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Damn You Uma!

April 1, 1999

MR. SAVAGE IS ON VACATION THIS WEEK. Enjoy this column from the week before the Bay of Pigs invasion, part of our "Savage Classics" collection!

Two letters arrived the other day in the same envelope. There was a note attached, instructing me to read this one first:

I am a het woman engaged to be married to a man I love very deeply. He is a feminist, supportive and caring, and loves me very much. We've been seeing each other for about three years, and living together for the last two. The trouble is sex. I am very enthusiastic about sex, and very vocal and demanding. He, depressingly, is simply not sexually attracted to me.

At the beginning of the relationship, it was incredible. He's a fabulous lover when he wants to be. Then the frequency slowly tapered off to the point at which I would periodically make an attempt to start the engine, but he rarely did. He then told me he found my sexual advances to be a turn-off, so I stopped making them.

When we had a discussion that I wasn't happy with the decline in the frequency of our lovemaking, we entered into an agreement for a once-a-week date night, but lately it's really been making me feel rejected, like he's only putting out to live up to the bargain--which is making me feel less desirable than ever. My self-esteem is really suffering because the sexual side of me is so important. There are, of course, different reasons why someone wouldn't find someone else sexually attractive. He grew up with images of women from comic books and movies, both of which he still avidly consumes. Intellectually, he understands from a feminist perspective what such images do to women, but I don't think he's grasped the idea from a psychological perspective.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that I don't look like Uma Thurman. I'm constantly battling my weight, while he, through unswerving diligence (and good genes, I'm convinced), has a very cut bod. We've talked about having me take another lover, but I'm really not interested in anyone but him. And the thought of him sleeping with someone else--presumably someone he would find more sexually attractive--really upsets me.

Can a marriage work out when there's a sexual problem like ours going on? It isn't a case of needing counseling or anything--we are able to talk through our feelings very easily--it's just that he doesn't find me desirable. Everything else is great. Think we should call off the wedding?

Wedding Bell Blues

My first thought upon reading WBB's letter was that her fiancé probably has a lower sex drive than she does, and she was misinterpreting this as rejection, and she shouldn't compound her misery by comparing herself to Uma Thurman. He wouldn't be marrying her if he wasn't in some way sexually attracted to her. Right? Then in I read the second letter, which was from WBB's fiancé...

My turn. I'm the het white mail engaged to Wedding Bell Blues. We have a terrific home life. I enjoy her company, and love coming home to her every day. She is a beautiful person whom I love dearly and am looking forward to spending the rest of my life with.

But whereas we are compatible on so many levels, we just can't seem to work out our sexual problems. I may not have a handsome face, but I am on the buff side of fit, while she is cute, cuddly, and as they say, leans toward the Rubenesque. She has a strong sex drive (to put it mildly) and is still wildly attracted to my body, while I am, sadly, attracted to a different, more stereotypically pretty body type.

I realize that this problem of ours stems from my inability to be turned on by women who do not fall into the media's conception of beautiful--I get my kicks from the Uma Thurmans of this world--but I don't know what to do about it. When WBB and I are having sex, I fantasize about curvy movie stars or porn queens to get off.

This has led to feelings of rejection, inadequacy, and low self-esteem in WBB. While I am theoretically in favor of taking discreet lovers on the side, to satisfy her need for frequent sex and my attraction to a different body type, the logistics of working out secondary relationships doesn't seem worth it. Of course, STDs would be another problem.

So as our wedding day approaches, we remain stumped and increasingly uneasy. Should we call the whole thing off simply because only one aspect among many is not working in our relationship, or should we go ahead and continue to get off by infrequent sex (for her) and fantasies and masturbation (for me)?

No Sex Please

Hey, Wedding Bell Blues and No Sex Please:

DO NOT GET MARRIED! WHAT ARE YOU TWO THINKING?!

The importance of sex in marriage can be overstated--the importance of sex can be overstated, period (especially in sex advice columns). It is, as NSP says, only one aspect. But the importance of sexual compatibility within marriage, at least at the starting gate, cannot be stressed enough. "Sexual compatibility" does not mean going at it like howler monkeys at every opportunity; it means having similar sexual expectations--at least being on the same page.

Listen, Ms. WBB: Your expectations can not be reconciled with NSP's attitudes. You're in love with him, you're physically attracted to him, and he--BY HIS OWN ADMISSION--finds you physically repulsive. If your sexual side is so important to you, why would you even consider marrying this man?! Some sexual problems can be worked out, but a complete lack of physical attraction on one person's part (to say nothing of a complete lack of consideration or empathy) is one that date nights and cut-rate feminist blather cannot fix. If you do marry him, your feelings of rejection, inadequacy, and low self-esteem are only going to grow, and will--if you have a spine in that Rubenesque bod of yours--turn to feelings of despair, anger, and rage. DO NOT MARRY THIS MAN.

