Comments are closed.
Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.
"For the first time in my life, I am with someone who understands how much my work is a part of who I am. (I travel for research and come home and agonize over writing it up.)"
Am I the only one that read that as a euphemism for "I'm not around a whole lot, and distracted by work when I am around?" Might be the reason the sex is cooled off. I mean, it's borderline cliche that workaholics aren't great at being present/attentive significant others.
Plus if he/she is old enough to have job in research (late 20's at minimum right?) and has struggled to meet someone who "understands how much my work is a part of who I am".. that to me suggests someone who may in fact be in the best of all possible relationships.
This is assuming, of course, that there is no curable medical reason for her anorgasmia, and the sex is lackluster despite your best efforts.
@1 may have a point. I'm in a graduate program with a lot of people whose research is their life. Good for them, but I would rather spend my evenings with my husband, my friends, even my cats. Their obsession with their work is deeply unsexy in my view (not to mention remarkably antisocial at times). The LW might need to back off of his research if finding/maintaining a romantic relationship is a priority. If not, well, he wouldn't be the first researcher to make that sacrifice.
First, the "complete idiot" analysis: gee, maybe if she believed in masturbation, then she might have had a few orgasms, at which point she would understand the benefits of masturbation - and also the benefits of sex with you. Seriously, duh.
Second, the "complete prude" analysis: "didn't believe in masturbation?" Srsly? It sounds like she has refused to get any good at sex because then she might actually want it.
On the other hand, it also sounds like you bear a certain amount of responsibility for the situation. The only thing that is going to turn her around is getting her to understand the value of a good orgasm herself, but you seem more interested in a) your work, and b)looking elsewhere, than in getting her to see the light, which will take some fairly serious investment in quality time.
Still, all things considered...complete prude is my guess. (And, fair warning, "it would be fine as long as I never found out" is code for "if I do find out I will make your life an entirely new circle of Hell.") Prognosis: unlikely. DTMFA.
@8 That's a whole lot of judgement for someone you've never met.
There will be a woman who will be okay with that (perhaps a fellow researcher who is herself engrossed in and obsessed with her field of study), and enjoys sex whenever you both decide to actually get to it. If you're hoping a girl will not stray and understand you and fuck your brains out when you're around and deciding to take a writer's break, well that sounds unlikely to me. And it doesn't sound too fulfilling for any future ladyfriend either.
I don't mean that 'squirting' (gah gah gah) is in itself icky. I mean why such an icky verb choice to describe such a desirable outcome? It sounds like trying to get mustard out of a bottle or something.
Ejaculate - jettison - gush - burst: all fine synonyms. Even 'spurt.' PLEASE SOMEBODY.
Then again, I agree with those saying that his words about why he likes her raise flags, too, so maybe she'd be better off without him....
More information is needed before I can judge this fellow.
If she's never been into masturbating, it's likely that she only has sex with partners because it's assumed that sex is part of a relationship, even though she doesn't enjoy it.
Of course, we don't really know much more about this woman than the limited information her partner provides.
and my only relationship before was a hookup first too. I even refused to give him my number - but we met again, hooked up some more and it turned into a relationship that lasted 4 years and we are still friends
If you do treat your hookups with kindness and consideration when you meet the first time you will not lack for sex partners because they will be much more likely to contact you again. I've had a lot of hookups over the years and most of them have ended up contacting me at least one more time, and some have turned into long term affairs. If you try to give them the best sexual experience you can, even knowing you may never see them again, and are friendly and appealing, chances are you will hear from them again. At that point, it's up to you whether to see them again or not, but it's always nice to have a lot of options. Plus, after I've had sex with someone, I like for them to think "hey, he's a nice guy", not "he's an asshole".
I know you're trying to help the guy see that maybe the relationship isn't working out, but you were really insulting. There is nothing wrong with having a low libido. Some people just don't want sex and it is not a black mark on their intelligence.
