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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Boyfriend and Body Hair

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Author Topic: Boyfriend and Body Hair
eastbyfurthereast
Neophyte
Member # 59138

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Hi Everyone,

I haven't been on these boards in a while, but I've been really upset over the past week about a relationship issue and I didn't know where else to turn.

I'm 25 and my boyfriend is 33. We've been dating for almost a year now. Despite having a bit of a rough time in the middle of our relationship because I was unemployed and broke and a little depressed, we have both been supportive and loving of each other. That being said, it has been a really stressful year for me and sometimes I don't know if my feelings of sadness are due to issues in the relationship or in my life.

Recently (the past month or so) my boyfriend had seemed to lose interest in having sex with me. But not in having sex. He was more than happy to jerk off in front of me, ask me to go down on him, ask if he could cum on me or in his mouth when jerking off, or even want to have sex without any foreplay/doing anything for me (he knows that vaginal intercourse doesn't really do much for me in terms of sexual pleasure- it's great for intamacy but I have never cum from it, and I need to be very aroused or else I feel a lot of pain during intercourse). At first I thought maybe we were just both busy and tired, but as it continued on I brought it up to him. He said he had noticed it to be an issue but thought I had seemed uninterested in having sex with him lately. I explained that I was, but because he didn't seem to be making any effort to include me it, always saying there wasn't enough time to get me off, etc. He then said that to be honest he was feeling pretty turned off recently because a) I don't shower every day and b) I haven't been shaving my legs. The showering thing is a bit understandable. However, I never showered every day and he never had a problem before. Sure, I understand not wanting to go down on me if it had been a week since my last bath, but if I showered yesterday I don't see the big deal. Anyway, that's his perogative but I also explained there were other things he could do that didn't involve going down on me if he didn't feel comfortable. It was really the second criticism that got to me though- the leg hair. Again, I've never consistantly shaved my legs so I don't know why it's only come up recently- but in the winter months I never really shave my legs. I find it time consuming, expensive, hard on the skin, and I kinds just like the way it looks when my legs are a bit hairy and wild. I used to be embarassed about anyone seeing it, but over the years I've kind of come to like the look of it. It didn't so much upset me that he doesn't like hairy legs on a woman, but that something as small as that could make him not want to have sex with me. What about when I gain 10 pounds? What about when my breasts get saggy? What about when I have stretch marks from having children? Or any other thing that could be 'unnatractive'. Will he not want to have sex with me post 35 years old? I brought this up to him and he said no it wasn't like that he just didn't want to feel like we were 10 years married already- like I was still putting effort in. I just felt really hurt by everything and feel really unnatractive. I've accepted him for who he is. Sure, I would love a man with a full head of hair with no back scarring or weird patches of hair on his body who was a few inches taller- but that wouldn't be him. He also says he likes when girls look natural, like no makeup- but also no leg hair? And once we talked about his hair (he is already gray and started to go bald) and he just said he would never want to dye it or try to stop the balding because it's just throwing money away for something natural. But when it comes to his sexual preferences then things are different? I haven't brought htis up because I know he is self conscious about his hair and back and weight, and it would only be to prove a point. I have accepted those things about him and it doesn't affect how attracted to him I am. At this point in the relationship the things attracting me to a person are not really the physical things- as nice as those things are sometimes.

I'm just a loss at what to do. I don't know how else to talk to him about this. It seems like a small stupid thing but it also seems like a sign of many other things.

I know this is completely irrelevant- but I feel that I AM really attractive. All through my teenage years I always had a list of things 'to fix'- first I would lose weight, then clear up acne, then deal iwth only skin, then hair removal, then learn hair styling and make up, then have nice clothes, etc.) But I'm finally just ok with everything. I don't mind a bit of body hair, or a normal amount of body fat, or looking messy sometimes- who really cares? How much time and money do I need to waste trying to look perfect for men. I also feel like (this is the irrelevant bit) I'm a 25 year old yoga and aerobics instructor and lifeguard. I'm never going to be more healthy or 'objectively attractive' than I am now. And if a little leg hair is already reducing my sex to 0, what's gonna happen later? Last night we finally had sex. I had to ask him to do anything to me and he didn't want to go down on me even though I had showered that day but he did eventually. He then complained that I didn't do a very good job to him and that we could work on it which just brought everything else up again. So now I just feel unattractive and bad in bed.

Is this a dealbreaker? Or how can we talk about this? Or is it really a sign of other things going on? He is still physically affectionate: giving me kisses, cuddling, holding hands, and likes to talk all the time and learn more about me and is very affectionate in every way except in bed where he now just feels lazy and selfish. And maybe I am too.

Any help appreciated!

