Savage Love


All three letters about depressing-ass relationships and/or partners is making me wonder why we make it so fucking hard to be with each other. I mean, what could be better/more natural than sex with another person or person or stuffed animal or whatever, but we can't seem to...just let it happen without all this drama. Or is the drama the good part?

feelin' grouchy and confused,
Hey Dan, there's something up w/ the formatting of the column (or there is as of my reading it) where there's no title, & a huge buncha white space up top. Had to scroll down pretty far to see it.

(More in a sec, grabbing a cuppa tea.)
Oh wait, there's the title. Still gobs of space though.

So! Now whenever Dan gets talked smack at for being transphobic, he should link that (very cute) picture of him wearin' the shirt as reply. Great advice this week, Dan.

SPANK - I've been you! I've been w/ someone exactly like that & a year is about when it materialized w/ my ex, too, this push-me, pull-you game of sex. Listen to Dan. I sometimes think the DTMFA (Dump the Motherfucker Already, in case yer a new reader) card gets whipped out too soon, but a partner who makes you feel shitty about your sex drive is only gonna make you more miserable the more time goes by. This is about control & respect, SPANK, & you've handed it all to him. It's really a hard thing to reverse & life is too short to have bad sex..or hardly any sex..& then feel guilty over your own natural drive. It's harder when ya live w/ someone but I just don't see this going anywhere good. Plz. move. Might hurt short term, better for you long term.

To "couldn't wait" - same. This feels like your guy wanting to control your sexuality. Dan is spot on.

That's an iconic T shirt. Enlighten this bi lady - the big "T" looks like a superhero symbol. If I was to buy one, would that be me saying I'm trans? Is the T a symbol, like this?…

@#2 - I quite agree. I am a gay man who is 57 and single. The longer I stay single, the more I realize that, despite all the romantic BS I was fed as a youth, being in a realtionship is HARD. And very often not worth the effort.

I've been single for about sic years now. I get the ocasional pice every now and then, but I have pretty much stopped looking for "the one". I am quite happy alone and now that I've finally come to like myself after all these years, I realize that there is nothing wrong with being alone. At its worst, it's sometimes lonely. At its best (most of the time) it's blessedly peaceful. Content at last! Who knew?
To CWF: Giving your boyfriend the benefit of the doubt, I think he, having started young, probably bought into the juvenile myth that the measure of the man is his ability to give her an orgasm (doubtless along with a generous dose of size insecurity), and he feels like a failure. He needs some grown-up information.

The reality is that both of you are responsible for your pleasure. If you've been together since 15, and you say you haven't had an orgasm in all that time, it sounds like you didn't have one AT ALL. Meaning, not even on your own; you didn't spend a lot of effort on getting to know your own responses. If you don't know what makes your own body tick, he can't be held to much level of fault for being equally ignorant about you. If you knew what felt good, you could teach him.

I don't know how hard the two of you have been working at finding things that get you off (meaning other than coitus; I have a sneaking suspicion that coitus is the main focus for him, based on his insecurity over buying a bionic dick), but pragmatically speaking, if you needed that vibrator, chances are pretty good that the pair of you don't need to chalk it up to a shortcoming on his part. (Other than all the insecurity. You should have been free to get that vibe ages ago. Hell, the two of you might have learned a few things using it that by now would make it unnecessary.)
Back to your question, though: my suggestion is that you present the new vibe as something cool to add to your sex play, that feels really good and use it on him to get him off. Dicks like being vibrated too. Applying it to the sensitive parts can be mind-blowing. Make the vibe be about making both of you feel really good, rather than it being about solving your orgasm "problem."
SPANK: Something seems very fishy here. He tells you that he is masturbating constantly, but at times that are basically unverifiable by you. More, it is part of a pattern of behavior designed to get out of having sex with you. (I'm guessing he is using having masturbated too recently as an excuse.) If I had to guess, he has his own nefarious reasons for avoiding sex with you. Maybe his monogamish activities have gotten out of hand? Maybe he is closeted? Maybe he is waiting for that herpes outbreak to clear up?

Bottom line, however, is that his actions are corrosive to your sexual self. Constant rejection, even for supposedly legit reasons like being a busy new mommy, is soul-crushing if it goes on long enough. And he doesn't even have anything resembling a good excuse. He is being extremely creepy and cruel. DTMFA.
@3 - It's doing that because the column is too narrow for the title. Ordinarily, a wide title would be on multiple lines, but since the title has no spaces in it, so there's nowhere to put a line break.

Yeah, that gave me considerable pause too.
@2 and @5: THANK YOU both so MUCH!!!
I am comforted in realizing that I am not alone!!
I love my car, I love my freedom, I love being able to sleep when I'm tired,
being able to eat when I'm hungry, get drunk when I WANT to, dammit!!,
live on MY schedule, and fucking fart under the sheets and covers of my bed and NOT have to worry about anybody going berzerk about it!!!
Most importantly, I have found PEACE!!!!

Bless everybody at Savage Love and all of you like this crazy lady blogging every week! May you all find your happiness and peace. LIfe's too short!
Interesting the young transman calls waitlists "long" in Canada... 2 years is average in my province, but that includes the mandatory psychiatric assessment by the government that precedes getting on the surgery list. Maybe I'm just reading the comment as a slight at our system, but top surgery is $6000 in the US at best and sometimes even $10,000... I'm betting most young folks would need two or more years to save that kind of dough if at all... It just wasn't possible in my situation. So thank goodness, in BC at least it was added to the list of insured procedures less than 2yrs ago. And hey, the affluent transguys I know who didn't wanna wait? They flew to the US and paid.
Also agree with #4 about transphobia. Ive read this column voraciously for about 12 years and while he's poked some fun at us I'd say who hasn't he poked fun at? Sometimes folks need to just lighten up!
@11 It's the same here in Sweden. It's covered, but there's a mandatory psych eval, and here you also have to do a so-called "real life experience" test. Which means you have to live as your self-perceived gender for at least a year before you can get the surgery. All in all it takes about 2 years before getting anywhere near an operating table. It's not an unreasonable amount of time to get the proper diagnosis and treatment.
@8, it occurred to me too that he was lying about masturbating. I figured he was having some kind of sexual problem, though. It doesn't matter though. His reasons are his own, by his own choice, and she needs to get out and let him deal with it or get over himself or learn how to be in a relationship without being a shithead. She should definitely get tested, though, in case it's the herpes scenario.
Re: SPANK- "When I bring it up, he gets mad and says I'm making him feel bad. But honestly, all I'm doing is letting him know that I'm hot for him."

