Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “My Boyfriend’s Depressed and I’m Sexually Frustrated”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

I’m a 24 year-old female in my first long-term relationship. My boyfriend, also 24, is a serial monogamist who went two years without having sex prior to me and post breaking up with a girlfriend of three years. I really like sex and have always had a higher libido than him from the start, but lucky for him he’s huge and as a result I’m normally too sore to have sex more than once a week.

Currently, we haven’t had sex in almost two months. I know why – his dad was given less than two years to live, and his job is laying people off left and right, so the man is undeniably stressed beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. In the past when he would get stressed out, I would just take care of myself and enjoy a glass of wine (at my own home) if I needed a little sleep aide. I don’t drink around him because he’s a recovering alcoholic which has never been an issue because I don’t drink much. Lately, he’s been wanting to sleep at each other’s places pretty much nightly which shouldn’t be an issue except I’m beyond sexually frustrated and his constantly wanting to be around me is preventing me from indulging in my usual ways of coping with lack of sex.

I haven’t gone more than a month without sex since I lost my virginity probably and I’m starting to go a little crazy. Last night, I woke up with my hands down my pants going at it with myself while we were spooning at his place. My ultimate questions are: how long do I let this go on before I say something, should I even say anything, and how do I even begin to bring this up with everything else going on in his life? Oh yeah, he also has started going to therapy and has been taking antidepressants, anti-anxiety, and sleeping meds which are doing wonders for him but absolutely nothing for my situation. — Not Getting Any

99 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Carolynasaurus October 31, 2011, 3:07 pm

    Couple of things: if a guy had written this, what do you think the reaction would be? We would all jump down your throats. And because of that, that’s what I’m going to do.

    Your boyfriend is going through an incredibly stressful and depressing time in his life, he’s reaching out to you for support, and you’re resenting him over an issue you haven’t even discussed with him? What the hell?!!?

    Listen, you say this is your first long-term relationship and I going to assume that means 1+ years, but the shininess of it is worn off and you need to step up if you want it to work. You need to suck it up and talk to him about your sexual needs (but seriously, the whole wine routine? You can’t shorten it in your bathroom when he sleeps over if you don’t want to bring it up?) or you need to get out because you aren’t doing anyone any favors if you aren’t committed enough to try.

    You can try or you can leave, but what do you honestly expect him do at this point? I have to imagine that even if you started getting it on a regular basis you still wouldn’t be happy.

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    • avatar

      Emma October 31, 2011, 3:23 pm

      She actually doesn’t seem resentful to me. She seems more apologetic for being frustrated about this. I really don’t get where you’re getting all this negative energy from.

      Look, my relationship has a similar problem. I have a low libido due to depression and birth control fucking my hormones a few years ago (still not quite right), and my fiance is quite the sex-machine. It’s probably the cause of 50% of our fights. Do I hold his needs against him? No. It’s just an unhappy circumstance. When I’m seriously depressed (like in the winter), he can’t help but still need that sort of intimacy. The antidepressants are probably a big reason he lost his libido.

      It’s a struggle to work out a difference in libido. I, myself, am going to look into some sort of hormone therapy when I get the money. When I just can’t get in the mood these days, I take a bath, and he takes his time to take care of himself.

      LW, you should talk to your boyfriend. Don’t accuse, and be understanding. Tell him you understand why your sex life has dropped off, and that you will do your best to accommodate him, but if he can, you would like to have some intimacy. Don’t bring it up when you’re horny, because it will only make both of you frustrated.

      Honestly, I doubt he even knows that the lack of sex is causing this much grief. My fiance had to sit me down and explain to me what he was feeling. Just… try not to make him feel guilty.

      Also: you should get a removable shower head or waterproof vibe/whatever you use if you can. That way, you can get away if you really need to with an excuse, and have your glass of wine right after you get out. Wine after a warm shower/bath? Awesome. Not to mention, you can always drink wine in the bath.

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      • avatar

        Emma October 31, 2011, 3:26 pm

        “The antidepressants are probably a big reason he lost his libido.”

        By he, I mean your boyfriend. Sorry!

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      • avatar

        KBobK October 31, 2011, 3:29 pm

        Emma, it’s obviously none of my business, but have you tried an IUD? BC made me bat shit crazy so I got put on Mirena and now I feel much more balanced. I’ve never had kids either, I know it’s commonly thought that you can’t get IUDs unless you’ve had kids, but that’s a myth.

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      • avatar

        Carolynasaurus October 31, 2011, 3:32 pm

        The negativity comes from the fact that she hasn’t actually done anything yet, or at least stated she tried to do anything to right this situation. It’s been two months, but has she tried to seduce him? And I think she does sound resentful. You can’t say, “his constantly wanting to be around me is preventing me from indulging in my usual ways of coping with lack of sex” without sounding resentful.

        What do you think the odds are of two people having the exact same libido? I have to imagine that in 95% of couples, one person always wants it more than they are getting it. But most couples find ways to work through it if they want to. She just needs to want to make it work and do something.

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    • avatar

      H October 31, 2011, 4:02 pm

      I wouldn’t jump down the guy’s throat if he had presented it in a similar way.

      I understand that this guy is going through something. And, having his girlfriend’s support IS important.

      But, we should also feel for the LW. It really really really sucks to be rejected by the person you love. It can make a girl’s self-esteem plummet. I am sure that is a big factor for her.

      I think we need to be sympathetic/empathetic to BOTH people here. No reason to be negative towards the LW.

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  • avatar

    Jess October 31, 2011, 3:17 pm

    this letter seems a little too ridiculous for me. he’s so huge she can only take it once a week? uhh that sounds like the worse sex ever. i don’t know, i’ve seen fisting videos, you can get sore from having lots of sex in a row but i highly doubt from once a week. either they have sex when she’s not turned on at all (which i doubt as she claims she is very into sex and getting off) or this letter is bs.

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    • avatar

      Jess October 31, 2011, 3:20 pm

      also, going TWO YEARS between relationships does not a serial monogamist make. its actually kind of the opposite.

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger October 31, 2011, 3:56 pm

        I thought that during the last part of his last relationship, there also was no sex, not that the two years was in between the relationships.

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    • mandalee

      mandalee October 31, 2011, 3:20 pm

      Thank you! I was writing my reply before I saw yours- but I found this kind of hard to believe. Unless this guy is setting world records on length here, she clearly has no clue about lubrication or foreplay.

