You just know the sex is gonna be lousy when a mans says he "has a special technique for eating pussy that girls always love."


In what universe is his behavior erratic and unpredictable. When she asks for more affection, he gives more affection, when she doesn't want him to be affectionate, he acts more coldly, like clockwork. She seems like one of those people who gets angry that other people aren't mind-readers, and is hurt and insulted by ideas... that she herself has? She seems like an emotional terrorist. My advice for LW is GFNE (go fuck no-one else)


Sheesh, 22-year old drama, making something simple overly complicated!


To expand the trite but true phrase....
“You’re just not into each other”
You’re 22. Do yourself a favour and skip a half a decade or more of ‘trying to figure them out’.


Omg I couldn't even read that! Talk about overly complicating what is a bruised ego. Your ego is bruised and now you want him. That's a story as old as the hills and a particularly boring one. Get over it!


Oh my god: how did Dan get some sort of written print-out of my mental state when I was 21?
I no longer have the energy to even READ this stuff, let alone live it!
Lw, the hamster in your head is about to die of a stroke. STOP, back up, calm down and move on.


In a foreign country and sleeping with another American!? Stop calling this guy and hook up with some locals. Have an adventure. You have the rest of your life to settle down and over analyse some innocuous thing your husband said just looking for a reason to be offended. For now be young, have fun and ask yourself why you’re trying to make your life unnecessarily complicated.


@6: "The hamster in your head is about to die of a stroke." This is my favorite sentence of 2018. Thank you.


A little advice for the guy involved in this situation; RUN!!!


I would never recommend that people should save themselves for marriage, but LW sounds like she's not cut out for hooking up. Maybe having a little more of a relationship before sex would keep her brain from going into overdrive trying to interpret every aspect of a meaningless sexual encounter.


I second the motion, Nocute’s “hamster in your head” is the line of the year! As for LW, holy shit Batman! Over-analyze much?


Sorry for the cluelessness, I always thought "hooking up" meant "having sex", but apparently it doesn't?

"The second time we had sex (third time overall hooking up)"

So what is "hooking up'? What happened the first time?


PEEVED, this seems like a garden variety case of romatnic/sexual incompatibility. When you asked him directly about the sex you are having, he provides clear and direct responses that make you upset, even though it jibes with you sense of the situation. His response, to comfort you with physical affection does not seem manipulative since you acknowledge that you respond to that comfort.

I'm not seeing an issue with his physical affection when you're cooking together. You have a relationship together. It may be casual, but it is more than just coming over for sex and going home afterwards. Showing some amount of physical affection towards a partner doesn't seem out of bounds even after just a few dates.

If Mr. Peeved can be criticized it is for expressing disinterested in investing much effort in making the sex you have better.

In the end, you are 22 and in a foreign country. Get to know and fuck some locals, enjoy the experiences you are having and move on if you don't.


The guy sounds perfectly fine to me, but you're not suited to each other. Find someone else. Be gracious when you tell him you do not wish to see him again.


This is why you should never sleep with 22-year-old women. Especially straight ones. The first time, they "hooked up," but they didn't "have sex" until the second time? What did you do on the first "hookup," play Scrabble? Oh, I get it, it wasn't "sex" because his dick didn't go into your vagina. Honey, if you interacted with each other's genitals, you had sex.

Second. After their third sex/second PIV encounter, and I quote, "I asked if he was happy with/wanted to change anything about the sex we had been having." He replies honestly, that he's not feeling it, and she says, "My feelings were hurt (we had literally finished having sex five minutes prior)." You're not happy about the timing? THEN WHY DID YOU ASK? You wanted him to lie and tell you you're an awesome lover? After two fucks/three hookups, the first of which you don't even think "counts"?

PEEVED, agree with Dan. Move the fuck on. Be friends with this dude. You're not in love with him, he's not in love with you, and there ARE other English speakers in your country. Stay friends and perhaps you can hook up from time to time when you are both single, if that's how you want to live your life.

I'm sure I've seen a version of this letter before. Dan, thank you for the reminder to not have sex with 22-year-olds, ever.


22 year olds are also people and have as much right to have sex and ask for advice as any other person. Plus they are often ridiculously hot!

I have recently found a new 22 year old playmate who is an absolute delight and really level headed, also a very interesting conversationalist. Don't discriminate because of age. That's just silly.


