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As a teenager, I bought into the whole religious reasons thing to not have sex. Early in college, I considered having sex with my long term boyfriend at the time; however, this relationship abruptly turned abusive and crashed and burned, which made me grateful I’d hesitated.
But nearly ten years later, my dating life is nonexistent. I can barely get a guy to look at me, much less give me the time of day. I hate how desperate I feel and seem to be in wanting a relationship and know that I should be happy with what I do have in life (but when has that ever placated anyone?).
It’s been occurring to me lately that maybe it’s due to the fact that I still haven’t had and am reluctant to have sex. Is this something guys can just read off of me? Is it a turn off? Could this maybe even explain why I have such an abysmal time dating?
I’m sorry that religion impacted your view of sex. I’m sorry that your abusive relationship soured you further. Your reaction to those situations is somewhat normal — if you view sex as problematic, your defense mechanism protects you from men and sex. It also protects you from men and love.
Understand, men look for sex in the process of looking for love. A guy can decide if he’s open to sleeping with you in 2 seconds; he’ll probably take closer to a month to figure out if he wants to be your boyfriend and a few years to figure out if he wants to be your husband. This is normal, too, not behavior to be judged or shamed.
The first time I remember hearing about consent guidelines was in 1990.
I was a freshman in college – binge-drinking, flirtatious, virginal freshman – when I read a story about Antioch College’s radical new sexual harassment policy in which men would have to ask a woman for verbal consent before initiating any physical advances.
As the link above suggests, it was widely mocked at the time, but in service of preventing date rape and lawsuits, affirmative consent has become the de facto policy for most universities. While Gen Xers like me aren’t entirely on board as a cohort, millions of millennials have been taught that this is the way sex starts – with a conversation.
That’s why I felt the need to share this link from Healthline called “What Is Consent?”
It’s a very thorough document that outlines exactly how these conversations should be taking place in every bedroom in the country, every single night.
After all, “If clear, voluntary, coherent, and ongoing consent is not given by all participants, it’s sexual assault. There’s no room for ambiguity or assumptions when it comes to consent, and there aren’t different rules for people who’ve hooked up before. Nonconsensual sex is rape.”
To be CRYSTAL clear, I don’t think any person in his/her right mind is defending sexual assault, suggesting that “no doesn’t mean no,” or denying a woman’s right to change her mind at any point in time during a sexual encounter. If a woman doesn’t want to proceed physically, she should make it known and the man should respect it.
The only reason I’m writing this post is that it feels like we’re setting some unrealistic to impossible standards for an act that, for most people, is driven by non-verbal communication. I certainly never felt I’ve sexually assaulted anyone – …
Rich older men, beautiful younger women.
It’s a business model as old as time.
He gets what he wants – youth, validation, and sex with someone largely unattainable.
She gets what she wants – money, security, and access to a world that is largely unattainable.
Whether this tradeoff makes for healthy long-term relationships is another story, but it’s safe to say that, as far as short-term exchanges go, men turning money into sex is big business. It’s not quite prostitution, but it’s not quite NOT prostitution.
Enter “Sugar Daddies” – men who essentially put younger women on their payroll and lavish them with material goods in exchange for company (and, most often, sex.)
The moment you give sex, you have lost all your power
In an interview with The Times, Brandon Wade, the founder of SeekingArrangement, said his dating platform, which he has rebranded as Seeking, is not a vehicle for prostitution. The terms of service, he said, prohibit transactions for sex; the site simply seeks to bring the role that money plays in mating out in the open. “We want to drive people to talk honestly on the first date about who they are and what they expect to gain from a relationship, just like you discuss in any business relationship and any business arrangement,” he said.
If anything, a “sugar baby” hoping to find a lasting arrangement with “a good provider” should withhold sex for as long as possible, said the thrice-divorced Mr. Wade, who also runs other dating sites including OpenMinded.com, which promotes so-called “ethical cheating.” “The moment you give sex, you have lost all your power,” he said.
And if …
I am 31 and in an early, but exclusive (5 month) relationship with a wonderful man. He’s 33, good looking, tall, he’s very considerate, generous, loves dogs, gets on with my mother, tick, tick, tick. We have a very, very good sex life too. He’s just the best. There is one thing that I find bothers me.
