secret sex diary: the monogamous couple navigating a relationship dry spell
A week in the sex life of... a 25-year-old coping with her boyfriend's wavering libido
One-night stands may be on the decline, but a new generation is giving us insight into the who, what, where and why of hooking up in our anonymous, monthly Secret Sex Diaries.
Letting us into the details of a week in their sex life is a 25-year-old pansexual whose relationship is making her feel isolated. Read on as she navigates love, dwindling intimacy and broken vibrators.
Age: 25 Gender: Female Relationship style: Long-term monogamous Orientation: pansexual
This week in numbers:
Masturbation: 6 Oral Sex: 1
From spending our first year together on different continents, to my boyfriend’s OCD, to my BPD, my relationship has never been easy. More recently, a bereavement has been thrown into the mix, plunging us both into a dark place. We spend most nights together at his or mine but, understandably, our sex life has taken a back seat.
As someone with a high sex drive and an intense fear of rejection, being intimate with my partner only once every month or two is making me panic more than I’d like to admit. Sure, in the grand scheme of things, it’s just sex and our relationship is so much more than that. But the absence of connection is a gaping emptiness that I don’t know how to fill. Both struggling with our mental health more than ever before, we don’t really kiss anymore, or even look at each other properly. I think I miss prolonged eye contact more than anything.
When I was single, if I was feeling lonely I’d call up a fuck buddy and he’d be over in a few hours. The sex wasn’t anything special, but it was reliable and consistently there for half a decade. After every breakup, whenever I was drunk, whenever I was bored, sex with him was a guaranteed way to feel less alone in this world. All I had to do was send a two word text: ‘You about?’
What do you do when you’re feeling alone in a relationship? Cry, watch a lot of porn and burn your clitoris off with your vibrator, apparently.
We're in bed and my boyfriend pecks me on the cheek, like you would your great aunt. We fall asleep facing away from each other. I long for him to stroke my hair, or look into my eyes and tell me he loves me.
My BPD brain decides to pipe up. He thinks I’m ugly. I’m a bad person who’s ruining his life. We’ll never have sex again. If we break up, he’ll start sleeping with girls I know to spite me. Then they’ll fall in love and he’ll look at her like she’s magic. I’ll never be able to leave my house in case I run into them. I’ll have to move countries and delete all my social media.
I know I’m making up situations in my head but, nevertheless, tears start to form in my eyes as I picture graphic images of him having sex with my friends, and I cry silently for an hour or two next to him before drifting away.
Anxious and sad in my own room, I reach for my trusty vibrator - a go-to pick me up. After a few orgasms, I turn it off and try to sleep unsuccessfully. I use it a few more times throughout the night because my stupid brain won’t shut off and recently masturbation is all that calms me down.
Today before work, I watch a sex tape me and my boyfriend made last year. Now that I’m struggling more with symptoms of BPD, all I seem to want to do is consume sexual content. I never used to watch porn, preferring instead to imagine steamy scenarios, or replaying past experiences with my partner in my mind.
I’ve become obsessed with orgies especially - where on earth has this come from? I’ve never been into group sex. I had a threesome once and found it significantly underwhelming…
Part of me considers asking my partner how he’d feel if I paid for some sessions with cam girls, but I already know his answer would be a hard no.
I get out my vibrator but before I even have a chance to use it for more than a minute I’m sobbing out of loneliness. Then I start laughing at myself for crying while masturbating, which then reminds me how much I wish I had someone to laugh with, and I cry again.
At long last, I give my boyfriend a blowjob - a sentence I didn’t think I’d ever say as someone who was always an unapologetic pillow princess in WLW relationships. Something about giving head to men makes me shy - I feel like I can’t compete with girls in porn, and I worry about how I look - but this morning was different. Since sex is a rarity in my life now, I wanted it to last as long as possible. We looked into each other’s eyes, and I didn’t care if my lips looked too thin or my back wasn't perfectly arched. It was less about the end result as it was the experience of bonding and vulnerability - what sex should be but rarely is in hetero relationships.
