I feel like I live in a perpetually confused state when it comes to what I want out of a romantic relationship. I lacked confidence growing up and I didn’t have sex or a boyfriend until I was 22. And shortly after losing my virginity is when I was raped. Once I ended things with my boyfriend instead of fearing men I started sleeping with anyone, I think I was trying to take back something that was taken from me, I’m honestly not entirely sure what my mindset was. I had a string of one night stands that left me feeling empty. But my first ever relationship had left me feeling the same way. I struck up a friendship with someone who lived in another state and I fell in love with him. We talked all day every day and I opened up in ways I never had before. I went a long time being loyal to him and because of that the only sex I was having was phone sex. When we finally ended I didn’t know what to do, I overheard someone talking about sugar daddies and decided to give it a try. I met a man who was much older than me and started sleeping with him regularly. That’s the first time I started to learn what I like in the bedroom and actually enjoyed sex. I eventually ended things with him as the relationship would never be sustainable. I went back to one night stands but for the most part I kept it to people that I knew this time around. I also would go long periods of time without having sex with others, I had it with myself instead. Even sleeping with people I knew, the sex wasn’t fulfilling, I wasn’t enjoying it. But I wasn’t searching for a boyfriend and would never give the guys a second chance, I didn’t want to get attached. At 27 I met a man that I assumed would be another one night stand, but instead we continued having sex. It was hands down the best sex I have ever had, I got addicted to it. I did my best to keep my heart out of it and just let it be sex, that didn’t work out for me but I never said anything. Almost a year into our little situationship I started showing signs of a STD. I had one once before at 23 but I took a pill and it was gone in a few days. I could tell this was different, I went to the doctor and my fears were confirmed, I had herpes. In that moment I felt like my sex life was over for good, I would never sleep with anyone again. But fast forward and we decided to just keep what we were doing, we couldn’t change anything now. At this point I was attached but I thought that was okay. I figured we would just continue on like we had been forever. A couple months later my fantasy would come crashing down when he ended things. I spiraled out for awhile, I was sad that I lost him, I went from having amazing sex regularly to no sex at all, I feared no one would want to sleep with me because of the herpes. Eventually I worked on moving on, I met new people and found out that for a lot of people STD’s, even the incurable ones aren’t that big of a deal. I found new confidence in myself but I was once again not enjoying sex. But I was once again not giving these men much of a chance. I wanted back the comfortability of what I had lost but I also realized that I wanted more than just sex, I wanted intimacy, I wanted a relationship. I spent a year trying to find it but that guy and that sex was always in the back of my mind. I reached out in hopes he had changed. We went back to having that amazing sex that I missed so much but he wasn’t fulfilling me in the other ways that I needed. He ended things with me for my own benefit and it broke my heart. I’m still heartbroken writing this today. And I’ve already tried to fill the void, because that’s what I do, even when I know it won’t work. I want to believe that someone out there will be able to give me both great sex and love but all I have known my entire life is compromising one or the other. Either you have love or you have great sex and at 29 I can’t say with confidence which is more important to me..