STUCK, one thing to think about is the possibility that she isn't enjoying herself in bed. I knew many girls who never masturbated but had very active sex lives. It's possible that the two of you just aren't syncing, you aren't fulfilling her needs, or both. If you don't already, learn to eat pussy, start fingering her, and learn where the g-spot is. Also, get a vibrator for her, help her find her clit, and finger/fuck her. Some women who have never masturbated have never found their clitoris. For many it's a watershed moment.
Good luck STUCK. Try to spice up your sex life and make it more fun for her. If it doesn't fly, then bring up open relationships one last time. You might even benefit from showing her Dan's video where he discusses a married couple who don't sexually connect. He suggests an open relationship. But he does so without making it seem like openness delegitimizes the relationship and I feel that that is her fear.
If sex is important but if improving the quality and openness is off the table, then DTMFA. I don't know what your research field is, but I recommend looking into women who are in similar situations as you. I'm in Experimental Psych and had a wonderful fling with a woman in the Biology dept before I met my gf. There are many women out there conducting research and understand the life of a scientist. Go get em!
To start with, how about getting a nice thick towel or 2, and get used to using it when you go solo and squirt. Next, make sure your SO understands that you won't squirt every time, and will still enjoy PIV(+?). Go someplace for a getaway, and have fun. When the time comes, and you get to where you hold back, just don't. Make a mess, and watch while your SO doesn't get disgusted (he will freak out though; probably some kind of touchdown dance, etc.) and will even sleep in the wet spot if you didn't have time to get the towels.
When my wife squirts, sometimes it's a gush, most times it's trickle. She knows how much I enjoy her letting go on me, so there can be a performance anxiety component sabotaging the proceedings. But the biggest obstacle is always too much on her mind. Just let go, a lot or a little, and enjoy sharing all of yourself.
Oh and btw I'm a gay man who's been treating hookups with respect for 30 years & still no bf (that would probably account for my shock at the masturbation comment...) but hey, to each his bone!
Not to point fingers here, but STUCK doesn't exactly sound like an exemplary boyfriend: "I travel for research and come home and agonize over writing it up", makes it sound like even when he is home he is busy, possibly complaining, and stressed. But oh in those few moments when he is not writing or gone he expects her to magically have a high libido and then just wait around while he's gone, twiddling her thumbs?
Most of the women I have met who "don't believe in masturbation" say that because they have not had success with it. They can't get in the mood solo, and that doesn't mean they are broken or a prude.
@33: Well said. To thine own self (and those with whom you have sex) be true.
It's not the kind of kink you can drop on the table in the first two or three dates, and it's very easy to run the risk of developing a great connection followed by rejection, and then acquiring a 'reputation'. And Dan gave an example of one for women as well.
Both the first and second letters really resonated for me - I've been the fool who divided up the fuckable world the way Dan describes, and, like STUCK in letter 2, fallen deeply in love with someone with whom there just was no sexual compatibility (vanilla and bad!) and it's horrible.
I love hearing these happy FB/FWB/hookups that have turned into good, long term relationships.
My wife always brushes off getting a vibrator with "Why do I need that if I've got you?". When we started going out, she was completely inexperienced, and didn't masturbate. Fast forward through marriage and a lot of fun together, and the first time she started working her clit during doggy style was like...I'm at a loss for words. Then she finally relaxed enough to let herself squirt (for years she kept saying something like "What should I do?"). Not surprisingly that was in her mid 30s. And it's gotten better in many ways since. However, what has always remained constant is that little grin or smirk she gets when she really decides to go to town on me in the cowgirl position; heck of a good way to start a sunny spring day!
Being 50 doesn't suck...
But I'm perfectly happy with masturbation, because my husband is perfect in other ways. I do have a deep committed relationship with my vibrator now, as well.
The point is if you can be happy with the situation, mismatched sex drives aren't necessarily a deal breaker. We've been together for 13 years. If you are unhappy, though, then it is a deal breaker.
