Question: My Boyfriend Won’t Clean, What Now?

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Question: Concerning cohabitation – dividing up housework. My guy and I share most of the cooking and laundry duties but when it comes to cleaning, the lions share falls to me (I’m female). His responsibilities are taking out the trash and vacuuming. Our apartment is about 1000 sq ft so I don’t think this is a major task yet he drags his feet. I’ve offered to trade cleaning toilets and using with him but he continually insists that he wants to vacuum. I don’t want him to WANT to vacuum, no one wants to clean, but he’s getting on my last nerve when time to clean comes around and he brings up hiring a maid! It takes less than 10 minutes but I feel that I get my jobs done and he is still sitting around, playing Halo or reading a book. Side note – I work full time and he is a student currently on summer break with no internship/job/responsibilities outside the home. I don’t want to nag him or yell or fight. I’ve tired asking for a deadline as in “by the time I come home from work on Wednesday, that’s three days from now, the house will be vacuumed” but he still puts it off to the last moment. It really irritates me and I don’t want to fight every week about a simple task.

Answer:

I’m sorry to hear that you’re having a rough time in your relationship. There are all kinds of things that can send you up the wall when you’re living with someone. Sometimes those small grains of irritation can build up into larger, more substantial irritants. I would suggest that this is likely one of those cases. Is the issue really about vacuuming, or is there something deeper going on that is making this such an issue for the both of you?

We all have shit we don’t like to do. It’s the stuff we put off until the very last minute. I’m pretty bad at this. My to do list gets crossed off in order of fun, not necessity. I’m pretty cognizant of this and make an effort to do things that I need to do. In your boyfriends case, that thing would be vacuuming the fucking carpet. He doesn’t want to do it so he does what he wants to do, perhaps with good intention. I’ll do it eventually, that’s what counts, why are you getting so mad? 

Unfortunately for him, it’s not just on his to do list, it’s on yours too.

That’s a shared space and that means that this particular task needs to take higher precedence. Not only that, but he needs to realize that this particular matter is causing you distress. Perhaps because you know that you cannot rely on him to do something so small and simple and so fundamental to the mental well-being of you and your relationship.

The problem is that you now expect this negative experience.

Truly, that’s one real big problem. You don’t believe that he’ll do it so much that you’ve set deadlines. You steam about it while you’re not there. You just wait for him to disappoint you. That’s not fair to him just as it is not fair to you.

Is your partner depressed? Sometimes when we are depressed we can show similar behaviors as your boyfriend is showing. Sitting around all day, unable to do the things we need to do, frustration when we are called out about it. Is he having trouble using all this free time he has in ways that are productive? That in itself could be cause for worry.

It’s one thing to have lots of free time and find ways to enjoy it, it’s another to lose complete track of time and realize you’ve really dropped the ball.

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It could also be a problem if you have a different maturity level. Are you at a point in your life where you just want a clean home to come home to so you can focus on getting things done, and he’s… at a point where he wants to play video games? That can cause friction in itself.

It’s also valid to point out that perhaps you just have different ideas about cleaning. To you cleaning might be a basic necessity, something you do because you need to do it. He may not have grown up cleaning, he might not know how to clean, he might not recognize when things are dirty. To him lets hire a maid might be a clean solution to the dirty question.

Let him know that hiring a maid is not a reasonable response, but try to do it in a way that recognizes that to him, it might have been reasonable.

When you talk to him again try to make sure that this is the last conversation you ever have about vacuuming. No one wants to talk about vacuuming that much, not even you, I bet. Find a place of mutual understanding and respect and work towards discovering new and more exciting disagreements to have with one another.

Before you do any of this, think about whether or not the conversation really has to do about vacuuming. If this one simple thing could be solved, would you be happy? Or would you still have that core feeling that you couldn’t trust your partner to do these things? Would you still feel like you were behind the scenes orchestrating his basic adult functions? Would you still feel… lopsided? If the vacuuming isn’t the issue, find out what is. I offered a few suggestions (re: different maturity levels, depression, inability to organize time, different ideas about cleanliness) above. Best of luck.

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Do you have a question concerning cohabitation? Do you have a question about sex, sexuality, gender, love? Submit now by hitting ask advice at the top and I’ll answer it on my blog. 

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Advice on Advice: Storytelling on Blogs

Question: Can you give me some advice on giving advice?

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Answer: Give advice on what you know – things you’ve experienced. Let’s say we’re talking about sex/love blogging in particular. Pretty much everyone has been through a breakup. You can go through life saying you’re a professional at breakups. You know all about them. That’s because that’s a deeply personal thing that has happened to you, and it’s relatable. The problem is that you’re not the only person who has been through a breakup. What makes you special and why does your experience matter?

I’ve found that it’s not the experience you’ve had that matter but the growth that you’ve experienced through that experience.

Anyone can sit down and say hey, cosmo 101, breakups suck, here’s what you can do. What I enjoy reading are the stories of people who can offer a before and after. I hear you’re hurting. I was in that situation once too and this is how it felt when I was in that situation. These are the things that I did to get out of that situation and grow stronger because of it.

