Pent-Up

Friday, September 24, 2010

Question

I've been dating my boyfriend for almost a year now after a five-year relationship with a man who basically made me who I am sexually. My ex and I had great sex. He knew just how to turn me on. But my new boyfriend isn't into half of what I am. We live together, and we hardly ever have sex. This is very hard. I've explained how important sex is to a good relationship. I am starting to resent his lack of fire. I'm tempted to talk to my ex just to fix my craving, but I don't want to hurt my boyfriend. How can I live with repressing my sexuality just because job stress and a quick temper make him less than ready to go? I try to give him space and let him go at his own pace, but he's so vanilla it drives me crazy. How can I get in his pants?

Answer

I'm not sure that sex is the most important issue here. Why did you break up that five-year relationship? If there were aspects of it that you couldn't deal with, you might associate those unpleasant events with being sexually fulfilled and wild. So now you have a relationship with a very tame man who bores you to tears. Why else would you agree to settle down with a guy who you basically have contempt for? This way, you can feel superior to him because of your greater sexual knowledge and experience, but you don't have to be in the risky situation that your ex symbolizes.

This could be an important thing to talk over with a sex-positive counselor. I am concerned when you say your current boyfriend has a lot of job stress and also a quick temper. I wonder if it is hard for you to make sexual demands on him, or encourage him to be more playful or try new things, because he gets angry so easily. Being afraid of your partner destroys the foundation of any relationship. It could be that he is a mean-spirited guy who enjoys knowing he is with a slut who can't get what she wants. He might enjoy punishing you by withholding sex. Again, this is a dynamic that does not support intimacy or commitment.

Why would you want to call your ex? So you can slide into an affair with him? That won't make the current relationship better, but it could create a big juicy crisis that would allow you to exit. And you might have the ego boost of watching two men compete over you.

Giving him space is clearly not working. If he's not willing to admit there is a problem or go to couples counseling, I don't think this relationship is viable. For most men, knowing that a woman is ready and willing is enough to get them hot. But if he also perhaps resents you (or women in general), he won't be stud-worthy. Some men are unable to perform unless the whole thing is their idea. This leaves an assertive woman in a no-win situation. If she gives even a slight hint of being horny, he withdraws. This isn't a healthy pattern for a couple. It gives him all the power, denies her any agency, and sabotages erotic union.

Don't talk to your ex unless you want to leave your current boyfriend because you're having an affair. Talk to the current boyfriend. See if you can get him to admit there is a problem. Get him to talk about all the other stuff in the relationship besides sex. What is he withholding emotionally that makes him keep his distance from you? Find out about his prior experiences in relationships and how he feels about sex and women. See if you think couples counseling would help. Sometimes having a mediator will really get a couple to open up, let go of the garbage, and find new levels of turn-on toward each other. And sometimes you find out that it's just not going to work. Either way, you need an answer so you can start feeling more fulfilled.

Just in case you wind up single, here's a hint. Don't move in with somebody who can't give you what you need. People usually don't make radical changes just to keep a relationship going. They expect you to stay with them in a state of perpetual misery. Sexual interest tends to peak and then subside unless you are a couple who are consciously committed to keeping things hot. So if things are lame in the beginning, don't expect fireworks in five years—or five months.

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