I'd love to know how she's bringing it up. It makes a difference.

If she's truly being non-judgmental and open to whatever he needs to communicate about his sexual desires, if she's listening from a loving and accommodating place, then Dan is right.

But it's also possible that his withdrawal is coming from his feeling that he's under attack. Maybe her being hot for him means that she's demanding a sexual practice all the time that he's not comfortable giving all the time. That can be a turn-off. Maybe she thought she was being light-hearted and teasing when he opened up to her how uncomfortable something was making him, and now he feels ridiculed when he was his most vulnerable. If that's it, she needs to sweetly offer to help him masturbate. Maybe the problem started somewhere that has nothing to do with sex. It could be manifesting itself sexually when it really has to do with insensitivity over housework or relatives or work pressures.

In other words, it could be that he's being a passive aggressive shit, or it could be that she wasn't listening when he tried to be straightforward.
While Dan generally nailed it in responding to BOOB, he left out part. Some of us straight guys are skeptical about her claim that hers are "beautiful and perfect". So BOOB: post your proof ;) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Also there's the possibility BOOB is reaping some benefit from her guy noticing other women. Does it matter how he works up an appetite, as long as he dines at home?
Mmmm, Veronica Lodge...
CWF, if after talking to him about your needs, you find that your boyfriend is really more concerned with HIS POWER to get you off than he is with YOU GETTING OFF, cut him loose. Don't let him convince you that your pleasure should be all about him and his feewings. Don't let him hold your orgasms hostage. You deserve to have as many as you want in whatever way works for you, and he needs to either get on board or get out of the way.

Seriously. This is important for this relationship and all your future relationships. You're an adult now, with an adult's sexuality, and you are entitled to a satisfying sex life that you (not your boyfriends) control.
@ 2, 5 and 10, cheers to being single and liking it! :-)

SPANK your guy's excuses are waay fishy! It'd help to find out what he's covering up/ lying about. Also, if you'rd monogamish, wouldn't it be ok to just go have sex with someone else?
My boyfriend is also not particularly interested in sex with me, but I'm pretty sure he masturbates (but to be fair he's only ever referred to it obliquely on a few occasions). I feel like I'm always living in hope that I'll get some and it completely determines my behavior--like I'll lie in bed on a weekend when I'd like to get up on the off chance that he'll be interested or I'll stay out late with him just in case he's keen when we get back to his. I don't think he's aware though, so it's not like he's being controlling. After lots of rejection, I've learned to initiate subtlety so that if I get positive feedback, I keep going and if I get nothing back I just stop without feeling too hurt. He doesn't initiate. He's pretty shy about sex (often our best sex is after he's had just the right number of drinks--not too many, not too few), and I find sex hard to talk about with him. I want to say "I find you so attractive. Is there anything I can do to make you more interested in having sex with me?" Is that a good way to start a conversation? This year I've started keeping track of how often we have sex and it's about three times a month. We're both fairly athletic and attractive and not overworked and it drives me crazy that my sex life is dire in my early 30s. I love him--he's funny, clever, caring and the life and soul of the party. We do lots together and are a great team. We've been together five years and I want to be with him, but the thought of a lifetime of minimal sex sometimes depresses me. Thoughts welcome.
I son't think SPANK's partner is fishy at all.

For most guys over the age of 25 masturbation is as much or more about stress relief than sexual release. And for a lot of us as pleasant as sex with a partner is there can be a lot of stress involved in it.
Not to be a fucking asshole, but if Aydian really wants to find out what it's like to be a chick, she should figure out a way to pay for her own boobjob. Get a second job like the rest of us, girlfriend.
Can someone explain to me what the name "Point 5cc" is referring to? I don't get it...

Since when is sex not about stress relief?
I find not having sex* to be extremely stressful.

*and by that I mean partnered sex, I don't personally catagorize masturbation as being anything like sex
I think point5cc means 0.5 cc. Or half a milliliter. They use an image of a syringe (syringe doses are often measured in cubic centimeters).... he wants money for a medical procedure so I assume it's a reference to that?

That or it's a drug thing.
@10 I'm on the same wagon. I'm living alone, raising my kids, and not making any efforts except for them. They are my goal until they have grown up. I have no energy left to invest in anybody.

My partner only comes when the kids are away, and always calls before to check it out with me. If we start argumenting, if something displeases him that I like, he knows enough to leave the grounds by himself, before I tell him to go. He knows I'm doing him a favor by letting him come to my place - he treats me with respect. It's a win-win situation ; I'm not angry at him, and we have great sex, more often that we would if we lived always together.

Nothing makes living in a relationship mandatory for us women. Why would I agree to be someone's second ? To plan my life around someone ? Sorry to have to say it, but since our own bodies make the kids, the only ones who are really gaining by having a relationship, by hanging close to the other gender are the males. They've enslaved our minds for so long, they've made it so hard for us, for centuries, to earn enough money to support ourselves - just to prevent us from understanding the simple truth that we don't need them - they do.
I think the 0.5cc T may be a dose of hormone?
19-Reflective-- You know the issues; now decide what you want to do. If you break up with him, you'll get even less sex, at least temporarily while you look for someone new. You might never find someone who is as funny, clever, caring, and the life of a party. On the other hand, maybe you will find someone better, someone who is funny, clever, caring, AND who shares your sexual appetite. What do you think your chances are? Do the risk/benefit analysis and decide.

