Columns May 27, 2015 at 4:00 am

Aced Out


I'm a woman who enjoys sex with the men in her life and every orgasm I ever had, started with me first closing my eyes and focusing on the build-up. In fact it's something I do automatically now. For me it's like kissing - if my eyes stay open I can't get into that groove. It's not something I do to shut him out - I just need it to be able to come. None of my men have had an issue with that ever - or at least they haven't told me.
I wish Dan had made more of NNFS's age in his answer to her. She's 51. She had many sexual partners when she was younger. She hasn't wanted sex for 9 years. (That's an approximation. She's been separated that long.) In other words, her sexual desire plummeted as she entered peri-menopause. I agree with Dan that as long as she's happy, the asexual label only matters as much as it's useful as a means to communicate. I'd also suggest that if she's not happy with her diminished-to-zero desire, a trip to the gynecologist is in order.

I understood asexuality as an orientation. Just as a straight woman is attracted to men or as a bi-man is attracted to men and women, the asexual individual isn't attracted sexually to men or women. If it's an orientation, wouldn't it be from birth? Something essential to one's nature and not something that happens in one's 40s?
Ms. Crinoline, I thought that sexual orientation could be somewhat fluid, especially for women. Like, many women are strictly hetero when they are young and may become more open to the idea of experimenting with same sex experiences later, or do the opposite: experiment with anything and everything while they are young (and possibly fueled by alcohol or other substances that loosen inhibitions) and settle into strictly hetero/homo relationships later?
Labels aren't silly or crazy when they've had to be earned. As an example, I almost feel a little sorry for the gold star crew in the rising generation, because theirs are simply badges of disinclination and no longer also signs of withstanding tremendous societal pressure.


Whatever LW2's BF is, what LW2 isn't is a Ally.
I'm one of those women who felt it was too broad of an assumption that the lady who closed her eyes must be fantasizing privately. It often does take concentration to get from the 'I'm sort of close' moment to the 'And away we gooooo!' reward, and it has nothing to do with hiding what you're thinking from your partner (in the majority of cases, as Dan references in his follow-up).

I absolutely agree sharing fantasies is important, although for me, if near the end I'm cranking up a fantasy thought that is a little more extreme than how the scenario started out, I'm much more likely to be alone when that happens, rather than with a man.
"For a sizable chunk of us, this is about a sense of physical release rather than about sexual fantasy."

I don't see how that's any different than most persons who masturbate.
Is that David Jay formerly of the Psychedelic Furs?
@3 tachycardia
“...and possibly fueled by alcohol or other substances that loosen inhibitions”

Some like to experiment in their younger days simply because they can. They’re horny, curious, capable, and may not have to worry about relationships or kids.
I assume the fuel comment is covering the entire youngsters population.
As for men wearing panties- Several researches I looked into some 10-15 years ago suggested that anywhere between 5 to 15 percent of men tried or still enjoy cross dressing to some degree or another.
All were very conclusive that the vast majority of them identified as straight, or attracted to women sexually.

I’m not familiar with any current researches, simply stopped following, and assume that new identities like bigender or gender fluid may further blur the traditional dress code.
Hey WHAT. why do you care? I mean if the guy wanted to fuck you, enjoyed fucking you, and would probably fuck you again if he had that chance, I think that's a sign that he likes girls. But then again you're no longer dating this guy so why is it any of your business?
Holy SHIT!! Dan, did I write you the letter signed NNFS, forgetting that I wrote you again, seeking more of your wicked kickin' awesome, and delightfully sassy Savage Love advice? NNFS and I could be twins! Really---I'll be 5-1 this summer. I think my years of sexual inactivity have more to do with my being contentedly single. I have more energy now than I did when I was 30, and exiting the U.S. Navy. Maybe I'm too old fashioned, too, but dating sites scare me a little.
Dan, you still don't get the way women's orgasms work. When I get close to orgasm, I'm lucky if I can vocalise the words "oh god", let alone a description of what I may or may not be fantasising about. Please stop implying that men are entitled to a run-down of what's in their partner's head at every moment of sex.

But Dan is an absolute genius compared to WHAT.
Was your boyfriend straight? Yes.
Did your boyfriend like wearing thongs? Yes.
Did your boyfriend like ass play? Yes.
Therefore, at least one straight guy -- and probably more, given how relatively vanilla sexy underwear and anal play are -- really enjoys thongs and having his ass played with. Really.
@7: Hah! I think you mean Bauhaus, but I had the same thought.