I don't know if I'm blowing it out of proportion because everything in my life feels so fragile right now- my job(s) are very unstable, I'm living in a stupidly expensive city which I partly came to for him and I just feel trapped and alone. I have some friends here to talk to about it and my best friends are always texting and skyping, but I still just feel like crap about all of this.

Sorry for the long rant.

Posts: 21 | From: Canada | Registered: Mar 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sam W
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 108189

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Hi eastbyfurthereast,

This sounds like a really frustrating situation for you, and I'm sorry you're dealing with so much stress right now.

Of the things you've said to us here, how much of it have you said to him? How has he reacted?

I want to address your question of "is this a dealbreaker." That's something you get to decide for yourself. He gets to change his mind and have preferences, but so do you. So, if the fact that he is not making you feel as attractive or wanted as you would like is making you unhappy, and it doesn't seem to be something you two can work out, then that may, indeed, be a dealbreaker.

How do you feel in your relationship with him otherwise? And have you considered talking to someone like a counselor about some of the things that are making you feel anxious or depressed?

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eastbyfurthereast
Neophyte
Member # 59138

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Hi Sam,

Thanks for the response. I've said pretty much all of it to him and he's reacted in different ways. He said that he feels kind of sad and frustrated that the 'new relationship considerations' (whatever that means) are already gone. And he said it's just that he doesn't think I'm taking care of myself anymore as opposed to specifically body hair. I tried to talk to him about how he brings things up: For example saying I'm unattracted to you when you don't shave your legs vs. I'm concerned that you're not taking care of yourself anymore and is there anything we can talk about/anything going on with you. He said he didn't really see the difference between those two ways of saying it but would try to be more considerate. He also said he feels like he has to walk on egg shells around me because he feels like any crticism he gives makes me upset. And I told him I feel like i have to walk on eggshells with him for things like have I done all the dishes, made the bed, shaved my legs, etc.

So I guess in summary its a bit of a rough patch. We had a talk about it and we both just feel kind of under apppreciated. I think the problem is that we show appreciation in different ways. Me by affection, and him by doing things for me. We had a long talk and both agreed to try to compromise and be more sensitive to the other persons needs and things have been a lot more positive this week but:

a) I still feel really hurt about some of the things he said and I'm not sure how to really get over it and
b)I'm just not sure if we are making ourselves miserable because as much as we get along and care for each other and are both great people, we are just incompatible

I just worry that if we are having these problems now what its going to be like later. I guess I can give it a bit more time and see if things are consistently better but I am just finding it tricky to wrap my head around.

It is not all bad though- we enjoy spending time with each other, love to do a lot of the same things, want a lot of the same things for the future, but if we can't meet each other's emotional needs then none of that really matters. I just don't know how to know if my needs are being met.

Posts: 21 | From: Canada | Registered: Mar 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sam W
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 108189

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Hi east,

I think that, as you said, if you're already having these types of incompatibility issues, it might be a signal that this relationship isn't one that will work out in the long run. If you haven't already, you might want to give this article a read and see if anything about it strikes you:
http://www.scarleteen.com/article/relationships/does_your_relationship_need_a_checkup

Beyond that, I think now might be a good time to focus some energy on what you want, both in terms of what your ideal relationship would look like (not necessarily with him, but in general) and on what things you can do to make yourself feel happier in the midst of some of the instability you're feeling. Do you have much of a friend group where you're living? And have you been seeing a counselor or similar to discuss the depression or anxiety you've been having?

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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I do want to add something here which is perhaps a bit provocative, and is by no means universal, but I would say it is common, which is why I am mentioning it.

Sometimes, when considerably older people choose younger people as partners it is in part because (and I suspect this is sometimes something conscious, but other times something a person is not aware of about themselves) younger people are more moldable, for lack of a better word. In other words, less likely to have the kind of strong sense of self they will usually develop later, and which older people will find more of with their peers.

So, I'm wondering if some of this pushback from him is not about you...well, having a sense of self that does not fit his wants or ideals.

--------------------
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dylan19
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Member # 109991

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I just want to mention a few....inconsistent things that you said

"Sure, I would love a man with a full head of hair with no back scarring or weird patches of hair on his body who was a few inches taller- but that wouldn't be him. And once we talked about his hair (he is already gray and started to go bald) and he just said he would never want to dye it I haven't brought htis up because I know he is self conscious about his hair and back and weight, and it would only be to prove a point. At this point in the relationship the things attracting me to a person are not really the physical things- as nice as those things are sometimes. "

IN your comments you mention often your partners physical flaws and follow it up by saying 'it doesnt matter that much'. To my mind , as a guy, I can think of two possibilities. One is that he does not feel attractive and he is just taking it out on you (nothing to do with you)..for whatever reason grey hair, balding, overweight (that is plenty to wreck your self esteem..especially at his young age). The other possibility is that he is somehow picking up on the fact that you think it would be nice if......(no grey hair, full hair, no weird hair, slim etc) and this is making him feel unattractive. Maybe a proper conversation about what you like and dont like? Maybe both of you could sit down and make a list about the things that make each other turned on about each other, focus on what is sexy about him and vice versa. Later you will have to have a proper talk about what you are both willing to accept in a relationship.

