I have a situation I'd like your opinion about. I'm a 50-something married man with a wife I've truly loved for close to two decades now. She and I are indeed partners in every respect except one. My wife and I don't have a sexual relationship. She's physically unable because of a medical condition, but even without that condition in the way our sex life was dismal at best.
I'm a very healthy man for my age and would like to be very sexually active. I've often wondered why I'm in this situation and how common such a situation like this is.
The bottom line and the purpose of this email is to ask your opinion about finding a lady in a similar situation and developing a FWB relationship with her. I've only heard stories about such relationships but never knew anyone in one. I thought perhaps you might have some insight.
No Need For Little Blue Pills
Dear No Need,
Let's not look down on the brothers who use Viagra. At some point you may find you'll require some pharmaceutical assistance, and when that day comes, please try to be dignified about it. Try to avoid making statements like "This never happens to me" or "You should have seen me in my prime."
When you make your dick the centre of attention, everyone has to rally round it, and that gets tired real quick. You're getting old. Shit breaks down. It doesn't mean you can't have fun. Take some responsibility for sex not being dismal by being adventurous and interested. Don't just be the huckster/display case for your penis.
As for your sexless marital situation, I'm beginning to understand that I'll be fielding this question every week until I die. Monogamy, it seems, is its own worst enemy. I remember one of the first times someone came to me and asked how he could cheat on his wife without getting caught. I fucking lost it on him. He emailed me back and was very distressed. He didn't come to me for judgment, he said.
And now, 18 years later, I find I'm still unable to provide what feels like adequate guidance. I know what people are asking for is simple permission to have sex. All I can say is that many more people are doing non-monogamy than openly admit it. Many people are not finding sexual satisfaction in traditional single-partner commitments, yet they continue to make them, somehow ignoring or accepting the fact that at some point intimacy will be a frustrating and discouraging challenge.
What are we to do? Even if there is sex after you die, it'll likely not be the same as the sex you have on this planet, filled with drama and stress as it is. Who can blame you for wanting to pack a few earthly bangs in while you're here?
Of course, people conduct FWB relationships successfully. It's one why many people's more public relationships still function. But everything is a risk, No Need. Human beings are a risk. As you go forward in your explorations, do so with the appropriate caution.
I'm dating a woman who seems to have some trouble having an orgasm. It takes her quite a long time, and she needs quite a bit of stimulation, beginning with oral sex, going on to cowgirl, then cowgirl with a vibrator and then just a vibrator and me fingering her.
She tells me this isn't unusual for women and then additionally says that probably a lot of the women I was with before were faking it. I think I would know if they were. I am a good listener and communicator, and I don't think a woman would feel she had to fake an orgasm with me. But her comment is kind of sticking with me. What do you think?
I've said it before: most people wouldn't know a fake orgasm if it sat on their face. And trust me, it has.
Let me try to explain what I think might be going on. Heterosexual men are typically (and in many cases unfairly) perceived as poor intimate communicators. Lots of jokes are made to this effect, books are written about you guys being from one planet and women being from another, and on it goes. You get these Dr. Firm And Sensitive types on afternoon television advising you to listen to women, saying that women more than anything just want you to listen. "She just wants you to listen to her!" they all holler cheerfully, making open-palmed gestures and lots of eye contact, and then everyone claps.
What happens is that this ability then gets connected to your ego. You're going to be one of those listening guys! You're going to get big claps from mid-afternoon female studio audiences! Problem is, being a good listener also involves hearing, and that's where a lot of people fall short. Hearing involves hearing things that may deflate your ego, and when you're listening in part to have your ego stroked, you're not really listening.
When a person decides that being a good listener is his big thing, sometimes it's easier to let him believe he is a good listener than to take on the exhausting responsibility of disabusing him of this fact, or at least letting him know that staring at you like a beleaguered pit bull and then touching you firmly, looking in your eyes and saying, "I hear what you're saying..." doesn't mean he actually does. In fact, it often comes across as deeply patronizing.
Having said that, it's not really fair for your new lady to fling shit in your face like this, but here's the other thing: sometimes a guy will come across a woman who doesn't come as easily as his former partners and he'll take this as a slight. He'll say something from an insecure place like, "Gee, it seems to take you a long time to come," and the lady will take that personally and fling back the old "Well, that's probably because everyone else you slept with was faking it." And then we're in Ugly Town. Like Las Vegas, Ugly Town is a hard place to leave with any grace or dignity.
So what do we do? We try really hard to accept that everyone has different ways of coming, being sexy and liking sex and that if we listen and talk with our egos then we are missing the point, or at least making it a hell of a lot harder to get to.