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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » How can we communicate if neither of us know how?

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Author Topic: How can we communicate if neither of us know how?
E_Marie
Neophyte
Member # 99360

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My boyfriend and I recently started dating about a year ago, but we've been close for around three years (and have had our own partners, a few sexually frustrated "just friends" talks yada yada) But we're in the odd situation where everything physical and most emotioal aspects (some we dealt with as friends) are completely new to him, while I've had several partners and have been sexually active for about three years. I feel guilty for hiding some things from him because he's a bit.. on the delicate side, emotionally. He doesn't act upset if I have a complaint, rather tries to solve the issue, but he goes into a mini-depression (tries to hide it) and he regularly goes into "a funk" for a few weeks or months at a time for no particular reason, where he's almost completely non-responsive and it worries me. I try to get him to talk about it, but he doesn't want to, to me or anybody else, sometimes I suspect he's trying to seem "manly". Then on the other hand there's me, who hasn't really had much for emotional reletionships in the past, just physical, so even bringing anything up is hard to do and awkward. But that doesn't mean I'm that kind of person, on the contrary, that's why previous reletionships crashed and burned (in the last one a couple years ago, the problem was that I felt like a toy) I'm a very emotional person, and when it comes to sex it's the process and the before and after, not the orgasm I'm after (I've long since given up on those, sometimes I think they happen but I'm not sure, sometimes I don't notice what might of been one later, most of the time they don't happen at all) so obviously being intimate with my partner during this process is what's important to me. Well, that's the rock we've hit. I'm trying to explain to him how I feel, I even showed him the "Yield to Pleasure" article, but he doesn't really get it. We had this problem awhile ago and I managed to get through to him, and he responded wonderfully.. for about two weeks, then it just faded back to the old habits that were bugging me. He rushes right into things, and there's very little (usually none) contact or talking or intimacy during sex, it's just.. sex. And after he jumps away to get dressed and clean up unless I hold him down and force him to sit for a few minutes. This is fine and dandy for him, he gets off, he's done for the day, goal achieved. But I'm seriously lacking on the intimacy side of things, no matter how much I try to initiate things or slow him down.
My main issue? I can't TALK to him about this, I've tried a bit and fumbled, and the last thing I want is for him to hear "you're lousy in the sack" instead of what I'm trying to get at (which would just slap his ego down and make him withdraw from me, making it worse) and if I do get through to him, I want the messege to last a bit longer then two weeks. Guys just don't get that it's different for us, they get off, we get off (or pretend to.. oops. Or worse, make a louder then usual noise and he assumes I did) everyones happy right? Nope.
That's my pickle (and I understand it took a bit of rambling to get to it.. sorry) We're both awkward and clumsy with words, or unwilling at times to even point out that there's a problem. Even last night when I brought it up and showed him the article he confessed he always feels guilty and embarrassed after sex.. but I shouldn't worry about it, it's not a problem at all (It's a very big problem to me!) He easily takes any issue like this as a personal blow to his manliness, but I don't want to end up with the same problem I had before, I'm not a sex toy, it takes a certain amount of intimacy to even HAVE sex-let alone enjoy it. On the other hand, it's almost like he considers himself a sex toy, while I try really hard to not treat him like one.
Thanks, and again, sorry for the rambling (sorry if you're confused out of your tree) But I just really have no where else to go to "learn" any of this stuff.

Posts: 30 | From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 25425

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Welcome to Scarleteen, Marie!

Communicating about sex can be pretty awkward. That is true especially if you are still fairly new to it, and/or if you have low self-esteem to start with and perceive suggestions as criticism. I understand that both are true for your partner, which understandably makes it difficult for you to approach him. But it also makes it all the more important, since obviously you are both unhappy with the way things are right now.

I'd say, actually, that it seems like you both got off on the wrong foot, sexually. It sounds like you didn't talk much about your wants and needs and simply jumped right into sex, and now you don't know how to change things.

But you don't have to stay stuck in this place. You can start over, and that's what I would suggest to you.

By starting over, I mean: take sex off the table for a while, and use that time to talk about what you want and need, how you experience sex, what your boundaries are, etc.

We've got some articles here that might help with these conversations:
Be a Blabbermouth! The Whats, Whys and Hows of Talking About Sex With a Partner
Yes, No, Maybe So: A Sexual Inventory Stocklist
Whoa, There! How to Slow Down When You're Moving Too Fast

You say that part of your difficulty is starting that conversation without upsetting your partner. That's a valid concern to have, but I think that, in the long run, it's more important that you are honest with him about this than that you spare his feelings. If he is going to be part of a healthy, happy relationship, then he needs to learn how to have serious conversations, and to hear constructive criticism of his behavior.

There are some things you can do, however, to decrease the chance of an emotional response from him. One of those is to make sure you start the conversation when you're both feeling relaxed and there's no tension, or time constraints. You'll want to make sure to use I-statements. That is, to focus on how you feel and how you perceive things, rather than making accusatory statements. Lastly, if you feel that you get flustered when talking face to face, it may help you to write him a letter in which you invite him to this conversation, and lay out your basic concerns for him. That gives you the chance to formulate every sentence carefully.

I hope that helps! Feel free to come back if you have more questions or need some more help.

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Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
E_Marie
Neophyte
Member # 99360

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Thank you, that helps alot. I think I'll woman up and bite the bullet. You're right, it's not exactly going ot change on it's own.
(PS thanks for the links!)

Posts: 30 | From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 25425

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You're welcome! I wish you good luck with that conversation.

--------------------
Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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