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The Armed Forces

March 23, 2011

Three months ago, my sociopathic girlfriend dumped me because I was going into the military. Afterward, I found out she was cheating on me with a married man. The one great thing about her was that she opened me up. At 22, I'd been in only a few other relationships. The sex with her was amazing, and she opened me up to different things (kinks, dirty talk, foreplay). I'm now having a hard time finding people willing to have casual-yet-kinky sex. I tried online, but the minute someone sees the "going into the army" portion of my profile, they assume I'm some sort of conservative prick. But I am liberal and open-minded and just looking to have some NSA sex before I leave for the army. Help!

Kinky Open-Minded Soldier

If the "going into the army" portion of your profile is preventing you from finding kinky NSA sex partners, KOMS, omit the "going into the army" portion of your profile. Your NSA sex partners may, after meeting you, inquire about your future plans. But you don't need to disclose your hopes, dreams, and political leanings to potential NSA hookups, particularly if you feel that your plans are prejudicing kinksters against you.

But I'm not sure the army portion of your profile is the issue. There are a lot of conservative kinksters out there (I hear from them whenever I tear into a conservative politician in this space), and there are a lot of liberal/hippie/NPR- listening kinksters out there who are attracted to military guys despite their politics (I hear from them whenever they want permission to cheat on their pansy-ass, hypersensitive hippie boyfriends with gruff 'n' buff military guys).

Have a kinky and/or adventurous friend take a look at the rest of your profile. It could be that some other part is giving off a creepy, unsafe, or inept vibe—do you mention that you hadn't heard of foreplay until you were 22?—and it's that part that's turning off otherwise up-for-army-boy kinksters.

I'm a youngish (barely under 30) woman, currently involved in a great hetero relationship: My boyfriend is caring, unlike some men I've dated before, and I see him as a life partner. The trouble is, I find sex profoundly boring. I get vaguely "horny" maybe twice a year, and I don't like sex.

Now I'm starting to wonder if being sexually uninterested disqualifies me from being with my BF. Judging from your past advice, it does. Is this something I should disclose so that he can leave me? I enjoy the cuddling and kissing, talking and outings that are part of coupledom, and it pains me to think I'm doomed to be alone, forever, just because shoving genitals together sits at #48 on my life priority list.

Please let me know what I should do. He's talking about a future together.

Doesn't Really Yearn

Either you've misread my past advice to the sexually disinterested, DRY, or you've only read mischaracterizations of my past advice on angry asexual blogs. So once more with feeling: Being asexual or minimally sexual does not disqualify you or anyone else from having a relationship or enjoying all of the swell, non-genitalia-related things that come with coupledom.

But you can't—you shouldn't—mislead your boyfriend about who you are.

He has a right to know how you feel about sex before he marries you, DRY. At the moment, he assumes—and it's an entirely rational assumption—that you're attracted to him not just in the cuddling, kissing, talking, and outing departments, but sexually as well. That you're not all that interested in sex with him or anyone else is something he has a right to know before marriage and/or kids.

But even if your current BF leaves you, DRY, you're not necessarily "doomed to be alone." There are men out there who feel the same way about sex that you do. If your boyfriend dumps you, come out as very nearly asexual and go find yourself a very nearly asexual guy who wants to cuddle, kiss, talk, and out. And if you do ultimately wind up alone, DRY, no whining: There are lots of happily partnered asexuals out there and lots of unhappy sexuals who wound up alone despite their interest in sex.

My husband and I hired an electrician, whom I will call "Sparky." We hired Sparky once before, and he was completely professional. One quirk: He would call me "Ma'am" instead of my name.

Halfway through Sparky's four-hour re-wiring marathon in our kitchen, he handed me an envelope and asked me to fill out a survey regarding his service. I read the following: "My name is Mistress [REDACTED] and I control the male who just gave you this letter. He and I live the lifestyle of Female Supremacy. In our lifestyle of Matriarchy, women issue direction and men obey."

The letter went on to ask for feedback about his performance, whether he was appropriately submissive, whether he addressed me as "Ma'am" or "Mistress," and it ended: "To obtain the best possible service, order this male to give you his key. Keep the key until you are completely satisfied with his attitude or work. Use him as you wish. He must obey."

I don't know much about Dom/sub culture, Dan, but I can't shake the feeling that by hiring this particular electrician, I was unwittingly included in his sex life, and that totally creeps me out. Am I wrong? Are we judgmental prudes if we never hire Sparky ever again?

Apparently Naive Housewife

You were dragged into Sparky's sex life not when you hired him, ANH, but when he made the choice—perhaps he felt he was just following orders—to hand you that envelope. At that point, he involved you in his sex life, which was rude and unprofessional.

Most women who aren't interested in sharing an erotic moment with Sparky—because they're not into Dom/sub play or not into Sparky—would feel uncomfortable reading that letter, which suddenly sexualized a nonsexual exchange of goods and services. Some women would feel deeply violated. Making women feel uncomfortable or unsafe in their own homes by springing your erotic submission on them—and requiring them to participate without first obtaining their explicit consent—is sexual aggression masquerading as erotic submission.

And it's not okay.

Professional Dom, sex bomb, and sex blogger Mistress Matisse ( agrees with me: "That's totally inappropriate," Matisse said in an e-mail. "Those folks did not agree, either overtly or by any action, to be involved in topping that man. If his Mistress really exists, then they are both complicit in creepiness."

If I were you, ANH, I wouldn't hire Sparky again. Not because I wouldn't mind having a submissive electrician around the house—that sounds like fun, actually—but because I wouldn't want an electrician around the house, submissive or not, who displayed poor judgment and had no boundaries.

CONFIDENTIAL TO KIMBO: It sounds like you made the right choice when you DTMFA'd that dude.

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


Comments (253) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Ooh first, I think. I totally agree with the last bit of advice. My "friend" used to include me in his sex games by asking to meet me at a place, and then sneaking in and having sex with his boyfriend there, so he knew someone was waiting for him to finish. I was only, like, 14. It was creepy.
Posted by notyourkochanie on March 22, 2011 at 6:08 PM · Report this
Sandiai 2
Apparently Naive Housewife: you should have asked to speak to his mistress. That situation sounds like sexual harassment and is very creepy. Like Mistress Matisse hinted at, he could have written that letter becuse he thought that the harassment would go over better if a woman was "supposedly" in charge of his creepy behavior. So so icky to sexualize an otherwise non-sexual, and vulnerable, situation. Also, if he is in a DOM/Sub relationship like he describes, aren't they being weird about it? Like, does he give that letter to ALL of his customers? Is his mistress taking proper care of him by setting him up to be molested or hurt like this? None of it makes sense, besides being creepy.
Posted by Sandiai on March 22, 2011 at 6:18 PM · Report this
I'm a bit surprised you didn't mention that ANH was probably holding the key to Sparky's chastity device, Dan.

How do I know? People used to send me messages on collarme asking me to "hold their key" all the time.
Posted by MyLittleGerbil on March 22, 2011 at 6:26 PM · Report this
Re KOMS, many kinky women may not be interested in NSA + BDSM. I won't let guys tie me up in private unless I know them. We don't have to be dating, but I'd better be friends with his friends. KOMS is not in a stable time in his life (about to head overseas), and that also rings my alarm bells as far as private play.

Best bet may be to hook up with a couple, where the husband tags along to make his wife feel safer letting a strange army dude have his way with her. Or go to a public club, be very very charming, and hope to play with someone there.

(If he's looking for a mistress, then his problem is just that there aren't very many of them out there, so they get to be even pickier than your average woman.)

For DRY, don't sex columnists have an obligation to ask women who claim to be asexual whether they've ever even had an orgasm? That can be learned, and might change her outlook.
Posted by EricaP on March 22, 2011 at 6:31 PM · Report this
On a tangent, I am surprised no one has a complaint about the way the first letter starts out. Is the girlfriend a sociopath because she dumped him for his military choice? Or is the dumping in addition to other things he didn't like. It seems like he thinks that him going into the military isn't a valid reason for a girl to dump him. Why not? He is about to leave. For a long time. He clearly made this decision unilaterally without her, so she gets to decide for herself whether she wants to stick around (and if their relationship wasn't serious enough to make the decision together, what is the big deal?). I most likely wouldn't stay with someone if they up and joined the military on me. Something about that part really just does not sit well with me...
Posted by olechka on March 22, 2011 at 6:52 PM · Report this
@4, i absolutely agree with your opinion of DRY. although there are some ladies who just dont enjoy sex. I can tell you I hate #2ing. If i could find a way to do away with that and live my life... i would. Just kidding. She could be not very sexually versed, or possibly a victim of sexual assault. Depending, either of those things can def make the difference.

ANH, go with your little gut and listen to what its telling you. Those instincts are completely valid. Did you find him in the sexuality+services section? or has the business relationship evolved in some way to include something along those lines? Sounds like it hasnt... so don't feel weird not hiring him again. Its not quite explicit in his or your job description to play dom/sub games. I agree with Matiesse in the err of professional conduct.
Posted by Chauncey on March 22, 2011 at 6:58 PM · Report this
@5- right on the money.
Posted by Chauncey on March 22, 2011 at 6:59 PM · Report this
In response to KOM, when I was in the military I used to date online myself but I never let on that I was in the military until it seemed alright to let the other person know (I said what I did for a living if asked but didn't get any further into detail than that unless asked). All in all though I totally agree with Dan.
Posted by mr.who on March 22, 2011 at 7:13 PM · Report this
@5: Read the first two sentences again. Was the second one -- the one about her cheating on him with a married man -- present the first time you read the letter? Did Dan have to edit that tidbit back into the letter for clarity, or did you just miss it the first time?

Those two sentences, taken together, certainly imply that she was a piece of work, and that there was more back-story than needed to be explicitly included in the letter.
Posted by avast2006 on March 22, 2011 at 7:18 PM · Report this
To KOM, I was once in the military and I took to online dating much the same way you have (as a means to "branch out" per se). I never included that I was in the military though and whenever asked what I did for a living I simply gave my job title (because it was just as much truth, that's not to say that I eventually mentioned being in the military but that's something to work up to... in private). What I'm getting at is that you're divulging too much information, with that being said I also totally agree with what Dan had to say.
Posted by mr.who on March 22, 2011 at 7:27 PM · Report this
Rehashing the asexual thread once again, I see.

DRY, you need to go back and check out all of the posts from 1-2 months ago, when we explored asexuality ad nauseum. Sounds like you'll learn a lot.

But DRY, a typical heterosexual guy's second or third most important reason for getting into a relationship/marriage is for frequent sexual relations. Sure, there are guys that put sex at a much lower level, but they wouldn't be typical.

Compare that to your own admission that sex is somewhere near #48 on your list and your answer is clear. Most guys would run away from you, no matter how beautiful, sweet or warm you are.
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on March 22, 2011 at 7:35 PM · Report this
I think that the electrician has been masturbating to seventies porn videos where horny housewives get it on with repair men, then forgot this only happens in porn movies. His "mistress" is a figment of his imagination.

I am in the kink community, and I see far too many confused men who think that they have a right to sexual attention from women. I suggest you repay him by reporting him to the state licensing board.
Posted by not that kinky on March 22, 2011 at 7:51 PM · Report this
To DRY: Your current boyfriend may be able to deal with this, but ONLY if you are up front about it.

If you try to hide or downplay your lack of libido, he will eventually start thinking that you don't find HIM attractive, and that protestations about low libido are an excuse to put him off. It is painful to feel sexually attracted to one's life partner and not have that feeling reciprocated. Over time, the constant rejection he feels under those circumstances will grind his self-esteem into a pile of tiny little abrasive particles, and eventually will kill the relationship. If you are lucky, he will leave before finding someone with whom to cheat on you. If he is lucky, he will leave long before this has him writing in to Dan Savage about which circle of Hell his sex life resembles.

That's not to say that you can't have a successful relationship with this guy, but there will have to be some sort of accommodations made. Maybe you can learn to fake enthusiasm in the short term, and maybe get over disliking sex in the longer term. Maybe he can get his sexual needs met outside the relationship, with your blessing. (Don't even think of trying to make him remain monogamous if you aren't going to be a regular and active participant in his sex life.)

Whatever the accommodation turns out to be, it has to be done with full disclosure, and soon. If you don't disclose right up front, I guarantee that things will progress under a bunch of reasonable but false assumptions on his part, which, when things don't work according to those assumptions, lead only to a lot of misunderstanding and heartbreak.

I'm a little worried that you are saying you are "in a great heterosexual relationship." Most great heterosexual relationships involve great heterosexual sex. Have you spent the last several months shoving genitals together and now you're getting tired of it? I sure hope that isn't the case, because it would mean you've been lying to him. Is he trying to be "caring and understanding" and give you all the space you need? Fuck, I hope not. That's throwing away the best years of his sexuality.

You talk about this like you would prefer to make it work with your current boyfriend. That may or may not work out over the long term, and it will be some work. Dan's advice is better for the general case. You will have better luck if you can find somebody equally asexual as yourself.
Posted by avast2006 on March 22, 2011 at 8:05 PM · Report this
OK, one of the first responders.

I think DRY is probably just an average woman. News flash Dan, Asexuals are rare, probably less than 1% of the population. All these minimally sexual women who write (or more commonly who are written about) fall on the normal continuum. I understand the need to try and create this new huge category of people who have a grievance and chip on their shoulder (Asexual power!) but can we avoid medicalizing everything?

I would love to be there at the big revelation though: "Honey, you know I love you but I just don't like having sex with you. Can we just cuddle from now on? That will be OK, right?" LMFAO. She should marry him first- that is how it is usually done.

As for Soldier boy- thanks for serving your country but I caught the learning about foreplay portion also. I am guessing you're going infantry not helicoptor pilot school? Methinks there is more to the story than the liberal freelovers don't want to boink a future soldier.

ANH was sexually violated. This is more than creepy. I think it actually borders on criminal.

Posted by Professor on March 22, 2011 at 8:11 PM · Report this
To ANH: Take his key, then order him to tear up his invoice and get the hell out.
Posted by avast2006 on March 22, 2011 at 8:13 PM · Report this
nocutename 16
I think EricaP's onto something here, something that rarely gets addressed when men start in on "asexual" women. It could very well be that DRY has never had an orgasm, and not only does she not know what she's missing, but she has become frustrated with what she experiences as a vaguely pleasurable experience which devolves into a tedious grind (pun intended) to be gotten through.

Think about how you'd view sex if you never got over the barest threshold of arousal. After a while you might only get "'horny' maybe twice year," and vastly prefer cuddling. There would never have been a payoff, and frequently, there might be actual discomfort.

Dan is in a hurry to have DRY say something like, "I am asexual and you have a right to know this before committing to me for life," so as to give the boyfriend a chance to dump her and then he wants her to go register with some sort of asexual dating group so that, like a leper, she will be limited in her social and romantic interactions to those of her own kind.

I suggest that she ask and answer a few questions. First these: Has she ever had an orgasm? Does she masturbate? Does she have any idea of what arouses her, and if not, has she tried to explore erotica, porn, or other avenues of assistance to accessing her erotic imagination?

Then these: How often are she and her bf currently having sex? If it is frequent (or far more frequent than she would like), does it give her some sort of emotional pleasure to please her bf, and if that's all she's getting out of the experiences, is she willing to continue at the same rate of frequency forever? Does her bf seem satisfied with the frequency and quality of the sex they're having, or has he expressed dissatisfaction?

Then the really big one: have they discussed the mis-match of libidos before (is her bf even aware that there is a mis-match)?

They need to come to some mutual understanding and decisions. Either she is willing to continue having sex for her husband's sake, even if she gets nothing much out of it because she loves him, or he needs to understand what a low priority sex is for her and be willing to accept that, or he needs permission to fulfill some of his sexual needs outside the marriage, or (my favorite) they need to work together to try to open her up to enjoying sex more, which would hopefully have the correlative effect of making her more desirous of sex more frequently--but without putting pressure on her ("how about now? Do you like it better now?"), or they need to break up and seek other people more like-minded about sexual desire and frequency.

But to just write her off as an asexual who has an obligation to disclose is to miss the boat.
Posted by nocutename on March 22, 2011 at 8:22 PM · Report this
@14 - I think the LW is giving herself that label, saying she's not interested in sex. She looks around, and other people seem to be enjoying it a lot more than she is. Dan's responding to what she says. But (as someone who has been there, done that), I think she just doesn't know that she has never had an orgasm. She has had little flutters, that she has called orgasms, but she doesn't have anything to compare them too.

Having orgasms is not obvious for many women. They need porn, vibrators, or really talented boyfriends. Sounds like she has had none of the above.
Posted by EricaP on March 22, 2011 at 8:25 PM · Report this
Dear DRY, while #13 has some pretty good advice to add to Dan's (consider opening up the relationship, consider "fake it til you make it"...), #13 also seems really really emotionally invested and so forgot to consider this as a possibility: maybe your BF is also mostly asexual. You didn't disclose how often you two are grinding genitals. If that amounts to "not very often" and he's still talking about a future, then you might have found a sexually compatible match. Even more reason to disclose. And if he's not like you, there are creative solutions to sexual incompatibility, but none involve repression and very few involve dishonesty. If you're reading Dan, then you clearly feel comfortable thinking about sexuality. Start discussing it with your partner--this current BF and if he doesn't work out, your future romantic encounters--they are the ones with the real answers.
Posted by whatdoiknow on March 22, 2011 at 8:44 PM · Report this
See, this is why you should hire Union electricians.
Posted by biggie on March 22, 2011 at 8:52 PM · Report this
To all the asexuals/minimally sexual people/very sexual people/normally sexual people: DISCLOSE HOW MUCH YOU WANT SEX. FIND PEOPLE WHO WANT TO HAVE AS MUCH SEX AS YOU. DATE THEM. BE HAPPY.
Fuck anyone who tries to deceive people into a relationship. You are assholes. Lying, deceptive assholes. GTFO.

You know what? I have a type. It's a rare type. Hot asian b-boys/hip-hop dance instructors. Considerate and intelligence also a must. Do you have ANY idea how rare that is? Especially in a small city? And yet I manage to date without having to lie or deceive people. You have a small dating pool. Suck it the fuck up.
Posted by Caralain on March 22, 2011 at 9:03 PM · Report this
But do the NPR-listeners who want permission to cheat on (one infers) boyfriends who aren't Mr Savage's type with military-style men who are receive the permission they seek? If they do, I hope that's not a significant part of the reason why.

Sorry to be sour about this, but as someone who finds "buff" a distinct turn-off, I admit that my patience thins pretty quickly. There should be a specific example here, but it's too late to think of an apposite one.
Posted by vennominon on March 22, 2011 at 9:34 PM · Report this
What Caralain@20 said, but with less emphasis...

Nocutename@16: Although I wholeheartedly agree with what you are saying, I don't think that people (and men in particular) are going to hang around long enough to work things out over time. Sadly, I think that you're giving men too much credit in this regard...or perhaps expecting too much from them. Most men do not have the patience to work through sexual issues of this type/magnitude during the early stages of a relationship.

Frankly, why would they want to? Because they feel SOOOO connected with the woman? Sorry, that's not how they're wired (typical man). I know I sound like a shallow asshole in saying that, but it really is the truth.

Overgeneralizing here, but women want to have sex with men whom they feel connected to. Men begin to feel connected to women that they have regular sex with. Sick and sad, but true.
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on March 22, 2011 at 9:36 PM · Report this
DRY - end this relationship now or face years of having the same discussion and why you don't like fucking your boyfriend. We're 15 years and counting, and even though I said I understood and would live with it, I was wrong. I wasn't lying--I really thought I could. But when it comes down to it, I'm still hurts every single day that my wife doesn't want to fuck me. Intellectually, I understand. Emotionally, I'm still hurt.

There could be something organic, but she doesn't mind her libido. I don't want sex outside the relationship: I want her to want me. She hasn't masturbated in over 5 years. Full disclosure, arms length, and still we talk about it, still my journals are dominated by just how much sex I'm not getting from her and how much I resent it.

So I have issues. Spare yourself. Run.
Posted by Steeeeverino on March 22, 2011 at 9:59 PM · Report this
I think it's condescending to tell DRY, an adult woman nearly 30, that while she might think she doesn't like sex, she's wrong, and if she just could become educated enough to enjoy a "real" orgasm, she'd see how wrong she is.

This attitude reminds me of the smug men who declare that lesbians "just haven't met the right man", or the doctors who assure women not interested in bearing children that someday they'll change their minds. It's arrogant to "conclude" that you know more about someone than they know about themselves. I think DRY should be given credit for self-knowledge and given advice accordingly.
Posted by Sancho on March 22, 2011 at 10:03 PM · Report this
Anyone thought that maybe, just maybe, she's really lucky and her boyfriend is asexual/minimally sexual too? She says they're happy. Maybe she's wrong, and I know we've all experienced and read about situations where one person thinks things are okay when they're not. But he's the one talking about long term plans. Maybe he likes things the way they are. She doesn't mention begging, faking, or making compromises. Maybe they don't have sex that often and he's okay with it. Let's hope so.
Posted by Pollyanna Hopeful on March 22, 2011 at 10:25 PM · Report this
Boy am I sick of the big fat lie.