Glad to see NNFS's letter and Dan's response, though, as "do asexuals masturbate?" is something I was wondering about. And I couldn't agree more with David's comment "Masturbation and partnered sex are very different things, and desiring one doesn't mean that we automatically desire the other." For me, masturbation is scratching an itch, not something that's enjoyable in itself. In other words, I agree with @6.
It seems to me that NNFS wants to be in a close, intimate relationship with a man, but not have sex. That's a pretty unrealistic expectation. For the overwhelming majority of men, even us middle-aged ones, sex is a very big part of a relationship. She's gonna have to search a whole lot farther than Craigslist to find what she wants. Reading between the lines, I sense that she may also be blaming men for having libidos when she doesn't, and that's really not fair.
The asexual label is problematic. Someone who buys into it will become disinclined to see a lack of enjoyment of sex as a problem that can be overcome. A lack of sexual desire can have medical or psychological causes, and there are solutions. It's misguided to encourage acceptance of unhappiness in the name of tolerance. It's similar to the obesity acceptance movement.
@15 - What you're not getting is that asexual people aren't necessarily unhappy. If they aren't, they aren't any more broken than someone who is gay. Just because their sexual expression or lack thereof doesn't look like ours doesn't mean it needs to be fixed.

That said, if an asexual person is troubled by their lack of desire, there's no reason not to go get checked out, physiologically and psychologically, preferably by a doctor well versed in asexuality. If there's something to be addressed there, fine. If not, some therapy can help a person address their feelings about it and come to self-acceptance.
@ 7, 13 - The Bauhaus/Love & Rockets guy is called David J, not Jay (full name: David John Haskins).
@17 Thanks. I guess I could have google-d it myself and saved some embarrassment. Psychedelic Furs what was I thinking?
12 wrote "Stop implying that men are entitled to a rundown of everything their partner is thinking during sex." Bullshit, that's not what he said or implied. Dan first makes it clear that he now knows that the majority of eye closers aren't fantasizing but points out that some are. He then states that not all fantasies need to be shared but he goes on to explain how choosing to share ones fantasies with ones partner, regardless of the genders of both parties, can make for better sex. That's what he said and he was very careful about it, probably because there is always someone trying to construe his words as offensive or sexist.
Fan ; yes, orgasm is a tricky beast. Even when I'm masturbating, and the close point, as Zoo described, is just keeping me sitting on the crest, I have to adjust any sound I might be making, so my concentration is total.
@ 19 - At least you got us talking about two great bands.
For WHAT... 1. I love wearing panties. 2. I also occasionally like a finger in the backdoor, too. I am also purely heterosexual. Let's start with 2 first, there is a small gland in men called the prostate. For some, it feels extremely good to have pressed or massaged during sex and the best angle is through the ass. Back to 1... for some reason, people pathogolize men who like wearing women's panties, lingerie, crossdress, and apparently "once wore a thong." We simultaneously get our gender and sexual orientation questioned based on a pretty benign and common kink. Could you imagine if a guy asked if it was normal that his girlfriend stole his dress shirt and pair of his boxers... OMG! Does she like women and secretly want a penis? Or if a person is into bondage, do we ask if they are a closet Boy Scout or secretly wish they were rigging whaling ships? Honestly, sometimes I wish I was gay... I might get less crap than I do for the shape and cut of my underwear.
Marrena; nicely timed plug , too.
As a guy, I can say that when I have sex I start out eyes open looking at my partner and get a huge thrill out of watching their expressions, but when I get close to cumming I close my eyes to focus all my attention on the sensations her vagina is creating on my dick. Heck, even when jerking off to porn I close my eyes as I get close to the point of no return for my orgasm since I want to focus on the orgasm itself rather than the video/images that brought me to that point.
Bottom line: don't stress if your wife closes her eyes during sex. In fact, be happy that she is one of the women who can orgasm purely from your dick in her vagina.
Secretagent, people don't always know when they're less happy than they could be. It's an instance of not knowing what you're missing. If you've never had good sex, or allowed yourself to enjoy sex, then you don't have the perspective to see your current state as unhappy or your life as less than it could be.

What's the difference between identifying as asexual and giving up on self-improvement and exploration? The only difference I see is the use of sexual identity language to solicit approval and political cover. It's like someone taking two guitar lessons and then saying, "I tried it. I suck. I must not be musically talented." and then never making an effort again.

