SL Letter of the Day: Hand-Sniffing Girlfriend


"She often says she wants to have sex, but come 9:30 p.m." [snip] If she says she wants to have sex, why are you waiting until 9:30pm, when she's ready to pass out?

"She asks me on a daily basis if I've masturbated in her absence." What happens if you say yes, or if you tell her to mind her own business?
I agree he needs to ditch this loon, but I also like @3's suggestion: when she asks if you've masturbated, say "Obviously, duh."
She will presumably lose her shit, but it seems like she would get tired of losing her shit every day.
On second thought, no, just get the hell out of there.
Yeah, just leave. It's tempting to play the game of "what'll you do if I say yes?" but provoking crazy people for no reason is unlikely to be a good idea, because "nothing" isn't her only option. Never push a crazy person just to see how far they'll go, because they'll win that game.
As much fun as it is to think of smart-ass replies to the have-you-masturbated question, DTMFA'ing and GTFO'ing is probably the best solution to this problem.
Just wow. I mean: I dated a chick once who did kind of feel like masturbating or looking at porn alone were cheating, but even she would never quite come out and say it, much less sniff my hands, and she was for-real abusive. She was, on the other hand, a total freak and up for sex just about anyhow, anytime (yes, my little head guided me into tolerating abuse).

Unless this is some kind of dom/sub quasi-chastity thing you get off on (I know a few guys who would love this), then run like the wind man. Trust me, there are guys who would consider her Yahtzee! BOMBAST, otoh, sounds like he needs someone a little more secure. Quietly find a new roomate, and a couch surfing arrangement for the period between when your new lease starts and the time to renew the old one (when you tell her you're leaving).
Wow, talk about low and slow over the plate....
Are we sure this one isn’t trolling?
Good god. Why doesn't she just tie his hands into mittens and be done with it?
Another possibility: she may be so conflicted about sex that she'll renounce it outright - both for herself and the rest of the world, including you, BOMBAST - whenever she is not personally aroused. Perhaps one solution here is to pretend that you're not excited or enjoying the prospect of sex while you work valiantly towards it. Yes, it's fucked up, but what isn't in this situation.
Otherwise, I'm in the chorus screaming "Flee!"
Funny response, but castrated dogs still have a sex drive and hump things. The GF sounds young and uninformed of what male sexuality is like. It's up to him if he wants to stick around and teach her--I wouldn't have the patience.
This one is so old that I assume LW has long since DTHSA (dumped the hand sniffer already)
@8: When there's a popular song called "let me smell yo dick", I'm sure it's not trolling.
@9 - that doesn't strike me as particularly effective, for a guy anyway, unless the mittens are restrained somehow.

@13 - I want to say no way but I'm afraid to google it.
@14: Okay. Why doesn't she just chop his hands off--better yet, chop his arms off at the elbows? That should take care of things for her.
I'm curious how old they are and if this is her first really serious, or live in relationship. I wonder because my ex husband felt the same way about masturbating. He saw I it as cheating. Crazy, I know, but I was the first woman he had ever kissed let alone fucked, and he had in his head that you only masturbate if you don't have a partner.
I was astonished and quickly disabused him of that ridiculous idea.
Maybe that's what's going on here?
@17 Lissa

They are 8. Duh.
This is insane. Sniffing his hands? Really? If she doesn't want him to pleasure himself then I guess she needs to rearrange her schedule to accommodate some more action. You can't tell me that she doesn't do the same to herself during the week. Insecure much!?!
"But terrorizing a higher-libido partner about whether or not he is making ends meet by masturbating now and then—and demanding to smell his hands!—is borderline abusive behavior."

