Hello ladies, thanks for taking the time out to read this. I apologize for the length and I hope you’ll be able to assist me. I posted this on BD’s blog, but he told me to come here, so this is the same issues I’ve asked help for from him. The second part is a response I gave to another poster further explaining my experiences and frustrations.
I’m 24 and dying to be more sexually adventurous but I keep running into 3 problems.
1.) The guy is great, but he isn’t sexually adventurous and demands monogamy.
2.) The guy is shit, but he is sexually adventurous.
3.) The guy is decent and sexually adventurous, but he doesn’t practice safe sex.
Thus I’ve never had sex with problems 2-3. In order to get sex I agree to monogamous relationships that aren’t fulfilling my needs. I AM NOT a serial dater! I’ve had 3 boyfriends and 2 sexual partners in my lifetime. While I’m capable of loving and bonding with others, I have never felt an emotional/romantic connection with anyone (so LTR is of no interest to me).
I don’t enjoy monogamous relationships, I find them to be stifling and exhausting. Now I always care for my partners deeply and attend to their needs, always faithful (as are they) but I’m never happy or fulfilled in the relationship (while they always are). Not that they have been one sided, they just don’t do it for me.
A few months ago I met a wonderful man and we started having great sex a few weeks ago. However he brought up the dreaded girlfriend conversation. We do have chemistry but he isn’t sexually adventurous and he believes in monogamy. He said that he’s done the open relationship route 3 times and he’s tired of it. He’s the type of guy that needs an emotional connection in order to have sex. He made it clear that we could still be friends, but FWB would NOT be an option because he’s developed feelings for me.
I finally gave him an answer last week (which was no). I could tell that he was disappointed but he said he’s enjoying his time with me now. I know he’s lying to me, the only reason he’s “enjoying the moment with me” is because I’m not seeing anyone else right now. But this keeps happening to me.
What am I doing wrong? Why do men keep trying to tie me down? The guys who are DTF are irresponsible or jack asses that make my vagina shrivel and die out of disgust. Do I just have to just suck it up and stay in a monogamous relationship with great sex but not the kind of sex I want sex (needless to say not feeling emotionally/romantically attached to the other person while they feel it for me)? Or do I just have to accept the fact that if I’m going to live a life full of non-committed sexual relationships that I have to accept one or some of my partners will be irresponsible and possibly put my life in danger?
“Potentials” always get offended by the STD talk and promise to show their papers, but the papers never come, and the sex doesn’t happen because of it. I get tested regularly and always offer my test results to new sexual partners. How do your partners react to the STD talk? Do either of you ask for test results before you engage in sex?
Part 2 – It doesn’t bother me that some men prefer or want monogamy, I’m bothered that I keep attracting these men. I’m a supporter of different strokes for different folks. I don’t want to force or coerce anyone into doing something they don’t believe in. However I also don’t want to be forced or coerced into doing something I don’t believe in. The monogamy probably wouldn’t be as painful if they were open minded in the bedroom, but they never are. NEVER, for example the guy I’m seeing now literally told me that kinks and sexual exploration are for people who have unfilled empty lives. He’s happy with his life so he doesn’t need to try different types of sex. It blew me away that he wasn’t even willing to try something new.
Also in my past relationships we start out fucking like rabbits but after a few months the sex dies down considerably. From my experience the men I’ve dated just don’t have the libido to match mine. I’m by no means a sex addict, but I have an appetite. It seems like they fake having an HL to trap me. I know there is a sea of great available, sexually adventurous men out there that have the same beliefs that I do, but I have no fucking idea where they roam. I keep meeting the extremes of the spectrum. I was able to hold onto an FWB relationship for a short period of time that was very sexually fulfilling, but he too wanted a monogamous commitment after sleeping together on and off over a 1 year period.
It also doesn’t bother me that some men are assholes. I’m simply not attracted to the overly macho, arrogant, aggressive, sexist type. I am highly bothered by the men who don’t take safe sex or their sexual health seriously though. I can’t believe that some people are so careless with their lives and the lives/health of their partners. I’m really hoping this coming advice will help me out. My sexual frustration is building and my hope is at an all time low. I don’t want monogamy to be my only option.
There’s a lot to unpack here, so if you’ll bear with me I’m going to reorganize your topics a little into problem areas, each with a solution or two that’s worked for me.