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    • avatar

      AKchic October 31, 2011, 3:25 pm

      Could be girth, not length. She could be tearing and have to heal a bit. Of course, she could also be dealing with friction burns from dryness and lack of lube, etc.

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      • avatar

        Jess October 31, 2011, 3:30 pm

        I don’t know, the part about her waking up masturbating also seems really off- I actually think some perv sent this in.

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      • avatar

        AKchic October 31, 2011, 3:54 pm

        Naw. It’s a part of parasomnia. Not “pervy”, just unnerving to someone who is experiencing it.

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      • avatar

        Jess October 31, 2011, 4:30 pm

        I mean, I understand it could happen, but it seems strange a LW would include it in the letter, and just word this letter the way it is written. Like another commentator said, it just seems a little crass to be a real letter. I just imagine some creepy guy jacking off to all of us talking/thinking about this situation.

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      • avatar

        Jess October 31, 2011, 4:32 pm

        Like, lets all talk about this horny chick masturbating with wine and in her sleep who just wants to be f-ed by her boyfriends huge dick!

        seriously wtf

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      • avatar

        Jess too October 31, 2011, 4:48 pm

        You’re right! I can’t believe a woman would like sex at all! This must be a joke letter because everyone knows sex is disgusting.

        /sarcasm.

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      • avatar

        Jess October 31, 2011, 5:33 pm

        oh please. of course women want sex, but this letter is written so bizarely, its hard not to notice. first of all, i find it hard to believe that this “woman’s” boyfriend hasn’t slept with her in two months, and instead of being upset because she doesn’t feel loved or attracted, she’s upset that he’s ‘staying over at her house so she can’t do her wine & masturbation routine.”

        I think this letter is written by a man bc
        1) The only being able to have sex once a week bc the man is so huge (unrealistic and sounds like some dudes fantasy)

        2) She didn’t’ mention a thing about their emotional connection or her self esteem being effected

        3) Unnecessarily repetitive/detailed references to her masturbating

        4) Any reasonable woman would be able to masturbate in the bath if she really needed to be alone- thus her “problem” is bullshit.

        5) Creeps seriously send in these kinds of letters so they can imagine a bunch of woman imagining this scenario, seriously. If you want to be fodder for some creeps masturbation material, go ahead, but I’m not buying this shit.

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      • avatar

        Jess October 31, 2011, 5:51 pm

        or i dont know, maybe this is real and courtney stodden is having a big impact on the LW, who knows.

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      • avatar

        Amber October 31, 2011, 7:24 pm

        I agree with all five points.

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      • avatar

        j.walker November 2, 2011, 3:19 pm

        Really? Because I totally related to this letter… I have a higher sex drive than my boyfriend and before we lived together I valued my masturbatory time before bed because it helps me sleep. Sometimes when he just wants to go to bed and not have sex because he has to work early or something I wish we could have a quicky or at least for him to leave so I could take care of shit and then we could cuddle. Sorry, It’s not all an emotional gushy self-esteem centric lovefest for women.

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      • avatar

        Slamy November 1, 2011, 1:13 pm

        I’ve woken up with my hands down my pants… Judgy McJudgerson

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      • avatar

        Jess November 1, 2011, 4:04 pm

        i wasn’t saying a woman who does this is a perv- i meant it was strange/totally unnecessary to include this in a letter to Dear Wendy so I thought a man (a pervy man) wrote it.

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    • JK

      JK October 31, 2011, 3:28 pm

      The whole tone seemed a little weird for me, more crass than the usual DW letters.

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    • leilani

      leilani October 31, 2011, 3:51 pm

      Yeah, the most striking thing to me about this letter was, if having sex with him hurts you so bad you can only do it once a week, you’re doing it wrong. Even if he’s “huge”–that’s what foreplay, lube, and fingers are for. With a little prep you should be fine.

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    • avatar

      MissDre October 31, 2011, 3:55 pm

      I’ve been with a guy that big so I get where she’s coming from LoL. Even if you’re totally into it, if the guy is huge you’re going to be sore afterward.

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      • leilani

        leilani October 31, 2011, 4:17 pm

        For a week?????

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      • avatar

        Morgan October 31, 2011, 4:19 pm

        Yeah, I get the sore…a week though?!

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      • mandalee

        mandalee October 31, 2011, 4:25 pm

        Yeah a week is a huge stretch of time. How can someone with such a high libido even want to date someone who, if this is believable, renders her unable to have sex for over 6 days?

        I’ve been with someone that big and believe me even in the worst cases, it was two days max. Something is off about this.

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      • avatar

        SweetPea October 31, 2011, 4:33 pm

        I can’t say how the LW feels, but I know how I would feel and have felt.

        This is partially about her libido and wanting to feel “satisfied”. But, this is also about the intimacy and closeness that can be difficult to replicate in any other activity. Sex is VERY important in a romantic relationship. When the sex is bad or non-existent, the whole relationship can feel bad and non-existent. Not to mention the damage it can do to a person’s self-esteem.

        I think that the LW could find a million ways, places, and times to “take care of herself” if this were simply about an orgasm. All this nonsense about wine and alone time is just… well… nonsense. This probably goes deeper. She wants to be able to share that wonderful closeness and expression with her partner… I can’t blame her.

        LW- You didn’t really mention if you have tried to initiate things. If you haven’t- you should! He might just need that kick start. But, I am guessing you have… and yea, it can be just the worst when you give it a shot, only to be shot down. If that fails… you need to talk to him. As awkward as it is, you should say something to him. Be as gentle with his feelings as possible. But, LW, know where your line is. This may just be him. He may always be on libido-killing medication and he may never place a huge amount of importance on intimacy. You may be able to wait a few more months for his rough patch to end… but there is also a chance that this is how it is going to be.

        You should try a few things before you give up. I don’t think there are any of us who don’t feel for your boyfriend. Those are HUGE things to be faced with. But, there may come a point where you need to look out for yourself. You should feel healthy and happy in a relationship too. So, be prepared to move on and allow you both to find more compatible people.

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    • avatar

      MsBorgia October 31, 2011, 4:28 pm

      Yeah, my only comment to this LW is “TMI”.

