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 [email protected].
Dear Love FAQ
I dated this guy for a while, and we broke up almost a year ago. I regret that more than anything, because I love him and miss him very much.
Now we are trying to be friends, and he says he wants me again-as a friend with benefits. I really want him too, but for some reason I can’t get past thinking of sex as something important. I think of casual hookups as a step down, even though I know it’s illogical and everyone else my age is having casual sex without a relationship or commitment.
He has my heart and soul, and I want to give him my body too. Why can’t I just get over the silly labels and be with him?
Chafed By My Chastity Belt
Dear Chastity Belt,
You could have sex with your ex without a relationship or a commitment, but don’t confuse it for “casual sex”. That’s not possible with this man, because your history is tainted with too much baggage and emotion. The sex you’d have would never be casual.
He asks you for sex now because you’re convenient and familiar, and because he believes you can’t tell him no. If you don’t mind being used for his cheap comfort, then, sure, go right ahead. But know this: Because you love him and he doesn’t feel the same way, you might as well be fucking a ticking time bomb.
My advice: Save your heart and soul (and your body) for someone more deserving, who will respect your feelings enough not to exploit them for his own gain. His “friendship” just isn’t worth it.
Dear Love FAQ
I’ve been with my boyfriend for two years and things are fine, but I can’t get past this one thing. It’s always me that initiates sex, and even though his response is usually positive, I can’t help but feel like something is wrong with me. Everything I’ve heard suggests that guys are more into sex than girls, and that it’s girls who usually are the ones being asked for sex too much.
We both enjoy sex, and he claims I’m attractive and that I do turn him on. He says he doesn’t initiate sex because he doesn’t feel like I’m in the mood whenever I’m not initiating it. But still, I feel that I’m somehow less than I should be, because he isn’t as keen for sex as the media claims he should be.
Can’t Trigger the Tent Scene
My instinct says your boyfriend is telling the truth, that he genuinely worries sex is an imposition, perhaps because the same media culture that informs you all men are drooling, sex-obsessed zombies also informs him that good girls don’t like sex.
If this is the case, the only cure is communication: Encourage him, loudly and often, to take control in the bedroom. When he does initiate, respond favorably and enthusiastically. If you happen to not be in the mood, let him down gently, and more importantly, let him know under what time and circumstances you would be more receptive. (e.g.,”I’m still stressed from work, honey, but give me an hour to chill out and ask me again.”)
Persistence and keeping your cool is key, because you’re fighting an uphill battle here against years of social conditioning. Our society paints men’s sexuality as an on-off switch (usually flipped to ‘on’), but just as a woman’s libido is a many-splendored thing, so too is a man’s. Not all men have a libido in hyper drive. Not even most men. And sometimes, a guy really does just want to cuddle.
When your boyfriend doesn’t want sex, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. Stress, anxiety, depression, inebriation, nerves, fatigue, hunger, illness, anger or self-doubt may all be lowering his libido. And some days, a man just doesn’t feel like it.
So just be patient, and don’t take it personally.
Dear Love FAQ,
I like to see myself as a gentleman, a role-model for how to act civilized against the opposite sex; I always keep secrets and promises, I support them when in peril and give them advice whenever I can. It’s appreciated and I’m generally happy I can be a trustworthy friend for others.
I also chose not to have a girlfriend until I reach 21 years old.
This decision was entirely my own; kindergarten and middle school both showed me a lot of girls being 13-17 years old (at least in my region) were unstable, indecisive and very naive in relationships. Put on top a very painful experience of finally daring to ask a girl out and being turned down in front of everyone, and you’ll get why I chose to wait.
Keeping this promise for 6 years and seeing my friends getting successful relationships of their own, I begin to doubt if it was the right path to walk. Maybe I’ve set myself a high barrier to ensure I won’t feel the same pain as before? Should I be bold and try again before turning 21?
Two Years ‘Til 21
Newsflash: Everyone between the ages of 13 and 17 is unstable, indecisive and naïve. That’s pretty much what being an adolescent is all about: being fucked up and having an excuse for it.
Nor do people stop being unstable, indecisive and naïve once they hit 18, or 21, or any other arbitrary age. It’s because we’re all a little broken inside. None of us is perfect. The secret is to find someone whose broken pieces fit your broken pieces-or, at least, fit well enough so they won’t rub against each other until you both bleed to death.
Maybe your doubt is telling you something: Writing off everyone around you because they don’t meet your high standards is an easy recipe for loneliness. Happiness isn’t achieved by holding yourself at arm’s length and shutting out those around you. Happiness comes when you let people in, even if – especially if – they’re as flawed and unstable as you.
Disclaimer: LoveFAQ is written by Lara Crigger, who is by no means a trained psychiatrist or therapist or even a middle school guidance counselor – just a smart gal who wants to help out her fellow geek. LoveFAQ is meant for entertainment purposes only, so don’t take it as a substitute for professional advice. If you have real problems, consult your physician.
Got a burning question (or a question about burning) for LoveFAQ? Send your emails to [email protected]. All submissions are confidential and anonymous.