- You’re having trouble finding guys to have casual sexual relationships with who treat you well, but don’t want to wife you
- You’re having trouble sustaining friends-with-benefits situations long-term
- You’re seeing that libido tends to drop off (between you and a guy) after a period of time, say a few months
- You’re having trouble finding guys who are sexually adventurous but not jackasses
- New partners are offput by your approach to sexual health / it’s difficult to find guys who are as serious about sexual health as you are
So, one at a time:
It’s hard to find guys to have casual sexual relationships with who treat you well, but don’t want to wife (i.e. monogamously long term date) you.
What you’re working against here is a combination of dude baggage, general human nature, and your peer group age.
Dude baggage – Most guys have internalized the idea that wanting anything less than a monogamous long-term relationship with a girl they have sex with harms her; many guys will allow this bullshit to trump literally anything you say or do to the contrary, so deeply do they treasure it. In practice that means that a lot of men, consciously or unconsciously, try to dehumanize women they have casual sex with to offset their feelings about hurting girls. With enough emotional distance they can flee their fear of your presumed feelings / their father’s disapproval / the idea that they didn’t “score” you in spite of yourself / whatever, but ironically this makes them infinitely more likely to behave in a douchey way and actually hurt you. Good thing “men are logical,” right?
Human nature / peer group age. Look – people develop feelings for each other, especially when you add sex to the mix. It may not be where your head is at right now (or ever – who knows), but it’s something you’re going to need to accept about human beings and how they do. You take those feelings and you throw them at a guy in your peer group – you said you’re 24, no? – and there’s a good chance he’s going to try to lock you down, because 22 to 32 is when men are conditioned to drop out of the race. The vast majority of guys will, in this age range, decide they’re finally “ready” and pick a girl they have decided is the one and try to lock that shit down.
After 32 you’re looking at lifelong bachelors, permanent couples and people who things didn’t work out for in the first round – which changes the demographics a little. But right now, as far as guys trying for something monogamous goes, you are essentially walking in a minefield.
My suggestion – In my experience, the perfect fuckbuddy fits in one of three categories:
- No-Baggage – There are guys out there who can and will be good to you, connect with you emotionally, and treat you like a human being who’s just a little more than a friend without needing to formalize that connection or put rules around it. When you see these guys I suggest that you jump on them – they can be captured in the wild, so to speak, but more often seem to circulate by referral. So. Keep your ears open when your girlfriends try to hook you up with someone for casual sex. That said, don’t hold out waiting for Mr. No-Baggage (as it sounds like you are right now) or you’re going to have some pretty long dry spells.
- In-Another-Life – People you could have had a wonderful relationship with except for one absolute dealbreaker make great fuckbuddies. For example – you’re out of college, and he’s barely out of high school. Or one of you is only in the country for a year. Or you someday dream of marriage and a house and kids and he’s a lifestyle bachelor. What makes Mr. In-Another-Life great is the combination of good chemistry and some kind of disqualifying factor that can’t be mitigated. It means you both get to have warm gooey interactions (and warm gooey sex), without anyone ever having to worry about the unspoken question – “why isn’t this a ‘thing’?”
- Mr. Already-Locked-Down – Here I mean, specifically, experienced poly guys or guys in pre-existing successful open relationships. I don’t include monogamous cheaters in this category because – though they’re not something I have a lot of personal experience with – observation suggests that many cheaters are serial monogamists looking to get a footing in something new before leaving the safety of their existing relationship. Anyway – poly/open guys won’t try to lock you down into a monogamous relationship because it would disrupt their whole lifestyle. The caveat: I’m not talking about a guy in a recently opened relationship looking to step out for the first time, or just dipping his toes in polyamory – that’s a volatile situation. You want someone who’s been doing this for a while, and with some success.
So, to recap – feelings are a thing that can happen. If they don’t happen, someone will eventually get around to wondering why and that can be a problem. If they do happen, some guys will try to lock you down and that can also be a problem. Your best-in-show fuckbuddy will pre-qualified to handle this (Mr. No-Baggage) or pre-disqualified from handling it in a way you’re not looking for (Mr. In-Another-Life, Mr. Already-Locked-Down).
It’s hard to sustain a long-term friends-with-benefits situation
It took me a minute to get my head around what you’re asking here, because one of your examples was of a frustratingly short year long on-and-off fuckbuddy relationship. Then I remembered you’d also said this, and things started to click into place:
I AM NOT a serial dater! I’ve had 3 boyfriends and 2 sexual partners in my lifetime.
Why is it a problem to be a serial dater?
