Sex advice with Suzi Godson: I think she might just be too sexy for me

I’ve started dating a really gorgeous, passionate woman. We haven’t had sex yet and she jokes about how buttoned-up I am. To be honest, I am worried she is right. I really fancy her — I can’t believe my luck. But I’m feeling so intimidated that I have been putting off sex with her.

A woman who knows her own mind, as your passionate new partner appears to, would not be with you if she did not fancy you. Opposites attract, and for a woman who wears her heart on her sleeve, your buttoned-up demeanour is probably the thing that she finds most attractive about you. That’s not particularly surprising, nor is it unusual.

From James Bond to Mr Darcy, the restrained exterior masking a deeply passionate interior has been a standard hook in literature and film for centuries.

Although you obviously really like her, you seem to be afraid to let her know quite how much. While I can understand why you feel intimidated by your feelings for your girlfriend, hold on to the fact that it is the very differences between you that create this chemistry. When two assertive individuals have sex with each other, there is often a battle for dominance, and when two very shy people have sex, neither one is willing to take the lead. In contrast, when one partner is a passionate extrovert and the other is more ‘buttoned up’, it gives the sexual relationship momentum and creates an exciting “push you, pull me” dynamic.

One of the mistakes people make in new sexual relationships is that they try to be the person they think their partner wants them to be. It never works.

When it comes to evaluating new sexual partners, most humans are highly skilled. Research by Professor Frank Bernieri of Oregon State University in the US suggests that we form an initial impression of someone in the first 15 seconds of meeting them. Because romantic relationships tend to be more meaningful than, for example, professional ones, in the first few hours of meeting a potential partner we will assess their personality, their sense of humour, their interests, their passions, their commitments, their background, their education and their social network. We are alert to inconsistencies and warning signs. And if we are very attracted to them, we will be doing all this while blindsided by feelings of sexual desire.

However insecure you feel, reassure yourself that you have passed this test. Your girlfriend has deemed you to be a suitable partner for her, so don’t go changing. Be your authentic self, and if you can, try to tell her how you feel about her. She will not be turned off by the fact that you really fancy her and feel incredibly lucky to be with her. If you feel anxious, be honest about that too. She probably knows that you find her intimidating, so you won’t be telling her anything new. You will, however, be demonstrating that you are not afraid to be open, and that sets a good example for her too.

Although introverts often envy how confident extroverts appear to be, many extroverts wish they could rein themselves in and are acutely self-conscious of their need to fill silence at any cost. It is true also that extroverts only tend to share the upbeat stuff, so your vulnerability will give her permission to access the parts of herself that don’t get to the surface.

Most of all, believe in yourself. You are what she isn’t; the yin to her yang. And she needs what you can give her, just as much as you want what she is offering you.

Send your queries to

suzigodson@mac.com

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