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    • avatar

      VioletLover November 2, 2011, 1:28 pm

      Being in a similar situation, I honestly believe the LW. My boyfriend of 3+ years is hung, and I’m small. We actually can NOT have penetrating intercourse unless there’s a lot of foreplay first, because he’s that large. We also like really rough sex. If it isn’t a lil painful, it doesn’t work for me at all. But this means that we rarely have sex more than once/twice a week, because it does leave me sore. He’s totally great about it, runs me a hot bath afterwards, rubs my feet, brings me a lil snack so I can take some pain medicine, whatever I want. But it does limit how often we can bone.

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  • mandalee

    mandalee October 31, 2011, 3:18 pm

    Your boyfriend is going through some pretty terrible things at the moment. I mean his dad is essentially slowly dying and he could lose his job at any moment, and is probably saddled with more work as his co-workers slowly bite the dust. I can understand that sex is probably the last thing in the world he needs right now.

    However, I also understand you have your sexual urges too, but it seems like you are a little focused on him not being interested, and you not having any responsibility in this. Maybe you can talk to him about how you are feeling and say that while you understand that he is going through some absolutely horrible things right now, maybe reconnecting and making time to have sex with one another with help him deal with this horrible time in his life.

    As his girlfriend though, you need to be supportive of him above all else right now. Sex is important in relationships, it’s important to you clearly, and pretty much everyone else on the planet. But there are sometimes when life is so heart wrenching that an erection isn’t really the first thing on a man’s mind. I’m not saying to wait forever, but you need to give him some time to process all of this.

    Also, this was totally a small part of your letter and probably irrelevant to the overall situation but I am puzzled on one thing: you claim because your boyfriend is “huge”, you can not have sex more than once a week?! Coming from someone whose husband is extremely “gifted” in that area, I can honestly say I do not suffer from the same problem. Maybe it’s his thrusting or you are just not allowing yourself enough time for foreplay, but that threw me off a bit. Whenever you guys get back in the groove, I suggest checking on that issue. If you have such a high sex drive, I can’t imagine only being able to have sex once a week.

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  • avatar

    AKchic October 31, 2011, 3:23 pm

    Oh good grief. I don’t think Lucy in her “Therapist” box could tackle this one in one session today.

    Sweetie, nothing’s going to get fixed if you don’t say anything. You acknowledge that he’s understandably stressed. Do you need to drink in order to pleasure youself? Obviously not if you were dealing with parasomnia (sexually related) with no alcoholic aids.
    Anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications and sleeping aids can and do affect a guy’s libido and performance. Not always for the better, either. Unless you’re willing to say something, you need to learn how to take care of business in the shower, and quietly, and give your guy some damned emotional support. Otherwise, let him go so he can find a woman who WILL help him through this difficult time while you find a stallion who can satisfy you sexually.

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  • avatar

    mirage14 October 31, 2011, 3:24 pm

    As someone who dated a recovering alcoholic for over a year, I know what you are experiencing in several ways.

    Many medications can decrease libido, and I know that in at least my case the anti-anxiety meds my ex was on made him totally ADD and loopy. He also was taking a medication that decreased his desire for alcohol, and would make him literally ill if he drank, which also added to his mental loopyness.

    How long has he been sober? Its not recommended that a person in recovery be in a relationship until they have at least 1 year sober under their belt. Trust me, I learned the hard way, that this will come back and kick your ass nearly every time.

    Ultimately, what I am going to say to you is harsh, but it is the truth, and coming from a place where I understand your position because I was there not so long ago.

    If your boyfriend is truly on the right path to recovery – and you know in your gut if he is – and you love him you have 2 choices. 1. Suck it up while he’s going through therapy and adjusting to his medications – make sure he speaks to his therapist about decreased libido and perhaps he can try another medication. 2. Take a break. But either way, make sure you explain to him very clearly that you are taking a break because he needs to work on himself first. You can discuss that you are feeling sexually frustrated, but to put all of that pressure on him isn’t fair and it will probably make him more anxious and not able to work through things as well.

    If you feel in any way that he is slipping up and drinking or that he’s on his way to taking a turn for the worst. Get out, and get out NOW. Do not think you can save him. No one can except for himself. If you feel that your sexual needs cannot ever be met by him, once he works through the stages of early therapy and medication adjustments, get out now.

    Only you know what is right for you, but I have a feeling that there is more to this than you are giving in your letter. If its really only about your sexual frustration, well … honestly … if you love him, stop being selfish for right now, and let him deal with his own issues while you support him.

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    • avatar

      Something More November 1, 2011, 10:29 am

      A break… Like “I’m sorry you’re going thru a hard time right now, but I can’t deal with it unless you put your dick in me. So, until you feel like having sex, we have to take a break. Call me when you feel better.”

      How about if she can’t handle his lack of libido while he’s taking meds and is stressed out beyond belief and she isn’t willing to work on it, she break up with him?

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      • avatar

        mirage14 November 1, 2011, 2:01 pm

        The LW needs to realize that part of her frustration in his lack of libido is probably due to his meds. If she can’t handle that, then yes, in my opinion they should take a break or spend less time together for him to adjust to his meds, get through the beginnings of therapy, and deal with himself, and for her to back off and see if its just her sexual frustration or something more thats going on in the relationship.

        You basically reiterated what I said in your last sentence. I clearly stated that if she feels her sexual needs will never be met by him, then she should break it off.

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      • avatar

        Something More November 1, 2011, 3:05 pm

        “…if you love him, stop being selfish for right now, and let him deal with his own issues while you support him. ”

        What you actually said was to stop being selfish “for right now” (i.e. A BREAK). The only time you suggested she break it off completely was if he basically spirall ed out of control with his drinking or something.

        LW, please do this man a favor and get out of his life. If someone you’ve been with this long is going thru such a hard time and this is what you are most concerned with, well… yeah. Just let him go. Let him rely on people who actually care about HIS problems. And BTW – if you can’t get yourself off with a glass of wine in the tub while he’s watching TV, you have bigger problems.

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  • JK

    JK October 31, 2011, 3:29 pm

    Is it just me or is this new font quite annoying?

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl October 31, 2011, 3:38 pm

      totally agree.

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    • avatar

      SGAC October 31, 2011, 3:38 pm

      It’s not the first time the font has been left in italics, yet I wouldn’t worry about it. Code mistakes happen. I’m sure Wendy will take care of it as soon as she addresses Jackson’s needs first.

