All the different types of sex a new relationship
Ruhi Lee explores the changing seasons of sex in a young relationship: forbidden sex, honeymoon sex, sex when you’re sleep-deprived and menstrual sex.

Winter, 2007

The car windows were fogged up. How much could a couple of teenagers exhale without passing out? Who cares, we were too busy breathing in every last moment together, as though someone was about to tear us apart forever. We held on just as desperately as my boyfriend’s old Nissan Pulsar was clutching to dear life. We were in love and scared of it, going to great lengths not to get caught.

Though my family had lived in Melbourne for my whole life, my strict, Indian parents wanted me to have an arranged marriage in my mid-20s. When they found out I had a boyfriend in Year 12, all hell broke loose. They told me to break up with him, but, of course, I hadn’t. And they suspected it. Since then, I was being watched closely. Except on Thursday, in the hour after the school bell rang and tuition began two suburbs away.

My boyfriend picked me up from the station. We only had 60 minutes every week. Parked at the end of a quiet street, backing onto a footy oval, I had my legs on either side of him in the back seat. My hands were moving through his soft, brown hair and his knees were pressed tightly against my hips. Buttons undone, our sweaty torsos as close as close can be, we made-out like there was no tomorrow.

“Can I take this off?” he asked about my purple and yellow polkadot Elle Macpherson bra. “Yeah,” I whispered back. He saw my breasts for the first time that day. With his British origins, we were like chocolate and ivory. I didn’t know what he’d think of the brownness of them. Being the sheltered young 17-year-old I was, I thought he was just going to look at them and I’d put them away. I had no idea what to expect. But before I could take anymore guesses, I involuntarily closed my eyes, threw my head back and let out a moan. His tongue was on my nipple.

We were burning the rule book and any prospects of a sequel. We were wild.

Summer, 2013

Six years later, we’d defied the odds and been pronounced husband and wife. We’d just returned to the hotel after a stormy day in the Daintree Rainforest. Tearing off our wet clothes, we plunged into our seventh consecutive night of sex. We were hungry for this. So we didn’t bother getting under the sheets. We went straight to devouring. We were finally free to be together.

It was the last night of our honeymoon in Port Douglas. Tired, bare and satisfied, we laid there reflecting on the beautiful week gone by in the company of palm trees, water and warm air. Then we dreamed of our future. “We’re going to have babies one day. Can you imagine?!” I said. “Yeah,” he smiled.

Spring, 2017

“Ooh! A little softer,” I said. My belly had dropped and our baby was almost a week overdue. They say the sex can sometimes help bring on labour. Also, why not? So, we enthusiastically got to work.

“Sorry,” he said. And we took it easy. Though it was slightly more uncomfortable and took me longer to change positions at nine-months pregnant, we managed it.

My forewaters broke a few hours later. It was the last time we were going to have sex for weeks. We’d heard that a couple’s love life can often suffer when a child comes into the picture. So we promised each other that night that when we felt ready to have sex again, we would prioritise it by scheduling it in twice a week.

Summer, 2019

Thus far, we’d done pretty well keeping to our twice-a-week pact. Sometimes we were too sleep-deprived to indulge ourselves in anything more than a hug. Other times, our baby woke up crying while we were still in the middle of foreplay. And from time to time, conflict resolution over a disagreement took all energy we might have otherwise had for sex.

Still, two years after having our child, we impressed ourselves with our emotional and physical commitment to each other.

One day, I decided to expand my reading to include a bit of erotica. In The Pisces by Melissa Broder, a woman falls in love with a merman. I read about how he wanted to perform oral sex and make love to her when she had her period because he wanted all of her. I was intrigued.

Being exposed to the idea of sex during menstruation made me question why we’d always treated it as a “blackout period”. Even when we were aroused, we’d do it on the fourth or fifth day when the flow of blood had almost ceased. It wasn’t a conscious choice not to have sex during my period. We just thought it was the “done” thing.

So, on the morning of my next period, I told my husband about what I’d been thinking. He suggested making it happen that night. I was down for it. But the evening came around and I was super grouchy and emotional, wanting only cuddles and a book.

So, we tried the following night. The only thing we did differently to non-period sex was to lay a towel underneath. We’d just put our little one to sleep, so we had all night … or at least the first half. We get under the sheets.

That night, everything he did to me made me inhale so deeply that I thought my chest would burst open. I loved hearing him enjoy the way I made him feel, too.

I stopped us for a second and looked into his eyes to say, “Far out, I love you so much. It’s so true that sex gets better over time. Well, for me anyway. How about you?”

I’d put on quite a bit of weight and was more self-conscious than I was in the car all those years ago or on our honeymoon. These days, I made sure I was under the sheets more often. I didn’t like the way my body had changed.

“Yeah! Definitely.”

“Really? I feel like I was so much more attractive on our wedding night than I am now,” I said.

“Well, on our wedding night, I was like, ‘Yay, sex!’ but now I just want to ravish you,” he said.

I pulled him back in toward me and as we kissed, I let images from the past 13 years float through my mind of this primal and deeply spiritual love we share. Honestly, I still pinch myself thinking about our relationship. I wonder what will be next.


Ruhi Lee is currently writing her memoir and co-hosting the podcast, Young, Brown and Not Entirely Free. She works and writes on Boon Wurrung land. You can follow her @Lee_Ruhi on Instagram.