The lie is this: Men want sex, want it all the time. Women don't really like sex, but do it to please their partners.

HA! Most of the women I know, (myself included) have healthy, active libidos. Most of those women have higher libidos than their male partners.

High libido/low libido is not directly related to gender. Period.

Some people have the drive and the desire, some people do not.

Yes, sometimes there's something "wrong" with a person that makes their libido "too high" or "Too low". Sometimes it is simply how the person is. I'm all for people figuring out the road to orgasm, but I've met people (women and men) who know full well what a "real" orgasm is, and are really just not interested in pursuing it very often.

I applaud Dan's opinion that people with low sex drives should find other people with low sex drives. If you're not gunning for sex, there's nothing wrong with that... unless you present yourself otherwise in order to have a relationship. That's a bit like hating the taste of alcohol and despising the feeling of being drunk and hanging out in bars to find a partner.

If your sex drive is low, own up to that and be honest with yourself. If you think maybe there's a problem, seek counseling or a doctor or both. If it is not a problem, don't make it someone else's lifelong problem!!!
Posted by Kukla on March 22, 2011 at 10:31 PM · Report this
I am surprised that you never suggest that the asexual writers should have a full hormonal workup before packing it in. After all sex drive is hormone driven, and these things can be treated.
Posted by expanseb on March 22, 2011 at 11:24 PM · Report this
@9 either I am totally blind or that sentence is a new addition. interesting.
Posted by olechka on March 22, 2011 at 11:38 PM · Report this
@approaching 40 in LA
I have a fever, so it gets me all capslocky and means my tolerance for whiny bitches is at an all time low.
Posted by Caralain on March 23, 2011 at 12:16 AM · Report this
Re DRY: Are you completely averse to having sex more than once or twice a year, or is it just that you don't feel horny more often than that? I ask because sex in a committed relationship isn't just about relieving horniness, it's about pair bonding and sharing closeness with your partner. Of course you should be honest with him, but don't write off the relationship just because he might want closeness even when you're not horny. You might find that the closeness is fulfilling in itself.

Re KOMS: I'm liberal/open-minded and would be glad to give anyone who is putting his/her life on the line to keep our country safe a great send off! I'm sure there are plenty of others. Don't give up!
Posted by BeingABear on March 23, 2011 at 1:29 AM · Report this
@17 EricaP

"She has had little flutters, that she has called orgasms, but she doesn't have anything to compare them to."

Exactly. I've seen this with a couple of women. One of them didn't have an orgasm until 2 years into the relationship. When she finally did come it was like "Oh yeah, now I see."

(BTW are you still checking gmail?)
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 23, 2011 at 4:06 AM · Report this
As far as being an asexual goes, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

She seems to be of a mind that her libido is just fine with her, and her behavior is certainly minimally sexual. So from the perspective of the boyfriend it's going to become clear that she is asexual when she gets around to cluing him in. (and what's up with the guy that he doesn't miss her lack of enthusiasm?! jebus guys, get it together)

It doesn't matter if her brain isn't wired to be asexual. She behaves asexually and she isn't asking for help to change that.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 23, 2011 at 4:19 AM · Report this
@16: I think there is a difference between not liking sex and being pre- or inorgasmic, and that most women can tell the difference between the two. I’m in my thirties now, but I didn’t have an organism until I was about twenty. That created about four years of sexual space where I had long term partners that were caring, thoughtful, and reasonably skilled, but no orgasms (long story—I didn’t masturbate until my twenties so I didn’t really know *how* to orgasm).

However, in that protracted period, there was not one single moment I found sex boring. Yes, I knew I was missing out on orgasm. But I was still intensely aroused and physically responsive for all of that time.
Posted by Prof L on March 23, 2011 at 4:43 AM · Report this
I was well into my 30's when I had my first orgasm and realized that I had never had one before. That hadn't stopped me from being horny or from enjoying sex for the previous 20 years. I get tired of the whole It's All About The Orgasm thing. I'm not saying I don't care about orgasms -- now that I know what they are -- but jeez, enough with the "if you haven't has an orgasm then you know nothing about your own sexuality" attitude. I'm with Sancho on this one.

And even if her sex life has been not just non-orgasmic but downright lousy, that's still not the same thing as only getting horny 2x a year. I seem to remember getting horny quite a lot before I had even had any sex at all. Am I the only one? It's not just about not knowing what you are missing.
Posted by whome on March 23, 2011 at 5:48 AM · Report this
ANH should have asked Sparky if his drywall contained any santorum; then, depending on his response, should have either stripped naked or called the cops. Snap!
Posted by wayne on March 23, 2011 at 5:53 AM · Report this
DRY doesn't seem to want to alter her interest in sex and is already - early in the relationship - pretty contemptuous towards it. It appears that she is having it sometimes because she says she doesn't like it.

It's fairly straightforward for her to determine his level of interest (e.g. how often he initiates, how often he mentions sex). Even if he claims he's OK with it, but wants it significantly more than her, it will n.o.t. get better (normally gets worse).

It's also disingenuous to continue with a long-term relationship on the unverified basis that maybe sex ain't important.

As someone who has lived with the pain of mismatch, I beg DRY not to carry on. It's awful. Disclosure is essential, otherwise DRY deserves all the names under the sun, should be a federal offence.
Posted by dameedna on March 23, 2011 at 6:22 AM · Report this
I am about to be a super bitch, and possibly piss people off. Sorry. What Sparky and his so-called "mistress" did is not just creepy--it's unethical, it's sexual harassment, and I'm not sure it isn't illegal. She should not only not hire him ever again, but if I was put into that position, I would inform the better business bureau. Esp. since if the quality of his service really mattered to this probably mythical mistress, the survey could have been worded in such a way that the nature of the relationship was never disclosed. As an active participant in a 24/7 M/s relationship, I'm esp. angered, because I don't want people like this sexually harassing creeper representing me or my Master.
Posted by BBG on March 23, 2011 at 6:27 AM · Report this
samanthaf63 38
Don't forget that straight guys are always complaining they can't get as much NSA sex as they want. Add kink to it, and yes, it's gonna be more difficult. This is a surprise?

(I'm also 100% with Dan, what part of foreplay didn't this guy know about at his age?)
Posted by samanthaf63 on March 23, 2011 at 6:28 AM · Report this
echizen_kurage 39
Is DRY on hormonal birth control and/or an SSRI? Both of these drugs can, and often do, smother the libido quite effectively.
Posted by echizen_kurage on March 23, 2011 at 6:30 AM · Report this
Shouldn't Dan have asked DRY to seek medical advice? Maybe there's an underlying health problem here?

Posted by vickiep on March 23, 2011 at 6:56 AM · Report this
I'm not going to get in to trying to "fix" DRY's libido so that it better suits people other than her, but I will also speak up as someone who dearly loves and is wildly attracted to a partner that has, for some time, been experiencing very low interest in sex.

It is crushing. It is spirit-destroying. No matter how often I try to remind myself that there's a lot of things it can be, it still just feels like me. Like I'm not attractive. Like he loves me, but I may as well be a close, cuddly friend.

It feels like something that felt like part of being alive, something vibrant, some intrinsic, life-affirming, joyous part of me is being painfully starved to death.

There has been more than one night in which I have been awake long into the night, just weeping in pain.

I'm naturally monogamous. I'm not interested in sleeping with anyone else. But if I'd known way back before we became this couple that this was coming, I can guarantee you it would have caused me to seriously reconsider the relationship, because sex does matter, but more importantly, knowing your sexual self is loved by your partner, that your needs are important to your partner, that your partner finds you as sexually attractive as you find them is crucial.

I'm not going to fuss too much. My partner has a mixture of illnesses going on and is depressed, and I have all sorts of hope things will get better for us. When he's well, if it remains like this, we're going to have a huge problem.

But it is absolutely devastating to the self-esteem and emotional equilibrium to be in this place, and DRY, if you love this man (heck, even if you don't and you have one shred of honor), you make sure he understands exactly what your outlook on sex is and how your libido works. He's not a Ken Doll there to make your Barbie life complete, he's a human, sexual being.
Posted by Forlorn on March 23, 2011 at 7:12 AM · Report this
John Horstman 42
@KOMS: "Foreplay"? Didn't know about it until 22 (which I take to mean that you though the only form of sexual expression was penis-in-vagina fucking until you were 22)? Yikes...

The term "foreplay" is generally frowned-upon in inclusive sex-positive discourse these days, as it privileges penis-in-vagina intercourse over all of the other forms of sex (positioning anything that isn't penis-in-vagina intercourse is positioned as a prelude to the 'real' sex). This serves to marginalize people who don't prefer or ever engage in penis-in-vagina intercourse i.e. those who prefer solo sex; those who have penises or vaginas and prefer sexual partners with penises or vaginas, respectively; those who prefer partners with the sorts of genitals that would make penis-in -vagina sex possible between the pair, but who prefer oral sex or digital stimulation or anal sex or non-penetrative humping or stimulation with (non-human-body-part) objects; etc. That said, I think the term can still be appropriate when discussing sexual activity that is, in the instance being discussed, specifically undertaken with the intent to heighten arousal in order to make penis-in-vagina intercourse more pleasurable or possible.

I'm not 'blaming' you here (you can't help it if you were never given access to information that presented sex as anything other than penis-in-vagina intercourse, though I would urge everyone interested in sex/sexuality to try to get at least basic information about it, and if you continue to be willfully ignorant of how sex works for a spectrum of people even after someone has told you to get informed, then that is on you; Scarleteen is a great place to start), but your use of the word "foreplay" and your assertion that you didn't know about it until 22 definitely makes me wonder if there aren't things other than your impending military tour that are sketching people out/scaring people off. Perhaps you also have an exclusively male-centered or you-centered view of sex (or the remnants of it, after your last GF expanded your view a bit), and that's coming through (you're probably not going to have much success looking for NSA sex if you want someone who will let you do whatever you want and be done, without any consideration for her wants/desires; I suggest this as a possibility because, for most women, penis-in-vagina sex is not the most pleasurable or favorite sexual activity, and a view that holds it as the only form of sex ignores female sexuality to a certain degree or even completely). That may not be it, but it's SOMETHING, probably not your military service (which shouldn't be an issue for people hooking-up and not looking for any sort of commitment, and is likely just serving as a convenient excuse); you should start looking at other things about you and the profiles you're posting with a critical eye.
Posted by John Horstman on March 23, 2011 at 7:24 AM · Report this
RTam 43
You guys may be right about DRY's lack of orgasm being responsible for her lack of interest, but just for the record, some of us rarely if ever have orgasms and LOVE sex. Sex isn't just about the end result, it can be tons of fun and feel fantastic just because you're having sex. Sure it's a bummer to not be able to have a big finish, but it doesn't make everyone completely disinterested.
Posted by RTam on March 23, 2011 at 7:38 AM · Report this
nocutename 44
Maybe I wasn't being clear enough and perhaps I was wrong to conflate my historical issues with DRY's. But if so, that means that others are also wrong to try and interpret her issues based on their own life experiences and viewpoints. All this tells me is that human sexually is very complicated, and perhaps we all (yes, even professional advice-givers like Dan) should have way more info before we start cavalierly telling someone how to solve her problems.

FWIW, and to add my own story here, I was sexually active and very active, with lots of partners from the age of 19, yet I didn't experience an orgasm until I was 38. Yes, 38: so when people say things like, "I didn't become orgasmic until I was 22," I want to scream. How I wished I could be orgasmic when I was 22. I knew I was missing something, but I didn't know what it was. I had felt those "flutters" that EricaP mentioned, but no more. And I was interested in sex in the beginning, but as the years went by through my mid 20s to my mid 30s, I have to say that my libido plummeted. This probably had several causes. As echizen_kurage points out, hormonal birth control (and other drugs, such as SSRIs) can affect libido or contribute to difficulty with arousal, and I had been on the pill since I was 19. Marriage and the subsequent dip in sexual interest that occurs for many after several years also probably had something to do with it. But mostly, it was the fact that I'd never even come close to coming that was responsible. From 19-25ish, I'd say I was horny but unfulfilled; from 25ish-35ish, I'd lost interest.

I had to get a renewed sense of myself as sexual, which started at about 37, after I'd had my second kid (and, btw, was no longer on the pill), to start feeling horny and interested enough to try and address the issue again. I had to discover the right kind of erotica, which I hadn't seen as a younger woman, and the right kind of vibrator (everyone sings the praises of the Hitachi Magic Wand, but that did nothing for me, as did the little "bullet" vibes, I had assiduously tried in my 20s. Turns out I need more stimulation of my interior clitoral tissue, and a "rabbit"-type vibrator.), before I discovered what all the fuss was about. And then my libido went sky high. For me, anyway, libido or horniness is directly related to expectations of pleasure and satisfaction.

I don't presume to tell DRY what her problem is or suggest that all she needs is a good orgasm, or anything else people have attributed to me. I, like the rest of us, have to interpret and to infer from a letter that is limited to what the letter writer actually said; I may be waaaaay off the mark.
But I don't think that true asexuality is as common as some people are supposing.

And I do understand the psychological/sexual/emotional consequences of being married to a spouse that shows little or no interest in you sexually. It is devastating. I just had some questions for DRY. I did forget to mention medication and vibrators.
Experiment with vibrators, DRY, and see what happens. And marijuana.

Okay, my 2 cents has turned in $25.
Posted by nocutename on March 23, 2011 at 7:52 AM · Report this
@DRY: I used to have absolutely zero interest in sex (except in the honeymoon-phase of a new relationship), even with guys I was attracted to and loved very much.
Then I discovered my interest in BDSM, and since my current lover and I have started exploring this, I cannot get enough of it! I have turned into a sex-maniac!
Not saying that the same would happen to you; just something to consider. Best wishes!
Posted by experimentals on March 23, 2011 at 8:16 AM · Report this
I'm with RTam @43 -- I was one of those non-orgasming people with a high sex drive for many years -- in my case, I think the fact that I never orgasmed contributed to my high sex drive.
I also think like @39 that if she's on some medications, that could be affecting her desire -- and lastly, I want to recommend exercise. If she's doesn't work out regularly, she should -- my sex drive when I'm working out regularly vs. when I am not is night and day....
Posted by CU on March 23, 2011 at 8:18 AM · Report this
@44 nocutename

Congratulations on getting there! Finding what works for you can be difficult, but certainly "a renewed sense of myself as sexual" has got to be a good start. That and the meds issues you had.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 23, 2011 at 8:19 AM · Report this
Sparky's behavior was COMPLETELY inappropriate, and Dan's assessment of the situation was right on target - except I don't think it went far enough. If it were me, I would write a letter to Sparky's boss/the company he works for including a copy of the letter he gave me and underscoring how very inappropriate it was. I would explain that as someone who engages in kinky activities, I wasn't completely horrified by the letter, but in the hands of another woman, that letter could generate anything from abject horror to feeling unsafe to feeling violated to having an angry husband attack Sparky to having him or his company get slapped with a sexual harassment lawsuit. Such a letter would probably get him fired, which would be a shame, but necessary if he's doing this kind of thing - hopefully he'd be wise enough not to pull something like that at his next job.

If Sparky was self-employed, I would send a similar letter to HIM letting him know how utterly inappropriate his actions were, what the potential consequences might be if he ever did anything like that in the future, and advice for the sake of his business and his personal and legal safety, that he NEVER EVER do something like that again (and that he insist that his mistress not instruct him to do things that A. could harm his business and livlihood and B. make uninvolved/unsuspecting people unwilling participants in their sex games).

Posted by BadKitty on March 23, 2011 at 8:33 AM · Report this
Sparky's behavior was COMPLETELY inappropriate, and Dan's assessment of the situation was right on target - except I don't think it went far enough. If it were me, I would write a letter to Sparky's boss/the company he works for including a copy of the letter he gave me and underscoring how very inappropriate it was. I would explain that as someone who engages in kinky activities, I wasn't completely horrified by the letter, but in the hands of another woman, that letter could generate anything from abject horror to feeling unsafe to feeling violated to having an angry husband attack Sparky to having him or his company get slapped with a sexual harassment lawsuit. Such a letter would probably get him fired, which would be a shame, but necessary if he's doing this kind of thing - hopefully he'd be wise enough not to pull something like that at his next job.

If Sparky was self-employed, I would send a similar letter to HIM letting him know how utterly inappropriate his actions were, what the potential consequences might be if he ever did anything like that in the future, and advice for the sake of his business and his personal and legal safety, that he NEVER EVER do something like that again (and that he insist that his mistress not instruct him to do things that A. could harm his business and livlihood and B. make uninvolved/unsuspecting people unwilling participants in their sex games).

Posted by BadKitty on March 23, 2011 at 8:35 AM · Report this
I'm not saying that DRY needs to learn to orgasm. Maybe she already has fantastic orgasms twice a year and that's all she wants. But that's not in the letter, so I wanted to raise the idea that maybe her sex life could get better and then she might like it more. Since that was me. (Though at 20, not 30.)

If she were giving up on life we would recommend she get help. I think it's reasonable to urge her to get help before giving up on her sex life. If she has already done a lot of exploring, that's fine, but it's not in the letter. The letter does mention that she has had several "uncaring" boyfriends before; if she has been abused that could also turn her off from sex in ways which might be reversible.
Posted by EricaP on March 23, 2011 at 9:05 AM · Report this
Also, props to 44 & 45 for speaking up to say that people with low sex drives can sometimes find their way to a higher sex drive through creative exploration.

Nagging someone to increase their sex drive won't ever work, but bringing new ideas into the relationship might.
Posted by EricaP on March 23, 2011 at 9:09 AM · Report this
I'm assuming that most readers here would reject the old idea that homosexuality is an illness that needs to be cured because it diverges from so-called "normal" (hetero)sexuality. I can't picture most people on here telling a gay man that he needs to have good sex with a woman or consult a therapist before he can legitimately decide he's gay.

Saying that DRY should seek a "cure" for her asexuality is no different - it's the sexual majority telling a sexual minority that they're dysfunctional, even if they don't realize it, and will be happier once they're cured.
Posted by Sigmund on March 23, 2011 at 9:15 AM · Report this
@42 - A good post. He could well be trying to swim in pools where, relative to the natives, he is a conservative p----.

Now that I'm awake, I'm picking up faint hints of Newb Enthusiasm. That can be pretty offputting to some, but enticing to others. Maybe he should lead with it.
Posted by vennominon on March 23, 2011 at 9:32 AM · Report this
@52, yeah, and we should tell people who don't hear well to just accept their deaf identity. No. Some deafness is treatable, and people should be encouraged to get treatment. Some lack of libido is similarly treatable, and people should be encouraged (not nagged or forced) to get treatment. After that effort, yes, then there is a time for acceptance, empathy, and disclosure to potential life partners.
Posted by EricaP on March 23, 2011 at 9:39 AM · Report this
ANH, this is not only unprofessional and creepy, it also seems like it borders on illegal. To keep it from happening to other women, contact his employer and give them a copy of the letter and register a complaint with the contractors licensing board in your state. Chances are, you aren't the first person who has encountered this type of sexual aggression from him, and someone should put a stop to it.
Posted by chacha78 on March 23, 2011 at 9:49 AM · Report this
EricaP: "Having orgasms is not obvious for many women. They need porn, vibrators, or really talented boyfriends. Sounds like she has had none of the above."

If a woman doesn't want to have sex, and she can articulate that, we should accept that explanation as the starting point. Don't try and foist this onto the guy.

Similarly, if she leads with saying it is her mate's fault, fine. But again, if she doesn't, don't put it on a guy to figure out her Rubik's Cube issue in order for him to get his Good Lover merit badge from EricaP.

(Oh, and all those guys who smirkingly tell us they are proudly the sort of chap who loves to solve the Rubik's Cube issue, also, please, stop; I can hear your gold medallions jangling and soft mood music filtered through your shitty bear skin rug. Gross.)
Posted by No, the guy is not to blame, m'kay? on March 23, 2011 at 10:26 AM · Report this
@54 Actually, that is an interesting example you bring up. As far as I know, many people in the deaf community would actually take a big issue with your assumption about treatment.
Posted by olechka on March 23, 2011 at 10:31 AM · Report this
Dan I disagree with your advice to the 1st writer. Instead of having a friend vet his profile (chances are he doesn't have any kinky friends or at least know that they're kinky).

He should send you the profile to check out.

And pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.
Posted by RealityBites on March 23, 2011 at 10:59 AM · Report this
@54 - Erica, you're continuing to describe asexuality as a defect, which should be fixed if possible and accepted with empathy if not. Asexuality isn't a defect; it's simply another sexual variation, no different from homosexuality, bisexuality, paraphilia, etc. It can certainly prove inconvenient to the extent that it does not conform to other people's expectations, but that's their problem.
Posted by Sigmund on March 23, 2011 at 10:59 AM · Report this
@56 Yes, EricaP merit badges are hard to earn. Not everyone wants one, and I'm fine with that.

