How to Tell Your Partner That You’re Not Ready for Sex

The topic may sound silly — I mean, who wants to turn down their hot girlfriend who wants to have sex? But this can be a real problem for people who aren’t ready to take that step in their relationship, or who haven’t had sex before. I have a bunch of friends (and I’m sure there are many people who suffer from this problem outside of my social circle) who struggle with the awkwardness that comes with not being ready to have sex when your partner is.  There are many possible reasons why a person wouldn’t be ready for sex. Sex can be a really big deal, especially the first time. Maybe you’re a virgin and you’re waiting for the right person or the right moment for that experience. Maybe you’re waiting for marriage, for a relationship to last a few months, or at least for a few dates. Whatever your reason is for not being ready, it’s valid because it’s in your value system. You can’t help how you view sex based on your upbringing, so make peace with the fact that this is just who you are. You may not be able to control your feelings, but you can choose the way you handle this situation.

The most important part of this process is to be honest with yourself. Don’t force yourself to do anything you don’t want to do, especially when it comes to sex. There isn’t any point in having sex if you feel too uncomfortable emotionally, physically, or mentally to do it (the point is to enjoy yourself). The point of sex is also obviously for your partner to enjoy herself, and she won’t be able to do that if you’re not comfortable too. So save the two of you some trouble and talk it through.

With that being said, it’s also equally important to be honest with your partner. Even if you think it’ll be super awkward to talk about it with your partner (and I’m sure it will be at least a little awkward), do it anyway. It’s worth it to go through a bit of discomfort for a few minutes, in order to let your partner know how you really feel. Explain to her specifically why you have qualms about sex, so she can understand that it’s not that you don’t find her desirable or that you don’t want to achieve that kind of intimacy in your relationship (unless those are the reasons, in which case you might want to rethink the whole relationship). Whatever your reason may be, your partner should respect you for it. If she doesn’t respect you even after you have an honest discussion about it with her, she’s not worth your time — you deserve a partner who will honor your feelings and personal boundaries.

-Chloe