Take a mundane story and roll it in glitter and the tears of your enemies and present it on a silver platter to the king.

Those stories are more real and motivating than a list that is shared over and over again. It’s about story telling. Advice is kind of like story telling. It can be, and I think it should be, the passing of wisdom.

What’s important is trying to tell that story and pass along your wisdom with the understanding that you know something. You don’t know everything. You had this one experience but their experience might be different. You might have had a different outcome than they did. Your experiences aren’t the sum of all experiences. And while they might make you wise and give you that knowledge and wisdom, they don’t make you an expert on the situation.

People like to believe that they are experts. The only thing you’re really an expert on is yourself. So write from that perspective when you’re giving advice. Write about yourself but do it in a way that can act as guidance for another. Do your best to mix up that question with what you can give and don’t give more than that.

Above all: Don’t feel like you’re expected to give more than that.

Do you have a question about sex or love? Submit at the top by hitting ask advice and I’ll answer it on my blog. 

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Question: Can I Improve My Drive?

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Question: Short of actual pharmaceuticals, are there foods and drinks that are proven to get the sex drive going? I rarely want sex, and I wish I wanted it more!

Answer: I’m not really one to endorse aphrodisiacs as there is little actual science proving any specific foods (ex: oysters) make you horny. In fact, I would expect that a lot of that kind of thing is just the placebo effect. Eating this thing makes me horny?! Oh, now I’m horny because I expected to be horny! Not to mention all the potential confounds! Are you eating these oysters with a sexy significant other in a dimly lit romantic restaurant? I can advise one thing, but it’s not very exciting, and it’s probably what one might expect.

If you want to help your sex drive, eat healthy, exercise, and get lots of sleep. Balance your stress load by giving yourself time to relax, meditating, and doing things for yourself that keep you calm and happy. Drink lots of water.

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Exercise will help your circulation. You want good blood flow to, you know, get blood flowing. Eating healthy will improve your mood and make you feel more energized which is helpful when it comes to sex. If you eat unhealthy foods or if you don’t eat regularly you’re more likely to be tired or grouchy. And considering how much of your body is made up of water, it’s important to keep well hydrated to make sure your body functions like it should.

I would encourage you to look at your own diet and exercise, your sleep schedule, and how much water you’re consuming. See if there are any ways you can improve those basics before you move on. You know when those scientific articles come out and everyone heaves a big sigh and says “well duh why do they need research to know that eating well/exercising/drinking water is good for you?” Well, one reason is because people know it but they don’t do it. So here’s another little reminder.

Some people have little ups and downs in their sex drive that are natural, especially if you’re in a particularly stressful point in your life or if there’s a lot going on. It’s also normal to have a lower or higher drive than your partner, and it can be easy to judge what is “high” based on how often your partner wants sex. (Ex: You might feel like you have a low sex drive if you want sex a few times a week and your partner wants it several times a day. But you might just have different drives!)

If you really do want to have sex more often and these little tweaks don’t help, I would encourage you to think about the psychological aspect of sexuality a little bit. Are there things you could change in your sex life that would make sex more exciting to you? This may or may not play a part in you wanting sex more often. Sometimes, though, discussing new fantasies with your partner can get that drive kicked back into gear. You can also put an emphasis on foreplay with your partner to heat things up.

Try this:

Lay in bed with one another, even if you are not particularly feeling like sex but know you want to want sex, and just kiss one another. Kiss and touch and play and don’t worry about having sex, just have fun with one another. Sometimes having that open play time can arouse you enough that you want to continue playing and have penetrative sex or oral sex or other types of sex. Sometimes that type of play just rests at kissing and touching and, I think, that’s a great way to build a different type of intimacy with your partner.

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Question: Washing My Balls

I forgot I had glass Ben wa balls in and went to pee … And one plopped out into to toilet! I fished it out with a rubber glove, washed it in hand soap , and then poured rubbing alcohol over it before rinsing/drying and putting it away. Do you think that’s sufficient to sterilize it and make it safe to use again?

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Yes, you should be good with the cleaning that you did. Glass balls are non-porous and are pretty easy to clean. I usually wash mine with warm water and soap. Occasionally I spritz them with an anti-bacterial toy cleaner, but that’s primarily a routine toy inspection and not something I’m doing because I necessarily feel unsafe with the soap and water regimen.

As you discovered, it’s inconvenient to have to pee when you’re using ben wa balls. If you have to pee and you realize too late, trying to get the ben wa balls out so you can safely pee can be just as treacherous. My advice would be to avoid the liquids as best you can while you’re playing with them next time, and be sure to go to the bathroom before inserting them. If you’re going to be using them for longer periods of time and want to stay hydrated (as is smart for many types of strenuous exercise) try popping them out every now and then for a little break and then putting them back in.

Cleaning toys before and after use can help prevent bacteria from getting inside you and causing infection. Storing them in dry, clean areas can be helpful as well. If you have ben wa balls are silicone, remember that silicone toys should not be stored directly against other silicone toys. This can cause a melting of the material. If possible, storing your toys in separate toy bags can help prolong their lifespan.

