Ms. Behavior®: Humdrum Sex Life and Uncertain of Signals


Dear Ms Behavior:

I’ve been dating a guy who is also my roommate/landlord for almost two years and from the beginning, prior to my moving into his home, he was very aware of my desire to be in a monogamous relationship with him.  After moving in and living there for seven months, I found out that when he said he was going out to spend time with friends, he was actually out hooking up with any stranger he could find.  When my birthday approached he also went and met up with a guy after having sex with me.  After finding out about all of this, I confronted him and we had a long talk; so far as I know, we have been monogamous ever since.

However my problem is this: when he was out “hooking up” he was doing all sorts of fun things with other guys, but now, since becoming monogamous, our sex life is lackluster at best.  Most times I do anything and everything to sexually please him, such as massages, oral, bottoming, rimming etc, but when it’s “my turn” to get off, it is always a dry handjob with yawning that I get from him. If I want anything more I need to ask for it. I’ve talked to him about this several times; each time it’s been okay for a short while after the discussion, and then back to the same old boring thing.

I obviously still have some trust issues with him but I love him and he tells me he loves me very much as well.  However, my thinking is that relationships also need intimacy and we lack this fully.  Should I just give up after two years and move along? Am I wasting my time? I just hate giving up on something I’ve worked at for two years.


Dear Deciding:

Your dilemma is rife with complications and questions. First there’s the fact that the beginning of your relationship coincided with moving together, not to mention that your boyfriend is also your roommate/landlord, which potentially creates confusion around things like convenience vs. power vs. love.  Second, there’s the question of how well a relationship can work when it’s between two people who have different values regarding monogamy vs. sexual freedom.  You yourself noted that sex became rather humdrum once your boyfriend stopped being with other people. Maybe he (and even, unconsciously you?) need the excitement of sex with others in order to keep your own relationship lively.  This issue needs further exploration.

Some people aren’t good for much after they come. If he gives you a “dry handjob” after you please him, why not try letting him please you first? Then maybe he’ll be able to offer something other than lazy sex.

Since there are many issues to unravel, couples counseling might help. If he won’t go with you, you’d probably benefit from solo therapy to sort this out for yourself.  Don’t let the two years be the deciding factor: The real question is not whether you should stay together because of what you’ve already invested, but rather whether you’d still choose him knowing what you already know.


Dear Ms. Behavior:

How do you tell if a woman is into you?  I have been living a heterosexual life for a long time.  As an inexperienced woman, I feel I have a lot to offer a woman but I have no idea how to tell if she would have interest in me.  I’ve been going to clubs but I don’t know if there is true interest because my history is of men approaching me, not women.

-A friend

Dear Friend:

When men like you, it’s easier to tell  (even when they don’t have an erection flailing about like a mailing tube when they dance with you or eat a sandwich). They’re culturally and evolutionarily trained to let you know that they’re interested.

Women really aren’t all that bewildering, but some are more subtle than others. Detecting whether or not a woman is into you will depend on how much she’s willing to put herself out there. Some babes are direct and will just tell you they like you or ask you on a date. Others will circle around like sharks, checking you out, assessing your interest, waiting to see if you notice them. Over time, it will become easier to read their body language and their more subtle expression of interest. Maybe you can find an experienced lesbian friend or two who can accompany you on your “journey” (but please don’t use that word). And, if you go with a group of friends to the places where women are known to hang out, graze, or dance, you might actually have fun.


© 2012 Meryl Cohn. Address questions and correspondence to [email protected].

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