My vibrator dies. I’ve only had it for a month and it cost £69 (seriously) that I don’t have. I switch to an old back massager I find in the house and I'm reminded of an episode of Sex and the City where Samantha goes to the store to buy a sex toy, only to find no vibrators but plenty of women eyeing up a shelf of handheld ‘back massagers’. She advises the assembled women on which ones to buy, before pointing to a device that looks exactly like mine to say; "that’ll burn your clit off."
Sadly, Samantha was right. My vulva is absolutely furious with me.
It was a beautiful day today - the warmest since last year. I was hoping my boyfriend and I would go for a walk for some fresh air, but we stayed in bed. He slept with a fan blowing in his face while I lay next to him stroking his chest.
When it hit 7pm, I woke him up. We got a Chinese takeaway and ate in front of the TV. I remind myself that intimacy is more than sex.
Then I ordered a new vibrator.
If you suspect that you are struggling with a mental health condition, you should book an appointment with your GP to discuss potential treatment plans. Anyone looking for shorter mental health support or to explore available information can contact the Mind Infoline on 0300 123 3393.
When it comes to BPD, relying on self-help materials in lieu of an official diagnosis or structured support is not recommended. If you believe that you have BPD, speak to your GP.
While you wait for a formal diagnosis, referral or treatment you can access DBT exercises online on the DBT Self Help website and can learn more about BPD via Mind. You can also read additional information about BPD via our expert-led guide to further resources for the condition and where to get specialised support
Secret Sex Diary: the touch-me-not kinkster
A week in the sex life of… a polyamorous switch in London
Secret Sex Diary: the celibate 22-year-old living with herpes
A week in the sex life of…a single bisexual overcoming herpes stigma and unpacking her fear of dating women
Secret Sex Diary: the backpacking, long-term couple
Letting us into the intimate details of a week in their sex life is a 24-year-old exploring South East Asia with her long term partner
Secret Sex Diary: the pansexual using power play to overhaul her life
One night stands may be on the decline, but a new generation is giving us insight into the who, what, where and why of hooking up.
8 essentials for vaginal wellness
From supplements and teas to gynaecologically-tested underwear, keep your vagina happy and healthy with these products for your most sensitive area
How to have a Feral Girl Summer, according to experts
It’s time to reject curation and embrace chaos
Life In Love with Cinthia & Robyn
How do you find intimacy when one partner is asexual and the other isn’t? Closeness and connection don’t always stop and start with the physical
International Masturbation Month: how to do it (and you) right
The best egg vibrators, gender neutral toys, audio erotica – whatever your needs, we’ve got your self-pleasuring covered
Coronesty: post-pandemic life is too short for awkward dates
In the current dating landscape, people are being more honest and upfront about what they want from potential relationships
Should I be washing my vagina?
A gynaecology doctor debunks myths about the health implications of washing your vagina
Scotland becomes first country to provide free period products
Public buildings in Scotland are now legally required to provide free period products for those in need – campaigners tell Woo why that matters
are you cowpoking a polyamorous person?
Cowpokes are infamous for trying to change open dynamics into monogamous ones - and poly folks have had enough
Are dick pics the window to the soul?
A new study tries to determine what women really think of men's nudes
Health check: what is vaginismus?
Battling misinformation and bringing you expert advice this is EYKTK about vaginismus
University starter pack: what to pack and bring
From bedding to backpacks, here's what to take to uni to make moving out less stressful
Life In Love with Nick & Kaiden
Watch the first episode of Woo’s Life in Love, a docu-drama series exploring gen z’s relationships, trysts, and every encounter in between
Is your orgasm an avalanche, wave or volcano?
A new study suggests that there are three different types of vaginal orgasm...which one is yours?
Ultimate last-minute Valentine’s Day buys
Feel-good Valentine’s Day buys to help you spend the day happy, be it with a partner, friends or with yourself
Roe v Wade: what you can do to protect reproductive rights
Millions could lose their right to choose – here’s what’s at stake, and the organisations and activists to support in the pro-choice fight