He has had considerably more sexual experience than I have – a whole lot more, I reckon – and I am finding myself jealous of him. I spent virtually my entire twenties in a couple of long term and unsuitable relationships, which I now regret. I regret not having fun, turning down offers (and I did get them!) and chasing men who weren’t prepared to give me anything. It was a mistake to throw away my youth like that.
What I have noticed is that my current partner is much more self-assured, confident and optimistic than I am. I believe this is because he has been validated time and time again, physically and romantically. He’s also never been cheated on, or even dumped. His experiences have made him a happy and attractive person.
In fact, I’ve actually noticed that as a common theme, in others who were more carefree and up-for-anything in their younger days.
I do want to get married and have children one day. So does he. And we are doing very, very well so far, for a newbie couple. He thinks I’m brilliant and that’s lovely. But would I be making a mistake in not getting the same sexual and fun experiences before embarking on that chapter? Could I become a better, more experienced and well-rounded person by doing so? Please be honest – did I miss out on anything special and is it worth returning to?
I met a man online last year who has treated me wonderfully. He is everything my ex’s have not been. He treats my child as his own. He is transparent (opens all accounts, phones, computers), honest, loyal, caring.
After one month of dating, he told me that he slept with prostitutes for several years. He’s in the military and started with them as a virgin at 23 and continued until 28. He’s seen around 20-30. He is 30 now (like me). He let me read his journal from those years. He never wrote about what they look like or the intercourse, so I don’t think he was focused on “using them” but instead he wrote about how desperate he was to find someone to love and to settle down. He even tried to date them. He had a very hard time dating and was rejected often. He is a very sensitive man. I can tell that he was looking for a connection, love, and intimacy. He also wanted to get laid and that was an easy way to do it. He believed that it was more respectful to pay a woman for the act instead of randomly hooking up with someone at a bar. However, he was arrested at 23 for it and still saw them for years after that. That alarms me. He feels regret and remorse but I just can’t get past it. It doesn’t bother me all of the time, but it comes up from time to time and I feel worried that I’m making a mistake. Especially since I’ve been through a bad marriage. I don’t think he is a sex addict like my ex; sex with him is very vanilla. He seems more interested in the connection for the most part.
Recently he flies to …
I don’t know if I should have sex. Over a six-month period he’s broken up with me on 4 occasions due to my celibate status. I am recently divorced, but a practicing Catholic observing chastity and trying to date. Currently the guy I am in love with is demanding fellatio under the guise that it is not sex. I love him so much, but I’m uncomfortable. I also feel disrespected for him ask for this as our first sexual encounter. For starters, I am not good at it and I worry that he is taking advantage. I am scared to dissent you see. He is putting a lot of pressure on me and only talks around this subject if he texts back at all. I am doing all the pursuing apparently and its been via texts where I’m practically begging for us to retain at least some form of friendship if nothing else. I feel lost without him. I bought your recent book and am hoping to use these new skills to turn things around. It helped get him back because a month ago he disappeared, yep! He swore never to reply my texts or calls ever again and told me to move on with my life. I don’t know if his demands for sex are normal or if I need saving. Please help!
You are a practicing Catholic who is observing chastity.
That is your prerogative and no one can really argue with one’s religious stance.
But what I don’t get — and have never really gotten — is why people who choose to be celibate are surprised when people …
Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in America
“Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in America, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017, surpassing the record set in 2016 by more than 200,000.”
“The United States continues to have the highest STD rates in the industrialized world,” said David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors.
Make America Great Again, I guess?
The article suggests many factors in this rise, which are all logical and hard to measure.
- Less frequent condom use.
- The ignorance of both doctors and patients to get screenings and tests.
- The ability of people to survive HIV diagnoses.
- A decline in funding for state and local agencies working on prevention. (Damn that government intervention!)
- And, of course, everyone’s favorite punching bag, dating apps, which make getting laid as easy as swiping right.
Maybe it’s because I’m a Jewish hypochondriac (not really, but I’m not one of those guys who refused to go to the doctor), however I was so afraid of accidentally impregnating someone that I’ve only had unprotected sex with 3 women in my entire life.
Hell, I had one girlfriend who shamed me for being SELFISH for insisting that I use condoms although she was on the pill.