Or you could stay with him and try to be happy with the reduced sex life. It's called settling, and most of do it in one way or another over something. No one can predict the future. Maybe the sex will get better. Maybe you won't mind so much. Maybe your sexual desire will match his after you've had a baby. Do the risk/benefit analysis of staying with him and decide.

Then there's the middle of the road approach: trying to improve what you have. The way it's playing out now, you're getting just enough intermittent reinforcement to keep you hanging in. You might try better communication, a couples counselor, bringing a third into your relationship, asking him if he minded if you slept with someone else, spicing things up with something new you haven't tried.

@21 - you got it backwards, fucknut.
Let me start by saying that this week's boyfriend seems like a bit of a turd, but there is a minor point that keeps coming up that I find a little irritating:

When did "giving" your female partner orgasms become a macho thing? I am now firmly of the belief that we are all ultimately responsible for our own orgasms, but when I was coming up, the pressure to "provide" for your partner was a sort of pseudo-feminist expectation, and the macho thing was banging away at your partner without giving a shit whether she came or not.
Many of my early sex partners had internalized this ... I was to give them orgasms if I was a decent, "enlightened" guy. And no, we're not talking about letting her come first, or some variation; I was responsible for everyone's orgasms. In retrospect, it seems ridiculously passive for young feminists, but it was what it was.

So we have a generation or two of straight young men who were trained that "giving" orgasms was required of them to be decent, caring lovers, then we ridicule them as macho douche-bags for having hang-ups when they fail?

"Young man, you are expected to give your partner orgasms, whether she helps or not. Your decency as a lover and a human being will be judged based on this. If you meet this expectation, no one gives a shit about your motivation. If, however, you do not meet this expectation, and you don't care, you are a macho douche for not caring. If you do not meet this expectation and you DO care, you are a macho douche for caring."
Holy cowza! SPANK's boyfriend must be my ex. It took me a long time to realize he was manipulating me in various ways.

The best day of my life was the day I dumped him. DTMFA!!!
To SPANK, I was you a few years ago. Follow Dan's advice. Please, please don't waste any more of your life on this manipulative asshole. There's alot of guys out there who would be happy to have a woman in their life who's interested in sex. Your boyfriend is in the process of brainwashing you so you're confused about what is normal and what is screwed up. You must already know this, which is why you wrote in. Yes, you are correct, something is wrong here and it's not you.

You say he's GGG, but um...he's actually not, though. He's rubbing your face in the fact that he prefers to rub one out himself rather than have sex with you. Don't be like me and wait 3 years to see if it gets better, trust me, it doesn't.

And, I get where #20 is coming from, but I don't think that's what's going on here at all.

A follow up to Dan's advice (A guy checking out other women's boobs is not a sign that he does not appreciate yours, he has an obligation be discrete), his looking at other women is more reflex than conscious thought. Guys could be at a funeral, in court, or any location where they should be non-aroused, if they see a an attractive woman the part of their brain that controls their sex drive will light up. The part of the brain that says "I am at a funeral and want to pay my final respects to my grandmother" does not veto the part of the brain that reacts to visual stimulus.

However, building on Dan's point about the discretion, while your boyfriend does not have control initial "check out the hot woman" reflex, he has control of everything else. After the initial glance or quick turn of the head he is obligated to stop looking. If he is leering/staring/craning his neck or acting like he is in a Jersey Shore audition, then you are entitled to call him out.
@19 this is horribly unoriginal, but I'd suggest having a direct discussion with him about your sex life during a relaxed time. Doesn't sound like the current situation should continue indefinitely-- maybe he's just a low-libido person? maybe he's masterbating more often than he lets on? maybe he's a closet-case? who knows? But you could try opening up, prefacing by saying how much you enjoy your relationship and his qualities, but have been having less intimacy than you'd prefer. See if he registers that as an issue or if he tries to just sweep it under the rug. I'm also curious how the quality of the sex is that you're having. Is it mind-blowing? just meh? As countless SL letters demonstrate, long-term relationships usually blow up my widely disparate sex appetites, so find out if there's any potential/willingness on his part to explore if/how he can up his ante on this..
@SPANK - Definitely, DTMFA. If he's masturbating instead of having sex with you, his partner, then he's got issues - intimacy issues or fear of commitment issues or whatever you want to call them. He is having a hard time opening up with you and masturbation is safe and easy because it doesn't involve getting close to another person.

@29 - well said.

Also, it's nice to be able to "give" your partner an orgasm. Its an ego boost, a real powerful feeling. I am sure I am not alone when I say some of my fondest sexual memories is seeing my partner in a gooey glob of bliss in response to my macho sexual superior abilities (patent pending).

This isn't to say there is anything wrong with women who can only cum from mechanical assistance, or from guys who can only ejaculate from the masturbation death grip. But I would feel an itsy bit sad if I was unable to bring Mrs. Horton to a screaming climax through conventional means, e.g. fucking, oral, etc.
BOOB should DTMFA because he's not going to change. BOOB is not insecure; her bf is an abusive asshole with impulse control issues (and probably a lot of other issues, too).

You can do a whole lot better than that jerk, BOOB. And if you can't, there are worse things than being alone.
@25 I was cheering for you until the third paragraph, that was just cold and slightly out there.

@29 While the whole "responsibility" thing can get out of control and be a damned if you do, damned if you don't; being in charge of your own orgasms in partnered sex just doesn't make sense unless you're talking about the woman's orgasm which gives the whole argument a passive aggressive edge of sexism. If I'm giving a blowjob, get up halfway thru, and just casually throw out the phrase "take care of it yourself" my partner would be perfectly in the right to be like "WTF?". It would be correctly interrupted as something slightly contemptuous and not exactly healthy in a long term relationship.

