As a teen, all I wanted was to be loved and accepted by my boyfriends.
When it came to sex, there was always a level of fakeness, like I needed to act and look a certain way to earn their attention. I always made sure I looked good. I would have my makeup done, hair done, body freshly shaved. I put a lot of effort into saying the right things, making the right noises during sex, and doing specific things during sex for my partner to be satisfied with me.
When we were having sex, I was constantly thinking: Am I performing well? If I didn’t perform the way my boyfriend wanted me to, I would think: Does he think he can do better than me?
I would start to feel bad about myself. I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. I felt like I wasn’t “impressing” my boyfriend. I also felt like I just did this really deep, vulnerable, and emotional thing with my boyfriend. I didn’t understand why I didn’t feel amazing afterwards, or why I felt so empty inside instead. It didn’t matter if I was dating a bad guy or a good guy, that feeling that something was missing was still there.
Sex was suddenly totally different when I got married. After I had sex with my husband I felt joyful, fulfilled, and happy. I felt like we just did this amazing thing together that brought us closer together, something I had never experienced before with a boyfriend.
I started to think about why sex before marriage was so unfulfilling. I suddenly realized what had been missing all that time: I was insecure not because of the kind of guy I dated, but because there was no commitment. I never felt safe in the relationship. I felt like every time we had sex, got into a fight, or anything, our entire relationship was on the line.
Once I got married, I didn’t have to worry about any of that. I didn’t have anything to prove, I didn’t have to impress him, and I didn’t have to earn him. I felt fully secure and safe during sex with my husband because I knew he wasn’t going anywhere.
Sex should never be about doing or saying the right things. Sex is the joining of two bodies in the most vulnerable and open way you can. It gets you closer to that person, emotionally and physically, than any other situation.
I used to view sex as a way to “prove your love” to your partner. But I learned quickly through my relationship with my husband that that is not what sex is about. It is about coming together with your partner after committing your lives to one another in marriage. Sex is really about true love and commitment.