Advicereality check

Reality Check

I’m a girl in my early 20s, and I’ve been with my second serious boyfriend for about eight months now. In most ways, it’s beyond perfect. We moved in together pretty early on out of convenience, and even that has gone perfectly. The only problem is that we cannot seem to get on the same page sexually. I consider my sex drive to be above average, and, well, he’s a young guy, so the desire is not lacking. I had a very satisfying sex life with my last boyfriend, who I was with for several years, and have had a few equally satisfying partners in my single times. My boyfriend has had several girlfriends and roughly the same amount of partners as myself, so we both know what we want/need sexually, but we can’t seem to find common ground. He is very into what I see as generic, porn-y kink, whereas I prefer very primal, rough sex. 

We have had countless conversations about it, and I have done more than my share of compromising—buying accessories and whatnot, doing it “his way,” but I feel like he isn’t doing his part, as though he’s waiting for me to come around or something. Like I said, everything else is wonderful, and I can honestly see myself being with him for the long haul, but it seems like this could be a dealbreaker if we can’t resolve it. I’m not willing to give up sexual satisfaction entirely, but am very willing to compromise to make us both happier in that department. I’ve explained to him my feelings on this, but nothing is changing. What’s my next move?


reality check.jpg is a great resource for both tools and manuals. I noticed that “SM101” is currently out of stock, but I’m willing to bet the fine folks at Avid Bookshop will be happy to hunt it down for you (assuming you’re in Athens). Now, I know you’re probably thinking, “I don’t need a beginner’s book, woman. I’ve got this shit down,” but reader reviews promise exhaustive detail on every aspect of the topic, as well as tips and new ideas. I think that’s what you and your boyfriend just might need. If you’re having trouble getting from A (his vanilla kink) to B (your strawberry kink), outside help and inspiration might just be the key. It is possible that your boyfriend doesn’t know exactly what to do or how to do it, or that he feels weird about getting rough with you. A how-to manual is just the sort of clinical approach that might work to take the pressure off and give him the permission and guidance he needs. If he is actually GGG (that’s Dan Savage shorthand for “good, giving and game” in case any of you don’t already know), then the book should help. If he isn’t GGG, then you have a problem. But give it a try.

I’ve been with a great guy for a little less than a year now, and most everything is going great. The only problem is that, while I am intensely attracted to him on many levels—as I believe he is to me—we can’t seem to have satisfying (or frequent) sex. This has led to me fantasizing constantly about a former flame. It’s safe to say that this flame was the best sex I’ve ever had, and for this reason (among many) he has had a special hold over me for several years, even though we were never really together (we went on dates and slept together sporadically for about two years). We communicate rarely, and see one another even less frequently, but after all this time, he still gets me going like no other. I should mention that my preoccupation with this flame has broken up a relationship of mine before. My question is this: is the intense passion I feel for this man a sign that I should pursue things with him more aggressively, or is it simply a distraction when my relationships show the first sign of fading? Is he my “one,” or just trouble?


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You hint at other reasons why this guy has “a special hold” over you, but without knowing what those reasons are, it’s hard for me to say what’s really going on. Given what information I do have—you slept together frequently but never had a real relationship—it is hard for me to believe that this is The Guy for you. There must surely be a reason why it never worked out? Why you never saw each other more regularly? Also, the very fact that you never had a regular relationship may be why the sex was so awesome. What a fantasy, right? You go out on dates (fun!) and have sex (fun!), and nobody has to clean the bathroom, pay the bills, meet your crazy uncle, take care of you while you’re sick (not fun, not fun, not fun—do you see what I’m getting at here?), etc. 

It’s fine to fantasize about the fabulous sex you had with that guy once in a while, but if you find yourself so distracted that you are losing relationships over it, then something is seriously wrong. I think you should focus on the issue at hand, which is your current relationship. In which, by the way, everything is not “going great.” Your sex life is unsatisfying. Why is that? Are you not asking for it enough, is he withholding, or are your schedules just off? Is this a matter of two different drives, and if so, are you both trying to meet in the middle? Remember, the GGG rule applies to both parties. If you want more than he does, you may need to settle for less and masturbate more, but he should also be GGG, doing it more than often than he wants to. 

It is also possible that this is just a mismatch. The relationship is fairly new, and you guys have no attachments (like kids or shared property), so perhaps it has just played out? Either way, you need to treat these two things as separate and figure them out on their own merits. If you want to give me more detail about the old flame, I’d be happy to revisit the question.

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