The funny thing is, this might *literally* be borderline abusive behavior. This might be the abusive behavior of someone with borderline personality disorder. Which doesn't justify any of it in the least, if anything this emphasizes the urgency behind DTMFA. And of course I don't know that - the information given here isn't anywhere close to being enough to diagnose. But it does fit, what little information we have. Borderline is characterized by extreme paranoia about abandonment, where the tiniest and most inconsequential things are taken as a threat, and the resulting chaos is bizarre and frightening - and sniffing your boyfriend's hands for evidence that he's been masturbating, sure seems unhinged enough to fit in that category. I just think it'd be kind of humorlessly funny if this turned out to be an inadvertent pun.
I'm all for people doing whatever kinky stuff they want, but I just don't understand the appeal of chastity play. Too weird for me.
Wow at first I thought this was going in a different direction. I thought she asked him if he masturbates to make sure he's at least taking care of himself while she tries to sort out why she is so tired. (I'm in a very happy marriage so I guess I see the glass as half full.) But JAHEEZUS lady! Sniffing for lube? Wow!

I have a higher sex drive than my husband so it's always known, assumed and appreciated on both sides that I take care of myself between sex. It makes for a happier marriage, it fills in the gap. (Our gap isn't a huge one, so I think that is why it works for us.)
start masturbating with different condiments other than your regular lube. tell her she gets points if she can sniff out what you her head explode.
oh, i see this letter is old, forget it.
I don't usually get 100% gung ho on the DTMFA wagon, but in this case, if all the details as given are true, this lady doesn't deserve to be in a relationship. Dump, flee, do not contact.
@valencia That's definitely possible.

To anyone reading this, though: one interesting thing about borderline is that the crazy behaviors most people associate with the condition mostly show up in people who haven't been diagnosed yet and have no idea what's wrong (or might have no idea that anything's wrong at all!) People who know they have borderline, especially people who've known for a while, are a lot more likely to have it under control and be capable of relationships. I've been friends with a few, and they were generally within the normal range of clingy-friendness. It's just logic: they want to avoid abandonment more than anything, so when they learn that the behavior that results from the phobia of abandonment actually causes people to go away, most work really hard to get their shit together. So if a person actually tells you "I have borderline", that doesn't necessarily mean they're a person to be avoided. Make that call based on their actual behavior, just like you do with anybody else.

Sorry for the PSA, just, there's a lot of stigma around this condition, and the people the stigma actually harms are generally not the people who it's productive to think of that way!

"Quietly find a new roomate, and a couch surfing arrangement for the period between when your new lease starts and the time to renew the old one (when you tell her you're leaving)."

If you want to see somebody freak out and blow up, going behind her back and couch surfing is going to trigger her abandonment issues and this will just leave her with more trust issues than before.

Maybe she assumes that masturbating = porn use, and she would be right to make that assumption for most cases (if not all, although there are a few men out there who do not watch porn while in a relationship, no matter how many others don't believe that, and yes it is hard to believe because everyone says every man does it so it can be hurtful to those who are posed against it considering it cheating).

The best thing you can do is sit down and talk, tell her that biologically, you have to release every couple of days because your body will force it out of you whether you take care of it yourself or it happens in your sleep. Guys who masturbate a lot tend to not have wet dreams. If she wants to be involved in every sexual thing you do including masturbating, ask her for some sexy boudoir pictures so she doesn't see it as her having to get totally naked and worry about her pictures leaking to the public if things go sour, and ask her if she would be more comfortable with that.

That is, if you don't want to break up with her. If you do, be kind. Please.
#17, a lot of women would love a man who thinks like your ex husband. You should not have berated him for that. There are men like him, and women who would take really good care of him.
@27: Usually that insecurity goes hand-in-hand with other unhealthy demands.

There's no need to champion someone with unrealistic and harmful rules, even if someone else might be raised in a sex-negative household to believe the rules are in their "best interest".
And if she was the type to give.out sexy photos, she wouldn't be the sort to get angry at private sexual pleasure.
It's your body, do with it what you want and if she DEMANDS that you do/don't do things because it's better for her, RUN. I could understand if she thought you might be cheating with someone, but she doesn't want you to touch YOURSELF? WTF? RUN.
@27: I didn't berate him. I looked at him in stunned silence for a minute and then we talked about where he had gotten this idea and why it was absurd. I made it clear that I wasn't threatened by it, didn't harbor any fears that he was going to run off and leave me for his right hand and a bottle of lube, and that what he was doing was entirely healthy and not to worry.
I also made it clear that I also practiced the art of self love, had since the age of 9, and was not going to give it up either.