Sandwiches @16: Hahaha! So you'd fuck an 85-year-old? Good on you, but most people have at least rough preferences when it comes to age (22 is less than half of mine), and most 22-year-olds display a level of maturity that is more similar to the writer of this letter than to your new playmate, unless of course the "recent" nature of this relationship is giving you NRE blindness, which we should know for sure in about six months. "Ridiculously hot" is usually the ONLY thing 22-year-olds have to offer. And I say this as a former 22-year-old. Sure, they have a right to have sex, and I have a right to avoid them because the probable drama isn't worth it. Enjoy your potential exception while it lasts, and congrats.


OmarSanchezCat @7: Depending on the country, the locals might not be a good sex option. Religious countries where there's strong taboos against premarital sex and most the people your age are already married, for instance.

BiDanFan: You're not wrong about 22-year-olds. Cute (sometimes) but OMG the drama, and often still amateurs with the sex-skills (both knowing what they like and asking for it, and being good at whatever it is you like). Now, yeah, yeah, Not All 22-Year-Olds, but I'm not gonna pretend like your views are without solid basis - heck, case in point, this letter.

LW: the two of you don't have good sexual chemistry. That happens sometimes. I know you were thinking that you were awesome and it was all his fault, but the truth of it is, sometimes bad sex no one's fault but genetics - something about your mutual DNA is just disinclined towards each other.


You know the line about how straight men are afraid gay men are going to think about them the way they themselves think about women? Here's the turnabout is fair play. It's a woman afraid a man is thinking about her the way she thinks about him. Analyzing every move, analyzing every feeling, analyzing every statement. Trying one thing. Getting the timing wrong. Attributing motives to nothing. Believe me, he's as confused as you are.

The only insight I can offer PEEVE is that for me, the need to analyze everything at age 19 came from a more generalized anxiety that had nothing to do with sex or boys. It lifted when I got help with my whole life in therapy. Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs didn't do it. I needed an understanding of the big issues.

And Nocute's hamster comment is gold.


@6 nocutename - you win the day! "LW, the hamster in your head is about to have a stroke."

Dan needs to put that one in a comments of the week. Mine died of exhaustion from overwork.


Here's the old fashioned party line on love and sex. Pre-marital sex was bad. On her wedding night a woman was supposed to go from not knowing anything about sex to becoming a fully sexual person in one instant. Her husband was supposed to have experience despite pre-marital sex being against the rules for him too.

Then the line was updated. In this version, it was okay for sex to be bad at first, but with time and experience, with getting to know each other, with great things in the rest of the relationship, you learned and sex got better.

That one didn't work too well either so it was updated again. In this one, you need chemistry from the start. You're supposed to see someone, feel some attraction, have sex together on the first or second date or why continue seeing each other if the sex is going to be bad, and you're supposed to do this without knowing the person well enough to know what he means by backrubs.

Seems to me we've come full circle.


Nocutename @6: "the hamster in your head is about to die of a stroke" deserves a Nobel prize. Here, take one of mine. Well done!


I must be very old, it is difficult for me to imagine a relationship in which I'm comfortable fucking someone but uncomfortable with small displays of affection like a forhead kiss or a back rub.


@1 Said what I was thinking. Every man who said some version of this to me had to whine and wheedle his way to get there, failed to please me, got butthurt and insisted it was my fault. Yes, the lw is 22 and is hamster wheeling hard, but she should learn from this to avoid guys like him in general because they will disappoint her. She isn't being nice by giving them a chance, she's ignoring her intuition.


Re: sex with 22 year olds

I had a bunch of sex with 22 year olds when I was around that age too. It wasn't great, especially compared to now (I'm 54), but I think that is a function of not having very much experience. I don't remember a lot of drama in particular, but I'm sure being relatively inexperienced at dating makes for more of that. I have kids that are around that age now and they definitely don't have the experience in either category (dating or sex) to be very accomplished. Kids these days (man do I sound old) don't have as much face to face social skill because of all the remote connectivity they have that didn't exist when I was a kid. They can talk to each other through text all the time but that doesn't come with all the other social cues that face to face interaction does. That puts them a bit behind compared to when I was their age. When I was their age we had to go out and meet up face to face.