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eastbyfurthereast
Neophyte
Member # 59138

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Thanks so much for your responses- its given me some really helpful perspective.

As an update we have talked more about everything and things have been going smoothly since then (except for the legs [Razz] ). It seems that his biggest concerns were with taking care of myself rather than actual leg hair, and he has been ok with my hairy legs since talking. Im still giving it some time before we make any other decisions about the relationship so I will see if things continue this way.

Sam- I think what you say about using my energy to focus on figuring out what I want and need in a relationship is spot on. I think that is one of my biggest problems (and not just in relationships). I get paralyzed by indecision because I don't know what I really want. There are other things outside of hair like religious beliefs and such that we differ on in some ways but I just don't know which are the things that are really important to me that I would need and which are the things that Im happy to compromise on. So I just feel kind of stuck and not sure where to go.

I haven't gotten any help for the anxiety and depression Ive been feeling though I would like to. I am living in a foreign country right now so its hard trying to figure out how everything works and get healthcare. There are some self referral services but they have long waiting lists for therapy. There are some group courses but ive done programs like that before that have been very helpful. So mostly I need to start taking care of myself again. I would like access to talk therapy but I often feel that just geting to places on time takes so long and I already travel a lot for work I sometimes feel more stressed after simply because trying to get there and back was a streatch (ive been going to yoga and meditation and sometimes feel that way).
Its hard to tell if im feeling this way because im in the wrong relationship, or something else external like job or living situation is not for me. Or if it is not related to any of that and I need to work on coping better. It sometimes feels like all i do is work and then I have no time to think/ not think. And it all relates back to not knowing what I want [Smile] . I know I need to make more time for myself its just hard to do when Im always worried about paying the rent and such.

Heather- i do think there may be some truth to that. And I dont even think he so much wants to mold me as he has had a lot of years of not being in a relationship to build up in his head what a relationship 'should' be like and what a person 'should' be like and how they should act in a relationship and its not really based on reality- or at least not who I am. I dont really get the feeling he wants me to change ( though maybe im wrong) but is just sort of shocked/ confused that it is not how he imagined. So he maybe assumed something was wrong when I wasnt trying to look amazing/ imress him and give him oral sex all the time since that is what he ended up imagining as normal in his head. Also, most of his previous relationships havent lasted more than a few months so maybe he just assumed it would stay that way for longer? I don't know he said that when I didnt put in any effort it made him feel like we were ten years married. And the thing is I feel like he brought up something valid ( I have not been taking well enough care of myself) but brought it up in a really crappy way and at the time said he didnt really see the difference between saying im not attracted to you when you dont shave or shower every day vs. Im concerned that you're not taking care of yourself- you seemed really stressed, is there anything we can talk about? He has said from the beginning he knows he needs to work on his communication and he has put in a lot of effort. The only other time we had a really big fight like this was over some passive aggressive language from him and since then (this was in December) he has gotten a lot better. But he still really struggles with bringing things up that bother him right away- cause he doesnt want to uoset me- and then letting it simmer and come out negatively. And I guess now that I say it its probably what happened this time around as well. The good news is he admits its a problem and wants to work on it but these things are not easily changed and can ne very damaging so I jjst dont know

-Its possible he is feeling insecure but I really don't get this sense from him and it hasnt come up in our conversations at all where we were both being very honest, though it could be a subconcious thing. I only brought up those physical things to illustrate that sure we'd all love to date people who look like brad pitt or (insert person who you think is super hot here) but in reality there are many other things that make you attracted to a person that have nothing to do with shiny legs or 6 packs, etc. And in the long run I think that you actually become more attracted to your sort of flabby, hairy partner because of those things- for example great sex, shared interests, kindness, still being supoer good looking even with a bald spot or hairy armpits. I hope this makes sense haha,

On top of all of this I just feel like I dont have the strength to leave this relationship right now unless things become very negative agian/ consistently. I dont have a great support network in this city and he is my best friend and biggest supporter right now. And I just feel like if I lost him as s friend as well as a break up with where im at right now emotionally it would just be crushing.

There are a lot of other reasons id like to stay with him, but whenever I think it might not work out long term I just think that zi cNt lose him right now, which I know isnt great. But in conclusion I am just very confused and a bit of a mess :s

Thanks again for listening and giving advice, its really nice to talk to people about this even through the computer [Smile] .

Posts: 21 | From: Canada | Registered: Mar 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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