It turned out to be a very productive conversation. :)
It's all fun and games to throw mental illness under the bus, but you're missing a lot of key points here:

1) He's a lying sack of shit, whom you let get away with it because well, you're also a sack of shit. Oh wait, I wanted you to take this comment seriously. Uhm... Whom you let get away with it because our society tells you that men lying is A-OK but women not believing the lies makes us crazy or psychotic. (And you have every reason to know better but choose not to, so you contribute to this problem knowingly.)

2) If you really think she's mentally ill, maybe you should be recommending that he help her seek medical attention. If you don't, leave that out of your response.

3) Better advice: Look her dead in the eye and say, "yes, I masturbate, because I respect your right to make choices about your own body. You don't want to have sex as often as I do, and that's fine. You should be respecting my right to make my own choices about my body." And maybe consider looking at portion control because there's no reason someone should be so full after dinner EVERY NIGHT to have sex. I mean, don't get me wrong, we've all eaten at an all you can eat buffet to the point that we have to be rolled out like the kid who turned into a blueberry in Wonka's factory. But every night? No.
I don't see a point of trying to fix this one. Imagine what would happen if she started thinking LW's cheating on her. Sniff his junk like a dog? What a psycho!
If someone tries to police your masturbation (unless it's part of a forced chastity fetish), they are fucking crazy. Gender plays no role here. His lies are understandable, because that's all you can do to placate crazy people. Honesty is, of course, the better option, because he should just DTMFA, and the lies only serve to prolong his relationship with a crazy person. That said, if you think the two transgressions are similar, you are also a first class loon.
What a very strange woman.
Of course, if this LW is going to stay and put up with this sexual prison, then I suggest he use coconut oil as lube.
Then, just say it's for moisturising his
Harsh responses I feel. She's unwittingly getting her sex kicks during the week through this domination she's exercising over your masturbating.
See if you can turn the situation into a positive - hold back from masturbation to build your desire to do so, for a day or two. Then when she asks, give her a very honest and submissive gaze into her eyes, tell her that you haven't, and tell her that you are turned on by the way she asks, and that it has ignited within you a very deep desire to do so. Then ask her in a subservient way if she would allow you to wank if she was watching you. Assure her that if she felt an urge to direct or instruct you in any while you were wanking, that you would obey her. It's partially the secrecy of your masturbation that's giving rise to her behaviour and by opening up in this way, you're dealing with that secrecy element, you're exploring her domme tendencies, and perhaps opening up the possibility of really exploring to joys that (vastly underate) masturbation can bring to a sexual relationship.
Don't lick it all into touch just yet, there may be an opportunity there to not only deal with the problem, but to get her issue to a place where you can use sex to resolve it in an erotic way.
@20 - Bingo! We have a winner!

@26 If you want to see somebody freak out and blow up, going behind her back and couch surfing is going to trigger her abandonment issues and this will just leave her with more trust issues than before.

It's called "self-fulfilling prophesy". Nobody is obligated to go the extra mile and expose themselves to more abuse just because actions taken out of self-preservation might hurt their abuser's feelings or mental state. There is an analogy to lifesaving: the first rule is don't let the drowning person drown the rescuer...don't hesistate to incapacitate them if you have to, or let them drown. Also: just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.

I only advocate the couch surfing arrangement as a backup plan. In my own experience, attempts to discuss a future separation/different living arrangements at the time needed for a lease renewal immediately invoked the freak out and blow up, and instantly ramped up the abusive behavior. a good couple of months before move-out day. If you don't have anywhere else to go as a backup plan, you're kind of screwed. When I left that relationship, I literally fled on foot and did couch surf for a few weeks, with a plan in place to live elsewhere (it was my house I fled) for three months, and a way to fund her with deposit money for a new place.