The only attraction I can think of, at my age, to having sex with a 22 year old is a perfect body, but really, if age has taught me anything, it is that a perfect body is nice to look at but does not equate to great sex. If you want really great sex, that comes from a erotic/mental connection and the skill of both you and your partner. Personally I can't imagine wanting to have sex with a 22 year old, what the heck would we talk about before and after? Have they even heard of Duran Duran? LOL


"But I want a boyfriend."


In short: she wanted to be the one who wasn't totally into him while he was totally into her. Once it was clear that he wasn't totally into her (for basically the same reasons she wasn't totally into him), she couldn't handle the dynamic. WHY DON'T I GET TO BE THE PURSUED?


Good Lord, this letter was exhausting. Don't ask a question you're not prepared to hear the answer to, and don't take it so personally when someone you're not that into also isn't that into you.


"And his response was, very blunt: "I don't think we are super sexually compatible."
He also said that he would like to continue hooking up"

Regardless of whether HE is bad or not, the sex is terrible. She needs to figure out if she wants regular, bad sex. The scenario isn't that complicated.


It doesn't seem that complicated to me. Guy wants to continue having sex. He says they're not compatible, but they should continue hooking up (so, you know, he can get his dick wet on the regular). Why the LW simply didn't choose to not seem again after the first time is beyond me. This is why youth is wasted on the young. If women spent all of the time and energy they spend trying to figure out the motives of men and twisting themselves into pretzels to please men and be the one that men who don't want them want, the world would be such a better, more interesting, and far happier place. Why do women always think about what the man wants and not what they want? Who cares about this guy who wants to tell you you're a lousy lay and then cuddle you and tell you he still wants to hook-up? A simple, yeah that doesn't work for me, bye! is the answer.


*not see him again


Piling on here: And argh at you (PEEVED) for taking up our whole column with your Carrie Bradshaw-esque “processing”!


Agree with xina #30. This guy is insulted that this woman isn't pretending orgasmic delight over his mediocre sex techniques, and not intending to up his efforts in the sack. But he certainly doesn't want to lose an easy lay, so he's attempting emotional manipulation to keep her around for a bit to keep sticking his dick in. Forget him, lady, he doesn't give two shits about what a bedroom partner likes except to boost his ego.


Xina @30: Great analysis! I think the main problem here is that the guy involved is probably also 22, or somewhere near it. He's just as clueless about everything as she is. (Hint: buddy, there is no one magic technique for eating pussy. Just because your previous girlfriend went mad for a certain thing, even if your TWO previous girlfriends went mad for the same thing, doesn't mean your next hookup will. Different strokes for different folks - get it?) He couldn't help falling into the trap where she asked him a question and then got mad at him for answering honestly, and it seems he was overcompensating to avoid further hurting her feelings. Hopefully this is the sort of learning experience they both need. Let's face it, commenters -- we've all been 22 and probably this clueless, too!


It's normal human behavior to want to please someone you like more or less, whom you've given access to your body. But in this case, step back, look at what he offers you: bad sex and emotional support that definitely doesn't leave you feeling supported, even assuming that's what he's doing. You've been with him three times. That's a decent test drive. Go find someone else and try to part amicably.


This is a classic example of confusing short-term, hookup / fuck buddy criteria (is he fun in bed? Does he treat me with respect? Does he show up or text when he says he will?) with long-term relationship criteria (is he willing to change some things to make this work? Is he good at talking things over when we encounter mismatches? Does he take our future together seriously?)

It's a hookup which is maybe turning into being fuck buddies. Even if you get together repeatedly, you say you're not interested in romance and a long term relationship - so that's fuck buddies, not a boyfriend. So don't act like it's the beginning of a long-term romantic relationship! Those questions are not important here! They'll just muddy the waters and make your hookup relationship complicated and unpleasant for both you and the other person.

If this guy doesn't fit your hookup criteria, find some other men. Actually, find some other men anyway. Going monogamous is NOT hookup or fuck buddy behavior, and going for long term commitment kinds of behaviors in a single hookup or with a regular fuck buddy always leads to tears.


Perhaps the guy didn't think they were super compatible because he detected that she wasn't that into him.

In any case, Dan's bottom line hits the nail on the head.


