SL Letter of the Day: Worst. Sex. Ever.

Comments

1
This sounds like my whole adolescence
2
This woman must be a saint to have that much patience. Hope you find a better lay!
3
Sounds less like porn and more like an MRA guy.
4
I was confused by the LW saying that these aren't valid, sexy things to do: touching a woman's vulva without inserting any fingers or touching the clit; licking someone's back; and making jokes in bed.

But, well. It certainly got worse from there. I'm a fan of ending sex-with-new-person at the first inappropriate joke; the first resistance to condoms; the first refusal to take no for an answer. If you tolerate that kind of non-consensual boundary-pushing, there will be even worse violations later. In my experience, people don't stop after they've pushed past one boundary. They take that as encouragement to blow past any others you might have.

That said, if she felt it was safer/easier to just let him get his rocks off and end the date as normally as possible, that's a valid choice. I would only recommend that she frame her decision in those terms, in her head. That might make it easier, next time, to give up quickly on the hopeless task of trying to teach an asshole how to be a sensitive lover and switch over to the completely achievable task of getting this asshole to come as quickly as possible so I can leave without him being angry at me.
5
I know that, technically, sex is possible with a man who's a poor kisser, but why would you want that?
6
It's often difficult to leave in the middle of bad sex, and my attitude as always been "let's make the most of this disaster for the time it has to last, because trying to stop it might make it worse." It's very often the best solution at the time, and even when it isn't, it's still no reason to blame yourself later. The fact that I might have sucked a dick I no longer wanted to suck is irrelevant when I know it helped me avoid an argument that could have escalated into violent behaviour.
7
She should forward him a link to this post, with no further comment. :-P
8
> There's more, but I've written a novel at this point.

May I be the first to say: PLEASE tell us more!
9
It's definitely porn/media inspired in some ways: the weird moves and the ignoring consent because she's in bed with you, having sex, it's cool! You did more than you needed to, let yourself off the hook.

We men need to clarify things to each other, like how fucking ridiculous this kind of shit is, and how gross it is. Also, saxfanatic's words are very wise.
10
There are enough specifics in this story that the dude would probably recognize this as him if he reads it, and I'm really kinda hoping he does.
11
How did she not know he was a bad kisser before the bedroom? Maybe I'm old fashioned but I'm going to put this out there.... kiss first.
12
Went on several dates before fucking. ... Grossest, most awful kisser ever.

TGO, did you kiss him on any of those dates?

First guy I've really been interested in after a nasty divorce and am questioning my taste in men.

Don't be so hard on yourself. It's a little too early to be questioning that when this is the first guy you've dated. I'm sure you'll have a much better experience with the next guy.
13
Holy wow. LW, the guy was kuh-razy and it's not your fault. We've all had awful sex, and it can be difficult to figure out your reaction when you're in the middle of it happening to you. You'll find a better dude. Wow. So sorry you went through that shitshow.
14
I don't think they make Cosby jokes in porn. He learned that somewhere else.
15
@4: "I was confused by the LW saying that these aren't valid, sexy things to do: touching a woman's vulva without inserting any fingers or touching the clit; licking someone's back; and making jokes in bed."

Devoid of context, these all can be fine to great.

But doing all these because you don't know what the fuck you're doing, and you don't care enough to ask the woman or move with her preferences, to the point where you get passive-aggressive and creepy when she asks for something different, that's a "no". The guy comes off a clueless dick.

And there's a difference between making quips with someone you care about and telling a rape joke (Cosby) with someone you just met, while you've already tried to stick it in sans-condom and against her wishes.

Yeah, douchebag.
16
@6 Ricardo, I'm not sure what to say. Anyone who'd threaten you with violent behavior on purpose or not should not get the benefit of your mouth on their genitals. I'm guessing you probably already know that and I'm guessing you took a practical path to avoid injury, but the fact that you even thought you had to offends me personally.

@8 Yes. I don't know about you guys but I don't read this column because I don't want to hear other people talk about their sex lives; rant away.
17
I don't blame you for soldiering on, TGO. As Dan points out, we women are conditioned to be deferential, especially in bed. Not to mention after an awful soul-crushing breakup or divorce, we want to feel desirable again; I was the same way once. Sadly, some guys have little regard for women as human beings, even when they're fucking them. They hate women except as ways of getting their rocks off. Anyone who would make a rape joke while inside his partner (in addition to ignoring her wants and desires in bed) is probably one such asshole. But hey, at least you don't have to see him again.

Live and learn and move on. You will find someone who not only is handsome and kind and has a good head on his shoulders but is also fun in bed.
18
Lol, haven't any of you folks heard that 'sex is like pizza-- even when it's bad it's good.'

(I've never agreed with that one, btw.)
19
As others have rightly stated: huge douche nozzle. However, as others have also touched on (@4, @15): us guys typically need some pretty clear guidance as to what you like. Maybe it's just my anecdotal experience, but it seems like ladies talk in absolutes as to how to treat the vagina ("you must insert fingers," "fingers inside feel gross," etc.). Dan did a great column about this years back where he solicited advice from women about what to do, and the advice was all over the place, with the one commonality being the absolutisim in the advice (I'm sure there was some creative editing....and obviously I'm not saying everyone does this).

Anyway, I'm not saying the guy in the letter was deserving of this courtesy, nor would it have likely helped him, especially considering his consent fuck-ups. It just seems like some other bad situations could be cleared up relatively easily (although not coincidentally, I think that some ladies failure to speak up could be a result of the societal coded deference that women pay to men, which Dan also touched on).
20
Yuck.