Isn't it something of a clue that the only thing she says about her sexual history is, "I had many sex partners for many years." Nothing about enjoying sex? Let's not let the asexual label become an excuse for repressed people to avoid having to admit to themselves that they have a problem.
@23 SpecialPerson
I feel your pain and frustration. Only way to change public opinion is by spreading the word and the lingerie gospel, and also be ambassadors ourselves.
Thanks for bringing up the issue.
@26 - while I have no issue with a woman who closes her eyes during sex - heck, I can't imagine hitting the big O with open eyes - you are not really correct when you say "be happy that she is one of the women who can orgasm purely from your dick in her vagina." Because she is not orgasming purely from DiV...she has to masturbate her clit pretty furiously to get there- seems to me the DiV does nothing for her orgasm. If she were the rare woman who could orgasm just from DiV, no outward stimulation, that'd be another story (from what I understand, less than 25% of women orgasm from intercourse alone - unless you are a romance novel heroine, in which case it happens every time, including the first time).
@29--see post #18. :D
I think Dan ought to use this sentence as a banner at the top of his column every week: "At the end of the day, what matters is how well we understand ourselves, not how well we match some Platonic ideal of our sexual orientation." This goes equally (or more so!) for the issue of how we orgasm... knowing what we need to get there and being able to communicate it without shame or fear that it isn't "right" will go a long way towards a satisfying sex life.

@3 Or you get those girls who will make out with another girl just to titillate straight guys.

I had my heart broken by those type of bitches when I was a teen. I was foreplay, a sex toy, a flirt prop, a makeout proxy. I was certainly not human.
26 said, "In fact, be happy that she is one of the women who can orgasm purely from your dick in her vagina."

Is that superior in some way?
Allen, it's not the number of guitar lessons, it's not the skill of playing the guitar either. It's whether or not one enjoys playing the guitar at all.
There's an asexuality movement? That would die out pretty quick, wouldn't it?
@36 was a very uncalled for comment.
LW1: I'm not sure what you are asking for.. If you're happy saying goodbye to your sexual life, then say goodbye to it. And whatever label you attach to it, the outcome is the same.
Seems pretty young to end it in your 40s , to me. And you ended it when your partnership ended, you imply.
As a woman in her early sixties, I find my sexual energy
Generates a lot of heat in my body. Hence, I tend to it.
Menopause/ The Change, just the time when a woman is finally free of reproductive concerns- the cultural wisdom is that she closes up shop, locks the door and throws away the key.
I'm reading a confused situation in your letter. Maybe that's a misread. And obviously many people live their lives with no desire for sexual relations.
Check yourself a little deeper, is my advice.
@36: "There's an asexuality movement? That would die out pretty quick, wouldn't it?"

The gay rights movement hasn't.
@35, Thanks. I would think that would be pretty obvious.
Are there two Lava's? I'm super confused.
@ 38 - It's because of all the recruiting those evil gays do.
@ 35 - Very well put.
Hunter @31
"I'll only throw in my observation that ratios of transpeople (and attitudes to them) vary strongly by community."

I'll throw in my very own biased version: Trans, gay, lesbians, asexuals, bigenders, and so on are probably at the same ratio in every community. The difference is how freely they can be who they truly are and be accepted as such.

Hope the operation went well.
@28 CMDwannabe
Thanks but my goal isn't so much a movement as a lack of a movement. It should just be no big deal. I keep seeing articles and questions from women saying the man in their life surprised them by "coming out" about their desire to wear something different late in their otherwise perfect relationship... Are they gay? Do they want to be a woman? What about the children? Should I leave him?.... Oh, and why did he not tell me sooner so I can question and challenge his whole being/sexuality/gender/relationship?
Yes. There are two Lavas. And I will not take responsibility for that other one.
See undead. The gay community have been resourceful, recruiting and stuff.
@46; Has been resourceful..
God. If I don't correct myself, I know Venn will just worry the whole thread.
@14: ”Reading between the lines, I sense that she may also be blaming men for having libidos when she doesn't, and that's really not fair.” No, reading between the lines is not fair. The only blame I see here is for the bait-and-switch that has taken place when she’s responded to ads purporting to seek “platonic friends” only to find they want erotic friends. Looks to me like “friends” is all NNFS is interested in, not a sex-free romance.

@15: Agree with @16. Who said asexuals were unhappy because they don’t want sex? Personally, if I could get rid of my libido, life would be so much simpler.

@20: The bit I was most opposed to was the suggestion of “bringing their partner in [to the] specific and sometimes wild/unrealizable/disturbing fantasies that they have to concentrate on in order to climax … through dirty talk.” Implying that the talking should be taking place while the fantasising and concentrating is happening. Which, again, would distract from and thereby prevent the achievement of the orgasm.

@27: So what’s your solution? Try to force people who believe they are asexual to have more sex until they enjoy it? Why not just let them be, and let themselves take themselves out of the dating-sexual-people pool so that the sexual people can date other people who are enthusiastic about sex? If someone is “repressed”, how is that your problem? If they feel less judged by adopting the asexual label than by having people like you saying there's something wrong with them, more power to them.