      BTW, how is the cold on Jackson’s first Halloween?

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy October 31, 2011, 4:12 pm

      I have no idea why it’s doing this, but with jackson being sick and drew at work, I don’t have the time at the moment to figure out what’s going on, sorry.

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      • JK

        JK October 31, 2011, 4:16 pm

        No problem, I know what a sick baby is like!! I was just hoping it wasn´t a permanent change, it´s been a while since I´ve been to the ophtalmologist and I was finding it hard to read!
        Hope Jackson is doing better!

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      • avatar

        lk October 31, 2011, 6:03 pm

        I think it’s kind of fun – makes it look like everyone is whispering really intensely : )

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  • avatar

    SGAC October 31, 2011, 3:35 pm

    Those same drugs that are also doing wonders for your boyfriend’s depression could also be killing his libido. Before you wrote your letter in, have you talked about your sexual frustration with your boyfriend? It could be just a simple matter of saying, “Listen, I know you’re going through a lot, and I do love you, but do you think we can take a time-out night apart today? I’d truly appreciate it.” He may be going through a lot right now, and may not want to be alone, but you have every right to ask for at least one night out of the week in your own bed alone. There are always ways of working out a relationship with one partner who has a high sex drive while the other’s is hampered with depression – you just have to talk it out and try them first before you abandon ship.

    When you say, “indulging in my usual ways of coping with lack of sex”, do you mean porn and/or masturbation? You know, that doesn’t necessarily have to happen solely in the bedroom – you could be taking care of business in the shower while he’s waiting for you getting ready for bed. Better yet, maybe you could even ask if he’d like to watch – not only do you take care of business, but it might help with his libido issues and is a good way to distract him from your troubles. Masturbation doesn’t necessarily need to be this routine, with a glass of wine, a bed to writhe in alone, and mood lighting. Like the act of sex, sometimes getting in the quick and dirty is hot enough, while other times making the time for the marathon session that would make Sting’s tantric sex sessions look like child’s play is hot as well. If you’re not varying up your masturbation sessions now, I can only imagine that it translates into the bedroom – thus the once a week sessions because he’s big and it hurts. Yet like your emotional well-being in your relationship, you gotta do the work and research if you want to get off.

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  • avatar

    Sarah October 31, 2011, 3:38 pm

    HOLY HELL! It takes you a WEEK to get over sex with him??? Does he shoot out porcupine needles?!?! I’ve had surgery with less recovery time. Just….damn…..

    Ok, why don’t you two talk about sex? Sex should be a constant subject in a relationship. Are you getting enough? Am I holding this right? Do you need some perscription painkillers and a wheelchair for the next week? Sex should always be brought up. The sexual needs of two people should always be maintained to be as balanced as possible. Does he know how much you want it? Because if you keep that from him, then he may not know if it bothers you as much as it does, and that would be kinda on you.

    Yes yes, his reasons for the two month gap in sex seem legitimate, but do you what they also seem? Long term. He’s looking at years of grief for his dad and who knows how long he’s got to worry about his job. It makes sense that there is a length of time where he lacks a sexual drive, but sooner or later he’s got to find a way to live day to day without being miserable. Therapy is a really great start for him, but if the pills are decreasing his sexuality more, then you two need a sex discussion (sexcussion….or does that sound like having sex with a concussion?) even more about how to work around it. If he needs motivation, how about letting him watch you have your wine time? Ask him what his favorite things are and work with that. If he still masturbates, have him do it in front of you. If these things still don’t work work, then you still get to have wine time, but you get to include him and you two will feel more intimate because of it.

    Whatever you do, don’t make him seem wrong or bad for his decrease in sexual needs. Just because you need it more than him, whatever the reason, doesn’t mean you get to blame him for being different, if just means you have to communicate a little more to reach a happy medium.

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    • avatar

      Kerrycontrary October 31, 2011, 3:42 pm

      hahahahha. Your response made me laugh so much. And yeh the “he’s so big I can’t take it more than once a week” seems absurd to me. I’ve seen some pretty big ding-dongs in my life and none of them left me practically unable to walk. I also feel like there is a lack of forplay/other sexual activity in this relationship. Sex doesn’t always have to be typical intercourse.

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      • avatar

        Carolynasaurus October 31, 2011, 3:47 pm

        Exactly! I will be the first to admit that I have pain issues when it comes to intercourse, but there are so many other ways to enjoy yourself! And most of them come with a much lower risk of pregnancy, so it’s really just win-win.

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      • avatar

        MissDre October 31, 2011, 4:00 pm

        LoL it is totally possible to be left unable to walk by a gigantic ding-dong. I have experienced this.

        But you’re right. Sex includes things other than intercourse!

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      • avatar

        Britannia October 31, 2011, 4:03 pm

        Yeah, I agree with the whole “it IS possible” thing. Some peoples’ genitalia really can be a poor match.

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      • avatar

        Sarah October 31, 2011, 4:09 pm

        Sex pain should never be bad enough to last that long though!! Any pain after 48 hours is something inside you that broke off and had to reattach itself.

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        Britannia October 31, 2011, 4:58 pm

        That’s true. I’ve found that sufficient foreplay… and one time, “sufficient” equated to almost an hour and a half… and careful work can make miracles happen. However, we don’t know what the deal is. It’s probably a combination of both possibilities.

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      • avatar

        Sarah October 31, 2011, 4:17 pm

        I’m not even kidding, when I read that, my lady flower curled up like a wounded animal.

        And exactly! Sexual intimacy isn’t just outty goes in inny and cue fireworks. Most people can get satisfaction from other things and can even prefer them to traditional sex. If she is excluding him out of ways to make her feel satisfied, like when she touches herself, then how is he ever gonna meet her needs?

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl October 31, 2011, 4:16 pm

      “Do you need some perscription painkillers and a wheelchair for the next week?”

      Too funny! How is the sex even pleasurable for the LW if she if left out of commission for a week? I get it can be a uncomfortable…but a week?

