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Total Recall

March 9, 2011

Long story short: I cheated on my boyfriend three years ago. I admitted it nine months ago, and we've been in couples counseling for six months. My BF is very responsive in therapy, where we're working on his control issues, and he says everything the therapist expects him to during a session. Twenty-four hours later, though, he'll say, "I was listening to Dan Savage's podcast..." then take back everything he said to our therapist. He then ignores our therapist's advice because of some advice you gave to a differently situated couple!

Could you please tell your readers and listeners who are in counseling to ignore you and listen to their therapists?

Your No-Good Counsel

I won't go that far, YNGC—I will not be ignored—but I will go this far: It sounds like your boyfriend is still angry about the affair and isn't being fully honest during those therapy sessions. He's saying what he thinks the therapist wants to hear instead of owning his anger—pardon my psychobabble—and justifies his postsession backsliding/truth-telling by pointing to some fool thing I might have said on the podcast.

You can tell him that I said it's fine if he's still angry, and that's something he might want to talk with your therapist about, but I would appreciate being left out of it. And you can tell him I also said this: If he wants to stay with you, then he needs to forgive you and work on rebuilding trust. If he can't forgive you, he needs to leave you. But to jerk you around like this—even if you're the one who transgressed—is a dick move. And it's not the kind of dick move that I want to be associated with so, again, he should leave me out of it.

All of that said, YNGC, I'm thinking your boyfriend isn't being honest with your therapist—about his anger, about your relationship, about anything—because he maybekindasorta perceives these sessions to be a joint effort to shift the blame for your affair onto his shoulders. (A joint effort on the part of you and your therapist.) You say you're "working on his control issues" during these sessions. That's nice. If your boyfriend has control issues, YNGC, then by all means work on 'em. If you're not working on your own issues—if your therapist doesn't think you have any issues—then I don't blame your boyfriend for not taking your therapist or these sessions seriously.

I'm a 24-year-old female and I've just started seeing a great guy. The chemistry was insane—he's a great kisser, he loves going down—and this had me thinking that the sex would also be great.

We've now slept together a few times and... it could be better. He's got all the moves—not to mention being really well endowed—but he just lies there like a dead fish. Very little thrusting and he doesn't use his hands. I've asked him to do it doggie style (some improvement) and I've said stuff like "Faster! Harder!" (also with some improvement). But any momentum he gets is fleeting. It's like he's thinking too much about the act instead of losing himself in it.

I really like him and enjoy his company. But sexual compatibility is really important, too! How can I address the "dead fish" issue? Is this going to be a deal breaker?

Everything But The Sex

He appears to be concentrating ("thinking too much about the act"), he keeps thrusting to a minimum, he isn't using his hands in ways that might heighten your arousal or his own... hmm...

You might want to ask this great guy—who does great with at least one sex act (oral), but not great with at least one other (vaginal intercourse), but has already demonstrated the ability to improve (if only fleetingly)—if he used to have a problem with premature ejaculation.

Based on your description of what he's doing/not doing, EBTS, it sounds like your boyfriend is following the standard-issue advice given to premature ejaculators. To train themselves to last longer, preemies are advised to concentrate, to pay close attention to their arousal levels (so they don't get to the "moment of no return" too quickly), to thrust slowly and carefully, and to not overload themselves with too much additional stimuli (groping your breasts with his hands, say, while he's inside you). Your boyfriend may not be really "losing himself" in sex because he fears it will result in him coming too soon. This would also explain why he's a different man—and a better lay—when he's going down on you.

If I'm right, and PE is the issue, you can work on upping the intensity levels. It'll take time, EBTS, but it sounds like this guy is worth the investment.

I'm a 27-year-old gay man in a three-year relationship. My boyfriend has always been the mature one, I the immature one. Yesterday, I discovered he has a special e-mail account to look for sex with strangers. I saw chats and other evidence of cheating. We are not having safe sex since quite a long time. We are planning to start living together soon. He has always told me that he is incapable of cheating and many times said that if one of us would fail and cheat, it would be me.

I haven't talked to him. I cannot sleep.

Help My Disappointed Heart

Your boyfriend is a manipulative POS. He wanted the freedom to fuck other guys but didn't want his boyfriend to enjoy the same freedom. So he made you feel like you were the problem—he convinced you that you were the immature one and that you were the one most likely to cheat, he maliciously undermined your self-esteem—so that you would be too busy worrying about and scrutinizing your own shortcomings to notice his. DTMFA.

BEFORE WE GO: So... I've got some space to kill, and not sure what to do with it.

Do I come to the defense of J. Michael Bailey, the Northwestern University prof being attacked for inviting his adult students to stay after his popular human sexuality class to watch two adults engage in a wholly relevant display of human sexuality? Do I beat the hell out of Maryland's backstabbing, born-again bigot Sam "Political Suicide" Arora? (Don't have the room to unpack his transgression, dear readers, so you'll just have to trust me on this: Send a furious e-mail expressing nonspecific disgust to

Do I ask my readers to go to www and make a donation? Or go off on the latest anti-gay religious bigot to be exposed as a hypocritical sexperv? (Again, no room to unpack here—you'll just have to Google "Reverend Grant Storms," "arrested for masturbating in a public park," and "children were present" for all the details.)

Or do I use this space to promote the upcoming release of the It Gets Better book—It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living, edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller—which comes out March 22 and can be preordered now at or

Oh shit. Out of space.

Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at


Comments (199) RSS

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Robin8 1
Whoa! Can I really be first?

I am so glad Sam Arora isn't my delegate. Then again, my actual delegate is't that much better. But Arora is a prime-time douche, that's for sure.
Posted by Robin8 on March 8, 2011 at 5:10 PM · Report this
That sounds like one angry boyfriend. But if I were in a serious relationship for 3 years and found out I was put at risk (Did they use condoms? Did she "know" she was physically safe?) at all, especially that early on, I'd be pretty mad too. Three years is a long time to "live a lie".
Posted by ladyrockess on March 8, 2011 at 5:13 PM · Report this
Very true advice to HMDH, but my bet is that he is still an immature 27yo, and that's one of the reasons the bf started dating him 3 years ago. What better way to use maturity/immaturity to your advantage in a relationship than with someone that already has immaturity built into them! Twice the sex, half the effort of undermining their sense of self!
Posted by PDX_Paulie on March 8, 2011 at 5:18 PM · Report this
4 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
You forgot to tell HMDH to get tested for every STD known to man and a few that aren't. If this guy has been sleeping around on him and they aren't using protection, who knows what he's been exposed to?
Posted by blah on March 8, 2011 at 5:38 PM · Report this
Bullseye on why the BF in letter #1 is half-assing therapy. If I had been cheated on, went to therapy to try to rescue the relationship (or, at a minimum get the vindication of having my pain taken seriously), and the goal of therapy morphed into my control issues, I would be fucking furious. I have zero doubt that I would be pulling all kinds of passive-aggressive bullshit outside therapy, because the therapy itself was was a victim-blaming whitewash, with the official seal of approval of a licensed professional.

Yeah, I can relate a little too well to that scenario.
Posted by varmintito on March 8, 2011 at 5:48 PM · Report this
To EBTS and others with concerns about male PE:
Sounds like he's otherwise GGG. Have him thrust till he feels close, climb off before climax, and play with you using his hands or go down on you for 5 min while he calms down. After he gets you off a couple times that way and climbs back on, your sensitivity will be spectacular. Repeat as many times as y'all can stand. It'll be great.
Posted by FfanofDan on March 8, 2011 at 5:52 PM · Report this
Sam Arora is cray cray. He lied for an entire campaign and took more than $40k in campaign contributions.

Marriage is super close in #Marryland, and he mgiht have helped up lose. We'll know for sure this week.
Posted by #Marryland on March 8, 2011 at 5:58 PM · Report this
I have preordered this book to have on my shelf so if my kids or there friends ever face similar issues they can always go to that book. I keep a open line of communication but sometimes kids need to hear it from other sources and you did just that. Thanks Dan and Terry.
Posted by Yumietreat on March 8, 2011 at 6:51 PM · Report this
Canuck 10
"I will not be ignored!" Heh.

From what I've heard and read, many therapists tend to be pretty female-oriented, men don't often come out of sessions as the happy party. And am I just unevolved, or does it seem kind of silly to be in therapy for 6 months with a boyfriend of a few years?
Posted by Canuck on March 8, 2011 at 7:08 PM · Report this
I have a PE question: do the partners of these men complain that they wish intercourse lasted longer? I wonder if many men think they have a problem with PE, when they really have a problem with unrealistic expectations.
Posted by EricaP on March 8, 2011 at 7:10 PM · Report this
Canuck -- I think it may be unevolved. I've seen quite a few people go this route and it seems to makes sense to me. Frankly, I wish more couples of a couple of years would enter couples therapy BEFORE getting married--a little preventative medicine, if you will. It seems like a lot less folks would be getting married and then later divorced after a few years.
Posted by KL on March 8, 2011 at 7:41 PM · Report this
Arsfrisco 13
Dan - March 22 is my birthday. Just sayin.
Posted by Arsfrisco on March 8, 2011 at 9:23 PM · Report this
pastanaut 14
@11 A boyfriend had this problem briefly while on medication. True premature ejaculation means that they only last a few seconds, if they even get inside. Once he came while putting on the condom. Another guy I dated came after about 30 seconds. I'm not sure if that counts as premature, but it was certainly unsatisfying, and I am extremely easy to please. Of course many people have unrealistic expectation (would anyone really want the sex to go on all night?), but I think that most people are bright enough to know the difference between PE and "he doesn't last long enough for me."
Posted by pastanaut on March 8, 2011 at 9:32 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 15
Wow, you were actually pretty nice to the first writer.

"I cheated on my boyfriend and now we're in counseling because of his control issues and he's not improving."

That relationship is over. She's a waste of time and so is he. Grow up, learn from your mistakes, and start over. With someone else. That advice fits both of them equally.

That was easy.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on March 8, 2011 at 9:35 PM · Report this
From what I've been able to find out, it takes most people, on average a minimum of two years to recover from an affair after you end the affair by severing all contact with lover. If you can't or won't sever all contact then the affair has not ended and it is a waste of time to try and restore a nonviable relationship. Even if successful, the LW still has at least fifteen more before her relationship to heal. Most people lack the patience to restore a relationship
Posted by truth? and its consequences on March 8, 2011 at 10:47 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 17
Damn-- after three times through YNGC's letter, the only thing I read now is "I cheated on my boyfriend, kept it a secret for over two years, finally admitted it and after six months of therapy, he _still_ won't admit it's his fault! Damn you, Dan Savage!"
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on March 8, 2011 at 11:26 PM · Report this
@14: Wow, do you have any idea what medication he was using that made it easier to come as a side effect? Most of them just make it harder to come. I'd really like to know... that could help a lot of people.
Posted by BlackRose on March 8, 2011 at 11:36 PM · Report this
I can't figure out why I've already read the second letter. Was it posted somewhere before?
Posted by weird... on March 9, 2011 at 1:30 AM · Report this
paulpenn 20
The boyfriend has all the right to be angry because she put him at risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease.
Posted by paulpenn on March 9, 2011 at 2:26 AM · Report this
@9: Good for you, Yummietreat, but it's "their" and "an open line of communication".

@11: Oh EricaP, how cute. Don't you know that half the problems between Man and Woman come down to the insecurity of the male and his delicate Ego. PE and SI (Size Issues) are front and center here.

No matter if the woman says, "No, no it's just fine" -- or worse, says nothing -- the male will ask himself whether she's really happy with him, or if she's just being polite. And this eventually start to eat at him like Othello's over-active imagination.

There's no way out of this delightful little tango (Thanks God; you've got some sense of humor!). If he asks her to tell him The Truth, he'll only end up searching for signs of deceit. And since men don't discuss their emotional relationships honestly -- and certainly not the topics of size and stamina -- the male has nowhere else to turn for reassurance than, well, Dan Savage.

Posted by GasparFagel on March 9, 2011 at 3:41 AM · Report this
Posted by truth? and its consequences on March 8, 2011 at 10:47 PM @16:
"From what I've been able to find out, it takes most people, on average a minimum of two years to recover from an affair after you end the affair by severing all contact with lover. If you can't or won't sever all contact then the affair has not ended and it is a waste of time to try and restore a nonviable relationship. Even if successful, the LW still has at least fifteen more before her relationship to heal. Most people lack the patience to restore a relationship."

At some point one has to weigh the value of a possibly-healed relationship with the years you will spend hoping to save it.

My wife of 14 years became involved with another man 5 years ago. In the four years since I discovered their affair — writhing in pain all the while like, uh, an earthworm on a hot griddle? — their relationship has continued. Her promises to end it and her oaths of love and loyalty to me have become less and less convincing. But eventually, I got used to the hot griddle, and I don't cry much anymore. And since I admitted to myself that it's over — essentially shutting off all my emotions towards her and myself — I can sleep at night.

Me? I'm not sure it's worth another ten years' of therapy and trust-building. It's probably just better to end it, and put the effort into finding someone new.
Posted by GasparFagel on March 9, 2011 at 4:08 AM · Report this
The other thing I was wondering about with the possible preemie was maybe a previous girlfriend kinda messed with his head about sex. I had a boyfriend who could go FOREVER - we could keep each other occupied for hours. It was awesome. Some years after our breakup, after his marriage and divorce, we fell into bed and suddenly everything was over in about 5 minutes.I was like "Dude, what happened?" He explained sheepishly that his wife had impressed upon him that it was discourteous to take so long and so he'd speeded up his routine to please her. I was kind of appalled. Seriously, who doesn't appreciate sheet-tearing crazy monkey sex that goes on forever?
Posted by JrzWrld on March 9, 2011 at 4:30 AM · Report this
10/12 - I suppose "early therapy" is at least a sign that the catch is considered worth keeping, even if it could use a little fixing.

Canuck, you seem to half-answer your own question before you ask it. Why shouldn't YNGC be in therapy? She loves therapy. The therapist is on her side and her BF says exactly what she wants him to say. Probably that was what motivated her telling him about her infidelity. It got him into therapy, which is right where she wants him; now if only he would stop playing these annoying GAMES!

It actually would become a lot more interesting and complicated if YNGC were male, as bang would go the presumption of therapist's bias.

YNGC's saying she "admitted it" nine months ago is an artistic touch if the letter wasn't edited. What a cute way to steer the reader into the inference that poor YNGC was constantly subjected to cross-examination until she couldn't stand it any more.

It seems as if he'll dump her when he's done punishing her for tricking him into therapy. Works for me.
Posted by vennominon on March 9, 2011 at 5:28 AM · Report this
@23: people who are easily chafed, people who are easily bored, and people who don't have several hours free to fuck in.

There are a lot of reasons why people might like to have sex differently than you do.
Posted by Melony on March 9, 2011 at 5:31 AM · Report this
Wow. Lots of hating on the chick in the first letter. She really doesn't give a ton of details here; they could have just started going out when she cheated, or they could have been together for years or more. Plus, people are saying, "Well, he's mad because she put him at risk for STDs." but we don't know whether they were having safe sex or not, or whether she had safe sex with the other guy. We just don't know.

Also, although most people are accustomed to the lifelong therapy style, good therapy moves along pretty quickly and the therapist gets to the point promptly. 6 months is plenty of therapy; I'm not surprised if they've moved beyond the original reason for coming in.