But if the guy is 37 YEARS OLD, shouldn't he have actually learned SOMETHING from the women he was trying this crap with? TGO has no blame in this, but someone seems to have violated the campground rule with this guy.

If the only input he ever got was internet porn, then that's the only input he got. He may be tin-eared and a complete creep anyway, but I wonder if all those uniformly 'deferential' women didn't give him unanimous support to act exactly like this.

After all, enduring lousy-resentful-entitled-clueless sex is MUCH better than actually TALKING to a man.
21
Alternate interpretation for at least some of this: he just hasn’t had very many sexual partners and the one woman he was with long term had a sensitive back, a very sensitive clit and loved ass-play. He hasn’t figured out that each person is unique and that his job as a lover is to discover them.

You’d think that at 37 a guy would have had several opportunities to learn but I’ve been surprised. I’ve met a few men who divorced at around that age after finally giving up on fifteen-year monogamous marriages and needed to do a lot of learning very quickly. The ones I’ve met mostly took on the challenge happily and learned, making dating a generally positive experience for them which is why they are still in the dating pool without any intention of ever leaving it.

Given the fact that straight couplings tend to pair women with men somewhat older than they are, a straight 32-year-old woman may be dating men with about 20 years of experience whereas a straight 37-year-old man might be dating women with only 15 years of experience. On average she’s more used to dealing with men she can learn from while he’s more used to having to take the lead. This sounds trivial but when I had sex at 37 with someone my age who had never had a lover over 29 there was a real clash. It had been over a decade since I’d had a lover under 29. I knew the possibilities and I asked for what I wanted. He’d never had that happen to him before and he didn’t know how to handle it.

He told me that I was making sex feel like a job. Just like the LW’s bad date. We’d get into the most absurd arguments about what I liked. Both of us were appalled.

There’s more to it, obviously. Not all 37-year-old men freeze in a panic when asked for something they’ve never thought of. Not all 37-year-old women ask so tactlessly. But my guy was not an asshole and is still my best friend, and the LW’s shock and surprise sound a lot like mine.
22
@20, the LW spoke up for herself ("Several times I asked him to stop"). He didn't want to listen. But instead of assuming he's an asshole who doesn't listen well, your brain created these imaginary women who "violated the campground rule" and selfishly endured "resentful" sex instead of calmly talking to the guy. That's a stretch.

23
Regardless of whether 37 is old enough to be sexually experienced, age 37 is certainly old enough to learn how to not be an asshole. The fact that he seemed nice outside the bedroom but once in the bedroom started insulting her for wanting a condom and not wanting ass play, makes me think he is deliberately a manipulative asshole and not clueless.
24
@5 - I'm not judging because...BTDT, and bought the line about "show them how you like to be kissed"....yeah, no.

LW went far above and beyond to be fair...just walk away and let the walking away be message/lesson enough without feeling bad/obligated to do more.
25
@ 16 - Calm down, will you? I never said anyone threatened me with violence. But sometimes you can sense the guy is getting annoyed or even angry and that the whole thing might escalate into a shouting match or whatever other unpleasant situation. Violence isn't always physical, you know?

Contrary to what DanielleinDC asserts @ 17 - "Sadly, some guys have little regard for women as human beings, even when they're fucking them. They hate women except as ways of getting their rocks off" - that kind of behaviour from men is not limited to their interactions with women. They act like that with everyone they fuck. The problem is that these types of men have been taught that sex is solely about them and their satisfaction, and that they must demonstrate this clearly to every new partner from the get-go.

So, when I realize I'm with such a guy, in the words of the ever-wise EricaP @ 4, I "switch over to the completely achievable task of getting this asshole to come as quickly as possible so I can leave without him being angry at me". Simple as that.
26
I've lurked on slog and very occasionally commented on it for going on a decade, but never commented on an sllotd. So here's advice from a pretty square middle-aged man; I'm harking all the way back to @11's excellent advice: #kissfirst. You can do that in a relatively public and hence relatively safe place. It's very very unlikely that if you dont enjoy kissing someone you will enjoy fucking them. In this particular case, you would have screened this person right on out of your dating pool. If ever there was a reason for (semi) PDA, it's this.
27
@25 thanks for the kind words!

@26, "It's very very unlikely that if you don't enjoy kissing someone you will enjoy fucking them." Very true.

But the inverse isn't true: it's quite possible to enjoy kissing and then have one's partner turn out to be a consent-violating asshole. It's even possible to enjoy sex with someone, who then later, once you let down your guard, turns into a consent-violating asshole. If that ever happens (as it did to me), try to obey your gut, rather than your socialization. And don't blame yourself afterward; just block their number and move on with your life.
28
LW, your taste in men seems fine. He seemed like a good guy, and you were attracted to him. Then one night he turned into a boundary-violating horrible person - and you stopped wanting to be with him. Some people take some time to show their true colors, and that's just a risk. But I'd only worry about your taste and your judgement if after that horrible night you wanted to keep dating him.
29
@ 27 - My pleasure.

@ 26, 27 - I have a lover who really isn't a good kisser, but everything else he does is absolutely wonderful - especially (ironically enough) what he does with his mouth. So you never know.

@ 28 - So true.
30
Since nobody else has said this yet, at least not in so many words, I'm going to say it: I'm really sorry that happened to you, and I hope you are okay. Not only were you ignored when you said no, but he was also trying to shame or belittle you into shutting up and taking it -- that's a terrible, terrifying thing. You don't sound scared, but if you are or you were, I hope you let yourself feel it safely, can talk about it with someone you trust, and that it doesn't hang on for too long. You didn't do anything wrong and you didn't deserve what you got.
31
Trust me, in about a year you're going to be dining out on this story.