@57 That's the point of my example, actually. Just because some people in that community say someone with (poor hearing / poor libido) is great that way and shouldn't talk to a doctor – that doesn't mean that doctors who treat hearing loss / low libido should find another line of work.

@59 Change happens, if not to everyone. Read @44 and tell me you have no empathy for her development from high libido and back to high libido.
Posted by EricaP on March 23, 2011 at 11:17 AM · Report this
Let me put it this way. If someone tells me they don't want to have kids, I support that immediately, no questions asked. Having kids doesn't make one's life better, in my experience.

If someone tells me they don't like sex, I do ask them what they have tried before they came to that conclusion. Orgasms and/or good sex do make one's life better, in my experience.

Raising the question doesn't mean I shove it down their throat and make them choke on it. If people tell me they're happy, that's great. But if they're complaining about the small dating pool of asexual people... then maybe they do want to change.

I'm so old I remember jazz appreciation classes. People aren't all born liking jazz, and not everyone is born liking sex. Many people will continue happily to not like jazz, or not like sex. Great for them. But some people can learn to like jazz, or like sex. It's worth offering people options in life, and not just saying everyone is the way they are, end of story.
Posted by EricaP on March 23, 2011 at 11:36 AM · Report this
timtech 62
@5 - exactly. I'm a war vet and I made the same choice when I enlisted.

@9 - He found out she was fucking around him after the break up. Enlisting may have been her excuse to break free, but the truth is we really just don't know. Taken for what it is comment @5 has the most spot on response. But I can see where you are coming from too.
Posted by timtech on March 23, 2011 at 11:39 AM · Report this
@25: Sure, that's a possibility: maybe he is as low-sex-drive as she is. In that case, the conversation that they need to have will be short, sweet, and uneventful.

But they still need to have it -- just in case he isn't actually that guy.
Posted by avast2006 on March 23, 2011 at 11:47 AM · Report this
I think the comparisons of asexuality with homosexuality and with deafness are both off the mark for different reasons:

-- Living with a deaf partner doesn't require a hearing partner to never speak or hear.

-- If you are a homosexual, only an idiot would counsel you to date into the heterosexual dating pool with hopes of finding someone there to make it work long-term.
Posted by avast2006 on March 23, 2011 at 12:01 PM · Report this
@59 asexuality "can certainly prove inconvenient to the extent that it does not conform to other people's expectations, but that's their problem"

Um, while I'm happy for people to be whoever they are, saying it's other people's problem when it turns out that their reasonable/common/standard expectation of a sex life won't be met is nonsense. Asexuality and lower libdio (especially early in a relationship) isn't always obvious and revealed - and it needs to be in order to avoid terrible pain for both of them downstream.
Posted by dameedna on March 23, 2011 at 12:53 PM · Report this
Ophian 66

What EricaP and others have been suggesting are entirely validated by this:
"The trouble is, I find sex profoundly boring."

While asexuality is just as valid as any other libido level, that is not what the letter was about.
Posted by Ophian on March 23, 2011 at 12:55 PM · Report this

I don't think anyone else has mentioned this but it's possible that Sparky is the equivalent of a flasher. He may not have wanted anything beyond shocking you so that he could go home and masturbate to the memory of the expression on your face.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 23, 2011 at 1:03 PM · Report this
@59 et al: I don't think that EricaP and others are arguing that asexuality is a defect; they're arguing that the woman may or may not be asexual at all.

Sexual relations, whether masturbatory or with others, can be extremely fulfilling for most people. They're also an intrinsic part of almost all romantic relationships. Many women (myself included) remember a time when we didn't enjoy sex and perhaps didn't want sex. for many of us, we figured out that sex can actually be awesome, and we were held back by hormonal problems/societal norms/medication side effects or other things.

suggesting that a person who doesn't love sex might get checked out is NOT saying that it's wrong to be asexual. It's just saying that asexuality is rare, and in a society where many women are taught that sexuality is disgusting and wrong, a woman who is not comfortable with sex might simply need to open up to find out that she's not actually asexual at all.

Certainly I am happier now that I embrace my sexuality, but if she is adverse to the idea, or tries to figure out if there's something else going on and finds that there isn't, that is completely her choice, and no one on here is going to fault her for it.
Posted by brokephilosopher on March 23, 2011 at 1:19 PM · Report this

Most women would (and to be honest, have) run away from *me* for being the enormous pervert I am, and for needing to get tied up and pegged on a semi-regular basis.

But the ones that *stay*... well, those are the interesting ones.

Dating is a process of elimination. I don't date *most women*. I date a select few that I think are worth dating in the first place. Just as I am honest with those that I date in an effort to find people I'm actually compatible with, DRY should be honest with those that she dates in an effort to find compatibility. Noone should lie about who they are just because the majority of people won't accept them. That's true of everyone, gay, straight, kinky, vanilla, or asexual. It's just not a recipe for a good relationship.
Posted by gromm on March 23, 2011 at 1:43 PM · Report this
I am picturing dear DRY's oddly unpopular personal ad. "I am kind of asexual and dislike banging genitals together. Also, I am going into the Army."

Posted by inbed on March 23, 2011 at 1:58 PM · Report this
"Making women feel uncomfortable or unsafe in their own homes by springing your erotic submission on them—and requiring them to participate without first obtaining their explicit consent—is sexual aggression masquerading as erotic submission."

Dan, bravo and thank you.
Posted by pistolkitten on March 23, 2011 at 2:22 PM · Report this
@59: An expectation of near or complete lack of sex in a relationship is one modality, and people have a right to that if they want it. Nobody should be coerced into sex that they don't want. However, by the same token, an expectation of frequent, enthusiastic sex is an equally valid modality.

When both of those modalities are present in the same relationship, the word to describe that isn't "inconvenient." The correct word is "incompatible."
Posted by avast2006 on March 23, 2011 at 2:50 PM · Report this
Personally, I would have an easier time believing in the idea of asexuality (i.e. that a perfectly emotionally and physically healthy person can have zero sex drive) if I ever heard an "asexual" talking about sex in a completely neutral way.

But every time an "asexual" writes in, they describe sex in a negative way and usually mock people who enjoy it (I also saw a news segment about a social club for asexuals...same thing, everyone in the group was rolling their eyes at us dumb sexual people and how we sure to seem to like doing that stupid pointless sex thing).

Saying "I don't like sex" and describing the act as "shoving genitals together" doesn't sound to me like the words of someone who's just not into it: it sounds like fear and anger.

So, yeah, I supect that a lot of self-identified asexuals are actually just really really repressed, or pre-orgasmic, or victims of abuse, or something. I'm with Erica P. and the others who have suggested that DRY try to explore her feelings on the subject a little more instead of jumping to conclusions.
Posted by perversecowgirl on March 23, 2011 at 3:11 PM · Report this
Re 73, I note that Savage has, in the past, engaged in virtual eye-rolling and "icky poo" squeamishness in discussing women's sex organs.

Fear? Anger? Doubt it. But much like me and thinking about a guy's junk, some parts of human sexuality make him go, "ick, no way". I assume asexuals are the same way.

I roll my eyes and make faces at the idea of a guy's junk. Savage does when thinking about women. Asexuals feel that way about the whole topic. No sweat. Everyone has their own level in interest in differnt things. You don't need to call it fear and anger if you get grossed by some things involving sex and humans. It is instead called sexual orientation and preferences.
Posted by No need to medicalize everything on March 23, 2011 at 3:28 PM · Report this
KOMS says his gf cheated on him. But we don't know if they were in a committed relationship. Some people believe when they are in a fairly regular fucking relationship, that if their partner plays around, that's "cheating". I've felt that way. But without agreement, there's no violation. I don't believe they were engaged. It doesn't sound like they were living together. Were they "going steady"? He's admittedly looking for NSA. (Yes, the husband was cheating.)

If she's sociopathic, why would KOMS commit to her, especially if he had it in his mind to head off to the military?

Maybe she didn't want to commit for various reasons, but when they had it out, she listed his imminent departure as a reason, and he latched on to it. Dumped lovers are not the best reporters of their exes.
Posted by Hunter78 on March 23, 2011 at 4:33 PM · Report this
#74, let's try a metaphor here. I'm not into eating steak...I've had it, it was fine, but I don't care if I ever have it again in my lifetime. But I don't dwell on my lacklustre steak experiences; I don't make commments about how OMG the whole concept of steak is so alien to me, I mean I don't really understand why someone would want to chew on a big hunk of a cow's muscle tissue but whatever, if the steak-eaters like it then they can just go ahead for all I care so NYAH NYAH NYAH. And if I did run around talking like that all the time...wouldn't you assume I must have some weird issues with steak and/or the people who eat it?

Actually, okay, I'm revising my opinion from my previous post: trash-talking steak-lovers or sex-lovers isn't necessarily a sign that someone has issues with sex or steak; it could also mean that the person feels threatened by how much everyone else seems to like it. I would assume that Dan made his disparaging comments about female genitals because, after having been gaybashed for a good chunk of his life, he felt a bit defensive and was lashing out.

Now, personally, my sex drive is way too high for me to ever consider dating an asexual. But even if asexuality was something I was willing to deal with in a relationship, y'know what isn't? A tendency for my partner to feel insecure and lash out at me in an attempt to make me feel bad about who I am. So the whole I-just-don't-like-that-boring-business-of-shoving-our-genitals-together vibe of DRY rankles the everloving shit out of me.
Posted by perversecowgirl on March 23, 2011 at 4:44 PM · Report this
"Overgeneralizing here, but women want to have sex with men whom they feel connected to. Men begin to feel connected to women that they have regular sex with. Sick and sad, but true. "

I don't see anything sick about that. Unfortunate that biology (and society) dealt us these not-entirely-compatible hands, but sick?
Posted by truthspeaker on March 23, 2011 at 4:53 PM · Report this
Free Busch On Tuesday 78
As a Soldier about to leave the Army... Why the fuck are you joining the Army? I know it's too late, but I mean seriously... it sucks. If you're any sort of sane, or have the choice not to join, DO NOT FUCKING JOIN! I have spent the last 11 months in Afghanistan, fighting a losing war. I've given 6 years to the Army. Sure I have a university education and an officer's commission out of it, but it's not fucking worth it man.

KOMS, the army will chew you up and spit you out, it is an unforgiving organization. It will lie, steal and cheat to get what it wants. There is no honor in it, there is no honor in war, there is only terror, destruction and inhumanity. Guard your mind, for you will find all that was once true to be a lie, all that is good, to wither and die.
Posted by Free Busch On Tuesday on March 23, 2011 at 5:45 PM · Report this
I'm horrified by how hard people are coming down on Sparky.

I think he went too far. I don't think the letter was appropriate--it was too strong. But there might be more to the story. Maybe he thought he detected some flirtation (maybe there was, or maybe Sparky just sucks at interpreting these things). Sure, trying to involve a client in your sex life is questionable if you're counting on a continuing business relationship. Why is that, exactly?

Essentially, he asked a question to probe interest, and the answer was no. Wouldn't it be lovely if the world thought it was okay to ask for what you want? Words without the threat of physical violence should not MAKE adults feel a certain way; adults should CHOOSE how to feel, or should feel and then use that in order to answer. "Feeling creeped out" by a question is for children and Americans.

ANH did the right thing: she wondered whether this was appropriate. I think ANH is far more mature here than Dan--she maturely considered what her reaction should be. Dan, in contrast, talked about how violated some people would feel. Dear Dan: some people feel violated by women who assert opinions or who show calf or navel or neck. Many American women feel violated if a man asks "Would you like to have sex with me?"--especially if they're married, since most American women like to pretend that humans are monogamous. Dan makes men feel violated all the time by the mere fact that he's gay. Should these people feel violated? How can you answer that?

ANH was not "dragged into" Sparky's sex life. She was invited. Well, mostly. There was perhaps a small amount of dragging, and I think that Sparky did go too far. But what if the same conversation had been verbal? What if Sparky had said "Here's this thing I'm interested in. Are you?" What if he'd led up to it gradually and backed off earlier? This is a continuum, and I think the non-invasiveness of handing someone a letter has been lost on Dan and most of this audience.

Life's far too short not to ask people whether they'd be interested in sharing your interests, as long as it's okay for the answer to be "no". The alternative is a litigious society where just asking any question (that could be in any way related to sexuality, porn, money, drugs, interests that Republicans don't like, etc?) can get you sued, people live in fear of "invading" each other by just attempting to communicate, and everybody is desperately lonely.

I think Sparky was out of line. But only a little.
Posted by something on March 23, 2011 at 6:00 PM · Report this
39 & 44 mentioned this, but it bears repeating: Is DRY on hormonal birth control? I felt the same way she does after being on the Pill/ring/shot for six years. I was young and newly-wed and had no interest in sex, and I thought there was something seriously amiss. I was complaining to a girlfriend who said she had the same issue until she got off the Pill and got a copper IUD. I've had my IUD for two months and my libido has improved tremendously. Planned Parenthood can help you too if the money is an issue.
Posted by wxPDX on March 23, 2011 at 6:22 PM · Report this

@79: Nice trolling. U go to troll school?

Posted by Crackersnap on March 23, 2011 at 7:22 PM · Report this

I get what you mean, but maybe SOMETIMES the fear and anger is a defense in response to all the grief she gets about it. To use the steak analogy, I don't like steak, but people aren't constantly trying to convince me that if it was just cooked right I would LOVE it and I should try to correct my very pathological dislike of steak.

And for the record I am WAY on the other end of the sexual spectrum. I would literally do nothing but fuck eat and sleep if that were an option to me, and that's basically my idea of heaven. So even "normal" women who are sometimes "not in the mood" strike me as totally batty.

I just think that if she said "I don't like sex" and expected us to say "Oh, neato, I don't like curly fries. To each their own." Then she might not feel the need to state it so vehemently.
Posted by mydriasis on March 23, 2011 at 8:13 PM · Report this
@81 I don't think 79 is trolling. Is it ever appropriate to ask out someone at work, if you do it politely and take no for an answer? Maybe yes, maybe no, depending on who has authority over the other, maybe depending on gender... but maybe sometimes it's okay.

If they had known each other (professionally) for months, and he asked her out for coffee, and accepted her "no" politely... That would be okay, in my view.

In this case, Sparky was out of line, and should be reported to his licensing board. But a contractor thinking sexual thoughts about his employer isn't automatically harassment.
Posted by EricaP on March 23, 2011 at 8:44 PM · Report this
@82, I agree that her defensiveness is appropriate for our culture. But there's a reason people react with concern when a woman says she doesn't like sex. It's more like refusing language than it is like refusing curly fries.

Sex maybe falls somewhere between language and music, in terms of its importance in most people's lives and in bringing people together with the kind of close connection most humans crave.
Posted by EricaP on March 23, 2011 at 8:45 PM · Report this
Interesting post! Who want to be the "army"?
trend internet security
Posted by denys on March 23, 2011 at 10:35 PM · Report this
@81: I agree with 79: I think you’re all making a bigger deal of this than it is.

A long time ago a gay man decided he wanted to have sex with me. (I’m straight and single.) But, for whatever reason, he couldn’t say “Hi, I’m gay, I think you’re hot, want to get it on?” No. He had to pretend to have a common interest with me, so that he could ask for an invitation to my apartment. Once he'd got me alone and in private, instead of, you know, ASKING if I was interested, he proceeded to try to embrace me and “kiss” me on the face. (He was trying for my lips but I wasn’t cooperating.) Then, with me pushing him away and the expression on my face, he hung his head and left my apartment. Now I think that that’s FAR more intrusive and “involving [me] in his sex life” than handing me an envelope inviting me to do X to him could ever have been. It was certainly “making [me] feel uncomfortable in my own home” and the only reason it wasn’t “creepy” was because it had gone well past the “creepy” stage. But once he’d left I didn’t worry about it, or call the police or anything, because it just wasn’t that big a deal – not anywhere near that big a deal.

Then again, marching him to the door with his head hung low was therapeutic – it’s hard to feel creeped out by a spineless wimp. It’s a pity ANH couldn’t do that to “Sparky”. But of course she had a half-completed four hour wiring job to worry about: total pain to leave that half-done until she could hire another electrician.

And this isn’t that big of a deal. Yes, “Sparky” shouldn’t have done it, and ANH is certainly not in any way “a judgmental prude” to never hire him again – I certainly wouldn’t - and ANH should do what she needs to do to make herself feel more comfortable about it: talk to him, get an apology from him, and let him know he’s never getting hired again by them and why, if that makes ANH feel better, talk to his “mistress,” if she exists, and get an apology from her, if that makes ANH feel better. Or don’t have anything to do with them again, if not having anything to do with them is what makes ANH feel better.

But in the overall scheme of things, this falls well into the “not that big of a deal” category. There’s enough truly bad stuff will happen to you in life without sweating the small stuff. And making this into something bigger than it is only gives the idiot more power over you.

I think that the reason I came out of my incident, which in physical terms was worse than hers, feeling OK, while she feels creeped out, is that I came out of it feeling that I was in control – life had thrown a hardball at me and I’d hit it out of the park, which feels empowering not traumatic - while she doesn’t feel in control, at all: she’s asking Dan if she’s allowed to not allow him back in her house. I’d recommend she do stuff to get back her sense of control, rather than that she dwell on the incident.
Posted by Old Crow on March 23, 2011 at 10:44 PM · Report this
Sex advice haiku:

KOMS - Your profile needs work/Kinky sex is hard to find/War makes it harder
DRY - Sex is not all that/Except when it is to some/Best to find out now
ANH - The bill torn to bits/The letter saved guards the spring/Against future bills
Posted by delwalk on March 23, 2011 at 10:50 PM · Report this
88 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
hit girl 89
Army Boy should try making a few different profiles, some saying the army part, some not, all a little different, with slightly different photos, and see which ones get the most hits.
Posted by hit girl on March 24, 2011 at 12:12 AM · Report this
Hey Mistress [REDACTED], do you realize that you are destroying your slave's livelihood? He's not your husband, by any chance? With any luck the two of you will be out of your cozy dungeon and living under an underpass within the year, once word gets out and he can't get any regular work in his chosen trade. Shining example of Female Supremacy you got going there, running the family business into the ground. Heckuva job.

Sparky, in case you are reading: Your Supreme Queen is too stupid to be in charge of you.

(assuming she isn't fictional)
Posted by avast2006 on March 24, 2011 at 12:18 AM · Report this
Wow wow now hold up a minute Dan. Don't just write DRY off as an asexual. Is she taking any prescription drugs? Is she on birth control? These things have profound sexual side-effects, especially when it comes to libido and orgasm function.

DRY: Have a talk with your doctor and see what you guys can work out before you write sex off entirely. If it turns out there's no medical component messing stuff up you are statistically speaking way more likely to be in a situation where your body is telling you that this relationship is over rather than you being asexual.
Posted by Tekkard on March 24, 2011 at 1:33 AM · Report this
Am I the only one who thought ANH was using "electrician" as a euphemism for "professional third", and the problem had to do with being addressed as Ma'am by hired help? It took me until the end of the letter to understand that "Sparky" actually was just an electrician.

Up to that point, I thought the "four-hour re-wiring marathon in the kitchen" referred to a vigorous 3-way, and admired her wit!
Posted by GasparFagel on March 24, 2011 at 3:42 AM · Report this
I believe Sparky crossed the line, but by gosh if it was me in her shoes I would have used the letter to make him clean the shower before he left... just saying
Posted by Dan Worshipper on March 24, 2011 at 6:23 AM · Report this
Yes, the Sparky crossed the line and should not be used again. But if I was in her shoes I would have used the letter to make him clean my shower before making him leave... just saying
Posted by Dan Worshipper on March 24, 2011 at 6:29 AM · Report this
Old Crow:
It was a man, in her home when she is home alone. Apparently the existence of rape isn't something factored into your equation.

Count me among the folks who think that his behaviour was criminal, and that's where I disagree with @79. If he approached her properly, later, and followed the kink rules, that's fine. But to basically say, "you're in my sex life whether you want it or not" in her own goddamned home and without any warning or permission is the emotional equivalent of suddenly masturbating in front of her.

