it’s only sometimes fun when my boyfriend eats me out.

  13. NwoSmall says:

    If it is not uncomfortable for him to masturbate, you guys could try mutual masturbation. Do some kidding and pretty much everything you normally would but when it comes time to touch your genitals you touch your own instead of each others. If you don’t use a vibrator or other sex toys while you masturbate you could try that, he might be able to get you off with a vibrator better than his hands (if you enjoy using a vibrator, anyway) and then you could touch his penis as well, and you could masturbate each other. You could always wear latex gloves with lube if touching his shaft is a no-no because of the warts & treatment.

    you could combine these with sensual massages, watching porn together (if both of you enjoys porn). This way you can have some intimacy that even involved touching and orgasming but doesn’t have to involve PIV. I think the more you try and focus on what you can do, and not what you can’t do, it might get easier.

  14. UceNet says:

    Thank you for this 🙂 I hadn’t really considered watching porn together, but that might be a good way in. I think the lack of sex has made me feel pretty insecure around him, so maybe that would help loosen me up a bit. I’ve always been an erotica reader rather than watcher.. I wouldn’t know the first thing about getting porn, I’ll have to ask him! 🙂

  15. NwoSmall says:

    I know for me, the less sex I’m having the less sex I tend to want to have, so it’s easy to get into a funk after not being intimate for a while.
    If you like erotica you two can totally read it to each other (if it doesn’t feel too silly, or even if it does)!

    I think it will help your relationship just talking about these things because then you will be reminding each other that you do find the other sexually attractive and want to have sex, so hopefully some of the insecurities will go away.

  16. UceNet says:

    You’ve been really really helpful, thank you 🙂

  17. NwoSmall says:

    Glad I could help! I hope everything goes well for you!

  18. Hteall says:

    There are some good suggestions — for the other part, I would suggest coming right out and telling him that you aren’t comfortable with how you’ve been behaving towards him, and you want to address this in some way that won’t trigger you about your prior experiences, and will at least stop arguments from turning into something that makes you upset with both him and yourself.

    One option might be to have an “argument safeword” — and either of you could use it. Basically, a word that means, “We need to revisit this when we’re both calmer and can talk without being hurtful.” You could use it, too, if you don’t like where your emotions are going!

    Another option might be to discuss ways that you can connect emotionally, without it having to be sexual. Sexuality is very important in many (even most) relationships, yes! But if you’re going to be having a long-distance relationship for even just a few months, finding some way to connect emotionally with words alone is important.

    On the sexual side, on his part — practice is the only way that he’ll ever get better with his hands. Finding some low-pressure way for him to just fool around and pay attention to your responses — and for you to make sure your responses are clear to him — might help him improve his technique. (And adding a vibe to the equation is pretty reasonable, too.) Find ways to lower any “walls” that might be there — though if you do all that and he doesn’t want to practice (with at least one of hands, mouth, vibe, or whatever), I’d say that the relationship is in trouble.

    Good luck!

  19. UceNet says:

    Thank you! Your suggestions really make sense to me 🙂 Especially the coming out and telling him how I feel about the way I’m acting towards him, I think he might find that (and possibly a safe-word, or ‘permission’ to call me out) very reassuring. I really want him to start talking about this – our talks are very one sided right now, he’s very ashamed/embarrassed.

    I know I need to let him practice – but, and I’ve tried describing it to him, showing him with my own hands, linking him to sex-blogs/articles – I just don’t get how he gets it so wrong!! Where my previous partners had all had girlfriends before myself, I’m his first proper one, so he’s never had that time to practice. I know I should be more patient with him, but I don’t deal well when he hurts me down there (I get quite scared, based on past relationship experiences). Pain = it’s over, and where it’s important for me to feel comfortable and safe (and he respects that) he never has much of a chance to get any better. He does want to improve though, it’s a sore point for him.

  20. Hteall says:

    For practicing… Hm. Okay, what does he do that hurts? If you don’t know, it might be a good idea to go into practice… well, kind of clinically. Arrange that if/when he hurts you, you’ll say “ow!” and then he’ll stop immediately, and you’ll both figure out what hurt. What was he doing just then? Can he do that more gently, or in a different place, and have it feel — well, you won’t be very aroused, probably, so “not-hurting” is probably the goal to aim for — not-hurty? Is it a case of a fingernail edge, or a callus, or just rubbing too hard?

    Basically, approach it as a problem-solving thing, not an attempt at orgasm, if you see what I mean? And in a way that gives you a lot of control — telling him what you need to feel secure, and why you need it — so you won’t get scared by the “ow.”

    Heck, maybe even sit on a chair with good lighting, and let him just poke gently with a finger, and you say, “That’s gentle, that’s fine; that’s harder, that’s still okay; ow, that’s too much.” (Or, ideally, “That’s about as hard as I’m okay with.”)

    Note that the above suggestions are only if that’s not a triggering situation for you! If that doesn’t seem like it would work… Invite him to help brainstorm ideas for him to learn about your sensitivities in some way that wouldn’t trigger you, but would start giving him information so he could improve?

    Good luck with the talks, and everything!

  21. 29dWoman says:

    “the way that I’m talking to him (bringing up the fact lack of sex might break us up, that I worry about cheating on him.. being overtly honest really).”

    First: these comments definitely gotta stop. Being told you might be dumped/cheated on…wouldn’t be a turn on :p Build your intimacy in other ways-shared hobbies, shower together, play “explore your body with my fingers/mouth :D”

  22. Ognfornia says:

    If the lack-of-sexual-activity is a deal breaker for the OP and the OP can express that respectfully and without pressuring her partner (which is very delicate, but I think can be done), then it’s probably best to be honest. That said, combining that caring honesty with efforts to playfully, helpfully build intimacy in the relationship is probably a good plan.

  23. 29dWoman says:

    I totally agree, but threatening cheating with it is not ok in my book

  24. TeoFire says:

    Yeah, I could see it being a definite trend just do to various health issues that may affect both, like you said, but not as a rule.
    It was more or less true for me, though–easy periods and very easy pregnancies, until the tail end of both (I seem to grow them breech for some odd reason).

  25. TeoFire says:

    Oops, I meant to make this on the last post about pregnancy complications, and must have hit next by mistake. I don’t know if there is an exception on comment deletion with really blatant errors, though, so I’ll just leave it–sorry!

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