I hope everyone had a great December and a fun New Year. The last issue of the year kind of snuck up on me, so I didn’t get to write my usual yearly well-wishes to you all, but you know how it goes: UGA this, Athens that, let’s make out, blah blah blah. On Jan. 1 I woke up at midnight because my neighbors were outside setting off fireworks and yelling, and I just bemoaned gentrification instead of feeling FOMO and joining them from my porch. My hips hurt when I wake up in the morning these days, but I’m thankful for the pace at which I now live my life—and definitely less than thankful for my loud neighbors. Now let’s get this year started right with my favorite kind of advice to give.
My boyfriend is really sensitive to criticism, and it’s starting to get in the way of our sex life. I’ve tried to have gentle conversations with him before about how it’s really hard for me to voice things I don’t like or I’m not happy about, because he takes them so personally. It doesn’t feel fair that I can’t say, “Hey, I don’t like this,” in a constructive way without the other person making it seem like an attack. Anyway, you can see this is a larger issue, but how it’s affecting our sex life is new. He’ll say something to me thinking he’s being sexy or trying to initiate things, and our idea of sexy is just very different. As soon as I don’t react the way he wants, he pouts or starts talking about how I’m not attracted to him, and it becomes an unnecessary fight.
This has been the norm so often that sex feels like something one of us has to feel bad about, which is really messed up. I can see that. It’s really difficult to have to constantly navigate the male ego, especially when it seems like my feelings aren’t taken into consideration at all. I don’t even know where to begin on fixing this.
Hey there Help,
This one’s easy: Dump him. Any grown man out here guilt tripping his partner into sexual acts that they don’t enjoy is completely unacceptable. This is a HUGE red flag for any future you might have with this guy. If he doesn’t respect your choices, disregards your desires and makes every sexual encounter about him, then imagine trying to buy a home or go on a vacation with him. It’s clear to me that this man believes he’s owed something or is entitled to sex with you, and he absolutely refuses to have constructive conversations about this. I can understand being bad at communication and taking things personally the first couple of times, but I get the sense that he’s choosing to derail these conversations and probably expects you to eventually just lie back and think of England. Turning a sexy chat into a fight over and over again feels more like a manipulation than a genuine lack of understanding. I can absolutely see how this is a larger issue in your relationship, and he probably demonstrates this self-centered stubbornness at other, less sexy times as well.
I deeply dislike people who act like criticism is an attempt to hurt them. I had someone in my life who did this a lot, and most of the time my attempts to advocate for myself turned into me apologizing to them for hurting them with my requests. That’s manipulative at the least and abusive at the worst, and you do not have to put up with that stuff just to be able to say that you have a boyfriend.
Tell him that if he can’t make it to the end of a conversation about your sex life, then he needs to go find himself a pick-me who will be thankful just to have someone’s dirty-bootied son breathing in their direction. You don’t have to be happy with whatever you’re given from him, or anyone that you’re dating. Be with someone who values you the way you value them and is willing to work to make your relationship better instead of just expecting you to settle for anything.
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