The problem is that what both you and @32 suggest - sitting down and having a direct, clear, honest and adult rational conversation - may not even be a possibility. @25 gets it right:

...the crazy behaviors most people associate with the condition mostly show up in people who haven't been diagnosed yet and have no idea what's wrong (or might have no idea that anything's wrong at all!).

These people are unaware of their own behavior[1]'s not some consciously manipulative evil game they are playing...they really have no idea and are acting out of genuine feelings and a very warped perception of things. Unless you've really experienced this, you really can't get it - when you take it at face value as a rational conversation, after a while it really leaves you wondering if you yourself are crazy.

I'm not saying the LW's GF suffers from BPD. I'm not saying she's mentally ill. I'm saying the behavior - as described by a potentially unreliable narrator - has whiffs of this. We can't know ourselves. It is entirely possible that he's the nutty one gaslighting her by making her out as crazy (though, why would he write in to Dan in that circumstance). I'm just saying, if we take him at face value, then making a plan to break up seems wise, and having a plan B in case the breakup conversation goes poorly is highly advisable - with someone exhibits hand-sniffing behavior.

Sure, this absolutely could just be a troll...trolls tell stories (describe scenarios) - like mentally ill people - which are over the top disconnected from probably reality.

[1]I don't think they're completely unaware - many of them are aware the behavior won't fly in public and are extremely charming to the outside world, and only exhibit hand-sniffing kinds of behaviors in private. They are unaware the behavior comes from out of control emotional dysregulation.
@35: "I suggest he use coconut oil as lube.
Then, just say it's for moisturising"

Lying is going to help nothing here, let alone that toddler-level of deception.
In fact, I want to go a little further @26 - what you are implicitly suggesting - don't make any sudden moves, or ELSE! (ooh, we migh trigger abandoment issues and I'll blow up emotionally at you) is itself the pretty much the reference implementation of emotional abuse. Maybe you want to reflect on that a while. It's on her to regulate her emotions appropriately not on him to avoid the landmines she's laid all over the relationship landscape.
Hard to believe it's been only a few years since lube was so strongly scented that someone could smell it on you even after you washed your hands.
So sorry, undead. Toddler level deception, you say?
It was a fucking joke.
I mean. Any guy, who lets a woman, interrogate him over his private business,
And has to write a letter to Dan about it, Is too far gone to be taken seriously.
It's really hard to tell jokes from advice sometimes in these threads. People often try to staunch the bleeding with bizarre non-solutions.
@42, for example, see #36.
I doubt this is the same situation, but someone on a blog discussion had mentioned knowing a het couple whose female half considered sex to be a reward to her husband for his good behaviour. When she found out that he sometimes masturbated, she freaked out, because in her mind that was akin to stealing from the cookie jar.

I wonder what she'd have thought if someone asked her about female masturbation. My guess is something along the lines of, "Error error does not compute".
@44: It'd be interestibg to hear some objective discussions of these issues, and the motivation behind them, but I'm sure they'd be adventures in the complainant trying to find a new spin on "but it's wrong!"

I suppose the self-awareness of her being able to properly explain her objections would change the nature of the problem.
I think @36, is quite an interesting solution. Take it back to her, to why?
Why does she care? What is she getting out of such interrogation? Might be an interesting play. Or at least try it.
Sorry undead. My Aussie sense of humour, probably doesn't translate very easily. Maybe I'll indicate in future. Aussie humour ahead.
@39: "It's on her to regulate her emotions appropriately not on him to avoid the landmines she's laid all over the relationship landscape."

This makes me wish image comments were possible so I could post that gif of The Rock clapping enthusiastically. Fucking NAILED IT.
Do not, under any circumstances, tiptoe around a person who makes it known that they are emotionally volatile. Trying to placate an abuser just reinforces the abusive behavior, because it gets them what they want.

Mental illness is NOT a justification or excuse for abuse, and it's not a reason to put up with it.