Advice: Savage Love
Q: I’m a heterosexual guy in my early 20s. I’ve been dating my girlfriend for about six months, and we’ve been having some fights recently. The problem: I have a high sex drive in comparison to hers. I want to be intimate on a weekly basis (at least!), and she’s told me that she’s more of a once-every-three-weeks-or-so person. I’m trying not to put pressure on her. I don’t want her to feel uncomfortable — she’s a virgin (no penetration), and the thought of the pain of that first time scares her a bit. That said, physical intimacy with her — developing that bond, even without intercourse — is important to me and a key part of what I believe is a healthy relationship. I do my best to be understanding, but I’m not sure how to bridge this gap.
Love Is Building Intimacy During Outset
A: While it’s great that you’re understanding of your girlfriend’s sensitivities, LIBIDO, and while it’s commendable that you view nonpenetrative sex as fulfilling, you’re running the risk of “understanding” her into a relationship that makes you both unhappy. Because someone who wants sex multiple times per week will eventually be made miserable by someone who wants sex far less than once a month (which is what the “or so” at the end of “once-every-three-weeks-or-so” means), and vice versa — being with you will make your girlfriend miserable in the long run, too.
I get emails daily from miserable people on both side of this divide, LIBIDO, from people with high libidos who married lows and from people with low libidos who married highs. The highs are miserable because years of sexual rejection have shredded their sexual self-esteem, or they feel like monsters after years of being “indulged” with going-through-the-motions sex by barely willing and clearly miserable partners. The lows are miserable because going through the motions makes them miserable or they’re sick of constantly being pestered for sex and made to feel inadequate or broken when they pass.
You’re young and straight, LIBIDO, and the culture tells the young and the straight that they must be monogamous (because sex is so important) and that they shouldn’t take sexual compatibility into consideration when picking a partner (because sex is so unimportant). Other shit matters, too, of course — stuff like emotional compatibility, similar life goals, being on the same page about kids, etc. But basic sexual compatibility matters, too, and its absence will eventually undermine everything else.
By which I mean to say, LIBIDO: You’ve been dating this girl long enough to know that you’re not a match — you’re not sexually compatible — and that’s reason enough to end this relationship.
Q: I’m a 24-year-old lesbian, and I have been with my girlfriend for almost three years. We have both been GGG about things to do with each other in the bedroom, and I’m generally happy with our sex life. Since I am emailing you, though, there is a “but.” She is bi and has always wanted to have a threesome with a guy and another girl. I am all for that in theory, but I have a hard time emotionally. I have anxiety. I’m in therapy and on medication, and even still it’s really difficult for me to wrap my head around sex with new people. I would spend the entire time silently freaking out. I am not sure how I feel about her getting fucked by someone else, even if she’s fucking me at the same time. I really want to do this for her, but I don’t want it to go poorly because of my issues. Do you have any advice for navigating something like this that your partner really wants but you don’t? For how to get game not just in letter but in spirit?
Having Anxiety Raises Difficulties
A: Talk about it, fantasize about it, be open to it, but take it glacially. Guys who are interested in sexing two women aren’t that difficult to find, HARD, so trust that the right guy — one who makes you comfortable, one who is unthreatening — will come into your lives at some point. If you’re worried about how you might react to watching your girlfriend have sex with that special someone else, she shouldn’t have intercourse with that special someone else the first time you get together. Make out, roll around, engage in a little mutual masturbation. If that feels good — if it doesn’t make you anxious or freak you out — make a plan to get together again.
This week on the “Savage Lovecast,” hear the tale of the lesbian roller-derby sleepover: savagelovecast.com.