Time, history, and experience gave you confidence with your last love. When you’re ready, Jonathan Buzin has some tips for starting over.
When you are knee-deep in a break up or even post-breakup self-pity, sex can be the last thing on your mind at times. Hey, it happens. As men, when the proper mood isn’t flowing through the body, the junk doesn’t work. It’s science, and also embarrassing. But I’ll save that for the sex therapist I might or might not be seeing. The awful and inconvenient truth is that if you pull yourself out of this tailspin, and only if you feel like you’re ready and willing to, you’ll end up with someone else.
Eventually, you’re going to take your pants and Star Wars underwear off in front of this person and do sexual things with them. And it’s probably going to be terrifying for a multitude of reasons, with the main one perhaps being that this is not your former partner.
You have an entirely new body learn. Shit.
The one thing I could pride myself on was that I worshiped my ex in every way, shape, and form. To make a long story short, I knew what the hell I was doing. After the split, and after it was drilled, riveted, and welded into my thick skull that she didn’t love me anymore, was never coming back, and that we’d never embrace each other again, it dawned on me that everything I knew about her body was meaningless now. If I was going to move on to someone else and not go with plan A, which was be alone forever in self-righteous, yet self-loathing isolationist tangent, I had to learn a completely new body.
Those of us who sat through sex ed in school know that each human body is unique in what tickles our fancy. What sets off fireworks in one body might piss off another. A birthmark that you always loved on your ex’s body isn’t going to exist on the next lover’s; even their scent, breathing pattern, and vocalizations will be different. And if you’re like me and your ex is all you’ve ever known in life, it can be both nerve wracking to learn another body and heartbreaking to comprehend that all you knew is dead.
“So, dear writer,” you ask, “How can I come to terms and start anew?” I can offer the same professional advice that was given to me by one of the many people who get paid to make sure I don’t end up driving my pathetic Honda into the Atlantic: Don’t overthink it.
To those who know me personally, that’s like telling me to stop yelling at the screen whenever Vin Diesel shows up in a movie. It’s not gonna happen conscientiously. For those of you who aren’t neurotic and don’t think there’s some kind of universal conspiracy against you because the line at Starbucks is too long and you’re due back at work in five minutes, it’s a truly doable task.
The key to getting over your over-thinking and pre-bedroom jitters is communication.
Talk to your new partner and ask what you can do for them in the bedroom. There’s no pride lost in asking for help from that person, and unless you’re dating a narcissist, it will turn out ok.
If you can open up to that person about your complications with starting over, it opens up your first avenue of success. Don’t get me wrong, there will be a lot of awkward trial and error, and if you’re smooth and used to awkward, it can be a memorable and fun experience for both of you.
If you take anything away from this, it is that you’re dating a whole new person with new spots and new wants.
Don’t get caught up in trying to treat it like your last relationship. Because it’s not, unless you want it to go down like the Hindenburg like your last relationship too.
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Photo: Michelle Gomes/Flickr