So, on a strictly personal level, I don’t understand why so many are willing to take the risks of both disease and pregnancy – especially given the severity of the consequences.
I know “it feels better,” to go bareback but really? Syphilis? Gonorrhea?
Your thoughts, on unprotected sex and the consequences thereof, are greatly appreciated.
The post You Might Have an STD and …
I met a great guy on Match two months ago and we’ve been spending a good amount of time together since. We have great conversation, and have fun together no matter what we do. He values me for who I am, and it feels great that I can completely be myself around him. He’s already quite smitten, which feels nice, but I’ve recently been wanting to hit reverse on the whole thing. Here’s why:
When we finally became somewhat intimate recently after a great make-out session (I guess it would be third base, whatever third base is these days…hands under clothing) I made a surprising discovery. I’m not sure how to candy coat this one, so I’ll just say it: he has an extremely small penis, even when at full mast. I was shocked and didn’t know what to do, so I did nothing. As in, once I located the goods, I didn’t interact with it at all and pretended it wasn’t there. The makeout session ended a little while later and I’ve had zero interest in having another one.
I know there’s nothing he can do about it. Genetics are what they are. But I don’t know what to do. Do I have a conversation with him about it? What would I even say? “Hey, do you realize your penis is kinda small?” I’m sure he’s well aware and I don’t want to hurt his feelings. But I am quickly losing interest in dating him altogether.
I can’t imagine having sex with him. And I’m also feeling a little guilty for feeling this way, for asking you this question, and for not wanting to get physical again with a guy who can’t help that he’s stuck with the short end of the stick.
Is it wrong …
The debate rages on in this surprising Slate article from earlier this summer.
Can porn be addictive? Sure can.
But it’s not unique in that category. Not even close. Ask anyone whose relationship was wrecked by addictions to alcohol or cigarettes or video games or drugs or social media.
Vices are everywhere. It’s how you moderate them that matters. Some people have addictive personalities and must quit cold turkey. Others can manage their vices in small doses for their entire lives without causing a hint of trouble to them or their relationships.
Yet there’s a powerful public narrative that suggest that porn is somehow different — as if this one addiction is more destructive and toxic than the rest. I might suggest otherwise. If anything, what makes porn unique is that it’s about SEX, and that’s a topic that’s really hard for people to talk about without losing their minds. Basically, lots of people WANT porn to be stigmatized and banned.
“Scientists and clinicians who present evidence that challenges these harm-focused narratives–and we count ourselves among that group–face serious social and political opposition to their research. It can be tough for this info to make it to the public too. In his series How Not to F*ck Up Your Kids Too Bad, Stephen Marche described his experience as a journalist commissioned by two different outlets to write about the risks of pornography: When he could not find good evidence to demonize porn, “the editors killed it. What they wanted was to be scary.”
The first large, preregistered experiment found that viewing sexual pictures did not diminish love or desire for the current romantic partner.
As the photo above the article suggests, we’ve covered this ground extensively. And while I don’t think I’m going to change any anti-porn crusader with …
A few years back I found the man of my dreams, a man that was a leader, intelligent, caring, great with my kids and attractive. When I first met him, he was going through the outcomes of celiac disease, which made him gain a lot of weight. At that time, I just had broken up a very terrible relationship with a personal trainer where I learned to be physically healthy. In the beginning of our relationship, my now fiancé worked out with me and lost a lot of weight and my physical attraction for him was at the highest. I was more in-love then I’ve ever been before. Years passed and he started to gain weight and unfortunately, his sedentary behavior started to affect me and I became sedentary too. I’m at a point in this relationship where I’m starting to see a pattern here… he is lazy, I’m lazy; He drinks, I drink; etc. Unfortunately, I started to build resentment and I don’t find him physically attractive, but our sex life is good. I just hate seeing him with a beer belly and so out of shape; I sometimes feel that he does not deserve to have a hot fiancé. I worry about his health too, and the more sedentary he becomes the more I hate his eating habits but I can’t say anything or he will get upset. What can I do to regain back the physical attraction? It kills me to be distant in a public setting with him, but I feel embarrassed at times. — Claudia
I’m at a point in this relationship where I’m starting to see a pattern here… he is lazy, I’m lazy; He drinks, I drink
I feel for you, Claudia.