DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: My girlfriend and I are both virgins, and we’ve have been in a relationship for two years and change. Recently – around two years ago – we ended our long-distance relationship and finally started living together. Ever since I moved in, she’s been more and more insistent on having sex.
Simply put, I don’t want to have sex yet. She always respects it when I say no (otherwise I would have broken up her the first time she did this) but she seems to get very upset when I do. She’s been getting increasingly antsy about it each time. She’s even started telling people I wont have sex with her, and has been making remarks to others about how I wont have sex with her in casual conversation… whether it’s private or not.
I honestly feel quite close to screaming at her about it, but I don’t want to be the person to bring it to that point. The last thing I want is an argument. It’s incredibly upsetting because I feel as though she isn’t respecting my boundaries on this.
If it’s worth mentioning, I’ve still been regularly masturbating and my sex drive is still very much intact. I just don’t personally feel ready for this, the way that she seems to be. She even dropped condoms near me and said “We’re using these tonight” before going to work today.
Stressed and Unsure
DEAR STRESSED AND UNSURE: Dude, I’m not going to lie: my immediate response is to tell you to break up with her right the hell now.
I wish you’d included a little more information in your letter, like how old you two are and just why you don’t want to have sex yet. Not because your reasoning makes a difference – you can decide you aren’t ready for any damn reason you choose – but because that would make it easier to give you an idea what to say to her about your desire to not sleep with her just yet.
But the truth is that it doesn’t matter what you say to her because the answer here is to get the fuck out of this relationship already. First, there’s the fact that the two of you are simply sexually incompatible. We tend to think of sexual compatibility as people whose wants, needs and kinks line up correctly or who have relatively similar sex drives. But another element of sexual compatibility is how you feel about sex in general and in your relationship in particular. She wants to have sex right the hell now. You aren’t ready yet and you don’t give an indication of just how long it’ll be until you are ready. That alone is a strong indicator that you two aren’t going to work out. Right now you’re in a situation that’s not fair to you, and it’s not fair to her. She would be happier in a relationship with someone who’s ready for sex and you’d be happier in a relationship with someone who’s willing to wait. The kindest thing to do would be for the two of you to break up so that you can find the people you are compatible with.
That having been said, there’s a much bigger issue here than the fact that you two are on different timelines regarding sex, and it’s one that’s way the hell more troubling.
I want to highlight something you said, SaU: “She always respects it when I say no (otherwise I would have broken up her the first time she did this) but she seems to get very upset when I do.”
First of all: getting upset at you for saying no – even if she doesn’t push the issue further – is the oppositeof respecting your no. She’s doing what a lot of people do in toxic relationships: she’s giving you the chance to say “no” but she’s making it abundantly clear that this isn’t the answer that she wants. Now she’s going to punish you until you say “yes” because it’s easier than dealing with the fallout of saying “no”.
But then there’s the rest of her behavior: bringing up your relationship issues with others to humiliate you, dropping condoms off and telling you that you’re fucking her tonight… that’s shitty, that’s unacceptable and it’s coercive as hell.
What she’s doing is trying to get you to change your mind without actually asking you to do so. By making a fuss – getting upset, demanding explanations, bringing it up in ways designed to embarass you in front of friends and strangers – she’s trying to pressure you into to saying yes, even though that’s not what you want. This, unfortunately, is a shockingly common tactic. Sometimes it comes with an implicit threat. Sometimes it comes with an explicit one. Often times it comes with just constantly ignoring the fact that someone said no by asking “So… how about now? What about now? What about now? Oh you didn’t mean it that time, so what about now?”
It doesn’t matter that you masturbate regularly or that your libido is raring and ready to go when you’re finally ready. This is shitty behavior when it’s a guy doing it to his partner, and it’s just as shitty when it’s a woman doing it to hers.
