There’s still a belief in me that there is something wrong about sex.
An interview with Maria.
Maria | Age: 24 | Location: London, UK | Occupation: Musician | No. of sexual partners: 5
Why did you take part?
I’m interested in sexuality. It’s a fascinating area and we’re quite lucky that we can explore and talk about it. I’m looking forward to exploring it for myself since I don’t feel like I fit in the conventional male female divide of sexuality.
What events in your life shaped your sexuality? What’s your story?
I had 3 older brothers and wanted to fit in with them. I was always doing things more associated with boys whilst still being quite girly. I wanted to be both. My mum found me mastrubating when I was a kid. She made me think it was a really bad thing and I’ve carried that since.
My first relationship was with an older woman and it was quite traumatic. She was one of the facilitators when I went to camp at 16. She abused her power a little bit. It was a secret for a few months. Eventually my parents found out when she came over to stay. Ended up very messy as they reported her to the police. They made it clear in a passive way that it’s not ok for me to be with women. I lost a lot of trust in other people and in myself. These days I know my parents would be uncomfortable with me being with women so that makes me uncomfortable about being with women and with towards parents.
I have been into older people since. My first long-term boyfriend was 18 years older than me. That was a very beautiful relationship. My parents weren’t happy about it at first but got used to it in the end. The intensity and quality of love was very pure. We helped each other grow. We recorded a music album together. He was a very caring and supportive partner that I could honestly talk to about things I was feeling or sex. He decided to end it because he wanted to have kids and I was only 19 at the time. It took me 3-4 years to get over him. We had been together for a year.
After him I dated a few people but for a while I was just looking to replace him. The men who came to me were similar to him. The ones today are quite different but have a pattern of their own: confused about their sexuality and not wanting to be in a relationship. I’m not a simple person to just have a relationship with either. In a way I demand a lot from a relationship. It has to be very real. My ex told me that I needed a lot of love and he couldn’t give that to me.
The last relationships have lasted 1-2 months and ended in friendships. For a while I was hoping to find a girlfriend and not a boyfriend but that hasn’t happened yet. It’d be nice to balance things out. I think it would help me understand more about my own sexuality. I feel like it would be quite different to be with a woman.
What does sex mean to you?
Sharing of something intimate. An exchange of something very deep and personal. Could be physical but doesn’t have to be.
What’s difficult about sex?
I’m always paranoid that I’ll get pregnant. It has quite an effect on how much I can relax. It feels like sometimes my partners are careless and it makes me feel uncomfortable. I just got a diaphragm. I also just don’t really feel liberated. There’s still a belief in me that there is something wrong about sex. It can just so feel wrong to be with the person I’m with, having sex. I don’t feel very confident. I feel quite stuck in my comfort zone and in conventional love making.
What do you most enjoy about sex?
The physical intimacy. Being so close to another soul and another body. Sharing things. Talking about very personal things and being listened to. It can be an exchange that doesn’t happen elsewhere. A real depth of intimacy and honesty doesn’t happen with most people.
Do you orgasm?
I find it easier to come not from penetration. I feel like penetration brings up a lot of anxiety. It’s quite an intense thing. To have someone inside you is quite a deep exchange and a release of emotions. Afterwards I sometimes fall into feeling shame. I kind of just want to escape what just happened. It would be nice to let go of that.
How often do you have sex?
Probably about three times a week when dating someone.
Do you masturbate?
Depends. Not in the last 3 weeks. Before that every other day. Most of the time with fantasies, sometimes porn. Kind of dark. I like the idea of being forced into something.
How do you see female sexuality portrayed in the society?
Makes me feel like an outsider. I feel pressured to conform to that model. I feel like I’m slowly breaking out of that but I still feel a lot of shame.
What’s your advice to women?
Really trust your gut. It’s something about listening to your heart. Be really honest with yourself and your partner. Get as clear and direct in your communication as you can. I feel like I misled some people. Sometimes we expect ourselves to feel a certain thing when whatever we’re feeling is ok. It’s really important to just accept that and listen to our hearts.
What’s your advice to men?
Similar. It’s ok to be completely honest and important to talk about your emotions, expectations, not to hold things back.
Is there anything you want to explore?
To be in a relationship with a woman. I think it would be quite different.