It happened in 1998 and I STILL tell the one about my Worst Lay Ever with The Egg Man. :-) At the time it involved trekking home a fairly long distance without a car in the tail end of a blizzard....and stepping in a huge puddle of icy water. I was SO mad. But 17 years later, it's HILARIOUS, trust me. :-)
32
@30, ftw
33
TheLastComment @23: I absolutely agree. I’ve even gotten flak here for saying that even if teenagers aren’t fully mature it’s okay to hold them to high standards so they know what they’re aiming at, especially since we all know thoughtful, considerate teenagers. That teenagehood by itself is not a pass for assholery. I had okay-to-good sex with a teenager for years myself. Others here surely have fond memories of great sex with teenagers.

Still, there’s a shift in dynamic that can happen when someone who likes to be in control is suddenly faced with a more experienced partner for the first time. It’s not always pretty. When you have a friend who is basically great but a bit of a controlling dick when anxious (you have a friend like that, right? maybe you are that friend?) and that person is being an anxious controlling dick in the kitchen, it’s fairly easy to make a lighthearted comment, confront, redirect and/or back off. When that person is being an anxious controlling dick while you’re trying to have sex with them it’s much harder to handle.

The condom bit of the LW’s story is inexplicable by anything else than assholery.
34
It's totally obvious that -- based on her letter -- the guy's a jerk.

35
I read this letter and immediately thought of group missions in MMOs. Confused? You won't be, after the next paragraph.

In MMORPGs, there are group missions; to run them, you can grab a few randoms and complete them with the magic of teamwork. Now, not everyone you get grouped with knows what they're doing. Some are competent, some have learned bad habits, some never learned any habits in the first place and are just button-mashing. But there are two kinds of bads: those who take advice and those who don't. The ones who listen to their groupmates and try new things when what they're doing isn't working can be taught, and eventually can become people you like to run with. Then there's the other sort, who insist that they know what they're doing and any problems are everyone else's fault (e.g. standing in fire and blaming the healer for not keeping them alive). Those you just have to kick from the group, find a replacement for, and move on from.

See, that second kind of bad is what I see in TGO's fling. He's gotten into bad habits and refuses to take advice on his rotation (sexual technique), and blames his groupmate (bedmate) for wipes (mood being killed) because he fails to see how the habits he picked up from solo questing (masturbation and probably watching pornography) aren't suitable to group play (sex with other people). He's not interested in being a better lay, so he's not going to get any better, and he's just going to be a blight on any women he manages to talk into bed. You tanked more douche-aggro than you needed to, TGO, but rather than beating yourself up about it, just resolve to be less forgiving of douchebaggery in the future. It's a learning process!

The SLOG regulars know I'm a geek and should be in no way surprised that I just compared MMO gameplay to sex.
36
@23: "Regardless of whether 37 is old enough to be sexually experienced, age 37 is certainly old enough to learn how to not be an asshole"

Well, even if he was clueless, he's not an asshole because of his inexperience, he's probably more inexperienced because he's an asshole.
37
@Alison: monogamous marriages and needed to do a lot of learning very quickly

Here's a theory based on an N of 1. If a guy manages to get totally dialed into at least one woman, which requires making oneself vulnerable and basically admitting you have no idea what you're doing, the rest are relatively easier to dial in because he's effectively learned how to learn, and he's learned the rewards of learning.
38
@undead: he's an asshole

But not just a regular asshole. He's a great guy in other respects, but a total asshole, specifically, in bed. Weird.
39
@26: It's entirely possible that their pre-sexytimes kissing was much gentler and more lips-focused than the tongue-lashing he unleashed in bed.
40
seandr @37, your n=1 hypothesis is compelling. I like it.

Still, some guys manage to get dialed into that one woman but it’s unrewarding, hence the breakup of the marriage. “Having sex with my wife was like trying to get a squirrel to eat out of my hand.”

And some people are just not compatible sexually even though they may each be great lovers when paired with other people — the case with my guy @21. If we’d been monogamously married for fifteen years we’d each have been starting with bad handicaps when we got out.

Then if you pair a guy who never learned to learn with someone he’s sexually incompatible with you can get the shock and horror of the LW without anyone being an asshole. (Don’t see how you get arguing about condoms without anyone being an asshole though.)
41
@35: Brilliant analogy. I get it completely! Everything he knows about sex he learned from hanging around trolls and orcs in dungeons and other dark and slimy places. Makes sense, really.
42
No question LW's "handsome dude" (HD) behaved badly and wasn't worth her - or anyone's - time, but... I'm wondering if her fully justified rant isn't fuelled by the frustration of expecting the same level of awareness she got from her ex-husband.
She's admittedly "vanilla". She's emerging from a long-term, presumably monogamous relationship. She sounds as impatient with herself as she was with HD for failing a communication exercise that probably hasn't been necessary for a long, long. time.
Yeah, I think she's just venting. She's not pitiable and I'm not worried about her odds for success. More power to her.
43
If he can't find the clit head, you might want to keep him out of the cunny. Maybe taste test before the meal, make out and see what grinding and hands are like with him before completely stripping, if you have trouble stopping when things aren't right. Then you can better test if your sense of taste is off.

I think that pornish lays are the new bad lay, replacing minute men. I don't think it's an improvement, a little good sex is better than a lot of uncomfortable sex. Then again.. back licking.. Cosby jokes.. this guy watches some messed up porn. Has something replaced the dead fish trope too?
44
No question that this guy was a disaster. Condom arguments? Cosby jokes? Worse than bad technique and I don't see how they're related to porn.
Back licking? Maybe that turns him on--maybe that's his thing and wasn't supposed to be *for* her.
45
I have to add that I had a lot of sex with men who had seemingly no familiarity with women's actual genitalia in the early 80s, before Internet porn was a thing.