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    • avatar

      phoenix28 October 31, 2011, 5:22 pm

      “Does he shoot out porcupine needles?!?!” WIN!!! 😀

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  • avatar

    Kerrycontrary October 31, 2011, 3:39 pm

    This letter is kind of weird and there are a lot of things to address. Number 1, although your boyfriend is stressed you need to be able to talk about this with him if you truly can’t handle waiting for sex any longer. Although, there will be situations in your life such as deaths in the family which will put sex on the back burner. It’s been 2 months so I say you’ve waited an appropriate amount of time to talk about this with him. Number 2, if you can’t “take care of yourself” cause he’s around…just do that in the shower or something. Or say that you need a night alone. Any sexually active couple should be able to discuss topics such as masturbation. OH MY GOD I said the “Masturbation” word. If sex is so important to you, you need to be able to talk about it or else you are going to have to put up with not getting any.

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    • fast eddie

      fast eddie October 31, 2011, 3:56 pm

      I think most people are missing the solution of talking to him about it. I mean what have you got to lose? Less seriously she could just dial 1-800-horn-no-more (joke) or ask him for some oral to finger action (no joke). I like the shower idea, both of you naked and all slippery with hot soapy water…

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  • avatar

    Matcha October 31, 2011, 3:43 pm

    How is he a serial monogamist if he hadn’t had a girlfriend in three years?

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    • avatar

      HmC October 31, 2011, 4:09 pm

      I think she meant that he wasn’t into random sex. Implying that she was, since she’s so into sex, thus hasn’t gone any significant period without it since losing her virginity, even if she was single.

      This letter kind of gave my brain whip lash. For someone that seems to be so self aware and unashamed of their own need for a lot of sex (nothing wrong with that in and of itself btw), it strikes me as very odd that she would choose a mate that has had a lower libido than her “a higher libido than him from the start”. At the very least, shouldn’t they have discussed this difference already?

      And as far as him being huge and her only being capable of sex once a week with him, shouldn’t they have discussed this too? Being sore for a whole week seems like a major problem, and not something that anyone should have to just accept. It’s an incompatibility, just like their natural differences in libido. You talk about these things, make compromises where you can, etc.

      I know he’s going through a lot and I’m sorry for that. But they seem to have some pretty glaring incompatibilities that have not been dealt with at all.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didn't October 31, 2011, 5:23 pm

        Yeah, something about this letter just doesn’t read quite right to me.

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  • avatar

    6napkinburger October 31, 2011, 3:45 pm

    [This is going to get more graphic than most posts, and I’m going to try not to use euphamisms because they can get confusing.]

    I’m not sure I’m on board with this “take care of yourself in the bathroom quietly” vein many seem to be espousing. And I am more than confused why masturbating requires a glass of wine.

    There are a couple of things going on here. Horniness and a desire for intimacy.

    You want intimacy. He may very well want intimacy too (the cuddling). Is he unable to get an erection, or does he just seem to be uninterested in having sex? You are horny. He is not as horny, for several good reasons, which you understand and are sympathetic to. But a sympathetic girlfriend does not need to just “be there” for her bf, 500% of the time, rubbing his back telling him how “there for him” you are. And being sympathetic does not mean that you do not get to have orgasms and it doesn’t mean that all of your orgasms have to be alone.

    First of all, you talk all of this out. You discuss how you are beginning to miss orgasms and how you understand why he isn’t in the mood. You discuss your feelings and his feelings and then you suggest what I am about to tell you.

    Second, you get a vibrator. In fact, you might want to get two. You should get a “bullet” and one that is more of dildo/vibrator combo, like the Rabbit. The Rabbit is for your alone time. The bullet is for “shared time.”

    Your boyfriend does not have to be “in the mood” to engage in sexual activity with you, nor does he have to bring the equipment to get you off. That’s where the Bullet comes in. Bullets have a cord that attach to a controller, which has a dial. it controls how much the bullet vibrates. He can control the speed of the bullet, while you make sure its in the right place. During this, you kiss. You get to get off, he gets to get you off, you both get to connect, he does not need to feel guilty you aren’t satisfied, you don’t have to feel guilty/resentful that he isn’t satisfying you. Hell, he even get turned on and want to take it to the next level. But if he doesn’t, that’s ok, you don’t need him to and if he is having trouble with erections, this takes the pressure off.

    But of course, you can’t do the bullet-thing every day, because he doesn’t want to engage everyday, which is fair. That’s when the waterproof rabbit becomes your shower friend.

    You do not have to put your sexual needs entirely on the backburner to be a good supportive girlfriend. You just need to adjust how you fulfill them.

    Also, Astroglide X. $14.99 at regular drugstores. You shouldn’t be sore for days.

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    • fast eddie

      fast eddie October 31, 2011, 4:02 pm

      Wally world carries Astro large size for less the eight bucks. Just saying.

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger October 31, 2011, 4:07 pm

        Not regular. It’s Astroglide X. It’s better, though slightly pricier. It is a grey bottle, not see-through.

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      • avatar

        SGAC October 31, 2011, 4:23 pm

        Most Astroglides also tend to also have glycerin and parabens in them – which is not good for those with yeast infections. Because of those ingredients though, Astroglides also tend to have a higher pH to inhibit yeast growth. If you can rock your world with Astroglide despite the slightly acidic nature of the product, all the more power to ya. I tend to go for silicone based ones (like pjur) or water based ones. There is an organic one allegedly on the market, but I haven’t seen it in my area.

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        6napkinburger October 31, 2011, 4:27 pm

        Wait, are they better or worse for yeast infections? (First you say bad, then you say inhibit, so i got confused.) That could explain a lot. Though I do like the texture of Astroglide X more so than most (it’s not sticky or goopy, like regular astroglide, which i find yucky.)

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      • avatar

        SGAC October 31, 2011, 4:37 pm

        Although Astroglide’s pH balance (slightly acidic) generally inhibits yeast growth, it is not recommended for use by those with yeast infections due to its glycerin content. – straight out of wikipedia.

        I’m with you on the regular astroglide – SO icky.

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      • avatar

        Rachelgrace53 October 31, 2011, 7:28 pm

        Wow… My two yeast infections in a row one summer make SO much sense now!

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      • avatar

        SpyGlassez November 1, 2011, 12:07 am

        This stuff works really well! And they are made with glycerin- and paraben-free water-based formula.

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      • fast eddie

        fast eddie November 1, 2011, 9:41 am

        Thanks 6napinburger, I’ll look for it. We use Astroglide but seek something better and have tried several that weren’t completely satisfying.