@43: ”Trans, gay, lesbians, asexuals, bigenders, and so on are probably at the same ratio in every community. The difference is how freely they can be who they truly are and be accepted as such.” Yes and no – if LGBTQ+ people do not feel at home, some of them move to a larger/more liberal city where they will be more accepted, thus skewing the populations.
BiDanFan, if a kid's abusive parents raise him to believe he's stupid and can't learn, why don't teachers just let him be? I guess teachers are just intolerant assholes, right?

And how can you think that avoiding being judged should take priority over having a good life? Me: "Gee, David, maybe being so afraid of going outside that you never leave your house is a problem that you should work on." David: "Stop judging me!"
@49 Hunter
I was referring to the ratio of the potentially gay and trans people born around the world.
Where they may settle as adults in order to live their lives is a different issue.
@44 Special person
I also think cross dressing and gender bending is a nice, clean family fun, but unfortunately we are in the minority.
Much of the stigma comes from the media, freakish clowns or even serial killers, and it may be all that some people get about the subject.
Talk about it, be out there, and show your partner what a wonderful boner you get once you have that thong on.

@BiDanFan, I doubt that Dan meant that people should describe their fantasies in the heat of the moment. I imagined something like this.

"Honey, what are you thinking about when you close your eyes right before you come?"

"Well, dear, I'm imagining that I'm being torn apart by giant chickens."

"Would you like it if I made clucking sounds and pulled on your arms and legs?"

"Ooh, that would be hot."

Then they would try it out the next time they had sex.
There are four kinds of women:
1.) Those who know about crossdressing from their church and think it's right up there with gay buttsex on the list of top ten sins.
2.) The majority--those who know about crossdressing from watching Drag Race. Of course those women think that crossdressers are gay and might want to transition.
3.) Those women who know a little more about crossdressers than thinking they are drag queens (or wannabe drag queens)
4.) Those women who have lots of direct experience with crossdressers.

So don't blame women for not knowing anything about crossdressers. If some non-drag dressers were willing to be more publicly visible, women might have a more nuanced view.

But being a member of Group #4, I have to say that even though most CD's are mostly hetero, there are very few indeed who don't at least fall into the heteroflexible camp, and I would say most are bisexual if they are being entirely honest with themselves. And most at least have sexual fantasies of transition.
Hunter @53
I wear the stretchy ones which allow plenty of room for growth and also give some support. It accentuates the penis in a black lace, pink silk, or whatever else that may tickle my fancy.
Reviews have been mostly positive so far.
@26 If you grew up on pre-90's porn, you had to close your eyes during the performer's orgasm, otherwise you had to endure staring at a sweaty guy's face during your rapture. What was that about?
Lemming @54: I agree that talking about it outside of the heat of battle is a good idea. Your chicken example is probably the most disturbing/best thing I shall read online today.
@55 Marrena
"If some non-drag dressers were willing to be more publicly visible, women might have a more nuanced view."
Yes, you're right. The entire population needs more education and the best way to achieve it is by proving that a born-male appearing as a woman is still a law-abiding, decent person.

Another category that didn't appear in your post is that of our portrayal as a stripper/prostitute one.
Wow, check out the negative comments on this WaPo article about open marriage. Much different from the Savage Love commentariat.…
I think that women who wonder "Is my boyfriend gay?" for any reason other than he's started showing more interest in or hooking up with guys, are probably gay themselves.

I'm glad Dan kinda touched on the point that a man with a long history of sleeping with women is most likely bi or trans if he's queer. Not gay.

But I'm not sure WHAT was even talking about cross dressing. Speedos with the ass cut out, or a male thong, is what I thought she was talking about. And Dan is wrong. Assless chaps and zippered thongs and tight boy butt are fucking hot. On straight guys too. Maybe something is wrong with Terry's butt if he doesn't like to see it showcased.
Phil, I just think thongs aren't his thing. I'm kinda with him. They do nothing for me other than make me feel vicariously uncomfortable. Lol
PS, Terry has a very sweet behind.
Allen @ 50

Could you be anymore condescending? You're now comparing a middle aged, experienced woman to an abused child?!

She's had sex, she's had relationships, she's not a moron. Why are you so sure that people who don't have sexual desire are damaged? This is in the same neighborhood as people who think gay can be prayed away.

Come on now!
Hey Penny Lady,
I think you're right. But I don't like to see Dan sex shaming thong wearers. Or bi guys in general. Sure, this guy could be gay, but watching straight porn while getting blown by a guy you sought out on Craigslist is totally straight. He's awful to bi guys.
Ms Lava - I'll assume the original comment came from Clever Lava, and it was Nasty Lava making the dig. (Whether there are as many Lavas as there are Smurfs I shouldn't want to guess.) Actually, I find the idea of community as a plural rather appealing - very Rumer Godden.


