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Author Topic: I have no one else to ask
shell369
Neophyte
Member # 100950

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Firstly, I'd like to say I have gone through other posts with similar questions. I've been in this relationship for two years and I've been open with communication and showing that I am here for him.
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My boyfriend enjoys being submissive and enjoys anal penetration. He just revealed this to me a few months ago after dating 1.5 years. He told me about 8 months after we started dating that he is bisexual and also enjoys dressing up and wearing make-up from time to time.

I have been feeling really awful about myself because I am just not into anal penetration whatsoever, it just isn't appealing to me. I've tried to get into it, but it just isn't something I'm able to "be into." So I've been concerned that I wont be able to satisfy him sexually if I'm not able to do that. He's said plenty of times he's okay with it, but it's been something I've been struggling with for a while, nonetheless.

I've told him plenty of times that I want to talk about his sexuality and discuss it with him so he feels comfortable with it. He feels really ashamed about his sexuality and I'm the only person he's talked to about it. It's constantly been a factor in our relationship that causes a lot of tension and we have talked with each other about it to the point where it is one of the only things that we think could break us up if it isn't discussed. My concern is not being able to satisfy his sexual wants and needs - and his concern is mainly just not knowing if he would be okay with it in the long run. I've tried to give him time to open up about it and discuss all these things with me, but it's been a year and a half and it's gotten no where.

I'm at the point in the relationship where it feels like we're not growing together anymore. I feel very distant and kind of resentful that it's constantly something I worry about and try to talk with him about - and we never get anywhere with the conversation. It's definitely affected our sex life because I just don't feel close with him and I feel very insecure in the relationship. I've tried to be patient and I understand I can't force him to talk about it with me, but it's affecting the relationship and I'm afraid the lack of intimacy and closeness will build up and ruin the relationship. I've tried to apply my sexuality education and communication skills - but it's getting me no where and I feel helpless about it.

The newest development is that I recently found out that he's been using one of my sex toys for penetration while he masturbates. He didn't ask me; he didn't even plan on telling me until I noticed something out of place in my 'sex suitcase'. The fact that he went through my stuff and used a personal toy appalls me. And it disturbs me even more that he continued to plan on doing it without telling me - just putting it back in with my other sex toys like nothing had happened. Placing all sanitary concerns aside (which, is another thing all together) he told me he KNEW he shouldn't have done it and did it anyways. Not only that, but he did it more than once! At first I was under the impression he'd only done it that one time - but he later told me (after I explicitly asked him) he'd been doing it for a while!

My initial reaction was literally telling him to 'get his own.' What I don't understand is why he bypassed a one-time "embarrassing" conversation to ask me to buy one for him (or buy one himself) instead of going behind my back and crossing personal boundaries and disrespecting my personal space like that. I've been so open about telling him that I want to talk about his sexual needs/wants/desires/identity/espression and discuss these things with him. I've been so open about telling him I would try things and OPENLY telling him and showing him that I'm not judging him and there's nothing wrong with how he expresses himself - yet he STILL opted to do that. It completely betrayed my trust, crossed the line and pissed me off. I told him all of this. And now he just wants to know how to make it up to me.

I'm at a loss here. I don't know what else to do. He told me, he "had no other outlet, so he needed it from somewhere" in defense of using my sex toy. Immediately, his choice of words just sounded like something a person would say if they cheated on someone. (Which I know is definitely a jump from using a sex toy to a person - but it really hit home with my constant insecurity of feeling like I'm not able to satisfy him sexually). I feel lost and I don't know what else to do. I've tried to address this in our relationship and make it something we can discuss easily/openly and show him that it's not something to be ashamed of, but it's just not happening and I don't know what else to do. I love him so much, but I feel so distant and uncomfortable right now.

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Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
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Hi shell369 and welcome to Scarleteen,

It does sound like things are really difficult right now and that this has become a huge issue for the two of you.

You're voicing that much of the relationship has been centered around the two of you talking about whether you can meet his needs. To what extent has talking about your needs been addressed? I'm getting a picture of something that has been really imbalanced for a long time in terms of the focus it's getting, but am not sure if I'm understanding things accurately.

Am I understanding correctly that your boyfriend isn't sure whether he can be in a long-term relationship where he doesn't experience anal penetration as part of partnered sex?