Now I will grant this: you two sound painfully young. It’s entirely possible your girlfriend has bought into the idea that all guys are horny satyrs and can’t quite process why you won’t fuck her already. She may not realize just how toxic her behavior is. But that ignorance doesn’t make what she’s doing any better; the fact that she doesn’t recognize what she’s doing to you doesn’t absolve her from doing it. If – and that’s one mighty big if – you think that she’s acting out of ignorance, then you need to sit her down and have the extended dance remix of a boundary-setting conversation with her. You need to tell her that you have something to say and you need her to listen to all of it before she says anything. Then lay it all out for her: why you aren’t ready to have sex yet, when you might be ready and why her behavior upsets you and – most importantly why she needs to cut it the ever-loving-blue-fuck out.
And then the ball’s in her court. Either she can respect your wishes and your boundaries… or she can get the hell out.
Frankly, my vote’s on the latter. But who knows; sometimes people will surprise you.
DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: Recently I hit it off with this girl at work. She is here on an international program and won’t be in the states for long. She said she was open to having a fun time and, well, one thing led to another and we ended up in bed together.
She told me her previous sexual experiences weren’t that good, so I decided to make it all about her that night. She seemed to enjoy everything because in the heat of the moment she said “finally a guy that knows what a girl wants”
She stayed the night and, come morning, we started making out and had great morning sex together. She left a couple of hours later, kissed me and thanked me for a great time. We decided to remain friends who hook up on occasion.
We continued texting for a few days and decided to hang out again… only her roommates joined us this time. We went out for drinks and I could feel we were leaning closer into each other and I really wanted to kiss her. I guess she wasn’t into it because the next thing I know, she told me “We are just hanging out as friends.”
I pumped the brakes and decided not to follow through. I asked if she was going home after and she said that she had recently had her hair done and “I go home with you my hair will get sweaty.” This made me laugh.
Once the night came to an end I just felt awkward about the whole situation. Now I am wondering: how do I keep cool and not “scare her off”?
Trying To Stay Casual
DEAR TRYING TO STAY CASUAL: Alright my dude, let me give you the advice you really need right now: slow. Your. Roll.
There’re a couple things going on here. The first is that the fact that you hooked up and had that awesome night (and morning after) doesn’t mean that you’re gonna bang every time you hang out. Part of that whole “friends who hook up on occasion” agreement you made were the words “friends” and “on occasion”. While she enjoyed the sex and had a great time, that doesn’t translate to “sex is always on the table.” I suspect that what she’s much more interested in is a friend who she can hang out with, enjoy herself, have fun while she’s overseas… and if she happens to decide “yes, a dude going down on me would be nice tonight”, she knows that you’re going to be a reliable good time.
So don’t necessarily assume that sex is going to happen whenever you see one another. There will likely be times when she just wants company and companionship. That’s harder to enjoy if she feels like she’s gonna have to turn you down every single time you get together.
The other thing to keep in mind: her roommates were there with you. It’s entirely possible that she doesn’t want her roommates to know much about her business – especially who she’s hooking up with. Right now you’re a friend and a good time, not her boyfriend. She may not want to have to explain that you’re a friend with occasional benefits. Or she may just not like making out in front of her roommates.
Or it could well be that as much as she enjoyed your hook-up, it was a one-time thing and she doesn’t have any interest in another round – either in general or with you.
Now none of this means that you have to act like the sex never happened or that you have to behave like she’s a nun. Hang out with her, flirt with her, be your fun, cool self. Just be aware of her comfort and her interest. Let her take the lead to let you know if she’s in the mood for kissing someone or being kissed. The more fun the two of you have together without her feeling like you’re expecting sex at the end of the night, the better the odds are that she’ll be interested in another night with a guy who knows what he’s doing in bed.
DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I’m a young lad only 15 and I recently asked a girl out that I had been thinking about for a small amount of time. I was very straightforward and direct as I usually am, she told me she wasn’t ready for a relationship, but gave me her number anyway.
I’m mainly trying to suss out what she means, any help would be great!
Don’t Forget My Number
DEAR DON’T FORGET MY NUMBER: It means pretty much what she said, man. She’s not interested in a relationship.
But that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t like you or think you’re cool; clearly she wants to stay in contact if she gave you her number. So treat this as a low-key opportunity to talk, flirt and possibly hang out with someone cool.
Just don’t treat this as a way of back-door-ing your way into a relationship. If she wants to date you, she’ll let you know.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, firstname.lastname@example.org)