I’ll admit it. Even the sex columnist can go through a bit of a dry spell. My most recent one lasted a couple months and included a number of lonely nights and used-up pieces of toilet paper; if you don’t understand the reference, don’t Google it. However, very recently, I was able to break the cold streak and it ended up being well worth the wait. Holding for applause.
Despite the awesomeness of having sex and not having to watch it, I can’t say the end didn’t come without some hesitation, challenges and general ineptitude on my part in the bedroom. The nerves I felt as I took off her bra and slipped off her pants made me reminiscent of the clumsiness of losing my virginity in the back of my family’s minivan about five years ago — a feeling I was hoping I had left behind with awkward school dances and my acne-ridden skin.
Regardless of your circumstance, getting back into the game after an extended period of abstinence can be as scary and intimidating as the first time; my feelings of nervousness were even more intense than my first time. Whether it is concern over developing sexual chemistry with a new partner or fear that they will be unimpressed with your abilities in the boudoir, ending the drought comes with a number of unique challenges that, oftentimes, can make extending the cold streak a more appealing option than taking a risk and opening yourself up to someone new. In my opinion, none of these challenges exist without solutions and embracing the possibility will, more often than not, leave you waking up happy and ready to embrace the game again and again and again.
First off, get back to what you know and love. I’m all for experimentation, but this is not the time for a position that you’ve never tried or a toy that you’ve never used. Your first time having sex following an extended break should be mind-blowing and easy. Including positions and moves that you know you are good at and you enjoy will help increase your confidence while ensuring that your partner is having a good time. For me, I love going down on girls (understandably a crazy concept for some guys and the subject of my next column) and that’s the first thing I did when we moved into the bedroom. I have confidence in it and, after hearing her moan within seconds, I remembered that I knew what I was doing and I was able to get back into the zone.
I’ve found that droughts can not only make us worse at sex physically, they also have the ability to wreck our confidence. Numerous conversations with men and women at Cornell have led me to understand the multitude of questions that make people hesitant to change their lifestyles and put themselves out there. Asking questions about your partner and your willingness to engage in sex is important. But learning to recognize the distinction between asking questions for the sake of extending your nerves is wholly distinct from asking those questions to make sure you will not regret going home with him/her in the morning.
During my conversations, most of the reasons for this hesitation come from an internal lack of self-confidence and, usually, are entirely unrelated to the question of whether or not the person actually wants to have sex. Usually, I find that the person really does want to get back into the game, they’re just unsure whether or not others want to have sex with them. My best recommendation is to ask the important questions before you start meeting people or deciding whether or not to go home with somebody. Once you’re in the moment, go with your gut and have a good time.
Above all else, it’s important to remember that the awkwardness will subside. For some, it will take a few times, and for others the nerves might go away when your lips touch your partner’s lips for the first time. But having the peace of mind that opening yourself up emotionally, and physically, will lead to better sex and an increased comfort with new partners is crucial.
I hope knowing the sex columnist struggles with droughts, dry spells and cold streaks will help you recognize that it is a completely normal part of the collegiate sexual experience. I can say that breaking my most recent dry spell has been nothing short of a success and I’ll be setting down my laptop shortly and moving back into my bedroom…
Hitch is a senior in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hints From Hitch appears alternate Thursdays this semester.