And couples therapy is never about just one person(I'm looking at you here, @6!) and any therapist that is truly taking one person's side(as opposed to calling the other person on their bullshit) is ripe for complaint to their partners and their licensing agency, because that's the #1 no-no for therapists, and it is a serious transgression. Therapist guru says, "With great privilege comes great responsibility; do not increase the fuckedupedness of an already fucked up situation."

Not to mention that his control issues could be pertinent to the cheating; for example, now that he doesn't trust her, he might call her all the time to check up on her, or throw a fit if she goes out without him, or act like a controlling jerk generally. That would be something to address. But we also don't know that. All we know for sure is that she cheated, and that her boyfriend is being insanely passive-aggressive now and blaming it on Dan.

Anyway, to sum, could we stop the hating on therapy in general? It's not a contest to see who the therapist likes better, and the therapist is not calling a winner!
Posted by starfireming on March 9, 2011 at 5:44 AM · Report this
26/startfireming claims that "All we know for sure is that she cheated, and that her boyfriend is being insanely passive-aggressive now and blaming it on Dan."

No, only the first of your three knowns is there in the letter. There's no evidence in the letter that he's being passive aggressive or blaming Dan. She's blaming Dan for coming between her boyfriend and his therapist. The BF is doing things in the open with her by telling her outright what he thinks when he finds things he agrees with in Savage Love. He's not even lying to his therapist. As she states: he goes to therapy and then a day later he does some more thinking and research about the session using Savage Love as one source of study; then he comes to different conclusions than he reached earlier when it was just the therapist and girlfriend giving feedback. That's not passive-aggressive behavior on his part. That's him taking what came up in the therapy session and actually thinking about it further. That, having been in couple therapy myself, is a good thing. Its quite apart from just telling the partner or therapist what he thinks they want to hear just to get the fuck out off the therapy couch.

She's just unhappy that he has another source for understanding their relationship apart from the couples therapists. She's unhappy that her boyfriend doesn't stick strictly with only the therapist's advice. She's unhappy that her boyfriend isn't being controlled by the therapist in a manner she of which approves. Its all about control for her. Notice that her assessment of therapy is about how responsive her BF is and how he's working on things, but that she never mentions how its changing her?
Posted by TherapyWorkedWellForMeOnceButDidntAnotherTime on March 9, 2011 at 6:47 AM · Report this
You all want a perfect example of passive aggressive from YNGC? How about writing to Dan Savage about her boyfriend's use of Dan Savage to defend himself when she knows that he reads Dan Savage? That's some passive aggressive bullshit right there.

/therapy, the most expensive way to break up.
Posted by rpmer on March 9, 2011 at 8:29 AM · Report this
@ 20 - She never said she had unsafe sex during the affair, so why do you presume she did? Because YOU would?
Posted by Ricardo on March 9, 2011 at 8:37 AM · Report this
@26: It sounds like the LW liked what she was hearing from the therapist (i.e., it's about his control issues) and is trying to use that to manipulate/guilt trip the BF out of listening to or thinking about contrary views. She's trying to gaslight the BF, and wants Dan to back up her play. And as @28 notes, knowing that the BF is a Savage Love reader, this is pretty goddamn passive-aggressive.
Your decription of how therapy is SUPPOSED TO work is usually correct, but I didn't hear anything about how the therapy has forced her to confront her own dishonesty, or admit that it's her job to earn back the BF's trust. Sometimes the thereapist ends up siding with one partner simply because he/she is more fluent and comfortable using the language of therapy, and therefore is more sympathetic because he/she "gets it."
Posted by varmintito on March 9, 2011 at 9:11 AM · Report this
jfljoe 31
Dear Sir,

The recent revelation that you are a different man than the one elected to Congress is of no small consequence.  Your "born again" revisitation of your "morals" is disgusting in the fact that you have betrayed your people in the name of "self-realization."  A charlatan you are and I hope your god despises your two-faced nature.  No God of mine would smile upon one so easy to lie to and abandon those who placed their trust in his seemingly worthy hands.  Shame on you and your house. 

Distrustfully Yours,
Posted by jfljoe on March 9, 2011 at 9:20 AM · Report this
@14, oh, I agree that PE exists. But a lot of men who worry about PE are able to have PIV sex for a few minutes, which, in my book, is no longer PE, but just insecurity.

@23/25: I'm with Melony. When you're having sex several times a week, it can't all be "sheet-tearing crazy monkey sex that goes on forever."

Also, even though JrzWrld's ex-boyfriend chooses to blame it on his wife, the fact that he is (a) older, and (b) probably has more responsibilities now, both also lead to him wanting to spend less time on sex. Did you persuade him to slow down and smell the roses again, JrzWrld?

Posted by EricaP on March 9, 2011 at 9:47 AM · Report this
Bla bla shes a slut and hes a moper
Posted by KgB on March 9, 2011 at 10:01 AM · Report this
Arora is MY delegate and I've already written a VERY strongly worded letter. It took a few rounds of editing to get out all the profanity, though. Bullshit bait and switch pigfucker.

And as for the 27 year old gay cuckold -- wow, your boyfriend did a real number on you! "Oh, I'd never cheat -- YOU'RE the immature one." Liar. DTMFA.
Posted by AllieP on March 9, 2011 at 10:03 AM · Report this
That chic from the first letter is a whore slut bitch
Posted by Jasonf on March 9, 2011 at 10:31 AM · Report this
...because he maybekindasorta perceives these sessions to be a joint effort [on the part of you and your therapist] to shift the blame for your affair onto his shoulders ... If you're not working on your own issues—if your therapist doesn't think you have any issues—then I don't blame your boyfriend for not taking your therapist or these sessions seriously.

This, a thousand times. When I did divorce law I got so fucking sick of therapists who wanted to fix not the party with the problem but the party who wasn't as good at therapy. The erring party got a get-out-of-responsibility-free card from the therapist because they played the therapy game in a way that made the therapist most comfortable and happy.

And, given that the first words out of YNGC's mouth on the therapy was how they were working on his issues I'm rather inclined to think that Dan's suspicion is very spot-on.
Posted by seeker6079 on March 9, 2011 at 10:38 AM · Report this
First off,

WTF "Reverend" Grant Storms! Its always folks like that who drive the point all the way home, perpetuating this whole shameless cluelessness about exploring and celebrating sexuality in a "positive way." Oh. I guess we call that "fear." That whole thing makes me laugh a little bit, considering it just literally invalidates all his repressed ideas of antisexuality and Southern Decadence being something to picket about. Hah. Now he can picket about not being a chimo.

Right back at you #25.

@23 Everyone is entitled to be random as they want, as nasty or kennyg as they wanna be. Like a rabbit, or a monkey or even a a fantasy blob of plasma. Thats what makes things interesting, like rubix cube style with every partner. I always find that accepting sexual diversity is incredibly important to not only exploring your own, but maintaining a healthy attitude towards sex in general.

That being said, EBTS, girl, PE can lead to ED, which and can be entirely a mental block that can truly mess with the flow of a budding sexual relationship. Remain positive, and continue to be supportive to dude, as well as yourself. Maybe take turns being pampered, until you both figure out what permutation will be beneficial to both parties. Have lots of conversations about whats erotic to you independently, to get inside his head a bit more. Then incorporate it. Maybe the best time to talk about whats erotic is right after performing various sexual acts. Reflection, for example. Be encouraging and honest.
Posted by Chauncey on March 9, 2011 at 10:56 AM · Report this
@32, I would have tried if I'd have decided to stick with him. We drifted apart rather amiably for other reasons (the same reasons that broke us up originally).

But my point was, previous lovers can leave residue. It takes a while to adapt sometimes. An explicit discussion about issues, hopes and expectations is probably in order for the LW and her bf.
Posted by JrzWrld on March 9, 2011 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Here is hoping the boyfriend of letterwriter No. 1 will know of her letter and read this thread. (She sure won't show him *now on her own!)

Dude, dump that CPOS. Seriously. Therapy? For for girlfriend of a few years? Who failed to mention for a few years that she liked getting dick on the side, while you presumably remained monogamous?

I am sure hoping you are getting all kinds of poon on the side and laughing at this whole "fix the relationship" narcissism your girlfriend is focused on. In short, I hope you are "gaslighting" her while she and this therapist are trying to gaslight you.
Posted by Because podcast listeners are readers too! on March 9, 2011 at 10:59 AM · Report this
ooo correction:

"have lots of conversations about whats erotic to you independently [From eachother] to get inside [eachother's] head more."

oops. sorry lots of advice but not enough articulation there.
Posted by Chauncey on March 9, 2011 at 10:59 AM · Report this
Canuck (hi!) @10:
From what I've heard and read, many therapists tend to be pretty female-oriented, men don't often come out of sessions as the happy party.
Agreed. I've seen it with male and female therapists both. Truth be told from what I've seen (YMMV) most therapists [outside BS patriarchal religious counseling] see the man as a problem to be solved rather than having any valid positions that need be truly considered (rather than just listened to).

And FWIW there was a great Savage Love blog thread on this very topic some months ago:
Posted by seeker6079 on March 9, 2011 at 11:00 AM · Report this
I have zero doubt that I would be pulling all kinds of passive-aggressive bullshit outside therapy, because the therapy itself was was a victim-blaming whitewash, with the official seal of approval of a licensed professional.

AHahahahaha...BINGO! BTDT! I allowed myself to become enmeshed with a borderline, and the gas-lighting I got was a nightmare. She snowed the therapist (he had an even bigger white knight complex than I did) in very very short order (like, um two sessions) and suddenly I was the party who was expected to be making all the changes. Thank $DEITY I had some self-confidence and working memory of not-so-crazy relationships and I punted both of them.

This is a very clear case of DTMFA - for both of them. They will be Immensely happier - immediately - I know I was and I have had healthy relationships since then.

Not to be harsh on YNGC, but even if her BF is an insecure, manipulative and controlling nutjob (ie, does need to take responsibility and change his ways), having an affair is well beyond whacking the wasps' nest with a big stick (was the affair purportedly somehow the result of his controlling behavior?). How does the line go? Oh, right, "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you." This is the very deepest fear of insecure people and she's now validated that fear in a concrete way.

She should never have admitted the affair, and if her conscience wouldn't permit that, then she should have just broken up with him. Not all problems can be "fixed" and not all people - no matter how 'in love' (and why oh why else persist for this length of time?) they are - are good or right for each other.

I want to ask: if he (BF) is so controlling that his behavior in some way drove her to an affair, why on earth is she still wasting time with him? Dump him and go have sex with someone who isn't making you nutso! Of course, I suspect BF didn't drive YNGC to the affair, rather she has a wandering eye and in the masochistic way insecure people are, he was drawn to her partly because of it...then she went and validated it.

I'm biased I'm sure - I have two major failed LTRs on my report card - but honestly, if you aren't married and don't have kids, and you already need therapy...just let it go and save everybody the hassle. Go see a therapist on your own if you think you want to work on some personal growth based on experiences and lessons learned in this relationship.
Posted by knkycva on March 9, 2011 at 11:07 AM · Report this
JrzWrld @ 38:
...previous lovers can leave residue...
Heh. True, that:
Type One Issue: That component of a your character that is screwed up due to a previous relationship.
Type Two Issue: That component of a your character which will be screwed up due to your current relationship.
Type Three Issue: What your current boyfriend or girlfriend has when your Type One Issue gets in the way of their attempts to give you a Type Two Issue.…
Posted by seeker6079 on March 9, 2011 at 11:08 AM · Report this
Great column this week. Funny and spot on.
Posted by slidebone on March 9, 2011 at 11:11 AM · Report this
to Everything But The Sex,
I had a similar problem to your boyfriend, and maybe I can offer some advice from my experience. It takes a little effort on your part, but it will be worth it in the end.

When I was having problems as a preemie, I did this. I had sex with my girlfriend exactly the same way I normally would, deep thrusting, lots of grabbing and sqeezing, eye contact, everything that would normally make good sex except for one thing, I went really really slow. Every time I was about to cum, I stopped, waited for the feeling to go away, then I started going slow again. It frustrated my girlfriend to no end, but I only had to do it once, and I never had the problem again. I have married the same girl, and we regularly have hour long sessions.

Part of the reason I think my method worked is that it made me feel in control of my dick. When you preemie, you don't feel like you are in control of yourself. The slow-go method allowed me to feel more in control, upped my confidence, which gave me more control, etc.

I hope it works for him as well.
Posted by MartintheMundane on March 9, 2011 at 11:16 AM · Report this
@43, please don't depress me - I'm just re-entering the dating scene!

Posted by JrzWrld on March 9, 2011 at 12:02 PM · Report this
Couldn't agree more with Dan on the first letter. My instinct also said she was trying to pass the buck to her boyfriend for her affair. If he was controlling or a jerk, that doesn't justify an affair (especially if you're not married or don't have kids). He's doing something that's making you unhappy? The solution is simple -- leave, break up with him. It was the gf's CHOICE to react to a shitty/unhappy situation by cheating. That's 100% on her and says loads about her character.

There are always difficult situations in life that make us unhappy, but that doesn't give us carte blanche to run over others, especially those we supposedly love. You always have a choice in how you CHOOSE to react -- you chose cheating, and I think that makes you a shitty partner.

And for the record, though I fully understand the health concerns about being exposed to an STD, I think the pain of cheating is rarely about that but more about being betrayed by someone you trusted and loved. Outside of the worst STDS (i.e. HIV), the betrayal cuts deeper and will have longer effects on a person that values honesty and loyalty than any STD.
Posted by KL on March 9, 2011 at 12:02 PM · Report this
secretagent 48
Come now, don't bag so much on therapists. They're people too, and there are as many screwed up therapists as there are doctors, lawyers, judges, etc. You wouldn't stay with a shitty doctor, so don't stay with a shitty therapist. And by all means, complain, yelp them, whatever.

I wonder, are men tending to get the short end of the stick in therapy because they can't communicate within it or because they won't? And what would be a way to level the playing field? It doesn't seem fair to make men do all the changing as far as how to talk, but since it's "talk" therapy...
Posted by secretagent on March 9, 2011 at 12:10 PM · Report this
secretagent 49
Come now, don't bag so much on therapists. They're people too, and there are as many screwed up therapists as there are doctors, lawyers, judges, etc. You wouldn't stay with a shitty doctor, so don't stay with a shitty therapist. And by all means, complain, yelp them, whatever.

I wonder, are men tending to get the short end of the stick in therapy because they can't communicate within it or because they won't? And what would be a way to level the playing field? It doesn't seem fair to make men do all the changing as far as how to talk, but since it's "talk" therapy...
Posted by secretagent on March 9, 2011 at 12:11 PM · Report this
secret agent @48/49:

It's been my experience that there's way more bad marital therapists than good ones, period. I've seen bad lawyers, judges, etc., but the next one is very often very much better. With marital counsellors they seem to be along a sliding scale of fucking useless.