I also agree with Mike Friedman @31, that this will become a signature story in her repertoire of awful dating casualty-stories in months to come.
46
I never thought of myself as a particularly skilled lover, but after reading this, I have to say I feel better about myself.
47
Back-licking would turn me on big-time. Admittedly I’m a freak but I sometimes have sex with my beloved by lying on my tummy while he amuses himself giving me multiple orgasms by scratching my back. (No Philophile, I do not get direct clitoral stimulation from back-scratching.) I don’t watch a lot of porn but I’ve never seen back-licking in it. I suspect an ex.

The LW’s bad date’s manual technique sounds absolutely perfect to me. When a new partner starts putting their hand toward my pussy I issue specific instructions: “Stay away from my clit. And don’t touch the tip. Just don’t.” When fingers start gently probing my vagina more often than not I push them away or squawk, “Lube!” An old lover used a technique with me he’d developed with his ex-wife — the squirrely one — of very softly pressing on my vulva with his palm. I loved it. I haven’t seen this technique in porn either. The manual technique I have seen in porn is slapping (works for me, wouldn’t have come up with it on my own) and aggressive jabbing (nopenopenopenopenope).

I don’t think I’d have enjoyed sex with this guy either — he doesn’t sound very flexible or as though he’d let me take the lead — but his technique sounds fine to this particular special snowflake. (Apart from the breath-control kissing, but I bet that’s somebody’s thing.)
48
uncreative @28, saxfanatic @42:

Yes.
49
@31 - yes, you're right about dining out on bad date/lay stories. I had a very bad date in college (make-out session, not full-on sex, thankfully) but I told the hilarious tale for years. I had to stop because the guy in the tale is a tiny bit, slightly famous now and I'd rather not get the story on the Internet FOREVER. The guy was a clueless 19-yr-old, so he had an excuse. I'm hoping he got the help he needed from some other patient women along the way.
50
@49: Well you can't drop that tidbit and not tell us who.
51
I feel gross for her. God this brings me back to college and NOT in a good way. LW, you articulated your feelings and this guy is a dick, no question. Take this as the learning experience it is and next time listen to your gut not the jack off you're in bed with. Dan's advice is spot on-we're socialized to prioritize an erection over our own comfort. Someone upthread mentioned bringing sexual encounters 'to conclusion' to avoid a potentially nasty scene. I've been there and it sucks but it is avoidable with experience and by learning to prioritize yourself.
52
@50: Exactly.
@49: Stop teasing. Spill, already!
53
@38: She hasn't known him that long, could just be the honeymoon phase of the relationship clouding judgment. Not worth pursuing further to test the theory, of course.
54
@47 Alison - I consider the condom arguing, selective deafness to "no" and pushiness, inability to ask questions or listen to feedback, and pouting about how someone else being there makes sex hard, all parts of his technique. Deplorable parts. I even think going for asshole on the first date is rude in the absence of encouragement although I think you disagree with me there. And I think Manuel Ferrara has great hand technique. Never saw or experienced this jabbing thing. And re back scratching, that's cool, I've heard of people who can think their way to orgasm. In an MRI I believe. So I'm not surprised but apparently I'm surprising.

If a new woman tried to give a her man a handie on his perenium, then wouldn't quit using her teeth during oral when asked, pouted if he didn't want to try for a baby, kept twisting oddly during sex so it kept slipping out, and called him immature when he didn't want his ass fingered. And was 37. Maybe men would start to warn each other about this type of freak.
55
Philophile @34,

The LW's described her bad date thusly: “seemed to have a good head on his shoulders. Outside the sheets he was perceptive, seemingly emotionally intelligent, funny, and considerate.”

So your theory is that he’s considerate and emotionally intelligent and that his technique for giving her lots of pleasurable orgasms is to argue with her?

I’m trying to figure out how to reconcile the perceptive, considerate, emotionally intelligent person with the bad lay. Something like this has bewildered me personally and yes, the guy genuinely is all of the great things described.

I’m also trying to separate “Only an asshole who’d learned about sex from porn would lick a lover’s back” (both untrue and implausible) from “Only an asshole would be unable to accept feedback” (plausible and possibly true). A considerate person might have very good reason to expect that back-licking will be positively received even if their particular partner in the moment turns out not to enjoy it. Contrast with the fact that *by definition* a considerate person will not believe that arguing will be positively received.
56
...wouldn't quit using her teeth during oral when asked, pouted..., kept twisting oddly during sex so it kept slipping out, and called him immature

I see you've met the ex-gf who was a bad kisser!

I have to agree with the general assessment of "primarily clueless" due to lack of experience, over assholish (which is not to say he's not an asshole). While I am with @37 n=2, many men will do only the things in an existing repertoire, not necessarily one learned via porn, but also from a previous lover (the latter can become your default setting for certain activities, employed until instructed otherwise).

The bad kisser referenced above had a whole repertoire cobbled together from ex-bfs and porn, but was just awful - what makes it bad is the inability to be tuned into what the partner in front of you finds exciting. Kissing, requiring the most fine-motor control and tactile skills, is indeed the most reliable indicator of this kind of tone-deafness.

give a her man a handie on his perenium..Ok, um...what exactly would that be (I know what a hj and perineum are).
57
@ EricaP: "I'm a fan of ending sex-with-new-person at ... the first resistance to condoms"

So much this.
Him: But I'm clean!
Her: And I'm sensible! G'bye.

