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Too late to start having sex?

By Anonymous January 17, 2010 - 3:05pm
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I am a 40 year old virgin...really. I spent my 20's on antidepressants, and my 30's in a celibate environment, shall we say. I left that relationship and am now interested in becoming sexually active, which is weird to have happen all of a sudden. I'm worried that my hymen or my vagina are not flexible enough or large enough to accept penetration. Advice?

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Hi anon,

I'm so curious to hear more about your story and your choices, as they are definitely a variation from the "norm" (or, what we hear about at least).

To answer your specific questions, the vagina is very stretchy, and can accommodate a man's penis...it can even accommodate a baby's head and shoulders!...so no need to worry about it not being flexible enough. The vagina is made for penetration (for reproductive purposes, of course!), and also is self-lubricating to allow for easier penetration during sexual arousal.

I understand your being anxious, as every women is nervous about her first sexual experience (regardless of age), and there are a few things you can do to make intercourse pleasing and not painful:
- Adequate "foreplay" so that you are sexually aroused. This means blood flow increases to the genitals, lubrication increases, and you have enough sexual desire to want to have sex (versus being with a man without taking time to become sexually aroused adequately, and in this situation, penetration can be painful).
- Please know, even with adequate foreplay, you may not want to have sex once you get to "that point". There are many other physically intimate things you can do, without having penetrative sex, that can eventually lead up to genital-to-genital sex. I hope you find a partner who is willing to take his time, listen to the word "no" or "stop" if you do not want to go further. Oral sex can also be a great choice, as it is very intimate, and can be a good alternative to penetration if you are not ready.
- If you are nervous, you may not have enough vaginal lubrication. This is perfectly OK, and there are plenty of over-the-counter lubricants that are available (KY Jelly, Astroglide, etc.) that you can use either on your vagina and/or on your partner's penis. Couples who use condoms use lubrication, so this is very common.

Regarding your question about your hymen. Do you know if your hymen is partially or fully in-tact? Have you ever used tampons or had any sexual experiences where a finger was placed inside your vagina? If you know your hymen is in-tact, there are some ways to stretch your hymen if you are uncomfortable with it. Otherwise, women are able to have sexual intercourse without pain, with a hymen that has not been manually stretched. You can read about Hymen Stretching by clicking on the orange hyperlink.
[Source: Go Ask Alice]

Does this answer all of your questions? Do you have any additional questions we can help answer, no matter how embarrassing? Do you have a sexual partner that you are already in a relationship with?

Please let me know if this information helped you, and if you would like any additional resources on having a healthy sexual relationship.

January 17, 2010 - 8:16pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Alison Beaver)

Alison, thanks for your reply. I needed to see a lot of this information. To answer your questions, my sexual status (as a result of my "choices") happens to be a result of some early inappropriateness that I hadn't fully dealt with. I spent my 20's on several different antidepressants...didn't understand that libido gets killed by them, and entered a convent in my 30's, figuring I was sexually unresponsive for a reason. I left this year, when I started to notice men, and believed a celibate lifestyle wouldn't work for me. I am in therapy to deal with the feelings I'm having, and understand that it may take some time for a meaningful relationship to develop between me and the current man. As for the hymen issue, it is mostly intact...just a small tag on one side from a bicycle accident when I was nine. All the pelvic exams I've had have included a very odd, circular pain, which I attributed to a hymen that stretches but hasn't torn yet. A friend of mine told me I would probably me too tight for most men to be patient enough to deal with, which prompted the question in the first place. If what I've heard is true, a tighter fit isn't generally something men complain about, anyhow. As inexperienced as I am at this point, I'm not sure who or what to believe. A close friend of mine has recommended a gynecologist she took her daughter to, and is helping me to talk through a lot of the things I can't really approach my mother with.

Thanks again for your reply. It set my mind a little more at ease.

January 18, 2010 - 2:19pm
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