It sounds as if your boyfriend using your toy triggered your insecurity about being able to meet his sexual needs, as well as feeling like a violation of your personal space and property. What steps have the two of you taken to try to bridge this gap. Has he, for example, gotten a toy of his own?

I guess the big question here is: What do you want to happen next and what do you think needs to happen in order for things to feel more connected between the two of you? Do you know if your boyfriend also feels like the two of you are growing more and more out of sync?

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Robin

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shell369
Neophyte
Member # 100950

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Thank you for your response.

I guess we haven't really talked much about my needs from him. I've told him more recently that I need him to talk to me about where we stand and if he can be in a relationship where partnered sex would not involve anal penetration. His only answer thus far has been "I don't know."

In terms of what has happened since our discussion about his using my toy - I ended up giving him the toy because I didn't feel comfortable keeping it. I told him, too, that if he asked me to get one for him - I would do that too. All he has asked is how he can make it up to me. I explained to him that it crossed a line with me and I have told him everything I've said in the original post here. But he hasn't been able to give me anything but "I don't know." He's told me he loves me and wants to be with me...but he is unsure if it's a relationship he can be in long term because I'm not interested in using a strap-on or penetrating him. I've told him that I need to have an answer, because I feel like at this point, I can't keep being in a relationship with someone who isn't sure whether or not he's in it for the long haul. He knows what I want - but he wont be open with me about what he wants with the relationship.
I don't know how to bridge the gap - I feel like I've tried everything to show him I'm open to his needs and I'm actively trying. But he isn't giving me any answers and it makes me feel really alone.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Hey there, shell.

It sounds to me like there are a few big issues at hand here, rather than just the one. I hear you talking about some sexual wants where you two aren't compatible (which often isn't a dealbreaker: any two people having exactly the same tastes and wants in a whole sex life is pretty unusual), but also about what sound like some big communication issues, some issues with understanding needs for some boundaries, and you two seeming to be at a crossroads in figuring out if you want to continue this relationship, period.

I'm wondering if we might make some progress by, for now, sidestepping the particular issue around the sex toy, and his desire for pegging, and checking in for a general weather report about the relationship as a whole?

In other words, on the whole, how has this relationship been for you? How is it feeling now, in a very broad way? Does it feel like something you do feel great about continuing to pursue and be in? Do you feel at home in it and with this person; do you feel you two connect well on the whole?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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shell369
Neophyte
Member # 100950

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Hi Heather,

As a whole, this relationship has been one of the healthiest in my life. We've always been open with each other and communicate well (except when it involves this topic)and we respect each other. He never makes me feel bad about myself and he's very affectionate and caring. I want my future to be with him and I want to be married and have babies. We live together now and we have expressed that we imagine a life together (except when it comes to this never-ending void of not talking about it). Right now it's our sex life and me feeling distant because I feel hurt. But I do want to continue the relationship, I'm just afraid of his being "unsure" whether or not he would/wouldn't want to continue the relationship. He says he can't possibly know how he'll feel in ten years, so he can't answer the question. And I understand it's fluid and people change - but him being so unsure about our future makes me feel unstable, like I'm just waiting for him to make or break the relationship.
He is the type of person that likes to "go with the flow" so to speak, and I'm the kind of person that likes to take the reins and work towards the direction even if it's going to cause more effort and stress. He doesn't seem understand his non-committal answers make me feel like we're balancing on the edge of breaking up or staying together every day. I don't know how to explain it right.
But he's a wonderful man. I know it's hard for him to talk about the things he's uncomfortable with. But he's always been amazing. I was in an abusive relationship before I met him and he knows it - and he was patient with me when I would react in ways that didn't seem to make sense (PTSD kinds of reactions)and he's a warm, kind-hearted man.I know he's not doing this to be selfish or hurt me, but I'm at a loss for what to do from here.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Thanks for that: that context helps me get a bigger picture here.

So, would *you* say that the only big issue between the two of you now really IS around his desire for anal sex, and the way communication seems to break down around it?