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      • avatar

        Lindsey November 1, 2011, 2:55 pm

        Or try Swiss Navy. I don’t know if they have that in the states but it’s pretty good lube and water based!

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  • avatar

    Genie October 31, 2011, 3:45 pm

    Dear “Not Getting Any,”

    First of all – I can sympathize with you from personal experience. Your situation is VERY frustrating, and not being able to talk to the person you love (or care for, etc.) about this problem is *extremely difficult.* I do not agree with the commenter who suggested you should feel bad for not being there for your boyfriend – furthermore, you said nothing to suggest that you haven’t been there for him. Had you been a guy talking about a girl, I would have had just as much sympathy. Love involves intimacy, and not getting this vital component of a relationship is NOT normal. The longer you wait to deal with it, the longer it will be a problem.

    There has to be a balance between you supporting him and letting him know it’s okay for him to go through this stage, but also gently suggesting that you have needs that need to be met. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing – he needs to compromise. He needs to do stuff for you, not necessarily go all the way (etc). If he went for two years without having sex, this WILL (not *might*) happen again. If he doesn’t have an “appetite” he won’t be aware of you starving if you don’t say something.

    Being in this situation will make you feel like the bad guy sometimes, or like someone who is ungrateful for what they have, or someone who doesn’t have enough patience…you’ll go through a million emotions ranging from guilty to sympathy to pure, white hot anger. Shelter yourself and take the initiative to get therapy for YOURSELF as well. This is really important.

    GOOD LUCK!

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  • rainbow

    rainbow October 31, 2011, 3:49 pm

    as SGAC mentioned, why would you have to hide from him in order to masturbate?

    you can always say “hey hon i’m kinda horny, do you mind if i touch myself next to you while you fall asleep?”
    best-case scenario: it turns him on and you get the sex you want.
    normal people worst-case scenario: he says “ok!” falls asleep and you get your alone time.
    crazy people worst-case scenario: he gets mad. and that’s when you know depressed or not the guy’s an ass and you can dump him and go on your merry way.

    win-win!

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    • avatar

      Rachelgrace53 October 31, 2011, 7:31 pm

      I like this advice in theory, but I would be seriously UNCOMFORTABLE getting off while my partner was lying in bed next to me, staring at ceiling and listening. That thought creeps me out.

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    • avatar

      Christy October 31, 2011, 9:29 pm

      This is great advice. It also requires being comfortable enough with your partner to masturbate around them (which is something everyone should work on). My boyfriend and I have been crazy stressed the last few months or so (for different reasons), and so we’ve had a lot less sex than before because both of us are too stressed to want it, or we want it at different times. But what’s been nice is that we’ve been able to cuddle together to get the intimacy and use vibrators, give handjobs, or just kiss and snuggle while the other masturbates to get off when needed. I think it’s about try to meet the other person’s needs as best you can even if you don’t have the energy or motivation to engage in full-on intercourse.

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      • avatar

        lemongrass November 1, 2011, 11:36 am

        Masturbating next to your partner doesn’t necessarily mean him staring at the ceiling. He could be playing with your nipples, etc… “assisting” you. Its low pressure for him and also helps you feel connected.

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        Slamy November 1, 2011, 1:23 pm

        I would like to second (or third?) the vote for masturbating next to your partner. It’s not something I could do with someone who I am not totally comfortable around, so I’ve only ever done it with my boyfriends (total of 3) but they all really seemed to enjoy it – and so did I.

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      • avatar

        Kerrycontrary November 1, 2011, 1:57 pm

        agreed! Some guys are into it, some aren’t. But hopefully you can find someone who is into it 🙂

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  • avatar

    GatorGirl October 31, 2011, 4:01 pm

    LW, you need to talk to your BF. Just have an open and honest conversation with him. High stress and medications can kill a persons sex-drive and almost every relationship struggles with finding a balance between the two partners sexual needs. Unless your BF is having physical side effects from his stress or medications, he should be able manage sex once a week. I second some of the others commentor’s suggestions of having him be involved in “you time.”

    I do want to point out that I find it alarming you hide your drinking and masterbation from your BF. And from the sound of it, the two usually go hand in hand. This seems pretty unhealthy to me.

    And, building a life with a recovering alcoholic will be challenging. I don’t have any experiance personally; but perhaps you should do some esploration on what challenges you might face and what could be triggers. Like I said, I don’t have any experiance, but you need to make sure you know what you’re getting/are involved in so that you and your BF will be able to have the healthiest lives and relationship.

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  • avatar

    Morgan October 31, 2011, 4:07 pm

    Girl, the first guy I ever slept with was so hung he could’ve been running in the Kentucky Derby, and we still managed to get it on multiple times a day. Lube, foreplay, and a guy who knows what he’s doing are your friends.

    On that note, while he’s not in the mood and you’re feeling a little frustrated…let him watch! It may get him in the mood, but even if it doesn’t, when he does work through this stuff and get his libido back, he’ll know what really makes you tick. And that’s a win-win, cuz then he’ll know how to make you happy without leaving you too sore for sex for a week.

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  • Tracey

    Tracey October 31, 2011, 4:08 pm

    I’m trying to wrap my head around this. You have a high libido and haven’t gone a week without sex since you lost your virginity. His libido is not as high as yours, but he’s…gifted, so it hurts to be with him more than one week. You take care of yourself when he can’t with wine and some self gratification. Except when you’re sleeping at his place (or he’s sleeping at yours) and it’s not one of the once-a-week sessions you have, and you only have one week sessions because of his size. It hurts too much to do it more.

    Pondering here…How long has it been since you lost your virginity? Doesn’t it hurt when you take care of yourself in those in-between times? Do you need the wine to masturbate? Why are you hesitant to take care of yourself when you’re in bed with him?

    Oh, and the most important question: How come you haven’t talked to him?

    Wait, that’s not the most important question. This is: How come you haven’t talked to him and given him more consideration and concern given his current employment and personal issues? He needs to know that when you do have sex, you feel sore for a time afterward. He can perhaps work with you to adjust techniques/experiment with positions/maybe use more lubrication to help make sex not so uncomfortable later on. He needs to know about the differences in your libido and how you like to masturbate. You can introduce him to the ways you stimulate yourself and he you, allowing you to play without penetrating. I mean there’s more to sex than penetration…especially with a partner you love and care about.

