Q. My bf insists on 'exploring the backdoor' but I am petrified of it. In a previous relationship, I had an extremely painful experience and was unable to walk for days. I am afraid if I tell him about it, he will make an issue. And when I refuse, he keeps persisting. How do I make him understand?
Ans: Sounds like you want to make your boyfriend feel very special and are afraid of letting him down. You don’t want him to be disappointed with you because of your past and your unmatched sexual preferences.
You probably feel he will stop loving you and leave you for someone else. The good news is that his disappointment with your reasons for saying no is not only inevitable but also an important path to achieve deeper connection.
Saying no to him and telling him about your past is a great opportunity to disappoint him and become closer to him. It is said that couples who have an empowered approach to disappointment have the most resilient relationships.
When you will tell him why you don’t want to have anal sex, you will be truly saying: “I am open to experimenting and my pleasure is important to me”. He might feel disappointed but he will also respect more for saying “I am worth it”.
Remember, healthy long lasting relationships are based on mutual respect. When you speak to him, acknowledge his disappointment lovingly and empathize to what he is feeling. Say: “It must be really hurtful to hear I had it with someone before you”.
In the long run, it is better that he experiences his disappointment than you shutting down and becoming resentful. Building resentment will create more disappointment and damage the relationship in the long term. Having said this, disappointment is not always resolvable. Your boyfriend might decide to leave you. See it as an opportunity to find someone kinder towards you.
(The writer is an Intimacy & Relationship Coach and an Independent People and Culture Specialist focusing on relationships, sexuality, youth and social media in South Asia. Have a query? Send it on firstname.lastname@example.org)