First intercourse

Submitted by Sook on
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I was a bit surprised to see in one of the later exchanges that part of the activity is to talk about the first time that you had intercourse. I can't really see the point in this. I don't know about how most people feel about this but I'm not sure if I want to know about the first time my wife had intercourse with someone else or any of the details about it.
On another earlier exchange, part of the activity was the option to talk about something that you may have done badly or negatively to a past sex partner (person of the opposite sex). Once again I didn't feel that comfortable in hearing details, but recognised the benefit of such an activity for the person telling the experience/details as it allows them to get rid of some of the bottled up emotions or negative, guilty feelings that they may have.
Talking about our first sexual encounters though seems unnecessary. I feel that some of the exercises seem to be put your consciousness in the past rather than trying to keep it in the present.
I've tried to ascertain why I don't want to hear about my wifes first sexual encounter, do I have some fears about it or some sort of lack of confidence or some other issues. I can't seem to work out why I don't feel happy about talking about my wifes previous sexual encounters, only that I'd much rather concentrate on the present.
Has anyone else come across this area whilst doing the exchanges? How did you feel about it? Did you do it?

First intercourse

Hello Sook :D I have to say that I can definitely relate to your feelings about the Exchange that calls for discussing your first sexual experience with your wife. When my partner and I got to that Exchange, I was apprehensive both about talking and listening (especially since before we began the Exchanges, I had always envisioned the woman he had lost his virginity to as some kind of sex goddess, which I could never compare to).

But the experience turned out not to be the horror that I imagined. And I think now that I better understand the importance of it. First of all, the Exchanges are about building intimacy, both physically and emotionally. Sharing very personal experiences (even the ones we would like to forget) with someone who loves you in a safe non-judgmental environment builds trust, and opens the door to much deeper intimacy. As a woman, I can say that the experiences I was able to share with my boyfriend during the two Exchanges you mentioned, were about things which I had at many times wanted to share with him, because I longed for that kind of intimacy, but never felt that I could.

During the "First Intercourse Experience" Exchange, relief came for me when I realized that for most people, the first sexual experience is less erotic, and more innocent and awkward. I'm saying this because maybe it will help you be less afraid or turned off by the idea of hearing about your wife's experience. And it may even help you (as it did me) to see that beautiful innocence of your wife, and remember it about yourself. The return to that state of pure, innocent love is what the Exchanges are all about, after all. Good luck to you!

First Intercourse

Hi Sook. I read your concern about the intercourse exchange and Mari's reply. I was actually going to write you but she beat me to the punch. I'm really glad that you replied further with curiousity as to how I felt about the whole thing. When we first started doing the exchanges, I had skipped ahead in the book and looked at all the exchanges before we started them, so I knew that this particular one was coming. To be honest, I wasn't really looking forward to it. I knew how Mari felt about my ex, and I was terrified that I may say something to hurt her, or make her jealous. I wasn't thrilled with the idea of hearing about her past either. But when the time came, and it was a long time with many trials and errors, talking about the first time shot up the ladder on the intimacy scale, and it took our trust to a whole new level. I don't think that anybody is really excited about hearing their partner talking about having sex with someone else. I don't think anybody is really excited about telling their current partner about sexcapades with past partners. But I realized that no matter what Mari has been through, or what she has experienced in the past with another person, she is here with me now. And on top of that, there aren't any more secrets. You don't have questions about who they've been with, how they were with them, and how they're rated in your partners mind. It somehow loses any relevence at that point. It's not like we just openly talk about getting laid in the past to each other anytime, anywhere. It's just that all judgement and suspicion is gone. I guess in order to move forward, you have to chisel away at the past a little bit (or a lot). It sounds like such a cliche'. I'm sorry. I think it is natural to be a little uncomfortable about the subject, but I think that's a positive sign. It would be a lot worse if you were completely apathetic. It was a scary for me but I understood the point of it after we finished the exchange. I guess all I can say is to try to stay loving towards each other, and don't judge, just like in exchange six. I hope that was some kind of help. If not, please write back again.

First intercourse

My thinking in including this topic in the Exchanges was to help couples remember what would have made them feel more safe and loved in their earlier encounter...not to embarrass anyone. Rather than tell your current partner, "I want you to do this or that," it's easier to say, "I would have felt more safe or loved had my first experience included....Instead it was...." A caring partner then has helpful clues to use in present. So it's quite possible to keep the emphasis on technique exchange...rather than other other intimate details..although they can be comforting, too.
In any case, I do think it's good for couples to practice sharing as openly as possible. Part of having a companion in life is being safe to talk about anything...and the realization that things have been challenging for all of us.