Don't forget, too, that many guys (myself included) who have used 'em get very wary very fast of frank communication because whatever we say ends up flying right back at our heads, either from the partner (without restraint from the therapist) or, worse, from the therapist. After a while you just stop forging a rod for your own back by just shutting up.
Posted by seeker6079 on March 9, 2011 at 12:40 PM · Report this
Weird. I didn't italicize anything in my previous post. Or this one, for that matter.
Posted by seeker6079 on March 9, 2011 at 12:47 PM · Report this
kitschnsync 52

Fixed it.
Posted by kitschnsync on March 9, 2011 at 12:51 PM · Report this
kitschnsync 53
Well, I thought I fixed it. Maybe not.
Posted by kitschnsync on March 9, 2011 at 12:52 PM · Report this
@38, agreed. I was just taking issue with the idea that hours-long sex is necessarily better for both parties than short-but-sweet sex.
Posted by EricaP on March 9, 2011 at 1:12 PM · Report this
I'm thinking YNGC's boyfriend isn't the only one with control issues...
Posted by Chase on March 9, 2011 at 1:13 PM · Report this
To EBTS: You mentioned doggie style....maybe try being on top? I bet Dan is right about the whole preemie bit, and sometimes, if the woman has control, he will last longer, and then you can take his hands and put them on your body.
Posted by badgirl on March 9, 2011 at 1:19 PM · Report this

I third Melony and EricaP: not all women want to be pounded for hours at a time.

Penetration turns me on and makes me feel close to my partner, but it doesn't make me orgasm or even bring me close to one (I'm not a g-spot intensive sorta gal). Plus my bf is on the larger side - I would almost say too large for my preternaturally tight vagina - so thrusting gets irritating pretty fast. My favourite part of P-in-V sex is, in fact, watching/feeling my bf come.

So most days, I'd consider lots of foreplay and then 5-10 minutes of sex absolutely ideal. But most guys I've been with are super-paranoid and feel like they're failures if they take less than an hour.

(Meanwhile, I find myself bragging to dudes about how fast I orgasm, since guys seem to hate it when women take a while to get off. Irony!)
Posted by perversecowgirl on March 9, 2011 at 1:29 PM · Report this
I agree with cvilletop, no matter what you will loose your house, dogs etc, get out of a relationship if you cannot trust the other person. there is no point in holding on all it will do will leave you crazy angry and bitter, and it will take you longer to recover, than to say I'm out of here.
Posted by Jack Armstrong on March 9, 2011 at 2:24 PM · Report this
@57 - it's not really irony... It's really the same:

You like it when the guy orgasms with 5-10 minutes of intercourse, because the action isn't moving you towards orgasm.

Similarly, a guy likes it when a girl comes with 5-10 minutes of him stimulating her clit, because the action isn't moving him towards orgasm.
Posted by EricaP on March 9, 2011 at 3:05 PM · Report this
I'm sorry but if you're in couples counselling with someone who is a BOYFRIEND for MONTHS over what appears to be a one time incident THREE YEARS AGO it's time to DTMFA. Seriously. There's a reason y'all aren't married. Enjoy it.
Posted by wendykh on March 9, 2011 at 4:37 PM · Report this
EricaP: put that way, it makes sense. But it's still funny. Guys are all "Hey, baby! I take an hour to come!" and I'm all "Hey, baby! I go off in two minutes!"

I hate that P-in-V is such a huuuuuge part of the point where most people call P-in-V "sex" and consider all other sex acts to be...I dunno, in a different class, or something.

I do understand that some chicks love the feeling of penetration, and even get off on it. But if a guy can't go for hours on end, there's still fingers and fists and did the penis become the be-all and end-all? I'm so very glad I'm not a guy...the performance pressure would kill me. Plus it'd piss me off to have other people bossing me around, telling me when to orgasm.
Posted by perversecowgirl on March 9, 2011 at 4:41 PM · Report this
It never ceases to amaze me how many of Dan's readers are of the mind that "the cheater is 100% completely and totally at fault and the cheatee is an absolute complete and total saint who should have their name listed next to Jesus and Ghandi."

A good way to get someone in an affair to walk right the hell out of therapy is to walk in and blame it ALL on them and treat the betrayed spouse as though they poop roses. There is no such thing as a cheating spouse who is happy in their relationship. And they're so pissed they're willing to go fuck someone else and no longer give a shit what their spouse thinks. An affair is a SYMPTOM of marital problems, not a cause.

And anyway, why the fuck would she talk about HER cheating in her letter to DAN when the letter is about HER BOYFRIEND being a twat and using Dan to bolster his control issues?
Posted by wendykh on March 9, 2011 at 4:49 PM · Report this
@ 62: There's a reason they're usually called "Cheating Pieces of Shit". True, there's often something else wrong in the relationship (though not always), but if so they have a responsibility to speak up and do something about it. Lying to their partner instead of addressing the real issue is what makes someone a CPOS: it's cowardly.

We don't know the circumstances around the original LW's slip-up - it's possible they'd only been dating a short while and there were extenuating circumstances - but since she doesn't elaborate *at all*, the inevitable impression is that she doesn't feel any remorse. Instead the letter's all about how her boyfriend is at fault, which is what most people are reacting to. And as #28 pointed out, writing the letter to Dan is a pretty shit move on her part, given who's likely to read it.
Posted by Chase on March 9, 2011 at 5:06 PM · Report this
@62 - Actually, I think they're very likely quite well matched. They'd likely inflict a much wider range of misery on people who might not deserve it if they parted.

Now, if we later learn that he constantly badgered her about infidelity for two years until she finally admitted her indiscretion, I shall revise my opinion of her upwards and of him downwards. But it seems unlikely that she'd be so reticient about a point so clearly in her favour. And the way the letter reads seems to fit with the take that the revelation was her ace in the hole to get him into therapy.
Posted by vennominon on March 9, 2011 at 5:56 PM · Report this
Wendykh---I hate your take on cheating. Yeah, no one is every 100% innocent or not at fault in a relationship, but cheating is a very specific, shitty, cowardly way to react to problems in a relationship. Absent extremely extenuating circumstances (and there are some situations where this is the deal), it's generally a cowardly, selfish way to react to a problem.

You've got a problem? You address. Speak up, tell your partner why you're unhappy and what needs to be fixed. If he/she doesn't fix it or doesn't want to, then break-up. Where is betrayal ever an acceptable solution? It's not. It's really just shitty ass people with very little honor looking for a way to justify their bad behavior.

I have never cheated on a partner and never will. Not because it would hurt him (though that's a powerful motivator in itself), but because it would make me a shitty person -- a cowardly, selfish person. I think more of myself than that and would never stoop to acting with so little honor. Those with honor don't have your attitude.
Posted by KL on March 9, 2011 at 6:43 PM · Report this
@51, 52, 53: The italics problem seems to happen randomly on Slog; it's happened in a few previous threads.

@32, 57: It is not necessarily insecurity, paranoia, or feeling like a failure when a guy would like to have PIV sex for longer. It feels really good, so a lot of guys want it to last longer so they can have better sex. Why shouldn't it last a long time? And if the woman is feeling chafed you can always take breaks or apply lube.
Posted by BlackRose on March 9, 2011 at 6:53 PM · Report this
Wendykh/62 -- and sometimes cheating isn't a symptom of a problem with the relationship, sometimes it's an issue wholly having to do with the cheater. They have low self-esteem, some fear of vulnerability, self-sabotaging tendencies or could just be a selfish prick.

So sometimes it can indicate relationship problems, but sometimes it can also be wholly an issue with the cheater. Regardless, it definitely tells you about the cheater's take on conflict resolution skills -- he/she cheat instead of dealing with the problem and lack some major integrity and character if they think that is an acceptable way to indicate problems in a relationship (as opposed to a moment of weakness where they fuck up and realize it was a HUGE mistake).
Posted by KL on March 9, 2011 at 6:54 PM · Report this
Let me just guess that if the man had cheated all these babes would be quicker to convict the cheater rather than defending him! I can just hear the banshee howlings if the situation were reversed. When a WOMAN is cheated on it is a horrible betrayal that takes years to get over. When a MAN is cheated on it is because he is a controlling asshole. Got it. I just wanted to be sure though.

CLEARLY any objective reading of the first letter can be summarized as: I cheated on him and then waited for years to bash him in the face with the information. Now we are in therapy to work on HIS issues.

Marriage counselors almost always favor the woman- like the court system, the police, the social welfare bureaucracy, the corrections system, and almost every other social institution in America today. In actual therapy the woman almost always is more communicative and so the therapist immediately takes her side. Like the lady said- they don't call it talking therapy for nothing.
Posted by Professor on March 9, 2011 at 8:09 PM · Report this
@66, if a guy wants PIV sex to go on longer than his body can, and longer than his partner wants... then maybe he should reevaluate what he wants. Try doing it again a few hours later, rather than trying to keep penetration going for an hour.

I said this on a different thread, but I'll say it again: guys, take out your dick after 15 minutes and do something else. If she doesn't beg you to put it back inside, then she didn't want it there. There. Figure out something you both want. Now you've taken one step closer to having enthusiastic sex, rather than bad sex.

Posted by EricaP on March 9, 2011 at 9:11 PM · Report this
Sex is pretty fucking goo.
Posted by l Hate Screen Names on March 9, 2011 at 9:55 PM · Report this
@69: It's appropriate that your post is #69. :)

If your point is that a guy should compromise and communicate with his partner if he wants intercourse for a long time and she doesn't, then I agree.

But... well, I like lengthy PIV. If a guy wants to go longer because he likes it, and his partner is fine with that, I don't see why he shouldn't. It's not necessarily bad sex, even if not everyone loves it.

And teasing by pulling your cock out every so often is always a good idea (though some women will assume you pulled it out cause you didn't want to keep going and won't want to pressure you by begging).
Posted by BlackRose on March 9, 2011 at 11:36 PM · Report this
Hey, "Everything but the Sex",

A couple things Dan may not have considered: First, what is your birth control situation? When I'm using condoms or other, less advisable methods (pull-out) I can't get out of my head either.

Also, you mentioned he is well endowed. As a fellow well endowed male, I often worry about causing pain or discomfort to my partners, at least until I learn their threshold for vigorous fucking.
Posted by Mr.Risky on March 10, 2011 at 12:05 AM · Report this
@71, I understand you like lengthy PIV. I just think you should recognize that many women don't like lengthy PIV. Just as many women don't like having their throats choked with cock.

The fact that a woman puts up with lengthy PIV doesn't mean she's enjoying it. All I'm asking you (and other fans of lengthy PIV sessions) to do is look for signs that she may not be all that into it anymore. If she doesn't ask you to put it back in, you might ask out loud, "hey, you up for some more or would you like X instead?" Remember that women are socialized to put up with a lot of stuff they don't like. If you don't want lengthy PIV sex with you to be in that category, make sure she's still enthusiastic fifteen minutes in.
Posted by EricaP on March 10, 2011 at 12:05 AM · Report this
Hey, "Everything but the Sex",

A couple things Dan may not have considered: First, what is your birth control situation? When I'm using condoms or other, less advisable methods (pull-out) I can't get out of my head either.

Also, you mentioned he is well endowed. As a fellow well endowed male, I often worry about causing pain or discomfort to my partners, at least until I learn their threshold for vigorous fucking.
Posted by Mr.Risky on March 10, 2011 at 12:07 AM · Report this
FWIW, Dan, Sam Arora has since declared his intentions to vote for the Marriage Equality bill. He's still a tremendous sack of douche, and I hope he gets primaried in 2014, but at least we convinced him to vote properly this time.

Still a huge sack of shit though.
Posted by blenderboy5 on March 10, 2011 at 1:27 AM · Report this
@73: Fair enough, I'll recognize that there are many women who don't like it, if you recognize that there are many women who do like it, or are willing to do it in return for their partner pleasing them in some other way. (Hey, eating a girl out for a long time sometimes hurts my jaw but I'll do it to make her feel good.)

Since there are such people, it does make sense for men to try to last longer if they're interested. (I say this because you seemed to be very against the idea of guys trying to last longer.)
Posted by BlackRose on March 10, 2011 at 2:12 AM · Report this
'Help My Disappointed Heart' has been in an abusive relationship for over three years and now finds out he has been made a fool off for all that time.
OUCH. This is a lot to chew on.

Never forget that your the victim here, HMDH. And be gentle with yourself.
Posted by Tetsuo on March 10, 2011 at 4:13 AM · Report this
@69 I said this on a different thread, but I'll say it again: guys, take out your dick after 15 minutes and do something else. If she doesn't beg you to put it back inside, then she didn't want it there.

Along the lines of "previous lovers can leave a residue", I was in a monogamous relationship for ~17 years with a woman who really had a very very difficult time achieving orgasm such that the need to be able to go and go for at least a half an hour became the norm. I was fortunate that one of my later lovers was willing to speak up and tell me to hurry up - it was a huge relief to be let off the super-performance hook. Looking back after that I realized several had not been so forthcoming and probably weren't happy about being raw (and I am neither superman nor super-endowed).
Posted by knkycva on March 10, 2011 at 8:30 AM · Report this
Wendykh's view of cheating on S/O in a monogamous relationship--maybe it is the fault, at least somewhat, of the other party--kinda reminds me of employees who embezzle from their bosses.

Yeah, sometimes the boss is a nasty piece of work who cheated the employees out of raises, bonuses, etc., and in a perfect world the employee is entitled to take some of the boss' money in compensation. The trouble is *every* employee stealing uses that justification, because in a few cases, it may be true.

Put another way, you never meet a guilty man in prison--they were all unjustly convicted.
Posted by Just saying on March 10, 2011 at 8:59 AM · Report this
@76 interesting comparison to oral sex. What would you think of a girl who held off from orgasm while you were going down on her, so that her pleasure would last longer? Once you had a sore jaw, wouldn't you kinda want her to allow herself to orgasm, rather than pressure you to keep going until she has had an hour of pleasure + an orgasm? If you can get off, and if your partner is no longer enjoying the act, then have your orgasm already.
Posted by EricaP on March 10, 2011 at 9:27 AM · Report this
Following up on my own remark: I'm trying to imagine a world where women take medication in order to be able to enjoy more oral sex from their partners before they orgasm. This cracks me up.

No, in our crappy bad-sex world, women are urged to come as quickly as possible (see @61) so it's not such a drag for their partners; men encourage each other to last as long as possible, because who gives a shit if the woman is no longer enjoying it.

Posted by EricaP on March 10, 2011 at 9:31 AM · Report this
Note, though, that I am not talking about situations like the one @78, where a woman wants and needs her man to last half-an-hour before she could come from PIV. If you think your woman is on the road to a PIV orgasm, by all means, continue merrily fucking. (That's why I stress checking in with her, to see if the fucking is working for her body.)

But if you're just delaying your jollies for your own pleasure, and she's no longer getting physical pleasure out of it, then -- shit or get off the pot.
Posted by EricaP on March 10, 2011 at 9:35 AM · Report this
@79 Not picking on you particularly, but using your statement as a jumping off point regarding the CPOS meme:

Wendykh's view of cheating on S/O in a monogamous relationship--maybe it is the fault, at least somewhat, of the other party--kinda reminds me of employees who embezzle from their bosses.

Something about your analogy bothered me, so I extended it a bit and I realized that it rests on the premise that somehow it's as simple as just saying, "ok, I quit" and going down there street where there is the implicit expectation of another job with a non-exploitive or non-abusive employer. Of course, the real world doesn't work like that...and you know what? It doesn't work like that in relationships all the time either.

