Is there any advice you can offer to help us back on the right track physically?
My girlfriend and I have been dating for over 2 years, and are both 17, almost 18. My girlfriend is very into the no-sex till-marriage ideology, which i totally respect and appreciate. Problem is, i feel that after 2 years, i'm more than ready for more physically.
My girlfriend has been flip-flopping over the last 16 months about everything physical, and i feel it's really destroyed that part of our relationship. She tried oral sex, but decided she was uncomfortable, and so we stopped. But then she tried again, and again, and again, all with the same result. It got to a point where i told her to stop trying because it hurts me.
Recently, she decided that even fingering, which we've been doing off and on since last December, was off limits again. I see this as a sign that she's not as comfortable with me as she should be, and it's bothering me. The rest of the relationship is really great, and we get along great, but our physical side has been dying over the last 7 months, and we only become physical once a month or so.
Is there any advice you can offer to help me get us back on the right track physically? (We've talked about it extensively to no avail.)
It is great that you and your girlfriend are talking about your sexual relationship. These issues can be hard to discuss and can make people feel very uncomfortable.
It is difficult to offer you any specific advice regarding getting things ‘back on track' because it seems as though ‘on track' has never really been consistent or well defined. Perhaps what you are seeking is to reach a stage where your girlfriend is more willing to try certain sexual activities again? However, this seems to contradict your expressed respect and appreciation for where she is at with her decisions in this area of your relationship.
Your girlfriend has let you know that she wants to keep her virginity until marriage. Beyond 'having sex', many girls (and guys) who make this decision often struggle with defining what is OK sexually/intimately, and what is not. There are so many different behaviours that a couple can engage in, it's hard to know where to draw the line. In the end, it comes down to what a person is comfortable with, and this can take some time to work out (and may involve some experimentation to ‘test the boundaries').
Your girlfriend has clearly been through a stage where she has been interested in exploring a range of sexual activities with you. However, some of these have caused her to feel uncomfortable, and as a result she seems to have withdrawn from you in reaction to this. This doesn't mean that she is not comfortable with you but that she is not comfortable with the activities. Be careful not to confuse this and take it too personally.
What your girlfriend needs is active support and understanding from you. Show her that you are really OK with where she is at, rather than continuing to ask her to talk about it or try new things with you. She may simply not be ready, and pressuring her will not help. I understand that you are feeling frustrated, but try not to let this frustration influence what you say and do. It could negatively affect your relationship in the long term.
It also sounds as though your relationship, while lacking sexual intimacy, also lacks affectionate or general intimacy. Are you kissing and hugging often? Do you make an effort to continue to do the activities that she is comfortable with, despite having these issues? It's easy to let sexual problems get in the way of general physical contact, further leading to distance between a couple and making the initial problem worse. Try to express your feelings for her regularly so that she knows how much you care for her.