On the other hand, if I was going all out and he just couldn't climax then he should tell me so we can determine a different route. I've had a partner who needed thirty minute blow-jobs, which are not a lot of fun on the performers end.

So no, you shouldn't be "responsible" for making your partner come. But you should be responsible for providing the (reasonable) conditions that make it possible for your partner to come. If they have special needs it should be on them to be upfront about it. Plus, I get off on my partners getting off, that's part of the big allure of having partnered sex. If I didn't enjoy it I'd just go down to the local sex shop for what I needed and spare both parties the time and effort.
@4 - I love the T as superhero symbol one! I don't see it as identifying the wearer as trans though. I plan on buying one later this week and I'm a cisgender female. Most people won't know what it means and if anyone asks, I plan on telling them it is in support of transgendered people.

@21 - Looks like you're an asshole anyway. It is not just a boob job and he is not a she.
@21: He's a transman, you dumbfuck- as in he needs to get rid of his boobs, not make them bigger. Jesus.

@19: You've been with him for five years and you somehow can't talk about this with him? You need to tell him. You need to tell him that the amount of sex you're currently having is not cutting it for you, you need to tell him about all the crazy things you've been doing in the hopes of getting some, and you need to tell him about how you haven't been really coming onto him because of how much the rejection is hurting you. Not speaking up is not helping you, and it also probably has nothing to do with how attractive you are to him in any way.

My partner is slightly lower-libidoed than I am. If it were up to him, I'd get close to but not quite enough sex to satisfy me. When he really doesn't feel like it, he turns me down; when he's merely not horny, he lets me get him there and enjoys himself in the moment. There's no reason your partner can't do that for you. You probably won't get as much sex as you'd like, but you should get more than you're having.

Also, if you find you can't put up with it, there are LOADS of guys out there with higher libidos who can probably be for you what your boyfriend currently is. People act like it's extremely rare to find someone who you can be happy with, but I really don't think it is.
Yeah, 21, I am feeling you. I am unsure why I must work to pay for other people's elective cosmetic surgeries.

But hey, I suppose if I ever want to get a butt lift or some tats, I can send all the trans folks the bill, now that we are sharing costs all around. There is always an upside to things!

SPANK: move on.

BOOB: men look at other women. We also masturbate with other women in mind. They do those things from about age 13 until somewhere in their 70s. Get used to it. Men will not change...except for the trans op folks, of course.
In the brain, recognition, memory, and pleasure centers all react faster than cognitive processing centers. That is to say that events will happen in the following order:
1) Man sees boobs (brain receives ocular input, identifies as boobs)
2) Pleasure centers light up
3) Cognitive facilities FINALLY kick in and remind him that he's somewhere where registering pleasure is a bad idea (at a funeral, in front of an insecure girlfriend, personal response in conflict with inculcated feminist dogma, et cetera).

That's not to say he isn't still duty bound to be discreet. It's just that the part that handles being discreet doesn't run as fast as the other parts.
I wanted to give a resounding AMEN to your response to "BOOB" from today (6/20/12). I have had to explain this phenomenon enough times to come up with a handy analogy; cars.

I have a great car and I love it. However, if a Ferrari or Bugatti drives by, I'm going to look. It's an exotic car, rare, and beautiful. However, I do not want to own one of those cars. They're expensive to buy, expensive to own, and I'd worry about damage when parking.

Similarly, I have a great wife and I love her. However, if a beautiful woman is in my view, I'm going to look. It's because I can appreciate fine things in their natural state, not because I have any dissatisfaction with what I already have going on at home.

That issue has always bothered me when women react defensively towards it. Your observations were spot on, touched a nerve, and I was motivated to tell you so. You got it 100% right.

I see it like this- If you're at the stage in your relationship where you're shoving parts of yourselves in one another (even if it's only 3 times a month on average), you're at the stage where you can talk about said shoving of parts.

The only way to know if he's being controlling, is to bring it up with him. That's how SPANK has realised she's dating a controlling arsehole, she talked to him about it and he showed his true colours.

And think about how important sex is to you. It sounds pretty important, so is it really something you're willing to give up for this guy? Because that might be your Price of Admission.

Personally, I've been in that relationship and made the mistake of ending it badly, rather than just ending it. Don't make my mistake. If you really care about this guy, sit down and talk with him and if it sounds like he's not for you, then find someone who is. They are out there.
Nobody is forcing anyone to pay for anything. The guy is selling t-shirts to help other people like him. I think that's pretty selfless in itself. I'm pretty sure designing them, advertising them, posting them etc counts as work.

If you want to do the same to pay for your butt lift, nobody is stopping you. I doubt anyone would buy them, what with you being a stupid twat and all.
To those saying that Aydian should get a 2nd job-- um, designing shirts, having them made, creating a website, shipping orders, etc. *is* his 2nd job, and a legitimate way to make money. No one's obligated to buy the shirts. He's not asking for a hand-out. Jeez.
I fart under the covers all the time. I get shit for it (phrasing!), but I enjoy having a partner to menace. I apologize ... with a smile. It's a celebration of being a biological machine and a human. To hell with the niceties of gender! There is nothing more "I am woman, hear me toot."

Had CWF ever had an orgasm before? I wasn't sure by her letter. If not, she could be reassured that having had some makes it easier to have one with a partner, even an insecure and controlling one.

What is BOOBS going to do when her breasts aren't so beautiful and perfect as to be enough for one man? Just give up?

I like boobies sexually (though I'm generally a straight woman as far as I can tell) and seriously, there is something amazing about them that you can't NOT look at.