Putz drops a simple "neg" on her and then she is TOTALLY on the hook.
Guess what LW, you and I are not sexually compatible either. Now you have to fuck me.


I think I strained an eye muscle, rolling them at LW.

Unless he's got granite between his ears, he's been picking up on your "meh" reaction to him for a good while now. To quote you: "at first I really wasn't into him and rebuffed him several times." Do you think he didn't notice that? You started out the interaction by not being into him. Then you had sex with him but you -- again, your quote - "didn't feel super attracted to him and felt a little conflicted about hooking up with him again." Think he didn't notice that either? Then later he got all cuddly over cooking and you got weirded out. Then he tried giving you oral and you made him stop because it was going so poorly for you. You seem shocked that he would dare to say back to your face a direct expression of the accumulated messages you've been sending him. He wasn't being rude, HE WAS AGREEING WITH YOU.

Speaking of being agreeable, the part where he reversed course and started being all nice-nice? That was his sub side, not wanting to offend his potential mistress. That and trying to backpedal away from your high-conflict behaviors -- because who wants to be fighting with their FWB? -- and soothe your raging wounded ego.

Yes, ego. This: "we just don't have a romantic spark." My feelings were hurt" OMG you are being soooo 22. News flash: you DON'T have a romantic spark. How do I know this? You spent the entirety of your letter leading up to "my feelings were hurt" describing that that's how you feel about him. But your feelings got hurt when he said it out loud. How dare he reflect back at you what you've been giving him?


The standards for DTMFA seem to have taken another drop.

Ms Cute, surely you were not this bad at 21.


venn@40~ "...The standards for DTMFA seem to have taken another drop...."
Disagree...if ever there was a mutual DTMFA situation, this is it. These two have no connection other than sex, and even THAT'S bad. Stop trying to stuff a marshmallow through a keyhole. Doesn't fit & you end up with a sticky mess.


Dan says: Go fuck someone else- go fuck several someone elses.

I suggest putting that advice aside for a moment (you can pick it up again later) and follow some of Dan's other advice first: Become interesting. Do stuff. Learn a lot. Read. Succeed at your job. Write. Make friends. Make art. Pour yourself into your education. Fix things. Pay your own bills. Pull your whole act together. Think about what you want, and THEN (here's where we pick up that laid aside advice) start fucking those someone elses.

As it is, you're going to go out to fuck someone else, and the same thing will happen. Your emotions are going to be all over the place. You're going to be no better at reading people. You're going to be as unsure of what you want.

I believe it can happen that 2 people can meet, have sex together almost immediately. and have it be wonderful from the get-go. I'm glad I live in a country where women can do that and not be stoned for it. But I'm not sure how we went from this-can-happen to this-should-happen . It's OK to get to know a guy first. Go dancing. This will give you an idea if you like the way a guy moves. Spend as long as you want in this getting to know you stage. THEN fuck him.


I was feeling grateful that I'm gay and don't have to deal with this stuff and then remembered how many trifling ass gays I've had to deal with.


@43 I hope your comment makes it into the roundup. It made me snort my maple latte.


She's not into him she's just a 22 year old studying abroad, going through culture shock and not only is he another American, he's also a student, like her. She's into the familiarity, the comfort the notion of him provides. As someone who's been there, I suggest Peeved gets out more, socializes with locals or exchange students from other countries and lets go of the security blanket this guy represents.


She wasn't into him until he became more of a challenge. Hard to get still wins the day in some situations. Either way, she seems a bit nutty. I agree with BDF: avoid 22 year olds.


@40: Mr. Ven, I wasn't as long-winded, I hope, but this has a familiar ring to it.

I think there are several factors here:
* Yes, he's uninterested, which makes him more desirable.
* There's a bit of "how dare you reject me? I was just about to reject YOU!" or "how dare you think you are better than me; you should be grateful I gave you any of my time."

I will heap as much blame on the lw as the next commentor, but I must point out that the dude shares some, too. My hamster gets on its wheel when I try to figure out what someone really means/wants when he sends me mixed signals and when I know that I really WANT him to be into me. Mixed signals: she's asking for feedback because she wants to please him sexually, a "so I asked if he was happy with/wanted to change anything about the sex we had been having. And his response was, very blunt: "I don't think we are super sexually compatible." I asked him to elaborate and he said that he couldn't describe it except that he feels like "we just don't have a romantic spark." My feelings were hurt (we had literally finished having sex five minutes prior), which I told him, and he immediately jumped into this uber-attentive comforting mode: spooning and cradling me, stroking my hair, kissing my shoulders and head, and telling me that he was sorry it was like this. He also said that he would like to continue hooking up."
He's pushing her away while pulling her towards him. His words and actions don't match.