Or, would you include things like what sounds like a very different style in dealing with conflicts on your problem list, especially since that can obviously be something in the future -- like with parenting, for example -- that might present more big problems?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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shell369
Neophyte
Member # 100950

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Well I'd say the biggest problem is how we can't communicate about his desire for anal penetration and the way it makes me feel in the relationship.I want us to be able to keep growing together, individually and as a couple. But this is holding us back and it's interrupting our intimacy and my ability to feel secure in the relationship. I've always known him to 'go with the flow' so I don't necessarily have a problem with it - except it's actually affecting our personal relationship and it makes me feel like he's not listening to what I'm telling him I need from him.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Can I ask if there is anything you really like or want to do sexually that he doesn't have an interest in?

Can I also ask if you feel that what's making you feel unstable and insecure around this is his desire for something sexual you don't want to do (and thus, a desire he likely won't have fulfilled by you), or if it's more about the way he's handling the communication around this?

(That last para was a little convoluted in terms of how I worded it, so if it doesn't make any sense to you, shout, and I'll try again. [Smile] )

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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shell369
Neophyte
Member # 100950

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Well, I'm pretty "vanilla" in terms of what I prefer sexually. (I went to a Kink 1001 class, and that's how they referred to sex without additional flair, you could say).

I'm insecure because I can't fulfill his desire and the way he communicates about it makes me feel like he is unsure if he's okay that I don't feel comfortable fulfilling that desire. I feel like I need to know if he's actually in this relationship 100% or if he's just staying in it because he cares about me and doesn't want to hurt me. I just feel like the way he thinks about our future is disheartening because I dont feel like he is devoted 100% to this relationship if he answers questions about our future with "I don't know". (Even though he CAN'T know, but I feel like he should have some sort of strong confidence about our relationship in some way.) Does that make sense?

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Heather
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Absolutely, what you're saying is making sense.

Just because you're not what someone else would identify as kinky doesn't actually tell me if you like or want anything sexually he's not into. The reason I asked you about that was to see if we couldn't put the shoe on the other foot in any way here, so you could identify an example coming from yourself of something sexually YOU wanted your partner doesn't, to get a sense of how that can feel, and how that sometimes can be a dealbreaker, but just as often isn't one.

I agree, that obviously, he might not know right now how important over time not being able to engage in that kind of sex with you might be.

It also sounds to me like how this has been handled so far not only is probably triggering more insecurity in you than it might were it handled otherwise -- like say, him talking with you in advance bout how getting and using toys to engage in receptive sex with his own masturbation is something he wanted to try to take care of fulfilling that desire himself -- but that it's creating its own communication problems.

I wonder if perhaps finding a way to talk about this together, making clear that you don't expect concrete answers to things he obviously can't answer concretely, but that you *need* a different way of approaching this where the way you two agree to approach and address it is more concrete is what's needed here. Does that sound like it might at least make a positive difference for you?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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shell369
Neophyte
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Well, I think that would be positive. I just don't know how to do it. And I feel like I need some sort of way to determine if I can feel steady in the relationship because it's hard for me to trust someone if I feel like he's not "in" it 100%. I understand he can't give me concrete answers, but I also don't want to keep feeling like the ball could drop at any moment. I don't know how to talk these things out, because every time I've tried it just turns into a disaster and makes the both of us overwhelmed.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I'm happy to keep talking with you and see if we can't brainstorm some approaches together, if you'd like.

One thing I will say, though, just for you to think about, is that you might want to check in about what you want here in terms of what you need to feel stable. People in relationships will often, if not always, tend to have doubts or uncertainties, or things they just aren't sure about. That doesn't mean they're not invested in those relationships though, or that they're not committed to them. So, in looking into all of this, thinking it through, and talking about it, I'd suggest really focusing on establishing if he's 100% invested in working this stuff through, and not just ditching out at any given moment due to conflict, rather than in specific outcomes or agreements like, for example, saying he has decided, somehow, that he is okay never having a given kind of sex for a lifetime, which I just don't think we can ask of anyone realistically or soundly. Know what I mean?

I'd also suggest checking in with yourself to be sure you really feel okay getting as committed as you clearly are to this right now in terms of your own readiness to really deal with the fact that even in, for example, a marriage, or a relationship where people are having kids, there's just never any 100% guarantee everyone is going to stick around, and of course, some things can always, always change.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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