LW1 is lame only for cheating only insofar as it appears that this is a not-very-committed relationship. Who knows? Maybe they've been together for over a decade and share a mortgage and spawn and never got married for whatever reason. It's entirely possible he's subjected her to neglect for years after successfully tying her down with mortgage and spawn.

I dunno, I am much more sympathetic to people who embezzle after being rooked into selling their souls to the company store.

@58 You know, it's funny you mention that, but I did manage to keep the house and the dogs...the house was pretty much empty, but that didn't bother me a bit...I was just so happy to see the dogs sitting on the porch waiting for me.
Posted by knkycva on March 10, 2011 at 10:51 AM · Report this
Cvilletop -- I sort of hear where you're coming from, but where does betrayal become an acceptable solution? It seems that your advocating a two wrongs make a right sort of philosophy and that seems very dangerous. You think someone owes you something, you steal it? Rarely is something like that okay to do. You don't like how someone is treating you, then deal with it. But to say that you can be vindictive and horrible back just falls flat.

You can hit someone back to defend yourself, but not out of a revenge or an evening up of the score. I just rarely think cheating is ever going to be used in self-defense. It's almost always vindictive or passive-aggressive and cowardly. If you really were wronged, then you're now just as bad as the person you're complaining about then.
Posted by KL on March 10, 2011 at 11:00 AM · Report this

"No, in our crappy bad-sex world, women are urged to come as quickly as possible (see @61) so it's not such a drag for their partners; men encourage each other to last as long as possible, because who gives a shit if the woman is no longer enjoying it."

Crappy bad-sex world? I'm glad I don't live there. Also, my impression is that men do not try to last as long as possible for their own enjoyment, quite the contrary. My perception has always been that men try to last longer so that women will think they're rock stars and the greatest fucks in the world. Your average guy probably tries to last longer because that's what HE thinks is necessary to be a good lover. This is my impression of the matter, and my experience backs that up. Men are not all so selfish as you make them sound, and their partner's pleasure is a huge priority.
Posted by chicago girl on March 10, 2011 at 12:05 PM · Report this
I can echo those comments. I really psyched myself out as a teen that girls wanted super-long endurance and wouldn't accept anything less. End result was I basically couldn't cum from anything ever (masturbation was also probably a factor), but I was screwed up so tight that I was in my 20s before I hand any sort of (my) hands free orgasm. The sex itself was fun, but the total lack of climax in my part often made things pretty miserable for both the girl and me.

I'm better off now. Can hold it back long enough to keep people happy. And if I can't? That's what fingers and tongues and toes are for.
Posted by FK on March 10, 2011 at 1:04 PM · Report this
@84 No, I pretty much agree with you - two wrongs do not make a right, and I was very critical originally of YNGC for that reason. There's no doubt that the right answer is disentangling and 'doing it right' - I'm only suggesting it's not black and white.

I know of two or three "CPOS" who are still married to their original spouse, and for quite good reasons have been forced to go outside the marriage for companionship (as others have said, it's usually NOT sex that's the original problem - it's either the cheater's self-esteem or conflicts in the relationship), and yet had very good reasons for not ending the marriage. A couple are still married and happily. Illness is just one of the things that can lead to this (and not just physical illness)...for better or worse can take interesting turns.
Posted by knkycva on March 10, 2011 at 1:05 PM · Report this
@87 -- I hear ya. I often think the exceptions to the no-cheating rule are exactly the examples you give, and often what Dan says as well. They're not CPOS -- some extenuating circumstances excuse the behavior (reminds me of the son that wrote in about his mother a while back cheating on his father but freely admitting his father was a horrible person and his mom was only staying in the marriage for her sons' sake until they left for college and had a lover on the side).

That being said it also seems that far too many people want to consider themselves one of these extreme exceptions. Just being unhappy with your partner is not a good enough reason. There has to be a very legit reason why you can't deal with that problem directly (battered spouse, illness issues, etc.). The LW specifically does not sound like any sort of exception -- she just sounds like the general selfish, cowardly cheater who then wants to blame her betrayed spouse for her poor choices.
Posted by KL on March 10, 2011 at 1:54 PM · Report this
I personally prefer your defending J. Michael Bailey. I couldn't believe what I was hearing when I heard that the parents of UNIVERSITY STUDENTS were objecting to subject matter in a course their ADULT CHILDREN enrolled in. I don't care if their parents ARE bankrolling their education, it's expected that that will eventually be paid back by the student once (s)he graduates and gets out into the work force, and that's neglecting the fact these students are at the age of majority and perfectly free to purchase all the pornography they desire. What Prof. Bailey was trying to do in the classroom was further the discussion and lessons by using visual aids, i.e. two people who signed up to do this, were both clear-thinking adults who weren't manipulated into engaging in intimacy in front of these students, and who were doing so in a way that highlighted portions of discussions that had already taken place in the classroom.

This is helicopter parenting taken to its furthest extreme. Mommy and Daddy need to cut the apron strings and realize that once their children are old enough to be students at a university and are now getting an education to help prepare themselves for fiscal independence, they're old enough to watch two people having sex, either on a video or DVD, pay per view order, online streaming video, or in a human sexuality classroom. It's not like two random students in a nuclear physics class decided to screw each other on the professor's desk and everyone just watched them going at it. What was to happen in that class was EXPECTED to happen in that class.

Anyway. That's my, oh, roughly $0.50's worth. Is there some way to show support to Prof. Bailey so he won't get into a shitload of trouble with his employer?
Posted by reliantrobin on March 10, 2011 at 3:29 PM · Report this
I have a bf and i love the savage love columns read em every week with pleasure. the stuff about manogamy though makes me uncomfortable and I have thought and thought about why and how I can change. According to the savage love advice all men are programmed to cheat and so we should all have open relationships, that it is in fact the male natural way. My bf and I do everything from fetish and dungeon to toys and on and on the only thing we don't do is other people. He's never asked for an open relationship but I feel like I'm living in dinial or something and want to be honest about us and the world. The problem is I get turned off when I know a guy has been with someone else while with me. i lose atrraction. In fact this is how I get over a guy I just sleep with someone else or encourage him to, then I don't want him anymore..not even a little. i think this may be the female natural way...often its women who desire the one mate thing while guys are saposed to spread their seed. My question is this: why is it women who have to change who they are why are we to go with the guys natural tendancies rather than our own? Why must one lose and one win. What is the win win.

signed Seeking Win Win.
Posted by WinWin on March 10, 2011 at 3:37 PM · Report this

Yes, they usually do complain when vaginal sex lasts seconds, rather than minutes. Most men who suffer from premature ejaculation suffer from *really* premature ejaculation.


The short version would be "You're getting what you're *paying* for. How can one properly study human sexuality without test subjects?"

Although what I've heard about the extracurricular bonus study was that there was little educational or research value to it. One student commented "So they got off. Yes? And? What was the point?"
Posted by gromm on March 10, 2011 at 3:57 PM · Report this
YNGC - You're BF should dump your ass, but seeing as how he didn't as is now doing the 'therapy-go-round', you're both in for a passive-aggressive showdown.
EBTS- You're probably too fat. Get a bike or go to the gym.
HMDH - Stop being a pussy and dump him.
Posted by SleepingWithNannyState on March 10, 2011 at 4:08 PM · Report this
"Manogamy", "saposed", "tendancies".

WinWin is a troll. No one can do so badly with automatic spell-check.
Posted by Hunter78 on March 10, 2011 at 4:48 PM · Report this
Cheating is natural.

All our primate cousins do it, when given a chance. To read some of the writers here, it's a sin slightly beyond genocide. Ok, maybe it's not so nice in a declared relationship between adults who consented to trueness. But we're not dying from it, beyond the rare death by std. Otherwise we'd be a depopulated planet.

We regular readers have good reason to believe our Dan himself cheats on Terry. Those campus visits aren't all about pscho-sexual-politics. But it's ok for Dan, because he has repudiated monogamy; he believes in open relationships. However, when he hurls "CPOS" around like a deadly weapon, it doesn't seem right.

None of this means I'm taking sides with anyone in YNGC's letter. Dan is right. I agree with those saying the 3 of them: YNGC, bf, and therapist are one sick bunch. YNGC and th are both manipulative bitches. Bf controlling? He sounds pathetic, "he says everything the therapist expects him to", and then has the weakness to "take back everything he said." What a sorry lot!
Posted by Hunter78 on March 10, 2011 at 5:26 PM · Report this
My husband has some PE issues. I actually like it though because I like thinking "I'm so hot, he can't hold it back". My orgasms are better when I see him lose that control.

However, he does something very similar to EBTS and zones out during sex. It annoys the fuck out of me. Well, sometimes it's cool if I need a bit longer to get off, but usually it's just annoying having a dead fish under me. I combat it by putting his hands on my ass, or even better, by talking dirty to him which works 99% of the time. I wish he'd not worry so much about holding back. Hmmm... I know what I'm gonna try tonight... ;)
Posted by wifetoPEer on March 10, 2011 at 5:41 PM · Report this
TechSavvy Youth,

What's with the on then off italics?

Posted by Hunter78 on March 10, 2011 at 5:48 PM · Report this
The Times-Picayune reported his address as 2304 Green Acres Road in Metairie (LA 70003-2012, looked up the zip code for everyone). I think we all should send him a post card and let him know how we feel about his pedophilic peter wacking. How can anyone be surprised that another Repugnant family values guy is just a closeted pervert doing much more harm than good. Further proof that religion is the root of all evil in the world.…
Posted by proud sailor on March 10, 2011 at 6:20 PM · Report this
The Times-Picayune reported his address as 2304 Green Acres Road in Metairie (LA 70003-2012, looked up the zip code for everyone). I think we all should send him a post card and let him know how we feel about his pedophilic peter whacking. How can anyone be surprised that another Repugnant family values guy is just a closeted pervert doing much more harm than good. Further proof that religion is the root of all evil in the world.…
Posted by proud sailor on March 10, 2011 at 6:22 PM · Report this
That's the reverend grant storm, sorry for not including the subject of my rant.
Posted by proud sailor on March 10, 2011 at 6:23 PM · Report this
Hunter78 -- Non-monogamy may be natural, but that doesn't mean that betrayal/cheating is the same thing. If you're going down that path, it's a slippery slope.

If you're going to use nature as the basis for the legitimacy of our actions, then killing the young of your mate's previous relationship would be acceptable, so would stealing, rape and whatever you could take by force and get away with. All things generally frowned upon by most civilized peoples. Not a very persuasive argument.
Posted by KL on March 10, 2011 at 6:47 PM · Report this

I don't think Dan "cheats" on Terry; they have an open relationship that follows strict rules, which is not the same thing at all as deceiving your partner. That's why he makes a point of drawing a distinction between cheating and non-monogamy.
Posted by chicago girl on March 10, 2011 at 7:28 PM · Report this
Chicago girl @85, I'm glad you live in Awesome Good Sex world. Me too, for the most part. But I was corresponding with BlackRose (whom I respect and with whom I often agree)... and he was saying that if he liked an hour of PIV sex, then it was okay if his partner wasn't enjoying herself for the last half-hour. I wondered if he would give oral sex for half an hour after his jaw became sore.

Guys may say they want to last an hour to be a great lover for their women... but if the women don't want more than 15 minutes, then the guys are doing it for ego, or for their own pleasure. Ya can't say it's for me if it's not what I want.
Posted by EricaP on March 10, 2011 at 10:10 PM · Report this
@22 My sympathies. The first thing that goes with a cheater is their credibility (i.e. they are a cheater and if you believe anything they say or promise, you do so at your own peril) followed by trust once the affair is discovered/acknowledged. It is pointless to try to repair the relationship unless the cheater can reestablish their credibility. The first step towards that is ending the affair and there really is only one way to prove/ensure that the affair is ended. Once the cheater has begun to reestablish their credibility they can work to restore the trust that they have shattered. I’m not saying that anything has to be completed before you can move on to the next step in restoring a relationship, but there are certain things that have to be there in any healthy relationship (among them honesty, trust, communication) Once a degree of credibility and trust has been reestablished you can begin to work on the underlying causes of the affair and/or problems in the relationships and/or the personal problems/issues of the cheater and/or your own personal problems/issues. All the while you are dealing with the emotional fallout caused by the affair.
Posted by truth? and its consequences on March 11, 2011 at 12:55 AM · Report this
@102: Thanks for the sweet comments! You're awesome too. ((hugs))

That wasn't my original point, which was to say that there are men who want to last longer because they and their partners enjoyed it, or they enjoyed it and their partners were willing to participate in exchange for being pleasured in other ways. I know you don't like lengthy PIV, but there are women (and men) who genuinely do, and aren't just saying that, and would be disappointed by short PIV even if they do come. It's not always just about coming. I don't really understand why lube isn't a workaround though, for women who get dry and chafe after a bit.

I didn't say "it's ok if my partner isn't enjoying herself for the last half-hour," and I wouldn't expect her to be in pain for me. I would want her to have PIV for as long as she felt comfortable, and I would certainly return the favor by eating pussy for as long as I could and she wanted me to. I'm not saying she should have bad sex for my sake, just that partners sometimes compromise by alternately pleasing each other in various ways.
Posted by BlackRose on March 11, 2011 at 1:17 AM · Report this
@ Chicago Girl- Long story short, Erica can fuck a dozen random dudes and have bad sex every time. Obviously the problem is our crappy bad-sex world and/or the men.

Men don't want to have PIV sex for an hour, or for fifteen minutes, they want to be able to have it for *as long as it takes to satisfy their partner*. Since this varies from woman to woman and night to night, they have a tough job, but they (rightly) feel that they need to be able to last an hour, in case that's what it takes. The good ones will put the effort in to get to know their partner, and adjust accordingly. Good partners will communicate their needs and desires to them, verbally or not.

But men have the un-enviable position of being the ones whose bodies have to operate in a certain way to please their partners, emotionally if not physically. Women don't want a three-pump-chump, but they don't want to feel like he can't get off from screwing them, either. Having a solid connection that extends outside of the bed is incredibly helpful in making sure both parties are satisfied *and* confident that they are satisfying their partner.

Warranted confidence is a turn-on, but sexual insecurity is a total mood killer.
Posted by YesImStillHere on March 11, 2011 at 2:32 AM · Report this
The first letter is a study in the cheater's control issues. She'd like Dan to tell the world to listen to their therapist? Why should they or we? I fired my Psychologist last summer after I realised that everything I need to know comes from within. The notion that anyone needs to "listen to their therapist" is ridiculous. I think her partner should just dump her and move on to someone who has the same attitude to relationships as he does.
She is just trying to change this guy to suit what SHE wants and that isn't real life. Why doesn't she just find a guy who she actually likes and then she won't have to go to a therapist at all. She could work on her self-esteem issues as well. SHE cheated and that is always rooted in the panic of "missing out" but without the courage of being alone. Hey, you came into this world alone, you'll leave it alone. Learn to think for yourself. I hope she reads this.
Posted by Frederica Bimble on March 11, 2011 at 4:45 AM · Report this
@96 Hunter78

I think the run-on italics are due to some commenter forgetting to close their html tags (and the comment system not catching it).

