Her Past Interferes

Q: My girlfriend and I have been together for close to 15 months now, and our physical relationship has reached an all-time low. We are never intimate anymore, just a peck on the cheek every now and then, and I'm only 22! I thought it was her birth control that was at fault, but she believes that it's due to what happened to her last year when she was date-raped, and how her mom took it when she found out. Even when we would try to be intimate, she would not orgasm even after 5-10 minutes. I'm becoming frustrated with her, so I overreact and get jealous easily. But I also feel very bad after I become "angry' with her because she can't help it. This physical thing has been going on close to 11 months now, and she is going to counseling for this problem and a few others. Can the counseling thing work? What should I do? -- Bruce

Dr. Susan: Give the counseling some time, and if and when she's willing, attend some sessions with her. She may be having a rough time integrating this date-rape experience into her life, but it also could be a handy excuse she's falling back on. Your anger and jealousy only make things worse, as does your impatience at her "slowness" at achieving orgasm. Five to ten minutes is no big deal at all for a female. Maybe your pressure is keeping her from even wanting to try. And it's possible she doesn't want to kiss you because in the past, kissing has led immediately to full sex, which she's avoiding -- for whatever reasons. Give her the time she needs to work her issues through in therapy, and it wouldn't hurt you to learn better ways to express yourself than by becoming angry and then feeling bad about it. There is hope for your relationship, but it will take finesse, not fury.

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