I'm not sure whether Mr Gilliam is disputing the concept of an honourable retirement as part of his line; I'd better say nothing.


Ms Phile - Would you be so kind as to throw in an acknowledgement of your lack of standing? I've no quarrel with your having or expressing an opinion, but its being framed as if the opinion of OS women about what is/isn't a hot look for gay men or what we do/don't or should/shouldn't find hot carries or should carry equal weight to our own opinions feels a bit heavy-handed. (I would say the same to one or two of Mr Savage's comments about women, though the dynamics differ slightly.)
@62 PennyLady and also Philo
The thong thing- I also wouldn't wear mine for the entire day, just an hour or two here and there.
They can be much more comfortable when layered on top of regular cut underwear. For those of us born with male genitalia it also means extra support if needed.
Lemming@54: being torn apart by large chickens. Yeah right. And he believed her?
Fine. Share all the fantasies. Long as he doesn't start asking during those focused moments,
" which one you on honey?"
Marrena @55 "most are bisexual if they are being entirely honest with themselves. And most at least have sexual fantasies of transition."

From what I've seen, the behavior also often expands after the crossdresser acknowledges it to his partner. If he used to dress once a month in secret, now he might want to dress several evenings a week, and possibly go out in public dressed. And it changes their sex life too, if he wants to have sex as a woman with his straight wife. It's not unreasonable for wives to see a husband's crossdressing revelation as a big deal.
PennyL@64. Allen is trying to suss out how serious LW1 is about this.
I also, sense a psychological block. Why write to Dan about what title to give herself?
She hasn't wanted sex since she broke up with her partner. All these men are coming on to her. They picking up something or she just a hot woman in her 40s, they can't leave alone.
My take- and it comes from my experience, so could be pure projection- is she hasn't got rid of that partner out of her body.
Of course, her choice
to fuck or not to fuck.
I'm just getting some message thru her words- not reading between the lines- her word choices- that she's confused about it all herself.
A thought I had- just so she can be darn sure. Cause, really, giving up on desire in ones 40s, I find a bit sad.
Is go find the hottest sex worker she can find, and see.
@68 Actually he fantasizes about giant chickens and she believes him or maybe they're both men or both women. See how my genderless example points out the assumptions we make?
@Pennylady, re #34 "Is (her being able to orgasm from penis in vagina) superior in some way?"

I simply wish my penis could give my girlfriend orgasms the same way her vagina gives them to me. But since most women cannot orgasm from penis in vagina alone, it feels like penetrative sex is always a little unbalanced in men's favor, that we take more pleasure than we can give.
I've been reading a book on Lucian Freud, famous British Artist.. And grandson of Sigmund Freud.
" Breakfast With Lucien", by Geordie Greig.
I devour all and everything about this man, cause he was so wild and bad, yet he was dearly loved.
This guy could pull women , young women, into his late 70s early 80s..
Now how is that? A woman starts to dry up, a man, under certain conditions- still maintains his sexual life- draws on that energy- into his 70s-80s..
Venn - What an eloquent expression of why "lots of straight guys out there who dig sexy underwear—and some mistakenly believe thongs qualify," felt a bit heavy handed to me. To be clear, why does Dan want to publish his opinion of how a gay man prefers straight men's sexy wear? I've seen lots of gay acting guys in porn wear sexy undies, including thongs, so I doubt it's only straight women who like a cut ass outlined in some black fabric.

I mostly wanted to observe that male thongs exist and don't make a guy queer when worn! Pink or pale fabric... that feels a little cross dressy to me, even with men's underwear. I acknowledge the cross dressing line is not just wearing clothes marketed to a different gender. It's the feeling of liking to dress as the other gender. But thongs were worn by men long before jock straps were invented, I don't think of them as women's wear, especially if they have a zipper or metal. Lacy or pink thongs, or those marketed toward women, would be a different story, I'd expect a cross dressing thrill to be a part of that choice of undies.