Posted by knkycva on March 11, 2011 at 5:14 AM · Report this
@68 - I see the bitter, hate-filled troll is back. Look, honey, take some responsibility for YOUR life and stop looking to women to tell you "how" to live. Wah, wah, wah, that's all you do when you come on here!
For your sake, go and find out what makes you happy and then understand that THAT is what you are meant to be sharing with the world, NOT this hatefulness and ugly bitterness towards women.
Like and then love yourself more and you will get over the obsession.
Posted by Frederica Bimble on March 11, 2011 at 5:17 AM · Report this

Sorry to have intruded on your conversation with BlackRose, but I maintain that I don't know, nor have ever even heard of, a guy who kept up with the vaginal penetration when his partner wasn't enjoying it. In my experience guys like to feed their egos by being really good in bed. I'm sure there are exceptions, but I really haven't seen any evidence to support the theory that lots of guys just keep pounding away while their partner is bored to tears/chafed. Never had such a thing happen to me, never had any friend complain about such thing, and I've heard my friends complain about everything sex-related that they don't like; I've never heard it mentioned anywhere.
Posted by chicago girl on March 11, 2011 at 8:13 AM · Report this
@104, if your partner, like Chicago girl, is all happy with lengthy PIV sex, then that's rainbows and kittens! Yay! (It's not a mechanical question of lubrication, for me; things just get numb after a while and the thrusts don't feel sexual, just stupid.)

@109, see @57. It's not just me.

All I'm saying, is that I think, general rule, 5-15 minutes of PIV should be considered standard (Wiki: "Men typically reach orgasm 5–10 minutes after the start of penile-vaginal intercourse"). If you are routinely thrusting for 45 minutes to an hour, don't tell yourself that makes you a great lover. It may, if she likes it, or it may not, if she doesn't. Make sure your partner enjoys that, or make it up to her in other ways. If I knew a half-hour massage was coming, I'd be more tolerant of the extra half hour of thrusting.
Posted by EricaP on March 11, 2011 at 8:41 AM · Report this
@105: "[women] don't want to feel like he can't get off from screwing them"

This is exactly right. After a certain point, especially if the PIV goes on and on but doesn't end in male orgasm... It's just demoralizing.
Posted by EricaP on March 11, 2011 at 8:46 AM · Report this
Great questions and feedback this week, everyone. Well done. Thank you. Much enjoyed here. Please take your respective, individual and collective bows. Peace! :-)
Posted by Sullivan Onion on March 11, 2011 at 9:46 AM · Report this
EricaP (@110, @111), my personal experience confirms your data. I'm a guy who takes quite a while to come: under PIV conditions, about 30 minutes, at least (but note PIV is not my favorite thing to do with a woman in bed). Now, often enough women insisted on PIV with me, so I obliged; and there was variation. Some were like Chicago girl and loved to go on forever; some didn't like it after a few minutes (in many cases they thought I wanted it, they were no so thrilled by it themselves).

Curiously, even those who loved it often enough didn't come from PIV; they just said it 'felt hot and great' or something like that. (I've been with only one girl who could come easily from PIV sex alone, and who loved it that way.)
Posted by ankylosaur on March 11, 2011 at 10:19 AM · Report this

I seem to be doing a terrible job of expressing myself on this forum. I never said it was just you, I was simply responding to you. Also, @113, I never said that I liked PIV to go on forever, all I said was that it was not my experience that guys liked to go on forever even if their partner was not enjoying themselves. As far as vaginal intercourse goes, I generally do get bored with it after 15 or 20 minutes. But that's just me.
Posted by chicago girl on March 11, 2011 at 12:19 PM · Report this
@113 - suddenly I'm quite curious about what that favorite thing is :-) (Note, not asking, just enjoying my flash/flush of curiosity and letting it spark some fantasies :-)

@114 - sorry for misunderstanding... I thought you'd never heard of women being unhappy with an extended PIV session. Yet here we were in this thread. Or see @78: "it was a huge relief to be let off the super-performance hook." I agree that good-hearted men believe they are being good lovers by lasting an hour; I just want to get the idea out there that their partners may not agree.

Real super-performers in bed are those with the interpersonal skills to get the conversation going about what each person honestly likes. I don't think you can do it all with body language, when women are socially trained to moan and writhe in order to persuade men that they are good lovers.
Posted by EricaP on March 11, 2011 at 2:02 PM · Report this
Thanks again for your great column, Dan.

I'm sorry if I pissed you off.
I have inadvertently been pissing a lot of people off lately.
Posted by auntie grizelda on March 11, 2011 at 3:21 PM · Report this
Looks like your boy Rick Santorum is fast tracked to be the next President! This is not the time to just roll over and give up! He CAN be stopped, it's a longshot but we have to try!
Posted by Philbu on March 11, 2011 at 3:50 PM · Report this

Um, fine. I'm sure we can all rest easy now that the idea that not all women like to be pounded for hours on end is "out there," although where you got the sense that I disputed this idea is still beyond me. Everyone's sexual needs are idiosyncratic; I though that was sort of a given here on the Savage Love comment board.
Posted by chicago girl on March 11, 2011 at 4:20 PM · Report this
cvilletop, [107]

"I think the run-on italics are due to some commenter forgetting to close their html tags (and the comment system not catching it)."

Right, I agree with you. I composed @96 with html tags turning itals on and off. I submitted and the preview was exactly as specified. But dissatisfied with the text, I edited, re-submitted, and the formatting was gone.

Anyway, that was enough for me, but I did address the Techsavvy Youth about it, hoping they'd fix it. My fear is some troll has figured it out, and is plaguing us now. It should be easy enough to append some end itals and other formats to the end of a submission. Reading itals too much is tiresome.
Posted by Hunter78 on March 11, 2011 at 4:59 PM · Report this

"I'm a guy who takes quite a while to come: under PIV conditions, about 30 minutes, at least."

I'm calling bullshit.
Posted by Hunter78 on March 11, 2011 at 5:05 PM · Report this
@22 - having been in a similar situation, I agree. Except in my case my husband did end it with the other woman - after a year. And then took up with a new other woman. Still professing love, refusing to move out 'for the kids' sake. Anyone in this situation, save yourself. Don't waste one more minute trying to work it out with a cheating liar while your life wastes away. Its not worth it.
Posted by whatevercathy on March 11, 2011 at 6:44 PM · Report this
@118 - see @109. That's where you disputed the idea that women are often pounded beyond what they enjoy. Everyone's sexual needs may be idiosyncratic, but common themes emerge. For instance, women who enjoy straight PIV for more than twenty minutes are rare.
Posted by EricaP on March 11, 2011 at 8:33 PM · Report this
haven't seen anyone address this, so I will. How do we know that YNGC is a woman? I've re-read the letter and don't see it. Now, it certainly SOUNDS like it's a woman, but we don't know for sure, do we?
Posted by ML77 on March 12, 2011 at 12:06 AM · Report this

I didn't dispute that some women don't enjoy extended bouts of vaginal intercourse, I simply said that I was unaware, in my experience, of lots of men that persist in pounding a woman for their own pleasure when they know she's not enjoying it.

"men encourage each other to last as long as possible, because who gives a shit if the woman is no longer enjoying it."

That's your comment that I dispute. The whole men-encourage-each-other-to-last-as-long-as-possible-because-fuck-women-and-their-pleasure thing. For the love of christ, I never said that every woman likes long PIV sessions, I never said that *I* like extended PIV sessions, I never said that *you* liked them. I said "that I don't know, nor have ever even heard of, a guy who kept up with the vaginal penetration when his partner wasn't enjoying it. " I also said "Your average guy probably tries to last longer because that's what HE thinks is necessary to be a good lover." THAT'S ALL I FUCKING SAID. I said I didn't think that lots of women are being pounded by guys who were *knowingly* ignoring their sexual needs, and I said this because that is my experience in the matter. Is that so fucking difficult to understand? Perhaps I was not explicit enough with the whole men consider their partner's needs thing, but I thought that repeatedly saying that men want to be awesome lovers and that's why they try to take longer sort of implied that.
Posted by chicago girl on March 12, 2011 at 1:36 AM · Report this
125 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
From 120 to ankylosaur,

"I'm a guy who takes quite a while to come: under PIV conditions, about 30 minutes, at least."

I'm calling bullshit.

Ding! Ding! We have a winner here! THIS is why "guys think they have to go all night." You see folks, it isn't about "pleasing a woman" it is the idiotic "male competition" thing where some other guy will "call bullshit" on some other guy who says it takes him longer than the other guy to get off.
It is NOT about women and never has been about women and it never will be.
To the woman on this thread who wanted to get it "out there" that not all women like to be pounded until the cows come home? YOU are very astute and absolutely right. Why? Because it doesn't matter how many of the minority of women, who, for whatever reason, encourage a man to "go all night," or what they have to say because THEY will always find a man who is obsessed with that very thing: going on forever. You are right because the silly notion needs to be addressed if more and more people are to enjoy good sex.
Now that we see that is isn't some societal pressure on men to "perform" but simply the silly, locker room, boys talk that has created this unreal expectation, we can move forward.
To the dude who called the "bullshit," you also mentioned the word, "troll" in another post.
Honey, you ARE one of the trolls on this thread. You and that other dude, the "professor" are both trolls who show up to throw some ignorant comment or whiny argument onto the thread instead of actually learning something about, well, in this case, sex or maybe even, life in general.
For the record, and this is a FACT: there are almost 7 billion people on this planet so there is a very real possibility that there are thousands of men who need to go on for half an hour to "get off."
The world does not stop at the end of your doorstep.
Troll, indeed.
Alas, I'm sure someone on this thread will pick up on one tiny word and then run with it instead of coming out from under the rock and extending their minds a bit past their own pre-conceived notions. I won't be back because what I've written is solid but is only understood by those who have (a) had a lot of sex and (b) have lived a lot of experiences. If you haven't done either of those things then you will "argue" it. Have at it.

Posted by Frederica Bimble on March 12, 2011 at 5:36 AM · Report this
YNGC cheated on her boyfriend but yet says that "we're working on his "control issues." Had my partner lied and cheated on me I might like to regain some control in that relationship. YNGC's boyfriend might be dicking around in therapy, and if that's the case, yeah she might need to call him out on it and/or end the relationship. I'm skeptical, however, about YNGC's portrayal of the situation as I don't get a sense of accountability. Shouldn't they also be working on her lack of respect for her partner issues? It also sounds like there's more going on here. She cheated on him three years ago, but told him nine months ago--why is that? What happened that made her confess her transgression after three years or even at all?

This is not to pick on EBTS, as she's doing all the right things, i.e. communicating with her boyfriend, trying to understand what's going on with, which is refreshing after YNGC 's letter. But she used this phrase that tweaks me: "he's got all the moves." That phrase always makes me wince partly because it reminds me of an 80's movie with Tom Cruise (or some other interchangeable actor who was in their 20's at that time) called All the right moves, but also because it sounds sleazy in an unfun way. This is not Dancing with the stars. There are no patented "moves" with sex. Yeah, everybody has a particular way that they move their body, or things they like to do. But there's no one move that pleases all women or men. It's more about paying attention and being able to recognize what your partner likes.
Posted by know-it-all on March 12, 2011 at 8:29 AM · Report this
@124, our current disagreement is whether men, generally, are *effectively* considering their partners’ preferences, or only *superficially* considering their partners’ preferences, in a context where women often don't say what they like. Women should communicate what they want, but since women are also supposed to build up a man's ego in bed, it's hard to be honest. It takes a super-performer like cvilletop's lover @78 to speak up and redirect the action at the risk of hurting his feelings.

Three times this year, I found myself getting this extended treatment. The guys presumably thought I liked it, because I was being wildly enthusiastic to get them to come. But it was a drag. If a guy really can't come without extended PIV, I wouldn't mind being cooperative. I'd be annoyed if I thought they could come after a more reasonable time (15 minutes), but were holding off for their own pleasure (as BlackRose has suggested). In that case I would want them to have heard somewhere, maybe on Slog, that women often don't like that.
Posted by EricaP on March 12, 2011 at 9:24 AM · Report this

Dude, I think that if a girl is writhing and moaning with pleasure while enduring a pounding she does not enjoy, that can't be blamed on the guy! If a person is actively deceiving their partner, they can't turn around and resent the guy for not reading their goddamn mind. I agree that a lot of guys may have bought into the idea that women always love extended PIV, so of course it's to everyone's benefit that it be discussed, but what bugged me about your original comment was your explicit assertion that guys keep it up to be assholes, knowingly ignoring their partner's feelings. To that point, did BlackRose suggest that he routinely ignored his partner's feelings? I thought he said that there was give and take, but which I assumed he meant that there was open communication on these points. I understand that it can be hard to be honest in bed, but if that's a problem, a girl has to work on that herself. It's always a good thing to check up with your partner when you've been doing a particular thing for awhile, but if someone chooses to interpret the ecstatic moans of his partner as encouragement, I don't see how that indicates that he doesn't give a shit about his partner's pleasure. The example offered by @78 actually supports my point: he did it because he thought women liked it, not because he did; he was serving *her* pleasure, not his own. All of his partners who'd been dishonest on this point were to blame for their own dissatisfaction (at least in that part of it). Do you really think it's a good idea to encourage men to distrust the signals we give in bed? Should a guy stop every 30 seconds and ask their partner if she's enjoying herself because he read on Slog that women fake it? Women need to show some goddamn agency in these matters, and if it's hard for them they need to work on that. Don't blame this problem on malicious guys.
Posted by chicago girl on March 12, 2011 at 10:21 AM · Report this
@129 Every 30 seconds? No. But I do think guys should routinely check in after 20 minutes of non-stop PIV. At that point, they do not get to assume that women's moans are genuine. I don't ever fake orgasm, but men need us to exaggerate our enthusiasm at certain moments. See this study, which says female copulatory vocalizations appear most often before and simultaneously with male ejaculation.…

I think guys should exaggerate their enthusiasm for going down on women, and I think women should exaggerate their enthusiasm in bed as well. But then men have to have a realistic understanding of what women probably really like. I know a guy's jaw is tired after a while with oral sex, so if I'm close to orgasm, I'll tell him that, and if I'm not close, I'll stop the action. Guys should understand that, for most women, 30 minutes of PIV is a lot to ask. If he can come at 20 minutes, he should do so. If he's close, he should say that and keep going. If he's just taking his time because it's fun for him (and this is where I put BlackRose), or because he thinks he owes it to his partner, then he should stop and get a verbal reassurance that this activity is what the woman wants too.
Posted by EricaP on March 12, 2011 at 1:06 PM · Report this
Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal:
In the study, which included a survey of 71 women: 66% of the women reported using vocalization as a way to speed their partner toward the end, saying they did so because of boredom, discomfort, or pain, as well as because of time limitations.
Posted by EricaP on March 12, 2011 at 1:20 PM · Report this
@129, 130:

I try not to be an asshole and I try to engage in open communication and give and take. But since chicago girl has never heard of such a thing, I'll admit that there have been times when I've pounded away at someone for my own pleasure, even if she didn't enjoy it. I doubt I'm the only guy or the least considerate guy to do so. Now I try to communicate about it more, be more considerate, and give back as well. (The 30 minute massage deal sounds good to me.)

I don't think you're right that a woman enjoying PIV for more than 20 minutes is rare. I know you don't enjoy lengthy PIV, EricaP, but there are plenty of women who do. You could speculate that they're lying or faking their enjoyment to me, of course, but without some reason to think that, I'm not going to agree.