    There I go pondering again…you do love and care about him right? See, he’s going through quite a bit of stress – a parent with a terminal illness, the potential loss of employment, depression that requires medication. Any one of those on its own will sap a healthy person’s libido. All of them combined is an even bigger drain. It’s also safe to assume that he can sense tension from you because you’re missing the sex.

    Okay, this is the most important question: What are you more concerned about – the lack of sex or the personal issues he’s experiencing that is contributing to a climate that has meant a lack of sex? If it’s just the sex and only the sex, then you need to move on because you’re not into him – you’re just into the sex with him. You can get sex anywhere. If you care about him and it’s the personal issues, – both yours and his – that’s leading to a sexual dry spell, then you two are due for a talk. That talk should not take place when you’re eyeing a glass of wine or about to hit the sheets with him. It should happen when you and him are not about to get intimate (with each other or with yourselves), and it should be done with a balance of honesty, a willingness to listen and concern for each other’s well being.

    Wait, this is the most important question: Are you willing to have that kind of talk with him?

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    • avatar

      6napkinburger October 31, 2011, 4:14 pm

      I’m sorry, but I vehemently disagree with your question “What are you more concerned about – the lack of sex or the personal issues he’s experiencing that is contributing to a climate that has meant a lack of sex?” and also “How come you haven’t talked to him and given him more consideration and concern given his current employment and personal issues?”

      Yes its a little weird that she hasn’t talked to him. But she’s asking HOW to talk to him. Nothing that she said indicated that she thinks her sexual needs are more important than the fact that he is going through a tough time. She’s asking how to discuss with him that his tough time is putting strain on her, without making him feel bad and without adding to his stress.

      To suggest that she isn’t being understanding enough of his tough time is missing the point; that’s ALL she’s been doing, and not being straightforward enough about her needs. And I agree that that is creating resentment which needs to be nipped in the bud. But it in’st because she’s not being sensitive enough to his situation; its because she’s not being sensitive enough to her own.

      It’s a false choice to suggest that she either care about her sexual needs or she be there for him. Others have suggested it too (the first comment on this column) and I disagree that (a) that’s what’s going on; or (b) that it’s that simple. But I do agree that communication is necessary.

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      • Tracey

        Tracey October 31, 2011, 4:51 pm

        It read to me like she was more hung up on the sex than their relationship, which is why I answered the way I did. It’s more than a little weird that she hasn’t talked to him about things – how his size hurts her, her libido, how she feels like she has to sneak and masturbate, how their recent togetherness is making her more sexually frustrated…it was all about her and her sexual frustration.

        She acknowledged his problems – and those were some (for lack of a better word) big problems – but then it was back to her libido and her need for sex.

        That’s why the last question was the most important one: Is she willing to sit down and talk to him? So far, the way I read it, she hasn’t. It’s all about communication – about her sexual needs, about his needs, about their sex life, about his life right now – and there’s no communication going on. Just a lot of pent up frustration.

        She’s got to pick what’s most important and go from there. The way I read this letter, she was more concerned about sex than the sex with him…or even concerned about him. Just calling it as I saw it.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark October 31, 2011, 4:09 pm

    How many Madonna CDs does he own?

    I’m just kidding. Or am I? Hey, most young guys like sex. Many young guys actually USE sex as a way of coping with stress and/or depression. Then again, maybe that has only been my own experience. But mismatched libidos are never a recipe for a good satisfying relationship. I would try to figure out whether or not its just a matter of his medication… But truthfully, think about this, weren’t you ALWAYS having issues sexually? It may be time to accept that this relationship simply isn’t right for either of you…

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    • Budj

      Budj October 31, 2011, 4:13 pm

      I was going to say…I was depressed for a time in college and would use sex as a way to feel better physically and emotionally about myself…so it isn’t always a libido killer…

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    • avatar

      6napkinburger October 31, 2011, 4:25 pm

      I think the difference may be the chemicals/drugs. Young libido/angst can’t win out over big pharma.

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      • Tracey

        Tracey October 31, 2011, 4:57 pm

        It seems like the problem’s been going on from the start, and it’s been going on because neither of them are talking to each other. If you don’t ask for what you want or say what you want, you don’t get what you want. And it doesn’t help that she’s willing to keep a part of her sex life – how she likes to be touched and how she touches herself – secret. Then again, (as I read this) the only way she can masturbate is by drinking first, so in a way she’s not even talking honestly with herself about her sex life. That can’t be good. They may be right for each other, but since no one’s talking, they’ll never know. And that long overdue talk’s going to be even more difficult now that he’s depressed to the point of needing meds, and dealing with work/family issues. Sad when you think about it. If you don’t say what you want, you don’t get what you want.

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        6napkinburger October 31, 2011, 5:01 pm

        I agree with everything you said here. And that finally makes the wine/”special time” connection make sense; I honestly could not understand why masturbating necessitated wine.

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      • Tracey

        Tracey October 31, 2011, 5:08 pm

        There’s a lot more going on here…hope they can work it out. Hope they can find a way to talk about it.

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  • Chicago-Dude

    DudeInChicago October 31, 2011, 7:41 pm

    *cough, cough… Fake letter.

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    • avatar

      HmC October 31, 2011, 9:37 pm

      Good call! Reading it again, for some reason it seems like a guy trying to sound like a girl…

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  • Lyra

    L October 31, 2011, 9:17 pm

    I too have pretty strong suspicions that this is a fake…but just in case it’s not…

    Seriously? You’re putting your “I’m a sex goddess!” needs in front of his own personal needs??? Who do you think you are? If your guy needs someone to lean on, he will likely turn to you. He should be able to turn to you. Because you know what? That’s what makes a relationship. I get the whole “I’m feeling neglected!” thing, but honestly if you can’t be there for him as someone to lean on in his time of need and instead focus on YOUR sex drive and what YOU aren’t getting…you are EXTREMELY shallow.

