post

The V-Spot: Is My Romance Dead?

Dear Yana,

I know your column is mainly about sex, but for me, it’s all about the romance. I’ve been struggling for decades to balance my love of flowers, dancing, and candlelight with my love of a husband who struggles with intimacy (for good reasons) and who promises me these things after an increasingly strongly worded hint from me that it is the little things that matter. But he never follows it through.

The passion, friendship … everything else is there and over the years I have opened my spirit to a Zen-like acceptance for what he isn’t able to express. But there is no denying the fact that subtle seduction and the charm of being surprised is what lures me between the sheets. I have a very deep love of a man who is partly dense, partly lazy, but moreover I believe too wounded by his past to ever give of himself in a delicate way.

How do I smooth out the edges of my chafing heart? (I have in the past taken him dancing, on picnics, to unexpected places and so on, but I am beginning to pine to be led into the forest of romance.) Perhaps in the age of Trump chivalry is dead and the roses have shriveled away.

— In Love with a Non-Romantic

Dear In Love,

First, I love that you sent me this letter via mail. I myself feel romanced by your extra efforts in mailing me a real live letter rather than shooting off an email as you hurriedly slash your Monday morning inbox at the office. You’re clearly geared towards going the extra mile rather than taking a shortcut — and I love it.

I don’t know the specifics of your husband’s painful past. However, while it’s important to tread carefully around people’s traumas, I also believe that it’s equally important for all members of a relationship to put in the work it takes to make themselves and the relationship healthy.

Meaning, is your partner holding you at arm’s length in the name of past experiences and then simply shrugging and calling it a day? Or are his past hurts something that he is working on processing and existing alongside of in the relationship?

I’ll give you a personal example: I’ve always been open about the fact that I struggle with anxiety. High anxiety days typically (and understandably) aren’t my most “I feel sexy!” days. However, I also know that sticking to regular yoga, not overloading my work schedule, and attending weekly therapy all help me manage my anxiety.

This doesn’t mean anxiety will magically disappear from my life, but it does mean that I put in the work to manage it so that it doesn’t negatively impact me and/or intimacy in my relationship ALL the time…continue reading…

post

Is It Okay to Quit Sex?

I’m a relatively young woman who enjoyed an active, above-average sex life for my entire adult life, even after the birth of my first two children. However, I found that after my last son was born, my desire for sex suddenly vanished to the degree that I can say that I could be completely happy — and even possibly happier — if I never had another sexual encounter with a partner or even alone.

This obviously poses an issue in my marriage. I know that you aren’t a doctor or anything, but I was just hoping to get your thoughts on the issue, as someone who has been involved in open sexual dialogue.

I recently wrote some tips to a new mother whose sex life was floundering in the column “New Mom Needs to Get Some.” My advice focused on finding ways to incorporate sex more creatively into their new routines as parents and to take part in non-sexual activities together to foster a more sexually charged atmosphere between them.

For you, however, MMAS, it sounds like parenting isn’t necessarily getting in the way of your sex life but that you’ve come to realize that sexual activity is no longer a priority, or possibly even a desire, for you.

I want to throw the term “asexuality” out there for you to either pick up and try on for size or to just leave on the floor if it doesn’t fit you. Asexuality is an identifier used to describe oneself as a person who does not experience sexual attraction and/or has a low or absent interest in sexual activity, considered by some as its own sexual orientation.

The research around asexuality is new, but many sex bloggers have been recently speaking to the asexual experience to bring attention to the idea that not everyone wants to have sex — gasp! To say that our culture is sexually charged would be an understatement — sex is used to sell us everything from sandals to soap. We spend truckloads of cash trying to cum and assume that we’re broken when we can’t, and obsess over how long it’s been since we’ve gotten laid. But what happens when we just don’t want to?

It’s possible, MMAS, that you just don’t want to have sex. And that’s your choice. If what you say is your truth — that you feel happier without sex — then follow your bliss. If you feel like there are underlying traumas or triggers that are preventing you from enjoying sex, then that’s something you might consider addressing with a sex-positive counselor.

The challenge here is that your sexuality and sex life are tied to another’s — your spouse’s...continue reading…

post

Why Don’t I Want Sex With My BF?

I’ve been with my boyfriend for six years and he was my first and only sexual partner. Sexually we struggle. Well, I struggle. The thought of having sex is like a chore. I try really hard to do it even when I don’t want to because I know he needs that and it’s a necessary part of our relationship. He isn’t forceful or anything; I just feel bad. Once I can get myself past the initiation of it, it can be enjoyable. I’m career-oriented and my focus isn’t on the relationship. The sexual aspect of it just isn’t important to me and I don’t want to do it.

However, I think about sleeping with other people all the time and I even told him that. He told me if I wanted to have a one night stand I could if I never saw that person again.

This idea is appealing because I sometimes think I might be taking my boyfriend for granted, but I just don’t have much to compare him to. I don’t know that I could actually go through with it though. It’s basically an okay to cheat! He also says I couldn’t be mad if he does it as well. I might be fine with this because I know I don’t fulfill his needs as a man.

We love each other and talk about long term. So, why don’t I want to have sex with my boyfriend? Does sleeping with someone else put me in an open relationship or is that just a hall pass? Will it work or ruin everything?

This is A LOT! So here’s some quick-and-dirty advice:

1.) Open relationships can be great! But I don’t think it’s a viable option for you two at this time as there’s other work that needs doing here.

2.) Stop having this chore-sex that you outright say you don’t want to be having. Sex doesn’t need to be forceful in order to be nonconsensual, BotC. Being together for six years does not negate the need for consent — meaning, you and your boyfriend both saying an enthusiastic “Yes!” to the sex you’re both enjoying together and actively negotiating until you can get there.

3.) No one has ever died of blue balls and your boyfriend’s penis doesn’t need you. This antiquated, sexist, bullshit reasoning that women need to submit to men because men need to get off is a social set-up. In many ways it works against both men and women and certainly against consensual, loving, good sex and it’s a set-up that your boyfriend is (subconsciously or consciously) using to his benefit…continue reading…