I don't have statistics about how common or rare liking lengthy PIV is, but you seem to be asking men to assume every woman is like you, even if her words and actions suggest otherwise. This doesn't seem reasonable to me. I do agree that it's a good idea to have a conversation and make sure she's enjoying it and it's a good length for her: I don't agree that your 5-15 minute standard applies across the board. There are just too many variables: for instance, lubrication changes with a woman's monthly cycle, was there oral first, is lube being used, did the woman come first, and so on. Everyone is different, every sex session is different, and talking about it is important.

It also just occurred to me that you may be using condoms, which changes everything because they tend to dry out and irritate pussies and dicks.
Posted by BlackRose on March 12, 2011 at 3:17 PM · Report this
@132 "even if her words and actions suggest otherwise". All I'm asking is that you get it from her in words. Words. Not moans. I'm not discounting her words, just her moans.

(For shorter bouts of PIV, moans will do, as most women like it. I continue to believe that longer bouts of PIV require better confirmation that she likes it.)
Posted by EricaP on March 12, 2011 at 3:40 PM · Report this
@130 Huh. Personally, I've found guys who are always seeking verbal confirmation slightly annoying, especially when I'm clearly enjoying myself. Your WSJ poll seems to cover women who are trying to get their partners to come, not women who are being pounded after communicating a desire to stop. Saying that past a certain time limit a guy can't trust your non-verbal communication? Fuck that.

@132 I didn't mean to suggest I'd never heard of men being insensitive lovers, I just said it wasn't common in my experience. Some are better than others, but in my experience the ego trip for most guys, assholes included, comes from pleasuring a woman, not subjecting her to sex she doesn't enjoy. Guess I just don't know as many insensitive bastards as you and Erica.
Posted by chicago girl on March 12, 2011 at 5:25 PM · Report this
@134 Again, so happy to hear you're having good sex. I'm writing for people who are not quite sure that their partners are happy. And on behalf of the women who are not happy. Not you.

Posted by EricaP on March 12, 2011 at 6:10 PM · Report this
@ Chicago Girl: "Women need to show some goddamn agency in these matters, and if it's hard for them they need to work on that." Thank you!! If you are faking enjoyment, don't put that off on the man who may well be trying his best to please you.

@ EricaP: Expecting a man to check in with you regularly is ridiculous, and smacks of trying to absolve yourself of any responsibility for your own pleasure. It's not like you have to go out of your way to let a guy know what you want- a simple "Oh baby, I want to feel you come!" at the right moment is generally all a guy needs.

On the other hand, your feeling that men aren't really interested in their partner's pleasure may have a lot to do with the fact that you are fucking random men who probably DON'T care about your pleasure. Men take the time and effort to please women they love and/or respect, not the random slut they picked up on the internet.

You have made it quite clear that you have a lousy sex life and are usually unsatisfied with your partners- perhaps you are not in a good position to be giving other people sex advice? Leave that to ladies like Chicago Girl who are having good sex.

@ Black Rose: I HOPE she's using condoms. Not that those using those during PIV will protect her from acquiring oral HPV, which she can then transmit to her husband's uncovered cock, which can then transmit it to her pussy anyway. But hey, they're better than nothing, when you're sleeping with god-knows-who.

And I don't see anyone mentioning that how long a woman wants PIV for isn't just dependent on the woman, it can vary from day-to-day, also. A lot of women may be satisfied with a five minute quickie Monday through Thursday, but would appreciate an hour of well-lubricated PIV on the weekend, when she doesn't have to get up early. Again, the connection and communication between the couple is what makes the difference.

This conversation also is ALL about how men should adjust how long PIV goes on for to please the woman- why is it fair that only the male should sacrifice his pleasure for the female? Shouldn't it be fifty-fifty, sometimes it goes for the length of time he wants, other times the length of time she wants? No wonder so many guys are so caught up in how long they CAN last for- it sounds like women don't care how long the man WANTS to last for.
Posted by IShouldProbablyGoRegister on March 12, 2011 at 6:57 PM · Report this

"I'm writing for people who are not quite sure that their partners are happy. And on behalf of the women who are not happy. Not you."

Like you.
Posted by Hunter78 on March 13, 2011 at 8:50 AM · Report this
@136: "Shouldn't it be fifty-fifty, sometimes it goes for the length of time he wants, other times the length of time she wants?"

Thank you! An acknowledgment that women might not love the PIV for the same length of time the guy does. Exactly. Both partners can agree to short sessions most weeknights; then on weekends they can take turns, one night lengthy PIV for him, and one night lengthy cunnilingus for her.

(Usual Disclaimer: I think more women than men like lengthy cunnilingus sessions, and I think more men than women like lengthy PIV sessions. If your mileage varies, then adjust accordingly so both parties are getting what they want.)
Posted by EricaP on March 13, 2011 at 12:13 PM · Report this
I'm sorry, you cheated on your boyfriend and your therapy is working on "his issues?" Quit worrying about what your boyfriend is doing and address yourself. If you are using therapy to feel superior to your boyfriend, then you are lying to yourself, him and the therapist, and wasting everyone's time and your money.

Posted by GG1000 on March 13, 2011 at 10:57 PM · Report this
@EricaP, why would you keep moaning when you're not enjoying it anymore? if it's uncomfortable or painful, speak the fuck up--don't rely on him to start that conversation.

I agree that people shold be checking up during sex, but I can understand why a guy would just keep going if he werehaving fun, and his partner seemed to be having fun because she was moaning, etc. I just don't understand why you don't speak up, if you have bad sex. maybe a lot of women have bad sex, but maybe it's partially their fault if they insist on pretending to be enjoying themselves when they're not. if long sex is a serious problem for you, you can bring it up beforehand if that's easier than SPEAKING UP WHEN YOU'RE UNCOMFORTABLE.
Posted by brokephilosopher on March 14, 2011 at 8:44 AM · Report this
@140 Many women (not just me) make sexy noises in bed to speed their partner toward orgasm, because of their own "boredom, discomfort, pain... [or] time limitations"……

This is normal. You guys can say that it's all women's fault for being deceitful. But if you don't take it into consideration, you are not actually being a good lover, regardless of how you see yourself.
Posted by EricaP on March 14, 2011 at 10:12 AM · Report this
These guys who don't understand that it's a drag to be pounded after a while ("just use more lube and keep going")- should try getting pounded for an hour sometime.

Posted by EricaP on March 14, 2011 at 10:34 AM · Report this
@140: Just cutting on on your question to EriaP to say that while I'm normally all in favour of direct communication, I totally see where Erica is coming from in this situation.

I, too, have moaned in order to get guys to hurry the hell up and come. I assumed that they were just having a hard time "getting there" and tried to provide some extra stimulation to help things along - because, after all, I do love the feeling of my partner coming inside me (now I'm wondering whether they were purposely holding back for my benefit...ugh, how horribly ironic that would've been).

But times that the moans didn't work, I found I'd kinda painted myself into a corner - if I go straight from moaning to "Yeah, my vag hurts, stop now" then my partner will know the moans were fake and he'll probably distrust all my sounds from then on. So it's a difficult thing.

@whoever it was who suggested I use more lube to help with discomfort during long sessions of penetration - it's not a texture issue for me, it's a size issue. I'm tight and my boyfriend is big: my vagina feels uncomfortably overstretched after ten or twenty minutes regardless of how slippery I am.
Posted by perversecowgirl on March 14, 2011 at 10:41 AM · Report this
Also: I agree that when men try to last forever, it's usually for women's benefit. The thing is, most of these guys aren't asking us if it's what we want.

I've had many partners who wanted to last a long time in order to impress me. I was like "I don't care about that stuff. If you want to please me, make friends with my clitoris."

Some of these guys listened and adjusted their goals accordingly. A surprising number of them, however, just kept insisting on fucking me all night long while refusing to go down on me or give me handjobs. You know, to prove what a stud they were.

Guys have to realize that their idea of what women like might be very different from the truth.
Posted by perversecowgirl on March 14, 2011 at 10:52 AM · Report this
@EricaP, I'm a woman. and I agree that men SHOULD check in, but if they don't (which seems to be a persistent problem for you), then you should speak up. you can complain about the societal reasons why women and men act the way they do; you can blame porn or culture or whatever, and you might be right to an extent, but if you want a better sex life, you have to speak up, even if it means momentary awkwardness.
Posted by brokephilosopher on March 14, 2011 at 11:46 AM · Report this
Wonderful column and especially the conversations going on in the comments. Communication is the key.
Posted by SaraJean on March 14, 2011 at 11:57 AM · Report this
@145 I've made these changes in my life. I'm verbal now about my desires before (and while) having sex with new guys, and I try not to worry about their orgasms. But, guys, that's just me. It took a cultural change for most guys to realize that most women need clitoral stimulation. Their partners didn't tell them directly -- the culture changed.

I want men to realize that regardless of the sexy sounds she is making, your partner probably doesn't like an hour of PIV sex. Most don't. If you don't like that answer, ask her yourself.

Posted by EricaP on March 14, 2011 at 12:25 PM · Report this
The fact that many women (or men?) may moan or use some other indirect communication to hasten the end means neither that this is a good method of communicating nor that failure to pause regularly to investigate whether moans are genuine makes one a bad lover. Isn't it best to simply be clear about likes and dislikes?

Yes, I know it can be hard to be bluntly honest, since we're so well-trained to dissimulate about sex, but why not unlearn that unhelpful behavior? If you're tired of having sex a certain way, just say so; if you're worried about offending your partner, find a way to soften the blow with your enthusiasm. For example, maybe things were going so great that your entire body has exhausted all of its fluids, so you must now pause for rehydration and try some other approach.

Meanwhile, I don't understand the need to defend Prof. Bailey. Is there some danger of being fired, or is it just criticism? Well, criticism is going to come with the territory when you stage live sex acts in class. No surprise there. I'm not sure why it was so important to have a live demonstration, as opposed to other methods. What educational value, beyond the prurient interest, demanded this?

Posted by Suzy on March 14, 2011 at 6:22 PM · Report this
"Cheating is natural.

All our primate cousins do it, when given a chance."

It doesn't surprise me if some of our primate cousins have sex with multiple partners, or one primary and other secondary partners. However, it does surprise me that they make agreements with one another to be exclusive. Do their governments sanction these arrangements, or is it a religious thing?
Posted by Suzy on March 14, 2011 at 6:25 PM · Report this
@149: You win the thread!

@141, 147: My problem with these posts is that you insist on telling guys what "most women" want and don't want. From what I've read and experienced, you seem to be an unusual case. I do ask women what they like. I just don't believe that most women don't enjoy lengthy PIV sometimes, assuming no condoms, lube if necessary, and their partner paying attention to them and asking what they like.

@143: I'm baffled at this idea that moans would make a guy hurry up! If my partner moans, I usually think, "Oh, she's enjoying this, I better keep doing what I'm doing now and not come yet." If you want your partner to come, just say "sorry, but I'm getting sore, can you come fast for me?" Not a big deal. I hate being rushed, but of course if you need me to come fast I will. Also, a lot of the time I can't come and I'm just enjoying the stimulation of PIV, so I'd just stop if it was hurting my partner. PIV is not always about coming.
Posted by BlackRose on March 14, 2011 at 10:05 PM · Report this
@150, have you, personally, ever received a vigorous thrusting for an hour? Have you seen any women (or men) on here posting to say that they really love receiving an hour-long fuck? Wouldn't they be coming out of the woodwork if I were completely off-base?

Question: since you say you ask women what they like, tell us, of the women you have asked, how many have told you they loved lengthy PIV, and how many were less enthusiastic?
Posted by EricaP on March 14, 2011 at 10:49 PM · Report this
@150, also, have you ever said to a woman, "sorry, my jaw is getting sore, could you come fast for me?" Guys this year sometimes asked me to come. It makes me super nervous and makes it much, much harder for me to come.

Do most guys like being asked to come? It doesn't feel like too much pressure?

Posted by EricaP on March 14, 2011 at 10:54 PM · Report this
On the PIV debate -- my experience aligns with Erica's. That most women I know don't like lengthy PIV -- I'd say 20 mins being top, while ideal being 10 mins or less with lots of prior foreplay -- kissing and oral or hand stimulation. Sometimes sex sessions can go on for quite a while, especially on the weekends, but it's not non-stop PIV.

For me personally, if I've already had a clitoral orgasm, I can't handle long PIV -- everything is just so sensitive that would destroy me. The only time I think I actually like long PIV is if I've been drinking considerably -- whiskey just deadens things and takes a long time for me to get to orgasm, if at all. At the time, I don't notice it, but man do I feel it the next day! If I'm in the mood for a lot of sex, I much prefer multiple rounds of orgasms than one long session. So the total overall PIV may be long, but it's not all non-stop, being punctuated with a lot of oral or other stimulation and rest periods.

I would be surprised if a lot of women said they like PIV for more than 20 mins. That certainly wouldn't align with my experience (or those of my gfs).
Posted by KL on March 15, 2011 at 10:13 AM · Report this
Everyone who goes in to couple's counseling needs to read this first:…
Posted by midwaypete on March 15, 2011 at 10:21 AM · Report this
@154: I would, but I've become allergic to marriage.
Posted by auntie grizelda on March 15, 2011 at 12:12 PM · Report this
EricaP, KL, et al., though you keep insisting that enjoyment of lengthy vaginal sex is rare, I am feebly raising my hand "yes" over here, anxious about being branded an abnormal woman. My impression of hetero women is just the opposite of yours: most I've known well enough to know such details prefer a man who can make it last that long. But mileage varies, so I wouldn't insist that one way or the other is typical or normative. Maybe that's why I'm so happily monogamous: I found the guy with whom I can comfortably enjoy these longer-term sessions. It's almost always pleasant, and if not, there's usually some reason and I just say what it is. My back is sore, or whatever. We try something else. There's almost always something else one can turn to if needed--isn't that grand?

I also make noises when I'm having fun, and generally can't help making noises. I don't fake making noises, and if I were going to fake making noises in order to get my partner to do something that is precisely the opposite of the message I'm communicating with the noises, I sure wouldn't blame him for not understanding me. My goodness, the man is not a mind reader. When you moan, he may think you want more. I am reminded of the Arnold Lobel story about the Mouse and the Crickets. "I want you to stop and you are giving me MORE!" says the mouse. "What's that you say? You want MORE music? Ok..." say the crickets. Rough paraphrase. Just tell the poor guy to stop the music already.
Posted by Suzy on March 15, 2011 at 1:04 PM · Report this
I'm certainly not going to tear you down -- I've been waiting for women like you to speak up.

So, here's a question. Would it bother you if a man paused after screwing for about twenty minutes, and asked if you wanted to change activities (or positions)? Would that make him seem insecure, from your perspective? Or are you happily able to discuss sexual preferences in bed?

The thing is, in the lengthy PIV sessions that annoy me and some other women, the guy is on top, pinning the woman down. If I were free to move around, I would just get up. But pinned to the bed, I have to use words instead. (In my experience, silence wasn't taken as a "stop that, I've had enough") Can you see why I think, if guys checked how the woman was doing after twenty minutes, that would be a more friendly way for them to keep on having sexy fun, rather than for her to have to say "Could you stop, please?"

Posted by EricaP on March 15, 2011 at 1:40 PM · Report this
Suzy -- So most of your girlfriends like PIV sex that goes on for more than 20 mins straight? Just making sure that I understand what you're saying.