Dave @42 has a good point. We all look at beautiful things for beauty's sake, not necessarily out of desire.
Dear BOOB,

I have the cutest puppy in the world and my girlfriend loves to play with him. I'm worried because when we walk in the park my girlfriend looks at the other dogs in the park - sometimes she even pets them! Does this mean that she doesn't love my puppy? Should I dump her now before she hurts my puppy?


My wife lets me look at other women's bodies (discretely) as much as I want, but I'm only allowed to play with hers. Same for her looking at other men's bodies.
I'm not arguing with Dan's response to BOOBS, just wanted to point out that while guys are conditioned to ogle boobs from puberty, women are conditioned to place an inordinate amount of value on their physical appearance from puberty, as well. This understandably creates insecurity/self consciousness and some level of competitiveness with other women.

I'm only saying that because judging a woman for her insecurities is as lame as judging a man for his boob ogling.
@snarkulufugus/Dave/comment 42,

I understand your analogy (I've heard it in varying forms from guys) and it's a good way to explain it.

But, consider that women may act defensively because (using your own analogy) it's a bit like being told- You're not a Ferrari. You're not as hot, exotic or exciting as that woman over there. But, you're reliable and don't need as much work, so I chose you.

What every little girl dreams of being told! :P

Truth is, we all want to be treated like the Ferrari, at least by the people we're with.

And that doesn't always happen because there are jerks out there. Jerks who think "I'm with you though" is a magical pass to act in whatever disrespectful manner they want. I dated a jerk like that and turns out him 'coming home' to me wasn't that great of a pay off.

You don't sound like a jerk. So, your wife probably feels like a Ferrari in your eyes and that's what's important. My current guy isn't a jerk. He perves, but he doesn't do it in a way that makes me feel like he's just 'settled'. If more people did that, then perving would be easier for them.

But peoples is stoopid.

Idid, you weren't paying attention. Aydian is a guy, hence the "he" pronouns. He's trying to get his body to look like a guy's body and not like a woman's body.

Also, selling T-shirts isn't a way of getting out of work, it is work, so chill on that overdone get-a-job crud, okay?
What is it with people writing to Dan saying how GGG they and their loved ones are, then going on to describe the opposite? It's getting to the point where if I see somebody wearing a GGG t-shirt, I'm not sure I'm going to take that claim at face value...

SPANK, your partner is not GGG. Not even close - he has maybe one G out of three. Remember that the other two mean "giving" and "game"? He is not giving. He is not game. What you've got there is a 1G boyfriend.

Reflective, don't settle. Staying with this guy will erode your self esteem and etch deep grooves of sadness and frustration in your brain.

Both of you, dump the motherfuckers already.
@48 Guys aren't conditioned to look at boobs, they naturally want to. Also men are just as competitive with other men as women are with each other (though most of the time it seems they're better sports about it). They're also insecure/self-conscious about things (hair, penis size, how "built" they are & etc.) The only difference is a rack is easier to ogle than a penis in general. Long live speedos! Honestly though who describes their junk as perfect?
@49 FTW
Re SPANK's letter: I can't remember a time I disagreed with your advice, Dan (and I've been reading you for many years), and I don't completely disagree here. SPANK's man may be an asshole, and it may be time to dump him -- but I'd have to bet there's something else going on with him. (I read only a few comments here, so pardon me if I'm repeating someone else's observation.) SPANK reports that her boyfriend tells her he's masturbating a lot, even when she's at work. I'd want to know more about what's going on with him. Is he out of work? Is he otherwise depressed (clinically or not)? Are there other things he's trying to avoid? Probably, you'd think.

As someone who probably masturbates out of depression sometimes (and does my very best to hide it, unlike SPANK's man; it does have an asshole aspect to it with him), a heart-to-heart might have to focus less on the masturbation and the obnoxious recounting of it and more about what's the hell is going on in his life. I probably would be quick to deny that my masturbation and depression were related to someone else, but it's a good bet they are in fact connected. And they may be for this guy.

And since SPANK reports an otherwise good connection to him, I'd vote for working to get him back to normal before getting rid of him.
@44 YES

@49 Yes

@52 I wouldn't agree with your assessment that men are 'better sports' about competition. I've found myself in the middle of more than one "love-triangle" in my time and I definitely did not get that impression at all.
# 21 has an EXCELLENT POINT. Why the hell should anyone ante up for some head case's "sex change"? PAY FOR IT YOURSELF!

And all that BS about "psychiatric evaluation" prior to a sex change is just that: BULLS.HIT. I have met a few of these pre-surgery types; they were full on wingnuts, and no mistake, and yet their path to surgery was smoothed for them every inch of the way...d'ye think the fact that the docs and the pharmaceutical companies make THOUSANDS of dollars off these head cases might have anything to do with it?
Ms Hopkins - CWF is deceptively interesting. I'm largely inclined to agree with you, but I note that the BF's age is not given, nor is the duration of their sexual relationship specified. I'm half inclined to place him at 25 or older and think she should have dumped him a while ago, but if he's about her age I'd want to look more deeply into how he came by his attitude. It certainly doesn't seem that the pair has approached the situation as a team, but that could be as much her doing as his, or more.

Again, no horse in this race, but how legitimate a dealbreaker is this? From the other side, there were people telling that recent LW to dump her "unskilled" BF who couldn't "give" her any.

The paragraph below is entirely humorous, inspired by my inner novelist (and, yes, I'm sure I could flip this):

It almost seems as if there's no right answer if an unscrupulous woman wants relationship power and the moral high ground. If he wants to go on, he's an insecure control freak. If his self-esteem is intact, he's an inconsiderate jerk. If he asks whether she wants to keep trying, he's abdicating the driver's seat (and Ms Driasis will pour boiling scorn on his head). And if he lies about his gut reaction, Ms Erica will pay Tonya Harding's ex-husband to whack his knee.
Oh, I forgot - I did give CWF a point for phrasing - "I've never had" instead of "He's never given".