Now, Mr. NSP, just what kind of sensitive New Age sadist are you? Is destroying this woman's self-esteem giving you some sort of thrill? I can't think of any other reason why you would be in a romantic relationship with a woman you are not in the least bit physically attracted to, other than the sheer pleasure of making her miserable. You both describe your relationship as open and communicative, but there is such a thing as too open and too communicative: sometimes "honesty" is thinly disguised cruelty.

When you realized that WBB did not in the least bit attract you, you should have quickly and respectfully ended this relationship, without going out of your way to tell her that it was because, oh, her fat ass makes your dick go limp. By drawing this out, you have turned what could have been a short-lived, fondly remembered affair into a self-esteem-destroying virus that could eat away at this woman for the rest of her life. If this is how you treat a woman you love, I'd hate to see what you'd do to a woman you dislike.

WBB, you need to get out. NSP, you need to get help. But whatever you two do, DO NOT GET MARRIED.

letters@savagelove.com

 

Commenting was not available when this article was originally published.

Comments (7) RSS

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1
9 years later. What happened? I'm reading this because I'm in a similar situation. The only difference is that I've been dating a woman, 10 years older than me (im 28 shes 38), married when we first met who has since divorced him to be with me. We are two years into the relationship and I do love her to death, and at times DO still find her sexually appealing. However, Just as in NSP's scenario, I find myself looking at very attractive women closer to my age and wishing she could be my age. Face it. She's 10 years older than I am, and it shows. 25-28 year old women are just more attractive sexually. However ouside that I love my woman to death. Shes still very pretty. I just cant stop but lookin at younger women and wishing my woman was just younger looking. I've seen plenty of pictures when she WAS younger as well.

Thing is. I will not tell her. I simply just "am not in the mood" often... Even though in reality I am. But then on hte other hand theres tiems I look at her and am still like wow.

Shity situation to be in. I would never tell her though. And I do love her. So my options are to keep downplaying my drive, or to leave. And I dont like the second choice.

My long term thought is when we're both 60 or 70 and wrinkly, how attracive will we really find eachother any damn way.
Posted by Billybob Fredfrank III on November 18, 2008 at 7:17 AM · Report this
2
Billybob,

10 years is not the end of the world if you truly love her and find her sexually attractive. If you do not, while I am apt to say end the relationship, I am more feeling that you should come clean and tell her your issues. She left her previous husband for you; surely you must have discussed the "what happens 20 years from now when i am 48 and you are 58?" If you were to end your relationship when WBB and NSP did, all is well and no harm done, but if you keep lying to her and then cut her loose, she has so much more to lose than you do.

If there is still some love and attraction, I would say muscle through it like the man you are, because I promise you, when you are 60 and 70, and have had a lifetime of happiness behind you, you aren't going to care that she is 10 years older and wrinkly. You will be wrinkly too (and most likely fat and bald... so at that point be thankful if she doesn't dump your ass for a younger model).

In any case, decide quickly because every day you lie to her about not being in the mood or lie about finding her attractive or lie about not wanting a 28 year old girlfriend/bride, you are LYING to your woman who you love so much. And no one deserves that.
Posted by Your Name Here on December 12, 2008 at 1:08 PM · Report this
3
Oh my goodness, what happened? I want a follow-up column for some of the best letters.
Posted by Makenna on August 20, 2010 at 7:47 AM · Report this
4
I can't stand this.

It's not an act of love to shred her self confidence, every day. It's not an act of love to rub her nose, every day, in the fact that she just doesn't do it for you. You say you love her - stop throwing her the odd pity fuck, and let her go to find somebody who *wants* her. Undermining her self confidence is not really the way to show you love her.
Posted by agony on February 14, 2011 at 4:56 PM · Report this
5
NSP, you're a sick fuck and I hope you fucking rot. Btw, you spelled "male" wrong, Mr. intellectual.

WBB, you are a retard.
Posted by chanybanany on June 11, 2011 at 11:01 AM · Report this
6
NSP, as a psych student, I must say, you're a sick fuck. Btw, you spelled "male" wrong.

WBB, you poor, poor retard...
Posted by chanybanany65 on June 11, 2011 at 11:13 AM · Report this
rex everything 7
#6: Spot on.
Posted by rex everything http://https://www.facebook.com/pages/RexEverything/188124174552093 on June 14, 2011 at 8:01 PM · Report this

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