Humiliated

Friday, December 27, 2013

Question

  Have you ever heard a guy complain because the woman he was with was too responsive? I am still reeling from an ugly fight with my boyfriend. We haven’t been together that long. A comment he made one night tipped me off to the fact that he thought I had been faking orgasms with him because, in his opinion, “You are just too loud. So it can’t be real.”

            First of all, I’m kind of upset that he thinks I am too loud. I don’t even know what that means. I react in the moment to how I am feeling; I don’t monitor myself to see if I am breaking some imaginary sound barrier. I’ve never faked an orgasms in my life. What would be the point of that? And with him, I for sure would never need to fake it. He is just great in bed.

            But now I can’t imagine having sex with him again without feeling really self-conscious. My feelings are hurt, and nothing I say seems to persuade him that he is wrong. This whole fight has made me feel so bad about myself. For the rest of my life, I’ll be worried that the man I am with is judging me instead of getting lost in the experience. I guess this is the end of yet another attempt to find a real relationship.

 

Answer

Nobody knows exactly how many women don’t have orgasms with their male partners. Estimates have ranged from one-quarter to more than half. This sad fact means that a lot of men have a distorted picture of how a woman “should” behave during an orgasm. Another complication is that female sexuality displays more variety than its male counterpart. One can safely predict that most men will have an orgasm after so many minutes of oral sex or intercourse. Predicting which technique will satisfy a woman is much more difficult. Many women are self-conscious about responding to touch, so they may hold back when it comes to moving or vocalizing during sex. It’s no surprise, then, that a lot of men give up on the challenge of understanding the female body.

             I’m trying to put his behavior in context here, not excuse the fact that he expressed himself in a crude way that deeply hurt your feelings. He verbally assaulted your integrity by accusing you of such gross and sweeping deception. Instead of asking you what you were experiencing, he assumed that he was the expert on women’s sexuality—a stupid place for any man to hoist his flag. Does this mean you should break up with him? Well, only you can say whether this argument represents a pattern of behavior that you shouldn’t tolerate, or a momentary lapse that may have been prompted by stress in other areas of his life. Don’t be in a huge hurry to forgive here. If he is worth keeping he will be kicking himself and trying to figure out how to make appropriate amends. Don’t hang on to him if it may mean a lifetime of having him blow up at you and blame you when he is the one who has jumped to a false conclusion.

            Compatibility is made up of hundreds of factors, some obvious, some subtle. We all understand that we care about how a potential lover looks; fewer of us are aware that we care about how they smell (assuming that a certain level of hygiene exists), the tone of their voice, the amount of pressure they use when they touch us, or what kind of noise they make when they get excited. Most straight or bi men would say that they could use more feedback. There is a line that can get crossed, where the hotness of arousal begins to seem artificial or makes either partner feel like the other one is exaggerating what they are feeling. Instead of lashing out at such moments, I tend to remind myself that I’m lucky to be getting any at all.

             Conflicts like this one determine whether a relationship is just a casual one, albeit infused with romantic fantasies, or has the potential for a deep, loving commitment and mutual growth. If somebody disillusions us and we find that we can abandon them, that is an altogether different situation than the one in which we learn the painful and difficult process of forgiveness. Does he deserve your compassion? Is he capable of demonstrating acceptance or dedication like that to you?