CMD - Love your input, even if I don't think it sounds like a woman's thong was used in the letter. I love to see people out and proud about what they like in bed, the more deviant (from "normal") the better. Just so long as a partner's feelings are being respected- I don't like to see people taking pride in being sexually pushy etc.
Hun - I hope that you are feeling better this week, you mentioned health problems. Glad to see that illness doesn't hold you back from the important things in life, like the weekly review.
@50: So you're equating someone who's on the lowest end of the sexual desire spectrum with being stupid?
And it's terribly judgmental, not to mention wrong, to assume that for everyone, a life without sex can't possibly be a good life. We are all different. Some people aren't into sports. Some people aren't into gourmet food. Some people aren't into drugs. Some people aren't into sex with other people. I hate sports and I would hate to spend my life having others say there's something wrong with me and forcing me to watch sports until I "get it." I have friends who are asexual and are perfectly happy in their platonic relationships. And friends who are sexual and are in abusive relationships. Who is happier?
@68: Yeah exactly. You tell someone what you sometimes fantasise about, and they start interrupting you to ask if that's what you're thinking of now, spoiling the moment!

@72: The simple solution to which is always to get your lady off with your fingers/tongue/vibrator, at least once, before you start to fuck her. Then everyone's a winner! (And even more so if she does come from PIV, which I find is much more likely -- and far more intense -- if I've had a couple of orgasms first.)
@71 lemming; I just assumed you were referring to the item that Dan was re doing here this week.
That was about one guy getting pissed that his wife was closing her eyes, when she was heading to orgasm, during sex.
Didn't realize we had trick parts to
Navigate. Still. Point taken.
Fan, really? Equating sex with doing sports.
Sexual energy is a vital life force. Playing sports isn't.
That people can sublimate that force into other activities and bypass acting it out straight: of course, fine.
My Buddhist Teachers are celibate men. They have used their spiritual practice, to sublimate their sexual impulse.
Unknown Entity - I simply wish my penis could give my girlfriend orgasms the same way her vagina gives them to me.
If you really want this, I suggest going slow and paying very close attention to her tightness. Tightness near the outside can be a sign of discomfort (really it's a byproduct of a tightening anal sphincter). Tightness anywhere deeper inside can be the swelling of arousal or the beginnings of muscular contractions of orgasm. If you can tune your dick to go for those sensations over frictiony rubbing, you can use Coital Alignment Technique (CAT position) to maximize chances that the movement will feel great for her too. Or someone/both can use their hands...
Regarding NNFS' letter: I'm not sure why she cares about labels, but I do identify with her situation. As a woman of 60, I'm now happily and completely free of sexual desire. I had an adventurous sex life up til 5 years ago or so: plenty of men, a few women, a few three-somes, as well as creating some interesting art and photo erotica. A couple husbands. Children. It was variously intense and amusing, difficult and gorgeous.

And now I'm single and the freedom from intimacy is profoundly liberating. I have more energy for creative work than ever before, and being alone in my body seems to let my thoughts run deeper and farther. I have friends and community engagements, so I'm not a hermit. But I just want to respond to the "Oh, you must need help" crowd and say -- No. Being free of sexuality can actually feel like a blessing. Also, it never occurs to me to masturbate. I will say that even if I were feeling lonely, though, I would not place or answer personal ads or go out on dates. It just doesn't seem fair to men to arrange such personal meetings if one isn't willing to offer intimacy.
@81 quidnunc; yes, I agree with your take as well. Love my solitude.
Love my freedom.
And my art work is just getting stronger and stronger. Can wake at 4am, and do some work. Or just read.

Yet I couldn't go without my sexual energy bubbling along. It fuels my work. My mind. My imagination.
So. We all different.
Ms Phile - Fair enough as restated, although to some extent Mr Savage is a special case. Given how many straight people consult him for similar opinions, it's less of a stretch for him, though I agree you have more standing than he does to pronounce on straight men's underwear choices as a considerably more affected party. Thank you for reframing your point in a way that doesn't presume to dictate to gay men. Ms Cute and I could wish that Mr Miller met with better treatment than he does in threads like these, but I suspect we've given up hope on that point.
Unknown entity;@72. a woman needs to find her own orgasm. You don't give it to her.
It's tricky reaching orgasm during sex. It can be done, though. Good position is if she on top.
Philo @74
Rest assured, everything is agreed in advance.

EricaP @69
“If he used to dress once a month in secret, now he might want to dress several evenings a week, and possibly go out in public dressed. And it changes their sex life too, if he wants to have sex as a woman with his straight wife. It's not unreasonable for wives to see a husband's crossdressing revelation as a big deal.”
Though “coming out” may have different shades you certainly have a point. I hope that the more we bring issues up they will cede to be shameful secrets, and people will be comfortable to tell their future spouses all their intimate secrets. Hopefully those on the receiving end will be educated enough about the issue not to freak out right after and willing to look further into it.

