I don't know how long it was after we started having intercourse that the pain problem reared its ugly head. It wasn't right away; more than a couple months, less than a year is probably my best guess.
Man, that's depressing when I think about it that way. Did I really only get a year of having a half-decent sex life after I put my leftover Catholic aversion to intercourse aside and before it started hurting her?
I think I'm still realizing how badly it fucked both of us up. It's probably a miracle that it didn't fuck me up any worse, to be perfectly honest. I mean, think about it: you're raised in the same Blue Pill environment as the rest of male-kind, taught that sex isn't something women really like, but they might be willing to do it anyway if you're a very, very good little Beta boy.. Then on top of that you're raised Catholic, meaning that you're taught from a young age that sex before marriage will get you sent to hell (with the less explicit subtext that it's, at best, a necessary evil after marriage). And THEN, when you finally bring yourself around to the idea that maybe this thing that your Body Agenda has been screaming at you to do all along is maybe pretty okay after all, the person you love the most in the entire world informs you one day that it's been hurting her the last dozen times you've done it and she wants to stop because she's afraid she'll start hating your penis.
Thank God for the MMSL forums, seriously. It's one thing to read Athol's writing about it, you know, and quite another to actually see the posts coming from woman after woman, wife after wife, wanting to be fucked by their husbands (or at least, some sexier, more Alpha version of their husbands), wanting it rough, talking about Pound Town like it's someplace they actually want to go. To know that these women actually DO exist, they're not just a construct that men have come up with to populate our porn movies.
Which is not to say that L didn't like it that way too... when it didn't hurt. Which was the most confusing part about it. When she wanted it, she WANTED it. Hard, deep, with wild abandon. I couldn't do it hard enough for her. But when she didn't want it? There was no level of gentleness that would make it any good for her, no disguising that she just wanted it to be over. Oof. What a way to live.
So I stopped initiating. For a while we would do other things-- it was back to the HJs and BJs and fingering-- and then that petered out, too. Every once in a while she'd get up the gumption to ask a doctor about it, and the advice was always the same: take a break and see if it gets better. It never did. Sex was happening only when she initiated it, but that didn't seem to have any connection with the pain. It was hurting her less only because we were doing it less: the overall ratio of good : painful stayed pretty much the same.
And that was the way it went. Everything else got better, little by little. We moved into a nicer apartment. We started having enough extra money to take fun little vacations together. I quit the longest-lasting of my various horrible jobs and found one that wasn't so horrible, a night job stocking shelves. Which might sound still pretty horrible, but actually it wasn't half bad. It was hard physical labor, which meant that I got all the exercise I needed. The fact that it was at night wasn't great, but it meant that L and I had to make the most of the few hours every day when we were both awake and not at work. There's something to be said for giving yourselves the chance to miss each other. It was low stress and low pressure and I was working a day job that I actually enjoyed but that didn't give enough hours to be my primary job. L and I were really good friends and really good roommates and there was even a lot of love there.
Oh, sure, we weren't having sex enough for me, but on my nights off I had plenty of time to myself while she was asleep, and there was always porno. Oh, sure, our jobs still weren't great, but we were making enough to get by with enough left over for some fun, and in this economy, that was more than a lot of people. Sure, her back still hurt and sometimes she had trouble sleeping, but those are things you can live with. Sure, she wanted to move out of the crappy town we were in or go back to school or make something CHANGE, but it just never wound up happening, life would always get in the way. Sure, I probably drank and smoked pot and played video games a little more than was good for me, but I didn't really have a PROBLEM, I just liked a good time.
And that was our status quo. Nothing was exactly GREAT... but everything was good enough.
Until it wasn't.
Next time on "How I Got Here": Temptation, the Breaking Point, and MMSL