Are You Getting Any? Sex Was Starting to Hurt, So I Took a Break

Bad sexual experiences made 23-year-old Sarah re-evaluate what intimacy means to her.
Nana Baah
London, GB
Sarah Are You Getting Any
Screenshot of Sarah talking to the author.
Welcome to 'Are You Getting Any?', a column that asks a generation rumoured not to fuck if they in fact fuck.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Are You Getting Any? interviews are conducted via video call.


Quality of sex overall:  3/10
Frequency of sex: 0/10
Intimacy levels:  2/10
How do you feel generally about the people you fuck:  3/10
How happy are you with the amount of time you have for sex:  5/10

VICE: Hi, Sarah. When was the last time you had sex?
Over a year ago, so I think it was like mid-January 2020. 


Is that because of the start of the pandemic?
Mainly, yeah, but it was also the end of a string of bad sexual experiences. So at that time, I was like, ‘Oh, I should stop this anyways, because it’s not good for me.’ Then COVID hit, so I had to come home. So now I’m not interacting with anybody. 

Why were they bad experiences?
It was just painful. The first time was not painful at all, it was good. When that ended, I then tried having more casual sex like three times. Each time, I found that I felt really insecure and unsafe, and not really because of who they were at all, just because it was hard for me to open up intimately like that. I found that my body kind of shut down, because my mind was so anxious, but I don’t think it's vaginismus – I just bled and it was upsetting.  

Did you have people to talk to about it? 
I couldn’t really find anyone that understood what I was saying. Some of them thought that maybe I was holding on to a heartbreak a little too much.

Was the internet helpful at all?
Well, I haven’t been able to find something online that’s specifically what I've experienced either. I find that it’s either people with vaginismus, a different disorder, or women who identify as demisexual – people [who are] only really attracted to people who they're very emotionally close with. I got that on a level. It’s also sort of blurry for me, because I’ve been attracted to people who I don’t know. When it comes to just the intimacy part of it, that was what drew the line. So I think it’s more of an intimacy issue for me than anything else.

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What do you think was different about your first time and the others?  
I’d lost my virginity in the summer of 2019. When that relationship ended, I was trying to figure out what works for me, but I found that even fingering and stuff hurt. I was so anxious.

That does sound anxiety-inducing.
Yeah. I realised that I need another part to make this comfortable and pleasurable for me, so I’m just going to wait until someone else comes along.

How do you feel about that?
I'm kind of 50/50 on it, because, you know, I have a sex drive and I'd like to be able to fulfil that whenever I want to. But also I’m a romantic, so I would like a partner. I think I just have to kind of accept what my boundaries are. 

The first time you had sex was just after college, right? 
Yeah, a week after graduating.

What was college culture like in Canada? 
I was definitely someone who was pursuing a relationship in college, so that was difficult, because most people are looking for fun. I’d say we’re sort of a mix of British and American culture, so I was very insecure about being in that environment as a virgin. I felt like it kind of said something about me, you know. But as time went on, when I told people, no one really gave a shit. Then, as soon as I lost it out of college, I realised that I was worried about nothing – like, it means literally nothing.


How have you met the people you’ve dated?
I was using Bumble and Hinge. I think I’d use them again – it’s much easier to find people. If you’re just meeting through your friends, you’re sort of stuck to a bubble.

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Are you still on the apps?  
No, I deleted them. I had that bad experience in January, then I thought, ‘I’m going to give myself a break. I’m just gonna be single for a while and just focus on myself.’ Then COVID came, so I thought, ‘Hey, what a great time.’

How’s that been going?
It’s not that I haven’t been lonely and sad about it, or that I haven't been tempted to re-download apps just for some comfort, but I do think it’s been good. It’s given me time to work through things that I was feeling before, which I’ve never really been able to do while I was seeing people. 

Do you think you’ll date again when the pandemic is over? 
Yeah, I think I’d just want to give myself a lot of time. At least a couple months. Then, just for my safety, make sure that I have someone I trust. Someone that I know would be careful and communicate with me and would respect me if it hurt. Basically, that they would be willing to take their time with me.

How are you feeling about dating people when restrictions are lifted?
I have an immunocompromised sister, so that’s definitely going to be something that's very heavy for me.

What do you think sex and dating will be like post-COVID in general? 
Of course, I think everybody should only do what they’re comfortable with, but I definitely think the pandemic has had an effect on young people’s sex lives. People are thinking a lot more about who they touch and interact with. 

That’s interesting. I was thinking about it going the other way, like everyone being let loose after all that time and just going mad. It’s kind of scary to think about being in clubs again anyway. 
Oh, my god, I know. Even being in a grocery store when it’s really busy is enough for me.

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