I am a 21-year-old woman and have a boyfriend who I love dearly, but I never get aroused with him

I am a 21-year-old woman and have never learned how to masturbate. I bought a small vibrator when I was 17, and that was the first time I ever achieved an orgasm or any sense of pleasure. I am not intimate with my boyfriend, who I have been going out with for a year and who I love dearly. Whenever he tries something, I never get any sense of arousal.

If you were able to experience arousal and climax through the use of a vibrator, then you have learned to pleasure yourself to some degree. You have also learned something about the mechanisms by which you achieve orgasm. Over time, you will find other styles of pleasuring – by yourself, if not by others – and other paths to orgasm, but the simplest aspects of these exciting personal responses are now known to you. The next step can be challenging: applying that private knowledge to a sexual experience with a partner. With another person, you must guide and teach him to pleasure you, and learn how to please him as well. But these tasks are not easy. They can best be accomplished with openness and mutual passion. You do not have to feel guilty or think that there is something wrong with you if you are not attracted to someone, even if he feels entitled to your sexual attention. Enjoying a person’s company – even loving them as a companion – is a different kind of friendship from passionate love that includes erotic tension. Either you will meet someone eventually who you either immediately fancy or you will be surprised by the sexual feelings that may develop over time. In the meantime, please bear in mind that you are not obliged to be sexual with someone just because he has assumed a “boyfriend” role.

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