The best casual relationships tend to be, by their nature, transient but recurring. Lots of guys who’re a wonderful fit for what you’re looking for right now are a wonderful fit precisely because they’re in a transitional stage and figuring out what they want. They might be there and want that for a month, or a season, or a year – and then want something different. This is the sexual reality of the modern age: most people are serial monogamists. If you practice good breakup hygiene (offer closure without false hope, etc.) you might have a satisfying 2-year FWB – but there’s a good chance that those two years will be spread out over a decade. More, it’s important to be able to drop connections that aren’t working out (for whatever reason).
In my experience, the typical duration for a “short-term relationship” or FWB situation runs 3-6 months of regular sex at a go – longer, potentially, if you see each other less frequently (someone in a city you happen to hit a few times a year for some reason, for example). Expecting these relationships to last longer is no different than when guys ask you to commit to mono – you’re hoping/asking for an unspoken commitment on your terms, instead of theirs. It’s fine to want that, but that’s polyamory – or an open relationship – and not everyone will want to sign up for it.
To wrap this point I’d emphasize that you should seek quality FWBs, pursue those involvements to their natural conclusion, discard those that aren’t working for you, and move on when it seems appropriate – without concerning yourself about how many men this involves sleeping with or dating. It probably won’t be that many, because from your email it’s clear that you know what you want and aren’t willing to settle for less. But let the deciding factor be “is this working for me?” not “Well, I’ve already slept with him, so I might as well do it again” or “I don’t want to be a serial dater / sleep with too many guys.”
Libido drops off after a few months
Sorry, girl. This is basic biology and psychology. Guys aren’t faking you out – this is part of what’s called the “honeymoon period” or, in poly circles, “new relationship energy” (NRE). Even if you’re ostensibly casual, clicking with a new sexual partner fires off a flood of hormones and neurotransmitters, and that effect has a fade-out period. This is why — If I were empress of the universe — it would be a faux pas to commit within the first six months of dating. You’re not your “normal” self yet, and neither are they.
This drop-off is part of the reason that casual relationships tend to be short term – even among people who prefer them, there’s some tendency to move on to the next chemical hit when your interest level in a new partner drops. That said, a few thoughts on mitigating this:
First – as obvious as this sounds, are you continuing to flirt with these guys? Being as sexually provocative – and dressing as sexually — as you were when you first met can help eliminate complacency as an aggravating factor. This is an area where a lot of people (including men) can stand to tighten their game up after a few months with the same person – “Netflix and chill” gets old after a little while. If you’re on top of that, though:
It’s perfectly reasonable to ask a guy to take care of you sexually without reciprocation, if you’re in a context that’s conducive to that. Sometimes I ask the BF to finger me before bed so I can sleep easier when he doesn’t feel like having sex, for example – my girl-hands can’t reach the good spots, you know. Don’t be afraid to request what you need – most guys will want to feel like they’re satisfying you, so unless you’re very hard to get off there’s a good chance they’ll indulge you anyway.
It’s hard to find guys who are sexually adventurous but not jackasses
This can be a challenge. Not so much the “guys who aren’t jackasses” part – I feel like that’s a separate question covered by my suggestions in the section about finding good partners for casual sex – but the “sexually adventurous” part. In particular, it can be a challenge to find adventurous guys without having to tip your hand along the way and subject yourself to slut-shaming. Below I’m going to focus on a three-pronged solution that has worked for me: identifying adventurous guys in real life, identifying adventurous guys online, and participating in communities that specialize in sexual exploration.
Identifying adventurous guys in real life – As you’ve doubtless realized, most guys consider themselves a lot more adventurous than they actually are. What’s worse, the more some guys like you the less adventurous they will be with you. That said, you can get some bucket list mileage out of these situations anyway if the sex is otherwise good – because most men will have one “favorite fantasy” that they’ve always wanted to try (or repeat). Be sure to ask if there’s something they’ve always wanted to try and you will often find (threesomes, anal, pegging, etc) that the answer is yes.
That said, let’s imagine for a moment that you’ve met a new guy and you’re hitting it off, but you haven’t hooked up and you’d like to know if he’s open-minded sexually. There are a few approaches you can take to this, but my favorite has always been fun hypotheticals. There is a caveat here: I like fun hypotheticals in general, so I often toss these (or other weird scenario questions) at people I have no intention of sleeping with – they feel natural to me. If this isn’t something that fits with your conversational style, you may want to explore other strategies such as swapping funny (anonymized) past-partner stories. Try this, or similar:
“Imagine you’ve been seeing somebody for a few months and things are going well and you’re really digging them – and then, out of nowhere, they ask you to –“ thing you wouldn’t ask for. “Wear a superhero costume to bed.” “Let her wear a clown suit to bed.” “Sit on a sheet cake.” “Let all her stuffed animals watch you have sex.” Whatever.