And for the record, I hold Ms Driasis' and Ms Erica's reactions to various other situations to be perfectly legitimate. It wasn't a dig at either - I just tend on occasion to plot by throwing a lot of random mental darts that tend to stick on odd points.
@ Ven

My own boobs are not perfect. They don't need to be in order to be beautiful. I also really enjoy looking at other women's boobs. Seriously, the curves of a breast are simply lovely. I don't blame men one bit for enjoying a nice pair of breasts. I often will point out a noteworthy set to my husband, lest he misses the opportunity to enjoy them also.

Avast @6, it's not so much that a vibrator is necessary as it is that it's just a good extra to have. I'm a bit confused that this young woman has never simply used her fingers to get herself off. Or would the douchenozzle boyfriend object to that also?

And it is beyond selfish to masturbate several times daily rather than have sex with one's partner. What a dick.
I hear a lot of women say how much they like a nice pair of boobs.

I'm more of an ass girl myself.

P.S. if I overheard a woman pointing out my (completely overexposed) cleavage to her husband I'd be flattered, but I'd probably also be thinking "really? Give me a break, lady." So... yeah discretion is good in all cases.
@55 Of course, this is a gross generalization and there are excepts; "Men tend to boil over, women tend to simmer". Personally, I'd rather get any nastiness out of the way in one go than deal with random attacks about things that happened a decade ago. I try to set a four month max angry recall limit for myself just because I'm an introvert surrounded by passive aggressive control freaks.

And seriously, angry love triangles end in high school. I sincerely hope you're not one of those girls who "forgets" to define the nature of their interactions.
I think many men underestimate the effect masturbation has on their sex drive. I went into my thirties thinking I could still spank it every day like I did in my teens and twenties, and still be up for sex with my wife. That just isn't true. My body doesn't respond as quickly as it did in previous decades, and it takes longer for my libido to recover after orgasm. My general policy now is that I masturbate maybe two or three times a week, but only on days when I'm pretty sure I'm not getting any sex. Sometimes I go longer without masturbating, simply because I like to build up that sexual tension. Anyway, my point is that a man's libido is not some infinite resource. It seemed infinite to us in our teens and twenties, but eventually you have to go into conservation mode and start saving it for actual sex, rather than jerking off.

Yeah they do end around there, and no, I'm not. I just meant that I haven't found it to be true even in the general sense - personally.
@19 Reflective - I like what @27 said re your options.

From a male perspective, I would start with a fairly straightforward request to him. Try something like "I really love it when you initiate sex." If you can get him to initiate, really reinforce how great it was for you. Also, give him a specific task, like "I want you to buy me lingerie, or give me sex coupons for my birthday." Offer to trade sexual fantasies, and go first.

If after a while the “subtle-but-not-so-subtle” conversations don't work, then you need to have the very direct one. The lack of sex in the relationship makes you feel (pick any number of: lonely, frustrated, unwanted, ugly, platonic, etc.). Make it clear you need more sex to feel fulfilled. If that doesn't work, then accept your fate with him or leave.

I had this conversation with Mrs. Horton. Deep down she knew, as your boyfriend probably does, that their partner feels sexually neglected. When I realized I was about to cheat, I figured I owed it to her to at least make it as clear as possible how the lack of sex was making me feel.

Finally, If I were you, I would knock off all the nuanced hopeful behavior. Stop waiting up for him in bed, giving him signs you want sex but not pushing for it, getting him drunk, etc. It is only making you more disappointed when the inevitable happens. Ultimately, as much as this sucks to acknowledge, you can't make someone want to fuck you. You can only control your own behavior. So keep going to the gym, get in good shape, flirt, masturbate frequently so the urges don't build up, have a rich fantasy life, etc.

Good luck!
As far as BOOB goes, it's no secret that men are hard-wired to look at other women. BOOB might just be a really insecure woman who hasn't accepted the way the male brain works, but then again, maybe her bf is more obnoxious about it than the average guy. It's one thing to sneak a peek, but it's another thing to openly gawk and drool.
@37 I don't know how you've been raised - but I've always known that my only way to prove myself a valuable woman, was to find a man who would do me the huge favor of marrying me. No matter that I was a straight As student. Without a husband and kids I would always be "poor her, unable to have a husband".

When one fially rids oneself of one's brainwashing, and stares at the hard realities, be assured that it won't look like be pink clouds and butterflies. It will be cold.
@37: I think you misunderstood what I was saying (willfully?). Responsibility for your own orgasm doesn't mean every sexual encounter is mutual masturbation, nor does it imply/excuse any assholery. It just means each of us comes to the table with some idea of what pleases us, and makes some effort to move things in that direction. That could mean, for example, anything from offering a little verbal guidance, to reaching down and helping things along ourselves.
So how about all you fucking assholes who are asking for handouts start working harder for your money and start saving instead of asking people to pay for your elective and non-government covered surgeries. Don't ask mom and dad for a boob job, don't ask strangers for your sex change....QUIT THE SHIT. Sames goes for the assholes who are donating to the woman who got "bullied" on the bus and somehow she yielded $200K in sympathy all fucking suck.
Couldn't Wait Forever - your orgasms don't belong to your boyfriend. He has no right to dictate when and how you masterbate. Tell him to mind his own business.

Context is *everything*.

Think of it this way. Your boyfriend is ogling other boobs left, right and center. He's comparing them to yours. And you're winning. Every. Single. Time. Your boobs are that fucking awesome (perfect, as you point out).

My wife and I have an open relationship, and I date other people. Not as often as I used to now that we have young children, but it still happens on occasion. And I can't count the number of times I've been with someone and thought to myself "oh, thank the gods I married my wife!" Will there someday be a day where I date someone who's even better than my wife? I suppose it's *possible*. Would I leave my wife for that person? Hell no. Because she's fucking *awesome*!