Pro tip for dudes: If she'll have sex with you without a condom the first time, you don't ever want to have sex with her without a condom. How are we this stupid? Anyone who'll have unprotected sex with a stranger is someone who has unprotected sex with strangers. That's absolutely the last kind of person you want to have unprotected sex with.

@22: "That's a stretch."
I agree. It's nice to see this kind of stretch going in the other direction for once.

@37: "Here's a theory based on an N of 1. If a guy manages to get totally dialed into at least one woman, which requires making oneself vulnerable and basically admitting you have no idea what you're doing, the rest are relatively easier to dial in because he's effectively learned how to learn, and he's learned the rewards of learning. "

It's also very easy, if you're inexperienced, to have only had partners who present their own personal preferences as "what all women like," because typical mind fallacy is a thing. If you don't have enough experience to know that when people say "This is what everyone likes," they actually mean either "This is what I personally like" or "This is what I've decided everyone should like," the whole thing can get really confusing.

My money's still on "total asshole," though. May or may not have been a confused total asshole, but I'm thinking it's the "asshole" part that matters more.
58
Hi @55...kind of butting into your convo...

I’m trying to figure out how to reconcile the perceptive, considerate, emotionally intelligent person with the bad lay. Something like this has bewildered me personally and yes, the guy genuinely is all of the great things described.

I've only really encountered something like this once, and the understanding I came away with was this: it's easy to put on a good face in less intense settings; we are truly intimate and emotionally revealed when we get naked and attempt to show each other our O faces...it's harder to keep the mask on. In bed, particularly with someone you're trying to have a romantic relationship with, the stakes are much higher and with them the pressure; you're more vulnerable. Dinner and museum date convo is a lot easier to get through.
59
@57: "In bed, particularly with someone you're trying to have a romantic relationship with, the stakes are much higher and with them the pressure; you're more vulnerable."

I've seen and heard of the opposite phenomenon happening, but with the same result--when the pressure goes up, the mask goes on, because people freak out when the consequences for not looking right go up. There are a lot of guys who are secretly terrified that they won't live up to what they think they're supposed to be like in bed, and a lot of them (being kind of stupid) think that Porn Guy is the mask they're supposed to wear.

Inconveniently, Porn Guy is awful.
60
AFinch @58,

Are you thinking @33 para2?

Or more like, the goal is to get laid at least once, so effort is put in to appear counterfactually nice in order to achieve said goal?
61
@57: Same pro tip applies to everyone. Males and females. (Possibly not lesbians.)

I'd love to have the opportunity to say to someone who was reluctant to wear a condom, "Do you have any IDEA where I'VE been??" ;)
62
@61: LOL. Priceless. "Yeah, I don't want a condom either. They went out of style at the leper colony where I used to go for orgies, so I got out of the habit of carrying 'em..."
63
@61/62 lol

I believe sociopaths can be charming when they want to be, then the charm goes away when they stop putting effort in.
64
@60 - I suppose closer to @33 para 2, but not even going that far (a control freak confronted with someone more skilled). Just that some people are insecure/nervous about "FOO" and so when they do "FOO" they are very anxious...and very sensitive...and some people react poorly to their insecurities and get defensive, aggressive and assholish.

But what I really meant was: it's easy to be cool calm and collected when the stakes are low (for example, I will confess my deepest, most perverse fantasies and engage in them with my ONS because I know I'm not going to see them again) but much harder if I think they are going to stick around.

Similarly, it's easy to be "emotionally intelligent" and "thoughtful" when you're sitting across a dinner table than when you are in flagrante delicto. And when I say "mask" I don't mean anything sociopathic - just what we all do: be on our best behavior, putting our best foot forward. That slips when you're excited and impulse control drops.

In my personal case, the bad kisser had some real anxiety or tension around intimacy - letting anyone get too close - wanted it desperately, but had a very hard time trusting. She got quite wound up and had a hard time (I think/guess/speculate)tuning into me and my body language.
65
Alison - his technique for giving her lots of pleasurable orgasms is to argue with her?
Do you not think he has a goal of trying to get off good? Why would you assume these goals wouldn't conflict; they usually do to some hopefully small extent. I think that's what the arguing was about. His technique for reaching these two goals is poor. I dunno about the label asshole. I shame high ignorance and low self awareness. And bigotry. Hypocrisy sometimes if I really feel like a jerk. Kinda boring stuff. I'm sure my line for asshole is different than yours though. Questioning her feelings was the most assholish behavior imo. I thought the other stuff I mentioned was assholish too. I don't think your quotes are from me, although I might say the second if I was pissed. If someone close to me didn't listen to my feelings like in this letter, I might say it.

AFinch - I know what a hj and perineum are
I thought I knew what fingering was.
If it's not pressing clit inside and out... if it's not about clit head, the opening and/or penetration but just feeling around the general area... maybe tugging pubes instead... then hj must not be about cock either...

@62 Thanks, gonna steal it.
66
Eudaemonic @62, that’s pretty close to my line. “I’ve had unprotected sex with N men since the last time I was tested. I don’t like condoms, I’m not going to get pregnant and the only STI that really worries me is oral herpes. You would be smart not to follow my example but if you do your decision should be fully informed.”

Also at my age about half the men I have sex with have no/soft/unreliable erections which makes the whole condom-negotiation thing weird anyway.
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"... it was obvious that all he knows about sex, he learned from internet porn."

