My ex-boyfriend accused me of putting him under pressure

-My ex-boyfriend accused me of putting him under pressure – am I a sex pest?

During a brief relationship, we went to bed together but he said he wanted to put off having sex for fear of STIs. After we broke up, he said I had pressured him

I am a 24-year-old woman and was recently in an eight-week relationship with a 23-year-old man. He ended the relationship, but a few days later we drunkenly bumped into one another and he accused me of pressuring him into sex. I was horrified.

For the first few weeks we didn’t have sex, but he slept in my bed: he hadn’t had an STI test for a while and didn’t want to take any risks. A few days later, we ordered sexual health kits. While we were waiting for the results we were kissing in bed. He said, “I wish I could be inside you,” and I said, “I’m literally naked and begging for it.” This was the incident that he found pressurising.

Later, I found out that he identifies as demisexual. I didn’t know this at the time, and thought the reason we weren’t having sex was due to his STI fears. I’m finding the guilt very difficult to get over and am wondering if I am some kind of sex pest. How can I avoid doing this in future, and feel comfortable with initiating sex?

I’m not surprised that you remain confused and anxious. Some people – especially those who are in the early stages of their sexual journey – are so complex and unresolved about their erotic style or orientation that they cannot comfortably communicate verbally or sexually with others. Others know what they do or don’t want, and who they are sexually, but find it hard to communicate that. It is always important for each partner to be clear and unambiguous about their own feelings and preferences and to treat the other with respect and compassion, without coercion. Unfortunately, it takes time to learn all this, and the trial and error can be painful. Since this situation has already ended badly, it may be best that you do not engage with him again, except to say (if you haven’t already) something along the lines of: “I am mortified that you felt I was pressuring you. I am so sorry if I did anything to make you feel that way.” Moving on, any time in the future that you feel an uncomfortable or ambiguous vibe –e

specially from someone who seems unable to communicate verbally with you – even if you desire them greatly, withdraw respectfully.

Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.

If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to (please don’t send attachments). Each week, Pamela chooses one problem to answer, which will be published online. She regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence. Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions.

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