Cmd@8, yes, the fuel caveat was to cover that segment of the population who might be doing things like @33 describes, or otherwise engaging in sexual acts that have nothing to do with their orientation or any sort of self-discovery process. Because I have read that women's sexual orientation can be somewhat fluid, and my own experience somewhat supports this. For instance, in my late teens/early twenties, the thought of another woman touching me in any kind of sexual way, even something mild like fondling my breasts, totally squicked me out. Now, in my mid thirties, I occasionally find myself fantasizing about women, at least in some specific circumstances and I'm more attracted to people than to bodies. So I question whether orientation is established at birth and remains static one's entire life, and if not, then how is moving from heterosexual to asexual different from shifting ones position on the Kinsey scale?
PennyLady@33, That's really terrible that you had to go through that. I thought that was something straight girls did with each other by mutual agreement...on the flip side, not everyone is clear about the orientation as a teenager. My cousin had sex with men throughout her twenties and never enjoyed it before realizing that she is a lesbian. She is now happily partnered in a long term, committed relationship, but I think there was plenty of heartbreak, for both her and people she dated, along the way.
@50: There's a difference between aversion and a lack of desire.

For instance, I don't care for beer. I've tried sips of many beers, at the insistence of friends who promised I would like THIS beer. Never encountered one I liked. What would your advice to me be? Don't give up the quest to find that beer I might like? Explore what beer-related traumas I might have in my past?

I'm often told I need to work on acquiring a taste for beer. I can't help but think, "Why? What's the point? Why is it so hard for some people to accept that I just don't like beer?"
Tachycardia@87; yes. I believe orientation is fluid, not stamped on one's fore head at birth. I pick my battles, though.
Really, what does it matter. If people just relax a bit as CMD says, then desire and its manifestations can be allowed and heavens above; enjoyed.
Speaking of cross dressing, did you see Dan's photo link from the Santorum article?…
CMDwannabe @86 "People will be comfortable to tell their future spouses all their intimate secrets"

I hope people will feel comfortable living the way they want, so there won't be so many intimate secrets.
Tl;dr: PLAY PLAY PLAY and have a blast!!

I agree that the women who just broke up with her boyfriend should take the "straight sex she's having with her thong-wearing, ass-play-digging boyfriend for an answer." My person of 5 years (he's straight cis make, I'm bi cis female) is quite adorable in his women's panties. It's just sexy!! He also enjoys anal play and I have no issue complying. Prostate anyone? If I like it, why wouldn't he? I never thought he was gay, and have proposed moresomes with us; he isn't interested in adding a male or female. I've also had very attractive gentlemen approach him with my approval; no interest. *shrug* man, have a blast with a guy who is open and cool enough to be into playing, especially in ways that might seem odd but proven to be incredibly pleasurable (they are a keeper if they are ok board; so are you). Oh and I recommend a lot of silliness and play and fun and joking as you get into this. But maybe that's just us? Yep I make him wiggle his sexy booty for me any time he wears his girl panties. I generally make him change if we're starting to get frisky. It's sexy, playful, and makes us both collapse into passionate giggles. Or he may just have an amazingly sexy booty.
Venn - You think it's ok for Dan to talk about what any class of people prefer? I don't even think that all women like thongs on their partners, Penny JUST said that they made her vicariously uncomfortable. Gay men don't all like the same thing (except partnering exclusively with men). Neither do black women, old men, or geeky genderless people (except geeky subjects). Everyone likes different shit is my point. You're gonna be wrong if you say "this class of people prefers X" unless that class of people is defined to prefer X. Sexiness is in the eye of the beholder. Shaming straight (or even queer) guys who buy the thongs which are marketed to them is stupid for a sexpert. It's not hurting anyone and makes some people happy. But I suppose I did bother to post because he tread on my turf specifically.

CMD - Oh no you seem like an angel. That's just the exception to my rule "whatever works" or "if it ain't broke don't fix it" and love of seeing people making odd needs work for them. Triumph in dire circumstances and all that. "Your right to swing your fist (or dick or panties or what have you) ends where my nose begins" is my only exception. I didn't think that you in particular would punch anyone!

Telling someone how you get off best is a mixed bag. It means that they can get you off great. And it means they can actively refuse to participate. Or even use it as a weapon and tell you that you're damaged and need to learn to get off a different way. And I don't believe that it's possible to find one person or combo who can accommodate our every sexual desire, we just try to find the best match(es) in the shortest time.

