Your Call: How Can She Jump-Start Her Sex Life?

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We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call by leaving your response in the comments section below.

Hi Em & Lo,

For various reasons (long abusive relationship, thankfully ended, plus my own social ineptitude), I’ve only had sex a handful of times over the past 5-6 years and I feel so empty and frustrated. At the risk of sounding like an asshole, I’m fit and attractive, I look after myself, I’m moderately successful.  I’m 27 years old and would love to have a decent and fulfilling sex life, but have no idea where to start. I’m a quiet and introverted person, so I realise I’ll probably have to meet guys online. But how can I be honest about my inexperience without putting off potential partners? I sound so weird and needy — and that’s not who I am, or who I want to be. I have no idea how to initiate sex or get someone off and I would love to learn. I’m okay at building a rapport with someone I like, but how do I get over the physical awkwardness? I’d be so grateful for your help, as this is making me miserable.

— Too Old to Be a Newbie

What should T.O.T.B.A.N. do?


  1. Honestly, what you’ve described would be exactly the opposite of what you think. It’s HOT! There’s nothing more intimidating than a women who’s been with god know how many partners. Who can compete with that? Or, an inexperienced partner who thinks it’s OK to just lay there. Again, who wants to make love to a dead fish? Your attitude is frankly refreshing.

    Please “embrace” your lack of experience and when you meet the right guy, you’ll know it. I predict you’ll be met with enthusiasm.

  2. Girl, don’t worry about the quantity. Concentrate on the quality and be less hard on yourself. Being in an abusive relationship can really knock your confidence but you can use being in such a wrong relationship to your advantage. Naturally, you won’t trust easily and a guy would have to respect you and put effort into being with you.

    Being happy is the best revenge you can have on your past life. Work on restoring your confidence by having a few hobbies that involve being in a group such as an aerobics class or book club or whatever it is that floats your boat as well as what the guys recommended: masturbating.

    Having sex means getting naked in front of a person and that is a vulnerable place to be especially for someone who has been abused. It takes time to recuperate.

    By accepting who you are and building your confidence, you will feel more confident in meeting guys. I wouldn’t always recommend online because there are some sick people who might not be who they say they are.

    Please also realise you don’t “need” any old kind of man or sex. What you “need” is reassurance that there is nothing wrong with you from a man who listens to you and accepts you for you.

    Don’t believe the hype that just because a person has sex more often or with more people that their sex life is better. It just means they are more promiscuous.

    27 is not that old. 🙂

  3. From my perspective most guys will find that you are exactly the type of person that is safe to date. Aside from all of your attributes the fact that you are not an experienced sex addict will actually allow guys to feel far more comfortable in getting to know you. It may also allow them to feel more confident in the bedroom. Guys have a lot of hang ups when it comes to women who can be percieved as powerful and successful or have had a lot of sexual partners. You are in a really good position and I wish you all the best. I wish there were more women like you in the world.

  4. Lack of experience is actually hot when it comes with an attitude like yours. And I usually prefer, shall we say, extra-experienced women.

    I’d actually be amused and surprised if an attractive, successful 27 year old woman told me she’s had very little sex. My default assumption would be that she’s had a gazillion partners. I’d also be VERY turned on if she told me that I was the guy she’d picked to change that.

    An attractive, inexperienced woman with a ready-to-learn attitude? Majorly hot.

    Initiating sex might be a jump into the deep end. I suggest learning to initiate conversations as a first step. Keep your mind open but take it (a little) slowly. You’ve been waiting a while for your big sex moment, so make it count.

  5. If I found myself dating a fit, attractive, moderately successful (whatever that means) 27-year old, and after a few dates she told me that she was sexually inexperienced and a bit nervous, but eager to engage and try it out, I wouldn’t be put off at all.

    That said, a few things: take time, if you haven’t, to learn your own body and desires. Masturbate, a lot, watch a little porn to see what gets you hot (or a lot of porn, if what gets you hot is ‘porn’). Read the excellent book “Sex Talk: the role of communication in intimate relationships” by Carey Noland. Read Em and Lo and Dan Savage. That is to say – be proactive about positioning yourself to be a confident, engaged, and empowered parter. You won’t be at first, but you won’t be ever if you don’t own your own sexuality. And that ownership process is way easier to undertake now, without the pressures of a real partner waiting on you, than in the future.

    As long as you’re present and educated and honest you won’t freak the good partners out. And the bad ones? Well look at it this way – you’ve got a time-limited built-in asshole detector. Enjoy it while it lasts!

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