Sometimes we start with great sex and try to improve a lagging relationship.
Sometimes we start with a great relationship and try to improve the indifferent sex.
But whatever, I think Dan is right. You don't always know whether a relationship is salvageable, but this one has all the signs of one that isn't. The only thing STUCK seems to like about his girlfriend is that she allows him to work all the time. He could get that from a succulent. (I originally wrote houseplant but then realized it would want to be watered.) He doesn't seem to want to work together with her to help her enjoy sex more. He doesn't seem to like spending time with her when he's not working or getting the infrequent vanilla sex. He does call her affectionate and caring, but he could get that from a beagle except they need more care than houseplants.
Based on the letter (which is all I have to go on), her attitude is, in a nutshell, "I've never had an orgasm and I have no interest in finding out how good they are, even if it drastically improves not only my partner's sex life, but mine too." Do you want to try to defend that proposition as sensible?
Various of you mentioning the possibility of her being asexual: yes, that's one possibility. Again, going off the wording of the letter -- I think there's a substantive difference between "I'm not interested in masturbation" and "I don't believe in masturbation" -- it sounds like she is treating it as a moral failing, not merely something that fails to grab her attention.
Those mentioning that he needs to figure out how to be better at making her orgasm: good point, but nobody should be expected to know more about how a person comes than the person herself. He can't read her mind, and he can't jack into her nervous system to gauge her exact responses in real time. She needs to educate herself about her own body before he can learn how she works. That means being willing to play with herself first. Having him experiment on her endlessly is going to be an exercise in frustration for both of them.
Bottom line, however, her attitude seems to be that since she isn't interested in sex, that's just how it's going to be, and hints that she probably will be intolerant if she finds out he is getting those needs met elsewhere that she shows little interest in meeting herself. I have very little patience for that.
The only real problem with going from hook-up to relationship is what to tell people when they ask how you met.
For a lot of women (and men), sexuality isn't just physical, it's emotional too.
That's what I hear, anyway. I'm a simple creature myself.
But a lot of times people have trouble getting in the mood for partners who are inattentive/absent/etc - it seems to me like this fellow is. See @42's post.
Luckily I found a string of older experienced men who were in their 40s and 50s and had no problem playing "well, let's try this, and this, and see if this works, and if it doesn't, no biggie, maybe you're just not one who does that way, and we'll have fun trying!" with a 20something female desperately in need of proper sex. I had no idea men previously weren't doing oral sex on me properly. I had no idea what I even liked and didn't! (porn does nothing for me. I'm not against it, it just does absolutely *nothing* for me and hence isn't much of a "brainstormer" for me).
Even after that I was still certain I couldn't come from intercourse and I was *fine* with that. And then one day it happened completely on accident(with the guy who was supposed to just be my fuck buddy no less but well... I guess he had the moves like Jagger ;-). I ended up married to the guy (I had sworn I was never getting married again unless it was to the guy who got me off during intercourse... I meant it tongue in cheek!) and it took us another... gosh... 6-7 years before we got it down to knowing just how to do it. It would just happen seemingly randomly and took us forever to figure out how it happened!
She doesn't need to know herself sexually first... but she does need to be open, and he needs to be willing to try.
I want to add another benefit to this scenario: you get to figure out if you're sexually compatible with your partner BEFORE you delve into the business of commitment and relationships. I've been on the other end of this, and let me tell you, it sucks to get together with someone who you feel a great emotional connection with only to realize that you are completely sexually incompatible.
My guess is that him being away so much makes him less sexually demanding than someone who's around all the time. Maybe she is asexual, or has a healthy but low libido, or has hangups about sex that cause her to avoid it.
Thanks for sharing. I'm glad you were finally able to find out what gets you off.
Don't worry. You're emotional enough about my sex life for the both of us.
On the other hand, it sucks to find someone you have a fantastic sexual chemistry with and then find out you have nothing it takes for a successful committed relationship. I'm glad it worked for you. I'm just worried that too many readers will believe it always works like that.
