Navigating the world of online dating can be intimidating, confusing, and a little scary. Are you going to meet the expectations of a potential partner? Will this person live up to your expectations? What are the possibilities ?
For people who can’t have sex for medical or emotional reasons, these anxieties can be even more embarrassing.
That’s why Anna Leonarda, a 45-year-old divorced mother of two in Bloomingdale, launched on Wednesday. Embrace, a nationwide dating app for people who can’t or don’t want to have sex. Leonarda urges people to visit entwined.com to sign up for the service and click on the “Get Entwine Dating App” link.
“Right now that says sex won’t happen,” says Leonarda, who was inspired by her own situation.
“I’ve had painful sex all of my life,” says Leonarda, a breast cancer survivor who suffers from vaginismus, an involuntary contraction of the muscles around the vagina, making penetration painful.
Using existing dating apps was not an option for her.
“I was intimidated by traditional dating apps,” says Leonarda. “I didn’t feel comfortable getting involved in a relationship where the other person didn’t understand my sexual limits.”
Married for 20 years to the boyfriend she met in eighth grade, Leonarda divorced in March 2019. Using a traditional dating app and waiting for the topic to be brought up didn’t seem like the best way to announce on her date. that they wouldn’t be having sex together, Leonarda says.
” What will I do ? Which man will understand this problem? She remembers thinking. “Then I started to think, ‘What do guys with erectile dysfunction do? “What can I do to solve this problem for people?”
Entwine doesn’t question if there might be tiptoe sex, and people who sign up for Entwine know that is not an option. Leonarda says the population welcomes a variety of daters.
“Even at the age of 18, there are men and women who have this problem,” says Leonarda, whose website lists more than two dozen reasons contributing to a decision not to have sex, including health problems, drug side effects, post-traumatic stress disorder. a stress disorder which may be the result of sexual trauma and for religious or ethical reasons.
A to study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2020 noted that one in three men between the ages of 18 and 24 reported going an entire year without having sex.
Leonarda points out that taking a club out of a couple’s sex golf bag doesn’t mean they can’t be intimate. “People want companionship and privacy. We deserve it too,” she says, noting that there are seemingly endless ways to share intimacy and sexual activity without intercourse. “Intimacy doesn’t have to be sex.”
Some couples may just want to hold hands and watch a movie together from the sofa, or want nothing more than dinner with a good conversation. “When they meet, they can discuss their boundaries,” Leonarda says.
One of the hardest parts of building your app was coming up with the name Entwine. “In relationships, people intertwine their lives,” she says.
Entwine membership is free, but there is a charge for additional services.
“I want this to help people,” Leonarda says. “I don’t intend to get rich with this.”
Did she jump into the dating pool again?
“I didn’t,” Leonarda says. “I think I’ll wait for my application, when I know there will be a safe place.”