The weirder the better; it’s more fun that way, and weirdness offers cover from people misreading you as feeling them out about the particular sex act in question, especially if you line up a couple of odd scenarios in a row. The important thing here is the attitude of the reply – you’re looking for a “Sure – why not?” or “Yeah, of course.” A guy who thinks indulging weird sexual requests is beneath his dignity, or outside his comfort zone, is simply not going to rock your world with new experiences. Expect to have the question batted back at you, and use that opportunity to make your position on the matter clear.
Identifying adventurous guys online – As far as I’m concerned, okcupid is the gold standard for finding sexually open-minded guys on a site that’s not lifestyle-specific. Get an account, put some good pictures up (with a decent profile), then methodically select, secretly answer, and up-rate the importance of questions related to sexual open-mindedness, non-monogamy, and willingness to engage in specific activities you’re interested in. I’ve found two successful multi-year non-monogamous relationships, a best friend, and an enjoyable fling or two this way – so I stand by it. You want guys with a VERY HIGH percent match using this method (I’ve gone out with multiple 99% matches), and don’t be surprised if a decent number of guys tell you you’re their “highest rated match” with numbers much lower than that.
Finding exploratory communities – You didn’t specify what kind of sexual exploration you’re looking to do, but: check out the kink and swinger communities near you. I can’t speak for swinger events since I haven’t dabbled in that scene, but at kink parties there will be plenty of people who will be happy to introduce you to a variety of new experiences. People love popping kink cherries, even if nothing more is on the table than the opportunity to show you a new experience and give you a taste of something they’re passionate about. Do your research, though – understand the upsides and downsides of these communities before you get your feet wet, learn the etiquette of the scene in question, and take any steps needed to be proactive and responsible about your own safety.
New partners react negatively to being questioned about their sexual health bona fides
Ok, bad news first: your current approach will absolutely put people off. There are a lot of sex-positive resources out there that will urge you to ABSOLUTELY demand test results first, and tell you anyone who’s not comfortable with that is a BIG DOUCHEBAG, and that’s fine – if it doesn’t rule out sex with guys that you really want to sleep with, and badly. But it almost certainly will. So here’s a slightly more nuanced perspective:
Outside of certain very specific circumstances, the shared cultural expectation is that “fucking responsibly” means:
1. You use protection for PIV or PIA sex,
2. You disclose if you have a known STD, and
3. You are within your rights to ask people you have an existing sexual relationship with about their test results.
You can compare this with the consensus rules of “driving responsibly”: Don’t be drunk, everybody wears a seatbelt, no texting while driving. “Responsible sex” rules have about the same level of acceptance and compliance, and for the same reason: they keep the majority of people safe the majority of the time, and they’re about as much risk mitigation as most people can fit into their day. Because these are generally accepted, no one will really bat an eye if you either enforce, or call them out on, these rules.
For perspective I’d urge you to do the following: research the STD transmission rates for a single protected sex act. They don’t jump out at you – you have to dig – because most statistics are provided in transmissions per year of unprotected sex with an infected partner. That’s…not what you’re doing. You can be pretty damn safe without requesting papers at the point of entry like a customs officer. I would also urge you to keep in mind that, in my experience, there’s a direct correlation between the level of STD risk someone exposes them to and how often they feel the need to get tested – so the fact that someone’s been tested recently is a data point that I would suggest you interpret in a larger context.
This is about as far as you can go without making things weird, outside of a subculture with special etiquette around testing and negotiation: when things are getting fun before sex, stop and look him in the eye and ask “You don’t have any STDs you know of, do you?” – Because it’s accepted etiquette that you should disclose, people who know they have (for example) HPV or HSV exposure may hesitate and/or disclose at this point. If that doesn’t work for you, in the kink scene you can probably get away with asking for papers first – but even then, most people won’t just have them ready to go.
So, in summary: if you want to be aggressive about testing, be aggressive about testing – but be aware that it will put a good number of people off. If you were going to focus on just one thing, I’d suggest looking for men who are enthusiastic condom-users rather than aggressively filtering for guys who get tested regularly and are eager to share their results; secondhand experience suggests that this demographic slants toward guys who want to have sex bareback and do so with most of their partners. But it’s a very personal cost-benefit, so you do you.