No context to the letter of course, and perhaps it's someone who can't believe their hook up is becoming a relationship and needs a reality check that they aren't crazy. But somehow it seems wistful, like if HOPE keeps plugging away at the hook ups eventually one of them has to fall in love with HOPE.
I'm with you.
I had a roommate who went about things that way. She always had a front like her hookups were just hookups. But it was painfully obvious she was trying to land a man.
She found one though, so it's definitely possible.
Sure, but don't you find it more pleasant to say "let's keep having amazing sex but I wouldn't want to date you" than to say "so turns out I've developed feelings for you, but we have no future as a couple"?
I dunno, maybe that's just me?
My happily-ever-after story would go like this. They meet. They go out. They talk and get to know each other. They do that a few times. They kiss. They like it enough to proceed. They go out more. They make out more. They have sex more. They do things like cook, read while sitting on the same couch, sail, swim, watch movies, They have sex. It's wonderful. They talk more. They have sex more. It continues wonderful.
Which is to say that if anything breaks down along the way, they don't have too full an investment in any one part of the relationship, either the sex or the rest. They don't have the heartbreak of giving up a fantastic sex partner if it turns out they can't stand doing anything else together. They don't have the heartbreak of giving up a fantastic everything else partner if it turns out they can't stand the sex together.
I'm not judging, just (like I said) baffled.
I figured out where our wires are crossed.
"They don't have the heartbreak of giving up a fantastic sex partner if it turns out they can't stand doing anything else together."
Sex partners I had no romantic interest in were always the norm for me. I didn't give them up just because I didn't want a relationship with them. Why would I? There was one guy I used to see many moons ago who annoyed the crap out of me. But he was cute and the sex was good so I let it slide. If you can't stand doing anything else together... then don't do anything else together. Problem solved.
Regarding the woman who doesn't believe in masturbation ... what? That's such a heavy statement to go without explanation. What doesn't she believe? Clearly not that it doesn't exist. Does she just not like it herself? Doesn't believe that anyone in a relationship should do it? Thinks that it's wrong for anyone to do, ever? It's such a strange, unfathomable statement. I hope the LW writes in to clarify.
Mr Married, you seem to be becoming rather more explicit of late, or did I just not notice it before?
This is going to be a brutally long year.
HOPE, a hookup can turn into a long-term relationship, but it's not guaranteed to. If you've been hooking up with someone for a few times and want it to be more, speak up... you might get the answer you're hoping for, or you might not, but even an answer in the negative is better than just pining away.
what if STUCK's girl just is just not very interested in sexual intimacy and ok if he seeks it elsewhere, but not so self-less and secure that she can take the cheating in the open? I dont see what's wrong with that and SHE SAID IT HERSELF. My advice to STUCK: go for it now that you can! after all SHE SAID IT HERSELF. Or are we going to consider that the poor girl must surely not know what she's saying? now, THAT is offending, not a few fucks around which have been previously authorized.
what if STUCK's girl just is just not very interested in sexual intimacy and ok if he seeks it elsewhere, but not so self-less and secure that she can take the cheating in the open? I dont see what's wrong with that and SHE SAID IT HERSELF. My advice to STUCK: go for it now that you can! after all SHE SAID IT HERSELF. Or are we going to consider that the poor girl must surely not know what she's saying? now, THAT is offending, not a few random fucks around which have been previously authorized - no doubt about that, even it this happened in manner that leaves you all guts-spillers hungry for more.
I agree that taking her words at face value means go ahead if you think you can do it without making a mistake, but there will be hell to pay if you do.
If what she means is "I don't want to know, so be discreet: don't rub my nose in it privately, and don't embarrass me publicly," she should say that.
My partner at the time was 26...he had no idea either. I tell some, not all prospective partners that I'm able to squirt... it's a lot of pressure if you're not able to...but I've never held back when I did.
Guys ask a lot more now though.