If that's the case, wow, it's definitely been the opposite of my experience. I wonder if there is some regional difference, or cultural or religious reason to explain the difference.

The only friend I know that likes long PIV sex really doesn't experience any foreplay. In her case, I think she and her husband aren't that sexually adventurous and may even frown upon a lot of types of foreplay (oral I know for sure is frowned upon in their marriage, for both people). If that were the case, it would makes sense to me because if I wasn't getting any warm-up, I could see needing a lot more PIV to get to orgasm. Is that the same in your case? Or do you dig lots of foreplay and lots of PIV?

For me, with all the foreplay, I feel like I'm ready to burst by the time we get to actual PIV (unless we're doing slow and steady Al Green style which can last a lot longer, though I'm often not that patient at that point). So I literally just can't imagine a lot of PIV unless there was some other reason that there wasn't a lot of arousal before getting to PIV (i.e. alcohol lessening sensation or lack of foreplay).
Posted by KL on March 15, 2011 at 1:53 PM · Report this
" You guys can say that it's all women's fault for being deceitful. But if you don't take it into consideration, you are not actually being a good lover, regardless of how you see yourself."

Are you for real?! You think that if you are DELIBERATELY sending cues that you are enjoying the action, it's the MAN's fault that you're not satisfied with the experience? And HE'S the lousy lover?!?

Why do you expect him to do all the work?!? Not only is he the one 'pounding away', but he hears heavy moaning from you, which he reasonably interprets as "she's getting close to orgasm- I'd better not stop until she gets there!", so he keeps going for YOUR pleasure, but if he doesn't stop and CHECK IN WITH YOU, HE is the bad lay? No wonder your sex life is shite.

"Would it bother you if a man paused after screwing for about twenty minutes, and asked if you wanted to change activities (or positions)?"

Why is it reasonable to expect HIM to stop the action to ask you how you are, but it's somehow unreasonable for you to just go ahead and be HONEST about it?? Are you ever planning on taking responsibility for your own pleasure, or lack thereof, or will you just continue putting your dissatisfaction on the man? Maybe he just wanted a quick blowjob! But he's putting forth the effort to satisfy you, and all you can do is whine that he's not doing it right. Open your goddamned mouth and TELL HIM, or STFU. I swear to god, you DESERVE crappy sex.

It's like if you asked someone, "What do you want to eat?" And they say, "Whatever, I don't care." And you say "How about Chinese?" And they say "Fine." And then after dinner they say you're inconsiderate because they didn't want Chinese. WTF?!? THIS is why a lot of men don't like women.

Please stop telling men here what 'women' like, and start telling the ones you're fucking what YOU like.
Posted by ExasperatedByEntitledWomen on March 15, 2011 at 3:34 PM · Report this
@159, see @147. Everything you say could apply to clitoral stimulation. Most women didn't tell their men that they needed it in order to have orgasms. Most women didn't start getting clitoral stimulation from their men until our culture told men to do that.

"THIS is why a lot of men don't like women"
Yes, I get that. Glad we don't know each other in real life.
Posted by EricaP on March 15, 2011 at 3:48 PM · Report this
BTW, would people stop saying that I'm imposing my view on the rest of the world by making a generalization? Mileage varies, yadda yadda, but most women really do need some clitoral stimulation, and letting men know that is no insult to the fewer women who don't like clitoral stimulation.

I'm open to evidence (like Suzy's testimony) that some women do like lengthy PIV. But KL, perversecowgirl, Chicago girl, Frederica Bimble and I, are here saying that we don't. It's not unreasonable to generalize from our cumulative experience. Individual preferences may vary, but generalizations are not inherently invalid.
Posted by EricaP on March 15, 2011 at 4:25 PM · Report this
sissoucat 162
EricaP -- I think I ought to chime in to give my 2 cents.

After I've had a great deal of down action, including small orgasms, I do love lengthy PIV, most of the times I can't get enough of it ; when I do get enough, I'm not afraid anymore to tell so. During PIV I try to repress my moans to help my partner stay focussed, because it often ends sooner than I'd want.

I would not mind at all if my patner stopped and asked me whether I still enjoyed it after 20 minutes. I'm sure I would give a pretty hot answer.

But! Whenever I've not had good oral first, I find PIV dull, boring and tiresome, and 5 minutes is enough ; the longer it lasts, the more I hate it.

When I was younger I only met bad lovers. One would come inside me and have no expectation of enjoyment for me. It lasted as long as he felt equal to, some minutes, and that was already too long for me, but as a first-timer I was to shy to ask for it to stop. The next relationship bragged beforehand that he would make me moan. I was all, nice, I'd like to check that out. But I felt nothing more than before. So I did moan to make it stop, since that was the codeworld, so to speak. From then on, I often used moanings to make PIV stop - since guys would never offer oral and good girls don't ask (a real man knows how to pleasure a woman better than herself, don't you know ?).

So I moaned my way out of PIV until I read somewhere another way to make it stop : gently rub your partner's perineum with your fingers while you're being pounded away, if it's not enough make a tight ring around his penis with your thumb and your index and voila. No need to pretend you're enjoying yourself. Amazingly, the husband had no trouble having sex with me that way, after it had become crystal-clear that I did not feel a thing. Eventually he did request me "to fake-moan in order to highten his orgasm". Asshole.

I'm much happier now that I've discovered respectful, shared and oral sex thanks to an awesome guy ! No more faked moans. I felt like a prostitute, now I feel like a woman.
Posted by sissoucat on March 15, 2011 at 5:06 PM · Report this
I'm with EricaP, I don't like long PiV either. Sometimes it really hurts. But I feel bad telling him we're stopping when he didn't get off, and it took me a long time to figure out how to tell him if I realize I'm going to get sore soon and I'd like him to stop as soon as he can. Too often that can come across that I'm bored and rushing him, and then that messes it up for him. When I was younger I regrettably just let my boyfriend at the time do it as long as he wanted, trying to ignore it when it started to hurt. One time it hurt so bad that I had to stop and wound up curled up in a ball crying. After that I started trying to speak up, though unfortunately I can't say that he ever asked me if I was OK during sex after that. Today I'll stop a guy if he's hurting me, though I've also learned ways to tell a guy if I'm going to be hitting a limit soon. The best way to do it without making him feel rushed is to put on your best sexy voice, grope and kiss him passionately, and moan "I want to feel you cum inside me." Of course, that does take some style to pull off, and it took me *years* to figure it out. But the bottom line is, guys, please listen to EricaP. You might just be dating someone like my 19 year old self who doesn't know how to say what she needs yet, and a little understanding and space will be amazing to her.
Posted by Marle on March 15, 2011 at 5:30 PM · Report this
Dan, thank you for your advice to Help My Disappointed Heart. A very similar thing happened to me (secret email for sex w/ strangers and emotional manipulation). I left him the day I found out. I am almost a year out of that relationship of 5 years and I am SO HAPPY without him! Moving on! DTMFA!!!
Posted by MayQueen on March 15, 2011 at 5:35 PM · Report this
@ 160: Do you honestly believe that before "our culture" rolled around, that NO women were getting clitoral stimulation? I think the ones who weren't getting it were the ones who expected men to just magically be able to determine what they wanted. I'm willing to bet that, throughout history, women who didn't put the responsibility for their pleasure entirely on the man were probably getting off quite well. And exactly what do you mean by "our culture"? Time/place?

@ 162: "Eventually he did request me 'to fake-moan in order to highten his orgasm'. Asshole."

So, you asking him to give you oral until you come is fine, but him asking you to do something incredibly simple like MOAN so that HE can get off makes him an asshole? Right...
Posted by Exasperated on March 15, 2011 at 5:39 PM · Report this
@ 163: "But the bottom line is, guys, please listen to EricaP. You might just be dating someone like my 19 year old self who doesn't know how to say what she needs yet, and a little understanding and space will be amazing to her."

I just don't understand why you are giving advice to the GUYS, instead of telling the 19 year old GIRLS to open their mouths and TELL the guys who are fucking them what is going on with them. Do females share any responsibility for the sex being good?!

Put the shoe on the other foot:

Ladies, when you're having PIV sex, you need to check in with him every twenty minutes, and make sure he's still enjoying it. Otherwise, you're not a good lover. If HE isn't enjoying it, you need to stop, even if you're unsatisfied.

GGG goes both ways.
Posted by Exasperated on March 15, 2011 at 6:01 PM · Report this
Exasperated -- I understand your exasperation and I generally agree with your conclusions. People have to learn to speak up for themselves and take responsibility for their own happiness, sexual and otherwise. However, you are failing to acknowledge a HUGE social divide between men and women generally -- and I think this is what EricaP is getting at more than anything.

Women in American culture (and I think in many cultures) are socially conditioned to be more nurturing and accommodating of their partners whereas men are not. Men have to learn to think of others whereas women have to learn to think of themselves. As we gain experience and hopefully wisdom, both sexes become more balanced -- men naturally think of others and women aren't afraid to think of themselves too.

As a result, women, as a gross overgeneralization tend towards indirect communication and men towards more direct -- the great Mars-Venus divide. Women are far more likely to "fake it" or put up with less than stellar sex for the sake of their partners, especially as it is a bigger deal to a man's ego than it is a woman (women don't generally worry about being studs or having performance anxiety whereas men are constantly comparing themselves to one another in this regard). Sure, as women get older and more experienced, they tend to be more empowered and speak up for themselves. However, some may never. So there is some truth to what Erica is saying -- Men are more likely to do what makes them feel good whereas women are more likely to focus on making sure their partner gets off. Especially when you throw in our Puritan roots where there is still a lot of shame regarding female sexuality, this really can't be surprising.

I'm not saying it's right or something that should be encouraged, just that we shouldn't be blind to the cultural landscape either and pretend that men and women function in the same manner.
Posted by KL on March 15, 2011 at 6:29 PM · Report this
@165 I said "most women," not "no women."

Yes, women should take responsibility for their own sexual pleasure. I do. But many don't, currently, and that's a fact. If it's fine with you for your woman to endure sex with you, rather than enjoy it, then continue on your merry way.

@166, I absolutely ask how his jaw is doing after 20 minutes of oral. If he's sore, I thank him and find another way to get to orgasm.
Posted by EricaP on March 15, 2011 at 6:30 PM · Report this
sissoucat 169
@165 : I don't know about your culture, but in mine a young woman who asks for specific sex acts "is a whore". And as you know, whores get raped, "that'd teach them". Young women know and most won't ask. Mature women will. I hope.

As for your comment on me : keep track, will ya ? The first boyfriends never did oral. The husband never did oral. I never asked 'cause I was a well-bred good girl, and all I got was shitty PIV. Though knowing I had no sexual pleasure myself, not before, not during, not after, not ever, the husband asked for fake moans for heightening his orgasms - which he always had, even if I hurt and asked him to stop now, he wouldn't stop until he came inside me. That's as assholish as it gets. The husband has now been out of the picture for some years, divorce proceedings are slow over here.

The now-boyfriend is of the pretty unusual kind (for here) who gives a fuck about his female partners, and he loves giving oral and I can't get enough of PIV with him - and I try not to moan, at his own request, though it's real heartfelt moans now, because it would make it too hot for him and it would cut short our shared pleasure. And besides, we 69 for oral : I like all of him, and there's no way I'd let him have a piece of me while not having a piece of him. It's mutual and shared Savage love. Get it ?
Posted by sissoucat on March 15, 2011 at 6:39 PM · Report this
@169, can I just say that you are the hottest thing around?
Posted by EricaP on March 15, 2011 at 7:11 PM · Report this
sissoucat 171
EricaP : thanks, you made my day. Well, night, actually... I should get some sleep now.
Posted by sissoucat on March 15, 2011 at 8:11 PM · Report this
"I don't know about your culture, but in mine a young woman who asks for specific sex acts "is a whore". And as you know, whores get raped, "that'd teach them". Young women know and most won't ask. Mature women will. I hope."

Wow, I feel sorry for you. You grew up in a culture where a woman who has the audacity to tell a man that 20 mins of PIV sex is plenty is ripe for the rapin'? Where was that, Iran?

@ Erica, it's cute how, because I believe women should take responsibility for themselves, including their sexual pleasure, that you assume I'm a guy. I would have thought that expecting women to act like grown ups would be a feminist perspective.

Men tend to be so clueless about what gets women off, they aren't given a manual. It's up to WOMEN to tell them what they like, and vice-versa. But portraying women as just too weak and spineless to be able to speak up for themselves is repugnant.
Posted by Exasperated on March 16, 2011 at 12:07 AM · Report this
@172, you won't register, so it's hard to figure you out. But you're quite the feminist, with your insistence that women speak up for themselves in bed. Doesn't mean you have experienced sex with a guy.

So, have you been fucked by a guy for an hour? Often? And did you like it?
Posted by EricaP on March 16, 2011 at 12:26 AM · Report this
Exasperated -- I think it's sad that you interpret such things as weak and spineless. It seems that you've taken a very masculine-based viewpoint and want everyone to conform to that, both men and women. It's funny how "equality" can get so misconstrued that way.

How about something a tad more balanced? Perhaps encouraging women to speak up for themselves (and fostering an environment where that is safe, encouraged and appreciated) but also encouraging men to consider their partners? It can go both ways.
Posted by KL on March 16, 2011 at 9:59 AM · Report this
Answering a few questions:
First, I don't know what most of my female friends prefer, sexually, because I usually don't get into that level of detailed discussion about sex with them. However, the ones I've known well enough to have discussed it with seem to favor vaginal sex, the lengthier duration the better. I don't know how common these opinions are; I'm only saying that we shouldn't assume much about what women like or dislike, as a class. Maybe most women don't like such a long duration. However, they need to tell the partner, if that's how they feel.

Personally, I prefer vaginal sex. If I had to choose either/or between vaginal sex and other things like oral, I would almost always choose vaginal. So that may explain why I like doing it for longer than other people may. However, I have a good partner for it; with a different partner, maybe my preference would change, who knows.

I wouldn't mind if the partner paused during the act to ask me how I was doing. However, frequent inquiries could become tiresome. More importantly, I take moaning to be a sign of pleasure, so I definitely would not fault someone who keeps going when the partner is essentially communicating, Yes!

I can see why Exasperated is exasperated on feminist grounds. It's not okay that women give mixed messages about sex because they're insecure. Why would it ever be good for women to act like they want it when they really don't? Isn't this precisely the lousy excuse some men use for not respecting women's wishes about sex? You have to say what you want; you can't say (or moan) one thing and expect your partner to conclude that you mean the opposite. Meanwhile, the partner needs to respect your wishes. To me, that's balance. I can see why some of you would argue that women need men to be more attentive, but honestly I don't think that's a pro-woman approach in the end. In short, expecting one party to be a mind-reader while the other one dissembles is neither good nor balanced.
Posted by Suzy on March 16, 2011 at 8:28 PM · Report this
Suzy, I hate to break it to you, but in most long-term relationships there are times when one person wants sex and the other person is not feeling horny, but does it out of love and devotion. When I choose to have sex with my husband, even though I'd rather sleep, isn't it good for me to pretend to be enthusiastic, and, yes, moan and writhe, rather than act like I'm doing him a favor?
Posted by EricaP on March 16, 2011 at 11:16 PM · Report this
Personally, I don't believe in faking it. If other people do, okay, but then they can't complain when their partners are so successfully duped by the fakery that they don't pause every 20 minutes to ask whether the moans are real.