@70: Yeah, better to just yell at people.
@68 No, I understand where you're coming from. I will always remember my grandmother lamenting me being too ugly and fat to find a partner in my pre-teens when I a size ten and had bad rosaeca.

All of the marriages in my family have been complicated to say the least (spousal abuse, infidelity & etc.). Even my dead relatives' pictures look consistently depressed and frustrated. So yes, I'm intimately familiar with the dark side of partnerships and deathly afraid of such commitments. Still I'm old enough now to have seen ones that are healthy and to realize that, even if it scares the hell out of me, that's what I want.

I just think defining the male in a long term relationship as some kind of leech is a gross mischaracterization. I applaud you for doing what you do for your family. Most stay at home moms I've known don't display that passion. And to do it on your own is even more amazing, I sure as hell doubt I could.
@29, 35: It's the result of memetic mutation. The idea was not intended as making it a man's responsibility to get his partner off, but that he should be concerned for his partner's enjoyment/pleasure and not focused only on his own. Unfortunately, when one throws that idea out into a sexist culture, it gets twisted along cultural gendered agency lines - since women are still often culturally constructed as lacking agency, "man being concerned about his partner's enjoyment" becomes "man is responsible to make sure everyone has an orgasm" because he's still the only one allowed to exercise agency. The macho twist is especially objectifying: hinging male ego on the ability to 'make' a partner get off casts the partner as only a passive object over whose sexual response the man has ultimate control (you can't really feel like you've failed unless you believe you were in control of the outcome). It's incredibly sexist, and only slightly better than the "bang away and not give a fuck about your partner" attitude, since the partner's sexual response is at least acknowledged. Men everywhere need to understand that their partners are actual people over whose orgasms (or any other behaviors/responses) the man ultimately doesn't have control (those who don't already get it, of course).

Women: this is a sexist attitude. If you're dating a man and he's doing this, tell him to knock it the fuck off*, and if he can't/won't DTMFA and find a decent sex partner. Also, while I realize there are sometimes barriers to asserting agency and particularly sexual agency, in any healthy relationship you should be able to assert yourself without, say, fearing for your safety and well-being. If you're in such a healthy relationship, you need to do this; if you're not, perhaps consider looking for exit strategies.

*unless a partner who doesn't care about you or acts like ze doesn't during sex is your kink, in which case, power to you.
@69 Sorry, I misunderstood. We essentially agree, just not on wording. Whenever the responsibility tag line get's used the cliche of the dude sleeping while the chick sighs and pulls out the vibe seems to pop up in my head.
@75, thanks for clarifying. I used to selfishly bang away. Then, I became focused on making my partner orgasm, and took pride in that, but now realize that is almost as sexist. Now I firmly reside in the camp of setting the right conditions to allow my equal partner to decide both whether she feels like having an orgasm and to let her freely and enthusiastically determine my participation in that aspect of her pleasure. My metamorphosis is complete.

I gotta tell you though. I miss the days of "just fucking."

Do gay men deal with this?
@69 I'm sorry I misunderstood you. I can assure you I didn't mean to post for the purpose of being needlessly rude/snobish, though in hindsight I can see how it came off as that. We essentially agree, just not on wording.

@75 I never bothered to think it through that far. Makes sense though and really eases some of the pressure of sex, which is probably a bigger problem than anything else when it comes to orgasming anyway. And it doesn't blame the feminists, yay!
Damn you, Internet Explorer. Sorry for the double post.
Some of these comments are harsh and insulting, especially to transpeople, but across the board, sparing no gender really. I think GGG can be extrapolated for use outside of the bedroom (or neighborhood park ;) !). Good--respectful and thoughtful of others' humanity at least. Giving--okay, not so much equal time and pleasure maybe, but how about equal giving of consideration and courtesy--the same as we'd like to get. And game--let's aim down instead of up this time. Down for acceptance of and appreciation for all kinds of diversity.

If you can't manage it in a comments section among your peers, how do you flip a switch and turn it on in bed? I like looking AND T-shirts (and 'til today, I thought most everybody else did too). And really, shouldn't everyone 16 years of age and older own a vibrator? Like the cocktail of lithium and xanax in the water table, this would cut down on irritability considerably--in the personal and in print.
aureolaborealis I totally agree it is your own responsabilty to 'take' your own orgasm. At least when you first start having sex, im 24 ive been having sex for five years and there have maybe been three or four occasions when my partner 'gave' me an orgasm.
I regularly climax during sex as does my boyfriend but i haven't made him come and neither has he, we kind of use each other for our own sexual needs. He enjoys sex more than masterbation, I come harder when I'm masterbating and having sex at the same time. We love each other very much and have found making ourselves come is the best way of ensuring we both come during sex.
Just chiming in with support for Aydian. Any kind of breast surgery is expensive, and insurance is iffy at the best of times. Great shirts, and good luck!
@29, here is the difference I think.

It is a decent, caring thing to do to try to make your partner climax. This shows that their pleasure matters to you.

But, if this does not happen through penetrative sex, this is not a reason for the man to feel ashamed. The negative behavior of this boyfriend is that he insisted she only orgasm from "his" doing. He would be a caring partner if he appreciated that she needed focused clitoral stimulation, and helped her in discovering that. He shouldn't feel bad that he can't "make" her come. That's not right or fair.
He would also be a douche if he did not care at all--if she did not finish, and told him this, and he was indifferent.
Now I firmly reside in the camp of setting the right conditions to allow my equal partner to decide both whether she feels like having an orgasm and to let her freely and enthusiastically determine my participation in that aspect of her pleasure. My metamorphosis is complete.

I gotta tell you though. I miss the days of "just fucking."

Sweet jesus.
I hope that I stay firmly at the 'just fucking' phase forever. After all, I'm a boorish, chauvenistic pig who's most happy when her man "selfishly bangs away" and gets off as a byproduct.