This has the potential to drive me crazy. If someone sends me mixed signals, I am always trying to figure out what he really means. I almost can't help over-analyzing and pretty soon that turns into an ouroboros.

I've used the present tense, but the fact is that I no longer let that hamster get on the wheel; I've learned that that's never going to be any good for me. Now, should I feel that hamster start to wake up and wander towards its wheel, I know that I have to say, "nope. No more. I'm out. No matter how much I want the guy to want me, and no matter how positive or encouraging the positive signals are, if they come bundled with anything negative, I've learned to only listen to the negative. My head has been hamster-free for a couple of years now, and I like the peace and quiet.


This is why I don't train puppies.


I'm going to finish his statement for him:

"I just don't think we're super sexually compatible. But okay sex is better than no sex, right? And I enjoy hanging out with you."

But you didn't ask for his views on your continued relationship, casual as it is. You asked him about the sex. And he answered about the sex. And you agree with his analysis, so decide if you agree with the rest of his conclusion (okay sex is better than no sex), and act accordingly. This is not complicated. You are, it seems, both on the same page.


There's no DTMFA here, Venn @40. There's no motherfucker and there's no relationship, so there's no dumping to be done.


BDF @15 "The first time, they "hooked up," but they didn't "have sex" until the second time?"

I was baffled by this as well (@12) but in 1997 The NY Time defined "hooking up" as:

"Depending on the context, a hook-up can mean anything from 20 minutes of strenuous kissing to spending the night together fully clothed to sexual intercourse."



@13. Sublime. This is the key issue for me. She gives an indication of what she likes in bed and he isn't receptive to it. I disagree with the people making out that the LW's a poor potential partner--I see no evidence of that.

Hugs and back rubs aren't necessarily 'premature' signs of commitment, though.


@29 Ayn & @30 Gina. This gets to the heart of it as well. The sex is bad. Both of them, probably, want to continue with it when they hear the other is less than utterly bowled over--is critical of them, rather than its simply being that, individually, they judge and don't feel themselves judged.

She avoids blunt remarks and eschews physical shows of affection; he is truth-telling and compensates with reassuring back-rubs. Neither is 'right' or 'wrong' here. Whether he's kind or obtuse or mysterious or manipulative, they are a poor sexual match. There should be other lovers out there for her.


Sorry--@ 30 'xina'


I think nocutename's right with the wanting to be wanted bit. PEEVED kept hanging out, for months, with someone who hit on her right away and continued to do so despite her (supposed - I don't think we can necessarily trust that she was clear with her rejection and/or wasn't saying conflicting things, given her ongoing ambivalence and/or inability to recognize what she herself actually wants) rejection of a sexual/romantic relationship. That's red flag behavior on his part (assuming the rejections WERE clear), and not listening to or taking seriously what someone says isn't good friendship behavior, either, so there was something that kept PEEVED interested in spending time with someone who wouldn't respect her boundaries. Given PEEVED being unhappy with Guy's agreement with her that they lacked sexual chemistry, and especially the fact that she takes particular offense to the temporal proximity of his agreement to when they had sex (despite asking the question at that point herself, suggesting that it wasn't so much an honest question as fishing for esteem, where the only allowable answer was that she's amazing), all signs point to PEEVED's primary investment being that she enjoys the attention and wants to be wanted.

That's fine! It's nice to feel special! Someone who isn't actually that into you is the wrong person with whom to pursue that desire. Depending on how reliable the narration is, Guy may be nore or less of a douche; either way, PEEVED needs to work on her self esteem, such that she's not so dependent upon external validation that she ignores boundary violations - or is unwilling to set clear boundaries at all - and keeps chasing validation from people who are unlikely to provide it.


@47 "He's pushing her away while pulling her towards him. His words and actions don't match."

That's only true because you've ignored the intervening event: She said her feelings were hurt.