How obvious does this have to be and how oblivious do you have to be? We get to choose who we bring into our home for sexual matters. Third parties don't get to arbitrarily choose for us. They have no right what-so-ever to do so, and, frankly, I think that both the electrician and the mistress (if she exists) both at the very minimum should have the shit scared out of them by an evening in an interrogation room with the sexual assault detectives.
Posted by seeker6079 on March 24, 2011 at 6:43 AM · Report this
Am I the only one who gets the vibe that DRY's bf, on finding out that about her lack of interest, will say "thank god, me too!" ? I hope so, for both their sakes'. She seems every so much nicer than a lot of the low-libido people that I've met who are all too eager to make other people carry their emotional cans for them.
Posted by seeker6079 on March 24, 2011 at 6:49 AM · Report this
Apparently Naive Housewife:

Why would you write to Dan Savage for advice on whether or not to hire "Sparky" again? Can't you make a simple decision and act on it? What age are you...10? What a waste of space your question is!
Posted by srevits on March 24, 2011 at 8:14 AM · Report this
I spent 6 years in the Navy and it was never a strong selling point for the ladies. And I have no problem with his girlfriend dumping him over joining up. What did he expect? Until women decide that sleeping with military guys and conservative assholes (and I know not all military personnel are conservs) we will see no improvement. But women seem to think that they can overlook the shitty parts of their asshole BFs and husbands and focus on the good parts. Look at the divorce rates and family violence rates in the military... it just doesn't work ladies. Dumping the jarhead/squid/ground-pounder/airdale is the sane thing to do... most of the time.
Posted by dr. jim on March 24, 2011 at 8:48 AM · Report this
ANH's electrician can come rewire my house anytime, and I am smarter and stricter than his current Mistress. I would give him a survey that was truly just a survey (and he'd better get all Excellents, or else), and instruct him to hand his key to ANH without comment, except to politely request she hold onto it for him while he worked. Knowing what the survey and the key are for should be just between the two of us.

I also need extensive plumbing done, and my fence is falling down on one side. Excuse me while I check the interwebs for slaves.
Posted by MistressofaDecrepitCastle on March 24, 2011 at 9:13 AM · Report this
I'm surprised by the comments defending or minimizing what Sparky did. It makes me wonder about the age of the commenters. Employers do report a shocking lack of awareness of what constitutes professional behavior among young people.

For future reference hitting on someone with whom you have a professional relationship is an extremely delicate thing to undertake. It can be done --I married an employee. But realize that you are ill-advised to try it. You have to be extremely careful and slow in your approach and you absolutely must back off immediately at the first sign that your advance is unwelcome.

It's also the height of ignorance to fail to recognize how sexually prudish Americans are and how threatened they are by even very tame sexuality. How can you even think that a kinky request like Sparky's is not totally out of line in this context? Depending on the recipient, revealing TMI is a form of sexual assault even if it isn't illegal.

I've met a woman who once enjoyed having her nipples nailed to a board. Is that the kind of story I should relate to a woman (about whom I have no information sexually) when I first approach her?
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 24, 2011 at 9:50 AM · Report this
I'm with @79, honestly. And I *don't* think that Mistress PoorJudgment is fake. I've been around enough posturing Dom(me)s overflowing with machismo to know that people like this DEFINITELY exist.

It was a stupid act, plain and simple. The line between customer and vendor is there for a reason.

If I were ANH I'd write the words that @90 commented down, put them in the envelope and "order" him to give them to his idiot Mistress.
Posted by Shouldn'tSignUpAtWork;) on March 24, 2011 at 11:03 AM · Report this
I met a guy and started dating him, and we were well along in the relationship before he finally explained why he was gone one weekend a month. He had to tell me because his two weeks were coming up, otherwise he probably would have hidden it longer.

For the five years we were married, those weekends and two weeks a year were my favorite times. He was a controlling, manipulative, lying bastard and I associate his hiding his service because he thought I wouldn't approve with the lying, manipulative behavior.

Sure, don't make it part of the introduction ("Hi, I'm KOMS and I'm shipping out soon!") but don't hide it for too long.
Posted by Marley on March 24, 2011 at 11:04 AM · Report this
I was very disappointed in Dan's response to DRY's letter. Medications, including bc, can cause her asexual symptoms...hormonal testing should have been addressed. Lack of desire is directly related to hormonal problems! Antidepressants and other meds can make someone totally have no interest in sex...these issues should be ruled out rather than just taking her lack of interest at face value.

Until I started taking supplements to boost my libido, I felt just like I feel totally sexual and even achieve orgasm when I couldn't before. Just sayin it should be ruled out.
Posted by Acudiva on March 24, 2011 at 11:06 AM · Report this
@5,9 just to pile on here...

Those two sentences, taken together, certainly imply that she was a piece of work, and that there was more back-story than needed to be explicitly included in the letter.

...and he sure wouldn't be the first guy to discover that slightly nuts goes along with wild in bed...something about 'crazy in the head, crazy in the bed'. She's got a thing for unavailable guys...wouldn't surprise a dose of promiscuity tossed in with that low self esteem. Applies to the guys too.
Posted by knkycva on March 24, 2011 at 11:57 AM · Report this
I am a woman with a sex drive that I consider normal, but apparently is considered high by society at large. I could happily fuck someone twice a day if I had the time.

So... I may be insensitive here, but in reference to DRY, I just don't get what the hell people are thinking when they enter in to relationships sometimes.

I am going to leave aside whatever underlying issues may be behind her low to nonexistent interest in sex as I know nothing about them.

She doesn't say how long she and they boyfriend have been together, but I am going to assume it's at least a year or two, or she wouldn't be talking about seeing her boyfriend as a "life partner." They've been together for that long and they only have sex once or twice a year?
If so, surely the boyfriend must know about her low sex drive already.
The other possibility would be that she fucks him a couple of times a week even though she doesn't want to. If so, I'm sure neither one of them can possibly enjoy the sex very much.
Why would you want to make a life time commitment to someone you don't communicate properly with? Let alone someone you are clearly not sexually compatible with?

Either TALK to each other and figure out your problems before you make them worse by committing to each other for life. Or, be with someone else who doesn't want to have sex and let us sexual women have the guys who are into sex.

Also, why do so many guys seem content to be with women with low sex drives when it doesn't match their own libido? Is it so they can feel manlier because they are the more sexual partner?
Posted by pirate jenny on March 24, 2011 at 12:16 PM · Report this
Also, why do so many guys seem content to be with women with low sex drives when it doesn't match their own libido? Is it so they can feel manlier because they are the more sexual partner?

Probably guys just assume women have lower sex drives because that's the stereotype. It just doesn't occur to them that all those "married people never have sex anymore" jokes are just jokes, not destiny.

But also, men and women are constantly told that marriage should be about True Love and that True Love conquers everything. Also, society tells us (or women, anyway; I'm not sure if men get it the same amount) that caring about our partner's looks or sex drive means that we are horrible and shallow.

It's all about someone's beautiful soul, y'know? Don't worry if you and your partner have different libidos and different life goals and different religions and only one of you wants kids...if you love each other you will magically transcend these difference.

Yeah, right. :P
Posted by perversecowgirl on March 24, 2011 at 1:24 PM · Report this
Sparky's actions were completely inappropriate and unprofessional, but I don't see how they were criminal. Violating what law, exactly?
Posted by Suzy on March 24, 2011 at 1:37 PM · Report this
I think EricaP is correct about DRY, and her questions are not patronizing or presumptuous. It is worth asking a few more questions about how DRY knows she is asexual, before encouraging what could be a major crisis in an otherwise happy relationship. Some people really are asexual and happy that way, but others arrive at that situation because of a hormonal imbalance or other experiences. If she's certain, then she can ignore that part of the advice; however, plenty of other people might not realize that medical or other causes could be contributing to their asexuality. A visit to the doctor, a change in medication (birth control and antidepressants can be major culprits here), a thyroid check, or other simple steps could uncover new information.

What makes me wonder about DRY, in particular, is that she starts off saying that sex in general is boring, and she dislikes it, but by the end of the letter we see that she likes other forms of physical intimacy (kissing, cuddling), and describes "sex" specifically as "shoving genitals together". Is that the sum of what sex has been like, for her? I don't necessarily need to feel aroused to enjoy doing "sexual" things with my spouse besides genital "shoving". The negativity of that description does make me wonder about DRY's prior experiences. Is it like that even on the few occasions when she feels horny, for example? Because someone could have a rare sex drive, but still enjoy sex on those few occasions when the mood arose.
Posted by Suzy on March 24, 2011 at 1:53 PM · Report this
Also, why do so many guys seem content to be with women with low sex drives when it doesn't match their own libido? Is it so they can feel manlier because they are the more sexual partner?

Um, I'd take a WAG that "content" is not the word. However, even men with high libidos are attracted to more than just the sex. I've had a bad habit of falling for gals who are not sexually matched well but otherwise perfect. And no, it has quite the opposite effect: it leaves you feeling inadequate since you can't seem to excite or please them.
Posted by knkycva on March 24, 2011 at 2:02 PM · Report this
I got dragged into a Sparky situation that was AWFUL. Met a guy online, we really clicked, had talked about ongoing dating, that I was over casual stuff etc. We had an amazing first date in a park with homemade cookies and it ended up going all day and into the night and we then ended up in bed - he dragged out a bit of kink and wanted to be tied up but whatever. It was hot. I felt a bit bad I'd slept with him on first date since we'd been talking more about dating and ongoing rather than NSA but he reassured me all was good.

Never heard from him again and he ignored all contact from me. About six months later I got an email saying he was in a Dom/Sub relationship and his mistress had set him the challenge of seducing a girl online, getting her into bed with ideas of a relationship and then NEVER CONTACTING HER AGAIN. But it turns out something had gone wrong for him in this and the Dom was angry and now he was sad and would I fix the situation...

The sense of violation I felt at having been dragged into someone's games like that was horrid.
Posted by HateGames on March 24, 2011 at 2:28 PM · Report this
@41 Forlorn,
"It feels like something that felt like part of being alive, something vibrant, some intrinsic, life-affirming, joyous part of me is being painfully starved to death."
Wow, in the final year of my last relationship, I think I wrote at least journal entry that used those same words, almost VERBATIM.
It *is* like part of you is starving. Slowly. It's AWFUL.
I finally found the strength to end it, and that was horrible in the short-term because although we were mismatched, we did care greatly for each other. But in the long-term... I am SO much happier now.
You don't have to live like that forever. I didn't. There is hope.
Posted by FormerlyDeprived on March 24, 2011 at 2:44 PM · Report this
@107 - well, Larry Craig was arrested for nothing more than tapping his foot in an airport bathroom stall. Surely surprising a woman in her own home with an unsolicited and unwanted offer of sexual submission is worse than THAT.
Posted by Sancho on March 24, 2011 at 3:13 PM · Report this
@105 why do so many guys seem content to be with women with low sex drives...Is it so they can feel manlier because they are the more sexual partner?

106/109 have given good answers, but also: men who think sex is dirty (or who are insecure) sometimes marry women who aren't sexual, because that seems safer. That way, they won't have to worry that their wife is out slutting around. That reasoning comes around and bites them on the butt, of course.

@110 - I bet your guy came up with that story as an attempt to explain why he had dropped the ball before. Did you ever meet the Domme or see any evidence she existed?
Posted by EricaP on March 24, 2011 at 5:24 PM · Report this

Personally, I don't have a hatred of sex (I wouldn't love Dan's columns/podcast/books so much if I did), and I find other asexuals who are all "eww, sex is icky and gross" a little immature. I just find it interesting in a really detached, clinical sort of way when it doesn't personally involve me.

I thought Dan's advice to DRY (as his advice as been whenever this subject pops up) was spot on. Full disclosure is so important to a happy relationship, and the price can be pretty steep. When I finally realized, after years and years and years of various sexual contact, that not only did I never reach orgasm with my partners (when I can do it just fine by myself) and all my bucking and moaning was really more like playacting, but that actual act of having sex really did bore me, my then partner and I broke up after trying to "fix" the "problem" of my lack of libido.

In the end, he deserved a more enthusiastic partner and I deserved a more understanding one.
It sucked, and the years afterwards sucked too. But that's life, and if I wanted to really be happy in a relationship, I knew I had to be honest and upfront, and know it was going to be a while, if ever, before I could find someone who was compatible. DRY might have to face that possibility and understand that is probably sucks less than living a lie for years in order to not be alone.

But I got lucky, really lucky. My current beau and I have been together for 3 years. His libido isn't completely nonexistent, so yeah, about every couple of months or so, I do lie back and let him do his thing. It's not something I'm crazy about, but like going with seeing a band that you don't like with your partner, it's a compromise.

Posted by Acegal on March 24, 2011 at 5:39 PM · Report this
Also, why do so many guys seem content to be with women with low sex drives when it doesn't match their own libido? Is it so they can feel manlier because they are the more sexual partner?

I think for some of us, the NRE combined with a desire to please led to "adequate enough" sexual frequency that stuck around just long enough for the exchanging of rings and the appearance of a pink plus symbol on a pee soaked stick. And once the reveal was let loose, and the disclosure that she really wasn't into it back then, that she was doing it solely to please you, well, you've already got a lot invested now, don't you? That and the naïve belief that it was something you could "work" on, something that might get better once she reached her "prime" or went off of hormonal birth control or...

So you bottle it up and push it down because your kids love their family and as long as you don't let the insecurity and resentment surface everything is okay. You spend your time and energy hoping you can stick it out another ten or twelve years, because blowing up your relationship with your spouse is the last thing you want to do to your kids. And so you grasp on to that sliver of hope in the face of a wall of doubt buttressed by years of near-constant rejection that maybe when you're 50 someone will still find you attractive enough. And you count yourself lucky that she's willing to put out once a month, unlike those poor souls who see nothing for months or years at a stretch.
Posted by delwalk on March 24, 2011 at 5:40 PM · Report this
@73...I feel your experiences/impressions of asexuals are limited and/or lopsided. Many in the community are in fact sex positive. I for one find it facsinating in a discover channel ind of way.

I also know many sexual people who find genitals gross, but put up with them for the pleasure.

Asexual Love
Posted by Ace Amoeba on March 24, 2011 at 5:43 PM · Report this
@ 106
I agree, I think the "true love" fallacy (nothing else matters) is huge. However, I find it mind-boggling that so many people set full course ahead into mortgages and kids with people they don't feel sexually attracted to.

I realize it can be hard to leave someone you love/like, but the one time I was in the position of being in a long-term relationship with little to no sexual spark I felt my entire being was slowly suffocating. Between that and the pain of leaving, leaving seemed like the only option.

I guess my bottom line here is that while her boyfriend is probably miserable already, I doubt DRY herself is as happy as she potentially could be with him. As much as she "loves" him she may find she's actually pretty interested in sex with someone else. Just a thought...

In my experience (I am not a whole lot older than her) a strong mental connection tends to equal good sex. But then I know I am in the minority in prioritizing that aspect of a relationship.
Posted by pirate jenny on March 24, 2011 at 6:56 PM · Report this
DRY might want to look for the short story "Innocence" by Harold Brodkey. It is a story of a young woman who although she was having regular sex with her boyfriend, eventually learned that there was more to sex than she thought when she had her first orgasm.
Posted by Amos101 on March 24, 2011 at 7:01 PM · Report this
@15 pirate jenny: Don't know how old you are, but none of the guys I have known since I was in college (17 years now) has ever been happy being with a partner who had a low sex drive. Not one. But I have heard from a number of guys with spouses who either come to either dislike or become apathetic to sex over time (delwalk @115 summarizes that very well).

My wife and I used to have sex ten times per week before marriage (in our late twenties). Then it fell off to half as often after the ring went on. Then, after the first child, it went to twice per week. Orgasms aren't the issue, as EricaP and others often speculate on. Since we've been together, I have always given her 3+ orgasms for every one of mine.

My personal frequency sounds like the statistical average for people in long term marriages, bit that does not mean we like the situation. I would realistically like to have sex 3-5 times per week, and I consider the twice per week I get to be maintenance sex...any less over a few months and my sexual tension/frustration becomes palpable. And, even though I have kids, I would probably walk if once per week were the norm for half a year or more.

My wife used to enjoy it ten times per week ten years ago, so why the drop off? Kids? Yeah. No time? Yeah. Tired? Yeah. All of these life factors have been discussed over the years in Dan's column....nothing new. But the real root of the drop off: "I don't want to have sex as often as you." Straight from my wife's mouth, and she's not interested in exploring why.

From what I've learned my situation is pretty typical for a married man of approximate middle age.
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on March 24, 2011 at 7:12 PM · Report this
Sorry, @105 and @117 pirate jenny...
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on March 24, 2011 at 7:16 PM · Report this
Tim Horton 121
@119, your situation is so universal it seems to be a right of passage for the American man married w children. Sad but true. Perhaps Canuck can teach a course to married housewives since she seems to have as good a grasp on male sexuality as anyone I have read north of Savage.

Take consolation from reading Savage that it could be waaaay worse.....
Posted by Tim Horton on March 24, 2011 at 7:44 PM · Report this
@119 - I think your situation of getting sex twice a week is actually way better than average for a married man of approximately middle age. But maybe the drop-off is similar in proportion, since you started from a position of getting a lot of sex.

(Averages are posted at…)

What happens when you ask your wife if you can get a girlfriend on the side, or see an escort once a week?

I have say, I'm flabbergasted to read this: "I would probably walk if once per week were the norm." What exactly would you walk to? How easy do you expect it will be to find a woman you like who want sex with you more than once a week? I like sex (and, no, it's not all about the orgasm), but I think I could be creative and find ways to involve my husband in my sexuality without needing specific acts if they were taken off the table through a crippling accident or disease, or just disinterest.
Posted by EricaP on March 24, 2011 at 8:15 PM · Report this
Sorry, that last parag was a little incoherent. I was trying to get at the idea that Dan has raised, that guys can define sex more broadly, and then they'd be getting more "sex."
Posted by EricaP on March 24, 2011 at 8:19 PM · Report this
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125 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
Soldier, don't worry about your girl friend leaving you because your "joining" the military. Look at it this way, if your ex-girl friend continues to act this way when she thinks she's ready for a committed relationship, it wont happen. On the other hand, you will find someone that will satisfy you and it will be better than what you was expecting.
Posted by frank cam on March 24, 2011 at 9:07 PM · Report this
Honestly, Erica, if that were the norm and the wife did not allow me to find sex elsewhere, I would get a divorce and walk to the other end of town. Then I would spend a couple years perfecting my Spanish and Mandarin and possibly move overseas (once my kids were a few years older).

Sex is one of the things that connects me with my wife, and in its absence I slowly lose that connection (I have felt that a few times in the course of the marriage). Resentment and stress built up, and I questioned whether I was living an ultimately healthy life and whether I was happy. I'm glad that it never went farther than that, and have learned that marriages go through such periods. But, if it became anything like what delwalk way, no how.
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on March 24, 2011 at 9:32 PM · Report this
To me that's so strange. You would feel more connected to a woman with whom you don't share a language (Mandarin takes 10 years, I'm told), but who would screw you 5 times a week if you bring her and her family out of poverty. I believe you, but my brain finds that impossible to understand.

So what does your wife say about getting outside sex?
Posted by EricaP on March 24, 2011 at 10:05 PM · Report this
"And, even though I have kids, I would probably walk if once per week were the norm for half a year or more."

So, suffering through six months of once-a-week sex would be worse than walking out and fucking your kids and wife up emotionally for life. Wow, those are some ethics. How did your marriage ever survive late pregnancy and post-partum, one wonders?

Why bother to identify a whole list of reasons why it's more difficult now to have frequent sex (kids, no time, tired), if you're going to count only one statement from your wife as The Reason: she wants it less often than you. Could all these reasons, including that last one, have anything to do with one another? What measures have you taken to make her more likely to want it more often (e.g. regarding kids, no time, and tired)? I feel like we'd get a rather different story, if we asked for her side of it.
Posted by Suzy on March 24, 2011 at 10:59 PM · Report this
sissoucat 130
DRY should tell her partner how she feels about their sex life. And then, they both should look out for better sexually suited partners.

No one, not even DRY herself, can say whether her low sex drive will remain that way with another partner. But it's safe to assume that if sex is boring with her partner now, it will get worse 10 or 20 years from now. Why stay together when you know you'll both be miserable - and when luckily no kids are involved yet ? Sexual incompatibility is nobody's fault, really. It should be talked about openly.

@115 : I'm happy that for once it's a guy who's writing down reasons why considerate people may remain in a less-than-perfect marriage. Good for you !
Posted by sissoucat on March 25, 2011 at 2:53 AM · Report this
sissoucat 131
A cautionnary tale of two nice people with mismatched sex drives.

This pretty and nice female friend of mine, with a lot more experience than me in premarital sex, married a very good looking and decent guy with little to no experience. His sex drive was never high, and it lowered to the point that there was no sex after the conception of Baby#3 for 1-2 years. Then she initiated sex one last time and Baby#4 was conceived. No sex during pregnancy, as usual - and one year after Baby#4 was born she was so fed up she took a lover.

But ! She believes in love and fidelity. So, when she fell in love with her side piece, a no-good guy with whom she had amazing sex, she divorced. Amazingly, her husband didn't take it too bad, and told her that he had had a side piece too for some months.

They are both nice people, they don't hate each other and they could stay together for the sake of the kids but they won't because "she feels bad by cheating and she wants to be true to her own self". She's my friend and I don't judge her - but it still feels sad.

If you have mismatched libidos, don't marry.

Posted by sissoucat on March 25, 2011 at 3:25 AM · Report this
Tim Horton 132
@127 - I agree with your second paragraph. And although I completly understand the "why" of less frequency(kids, exhaustion, etc.) it still builds up tension and breaks down the connection between us. I call it male PMS.

@128 EricaP - if I suggested outside action my wife would be emotionally hurt. She would also step it up, I am sure, but it would be the kind of obligatory sex that breeds resentment.

