In Sex Diaries, we ask readers to share their sex lives: to talk about the sex they’re having (or not). Interested in anonymously sharing your story? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
I was in a relationship for three years but we broke up last September after he cheated on me. Things were probably going wrong before then and we should have called it off sooner but he decided to go about it in a different way. I was heartbroken and it knocked me sideways – I lost my virginity to him. The girl he cheated on me with is now his girlfriend; it’s hard to see pictures of them together and is always going to sting, so I’ve just tried to distance myself from it.
We were living together, six months into a 12-month lease, when we broke up so I stayed in the house until the end of the contract, although it was a constant reminder of our relationship. When it was time to move out, we had to start talking again in order to sort deposits and utility bills.
I threw myself into dating after we split up, downloading Tinder three weeks after he moved out and rejoining social media and putting myself out there. I had sex with other people although it did always feel a bit weird in the flat we had shared. But I knew it was just a rebound – a pure physical sexual attraction – to keep myself busy.
“I knew it was just a rebound – a pure physical sexual attraction – to keep myself busy.”
I’d go on a night out, have a couple of drinks, build up to it and then as the alcohol started to wear off, we’d be getting down to it and I’d find myself thinking: “Oh god, is this it?” There was no emotion it in. It was so clinical. You can’t help but compare it to relationship sex and see the difference.
It wasn’t just a lack of emotion, I was also in pain. I’m being investigated for endometriosis [a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes] and it causes me pain during sex. My ex understood that, and would talk about what hurt and when I wanted to stop. The men I had one night stands with didn’t care so much: one told me I should just put up with it and it wasn’t that bad. I didn’t tell the others after that. But obviously it leads to a lot of unsatisfactory sex.
For six months I lived alone in the flat we had shared, and had a steady stream of one night stands, although at the time I thought I was dating someone only to be then left or ignored. By the end I was mentally and emotionally exhausted – I felt as though I was nothing more than a physical body that men just wanted for sex.
“Moving home with my parents has limited my sex life but also made the sex a lot better.”
Things got so much better when I moved back in with my parents. I no longer had a flat where I could invite people round so we could sleep together. Moving back almost did the work of filtering out the men who only wanted sex and weren’t prepared for a bit more commitment.
As soon as you say there’s no availability to sleep with me straight away, and you’re going to have to meet my parents, it filters out the wrong people. It’s only the ones who are prepared to stick around.
Moving home with my parents – although it has limited my sex life – it has also made the sex I am having a lot better because it’s with the right people.
I definitely moved on from the break-up much more quickly after I moved out of that house we shared. My mental health took a knock in those first months of being single; those one nights stands were all about getting the guy off, not about me. You can lose focus on yourself as a woman: I’m taking it a lot more slowly now and making sure I don’t feel I’m being used. I’m holding myself back more and trying to make sure we’re all in it for the right reason.
As told to Sophie Gallagher