I also think it would be bad if you were having sex with your partner and it was hurting you or uncomfortable, but you faked enjoying it anyway. Then he becomes out of touch with what you're feeling in a serious way that's not his fault and that he probably wouldn't appreciate, if he knew the truth.
Posted by Suzy on March 17, 2011 at 5:11 PM · Report this
Suzy, you're a woman, right? You stop sex right away when it's not so fun for you? You tell your partner, "I'm not enjoying this blow-job right now"?

I don't ever fake orgasm, but I'll feign enthusiasm for something that my husband likes.
Posted by EricaP on March 17, 2011 at 5:23 PM · Report this
Somehow guys don't have a problem with generalizations about "don't use your teeth during blowjobs." Sure, each one could just speak up and tell his partner ahead of time, "hey, honey, please don't use your teeth." But since most guys don't like it, it's reasonable to spread the word.

Similarly, it's reasonable to spread the word that most women don't appreciate an hour of intercourse, and even the ones who love lengthy intercourse don't generally mind guys checking after twenty minutes if they want more.
Posted by EricaP on March 18, 2011 at 9:31 AM · Report this
A suggestion for the dilemma of how to indicate "I'd like you to finish up soon, please" while still sounding encouraging and all...

Whatever reasonable variation of "Come for me, baby" or "I want you to come inside me now" or whatever seems most natural and best fits your wishes. Your tone conveys the "you are doing a good job, you sexy stud", but your words convey the "Yeah, that's enough now"...

After that, any moans can reasonably be considered performance enhancement instead of false communication, especially if you mix in the occasional enthusiastic, breathy "come on" amongst your moans and "Yes!"es.

(if it's a regular problem in a relationship of he likes to go on all night and she prefers shorter, and you find it awkward to discuss mid-act, you might pre-arrange two "signals"--one for "I've had enough for me, but will keep going longer for your sake" and one for "Please stop real soon now"--that way, he never has to cut short before she's done, and can distinguish between "I'm done" and "you'd better be done soon, too"...)
Posted by Melissa Trible on March 21, 2011 at 12:02 AM · Report this
I like your compromise
"you sexy stud", "that's enough now"...

And this: >>> After that, any moans can reasonably be considered performance enhancement instead of false communication, especially if you mix in the occasional enthusiastic, breathy "come on" amongst your moans and "Yes!"es.
Posted by EricaP on March 21, 2011 at 9:30 AM · Report this
So what was the evidence, again, for the claim that most women don't like it? I thought we recently finished discussing the fact that I like it, those of my friends with whom I've discussed it like it, and it seems strange to brand one group's preferences as the "normal" ones on the basis of anecdote.

And if we're going to compare this to using teeth during a blow job, in fact what you're saying is that it's the blower's responsibility to ask the blowee--who will be laying there reluctant to say anything truthful--whether the current use of teeth should be continued. I find that... odd. I'd rather encourage anyone who's uncomfortable to say so, and yes, I do say so when that happens. Yes, I'm a woman, and I'm not really sure why you need to ask again. Do you doubt it, because my preferences are abnormal to you? This is the problem, right here, with the assumptions.
Posted by Suzy on March 22, 2011 at 7:06 AM · Report this
@Suzy, I put you in the camp (per @175) that doesn't mind a guy asking around 20 minutes in whether you're still loving it. Like sissoucat (@162). There are certainly twice as many women posting on this thread to say that they don't like lengthy sex, and those that do, say they don't mind a guy checking in once. It may be anecdotal, but it seems like useful information to pass on.
Posted by EricaP on March 22, 2011 at 9:12 AM · Report this
Also, many women (plus, you know, Science!) agree that many women moan & writhe to get intercourse to end more quickly. I'm not making that up.…
Posted by EricaP on March 22, 2011 at 9:16 AM · Report this
@182, also, your hijacking of the blowjob analogy doesn't work. Most guys never like teeth, not at the start, not halfway through. So we spread the word, so that kind women remember to avoid teeth.

For lengthy intercourse, most women do enjoy quite a bit of intercourse. But most women don't enjoy an HOUR of intercourse. So, kind men should try to figure out where that line is, when the intercourse has gone beyond what their partner likes. And popular culture (like Savage Love) can help by spreading the word that this is an issue for many women.

Posted by EricaP on March 22, 2011 at 9:21 AM · Report this
While I agree that we should all be invested in the pleasure of our partners, I am also in the group that doesn't think it should be a man's job to be the one to make sure that everyone is enjoying themselves.
As a woman, I'm familiar with women being taught to keep people happy. But the fact that you're unwilling to speak up for what you want should not be indicative of the man doing something wrong.
The only time I've ever had truly bad sex is when I didn't speak up and ask for what I wanted. I think it would be unfair to blame that on the man. When I was younger, I thought that asking for something different would make me seem difficult and not worth the time. Now that I've grown up and started asking for, and even sometimes taking, what I want, I've learned that not only are men usually not upset by this, but they seem to think it's pretty hot.
Just because lots of women moan for encouragement, doesn't mean that its the right way to get a session to end, or that men should assume that they should just be done now because she's moaning. If all guys thought that way, I'd never get off, because the second I started getting close, they'd figure I wanted them to stop.
When my partner is moaning, I assume it's because I'm doing something right, and when I'm moaning, its because he is. I've never faked moaning, possibly exaggerated, but never faked.
I also would prefer not to make generalizations about what "most" people like. Most people like things that get them off, and Dan's column shows that this means different things for different people.
Ask for what you want. Have a sexy convo beforehand about your likes, wants, and needs. Move his hand where you want it to go. It's as unfair to ask him to do all the work as it would be for him to ask you.
BTW, I've encountered several men who've asked for teeth during blowjobs.
Posted by KateRose on March 24, 2011 at 5:31 AM · Report this
@KateRose - "If all guys thought that way, I'd never get off."

You're all gung ho about communication and speaking up for what you want. When he withdraws his penis, and you want it back in, just moan for more. I'm not about blame. I'm just trying to help men understand what's going on in bed. As I said @161, generalizations are not inherently invalid. Most women like sex to last between 5 and 20 minutes. The ones who like it to go longer have no trouble saying so, if the guy stops at 20 minutes. But guys should not feel cultural pressure to go for an hour to prove how manly they are or to please their woman, if they are just assuming she likes it and the odds are that she doesn't.
Posted by EricaP on March 24, 2011 at 9:22 AM · Report this
No, I don't mind if a partner occasionally asks how things are going, but the key point here is that I don't think he has any obligation to ask, nor is he a bad lover if he does not.

This is especially true when the other person is moaning in pleasure. Some women may indeed do this on purpose despite not feeling pleasure--or more to the point, when they actually want to communicate "I'm done" or "let's get this over with". However, this dissembling doesn't create any obligation for the partner, and I don't think it's a good idea in the first place.

More importantly, I'm not convinced that "most" women want a 5-20 min duration of sex, so that it should be accepted as a norm. In fact, appearing on the same page as the Science article quoted above was a link to another article, suggesting that female orgasm is associated with intercourse duration:…. Maybe it's not true for all, and maybe even when it is true, a woman might not care to have sex that long on any particular occasion or with any particular partner. However, my point is: why insist on a particular preference as the default? There's so much variation, even in the preferences of the same individual on difference occasions. Spreading the word that a particular way is the preferred way doesn't seem helpful to me.

I don't think I was "hijacking" the blow job example; it simply may not work as well as intended. Like KateRose said, some guys like it. Some people might not know what the normal preference is, or might not even recognize when the teeth are slipping into the action! So I think the best way is for people to honestly say what they like or dislike, and worry much less about what's normal.
Posted by Suzy on March 24, 2011 at 2:25 PM · Report this
Hi Suzy,
Can you get full-text for that article? I can't tell if the female orgasm was correlating with intercourse in the 15-20 minute range, or if they did find that orgasm correlates with 45-60 minutes of intercourse. That would make a big difference to my argument, but so far, all I see is that they show that short intercourse (maybe <5 minutes) is inversely correlated with female orgasm, which doesn't surprise me.
Posted by EricaP on March 24, 2011 at 5:30 PM · Report this

"You're all gung ho about communication and speaking up for what you want. When he withdraws his penis, and you want it back in, just moan for more."

While I get what you're saying, and I would do that if it occurred, my point was this:

If a man assumed that I was moaning because I wanted him to hurry up and finish, and therefore decided to stop, while I could tell him to go back to what he was doing before, he'd be back at square one. I don't know how it is for you, but if I'm in a rythym where I'm close, and the action suddenly stops, I'm no longer close. I'm not going to be grateful that he was sensitive enough to ask me if I wanted to keep going, what the hell did he think I was moaning about?
I would be ok with a check in, possibly, if it didn't involve stopping or sounding like a check in. An occasional, "Do you like that?" is ok, so long as its not so often that it sounds like insecurity, and can even be 'dirty talk'.
But, like Suzy, I don't think it's anyone's responsibility to ask if they're doing the right thing if what they're doing is getting positive feedback.
From my experience, and in conversations I've had with friends, the people who seemed to enjoy sex the most were the people that communicated what they wanted before, during, and after. Most people exchange at least a few words prior to sex, so bring it up. And if it's a one night stand, why should you be more concerned with their feelings than they are with yours. If they're doing something wrong, tell them. You'll never see them again!
One quirk that I have occasionally is to giggle and make jokes. I personally think that sex can be funny, and laughing during can make it more enjoyable. Because I know that this could confuse a partner, I mention it before sex ever happens. This means that, if I do giggle, they're not self conscious that they're doing something wrong. Because its something that I sometimes need to do (as in, can't help it), I communicate that in advance so there is no misunderstanding.
Based on my circle, the men have a tendency to have better sex than the women, as a whole, because they ask for what they want. As soon as I took on that philosophy, I had better sex too. Yes, we should try to please our partners, but we can't do that if they won't communicate. And a lot of the people that are expecting someone to just figure it out, aren't going to answer "What do you want me to do to you?" in the first place.

(I apologize in advance for run-ons and grammatical errors that might be in this, I'm still working on my first cup of coffee.)
Posted by KateRose on March 25, 2011 at 5:25 AM · Report this
So, if he pulls out even to change positions, then you slip back, away from your pleasure? That's true for me if I'm on the edge of orgasm, but that neediness wouldn't go on and on and on. And, actually, backing off from an orgasm and then going towards it again can heighten the orgasm. Not so for you?

For me (and, I believe, for many women), things get numb after 15 minutes of pounding. Changing positions helps some, but, once I'm numb, the whole activity isn't sexual to me anymore. It's hard to convey that in the moment without shutting down his pleasure. And hard to convey that ahead of time without scaring him off.

I still think it's less of a burden on you to convey that you're still loving the lengthy sex, because hey, you're telling him something positive & sexy. And, even for you, wouldn't there come a point, two hours in, three hours in, where you'd like the pounding to stop already? What do you think would be a standard time when guys should stop, even if they haven't come? Or should the woman always have to tell the guy, "stop, I can't take any more", in your opinion?
Posted by EricaP on March 25, 2011 at 10:02 AM · Report this
Offering a compromise, in the spirit of @180...

I have been able to say things like "oh, you've worn me out, big boy" without causing offense. So, okay, the burden on me to convey that I've had enough isn't that heavy.

I'm just new to this whole problem, of how to stop sex when I'm numb but he isn't done. I like to be GGG and keep going if he's close, but I can't take the pounding forever. I do like 180's suggestions for giving the guy a clue that I'd like him to finish up -- "Come in me, big boy." But I'll ask again, if any guys are still reading -- does it bug you to be told to come, or is that okay? It bugs me to be told to come (too much pressure), but maybe that's just me.
Posted by EricaP on March 25, 2011 at 10:43 AM · Report this
I could hardly get through YNGC's letter without having an aneurysm. She starts off mentioning she cheated, then devotes the rest of the letter to a shit-list of observations that were basically all about how he isn't forgiving her and getting the relationship back on four wheels in the timely and attentive manner she has decided is appropriate for the level of "indiscretion" she committed.

She cheated on him, then lied to him (whether by commission or omission; she was telling lies and/or living one) for 27 months, but now they have been in therapy for 6 months to deal with... her cheating? Her lying? No, they are working on HIS "control issues", and she reports that she finds him to be "responsive" to this therapy with about the same tone someone might describe their dog's progress at obedience school. But the main reason she wrote was to tell Dan that she objects to the boyfriend finding any way of dealing with his feelings outside of the tightly-controlled circumstances and timeframe she has approved. I don't think it's solely the boyfriend's "control issues" that need to be examined here.

Of course, we need to note, as always, that we have only heard one side of the story here. Never in the time I have been reading this column has a writer provided so much evidence that someone in the relationship is behaving poorly and needs some advice to straighten them out. But the amazing thing is that all of the evidence she provided points to herself as the person who needs straightening out. She hardly mentions the guy at all, except in dismissive terms. If she's like that when she's putting on her best face for this letter that will be read by millions... what is she like in the relationship?

The level of empathy she displayed in her letter was right up there with "it puts the lotion on the skin, or it gets the hose again". Advice for YNGC's boyfriend: RUN. He needs to take whatever he can fit in a backpack and get the hell out of there. YNGC isn't just incidentally crazy, she is systematically doing everything she can to absolve herself of any wrong-doing and make it all his fault - except even if it was all his fault, she doesn't want to push the issue so much that he actually leaves, because she is more attached to her need for control than she is to him. She wants to keep him around, keep him under her thumb, keep him feeling guilty for her actions. She is manipulative, codependent, and didn't once say a single word about love, how she feels about him (other than displeasure that he isn't meeting her timetable for how quickly he should be forgiving her), remorse for her actions, the pain he might be experiencing knowing that he was her chump for the past three years... nothing. Just irritation that her efforts to mess with this guy's head were being thwarted by an outside source of information that she didn't control, a situation she attempted to remedy by asking Dan to not do his job, to not be Dan.

For both of their sakes, but most especially for the sake of the boyfriend: they need to dump each other already. This isn't a relationship, it's Abu Ghraib.
Posted by Benny Pendentes on March 26, 2011 at 4:52 AM · Report this
@ 192: Well, haha, there are different way of being "told" to come. I always appreciate a little verbal encouragement if she's ready. Or, if she's feeling really dom, I'm happy to comply with something more direct.

Similarly, I may tell my partner to come, but only in the context of helping her get off.

If you still have the problem of "how to stop sex when I'm numb but he isn't done," encourage him to pull out and finish himself, because (hopefully) when you tell him "it really turns me on," he'll be considerate enough to accommodate you.
Posted by Brrrrzap! on March 26, 2011 at 10:57 PM · Report this
@194 - you mean, like encouraging him to come all over my breasts or face - yes, I could see how that could be a win/win. And I'd be happy to lend a hand -- my hand's not numb :-)

Posted by EricaP on March 27, 2011 at 11:36 AM · Report this
HMDH, you deserve to be with a man who fulfills you in every way possible and doesn't treat you like you're less than him. You are an amazing person and don't let him tell you otherwise! So DTMFA and find yourself a real man. Mmmmhmmm!
Posted by Ro Kelly on April 12, 2011 at 6:38 PM · Report this
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