As @129 said, none of this is worth destroying an otherwise good relationship and it certainly isn't worth fucking up your kids.
Posted by Tim Horton on March 25, 2011 at 5:55 AM · Report this
I completely agree with Dan regarding the creepy electrician. I would add one thing though. I would have filed a report with the police. Better to be safe than sorry.
Posted by djs on March 25, 2011 at 6:44 AM · Report this
@115 That and the naïve belief that it was something you could "work" on, something that might get better once she reached her "prime"

BINGO! I wasted 13 years like this. I'm deeply involved (and whinged about it on here before) with someone who might be a repeat of this...and getting ready to bail...before the pink plus symbol shows up. Sure, it's "baggage" but I remain deeply skeptical that "working on it" is of any use at all...not that all people are hopeless, but you can't teach rhythm.
Posted by knkycva on March 25, 2011 at 7:59 AM · Report this
@132 - I understand you believe that it's not possible to bring up the idea. You're worried about hurting her, but here you are, in pain. I'm saying that nothing conveys the reality of your pain into a wife's head like mentioning outside sex.

I honestly thought my husband and I were fine with once a week sex for ten years. But apparently things weren't fine; I just didn't know that until he stepped out.
Posted by EricaP on March 25, 2011 at 9:50 AM · Report this
Damn! Is there listing for sub handymen on Angie's List or something! Ickyness for ANH aside, where can I order up one of those!?!
Posted by rer on March 25, 2011 at 10:01 AM · Report this
@131 "If you have mismatched libidos, don't marry." - all very well & good at the start, problem is, mismatch often develops later with kids and ltr, and it stinks.

@105 "why do so many guys seem content to be with women with low sex drives" - sometimes the nice guys are suffering in silence, and they get accused of whining if they say anything because of their trivial animal desires. They are not content, and will hate you into their dotage.

@132 "male PMS" - oh, you're not allowed to have that.

"none of this is worth destroying an otherwise good relationship and it certainly isn't worth fucking up your kids" - um, I think the responsibility is shared here. It may not be worth it to you, other people find the situation unbearable.
Posted by dameedna on March 25, 2011 at 10:15 AM · Report this
138 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
@ Approaching 40 in LA
Nice assumption that foreign ladies are willing to put out more. Very non-racist. That's exactly what Latina and Chinese women need, a rich American saviour who deigns to learn some of their language in exchange for hot racialized sex pretzel behaviour. Maybe she'll put on a cheongsam or call you Papi too?
Posted by Caralain on March 25, 2011 at 10:40 AM · Report this
#119: You need to take your wife out to dinner, treat her like someone you are dating. How much time would it take you to do that?

Also, when the kids are grown up and out of the house, your wife might surprise you and become more interested in sex.

#122 EricaP: As a married man of approximately middle age, 7-10 times a week seems to be our pattern - of course i treat my wife like a girlfriend.
Posted by Amos101 on March 25, 2011 at 1:24 PM · Report this
Amos@140 - I'm happy for you, but are you saying that you're the norm?

The Kinsey institute surveyed 2000 men, and found that for married guys in their thirties and forties, roughly half were having sex once a week.
1/3 of married men in their thirties had more sex than that, but only 6% were getting it four times a week or more.
1/4 of married men in their forties had sex more than once a week, but only 4% were getting it four times a week or more.
I'll note that only 1% of men in their 50s were getting sex four times a week or more.

Presumably this includes men who are also having sex with other women besides their wives.…
Posted by EricaP on March 25, 2011 at 3:04 PM · Report this
My boyfriend spent 25 years with a woman who a) didn't like sex very much; b) didn't allow any noise during sex at all (WTF?); c) never gave him a blow job; d) thought penises were "icky".

He stayed around for the kids, but as so many men have referenced above, he was emotionally a wreck.

Let me just say, he is one damned happy camper now. After 8 months, we are still not past the point of daily sex, and we are both loving it.
Posted by Riley on March 25, 2011 at 3:08 PM · Report this
And as I've mentioned on here before some of us use the times per month, months per time, and occasionally, times per year system.

@Approaching 40:
Figure out some plan to talk to her about it. Start far away from the bitter end of things and then over a number of conversations work your way towards the prospect of ending it. If you maintain your position that you are both committed to your relationship and that sex is a basic need then hopefully you will be able to work something out.

That's my hope anyway. I'm on like conversation 3 this weekend. So far so good.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 25, 2011 at 3:47 PM · Report this
I normally keep unregistered comments off but I just looked at yours on a whim. Let me just say (as a devout atheist mind you) GOD BLESS YOU.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 25, 2011 at 3:57 PM · Report this
"It may not be worth it to you, other people find the situation unbearable."

Really? Having sex once per week is such an unbearable situation that a husband and father could ditch his wife and children?

I understand that some people value sex a lot, but if you are going to have kids, you have already made the choice to value the children more highly than many other personal preferences. (Things like sleep and not being vomited or pooped on also spring to mind!) This is not to say you have to give up all sexual gratification, but some perspective, please: Approaching40 is having sex twice a week, and is ready to walk if the rate slows to once a week. And he plans to walk to a weird, racist place.

Anyway, if you have special sexual needs that are a dealbreaker, maybe it's your job to arrange that with a spouse before you agree to marry. And if you have needs like this which are often interrupted by having children, then maybe you shouldn't inflict yourself on innocent children as a parent.
Posted by Suzy on March 25, 2011 at 4:09 PM · Report this

I think your best reaction would have been to laugh a little, tell him you're not interested, and pay his bill in full.

Afterwards you can decide if you want to pursue this further. Are you suffering like a person beaten, or was it in retrospect more humorous?

If you don't pay his bill, you're establishing a drama by which he can continue to interact with you.

I also think it's the safest way out.
Posted by Hunter78 on March 25, 2011 at 4:29 PM · Report this
Really? Having sex once per week is such an unbearable situation that a husband and father could ditch his wife and children?

In fairness, if someone leaves their spouse but pays child support and remains in the kids' lives then it's not ditching the children. And in fact a lot of kids feel a palpable lift in household tension after their parents break up because, guess what, when you live with two people who resent the shit out of each other, you can usually tell. I think people put too much emphasis on parents staying together, like simply living under the same roof is all you need to make the kids turn out happy and well-adjusted.

I think being a good role model for your kids is a huge factor in making sure they grow up well - and this includes demonstrating how to discuss issues openly with your partner, make loving compromises in order to keep the relationship healthy, and - if necessary - knowing when to give up.

Anyway. I, too, would leave my partner if he was giving me substantially less sexual activity than I wanted ("sexual activity" to me includes everything from actual intercourse to him snuggling up and encouraging me as I masturbate). I've already been married to someone who seemed to hate every aspect of my sexuality; no way am I going through that again.

And although I don't have kids, my answer wouldn't change if I did. Life is short and I want to feel loved and attractive and have orgasms.
Posted by perversecowgirl on March 25, 2011 at 4:53 PM · Report this
@147 "Life is short and I want to feel loved and attractive and have orgasms."

Posted by EricaP on March 25, 2011 at 5:04 PM · Report this
I applaud Sparky's bravery. We could all be a little more open and humorous with our humanity. That said, I would also applaud Sparky's victim slapping him and kicking him out. We're so afraid of each other its a real shame. We should -- imho -- drop our ridiculous boundaries, be ourselves and let life happen a little bit. Its a great story, one that I would love telling over and over at a party if it happened to me. Of course, I would also have messed with him a bit to make it a little more fun and less 'scary'.
Posted by jaansdornea on March 25, 2011 at 5:21 PM · Report this
Will respond to comments later...just got back from work and am taking the family out to dinner (yeah, I actually do that). I understood that I would get several negative comments (from all of the angles that have surfaced) when I wrote what I did @127. I'll try to address them all.
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on March 25, 2011 at 5:22 PM · Report this

" 'sexual activity' to me includes everything from actual intercourse to him snuggling up and encouraging me as I masturbate"

Yeah, I tried for that deal too and was denied.

What if you were loved, made to feel attractive, and told that you can have all the orgasms you want by yourself because (insert reasonable temporary excuse here)? And then those excuses just keep rolling in over the years. Sprinkle in just enough sex with each other that you can't claim that you've been cut off.

I ask for your input because I'd like all the prep I can get for that disussion with her. If people agree that twice a week isn't over the line yet then what is? Is once a month over the line?
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 25, 2011 at 5:57 PM · Report this
@151, Can you say: "If this activity isn't important to you, do you mind if I share it with someone else?" If it is important and should be just for the two of you, then maybe she could show up for it once or twice a week. Have you tried scheduling for Friday nights (after a date-night, away from your kids?) (Yes, once a month is over the line, for most sexual people.)
Posted by EricaP on March 25, 2011 at 6:08 PM · Report this
nocutename 153
(And Approaching 40 in LA),
There's no "appropriate" level of frequency; it's what you need.
Tell her. Tell her what you have told us. But tell her how much you love her and would rather stay with her and meet your sexual needs with her.

Show her this thread--don't tell her who you are, or even that you're a contributor-- just that the people on it are saying things that resonate for you.

I hope you are able to come to a new level of sexual fulfillment in your marriages.

Posted by nocutename on March 25, 2011 at 6:12 PM · Report this
If people agree that twice a week isn't over the line yet then what is? Is once a month over the line?

I don't see how there could possibly be a universal standard of How Much Sex We Are All Entitled To...and even if there was, so what? The fact of the matter is, you're really unhappy with the state of things. Doesn't matter whether your wife is having sex with you once a week or once a day - you're not getting what you need out of the relationship. So, it's time for either a compromise or a breakup.

Make sure not to approach the discussion in a blamey way but in a "we want different things" way, of course, because her lower sex drive is no less valid than your higher one.

Actually...maybe I'm just way too much of a horndog to understand where your wife is coming from, but I sort of think that if she won't even be in the room with you while you jerk off, it goes beyond a sex drive issue and has become an issue of personal resentment. Maybe she's subconsciously taking revenge for things she's wanted from you and isn't getting.

So maybe instead of being all "listen, I need more sex" you should ask if she's getting what she needs out of your relationship. Scope out any resentments she might have, try to fix 'em, and then see if the sex stuff picks up on its own.

(And if it doesn't, it's Discussion Time)

Just a thought.
Posted by perversecowgirl on March 25, 2011 at 6:20 PM · Report this
This activity is so important to her that it should only be between us.

A schedule would similarly be a cosmic disaster, a virtual one step removed from my forcing myself on her.

A lot of this is tricky because she knows how essential her enthusiastic participation is to me. It's not sex without that. She also knows that I've been sexually assaulted so I understand what that's about. There are lots of pitfalls in trying to deal with this.

The conclusion I came to was that I should approach it from the angle of the excuses. Addressing the sex directly went nowhere mostly because of the problem of her feeling forced.

I too have to go. Back tomorrow.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 25, 2011 at 6:37 PM · Report this

Yeah, that's all good advice. A big thing with her is her fixed, and frankly quite narrow definition of the way her sex life is going to be. The discussion is in progress.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 25, 2011 at 6:42 PM · Report this
Helenka (also a Canuck) 157
OMG, KOMS called his former gf "sociopathic". For what? For dumping him because he was going into the military. Well, it's possible that she could have a deep-seated dislike of people in the military and it was nothing personal against him. Or it could have been a convenient excuse to be rid of him. But I note that he throws in his extra baggage (that she was cheating on him with a married man) to sway us in his favour.

And I second Dan's comment that it's quite possible KOMS is giving off an inept and really young vibe ... 'cuz he actually had to be introduced to the wild and totally kinky concept of "foreplay" by her!?!?!

DRY to me really does sound asexual. I'm a bit peeved at those above (too many to identify individually) who are commenting that it's just hormonal and that can be fixed. What if you change the condition to highly-sexed (i/o of gay or deaf) and insist that can be fixed, too. Wouldn't that advice sound outrageous? That's how many people were cured through barbaric medical intervention only a century ago.

So, let's go down memory lane. Think back to before you'd even considered having sex. You'd just entered puberty and were feeling stirrings of arousal, of being attracted to boys and/or girls, and of thinking what it would be like to be sexual. You may not have had any knowledge (other than misinformation, deliberate or otherwise) about sex. You may not even have experimented by touching yourself or had an inkling of what an orgasm would feel like. But you ... wanted to find out. Oh, how you yearned for it, for the touch of a person you found hot. That's all coming from the most powerful sexual organ in the body, namely the brain.

I don't get any hint of that from DRY's letter. She also doesn't say that she once had a sex drive and that it has dropped (as it can, from medication, etc.) since then. It would be wonderful if we could have access to that info, but we don't, so must presume that – if it were valid – she would have mentioned it. However, her acronym certainly tells us that she doesn't "yearn", so I stand by the content of the previous paragraph.

I find it more apt to compare sex to chocolate. We all know people who could have chocolate every day because it makes them euphoric (aka "orgasmic"). Others will eat it on a regular basis and enjoy it, but it certainly won't be the same heightened experience, though it'll still be good. And then there will be others who could eat it now and then but who won't go out of their way to get some. They'll enjoy it, but are otherwise indifferent. Finally, there will be those who can't stand the taste of chocolate, but may eat some rarely out of occasional curiosity or to be polite. Each category has different receptors on the tongue: some respond vividly to chocolate while others do not. It's an individual biological attribute.

I also wish DRY had mentioned whether or not she does have sex with her boyfriend (even though she's not horny except for twice yearly). If she's having duty sex, that's not a good place to be. But, if they're both not having sex at all except for a couple times a year, and he hasn't complained, then she may still end up with the romantic/ cuddly/ companionable relationship she IS interested in, if he's on the same page. There's only one way she'll find out and that's to talk with him. If he's all for the love and companionship and doesn't care all that much for sex either, then she (and he) won't have to be alone.

Dan, your advice was spot-on. I have to wonder whether or not her husband was home the first time Sparky did any work, so he decided not to present the inappropriate survey because the stand-in mistress (ANH) was not alone. Even if she'd been alone both times, she did not deserve to have a household service contract be changed unilaterally, by the person she'd hired, to include a kinky sexual overtone (and overture).

Yes, it's true that there are many kinky professional networks in larger cities where you know you can combine kink with whatever you need (or, if you're into BDSM that leaves marks, you can go to a doctor IN the scene who won't automatically conclude that there's domestic abuse involved).

But that's not what this was. ANH has no obligation to ever hire him again and I do feel – even if it can't be defined as criminal behaviour – it does fall under unprofessional conduct and that should be reported (if he were hired from a professional organization).

As for Old Crow (@86) who thought there was nothing wrong with this and equated it to having a gay acquaintance over who then made an unwelcome advance, that was bad behaviour but this was not a relationship issue between presumed equals. Even if we pretend that ANH seemed interested in some of the little nuances of Sparky's behaviour (calling her "Ma'am" for one which she's stated she found odd), and Sparky intuited that there might be a spark for further involvement (if he did, it was all in his imagination) ...

... and, no, I can't even make up a rationale where this could be initiated by Sparky, even after he'd fulfilled his original contract.

In traditional relationships involving power imbalances (prof/student; doctor/patient), the person with the perceived power must terminate the professional relationship before pursuing a personal one. And there has to be an interval between the two.

If Sparky really does have a mistress, then she is an idiot for making him risk his livelihood on his sexual quirks. She could have him doing many of the same things in front of her friends who probably share her Dom lifestyle (and could stress Sparky's subservience by having him do them for free). If Sparky doesn't have a mistress, but came up with this all on his own (which is also possible, because "slaves" will often create their own illusory world when they don't have what they seek), then he's also an idiot for the same reason. And because he lacks any sense of self-preservation. What if ANH's husband had come home unannounced (it was a long job, after all) and found Sparky most likely on his knees begging to be used. I think there would definitely have been sparks flying!

So I'll just end by repeating Dan's final words of wisdom, emphasis emphasized.
Some women would feel deeply violated. Making women feel uncomfortable or unsafe in their own homes by springing your erotic submission on them – and requiring them to participate without first obtaining their explicit consent – is sexual aggression masquerading as erotic submission.

Posted by Helenka (also a Canuck) on March 25, 2011 at 7:08 PM · Report this
Military dude just needs to get a prozzie and be done with it! Whine, whine and more whine. What kind of backwater imbecile actually thinks there IS a such thing as "foreplay?" It's called "SEX" young man! A woman doesn't just want YOU to get excited and put your penis in her vagina. SHE wants to get off too - which often means clitoral stimulation. Actually, it almost always means just that. Rare is the woman who gets off just on vaginal intercourse and non-existent is the woman who has an orgasm through anal sex. Try learning how to be a GOOD lover and understanding that sex is a two way street NOT A RACE and you will eventually get there. Wow, I really can't stand stupid people, especially ones who are about to be trained to fly over to another country and shoot weapons at other human beings. Alas, the majority of the military IS stupid so that's not a revelation.
AND... I don't know why there are so many comments and arguments about that woman being asexual or not. Who cares? She can find someone not into sex as much as her. Why church it up? That's ridiculous.
Posted by Frederica Bimble on March 25, 2011 at 7:57 PM · Report this
Tim Horton 159
On behalf of the married men who want, but aren't getting more, the problem lies with the lack of desire for more on the other end. We could talk about it till we are blue, but we don't want an unwilling partner who yawns through an assist or checks their watch during the negotiated extra session per week.

It would be almost easier if we were married to DRY, an asexual or semi-sexual. Instead, we all had full blooded sexuals once upon a time. So it becomes hard not to internalize the lack of desire on a the man in the mirror, even if intellectually we may know it just comes standard with long term monogamy.

@154 - I love you but the fact women like you exits isn't helping :)
Posted by Tim Horton on March 25, 2011 at 10:26 PM · Report this
Tim Horton 160
@145 - despite what I feel and have said above, I agree. Although they need not always be mutually exclusive, selfish desires take a back seat to family.
Posted by Tim Horton on March 25, 2011 at 10:31 PM · Report this
@EricaP, Suzy, Caralain, jenesasquatch, et al. This topic is one of my favorites on SLOG, but it always gets frazzled and messy with everyone's extended comments. I'll try to address a bunch of things and keep with that thought (pardon the extended block paragraphs):

My wife and I average twice per week, probably for the last 5-7 years or so. During certain periods (postpartum, career changes, the passings of extended family members, etc.) that has gone to once per week for months at a time, but it usually reverts to twice per week. Vacations are nice, since the frequency bumps up a bit, but I consider twice per week to be maintenance sex, where I'm not really frustrated, but I would like it more often. During extended periods of once per week (3-4 months) I've noticed palpable frustration to the point where I begin to understand how people can begin to cheat. If our periods had gone on for 6+ months, I think that things would have come to a breaking point in some way: ask for permission; cheat; give ultimatums; threaten to walk. Thankfully, that's never happened, and I'm a fairly content person who has a low to mild level of sexual frustration.

I'm a guy who plays an equal role in most things, a greater role in many things, and a slightly lesser role in the raising of two kids. In ten years of marriage, I've visited all the various issues surrounding our discussion; indeed, the SLOG community has also entertained them together over the last couple of years.

I've been married twice. Once from age 23 to 28, and now from 29 to 39. Caralein and EricaP, my first wife happened to be Chinese and over a seven year period I became conversant in Mandarin through interaction, study and travel (quite easy to learn, by the way). I've lost much of that, but could pick it up again in a couple of years time. Likewise, I learned conversational Spanish over a five year period of high school and college study, and both my job and living in LA have allowed me to retain much of that...same thing, I could become fully fluent in a couple years time if I set my mind to it. As an aside, I've tried to learn Korean, but I cannot seem to pick it up very well.

Caralain, I assume you're asian (you like asian B-Boys, took umbrage at my earlier statement...I may be wrong there), so I can fully appreciate your characterization of the white guys who are what I would call "orientalist chauvinists", those idiots who think asian women are china dolls, demure, pleasing, etc, and those disgusting pricks who go to east asia for sex tours. But, please, my friends have been of various races/nationalities since junior high, and I can flit between salvadoran, guatemalan, mexican, african-american, pilipino, chinese and korean communities relatively easily. My kids are hapas and my wife is korean. [Yeah, I know...ooooh, look at me, I'm sooo multi-cultural! But seriously, don't be so condescending and jump to conclusions.]

Yeah, if I ever broke up with my wife, I think I would perfect my Spanish and Mandarin while my kids grew a bit older. Then I would probably move to either Korea, Singapore, India, China, France, Spain or Costa Rica for a few years. For example, you can live very well in India for $12,000 a year. I would take my kids along if possible, or for only the summers if not. I don't have a tremendous amount of money, but after 17 years of working very hard I could swing that.

The real question should be what is the threshold where a person would walk away from his/her spouse? Why do people get divorced? I think that if people aren't happy (and I'm fairly happy) in a relationship, then they should end it after the kids are a certain age. Hell, isn't that what happens to 50+% of couples?