I think every middle school in America should be teaching kids that the sex in porn is like the violence in martial arts movies. It doesn't really work like that, but lots of people find it exciting to watch.
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@66: "The only STD I've got that you need to worry about is Chlombustionydia. It's like chlamydia, only it also makes you explode in a massive fireball. At least it means you don't need to worry about the other one I've got, which is cancerpes. That's the really nasty one. It's like herpes, only it also gives you cancer. I'm fine with doin' it without a condom if you are, though."
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@67 Sanity is sexy.
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@63: Or someone gives them an answer that displeases them, I guess.
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@Eudaemonic: If she'll have sex with you without a condom the first time, you don't ever want to have sex with her without a condom.

Depends. When two people with low-risk sexual histories hookup, they might safely decided to skip the condom. This assumes they know a little something about each other first, which is probably true since we are, after all, talking about two people with low-risk sexual histories.
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@AJC: I’m not going to get pregnant and the only STI that really worries me is oral herpes.

Yup. All the pro-condom sloganeering in the world doesn't change the fact that they offer little if any protection against any of the things I'm actually worried about:

1) herpes - no protection
2) pregnancy - not good enough protection.
3) hpv - no protection and who cares? Like everyone else, I've probably already got it.
4) bacterial - some protection, but these are curable
5) HIV - given the pool of women I might conceivably fuck, the risk doesn't meet my threshold for things to worry about. Neither does, for example, the risk of contracting the Ebola virus.

If she wants me to wear one, sure, no problem. If she doesn't care and better birth control is already place, then what's the point?
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@72 First of all, try doing a web search for "antibiotic resistant gonorrhea". Second, a good reason to wear a condom is to not catch the next STI to evolve. It was attitudes like yours that caused the AIDS epidemic. People figured there were currently no truly scary untreatable STIs, so they felt comfortable having unprotected sex with many different partners. Which is how HIV spread, before we knew it existed. And then once we knew it was there, too many people had AIDS already. We have no idea when the next STI will show up or in what population it will first hit, other than that not having protected sex significantly increases your odds of not just catching it, but also spreading it, and helping to make another epidemic.
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I'm really surprised how manI had to ask him twice more to stop. Later, when he was penetrating me, he kept trying to finger my asshole. I'm totally cool with ass play if I know and trust a guy, but that is not a first-time thing for me. I told him to stop and he kept going.y people are giving this guy a pass on sexually assaulting someone. This isn't about technique, inexperience, or porn. It's about doing things to somebody after she has explicitly told you to stop and to not do that to her. That's what makes him an asshole.

Reread this from the letter, "I had to ask him twice more to stop. Later, when he was penetrating me, he kept trying to finger my asshole. I'm totally cool with ass play if I know and trust a guy, but that is not a first-time thing for me. I told him to stop and he kept going."

It doesn't take experience nor technique to stop doing something when someone tells you to stop. It doesn't take knowing that your partner dislikes something that a past partner liked to not do it after she says she dislikes it. The back-licking and not touching the clit are all kind of irrelevant red-herrings. That's a matter of her personal tastes, and the letter writer even points out that can be taught. Except, it can't if somebody insists on doing things that he knows his partner doesn't want him to do.

This guy should have a warning label, because he is actively dangerous. Fortunately, the letter writer, at least, has no intention of going back to him. Which is good, as it would almost certainly lead to an abusive relationship.
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Oh I am so sorry... that copy and paste happened twice, and once in the wrong place... Umm the first paragraph should be:
I'm really surprised how many people are giving this guy a pass on sexually assaulting someone. This isn't about technique, inexperience, or porn. It's about doing things to somebody after she has explicitly told you to stop and to not do that to her. That's what makes him an asshole.
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Letter Writer, you did nothing wrong (except maybe not leaving in disgust). Societal pressure is a strong thing. The guy was not a creep, he was not clueless. he was beyond those things: a vindictive, controlling, pouty, man-child asshole. Possibly sociopathic. Pat yourself on the back for having had the experience (so now you know), and move on. Not all men are like that.
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uncreative @73,

I take it that you are scrupulous about using barrier protection for all intimate contact, including kissing.

Either that or you have accepted a certain level of risk you are comfortable with and further, you believe that sharing your level of comfort with risk is a good gauge of other people’s intelligence and ethics. Have you had this standard scientifically validated?
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@77 Anything that can be caught through kissing isn't going to be prevented through safe sex practices. My point is more that if your evaluation of your risk is based purely on the current STIs, then you have completely failed to learn the lesson of the AIDS epidemic. And I would like people to learn from past mistakes, because it can save lives. People should always calculate in the risk of new STIs in their risk assessment. There were at least two new STIs during the twentieth century, if my memory of STI history is correct. There is now an antibiotic resistant strain of an old STI in the twenty-first century, and the risk for antibiotic resistant strains is high. There is good reason to believe we will continue to get new STIs. I just want people to be educated and aware.
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@uncreative: Luckily, I'm not a hypochondriac, so I'm immune to imaginary diseases.
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@79, that's an asshole response to a perfectly rational and reasonable post. Read the heartbreaking ending of John Irving's In One Person and repeat your claim that AIDS is imaginary and people having sex in the early 1980s were reasonable to treat the possibility of a deadly disease as remote.

If you sleep with people who don't use condoms with you, and who also don't use condoms with their spouses (and if you don't use condoms with your wife), then there's an awful lot of trust being placed on people and their spouses not to be hiding other affairs and one-night-stands.
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uncreative @78,

“Anything that can be caught through kissing isn't going to be prevented through safe sex practices.”

Doesn’t that prove that your particular safe sex practices aren’t enough? Female condoms offer better barrier to infections than male condoms, so you’re using those, right?

Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea can be transmitted through oral sex. So can herpes, which is also transmitted through kissing. Given that knowledge, do you risk catching and transmitting them and any novel, similarly-transmissible infections by engaging in barrier-free oral sex?