Here's a corollary: "He said he was hungry. Then he said he was stuffed! I'm SO confused", while skipping that they went to Red Lobster and ate dinner. There's nothing confusing, there's a pretty clear response to events and this dude attempt to assuage LW's feelings. She's only confused because she's not understanding that he's a person that exists outside of her brain.


@56: I'm not on anyone's side here. I think that if the dude is making the lw's hamster go into action, she should wish him all the best and move on. But the way mixed signals work is when actions and words don't mesh.

She asked him if there was something she could or should be doing for him sexually because she was desirous of being a better lover, and he told her that he didn't think they were very sexually compatible or had a romantic spark. She told him that that statement hurt her feelings, whereupon he acted in ways that she associates with romantic affection (spooning and cradling, stroking her hair, kissing her shoulders and head). Some might find these to be gestures of ordinary good will, but the lw is confused because to her they are signals of affection. At least in her experience or expectations, boyfriends stoke hair; boyfriends spoon; boyfriends exhibit tenderness--hookups who don't care about you whatsoever do not. She's confused because in her experience and expectations, someone who's just told you--five minutes after having sex--that he's not that into you wouldn't bother to try to soothe your hurt feelings. She would have expected him to say, "see ya!" and leave. At least then, she could categorize him as an asshole and know what was what. He didn't do that: he behaved like someone who cared enough about her to want to comfort her for the pain he had just inflicted. He then told her he was "sorry it was like this," and then "said that he would like to continue hooking up."

He's sorry it was like this, but wants to continue having sex? That would have confused me at age 22, too. No doubt he meant that even though the sex wasn't great or maybe even that good, it was sex, and any sex is better than no sex (which is a position entirely valid and he has a right to take), but that can be a confusing and insulting idea. She felt rejected and then he indicated he was still interested. Because to a lot of people, maybe especially women, sex with someone you have don't have sexual compatibility with, who also doesn't have romantic feelings towards is sex you don't want to continue having. Or to put it another way: if she was sure that the guy wasn't into her at all and found the sex to be sub-par, she would likely not have wanted to continue having sex with him, partly because she doesn't want to have sex with someone she isn't into or sex she doesn't find very satisfying, and partly because she would be hurt and and humiliated and wouldn't want to continue having sex with him. So yeah, she is confused because she's not understanding him. I don't understand why this makes her the object of derision.

He could have been more explicit: "I don't really like you, and the sex is not especially good. But in my opinion, and for me, even not-very-good sex is better than no sex at all, and there's not a lot of good sex on offer at the moment, so I'd like to continue hitting it. Are you okay with that?" Now, this would have resulted in less confusion for her, but it probably would not have resulted in continued meh sex for him, so there's a motive for him not saying it. So I get why he did what he did, but I don't think the misunderstanding is all one-sided.

Pro tip: if you want to continue having sex with someone even though you don't really like them or the sex isn't that good, best perhaps to forgo the radical honesty. If, post sex, your partner asks if there's something they can do to be a better lover for you, say, "I like it when my ----- is/are -------ed." Period. Or better yet, say that and then ask what you can do to please them more, too.
If you really don't like the person and the sex isn't that good, I would suggest that you simply move along and look for a better fit and make do with your own hand for a while, but that's what I would do and to each his/her own.


" He could have been more explicit: "I don't really like you, and the sex is not especially good."

Sure he could have said that, if that's what he was thinking, but there is not a lot of reason to think that he doesn't really like her. The person doing most of the pursuing has been him, and the person doing most of the not really liking has been Letter Writer.

It's just as plausible that his reaction meant, "Look, I've been trying here, but I'm completely failing to figure you out. You've been sending me signals that you're not all that into me since before we started hooking up, and more recently that this has been frustrating you -- you did it again five minutes ago with the oral we were just having -- and I'm finally agreeing with you and throwing in the towel, because this just isn't working. ...wait, what? You're mad at me for throwing in the towel? You want me to keep trying? Um, okay, I guess?"


And then after she yells at him for trying to break up with her, and he tries to make it better by being all sweet to her, she shows her commitment to him -- correction, her commitment to not being broken up on by him -- by going and sleeping on the couch. Fucks' sake, could she yank his chain any harder?


@57 what, precisely do you think lacking a "spark" means?

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