I'm sure I missed a few things in this tl;dr post...
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on March 25, 2011 at 11:01 PM · Report this
@approaching 40 in LA

Idunno how to do quotey things but come on, read what you wrote again:

"Honestly, Erica, if that were the norm and the wife did not allow me to find sex elsewhere, I would get a divorce and walk to the other end of town. Then I would spend a couple years perfecting my Spanish and Mandarin and possibly move overseas (once my kids were a few years older)."

in other words- if wife wouldn't let you find sex elsewhere you would leave and go overseas to find women (who would presumably have more sex than your wife now)

In what way does that NOT sound like a sex tourist? Even if it's totally not true, you have to admit that sounds pretty bad.
Posted by Caralain on March 25, 2011 at 11:17 PM · Report this
@162: There’s a LOT more jobs in China these days than there are in the States, and both Mandarin and Spanish open up employment opportunities in countries with hundreds of million of people. I agree that the way he wrote it does sound pretty bad - I read it the way you did at first. But learning Mandarin isn’t necessarily about finding easy women.

1) I didn’t say what he did was OK. Try reading what’s there and not what you want to be there. I compared her incident to an incident in which I was sexually assaulted. (Anyone who thinks that men, including straight men, don’t rape other men is clueless.) That’s NOT saying it’s OK.

I recognize the way she feels. It’s the way I felt when I felt socially obliged to invite gay guy into my home, though he creeped me out, and although I couldn’t find any friends who’d come over so that I wouldn’t be alone with him (I tried).

2) What happened to me wasn’t an “unwelcome advance”, it was sexual assault. Are you (#157) saying it’s an “unwelcome advance” because he couldn’t overpower me? I would hope you would agree with me that if I, or any other man, started kissing a woman I was alone with, after going out of my way to avoid finding out whether she welcomed such attention, that that would be a sexual assault and not an “unwelcome advance,” and that it wouldn’t morph into an “unwelcome advance” if that particular woman happened to be physically capable of fighting me off. And the fact that I was able to fight off gay guy didn’t make what he did the equivalent of asking me whether I was interested (which would have been an “unwelcome advance”).

3) I am saying that the commenters here are more interested in punishing Sparky than in the wellbeing of ANH. One reason I didn’t call police was that their “help” would have been a bigger violation of my security than the original incident. Is it in ANH’s best interest to make a formal complaint? Maybe. But that’s for her to decide, not us. (And it’d be her word against his that this happened. :( I wouldn’t want to go to authorities with nothing stronger than that.)

4) As someone who’s been there, feeling that you’re obliged to let someone who creeps you out into your home causes justified insecurity in its own right. There’s a lot of ways that someone in your home can violate you – theft, vandalism – even if they never touch you, even if you’re not worried about sexual assault in particular. ANH feels obliged to ask Dan for permission to not invite this creep into her home again. OF COURSE she’s feeling insecure and creeped out, and would even if “Sparky” had made her feel insecure in some nonsexual way.

5) Where the **** is her husband in all this, and what’s his(?) position on the matter?

In my case, the solution to my feeling creeped out was when I felt confident that gay guy would never darken my door again. That might work for ANH or it might not. But we should be giving her options, not telling her how to run her life.
Posted by Old Crow on March 26, 2011 at 1:29 AM · Report this
@145 "Really? Having sex once per week is such an unbearable situation that a husband and father could ditch his wife and children?"

Personally, I try to be non judgemental and in particular that applies to how much sex people want. Kids certainly have a high priority, but it's not as exclusive as some seem to think (and that insane priority isn't good for the kids IMO). Who's talking about "sexual gratification" - my desire if for a combination of things with my lover, and not every blue moon.

Frankly I think it's disingenuous to claim that there isn't a reasonable expectation of negotiated sex in a relationship where exclusivity is expected, and probably 2x pw is what's in a lot of people's minds (I'm not saying that's right or wrong, it's what the expectation is).

I am a parent and very proud of it, and have made many sacfices for the kids - and that includes going long periods without sex, which I was happy to do. I've also experienced mismatch in the relationship which absolutely stinks and some of the worst aspects were attitudes like you've expressed - that were definitely not GGG and exhibited lack of understanding. DW was well aware of my interest so try not assuming she didn't know. I don't think you've been there.
Posted by dameedna on March 26, 2011 at 4:09 AM · Report this

There are conflicting opinions on frequency here. People say that it's an individual assessment, that you should be the judge of what you need, that we are all different. Then people say Approaching40 is being ridiculous because he's getting so much sex he should be able to be happy with it. I wonder if that's because some folks think he's a dick for other reasons. As if your right to feel what you feel is contingent on you being a good guy.

I was surprised that some read your comment as you heading east for a concubine. I read that as you wanting to follow other interests and improve yourself and make a break --go experience other cultures, change your life. I read it as "here is a thing that interests me that I will pursue if my marriage ends." After all you don't just wake up one day and get divorced. By the time the divorce decision is made you should have clear reasons for the break (that are clear to you both) and clear ideas of what you want to do with your life instead.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 26, 2011 at 7:19 AM · Report this
"Some people would rather be shit faced and in the back row then up on the alter and stone-cold sober." A-fucking-men Dan! Keep it up.
Posted by SeriousCarl on March 26, 2011 at 8:22 AM · Report this
Regarding DRY: "I'm a bit peeved at those above (too many to identify individually) who are commenting that it's just hormonal and that can be fixed. What if you change the condition to highly-sexed (i/o of gay or deaf) and insist that can be fixed, too. Wouldn't that advice sound outrageous?"

Maybe DRY really is asexual; however, there really are hormonal and other medical conditions that can drastically reduce sex drive. This isn't anything like trying to change a person's basic orientation or desires. If DRY knows that she just doesn't want to have sex, that's fine--she can ignore the medical comments. However, many people could experience these conditions without knowing that a doctor visit could make a difference.

In DRY's unique case, it's important to point this out for two reasons. One is that she's contemplating ending an otherwise great relationship because of this issue, so it might be worth making sure all angles are investigated first. The other is that she describes sex as "shoving genitals together", and does claim to be aroused occasionally, if rarely. There's a difference between being rarely aroused, but fulfilled when aroused, and disliking bad sex. The two seem conflated here, so it might be worth figuring out which is going on.

Posted by Suzy on March 26, 2011 at 9:18 AM · Report this
If Approaching40 had put 'not getting enough sex' and 'find foreign lady' a little farther apart, or mentioned anything else about his love for central america/east asia, it would have been easier to read it differently. Learning Mandarin isn't specifically about picking up Chinese women, except that it is, for what I would say is the majority of white men (unfortunately). I lived in Asia last year, and 80-90% of the white men were there specifically to pick up 'docile' Asian girls. It's beyond creepy and exploitative. Common quote; "It's actually nice that I don't speak perfect X. It's easier to tune my girlfriend out when she's chattering on and on".
Posted by Caralain on March 26, 2011 at 9:19 AM · Report this
continued from above (Computer behaving strangely)
So if a White guy into Asian chicks doesn't want to look like a creeper, he has to consciously make an effort to distance himself from that 80-90%.
Posted by Caralain on March 26, 2011 at 9:22 AM · Report this
Regarding the issue of not getting as much sex as you want from a spouse:
Approaching 40's followup explanation was very helpful, because now it sounds like he's not going to immediately leave his wife and kids as soon as sex becomes less frequent. I also appreciate his explanation of why he wants to learn other languages and travel. I'm sorry for jumping to totally wrong conclusions about that, given the comments about wanting to walk out.

On the other hand, I still don't understand how leaving one's family can be weighed so equally in the scales against the difference between one or two instances of sex per week. Even if that difference is a really big deal for some people, it still boils down to putting one's personal physical pleasures ahead of not only the well-being of others, but also the pleasures one takes in being with one's family and kids. People are free to decide in favor of physical gratification and nobody should judge them negatively for it. However, once you already have chosen to have the kids, it's too late to make that choice free of judgment. What some may call "judgmental" here, I would call basic ethics.

True, kids don't benefit when their parents are trapped in a terrible marriage. Yet children do suffer needlessly when parents place too much importance on their own selfish desires. I've seen so many people's lives damaged because their parents got divorced for immature, short-sighted reasons, or never thought through the choice to have kids in the first place. The statistical facts about the risks to kids whose parents divorce certainly bear this out. Wanting a divorce because one feels noticeably more sexual frustration, even though sex is still happening once a week, strikes me as a very weak reason when compared to the damage it would cause. My palpable frustration vs. my kids' broken hearts and perhaps lifelong struggle with relationships? Not worth it, unless the sexual problem is extremely serious and unsolvable.

So can people ethically divorce due to sexual incompatibility? I would say yes, but only when it's serious or unsolvable, and the spouse refuses to negotiate or communicate. At a minimum one is ethically obligated to seek counseling, and to communicate everything to the spouse before walking out, hearing the spouse's side of things and leaving room to make changes. If this is too much to ask, what business do people have getting married or having kids? I mean that seriously--not a flippant question.
Posted by Suzy on March 26, 2011 at 9:53 AM · Report this
@170 "can people ethically divorce due to sexual incompatibility?" I agree with your assessment that they not only can - but should do so in cases where it's creating massive distress, for both their benefit. Sometimes the gap is too great, even after you've both negotiated and made your best shot at GGG bothways.

For us, I'm lucky we were able to do this, but it's one of the hardest things I've ever done; refusal to negotiate and trivialising the need would actually be the showstoppers, not the sex as such - in the case where there had been an infirmity which prevented sex, that would be completely different for me. It's the willingness to lift a finger for your spouse's benefit - whatever they want - that's important.
Posted by dameedna on March 26, 2011 at 10:09 AM · Report this
@147 As with most life(changing)events, how you think about it theoretically is quite different from dealing the reality of the event. Unless you are totally self absorbed, narcisitic douchebag, your life is never the same once you have children. For many reasons that stopped being relavent after my parents died, the thought of being a parent was total anathema to me. Intellectually Acknowleding the sacrifices required by parenthood is not the same as being willing and able to make those sacrifices.
Posted by beentheredonethatgotthetshirt on March 26, 2011 at 12:12 PM · Report this
@161: "The real question should be what is the threshold where a person would walk away from his/her spouse? Why do people get divorced? I think that if people aren't happy (and I'm fairly happy) in a relationship, then they should end it after the kids are a certain age."

I asked my husband last night, when he was frustrated a year ago, and stepped out, was he also considering leaving the marriage? He says, no, that didn't cross his mind. He had no problem with me, or with the sex we were having, but he also wanted something else, something different, and didn't feel that he could ask for that. He didn't want more of the relatively boring, maintenance sex we were having. He wanted something else, something that would make him feel more alive. And, really, he wanted me to come along too, and wake up. He started the process by having an evening with an escort. And then he told me about it, a few months later. I wish the order had been reversed, but I understand why it happened the way it did. And I am grateful that he was brave enough to seek out the change that he needed, and that he did, eventually, trust me enough to open up to me, hoping to bring me along for the ride, but knowing that he was risking losing me. I encourage men to be brave in that way.
Posted by EricaP on March 26, 2011 at 12:54 PM · Report this
EricaP, do you guys have kids? I only ask because in my experience, couples' sex lives get more boring when they have small children to care for, and I'm curious if/how you guys are able to manage. I have no children myself, and I'm reluctant to have them in part because I worry that my libido might just roll over dead in the face of that kind of stress, and I don't want to be that girl.
Posted by chicago girl on March 26, 2011 at 1:46 PM · Report this
Our kids are now 8 and 11. It was a conversation with Canuck last spring about how to rediscover one's sexuality with school-age children in the home that actually sucked me into the Slog/SL community. Not only was I "touched out" from the children, they had free run to come into our bed whenever they wanted. My husband would carry sleeping kids to their beds, then wake me up for sleepy sex; I didn't ever refuse him, but I was not the most exciting partner.

You're right to worry about how children will affect your sex-life. It happens to lots of previously sexual women. All I can say, is that if you are open to rediscovering your sexuality, and if you set limits with the children and put a lock on the door, "it gets better." Much better :-)
Posted by EricaP on March 26, 2011 at 2:08 PM · Report this
Also, one thing that really helped jump-start more excitement was trying new times of day. Once they were both of school age, we would have sex at 8:45 am, right after I dropped the kids off. Or my husband would come home at lunch for a quickie. Like having an affair, it was fun to do it when was less about maintenance (sex before bed) and more about trying new things.
Posted by EricaP on March 26, 2011 at 2:11 PM · Report this
Helenka (also a Canuck) 177
@163 (originally @86)

But once he'd left I didn't worry about it, or call the police or anything, because it just wasn't that big a deal -– not anywhere near that big a deal.

Colour me confused. In your original comment (quoted above), you yourself said "it wasn't that big a deal" but now are taking offence at my use of the words "unwelcome advance" and for not recognizing that what he did to you was sexual assault (which I unequivocally agree is something that happens to everyone ... children, women, men).

And, in your original comment, you were dismissing what happened to her (by using your own experience as a comparison) and it was my primary intent in my comment (@157) to affirm that her feelings ought to be respected. So I'm confused and frankly stunned, if you believe that it was my intention to be unacknowledging or unsympathetic to sexual or physical assault of you or anybody else. [That's also why I had to scroll up to find your exact words, because your comment @163 seemed to be without antecedent.]

As for answers to ANH's problem, we may all be embroiled in "telling her how to run her life" – but she did ask for advice (and, when one asks Dan for advice, one also gets a slew of it from Dan's readers). Perhaps, from all of the comments, she'll be able to piece together something that suits her.
Posted by Helenka (also a Canuck) on March 26, 2011 at 3:26 PM · Report this
Francesca Bimble: I can come from anal, HARD. And I am a woman.

And christ...more parent martyrs. Ugh, I get enough of that shit on my friggin' facebook. Suzy in particular. I bet you million dollars, you are one of those people who go around proclaiming how fabulous life with chilrens is, and how much you love watching them sleep, it is the oh my god, creme de la creme moment of your existance.

Spare me. I have kids too, and yes I love them. but you know what? I love fucking too. I love fucking A LOT. And when I don't get the kind of fucking I want, it breed RESENTMENT. The kind that boils over into all aspects of my life, including my marriage, and that in turn, effects my darling little angels!

Approaching40, and, I feel for you guys, I really do. I live in deep wonderbread suburbia, and deal with mommy martyr bullshit like Suzy's comments ALL THE FUCKING time. Give up your own existance and your whole goddamned life for your angels. I love them, but I can care for them better when I am not miserable. Alas, you guys are more honorable then me; I was going NUTS! I found another married man like you guys, and he ROCKS MY WORLD!
Posted by badgirl on March 26, 2011 at 4:42 PM · Report this
What a great column this week... I'm almost convinced there are actual asexual people out there, and not just people who can't get off.
Posted by meghanomics on March 26, 2011 at 5:48 PM · Report this
um and yeah... i'm not going to read all these comments, but just to back up "badgirl". HELL YEAH girls can cum from anal. consider the clitoris the command central of all things orgasm, right. now, think of how those muscles actually start at your clit but extend through the vag walls, and how your butthole (um, i mean "anus") shares a wall with the vag. uh duh... anal makes for awesome orgasms!!! hells bells!
Posted by meghanomics on March 26, 2011 at 5:55 PM · Report this
I admire you, badgirl. You really say what you mean. And you take care of yourself without apology.

That said, I do feel a duty to deal with going nuts differently than you do. I don't feel honorably superior or anything. It's a combination of loyalty to my wife, whom I love dearly even when she hurts me, and an unwillingness until recently to even consider a life without her. That's a mistake of course. I need to count a bit more than I have so far.

So I will stick to my vows, and stand firm with my wife and son, and try try again to change things that are making me nuts.

"I can come from anal, HARD. And I am a woman."
Seriously, you're fucking killing me.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 26, 2011 at 6:23 PM · Report this
"Francesca Bimble: I can come from anal, HARD. And I am a woman."

I have my most intense orgasms from anal sex too. And I'm a woman. All the nerve endings that are there for guys exist in womens' asses too. For the record.

Also, my point before wasn't why do married parents with small children not get divorced because they aren't fucking six ways to Sunday. I know small children take a lot out of you. And if you have kids and a house and a long history together, I do understand why you stay with someone 20 years into an otherwise loving relationship even if the sex isn't great or frequent.
But DRY is not in that situation. She is young and can prioritize herself and her needs, if she wants to. (Same is true of her boyfriend.)
What I don't understand are all these relatively young people who stay in relatively new relationships where the sex isn't good and there seems to be little or no communication. For me lack of communication and bad sex are deal-breakers when dating.
Posted by pirate jenny on March 26, 2011 at 7:22 PM · Report this
EricaP@140, 173, 175, and 176. You point out what really matters: work on the relationship and more and better sex will follow. If you really feel a connection to your partner (and she or he feels the same connection to you), then sex becomes the most natural way to express the connection.
Posted by Amos101 on March 26, 2011 at 7:45 PM · Report this
Thanks, EricaP. My friends with kids are either undersexed and miserable or on hiatus from their sexuality and miserable. It's good to hear evidence from a sexually satisfied mother of school-aged kids.

Also, I'm with badgirl; I can come from anal HARD. But really, even for girls that can't come from anal penetration alone, just add a little clitoral stimulation and, boom, most intense orgasm ever.
Posted by chicago girl on March 26, 2011 at 7:51 PM · Report this
@170 Suzy, for me sex is more than just sex. Sex is acceptance, validation, sharing with a person I want to be with. Denial of sex is a rejection of all that (@23 is still my story, and I'm standing by it) and at some point I am going to be a better person ( and parent ) if I'm not feeling like shit about myself wondering why my wife has no interesting in fucking me. At some point it doesn't matter whether whe doesn't like fucking at all. She's content with herself, doesn't want to want more, and will dutifully take one for the team.
Posted by Steeeeverino on March 26, 2011 at 9:55 PM · Report this
@ 141: Kinsey can kiss my ass.

Several months ago I ended a long term relationship because my squeeze had, for all practical purposes, decided once a month was enough. Got hooked up with an old friend who suddenly found me available, and in five weeks we've only missed four days. One of those was a travel day, and we've more than made up for the lost time. Me 64, she 60. Oh yeah, it happens. And with great gusto.

Not only am I getting laid more than I have in decades, but we actually like the same things! When I had to go out of town I bought her a cute pink vibrator. Believe it or not, she'd never had one. She likes it (in the way a kid surprised at Christmas likes a new toy), but we both know what happens when I get home. BAM!

It's all comes down to knowing what you want, what your partner wants, and seeing what it takes to make it happen. When you come to the conclusion it's not happening no matter what, you have to make the change. Sometimes not much fun, but you can live your whole life being unhappy while Door #3 is staring you in the face.
Posted by Brrrrzap! on March 26, 2011 at 10:37 PM · Report this

Dear Diary,

Who remembers a real diary? Hard bound with a small combination lock. It was white with a very innocent picture on the front. The words that were bound in that book were more about what happened that weekend than what was felt inside. Words that were incoded for no one that would actually read it. One page turned from family to unsupervised thrill. At what age does a diary turn into a journal? At what new age does a journal turn into a blog? Who tells a little girl to write down her feelings and lock them away... Who tells a grown woman to type her feelings online for everyone to read...

I cannot remember the salutation used when I was ten,


Posted by jennyjlk on March 27, 2011 at 12:46 AM · Report this
DRY-- There is a chance that she's micro-sexual. But pay attention to her words: "My boyfriend is caring, unlike some men ... a life partner ... boring." Her bf does not excite her-- that can prevent sexual fire. She could be transferring her lack of moisture for him to sex in general. Her continued relationship in this condition would be an emotional jail sentence for both of them. She should hook up with a few uncaring guys, and see if the oven heats up.
Posted by Hunter78 on March 27, 2011 at 5:18 AM · Report this

Connection is not enough. Sex is one out of many ways to express connection. Feeling deep connection is an end in itself. There is incredibly deep connection in my marriage. However sex has it's own thermostat and sex finds itself in very different places on people's priority lists.

badgirl, pirate jenny, chicago girl:
Getting fucked in the ass is one of the most pleasurable experiences for men too. I haven't had a man since the early 80's so you can imagine where that is on my to do list if my life takes a new direction.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 27, 2011 at 6:58 AM · Report this
Getting fucked in the ass is one of the most pleasurable experiences for men too. I haven't had a man since the early 80's so you can imagine where that is on my to do list if my life takes a new direction.


(I don't suppose your wife would be any more amenable to pegging you than she is to "normal" sex...? Could be a nice compromise...)
Posted by perversecowgirl on March 27, 2011 at 9:05 AM · Report this

She's plugged me before but we don't have a strapon. My sense is she wouldn't go that far. Incidently since so many of you ladies tell stories of bad male anal behavior: the first time she toyed me she pretty much just lined it up and then shoved it home. So it's not just a guy thing.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 27, 2011 at 9:15 AM · Report this
@186 - Congratulations! Glad you've had five weeks of fantastic sex and that you've found a partner who rocks your world.

I think Kinsey's stats are more about long-term relationships, though, so check in with us again in a few years and let us know you're still having daily sex.

