Getting Naked For The First Time After Divorce
After being with same person for many years, the idea of having sex with someone new can feel both exciting and downright terrifying — almost as much as losing your virginity! But rest assured, your fears and jitters are normal and common. Let’s climb on top of them right now.
Fear: “But I’m older, saggier and more than a few pounds fatter”
Ugggh… weight gain, extra cellulite, sagging in places you didn’t the last time you were single – as my 39-year-old girlfriend Sandy confessed, “I was afraid that once I took my clothes off, he’d beg me to put them back on. Oh, how I wish I’d enjoyed my younger body when I had it!” Sound familiar?
One way of dealing with this — or any fear around getting naked with someone new — is to do what Sandy did: She waited until she felt loved and fully secure in their relationship first. They’re still together by the way – it’s two years later, and he’s the second man she’s ever slept with.
But if you aren’t prepared to hold off until ‘serious’ comes along, here’s something you really need to remember: Ladies, the vast majority of men are THRILLED to have a woman take her clothes off. Where you see “eww”, he sees heavenly female form. So dim the lights if it makes you more comfortable, and try dressing in something flattering and makes you feel sexy. Remember, sexiness is first and foremost an attitude.
Fear: “What if I do a bad job?”
Ah yes…good ‘ol performance jitters: What if you orgasm too fast, not at all, can’t make her orgasm, or, as 42-year-old Paul feared, “What if the equipment just decides not to work?” The newness and significance of first time sex can cause our bodies to respond – or not respond – in unexpected and embarrassing ways.
Don’t assume you have to hit the “ON” button and start ripping each other’s clothes off as soon as you see each other. By taking your time to talk, laugh, flirt, maybe dance and share some light grazing touches, you’ll build chemistry, comfort and anticipation for what is soon to unfold. The brain, being the largest sex organ, needs time to relax, engage, imagine, crave… Mental foreplay makes sex with a new person deliciously exciting; slowly build the arc up to the climax.
And guys, if you’re worried about ‘unloading’ too soon into the game, I highly recommend you “take matters into your own hands” before your date. If you still orgasm too quickly, focus on pleasing her (until you’re ready again).
Fear: “What if my ‘mommy body’ turns him off?”
Stretch marks, breasts that look utterly utter’ish, mommy belly and oh my God, those embarrassing hemorrhoids! Thirty-five year old divorced mom Hannah described her fears like this: “I worried I’d only be able to relax if the room was pitch black AND we were under the covers. But even then, what if he thought I was ‘too loose’ down below — three kids came out of there!”
It’s unfortunate, but many divorced moms perceive their “battle scars” from pregnancy and birth as ugly/ shameful, instead of proudly displaying them like badges of honor. Nonetheless, here are some points to consider:
Firstly, rest assured that if your new lover is a dad, he’s already well aware of the changes that can happen to a woman’s body post-birth and they won’t faze him one bit. Secondly, if he’s not a dad, did I mention how THRILLED men are when a woman gets naked in front of them? (!!) Just knowing that YOU want to have sex with HIM is the biggest turn on! That’s why you need to let that sparkle in your eye shine bright. Thirdly, it’s not like he’s going to be examining every centimeter of your flesh under operating room lights when you have sex – so don’t worry about those “hemmies”. He’s unlikely to push anal ‘exploration’ during your first encounter together anyway.
Fear: “What if I regret it?”
Then, of course, there’s the fear of what awaits the day after – maybe even immediately afterwards. What if you regret it, feel upset, ashamed, guilty and/or angry with yourself?
Frank, a 33-year-old divorced dad said he worried most about shame. “I’ve never been a bedpost notcher. So I worried that the next day I’d beat myself up using her. I knew — cause I met her in a bar and we were drunk — that it would only be a one-night stand.”
Look, you can sit here and come up with a hundred reasons as to how and why you should, could, would feel terrible about yourself the next day. And though I’m not suggesting in any way that your moral compass should be tossed, I will point out that you are a grown man/woman and a good person at that. And if you decide that you made some kind of mistake, your focus should be on learning from it, re-calibrating, and getting on with life – just as you’ve had to do in your divorce.
I’ll also remind you that all your “what ifs” could be flipped: What if you feel amazing, what if there’s a skip in your step and a smile on your face the next day, what if you end up giggling and having sex two more times that night? I *get* that the unknown is scary, I *get* that you want to make good choices… but whether your first time rocks, sucks, or anything in between, the great thing is that it will now be behind you; one more step in closing the door to your marriage; one step forward to reclaiming the new you.
Fear: “What if acting on my lust means I have no morals?”
So many divorced people, especially women, struggle with ‘competing desires’ — Good Girl ethics verses hard-core lust — when it comes to (first time) sex after divorce. Thirty-four- year-old Tamara, a divorced mother of one, explained her internal war like this: “I knew after my divorce that I REALLY wanted to have sex, even though I didn’t want a serious relationship. I was worried what wanting sex without love said about me, as a person, a woman and a MOM. I kept wondering, ‘What would my daughter think of me if she knew?’”
Most of us eventually come face-to-face with our Wall of Ethics as we date/have sex after divorce. For some, the Wall means “Run away, retreat!”, no questions asked. But others sometimes need to take a peek on the other side…
At the end of the day, only you can decide what choices sit best with you; you’re the one who has to live inside your head afterwards. But a few things you might ask yourself: one – that Wall of yours, the one that supposed to protect you and serve you, did you ever wonder who built it? Did you ever consider that it imprisons you too? Two, do you really think of one incident of sex without love reflects your overall value as a person/mom? And three – not a question but a statement here: You aren’t just a mom, you’re a woman. A woman with sexual needs, wants and desires. There’s no shame in that. Your kids don’t need to know anything about it.
- Dating Games Women Play That Don’t Work
- When To Have Sex: Which “Side” of You Decides?
- Three Couples Dealing With Sexless Marriages