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My girlfriend of 2 years has never had sex, but I want to. How can I get her on board without pressuring her?

Samantha Lee/Insider

  • There's a whole world of physical intimacy out there, and you don't have to move straight to oral and penetrative sex to be sexually closer to your girlfriend.
  • Instead of assuming she isn't interested in more than kissing, open up a conversation and express your interest in taking a next step.
  • You can do internet research together to learn other ways you can move past making out in a way that's comfortable for you both.
  • Have a question for Julia? Fill out this anonymous form. All questions will be published anonymously. You can read more Doing It Right here. 
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I'm 20 years old, and I have a girlfriend who's a virgin. When we make out, I try to do my best not to put pressure on her to give me oral sex or have penetrative sex, but we've been together for two years, and nothing sexual has happened yet.

I love every single cell in her body, and I don't want to bring up sex if it could hurt her or make her feel uncomfortable, but it's something I'm personally ready for in our relationship.

To make matters worse, my friends know we haven't had sex and keep calling me me a "noob" and say I should be a sex expert. 

– France

Dear France,

It's normal to feel frustrated when you and your partner seem to be on different pages sexually, but before you make any assumptions about what your girlfriend does or doesn't want in the bedroom, you should consider asking her what she wants, and letting her tell you.

Even though you've mastered the art of the make-out and are ready to move onto something new and sexually exciting, it doesn't mean you have to make the leap to oral or penetrative sex.

Although the world has conditioned us to believe intimate milestones should go from hand-holding to kissing to having penetrative sex, there's a whole world of sexual experiences that go beyond that.

Perhaps exploring these options with your girlfriend will help you both realize you're comfortable taking a next step, even if it's something you didn't originally have in mind.

Rachel Wright, a New York City-based relationship therapist, told me you should start by telling your girlfriend, in person, how much she means to you and then explain how you've been feeling in terms of your physical connection.

"I think just calling it out and naming it is important," Wright said. "So saying something like, 'Hey, I love every single cell in your body, and the last thing I ever want to do is hurt you or make you feel uncomfortable. We've been together for two years and I would love to have a conversation about our physical intimacy.'"

If during this chat both of you are stumped about ways you can deepen your intimacy without going straight to sex, Wright suggested a good ol' Google search. Type in "physical intimacy between hand-holding and penetrative sex," and see what comes up in the results, Wright said.

She also suggested asking each other questions like, "How do you touch yourself when you masturbate?" and "What have you enjoyed that we've done together physically so far?"

Answering these questions, listening to each other, and doing a bit of tag-team research with your girlfriend will help you both find ways to increase physical intimacy without moving too quickly for comfort.

As for your friends, I recommend you try to ignore them, or set a boundary so they understand your sex life is none of their business.

At 20 years old, you shouldn't be a sex expert and the truth is, people twice your age aren't always skilled at sex. So tell your friends that although they may be joking, you'd like them to stop commenting on your sexual experiences because it's what's best for you at this time. If they're true friends, they'll take your request to heart.

As Insider's resident sex and relationships reporter, Julia Naftulin is here to answer all of your questions about dating, love, and doing it — no question is too weird or taboo. Julia regularly consults a panel of health experts including relationship therapists, gynecologists, and urologists to get science-backed answers to your burning questions, with a personal twist.

Have a question? Fill out this anonymous form. All questions will be published anonymously.

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  • Posted on March 14, 2020