He held me back in a lot of ways and I let myself be held back.


An interview with Anne.


Artwork by Beyza Mese.

Anne | Age: 30 | Location: Chicago, USA | Occupation: Developer | No. of sexual partners: 14

Why did you take part?

Sex is still very taboo. Even today we still can’t really talk about how we feel about sex or the people in our lives. It’s behind closed doors, it’s icky. It’s not explored as much as it should be. Communication needs to open up for everyone to be happier.

What events in your life shaped your sexuality? What’s your story?

When I was young neither friends nor parents wanted to talk about sex. My mom openly told me not to talk to her about it. I had no one to turn to. I didn’t become sexually active until I was 18. Sex was enjoyable because I was having it but not because the sex was enjoyable. I was very shy and insecure but wanted to explore who I was and explore others in the physical aspect.

Then I got into a 10 year relationship with my ex-husband and that was just 10 years of bad sex. I didn’t realise I could actually enjoy sex until I left. He was a virgin, I was 19, it just didn’t work. Sex became a once a month kind of thing but I didn’t realise it was bad until it finished. He held me back in a lot of ways and I let myself be held back. I didn’t feel attracted to him and we were together for 10 years. I stayed with him because I never thought I could find anything else. I kept thinking “this is as good as it’s gonna get.” Really didn’t help me feel more confident. 

When I left my husband I knew it was a time to better myself. I moved to a new city and started to get out and exercise. I lost a lot of weight. My confidence went up. The impact of being on my own was huge. It was the first time I lived on my own. It was hard to leave the safety net behind but doing it gave me the confidence to meet my current partner. Back then I would have said he’s too good for me.

My partner now is experienced and a good sexual partner. I’m very attracted to him. Attraction is important. For so long I told myself it wasn’t really important. If there’s no attraction, there’s no sex. It’s not something you should ignore. I was always a pleaser and he’s the first one to do that to me. He’s really responsive and always made me feel very confident and comfortable. The size definitely helps. My partner of 10 years was below average and he didn’t last. This one can go for as long as you need him to go for and is above average. I had my first penetrative orgasm ever with him. We went away for a trip together and had lots of sex. It was amazing and I came, not once, but multiple times. I was stunned. I love sex with him. We have very open communication and have talked about exploring with other people too. 


What does sex mean to you?

Sex is important to me today. I enjoy it so much. It’s something I love to do, read about, talk about. After I left my husband I wanted to do it all the time. I don’t think I could ever be in a relationship where my partner didn’t enjoy sex. It’s very intimate. It’s vital. 


What’s difficult about sex?

I’m starting to identify as queer. I haven’t discussed it with friends because they don’t understand it.


What do you most enjoy about sex?

The foreplay leading up to the foreplay. The intimacy, climaxing. Giving my partner pleasure is a huge part of it. There’s no part that I don’t enjoy about sex. My partner always puts my pleasure first. Best sexual partner I’d ever had. We play with domination a bit - it’s mostly him but I take over from time to time


Do you orgasm?

I always come, multiple times. I never had vaginal orgasms until I was 30. I come within the first 30 seconds and then it just keeps going. Ever since I’m able to orgasm from penetrative sex it’s harder to come from clitoral stimulation. I usually can’t orgasm unless I’m there mentally. I have to be fully there.


How often do you have sex?

Twice a week and if we see each other on the weekend then all weekend. He works at nights so it’s tricky for us to see each other as much as we’d like to


Do you masturbate?

I masturbate a couple of times a week. Used to be daily before I met him. If i’m home, all weekend. I’m trying to wean myself off my vibrator. Takes a long time with my hands now. Trying to retrain my body so that it’s less work. I sometimes watch lesbian porn. Female orgasm is amazing. I get very turned on when people are enjoying themselves. 


How do you see female sexuality portrayed in the society?

Women aren’t meant to enjoy sex. I know women who have a higher sex drive than men and are considered slutty. This is perpetuated by Hollywood. We need to break down these barriers. Sex is not only for men to enjoy


What’s your advice to women?

Everyone should put the partner’s pleasure first. Unless you’re doing something that’s just about you. Make sure your partner is having a good time. Give them pleasure and then you will get pleasure too. Don’t be a selfish lover, that’s just bad sex


What’s your advice to men?

If your partner is having pleasure you are also more likely to have pleasure.


Is there anything you want to explore?

I want to explore non-monogamy but I have to become more confident and comfortable. I don’t want to have jealousy if he touches someone else. Have to build up the trust first.