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LoveFAQ is a weekly advice column for geeks, by geeks about love, life and maxing out your romance meter. Got questions for LoveFAQs? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Love FAQ,
My girlfriend and I have been going steady for about 2.5 years, and we love each other very much. But we're recent college graduates who still live at home, which is where most of the stresses in our relationship dwell.
First thing that comes to mind is sex. It's so incredibly difficult to find privacy. The car, the basement, and some other places I wouldn't care to mention have been our refuge, but it causes conflict between us. My girlfriend believes that we need to rush into things and "get the job done," whereas I've always preferred to start slowly and ease into the mood. She's worried that if we don't get our freak on when we can, we'll lose our chance, but I'm just not grab-and-go like she is. I'm worried if this continues, then sex will become just glorified masturbation.
Is there anything we can do about our different comfort levels? Should I learn to just forget the feelings and get to the fucking?
Not in the Mood
Dear Not in the Mood,
Independence is a nebulous thing, one that's too easy to take for granted until it's gone. At college, sex is easy. You can always just shut the door, tell your roommate to skedaddle, and screw whoever you like, whenever you like, for as long as you like. But when Mom's your roommate, that strategy just doesn't carry the same weight.
I could recommend you take some emergency stop-gaps. For example, you could go on vacation together; vacation sex is the best kind of sex, because you have all the time you need, you can be as loud as you like, and you can experiment without having to worry about post-coital toxic disposal.
You could also adjust your perspective. Look at your short windows of time as opportunities to sneak in a little make-out here, a little oral there. Foreplay doesn't always have to come immediately before the main event. This way, when you finally do get the chance to consummate, it won't feel like a quickie so much as the natural culmination of all that delicious anticipation you've built up.
But I fear there's only one permanent solution to the mess you're in: Move out.
Get an apartment. It doesn't even have to be with your girlfriend. (In fact, I'd advise against it, as moving in together is a serious step, one that shouldn't be motivated by penury alone.)
You're an adult now, and you need your space. As long as one or both of you live with your parents, your relationship will continue to wither and die a slow, painful, sexless death.
And don't grouse that it's too expensive. So what if you didn't land that fancy job you wanted straight out of college, and now you're forced to flip burgers or bag groceries and barely make minimum wage? That's why man invented roommates - and slum lords. If Peter Parker can make it work, so can you. (Seriously, do you know what a freelance photographer makes? Spiderman basically lived on ramen and stolen Sweet 'N Low packets.)
Yes, moving out means you'll likely have to live in a cockroach-infested shithole with curious stains on the bathroom floors. And you'll probably need to cram one too many roommates into said shithole just to make rent. You'll subsist on mac and cheese and coffee grinds, and the only time you'll get a good meal is when you nip home to Mom's for Sunday roast.
But you know what? You'll be able to fuck your girlfriend whenever you like. And frankly, that's worth it.