Posted by EricaP on March 27, 2011 at 9:20 AM · Report this
@191 - at that point, had she ever had something in her butt? I think things change once you can picture what the recipient is feeling in there...
Posted by EricaP on March 27, 2011 at 9:22 AM · Report this
(Oh, and put me in the camp described by chicago girl - I don't come from anal (or vaginal) penetration alone, but anal plus clitoral = "boom" :-)
Posted by EricaP on March 27, 2011 at 9:26 AM · Report this

No she hasn't experienced it and she never will. She has pain from tearing during childbirth.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 27, 2011 at 10:17 AM · Report this
And to anticipate the next question, PIV feels great to her. It's clear that 12 years post-childbirth that her pain could have been worked on considerably by now if she had any inclination to do so.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 27, 2011 at 10:34 AM · Report this

"Getting fucked in the ass is one of the most pleasurable experiences for men too." Well, shit, of course it is! I think people get the idea that women don't enjoy anal sex as much as men because we don't have prostates--which are, to my understanding, about as pleasurable to a man as a clitoris is to a woman. I've never known a man who didn't enjoy at least a finger in the ass.
Posted by chicago girl on March 27, 2011 at 11:54 AM · Report this
@ 192 - Well, my point wasn't so much that suddenly I'm getting laid every day. (Which, hey sure is fun!) My point was that most of us too often settle into long-term situations that prove to be unrewarding or unfulfilling, yet we're unwilling to bust out of them.

Could be for a number of reasons: security, kids, whatever. But sex is the rock bottom basis of all communication. I don't see how anyone can possibly build a relationship when the most basic of foundation cornerstones is weak or not there at all.

Also, I'm realistic enough to know that hittin' it every day for years may not be possible (or even probable). But for now it's nice to once again be the guy "getting sex four times a week or more." If that's only 1% of men in their 50s, what do you think it is in their 60s? And WHY do you think that is? Seems to me most guys in their 60s are still interested, and most women are not.

@ jenesasquatch - Take her "gift shopping" at Babeland. Casually drop by the harness/strap-on section, and have the ever-helpful employees wax glowingly about the lovely merchandise. Discuss style, color, washability. Then step away and give your wife a chance to peruse the merch on her own. No pressure. She might surprise you.

Posted by Brrrrzap! on March 27, 2011 at 12:05 PM · Report this
You don't need a prostate for sure. Perineum, outer anus, just inside the anus, rectum. It's all good. If anything the prostate is so sensitive that I find it too distracting when stimulated. You need to curl your fingers the other way.

You haven't met my wife. That's not a shopping trip she'd go on.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 27, 2011 at 1:03 PM · Report this
One time I got her a "We Vibe" and she took that as a message to go fuck herself. Eventually she calmed down and found that she enjoyed it. Marriage is hard work. Good things happen if you hang in there.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 27, 2011 at 1:11 PM · Report this
@198, I think people need to find a middle ground that works for them. Sex is a kind of connection, and it reinforces other kinds of connection.

It's unrealistic to expect long-term relationships to be as sexually exciting every year as new relationships. I would hope people who love their partners could go through a bad year (new baby, chemo treatments, aging parent to be cared for) and trust that the sex would return to happier levels later. But I urge guys who need more sex to take their needs seriously when the frequency declines from x to 1/2 x, and have the conversation then. Say: I know this is a rough time, and I will be there for you however you need. But let's talk about how to get back to a frequency of x in a few months - what would have to change to make that appealing to you?
Posted by EricaP on March 27, 2011 at 1:18 PM · Report this
I can definitely see how some of my statement/comments could be interpreted in ways that I did not intend (for example, that I am actually contemplating leaving my family or that I am a chauvinist asianophile user), but I also think some others are projecting a lot more than they should.

EricaP asked me a pointed question before ("Where would you go?") and I responded in a way that probably reflected too much from the discussion a few weeks ago, where a guy in his mid thirties was taken to task on his over-inflated sense of desirability. I was attempting to state that there are sometimes options for middle aged guys who have put many of their aspirations, dreams and interests aside for the sake of their families/wives. I didn't think EricaP was asking "who would you go to?" in the sarcastic tone that characterized SLOG a couple weeks ago and which many of the younger women on here seemed to think she was (from what I have read from EricaP over the last year that she's been on, I know that that's not her style...if anything, she always draws people out and gains far more insight). It's tough to be called a possible sleaze or creep, but I'll leave it at that.

Anyway, I made a too-bold statement near the middle of the posts that said I would probably walk if the frequency went to once a week or less, but then qualified that in a later statement (shit hit the fan then). Thinking it over a bit, I would rather say that, in my marriage, I've noticed a correlation between the frequency of sex and the degree that my other physical/emotional intimacy needs are being met by my wife. In that respect, sexual frequency can probably be used as a barometer.

I would also say that I am the more consistently giving partner on the intimacy, affirmation and support front, let alone a husband who takes care of more than his share of family matters and issues. This is probably also the case for many of the men who have posted above.

Would I leave my wife if the frequency went to once or less over a 6+ period? If that were the scenario, and having exhausted the other possibilities, I think I would...because I judge myself the more giving partner in the relationship, I have personal dreams that I could pursue, and this man's tangible sexual frustration could very well be the straw that broke the camel's back. I get by fairly well and am usually content, but like all marriages, there are always imbalances...the 50% divorce rate signifies that.
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on March 27, 2011 at 2:54 PM · Report this
@202 - thanks for the kind words. This: "sexual frequency can probably be used as a barometer [of intimacy]" - is well put. Especially if you include offering other kinds of sexual affection rather than just counting how often you have intercourse.
Posted by EricaP on March 27, 2011 at 3:19 PM · Report this
@201EricaP. And what about the possibility that the frequency (and quality) can increase when the kids are grown up and out of the house? This does happen! Even to couples in their 50's and beyond.
Posted by Amos101 on March 27, 2011 at 4:24 PM · Report this
@158 While reading your comment, I had quite the existential moment.
Apparently... I don't exist!

"...non-existent is the woman who has an orgasm through anal sex."
Posted by Strange Angel on March 27, 2011 at 4:50 PM · Report this
I also think someone else upthread made a really good point when they said that it's not necessarily about the lack of sex, it's about the lack of compromise.

When I was married, I was very, very explicit with my husband about what I needed in order to be happy. I didn't hint around or try to manipulate him: I flat-out told him, for instance, "it's really important to me that you make a fuss over me on my birthday. This is something I need in order to feel loved" (...and also, take care of me when I'm sick, and tell me I'm pretty sometimes, and yeah, regular sex was something that came up, too).

Well, no matter how many times I told him I felt neglected and unloved, my ex kept on ignoring my birthday (and ditching me to go out drinking all night when I was sick, and going eight months at a time without touching me in any remotely sexual way).

I left, of course...and now I'm with someone who actually wants to make our relationship work (even if it means he has to put in effort! *gasp!*).

So, for those of you who think it's petty to leave someone because you want more sex...remember that in most of these cases, the frustrated party did try to discuss his or her unhappiness and ask for some sort of compromise...and the other person just went "nope!" and kept on living their life the exact same as before.

When your partner openly doesn't give a shit about your happiness, that's a completely valid reason to leave. The most valid reason, really. Especially if you have kids (who tend to take their parents' marriage as an example of what romantic relationships are "supposed" to be like!).
Posted by perversecowgirl on March 27, 2011 at 4:57 PM · Report this
Well said perversecowgirl!!! Some of us cheaters even tried the ol all powerful and much hailed "communication" route before we became CPOS.

And thank you for your kind words jenesasquatch. (BTW, you DO have some great stories it sounds like, lol!!!) I would like to state for the record that I am not *proud* to be the aforementioned CPOS-I am proud to be a sex-positive slut, lol! But...I hate lying and the deception involved to get my needs met. I really wish we lived in a society where it was recognized that SOME people do not get all of their needs met within the confines of marriage, and if a lover was taken, people were just discreet about it, or hell, accepting. It all comes down to the parent-martyr bit I was talking about about. Our society seems to view the family as the end-all be-all of existance, when parenting is HARD. Marriage is HARD. Its soooooo wonderful to have a brief respite/escape every once in a while. Perhaps that is how my lover and I have maintained this white-hot passion for all these years....we do NOT have the pressures of domesticity sucking the lust out of our relationship. If you are one of those ever so lucky couples who manage to do it within the confines of marriage and family.....well, more power to ya. Frankly, I am seriously jealous, and I bet dollars to donuts you are in the minority.

Hell, I was speaking to my lover about this the other night, and I asked him if he would be ok with his wife taking on another man openly if it would allow him to keep me. And he said my dreams. I would love us all to go have drinks, and end the lies!!! I have told my husband he can do what he needs to do; I know how tough family life can be. I would like for him to have the escape as well, but he flat out refused. I love the break, just hate the lies. I jst wanted to point out that while I am a CPOS, I am not quite the douchebag who is proud of it. I wish I could be open about it.
Posted by badgirl on March 27, 2011 at 6:13 PM · Report this
None of us are saying one shouldn't leave bad relationships (regardless of children), and a lack of physical & emotional intimacy certainly indicates an unsatisfying relationship.

The problem is that guys on Slog say: "I'm not getting enough sex." I'm only now learning that's guy-speak for "I don't feel connected to her and she doesn't care." When Dan says "a guy needs to be milked," it doesn't sound emotional. Frankly, it sounds like masturbation would do the job just fine. Cows can't milk themselves, but guys can certainly masturbate. So I hadn't really understood Dan's point about owing your guy a milking. But if it's about how milking themselves makes (some) guys feel empty & sad inside, then that's different.
Posted by EricaP on March 27, 2011 at 6:18 PM · Report this
Sorry, my note @208 was replying to perversecowgirl @206.
Posted by EricaP on March 27, 2011 at 6:20 PM · Report this
Canuck 210
Late to the party, are there still drinks??

EricaP, I still smile when I think about our wrestling match last summer on this very subject.

Approaching 40 in LA:
Your comments on this subject always make me sad, because you seem like a really nice guy, and I remember being on the other side of that situation, of simply not understanding the depth of the "lack of sex" issue from my husband's point of view. From my perspective, when I was running a million ways when the kids were little, and even as they got a bit older, I totally trivialized how my husband felt about sex. My attitude was like, "Oh, please! How could it matter that much?" (At the lowest point, we were having sex 1-2 times a week, just to give you an idea). And honestly, talking about it didn't help me understand any better. I had to actually rediscover my own sexuality in order to really want it again, it has to come from inside, and you have to find those things that turned you on all those years ago. This is what EricaP and I talked/argued about last summer (we ended up kissing, making up, and having a 3-way--okay, I'm kidding about that last thing...) that I think women need to remember and reconnect with feeling sexy and desirable. I remember getting ready to go out to parties in college...of course you wore your cutest satin undies, of course you wore the tight jeans, it was all part of it. Fast forward to post-kids, and you're lucky if your drawer has anything in it other than Bridget Jones briefs--ugh. So, just a thought, but how would your wife react to: A weekend away without the kids, she spends some time getting the full treatment at a salon (yes! I'm a girly girl, sue me!), mani, pedi, waxed--ouch--hair, etc., then to a hotel, you drink enough wine to be pleasantly tipsy, you read some erotica to each other, you watch some nice porn, you get the idea...take things right out of ordinary. No one's listening, no kids who might need a drink, no sheets to wash in the morning, there's definitely something special about hotel sex. If she can find a way to realize that she can be a good mom, as well as a sexy mom, well....worked for me, anyway.
Posted by Canuck on March 27, 2011 at 6:29 PM · Report this
Stating what should be obvious. For some people the benefits of an affair/sexual gratification come with too high a price (be it self respect, integrity, or whatever you want to call it) Ultimately you have to be able to live with yourself. For the regious minded, what profiteth a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? And that only considers the cost to you as a person and does not consider any of the collateral damage. I am not being judgmental, I can only decide what is best for myself.

As what one would expect from the nature of this site, many of the people who post here espouse the importance of sexual satisfaction and I do not dispute that. However, sex is not the be all and end all of most people's existence. Everyone prioritizes the things in life differently. I believe a lot of people who post here are looking for acceptance, a sympathetic audience, and validation of the choices they make.

An observation, while communication is important in a relationship, credibility is even more so. A relationship may survive the lack of communication, I do not believe any relationship can survive the absense of credibility. It may not be true in every case, but I can not think of anything more destructive than knowing you have and are being lied to. I can forgive many things, I don't think I can forgive being lied to. For me that is a guaranteed way for love to become hate. How can you trust someone if you can't believe what they say. When you lie to someone, they no longer have any obligation to be honest with you and you have no right to expect them to be.

I know this has been off topic, but I feel the need to vent about being lied to. I live in the Madison area and I am sick to death of being blatantly lied to by scum sucking politicians. Thank God that I'm not a violent person or I might do something truly regretable. Right now I don't think I could survive finding out finding I am or was lied to by my wife. Right now I, like many people in Wisconsin, am hypersensitive on this topic.
Posted by beentheredonethatgotthetshirt on March 27, 2011 at 11:25 PM · Report this
212 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
213 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
@208 Agree that milking is a possibly unhelpful - if humorous description. "Cows can't milk themselves, but guys can certainly masturbate". When I hear the suggestion that the "solution" is just for the guy to masturbate, I think - oh yeh, there's a fob-off that exhibits lack of understanding or empathy or both. It's so kind to get that concern - I figure that just maybe the notion that I could masturbate might have occurred - I've likely done so more often in a year than those suggesting it have had sexual thoughts in a lifetime. Masturbation has very little to do with what I want from partnered sex, and quite specifically, I have a valid problem if my partner either doesn't understand what's important to me, dismisses it as unimportant, or is unwilling to help me achieve it.

@210 Your description of your understanding and attitudes to your husband's feeling was great, and DW expressed similar. There's a big difference between intellectual understanding, and understanding in your gut, and that's why talking ain't always enough. You have to be able to feel it and to negotiate fairly (bothways).
Posted by dameedna on March 28, 2011 at 4:07 AM · Report this

Yeah, "milking" suggests an empty experience to me. It might be a slightly more gratifying thing than masturbation but to further what you said, if masturbation leaves you emotionally empty then being "milked" is possibly even worse. It would depend on how good a reason she had for only being able to provide "milking" rather than a fuller, more emotionally connected experience.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 28, 2011 at 6:12 AM · Report this
Tim Horton 216
@207 - a lot of people understand life is messy, and can sympathize.

FWIW, I almost wish my wife would have an affair (safe and discreet of course) with the pool boy. I don't have a cuckold fetish but it would be nice to see a woman I love feel alive, sexy, and breaking out of the mommy-martyr trap that hangs like a cloud around the house.

My kingdom for a safety vavle......

Posted by Tim Horton on March 28, 2011 at 6:20 AM · Report this
shahnahnah 217
@206 (perversecowgirl): Yes! Exactly.

Posted by shahnahnah on March 28, 2011 at 6:25 AM · Report this
@207 badgirl

It really is too bad that American culture hasn't figured these things out yet. Dan is pushing it in the right direction and in your own way so are you. You are the best judge of what's right and what you can live with.

And if you are anywhere near the Northeast I'd be happy to exchange stories with you sometime. (stories not fluids, just to be totally clear)
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 28, 2011 at 6:26 AM · Report this
Canuck 219
@214 Yeah, that part about trivializing, in hindsight, is interesting, because a lot of women would say that they see themselves as good listeners, understanding, empathetic, so what gives in this respect? I think some women internalize this idea about being perfect mummies, and, as Suzy (wrongly, I believe) said earlier, put the kids in a position where their needs always come first. They want to be recognized for having the best-mannered kids, the cleanest house, etc., those become the priorities, and so when they hear real criticism from their husbands ("what? a clean house doesn't do it for you? it does it for me!) I think that brush-off becomes trivialized as an unreasonable demand, lumped in the same category of, "No Timmy, you can't have ice cream for dinner, how silly."

Here's something to think about: I was listening to the radio, and these announcers were talking about where to take a girl on a date.

One of them jokingly said, "A strip joint!"

The other guy said, "No, man, you can't take a girl you'd take to meet your parents to a strip joint."

"Why not, what if she suggested it?" (laughing)

"The kind of girl who'd suggest going to a strip joint isn't the kid of girl where your gonna put a ring on her finger."

So, the message, again and again: Fuck the bad girls, marry the good girls, have two kids, write to Dan in 10-12 years about your non-existent sex life. It's this kind of slut-shaming that girls hear, and internalize, and which plants the seed that sexual feelings are not to be acted upon, and that "good" girls ("marriageable" girls) do not act in overtly sexual ways. Look no further than a show I truly enjoy watching, Modern Family: Sexy Gloria, mumsy Claire. Gloria = second marriage, younger woman, overtly sexual, clueless mothering VS Tightly wound, gym bunny Claire, kids the centre of her existence, husband character is treated like another child, there is no hint of sex between her and her husband. And the show is funny, the characters are great, but those two women are a pretty good example of the choices we, as a puritanical society, give young women.
Posted by Canuck on March 28, 2011 at 6:55 AM · Report this
"So, the message, again and again: Fuck the bad girls, marry the good girls, have two kids, write to Dan in 10-12 years about your non-existent sex life."

Yes. This. Is why I have a hard time feeling sorry for these men who write in complaining. Sexual women are out there, we're just not taken seriously a lot of the time. (In all fairness, I think a lot of straight women tend to dismiss highly sexual men as serious partners too.)
Posted by pirate jenny on March 28, 2011 at 7:10 AM · Report this
re: Milking - here's the thing: it's not just a matter of 'servicing' the other person - the compromise is not "ok, I'll sit/lay/bend over here and tolerate this while you get your on". It's quite important to feel like your partner likes - is actively enjoying - what that two of you are doing. That's where the sense of connected-ness comes from. Otherwise, yes, frankly, masturbation and single-dom are preferable.
Posted by knkycva on March 28, 2011 at 7:59 AM · Report this
@214, 215, 221 - But if you don't just want the wife to tolerate sex, to service the need, then for pete's sake stop phrasing it as "I need more sex with her."

No wonder therapists take the woman's side. The men won't talk openly about what they mean. Is it fear of seeming vulnerable? Our society allows men to want a hole to fuck, but doesn't allow a man to say he wants his wife to "feel alive, sexy, and breaking out of the mommy-martyr trap." (I loved that, @216.)
Posted by EricaP on March 28, 2011 at 9:07 AM · Report this

Canuck, I think it bears pointing out what sort of morons are on the radio. They do say those sorts of things but they also don't fit the mold of anyone I personally know. I and all the men I went to school with take women very seriously. We certainly do want women we can celebrate both intellectually and sexually.


EricaP, I have no trouble being vulnerable. Maybe I am an oddity to some extent as my wife and I have mixed and matched traditional gender roles. But at least I see progress in there being an increasing acceptance of househusbands as something other than losers and leeches and unmanly. I've even seen a news report about us being "trophy husbands." (we laughed over that)

Yes, "I want more sex" doesn't work at all. You need to dig quite a bit deeper.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 28, 2011 at 11:10 AM · Report this
nocutename 224
I don't know that I can bring anything to add to the very interesting conversation that jenesasquatch, EricaP, Approaching 40 in LA, Badgirl, Perverse Cowgirl, Canuck, et al have been having. Everyone's been bringing so much more thoughtfulness to this issue than I usually see, including from Dan in some of his responses!
I've long been an opponent to Dan's idea of "giving an assist" to a partner who wants sex when you don't, or "milking," because I have thought that if getting a sexual release was all that was needed, then masturbation would do the trick--and that masturbation while someone who clearly isn't into it themselves and is just giving a perfunctory "assist" or a maintenance "milking" would be the source of even more of a sense of disconnection and would lead to resentment on both sides.

For me, and from what I am hearing, for others, "I want more sex" translates more often than not as "I want more intimate connection with you. I want to feel more desire for me from you. I want you to WANT ME." (to quote that sage rabbi, Robin Zander)

None of that is achieved by a milking or an assist to masturbation.

And it's going to be a slightly different issue with each couple, representing a different take on that need and a different solution, but the bottom line is that we all want to feel desired by our partner. We want to feel alive and sexy and vibrant; our partners want us to feel alive and sexy and vibrant, and part of what contributes to making us feel alive and sexy and vibrant is the sense that our partner wants us, really US, for who we are-not as an assist to masturbation, or a fuck-to-shut-the-whining-up.

When I was married, I'm sure if you had asked my husband, he would have said he wanted more sex. But had he acted as though he thought I was the most sexy, beautiful, desirable woman he knew, instead of as though I was the available vagina, it would have helped me feel like fucking him.

When I met someone who did act like that, it was amazing how much I wanted to have sex . . .
Posted by nocutename on March 28, 2011 at 11:45 AM · Report this
@224 thanks for the observations, can I make some distinctions? "the sense that our partner wants us, really US, for who we are" is what it's about for me.

But beware this thing of separating sex from intimacy, it's not that way for me - I want the sex included, and I do not buy the quality not quantity argument.