And why are you specifically concerned about STIs? I’m more likely to kill someone by transmitting the flu than a novel STI which is why I get vaccinated every year and use hand sanitizer in hospitals.
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@seandr hepatitis. Hep c can kill, no vaccine.
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@81 I'm talking about preventing STIs. Not about preventing the next and more dangerous variation on something like mononucleosis. Safer sex practices are there to protect against diseases transmitted through sexual fluids. If you want to discuss preventing diseases with other transmission vectors, then you need to discuss other practices. For example, if we could get people to stop shaking hands as the customary greeting, we could reduce the risk of spread of a wide range of current and possible diseases - not prevent totally, but reduce. If we could get people to wear face masks whenever they are coughing, we could do likewise. If we could increase handwashing, we could also improve general health. But I was just talking about diseases transmitted through sexual floods and blood. Of course, not sharing needles is also important for that. And I also think our blood bank donation standards have some poorly thought out rules (in both directions), which are more based on homophobia than on actual risk assessment. But my comment was really just meant to addressed what individuals can do about risk of STI spread. I'm not uniquely interested in STIs. Actually, the massive misuse of antibiotics bothers me a whole lot more. But when I see someone ignoring the risks of the last century, then that is the topic I discuss. If you want to discuss antibiotic misuse leading to a severe risk of non-treatable infections, we can do that. But it'll take political action to make any progress on that issue. As I said, I want people to think accurately about their risk assessment. And the belief that barrier-free sex was safe, because the current known disease risks were not that scary, is what led to HIV being so widespread before it was recognized and testable for. AIDs was a huge formative thing for me. I'm of the generation that grew up a little before and then through it. And I'd like others to learn from it, because it was horrible. If we can have the next new STI be far less well-spread before it is identified, it will save lives. I'm rather pro-saving lives. Although, I also am glad when people get their flu shots. That too saves lives. It's not an either or thing. We can try to educate people about multiple issues. We can try to make progress on protecting people in multiple ways. We can make sure people know that barrier-free sex is higher risk for the unknown - because it is. And we can remind people that the unknown is not actually a huge long-shot. It's the sort of thing that pops up every few decades, because diseases mutate and evolve rather quickly. We don't know when the next one will pop up, but I highly doubt there won't be a next one. And it might well be within my lifetime.
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EricaP @80, “there's an awful lot of trust being placed on people and their spouses not to be hiding other affairs and one-night-stands.”

Or a risk assessment (misplaced or otherwise) that the people having affairs are unlikely to be having affairs with people who have sex with people in high-risk groups for HIV and HepC, and that any other STIs contracted are likely to be annoying at worst.

“repeat your claim that AIDS is imaginary and people having sex in the early 1980s were reasonable to treat the possibility of a deadly disease as remote.”

AIDS is not imaginary and therefore uncreative was not specifically cautioning against it. She was saying it was unreasonable in the *post-antibiotic, pre-HIV* age to treat the possibility of the appearance of a *novel* deadly STI as remote, and it’s also unreasonable of us today to treat the possibility of a *novel* deadly infection uniquely preventable by male condoms used during vaginal or anal sex as remote. She is however apparently unconcerned about novel deadly infections not preventable in this way. Novel deadly infections transmitted by blowjobs? By kissing? Not risky enough to worry about. ONLY novel deadly infections transmitted UNIQUELY through vaginal or anal intercourse are of sufficient concern to warrant behaviour change.

Fine, we all need a line. Hers is male condoms used during vaginal or anal (but not oral) intercourse. That’s her magic talisman telling her that she’s behaving correctly and therefore if she contracts or transmits antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea or something deadly that hasn’t been discovered yet, it’s not her fault. I don’t have a magic talisman. For what it’s worth, neither do I have kids to worry about.
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uncreative @83 “It's not an either or thing.”

You’re right, it isn’t. I’m not that worried about dying and if my partners are that’s great — they’re smarter than I am, I tell them that and I cooperate enthusiastically wherever they draw their line. But I’m not.

It’s about global risk assessment. I have decided that for me personally at my age, the benefit of using condoms is not worth the hypocrisy of starting to get sloppy with them after the first few dates. (Like nobody here has done that.) However, the benefits of hand-washing and vaccines are totally worth the behaviour change. It’s not either/or, I just evaluate them separately and come to different conclusions.

You have determined that you are willing to risk orally-transmitted infections but not infections transmitted uniquely through vaginal or anal intercourse. That’s great (though I remain confused about why it’s ok to transmit antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea orally but not genitally) and it’s a good, educated line. But it’s not mine.
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@EricaP: an asshole response

Simmer down, I'm just using irony, as I frequently do, in service of a point...

repeat your claim that AIDS is imaginary

...which you seem to have entirely missed.

We're not talking about AIDS, we're talking about an unknown hypothetical disease with unknown hypothetical consequences that may or may not occur in the future, transmittable via sex acts that I may or may not perform, and who's transmission may or may not be preventable with a condom. Even if I could work myself into an hysteria over this imagined epidemic, the only real protection is to stop fucking other people. I think I'll take my chances.
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uncreative,

How do you handle the risk of transmission of STIs when you have a male partner but no erection? Do you stick to oral, let him finish himself or are you ok with smooshing genitalia together until he comes?

Have you not objected to conversations about rimming up until now because you assume we’re all using barrier protection or because rimming is always less risky than intercourse?
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Actually, I didn't exclude oral sex. Blowjobs are a high risk activity too. And I think people should be aware of that. Oral sex on a vulva is lower risk, but still a risk. In general, diseases just don't transmit as easily that way.