People like you are on of the reasons why I'm huuugely put off by feminism. Or at least the prescriptive, uninclusive, joyless brand of feminism that seems to dominate today.

@75: I think we basically agree, (you, too, mygash), but you are assuming that the only people buying into or thinking they're benefiting from this disfunctional paradigm are men, and that is simply not true.
@75: It's cute that in the middle of describing this phenomenon stripping agency from women, you strip women of all agency in the matter.
@84 I think it's all context and communication. Somedays a woman may need to be grabbed, bent over, and thrust into. Others bouncing on top. Somedays maybe just a hand job. And etc. But if you need the same thing everytime then I don't see how more communication somehow excludes you. And if it does, look at this way; there'll be more boorish, chauvenistic men freed up for NSA sex with you when their unsatisfied girls dump them.
#84 & 85, I bet you fancy yourself the "cool girlfriend" but you sound like a fucking doormat.
This letter hit me at just the wrong/right time in my life right now.
I'm in a slightly different but similar situation (I even wrote Dan for help but got no word). I'm a guy, early 30's with a normal high-sex drive while my long-term partner/girlfriend has a "supposedly" low sex-drive. But she's happy to go off and have sex with another woman she's cheating on me with. She claims she's not just gay, but right now it sure looks that way to me. Why don't I dump her? Because we've built a life together. Years and years together. It's not that easy. With her pushing me I'm trying to find new partners (online dating sites mostly) but no luck. I know, I know what a totally fucking stupid sap I am being. Just writing this down makes me feel stupid/used. Ug
@68... wait... seriously? I reread your post many times and I have concluded it can only be sarcasm.

"but I've always known that my only way to prove myself a valuable woman, was to find a man who would do me the huge favor of marrying me."

I am willing to accept most different types of relationships, but there is no way ANYONE should EVER consider their value by finding someone who would do the "huge favor". That's just sad. :(

She was referring to the way she was taught to think about relationships when she was young - not her current opinion.

Did you read the whole post?
@25 sissoucat: We're mostly on the same page, except one big difference is that I don't have kids. I like children (no, not to roast and eat!!), but remaining childless was my choice for many reasons: mostly economic, emotional and biological. I never thought I 'd have made a good parent (see @10). Pregnancy--the very word alone--- leaves me queasy. I was also once foolishly married to an abusive asshole who would have made the world's worst father.
And you're right, men usually don't get it, mainly because they'll never physically experience menstruation, pregnancy, labor and childbirth and what effects that has to a woman's body because they're not women, like us.

@46 Gloria: Whatever blows up your nightshirt!
This letter hit me at just the wrong/right time in my life right now.
I'm in a slightly different but similar situation (I even wrote Dan for help but got no word). I'm a guy, early 30's with a normal high-sex drive while my long-term partner/girlfriend has a "supposedly" low sex-drive. But she's happy to go off and have sex with another woman she's cheating on me with. She claims she's not just gay, but right now it sure looks that way to me. Why don't I dump her? Because we've built a life together. Years and years together. It's not that easy. With her pushing me I'm trying to find new partners (online dating sites mostly) but no luck. I know, I know what a totally fucking stupid sap I am being. Just writing this down makes me feel stupid/used. Ug
I have thought once or twice it could be entertaining to lock Mr Horstman and Ms Driasis in a well-stocked room and not open the door until the number of living people in the room is odd.

Spoiler alert, I'd off myself if I had to listen to longer than 5 minutes of that kind of proselytising. :)
94-alexpdxer-- Or here's another way to look at it. You're doing what feels right to you despite the way the rest of the world looks at it. Imagine saying to the world proudly:

I'm living with the woman I've built a life with. She's sleeping with a woman and may be gay. I don't care if everyone else thinks this makes me a dope; this is my situation and my decision. I own it. Right now the sex isn't great, but if I left her, the amount of sex with her would go from little to none, and the rest of our relationship is good. I've weighed the pros and cons, and this is what I've come up with. I'm working on making it better by trying to find new partners. That's in a bad spell right now, but I'm working on making it better. That puts me well ahead of most of the poor schlubs out there who complain and complain while never realizing that it makes more sense to make the best of what they've got while actively working to change what they can.
@95: What it it turns out to be twins?
I need help with my relationship Can you help me Dan?

Because rape jokes are super funny and not creepy or unsettling at all.
@97: Interesting how different people pick different things out of the narrative. I didn't get the feeling that he considers this to be a choice on his part at all, let alone a choice to hold up to the rest of the world and say "Go to hell, world, I don't care what you all think." To me it sounds more like he has been left holding the bag, and doesn't like the current parameters one bit, but getting out isn't as simple as DTMFA, while staying in and trying it her way isn't working out nearly as rosy as she promised it would. That isn't about doing what feels right to him at all.

@94: My impression is that the whole "she claims to not be lesbian, but I think she really is" thing is a red herring. What would you be doing if it was another man that she was off cheating on you with, telling you all the while that she is just low-libido?

Bottom line, she has put another person in a place of sexual primacy, is fobbing off lies about being low-libido in order to duck sex with you, and is telling you to go take care of your own needs without her help. In other words, she no longer gives a shit about you as a sexual partner. She has left the relationship, sexually, but hasn't had the courtesy to pack her things. This has ceased to be a partnership.

I'm curious which one of you is trying harder to convince the other one to stay and make it work. I have a strong suspicion that it's her, and you are being railroaded by claims of needing to be more open-minded and accepting. Why would she want to leave? She has everything the way she wants it. You, on the other hand, aren't getting your needs met, and she doesn't seem interested even in meeting you halfway.

I agree with her on one count: you should go get yourself a new sex partner. Thing is, you probably will be much more successful if you don't have her around as baggage.

It is just possible that telling her that you are cutting her loose will shock her enough to realize that if she truly doesn't want to lose you, she had better start treating you like a fucking rock star for letting her sleep around. But I ain't holding my breath.