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  • avatar

    lyla November 1, 2011, 7:39 am

    Love DW! Have never posted before & did not have time to read the comments & probably since i am late to the party, this will not be read. A shame because i have some rare info to share.
    i once had a lover who was similar in that he was a Whopper who was not that aggressive sexually & it drove me crazy because i wanted more, more, more! He complained about dryness, i wasn’t but added lub hoping it would please him. Still, as time went on, his desire lessened & i took it as my personal failure.i also felt rejected. me, me, me. We moved on in our lives & away from each other, sad…
    Years went by & i came across an article that lit my brain up & gave me a new understanding.
    It turns out that men with BIG STUFF can be prone to a condition that causes pain & mussle disstortion, almost a type of scaring that disstorts the penis. This is especially true if the penis is curved. While we might like it, sex can be very painfull for the man.
    Since men are loath to see a doc, most especially concerning their STUFF, this condition goes largly undiagnosed. A good urologists & possible surgury can correct the problem.
    In the mean time it may not be about you at all! While i agree that some real conversation about sexual satisfaction between you, as in there is more than one way to share the joy of each others bodies should be shared …..men with a dissfunction like this, internlize & shut down especially when they don’t know what is wrong with them on a part of themselves that is suppose to represent their manhood!!!!
    i wish i could have reached out to that lover in my past & i tried but he had moved.
    Perhaps, in retrospect, the knowledge i have learned is that it wasn’t about me at all.
    i hope he got the help he needed. i wish i could have been the one to help him get there.
    How life changing would that have been?

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  • avatar

    Fabelle November 1, 2011, 9:22 am

    Just going to address some of the comments first– really?? This letter is “crass”? You think some dude wrote this in order to get off? (It would probably be a lot more graphic in that case, just saying…)

    I totally believe this letter, and it’s refreshing to see that some people can actually talk about sex like an adult instead of using ridiculous euphemisms like a middle-schooler. She sounds sexually frustrated, and if a guy wrote in complaining about lack of sex from his girlfriend, I’d also be sympathetic. And for whoever expressed doubt that she woke up masturbating, I’m going to be open and say I have experienced this firsthand– along with orgasms. Sooo basically, all women are different & it’s important to remember that instead of jumping to the conclusion that the letter is a fake.

    To the LW: this is going to sound cold, but I would move on from this relationship. I know your boyfriend is going through seriously tough times, but there’s a few things in your letter that tell me you guys aren’t compatible anyway. From the description you gave of your sex drive, you seem like a sexually comfortable and open person. So why aren’t you masturbating in front of him? Even if he’s stressed, he should be okay with you doing this– but since you aren’t (and haven’t suggested it, it seems?) then he must be giving off some vibe that makes you think he wouldn’t be down. Have you given ANY sign that you’re frustrated, or are you afraid your desire would make him resentful?

    Two other things that stood out to me were these statements: “…he’s huge and as a result I’m normally too sore to have sex more than once a week” and “I don’t drink around him because he’s a recovering alcoholic which has never been an issue because I don’t drink much”. You just brought up two problems and then sort of denied that they’re problems. I don’t doubt that you’re sore for a couple of days after, but I think you’re stretching it in order to make yourself feel okay about the once-a-week thing. And even if you don’t drink much, you should feel comfortable having a glass of wine in front of your recovering boyfriend. Unless he makes you feel in some way that you can’t?

    It just seems to me that you’re re-molding yourself a bit in order to fit this relationship– your first long-term one. Speaking of– where do you see this going? If he’s the kind of person whose sex drive disappears whenever he’s going through stuff, can you deal with that? Life is hard, so I can see this occuring regularly if you stay with him. You guys are at an age when you could either try to make it work, or move on. Personally, I feel like you both might find other people more compatibile.

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    • JK

      JK November 1, 2011, 9:48 am

      I actually find the way this letter is written to be more immature than the usual euphemisms (and I was one of the commenters that complained about those the other day). I personally don´t know any adults that talk about sex this way (unless jokingly), and certainly not any women!!!

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    • avatar

      Jess November 1, 2011, 10:48 am

      I think my comment was the one that you referred to as doubting that someone could wake up masturbating- I just wanted to clarify I wasn’t doubting that it happened, but I thought it was strange to include it in the letter. A real LW could have written “I’ve been really horny” without giving detailed examples.

      Also- the letter is FILLED with euphemisms- I don’t think the LW is talking about sex like an adult at all. The wording sounds like the writer’s only experience with female masturbation/sex from a female perspective comes from watching soft core porn.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom November 1, 2011, 11:06 am

    I don’t know anyone who doesn’t drink much who uses wine as a sleep aid or as a masturbation aid. People who don’t drink much don’t use alcohol. They may occasionally drink it but they don’t use it.

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  • avatar

    Michelle.Lea November 1, 2011, 11:17 am

    I didn’t read all the comments, so hopefully I’m not just repeating..

    2 months is not a long time to go without in the larger scheme of things. If he’s depressed (or to the point of being on antidepressants) there will be an adjustment period, and he may not want to. and to be frank, you should not be relying completely on another person for an orgasm. even in a long term relationship, sometimes you need a release that is not connected to another person. it doesnt mean you dont want him, but something for yourself.

    But now to the bigger picture, even if he’s not depressed, can you live with someone with a lower sex drive than you? you didnt really say how long you’ve been together, but even in a normal long term relationship, the frequency of sex will go down some, and that’s normal. I can honestly say from experience though, it can be a deal breaker at some point if you dont deal with the feelings you’re experiencing from it, especially if your partner has little to no sex drive at all. Sex is not always the most important thing in a relationship, but it can be the glue that keeps you together to a point. You do have to factor in the length of your relationship, and what you want out of it, and life.

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  • avatar

    yesitsarealletter November 1, 2011, 5:10 pm

    For starters, I’m the author of this letter and it’s truly my situation. My boyfriend has had 3 girlfriends prior to me that all lasted over a year and post breaking up with his last girlfriend he was able to go 2 years without having sex – I felt this was important to include to show the difference in our libidoes. Secondly, we live in military dorms that don’t have a lot of space nor actual baths. (New shower head is on the to buy list.) Thirdly, I made the mistake in assuming that I attempted to seduce him was a given and I didn’t feel the need to even state it. We’ve had discussions on our differing libidoes before, I just simply wanted to know if bringing this up given the current circumstances was too selfish. Anywho, thanks to those for the helpful input.

    ***And the best sex is rough sex. 😉

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  • avatar

    Joanna November 2, 2011, 12:56 am

    Hey Wendy, I figured out how to fix the italics on this post. After the letter writer’s sign-off name, Not Getting Any, there is an unclosed Strong tag. You just need to insert one of these > after it to close it.

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