As for "milking", maintenance or the assist, I don't think the words do any favors; we have a good-enough time in our relationship where we are sometimes getting different things out of the encounter (which may be a quickie or assist) - and in particular, I neither want nor expect simulations of desire on her part (unless that's what she feels at the time), because that is not then true to who she is. Yet if she's welcoming and a witness to who I am, then that's good enough - and infinitely preferable to solo. And it paves the way for the times when it is mutually passionate and desirous.
Posted by dameedna on March 28, 2011 at 12:13 PM · Report this
nocutename 226
@224: I guess it's that sense of being "welcoming and a witness to who [you are]" that I think is often missing in the idea of "milking."
You are absolutely right that having someone witness in that way is preferable to solo masturbation; I would say that it is still an instance of connection.

As far as quality over quantity goes, I prefer quality and quantity--the best, hottest sex in the world, if it only happens once quarterly, is insufficient. But sex with the attitude of "I'm not into this myself, but I'm doing this in the spirit of duty" even if it is as frequent as Approaching 40 in LA's twice-weekly maintenance sex (which, considering he has two kids under 10, seems pretty decent to many of us--and it's not always martyrdom, it's sometimes just exhaustion and the feeling that there is always someone who wants something physical from you that can get to a mom) can be unsatisfying, too.
Posted by nocutename on March 28, 2011 at 1:05 PM · Report this
nocutename 227
Ooops: I meant # 225
Posted by nocutename on March 28, 2011 at 1:06 PM · Report this
I've long been an opponent to Dan's idea of "giving an assist" to a partner who wants sex when you don't...masturbation while someone who clearly isn't into it themselves...would be the source of even more of a sense of disconnection and would lead to resentment on both sides.

Kinda depends. I've recently gone through a stressful time that killed my sex drive deader than it's ever been...but I still thought my boyfriend was beautiful and I still wanted to please him. So I would cheerlead his wanks (or sometimes fuck him anyway with a lot of lube) and I think that helped maintain our connection with each other.

Meanwhile, when I was married my husband seemed to abhor every single aspect of my sexuality. He did not want me to masturbate in his presence or even mention that I had done so while he wasn't around. He did not want me to share the porn I liked (I tried this once in a misguided attempt to bring us closer together). I have never felt so profoundly rejected. If he had seemed cheerful and supportive of me having orgasms but just didn't want any of his own...well, that would still have kinda sucked, but not nearly as much.

Mind you, my husband couldn't help feeling the way he felt; he couldn't have given me regular "assists" because for whatever reason the idea seemed to make him nauseous. Whereas sexuality is a big part of my life and on those rare occasions when my sex drive has gone away, I've missed it; I've wanted to want more sex. Hence the difference in how my husband and I have handled our respective sexual issues.

I guess my point is that a) not everyone with a lower sex drive feels resentful about participating in sexytimes and b) depending on (a), giving an "assist" can let your partner know how much you love them and how much you encourage and support their sexuality.

Perhaps it boils down to "low sex drive due to issues with one's partner" vs. "low sex drive due to stress/hormonal issues/etc.". I think the two are very different animals.
Posted by perversecowgirl on March 28, 2011 at 1:29 PM · Report this
@224 And it's going to be a slightly different issue with each couple, representing a different take on that need and a different solution, but the bottom line is that we all want to feel desired by our partner.

@171 "it's one of the hardest things I've ever done; refusal to negotiate and trivializing the need would actually be the showstoppers"
@200 "Marriage is hard work"
@207 "parenting is HARD. Marriage is HARD."

YES. Not only is it hard to figure out how to connect (physically & emotionally) with another person, and how to maintain that bond for years and years and years, with bad times and other responsibilities too ... Not only all that - but our culture gives us almost no tools at all for doing this. Lots of advice on how to get married; nothing on how to grow and change and live together.
Posted by EricaP on March 28, 2011 at 1:41 PM · Report this
As a never-married guy, I'm finding this discussion absolutely fascinating - I had no idea married people thought or felt this way.
Posted by Sigmund on March 28, 2011 at 1:57 PM · Report this
Canuck 231
Jenesasquatch@223 Sorry, I realize in rereading what I wrote that it looks like I was directing it to the husbands on this thread--I wasn't, honestly! I was thinking about how we women probably internalize the sort of thing that bozo on the radio was saying, about how "nice" girls are supposed to act, and it plays out later, even in marriages where guys like you and Approaching 40 are trying and communicating. I think it's partly post-children hormones, but I think women also need to stop thinking they can either be good mothers OR sexual creatures.
Posted by Canuck on March 28, 2011 at 2:48 PM · Report this
The Bible -whether it is the Word of God, or something written by old men 3000 years ago - recognizes a woman's need for sex:

Exodus 21:10

"If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and conjugal rights."
Posted by Amos101 on March 28, 2011 at 3:23 PM · Report this

Oh, I didn't take it that way. I just wanted to give my witness to you about the disconnect between "entertainment" and real people. Given how different from those guys I am, I have to wonder how many more men like me are out there. I've never even been to a strip club. Porn shouldn't be able to see you looking. It gets in the way of the fantasy.

And again I'm a bit of an extreme example considering that in some ways my wife is my husband and I am her wife (circa 1955). I still get aroused when she pulls in the driveway and I fix her a martini. Yes, really. And she does appreciate it.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 28, 2011 at 3:31 PM · Report this
The martini, the arousal, or both?
Posted by EricaP on March 28, 2011 at 3:50 PM · Report this
Ha! The martini, the glint in my eyes, and if the boy isn't nearby, the arousal. Not that it necessarily leads to anything. Alas, the vagina wants what the vagina wants.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 28, 2011 at 3:58 PM · Report this

Lots of guys still suffer from Madonna/whore me. I've driven off a few guys in my day by "giving it up too soon", causing them to get paranoid and assume I sleep with everyone that soon. I don't; it's just that on that rare occasion when I meet someone I consider sex-worthy, I don't see the point of arbitrarily dragging the process out.

Thank god I met my boyfriend, who isn't hung up on all that stupid "girlfriend vs. slut" bullshit (and who I tied to my bed and anally penetrated on our second date...).

Our gender roles are reversed from the norm too, btw. To the extent that I'll sometimes come home from work to find dinner all prepared and him waiting for me in lingerie.

Posted by perversecowgirl on March 28, 2011 at 4:30 PM · Report this
Canuck 237
Wow, jenesasquatch, greeting her with a are doing it right! Sheesh. I'm thinking some erotica on her ipod for the drive home, and...waka waka...
Posted by Canuck on March 28, 2011 at 5:12 PM · Report this
Perversecowgirl: Your previous situation reminds me a LOT of one of my single friends...I am glad you were finally able to meet someone who can hang, lol!

Tim Horton: Thanks, and you really hit the nail on the head. I think the reason the sex we have IS the fact that my lover makes me feel soooooo desirable. With him, I feel like sex incarnate, and I know that must have incredible ramifications on my performance, lol! nocutename mentioned this as well. How sex/lovemaking is improved with this. It becomes SOOOO much better then "milking"!!! And actually, contrary to as mentioned this good IS one of the best parts of my existence. I mean, really....the pleasure is beyond all imagining unless you have had it this good, and I doubt many people have. *I* didn't think it was possible myself until I met my current lover and we had several years under our belts.

jenesatsquatch: No, not in the Northeast, but you can email me! (sigh...I know, terrible, eh? But certainly not my work email, lol!!
Posted by badgirl on March 28, 2011 at 5:25 PM · Report this
Blah, I posted jenesasquatch, saying I am not in the North East, but you are more then welcome to email me, and gave my email address, but someone must not have liked that. Lol...its a totally anon one, (like the kind you get thru google), and its my nick + "boredathome", but oh well, I guess its not allowed. I am not a spammer, and I don't really give a shit who has that addy, it not my work one!

But anyway, my main point was that Tim Horton and nocutename, you guys totally hit the nail on the head when you mentioned having someone make you feel wanted and desired. My lover makes me feel like sex incarnate, and I am sure that does a number in regards to enhancing my performance, lol!! Its mind-blowing, really.

And for those of you who mentioned upstream that sex isn't all there is to life....well, its one of THE best things. I truly think those people who deny this, cannot have had *really* incredible, cosmic, soulful sex. I don't think all that many people have the wonderful opportunity to experience this, sadly enough. I didn't even know how amazing it could be until I met my lover and we had a couple of years of practice under our belts.
Posted by badgirl on March 28, 2011 at 5:55 PM · Report this

That's a great story. Good for you holding out for the right guy. I put out on the first date too, back in the day. Well I made an effort to anyway --I held my end up. God I'm slutty.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 28, 2011 at 6:35 PM · Report this
nocutename 241
That was kind of my original point with this week's letter: that DRY isn't getting anything out of sex. Because until you experience it in the best way it can be, you really don't know.
And Perversecowgirl, I think you have a real point vis a vis a lack of interest stemming from a dis-interest in the partner v. a lack of interest stemming from something else, like a medical condition.

The very last thing I would have wanted to do was to masturbate in front of my ex-husband, who was profoundly uncomfortable with my sexuality. So I certainly wouldn't have wanted as "assist" from him. And since I was resentful of his lack of interest in me and my sexual needs, I didn't feel like having sex with him. So that when he asked if I would watch as he masturbated, it was really uncomfortable for me, because, if I were into him, I'd be aroused by that. And if I were aroused by his masturbating, I'd offer more of an assist, or indicate my interest or enthusiasm. But since I didn't want to have anything to do with him sexually, I didn't have any interest in watching him masturbate, and I certainly didn't react with any enthusiasm. I waited for him to finish. This isn't very easy to confess, and it doesn't reflect well on me at all. But the bottom line is, I can't see how my clearly uninterested witnessing of his masturbating could have been in any way a turn-on. So the whole idea of an "assist" through action or witnessing, has to come from a position of being only uninterested in sex; not uninterested in your partner having sex.
I hope this makes sense. Next time, no typing and cocktails.
Posted by nocutename on March 28, 2011 at 10:33 PM · Report this
"But since I didn't want to have anything to do with him sexually, I didn't have any interest in watching him masturbate, and I certainly didn't react with any doesn't reflect well on me at all."

Yes it does! You are facing the situation that exists. Don't try to feel what you think you are supposed to feel.

The way you describe the interplay of feelings between you and your husband sounds valid to me. What else would anyone expect? Sexual attraction and interest don't come out of thin air. There is a back and forth in a relationship and a sum of experience that results in interest or disinterest.

I agree that there is a distinction between the kinds of assist that you make.
Posted by jenesasquatch on March 29, 2011 at 3:50 AM · Report this
nocutename: Lol! Watch that typing after drinking, its dangerous! ;). But man, I *totally* hear you, but perhaps for different reasons. Whe my husband and I first started dating and I wasn't getting mine, and I would offer to "lend a hand" when he was done, to show him how I liked it....he would basically fall asleep. To open yourself up and show someone what you look like when you masterbate is a pretty vunerable thing, and have the reaction be snores rather then excitement....well, that can make you a little gun shy. Now that he has matured a bit, he gets mad wen he catches me and wonders at my reluctance to "let him help". Well, gee. Having someone appear bored next to you is no only a turn off, but more then a little bit insulting and hurtful.

However, I don't know if I can 100% agree with you about DRY. Even before I realized how absolutely STELLAR sex could be, I still wanted it, YKWIM? I do beleive a poster above described it qute well as "yearning". Even if you don't exactly know what you are yearning for, you have it. I would think to adequately know whether she s truly asexual or not, first a medical condition or psychological block would need to be ruled out, and if neither one of those was present, and she still didn't EVER feel that yearn or hunger....well then, yeah. I would say she is.

Personally, can't imagine it. But, like I said, I think its one of the best things in life (perhaps THE best that can be done on a regular basis, for a reasonable cost, lol!!), and other posters have already disputed that claim. So its probably just a spectrum, and DRY is on one end, and people like me on another.
Posted by badgirl on March 29, 2011 at 7:59 AM · Report this
nocutename 244
You know, badgirl, I've been on both ends of that spectrum. I think, if you've never experienced real sexual pleasure (and I mean at all), the yearning is vague and can't be pinned-down. You might yearn for something you can't specify, but the experience you have doesn't lend itself to any kind of truly positive association with sex beyond an initial flutter of excitement which goes away after your genitals "shove against each other" for a while with nothing happening. The best thing about sex can easily become the feeling of emotional closeness (and once you DO know what you're missing, if satisfaction isn't there, it's much harder, if even possible, to be happy with the emotional aspect, because resentment may be the primary emotion you are feeling.)

So you aren't asexual, but you haven't had any positive sexual input, and the yearnings resolve into other feelings or yearnings for something else. Sometimes you feel like everyone else but you is getting something that you're missing, and you're sad or angry or frustrated; sometimes you think that the reaction to sex is over exaggerated, and that everyone hypes it too much. But you really don't know, so you really can't miss it, so you really can't want it beyond a vague sort of yearning to be included in the party.

And then, once you find out--and in a big way--you crave it all the time, because, as you've pointed out, it is one of THE best things that be done, and if you didn't get it again, you would really, really miss it.

I've been both those people, and it's like inhabiting alternate universes.

That's why I initially said (way back in post #16) that I don't think DRY has ever had an orgasm. There could be many reasons for this, some of which have already been suggested. And from her other comment about previous partners, it doesn't sound like she's had any pleasurable sexual experiences. She could be on medication that interferes, or her clit could be too far away from her vagina to be easily stimulated while any other sexual act is going on. Or she could need more intense stimulation than she's gotten, or she has never been able to fully relax and be vulnerable with a trusted partner, or ... Or, you all could be right, and she's asexual. I just think that it's worth trying a bit more, because it would be a shame to miss out on such a great experience, if it were possible.
Posted by nocutename on March 29, 2011 at 8:58 AM · Report this
A big component in those practicing BDSM is consent. Some say 'Safe, Sane, and Consensual' (SSC) while others say, 'Risk Aware Consensual Kink' (RACK). Regardless, it is a widely known and agreed upon credo of kinksters that consensent must be present.

With consent we are saying between that the partners involved are of the age of consent and have the mental faculties to consent to engage in this type of relationship and the consent to engage in the types of activities that turn them on.

The relationship, it's parameters, the forms of play, the limits of each partner, and all facets of the relationship should have been negotiated with everyone the relationship involves so that everyone is able to make informed decisions.

The fact of the matter is that 'Sparky' and his Mistress (if she exists) did not give the writer the ability to consent to being involved in their Dominant/submissive relationship whether sexual or otherwise and THAT is just plain wrong. To that end, I would definitely inform both Sparky and his Mistress that they violated your rights to consent and that they should think long and hard about involving someone who hasn't been part of the negotiated previously and who wasn't given the opportunity to consent.
Posted by Mata on March 29, 2011 at 9:48 AM · Report this
The thread is dead.
Posted by Hunter78 on March 29, 2011 at 5:00 PM · Report this
I think the "mommy martyr" reference is rather unfair. Nothing I said above suggests that children should always come first, or that parents should sacrifice their sex lives for the sake of their children's needs. Rather, I'm saying that you shouldn't inflict the pain of divorce on your kids because, for instance, sex drops from twice a week to once a week. You certainly don't do it without seeking counseling, or negotiation and communication to solve things.

As I said above, you may choose to value your selfish physical gratification over other things, and that's fine. However, once you choose to have kids, part of the deal is that you accept some limits on privileging your own needs above theirs. This isn't "martyrdom"; it's basic parenting and common human decency. I also find the idea of "mommy" martyrdom rather sexist. Isn't dad changing the diaper or staying up with the sick kids too?

Sure, sexual incompatibility could be so serious that it weighs more heavily in the balance than any potential damage to the kids when the relationship ends. However, the problem had better be truly serious, and effort must be spent to solve it first. Otherwise--really?--why bother to marry? Why inflict your preferences on kids?

"And for those of you who mentioned upstream that sex isn't all there is to life....well, its one of THE best things. I truly think those people who deny this, cannot have had *really* incredible, cosmic, soulful sex."

People value different things, even when they truly understand them. Watching your kids sleep, to use someone's silly example above, is one of THE best things too. If someone else prefers mindblowing sex to that experience, must we assume that they don't "really" appreciate their kids? Of course not. People can enjoy and value whatever they wish. The point is that when other people are affected by their preferences, some ethical concern has to be taken.
Posted by Suzy on March 29, 2011 at 9:04 PM · Report this
Tim Horton 248
@247 - Suzy, I agree with a lot of what you say with regard to divorce and making kids a priority, but I respectfully think you are missing the complaint. While I am sure there are assholes who would ditch their families when their spouse stopped servicing them, I don't think that is the tone of the discussion.

Mommy-martyr, to me, means the loss of a woman's identity for the sake of the kids. It is a common gripe among married men. They see the vibrant, intelligent, fun, exiting - and yes SEXY and sex positive - woman they married transform from "Candace" to "Jacob and Dylan's mom." Their facebook page becomes their kids faces. They make no time for themselves, no longer see themselves as individuals, sexy or otherwise. In the process of gaining a mom, you lose a wife.

Again, and with respect, when you say things like "you may choose to value your selfish physical gratification over other things, and that's fine" you are conveying exactly the message that crushes the soul of the spouse with the higher libido. It is not about selfish pleasure, or not completely about that. It is about the connection, the intimacy, the fact your significant other still finds you desirable and, at least with some frequency, can't wait to put the kids to bed and "reconnect." Make no mistake - as Badgirl and others have pointed out, to a lot of us, sexual pleasure is one of the things that make life worth living. I just don't see why watching my children sleep and having mind-blowing and semi-regular kinky sex must be mutually exclusive (but obviously not simultaneous :)

I think EricaP @222 nailed the problem by pointing out how bad guys can be at communicating and the importance of sex being more than just phyisical gratification and a hole to plug.

Posted by Tim Horton on March 30, 2011 at 8:01 AM · Report this
Tim Horton: I just wanna ROCK!!! :D

My "silly" example of watching my kids sleep...well, a big dark secret? Doesn't really do that much for me. Again, I see happy lil' mommies (and YES, I use the term MOMMIES, since I am living in wonderbread land, and I do not have to suffer through DADDIES waxing poetic ad nauseum on the topic) go on and on about how damned happy this makes them, and woooo. Frankly not me. Now, when one of my little dudes gets a touchdown in football, or grasps a tough science concepts, or says "I love you Mommy"...ok, that makes me go a little mushy....BUT, as Tim Horton states, it certainly doesn't end my desire for sex, or quash the resentment I feel towards hubby that he gets to get his rocks off, and I don't. DESPITE the "communication" and efforts put forth.

But hey!!! I DO love my kiddos (despite not going into paryoxyms of pleasure watching them snooze), so I stay with hubby, who is actually a pretty decent guy, and a great father, despite being a boring ass lay. ("Well, why didn't you think about this BEFORE you got married, why did you have kids with him??" I was young, dumb, and made some bad mistakes, ok? Now, trapped in a situation with Scylla and Charibdis on either side, just like a LOT of married MEN!!!) And see someone on the side. Again, how some of us have decided to cope.
Posted by badgirl on March 30, 2011 at 12:31 PM · Report this
I would have called his mistress and asked her wtf she thought she was doing. Sometimes the dommes can really get into a fucking ego trip, especially the women, especially when they first start (and this reads pure amateur). "What the hell kind of domme are you exposing your sub to danger like that? He could lose his job or get his ass kicked violently by a pissed off husband. You are a stupid bitch and not mature enough to be a domme. You need to really think about your responsibilities and if you're ready or not because this is amateur work lady."

I still think the overwhelming majority of asexuals are women who haven't been fucked properly and men who are trying to get laid by pretending they aren't into sex and get off on being in control and making her beg after years of having to beg for pussy.
Posted by wendykh on March 30, 2011 at 3:14 PM · Report this
I was one of those women who thought they had orgasms but wasn't really. I thought the nice flutters from PiV were vaginal orgasms and the ones from masturbation were just "different." For years I thought maybe I was a dyke. I liked the idea of sex very much! I liked sex itself, sort of like how I enjoy walking my dog. Sex was like moderately pleasant exercise. I was interested about once a month (ovulation) but it was always a let down.

I fancied myself quite sexually experienced and open. Alas, having a lot of dicks in you doesn't make you sexually experienced. At some point in my late 20s I wondered "is this it?" and decided to start advertising online for sexually experienced (and on the advice of my girlfriends, OLDER as in 40+) men to experiment and explore. I met a handful of duds but the overwhelming majority... holy crap! NOW I knew what people were on about.
Posted by wendykh on March 30, 2011 at 3:33 PM · Report this
wendykh@251 - I'm insanely curious: what did you put in your profile? Did you see a lot of these guys more than once? Did you get to know them and their friends, or did it stay no-strings-attached? Did you talk a lot about what you were growing to like, or did you prefer action & experimentation to talk?
Posted by EricaP on March 30, 2011 at 6:44 PM · Report this
DRY may have a hormone imbalance problem. If so, having it treated might increase her libido and allow her to enjoy sex like most people. She and her lover also ought to research how to provide female orgasms. The information is out there.
Posted by markus11b on April 4, 2011 at 8:15 AM · Report this

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