To be totally fair, however, I had a lot of hookups with guys who I never laid eyes on again. I'd say the ratio of hookups which led to a relationship: hookups which didn't was about 100:1.
Lots of them were fun, though.
I'm still with the true love of my life after 30 years, and it's wonderful!
I've never felt so loved and free in all my life!
I am explicit in those circumstances where I feel my experience brings something to the table, including titillation, older-is-still-great, and my pride in my Lady.
I am at a loss as to your long year comment, because there are so many possible reasons why, both good and bad. Personally, news that a woman was fired from her job for getting IVF treatment and cursed as a wicked sinner really brought me down. I'm considering a campaign of mailing them stones (to cast).
I appreciate your wish to fly the flag for the Adult Set. You do it with admirable sense of purpose.
I don't get this statement. How would cheating be okay only if she never found out? So that means cheating isn't ok because she would be upset if she found out. if that isn't a mixed message, i don't know what is.
Bingo. It's a lot like tickling.
Sex and mirror neurons? Maybe... although maybe not so much in hetero sex based on what I know about mirror neurons.
I agree that playing silly games suck and honesty is preferable, and I also don't know why some people don't have the decency and respect to just say that they're not interested--unless it's to keep the door open should they want a random booty call. It's rude; it's unfeeling. I'm sorry that you are disappointed and heartbroken.
But in general, if someone is interested, he or she will make a move to get in touch. If s/he doesn't, you can be assured that you will always be, at most, an afterthought or a last-ditch, desperation lay. If you don't want to be that, don't settle for or put up with being treated like that. Sometimes you can't tell until after a hookup that that's how you're going to be seen, but once you've slept with someone, if the silence ensues, know that that's all you're going to ever be to that person.
I've been hurt (and am hurting) that way, too. It's very painful to fall in love with someone who has sex with you and then doesn't care enough to communicate ever again.
I'm not sure what it means not to "put up with being treated like that", other than the obvious "do not have sex with that person again".
In the future I will clearly ask whether he's looking for a one-time hook-up or a more lasting connection. Then I'll be not so quick to jump into bed with someone, not until I'm sure he likes me enough to want to spend time with me. And then do my best to keep my feelings in check until I'm sure the other person is worthy of the emotion.
That's the plan. I hope that will be enough to avoid that kind of heartache in the future.
It would be great to be able to have one-night stands, but for me it's playing with fire. I'm not looking for monogamy, but it's connection and love that I crave. It seems like such a complicated negotiation, to find what you're looking for in romance and sex.
Thanks for your kind response to "disappointed", nocutename.
Heartbreak is tough to handle, but maybe I can say something that helps a little. Try not to think of yourself as having been used. Try to think of what a great time you had in bed with him. Think of the time you had as using him. You got a terrific sexual experience without having to do his laundry or be sensitive to him when he's having a bad day.
As for "Rules" and games, the funny thing about rules is that they work when everyone is playing the same game. Imagine sitting down to play poker when your partner is playing gin rummy. You'd all be confused and angry with each other. But if everyone is playing bridge, there's the potential to have a lot of fun. And you'd be thrown out and despised if you cheated or insisted on playing something else.
That's what's behind your excellent resolution to wait a bit before having terrific sex with the next guy. You get to discover what games HE's playing and what rules HE's following. As it is, he could accuse you of breaking the rule of casual sex by wanting a whole relationship just as easily as you could accuse him of breaking the rule about calling again after you've slept with them. The way he's looking at it, he held up his part of the bargain-- quite well from the sound of things-- in that he showed you a terrific time.
More advice based on "he said I was amaizing" That sounds a little corny. Look for people you can fall for because THEY'RE amazing, not because they think you are. It's the classic mistake of the young. We fall in love with love. We fall in love with our reflection in the other person's eyes. Don't spend too much time trying to figure out what happened. He just not that into you. Of course you shouldn't be too needy, but emotional independence is something you should start with for your own sake, not something you cultivate because men don't like needy women.