It's also about risk assessment based on knowledge of disease history. Diseases that use different transmission vectors tend to have different properties. And most diseases with properties similar to AIDS, syphilis, or other potentially deadly sexually transmitted infections tend to be preventable with a condom. Diseases that can be transmitted even without a condom tend to be transmissible even without sex. Which means you need to have a very different set of precaution types to prevent outbreaks. For example, herpes and HPV, while commonly called STIs, aren't really. They are transmissible through sex, but also in a lot of ways that do not involve sex. Babies have been known to catch either type of herpes from non-abusive contact during diaper changes. Diseases of that nature require cultural changes to encourage more handwashing as part of prevention (and I do encourage more handwashing with warm water and soap and a good, vigorous drying - it's a major thing people can do to decrease risk of significant disease spread and not enough people do it often enough). I'm also not telling anyone they have to use condoms. I'm just telling people that it is dangerous to ignore the risk of new diseases and that that is exactly what caused the last STI pandemic. I want good education. I want good risk assessment. And I don't want people telling others that they should only think about the currently known STIs. Really, the last issue was not that long ago, and it's sad to see people forget the lessons of it so quickly. It's okay to choose to risk the next one. But it should be a deliberate, conscious choice, and if you encourage others, you should do so honestly without pretending that the risk is not there.
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uncreative,

Do you only give blowjobs with a condom, or do you wait until you’ve both been tested and hope that your partner is as least as monogamous as you are?
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Especially if TGO couldn't come after all this went down :) She might like to hear Lily Allen singing about bad sex.

Uncreative - Unless the danger is big, loud, and nearby, it's treated similarly to global warming in most people I think. Out of sight out of mind. Nice try though.

Seandr - You could already have the next weird disease or mutation if you don't use condoms and sleep with new or non monogamous people. Sickos boink apes in Africa, who knows what's coming out of there next.

I don't do oral let alone rimming with new partners. I've heard of people who just don't swallow. Stuff in semen can get into the bloodstream through the stomach lining but stomach acid makes it less risky. But why take risks unless I've hit a steady stream of good sex?
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seandr, what does your wife know now of your sexual activities with other people?
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@89 That's rather irrelevant, so I won't answer it. The point is also not about all sexual contact. It's about number of partners. We were specifically talking about sex with a new partner in what may or may not turn into a long-term relationship. It's about number of partners per year and whether or not they are the same partners in a closed loop or varying partners. It's about whether or not any of those partners has other high risk activities, like getting frequent blood transfusions or sharing needles with varying people. Risk assessment involves a lot of factors. I'd like people to think about those factors when making choices.
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@87 As for what to do about erections not staying hard, I think our culture (at least the older half) would benefit from less emphasis on erections during sex. There are so many fun things to do together that don't require erections -- pegging, rimming, grinding various body parts, fisting, nuzzling, sexual fantasizing ... and of course many kinds of sensation play and fetishes if you're open to that.
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Oh, and I should clarify a previous point, cunnilinguis is relatively low risk unless the person is currently bleeding. Cunnilinguis during menstruation is much higher risk. That should be fairly obvious. Diseases carried in blood are higher risk if there is a lot of blood around. But, in general, penises are better at transmitting disease, since they are very well-adapted to transmitting fluid into other people. Although a blow job that ends with the ejaculation not in the mouth is far lower risk. There is still the pre-come, but it's a lot less fluid transmission than ejaculation itself. It'll also vary, and risk also depends on the state of the giver's gums and mouth. It's not a simple thing. And the more you know, the better you can evaluate risks. But simple rules like using a condom for any form of penetration when with somebody you are not in a long-term relationship with do significantly increase odds of protection.
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uncreative @92, I didn’t mean it to be irrelevant. I’m frustrated because I’m honestly confused about why today ‘safer sex’ only protects two openings. My bright line used to be that anything that could be associated with pregnancy got a condom. It was easy because it was a concrete fear with a high likelihood. When I got to an age where pregnancy no longer worked to define and enforce the bright line I asked around about how other people thought and behaved. I don’t know anyone who’s given or gotten a blowjob with a condom more than once, and condoms for blowjobs seem to have been abandoned by public health around the time that AZT shifted the risk/benefit analysis for HIV just enough, but since you specifically brought up antibiotic-resistant gonnorrhea I thought I’d ask you.

Philophile @92, orally-transmitted gonorrhea and HPV infect the throat. HPV in the throat can cause cancer especially if you smoke.
https://drjengunter.wordpress.com/2011/0…
https://drjengunter.wordpress.com/2013/0…
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(^should have been Philophile @90)

EricaP @93 Yep, do all of that and have a lovely time. Sex with a guy is actually more fun if he’s not always hard (or conversely if he’s on meds that mean he isn’t going to come so as to avoid the pitfalls of being goal-oriented).

My question was about how terrified of semen public heath folks want me to be if it wasn’t internally injected.
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@Philophile: But why take risks unless I've hit a steady stream of good sex?

I suppose that could explain why I've rarely been asked to wear a condom.
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@EricaP, @91: You mean the time some woman on the dance floor took my hands and placed them upon her bare breasts?

I think I said something like "Wow, had a fun night last night", to which she replied "Can you please use a plate? You're getting crumbs all over the counter."
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Correction: Sickos in Asia have sex with apes.

AJC - Thanks and that's fucking gross, I did not know about mouth gonorrhea.
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@97 I suppose that could explain why I've rarely been asked to wear a condom.
If you've been moving slow enough beforehand to allow some testing, it could be reasonable to assume you'd be a good and consistent lay before actually fucking. I try to test out my theories before drawing strong conclusions.