November 19, 2013
Dear Head Pro,
My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost a year. He loves me, treats me so well, tells me he wants to be with me long term, etc. Only problem - I want to have sex more than he does. When we have sex, it's great, but it happens a few times a week, when he wants it, whereas I'd be down for sex pretty much any time. Sometimes I initiate, and he's just not in the mood, or tired, which leaves me sexually frustrated. He's also in his late twenties - i've read libido can slow down for guys around then. Ive talked to him about it a few times and he's said he'll go down on me more/ try harder, but not much has changed. I'm not sure how much is fair to ask if he just has a lower libido than me - its never acceptable to pressure someone into sex.
Like I said, other than this, the relationship is great. So I wanted a pro's opinion - what is considered a "normal" sex drive range for a guy in his late twenties? I know he's making an effort, but why wouldn't he want to try harder to satisfy me? How should I interpret times when he just doesn't want to have sex? Also, when do you think problems with sex can be a deal breaker for a relationship?
Not Getting Enough
Dear Not Getting Enough,
Yeesh, what a shitty problem to have. I think to explain it (outside of any medical/psychological terms, since I know nothing of those), let’s for a moment divorce the notion of “needs” from “libido,” even if in practice that’s not that simple. Basically, throughout life you’re constantly juggling the most basic needs, like food, sex, shelter, etc. When you’re younger, the basic needs are all you really have to worry about - your life just isn’t that complicated. In college, things like shelter and food are pretty much covered, so sex gets a lot of attention. I’m not so sure that sex, as in the actual act of it, is really a “need.” After all, plenty of, say, Catholic priests take vows of celibacy, and some of them even sustain it without diddling little kids. I think it points more to a general need for intimacy and connection with other people, and when you’re young and just figuring things out, sex is an easy way to satisfy that need, especially for a developing brain.
As we get older, like your boyfriend, our needs become both greater in number and more complex. For your boyfriend, those basic things are pretty easy by now. Instead, he’s worrying about his career path in a much more nuanced way, planning for his future, and wondering what he’s going to achieve in life. Intimacy/sex is still a need, but guess what? He lives with you. So, not only is that another need he has under control, but in your evolved relationship he’s fulfilling his need for intimacy in ways that are more meaningful than just having a fuck buddy could ever be. Basically, he doesn’t “need” sex as much because he has something better. He may have always had a weaker libido than you, but now that you’re closer it’s more obvious because he’s having his needs met in other ways.
Knowing that doesn’t really help you much, but I think the key is to approach it on those terms. Instead of “pressuring” him, find a way to let him know that sex is something you need not only in and of itself, but also as a bonding agent and an expression of intimacy. Make it deeper than “you’re not fucking me enough.” It’s also worth noting that for married couples (I know you’re not, but still), 2-3 times per week is actually dead-on average, so don’t think of his libido in a vacuum - you are a couple, after all. If you want more, you might just have to take more, at least until more frequent sex becomes part of your routine and he gets the idea. Pay attention to when he’s more receptive to it, and go for it.
I think frequency of sex would have to be at one extreme or the other for it to be a deal breaker, but in your case what’s more concerning is that it always seems to be about him. If you express yourself and continue to take the initiative and he still doesn’t start to reciprocate, at some point he’s just being inconsiderate, and that’s when you’ll have a decision to make.
Dear Head Pro,
I saw a mention that your received emails are often too lengthy, so I'll keep this short and sweet. [Thanks!]
After priding myself of only hooking up with guys that I was in a relationship with, I had a freshman misjudgement and slept with a guy that I barely knew after our first date. I'm friends with some of his friends but conversation is both awkward and lacking between me and him and I'm worried that I'll always be "that girl" to him.
Is what I did really that bad/am I forever branded to him? Help!
Too fast with furious after anxiety
No, what you did isn’t really “that bad,” or categorically “bad” at all. Yes, in a way you’ll always be “that girl” to him, in the sense that he’s not going to forget you hooked up. But, it’s not like he’s ONLY going to look at you that way. You are, after all, a living, breathing person and you share mutual friends. The awkwardness will inevitably fade, and in a way it’s good you don’t talk all that much because it probably won’t come up. You’ll find that by the end of freshman year, everyone’s done so much regrettable shit that everyone kind of just agrees to pretend it didn’t happen, unless you like, hook up with a guy on the dance floor and then follow him on Instagram.
Dear Head Pro,
I recently hooked up with a guy on the lacrosse team at my school on the dance floor of a club, but didn't get the chance to exchange numbers. I am definitely much better looking than him, and I know he would be thrilled to have another shot with me. Would it be acceptable to follow him on instagram??
Don't Wanna Make the Wrong Move.
For fuck’s sake, I get a couple of genuine questions and then it’s followed by this bullshit? I hope by “hooked up” you mean “made out.” Otherwise, you’re telling me you don’t have a problem getting fingerblasted in the middle of a public space, but OH GOD INSTAGRAM WHAT THE FUCK DO I DO HERE? That’s the tough decision? If you’re better looking than him, why do you give a shit if he “has another shot with you?” I just can’t with this one. Sure, follow him on that pointless fucking social media site. Follow him around in your car, for all I care. Just don’t email me again.
If you had time to get to 2nd base, you had time to exchange numbers,