Hun - Cryptic. I like it.
She cares about labels because every online date she had seems to take "asexual" as some kind of dick challenge.
@lava 85

Nope. I cannot orgasm with a dick in me. Doesn't work. I'm OK with this.
tachycardia @87
I also find this “girls making out while drunk in order to get the guys’ attention” to be filthy disgusting. And I blame the hetero-male-porno-culture for creating this monster (aka “the patriarchy,” as our friend Lava would have rightfully defined it.) And all this pile of garbage is happily consumed by guys who will snub their lesbian co-workers in real life, yet masturbate to two women jumping around while moan way too loud for no apparent reason as their implants are threatening to throw them out of bed…

As for… “So I question whether orientation is established at birth and remains static one's entire life, and if not, then how is moving from heterosexual to asexual different from shifting ones position on the Kinsey scale?”
I can’t answer this question as an asexual. My experience is that of a born male, secret “crossdresser” yet attracted to women only, is that things somewhat shifted later on when I discovered the bigender/gender fluid definitions. Not as dramatic as some would think, yet they did. Not sure if you’re interested in all this, I also touched about it in some of my previous posts few weeks ago. Let me know if you have any questions.
Erica P @69 and also @92
One thing I failed to mention is the huge potential leverage that a woman whose husband had just come out as a crossdresser of any shade and/or stage may have.
I suspect many will gladly and obediently oblige. And if they don’t go at least half way then… well, you all know… DTMFA
Starfish @93
Hope I’m wrong, really. You seem to be suspiciously detail-oriented and overly descriptive. Sounds like masturbation. Eyes closed. or not.

Please prove me wrong so that both of us can “collapse into passionate giggles.”
PennyL@95. Fair enough. Not sure what she expects, though. A romantic connection, without sex? A companion to go to movies with
I still think she's not being fully honest with her self.
Re orgasm during sex.. I've only ever been able to get there, if I'm on top. No other position.
I just read Dan saying he didn't like thongs, and I agree with him.
Have never worn one, cause I don't want a bit of material up my arse crack. I can't even wear knickers that have a seam up the back.
Your idea CMD. Hope the under briefs are attractively cut, or that could be one weird look.
I'm confused re cross dressing. Are people suggesting, that for some men who fully crossdress, the female identity starts to take over?
And over time a percentage will seek to transition.
For a straight woman spouse, that could be a hard path to follow.
NNFS - why are you still separated from your OS partner after 9 years? Why are you not divorced? Or more to the point, why do you still identify as separated? Seems you should perhaps figure THAT out before you go declaring your libido retired.

You stopped having sex at 42.... you are still married.... after 9 years apart...and that connection is still valid enough to you to mention it to Dan...(even though adds nothing to the discussion). It leads me to wonder about your ability to BE intimate right now. Yet you are trolling the platonic friends section of craigslist....

For me...the notion of suddenly being without sexual desire fills me with sadness. That is just me. I get that. And perhaps when i am 65 or 80.... i truly won't care... but YOU... buried your libido at 42 after supposedly having an adventurous sex life... so what changed at that age? (or time) Did he cheat on you? If your letter said you had never been horny...i wouldnt even ask any of this...
@54: I guess the reason why I'm so resistant to the idea of pressing someone to disclose what they're fantasising about before they come is that my honest answer would either be: (most likely) "Nothing" or (possibly) "Somebody who isn't you." The former answer won't improve the sex in any way, and the latter answer might well kill not just the sex but the whole relationship.
@79: Believe me, I have met sports fans who are just as incredulous at someone not having any interest in sports as some of our commenters here are at the idea of someone not having any interest in sex.
@74 et al: Why did Dan include a snark about how sexy, or not, he finds the idea of a male thong? It's called "working a bit of humour into the piece," which Dan does very well.

@88: "I thought that was something straight girls did with each other by mutual agreement" No. I've never had a girl ask if I was straight before making out with me (then decline after learning I was bi). Straight girls may fall into the trap of assuming another girl is straight and that the flirting and snogging is "innocent fun", designed to turn their boyfriends on, when in reality it's teasing and winding up someone who thought they'd got lucky. Joke's on us queer girls. :(

@95: I didn't read NNFS's letter as the men suddenly expressing desire when told she was asexual, as though they viewed it as a challenge, but rather that they were secretly seeking sex buddies under the guise of "platonic friends." They'd have hit up any woman who answered for sex.

@101: It's a tricky thing because many trans women start out by wearing women's clothing. All cross-dressers start out by wearing women's clothing. So how do you know which is which? Have to give it time and leave it to them. Either way, objecting to the clothes is not going to stop a trans woman from eventually coming out as trans.
To represent women like that I'm approaching menopause my libido is not what it was. Still, I regularly orgasm within seconds of vaginal penetration, even without foreplay, and then usually have at least a dozen in rapid succession.

I have never been able to have a clitoral orgasm from penetration alone. That takes fingers/tongue/vibrator and concentration. But vaginal orgasms? I have them much easier than men have their orgasms.

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