Queer Advice: “I feel like I’m not being sexually fulfilled.”
Q: So here is my story.
I have been dating a great guy for about a month now, prior to which I had been single for a couple of years. Now comes the problem, which is kinda two-fold. The first part is that I got used to cruising around, and enjoying different sex acts with different partners, which was a lot of fun. The second is that I’m the first guy that my boyfriend has really been sexually active with, and he’s quite green in comparison, which makes the sex kinda boring.
I mentioned the idea of a sexually open relationship. Give me the opportunity to hook up with other folks (he would obviously have the same liberties), while staying romantically monogamous. He wasn’t crazy about the idea; he is of the belief set that if you’re in a relationship, you should be sexually monogamous.
What should I do? I would never cheat on him, but I feel like I’m not being sexually fulfilled.
A: I’m really glad you’re identifying this problem so early in your relationship. You’ve only been together for a month, which means that you’re a long way off from being able to decide that he’s “the one” (at least, “the one” for the near future). But even that is getting ahead of ourselves: do you think the problem is him, or that you really do not want to be sexually exclusive with anyone? In other words, is sex with him boring because it would be with any one person?
If so, there are really only three options: see if he’s willing to experiment with non-exclusivity, go your separate ways, or settle for a relationship with a “green” sex partner who may or may not get better with experience. (I’m with you on the cheating thing; it’s dishonest, and living a double life sneaking around creates too much anxiety.) If he’s willing to experiment, there are all kinds of ways to do this. You can play with others together, or you can do so separately. It’s a good idea to start off with a set of guidelines that may evolve over time. Do you schedule certain days that you see other people? Is it a don’t-ask-don’t-tell arrangement, or do you share details? Is there a limit to the number of times you see each person? Do you develop two or three other friends-with-benefits (or, just benefits!) and stick with them? Do you specify certain sexual activities that are off-limits with your play dates? Any of these possibilities carries the mandate of absolute safe practice, of course.
If the issue really is more that you find sex with your boyfriend boring because he’s less experienced (or adventurous or kinky) or if the chemistry just isn’t there, this does not bode well for your future sexual happiness together. You can try to gently guide him and see how far he can go, but honestly, the early phase of a relationship is when the sex for most couples is the hottest and most fresh. After getting some clarity on your different goals and expectations, the two of you may decide it’s best to cut bait.
Lisa Griffin, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of North Carolina. With nearly 30 years of clinical experience, Dr. Griffin specializes in gender identity and sexual orientation issues, working primarily with gender-variant, transgender, and queer people (children, adolescents, and adults) and their families.
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