The Sunday News
Hi Sis Noe
I HAD sex with this guy who fancied me and ever since I have not heard from him but he used to chat with me every day. Is he avoiding me because I am bad at sex? — Worried.
You are not absolutely awful at sex. You know how I know that for sure? Because no one is defined by one encounter, positive or negative. No one is summed up by one incident. Don’t let one thing inform your perception of yourself to this degree. With any luck, you are going to be having sex for the rest of your life. Sex is going to be a lifelong project. It’s personal and it will evolve. Don’t let this one man wield this type of power over your view of yourself and your sexuality. If anything, reframe this as a positive experience because you learnt something and it provoked you to think about this: about sex, how you want to have it, how you want to be at it, and who you want to have it with. These are all good things to know about yourself. Forget this guy and concentrate on learning about yourself from this. Sex is not about making a man go wild. It’s not about ticking the boxes on a menu of experiences.
Sex is essentially about communication, and that is why it causes problems for a lot of us — because open and honest communication is really tricky for people when it comes down to it, especially when it’s laced up with other worries and blockages. I believe that if you get better at communicating, you will get better at sex. That means being in a situation where you can speak frankly and freely, where you know the other person involved feels exactly the same, and there is nothing being hidden or unsaid. The freedom to say: I like this, do you want that, this is not working for me, let’s try that instead. And the responsibility to listen to the other person’s desires too. Let’s face it: sex between people generally improves over time. The first time is usually the worst time, because generally you might not have the tools, precedent or intimacy in the relationship yet to be completely comfortable and communicate at your best.
It gets better because communication gets better. Equally, things break down when communication breaks down. I’m not sure you are the one who should have been left with the niggling doubts about being an inexperienced partner here, to be honest. Sex is an element in the mix for a successful relationship — don’t view it as some madly distinct or separate thing or put it on a pedestal. It’s part of who you are. You seem like a thoughtful person who is sensitive and self-aware. When you find the right sexual partner you will get what I am saying. You will never know why someone has not followed up with you after a first date or a fleeting sexual encounter, so don’t worry about it.
Hi Sis Noe
I seem to have a problem with keeping men. I have dated quite a few but all of them leave without an explanation. I have had relationships but they last only for weeks or a few months before I am ghosted. — Worried.
Ghosting is cowardly. It’s the new norm. While you might always have needed a thick skin to get out dating, now people find it easy to just avoid their persons. For good and bad, the internet has devalued the importance we place on dates. There is no context, few mutual friends, no investment in people beyond introductory conversation and passing meet-ups. The person you are meeting in good faith could well be meeting two or three people that week and just be dating for fun or to meet new people. Protect yourself by keeping expectations low, for as long as possible. Don’t become jaded, but also don’t invest too much — train yourself into putting a date right out of your mind the moment it has ended, no matter how fun it was.
Consider anything else as a bonus. This is not cynical, just realistic, especially based on your experiences. Plus, what’s your level here? Do you consider a phasing out of contact to be ghosting? Or are we only counting an abrupt, unexplained severance of contact? Or simply not getting in touch again to arrange a second or third date? There are many, many shades of grey here. Maybe they are just not that into you, but maybe it’s something else. Who cares? The outcome is the same for you. Don’t drive yourself mad guessing — just know that it’s almost certainly more about where they are at than anything to do with you personally. The only thing you can do is set your expectations low, be honest and upfront yourself, and take everyone as they come. Hope for the best, expect the worst — always.