Related (and recommended) toys and accessories:

Luna Beads $47.00

(They’re weighted, too!)

Padded Bags $20.00-30.00

(The large one fits a hitachi!)

Pjur Clean $18.00

(For spraying down your toys!)

Have a question about sex, love, sexuality, gender, relationships? Submit at the top by hitting ask advice and I’ll answer it on my blog.

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Question: Trust and Sex

Note: This question is exceptionally long so I’ve divided it into segments and highlighted key themes I want to talk about. I think all parts of it are important so I didn’t want to leave anything out. I think the questions asked in this post are representative of most of the questions I hear when it comes to relationships and having a healthy sexual discourse within a long term relationship. Read on, and let me know if you would have anything to add. 

Question

Trust issues: Your Partners Friends

I’m in an LTR of 3+ yrs. but I have severe trust issues. I am very sensitive about the women my boyfriend interacts with at work, school, etc. -mainly there’s this stupid thing when I meet one of them. Most of the time, they ignore me and engage only with him even when he and I had been talking or it’s clear that we are together. I can be standing there, holding his hand, smiling at directing my attention at her and the woman won’t acknowledge me. I’ve attended the birthday party of a particular female coworker and invited her out to a couple events before but she still seems to ignore me when my boyfriend is present and only greets him. I feel like this is a huge snub and like they are all, in a way, asserting dominance over me. It’s almost a constant experience when a new woman is introduced and I don’t know why this happens. Once it does, however, that’s it – I am infuriated and I don’t want him to have anything to do with them. So that’s one issue.

Answer

As a woman who often does this, here’s one possible explanation. They’re aware that you feel that distrust towards them, and it’s off-putting. When I engage with male friends of mine while their female partners are present it’s difficult to include them in the conversation. 1) Often times I just feel more comfortable talking briefly to my male friend and then moving on 2) The body language of the female S/O can at times be predatory. “Why are you talking to my boyfriend?” 3) I am socially awkward at times and introducing yourself can feel messy. One person needs to be the one who takes that move and says “Hi! I’m so and so!” If you’re bad at this like me, give it a shot, and work it in. It does get easier with time. My advice would be to put effort into getting to know your boyfriends female friends. Start your own dialogue with them and create some common ground. “Want to get a drink sometime and chat? I think we have a lot in common!” Be open to the possibility that they aren’t purposefully being rude and that they’re nice people that you too can befriend. Thinking positivity about it will go a long way. You could also encourage your partner to help introduce you when you’re with new people to help include you in the group conversation.

Question

Sexual Incompatibility

Another is that I am a very private and greedy person when it comes to my boyfriend and sex. I love sex and I like a lot of it. I like being made to feel dirty and sexual and I try to make him feel that way and make him feel like I am super attracted to and aroused by him. Most of the time his response feels hum drum and awkward, and I don’t feel like he makes much effort to make me feel wanted unless it’s the day he wants to have sex that week, haha. I can wear things that make me feel sexy and go out of my way to touch him, etc. but I feel like it rarely gets noticed. To my knowledge, I’m more adventurous than him. (I’ve tried to have conversations about it but he’s never been huge on talking about things and maintains that he’s completely vanilla – which seems to be true, he never starts anything different and my mild requests to be handcuffed or held down or whatever might be granted once after I’ve asked, but in the most halfhearted and short-lived way that I can’t even enjoy those rare occasions fully.) My sex drive seems to be typically higher than his, too. I used to initiate frequently but stopped almost entirely a couple months ago at a point where sex seemed really run of the mill and like he wasn’t actually interested in it. Around the same time he admitted that he didn’t want sex as much, and I felt awkward trying to get someone who didn’t want to have sex with me to do it so, I quit. Now we have sex twice a week tops, which might sound normal for some people but isn’t enough for me, especially the sex is short and I can go weeks without having an orgasm with him (I take care of myself in private almost every day, somewhat resentfully I’ll admit). He typically cums quickly and then sex is done for him… if I hinted, he’d probably continue fooling around with me for awhile but at that point it seems halfhearted and awkward. Penetration is where it’s at for me, anyway – I can’t get off that way but I enjoy it way more. The ideal situation would involve penetration and having my clit stimulated but it’s difficult for me to get my hand down there with him on top of me (he’s overweight and his stomach is always pressed against me pretty solidly). Oh, but he doesn’t like sex toys. I talked him into trying a couple with me (we bought a vibrating cock ring and a small vibrator on different occasions) but I’ve only gotten to use them each once or twice.

 

Answer

I highlighted segments that I think are important here and I want to talk about them. It seems like you two are, at least at this point, sexually incompatible in some pretty big ways. You want sex a lot, he wants it a little. You like to be made dirty, he prefers it vanilla. Neither of these things are necessarily wrong, you just appear to have different preferences. Often times at the start of a relationship these differences can be hidden by the excitement of newness, where you’re still exploring one another. Then you settle into a comfortable place and you realize one partner might want a particular pace that the other partner doesn’t want. Sometimes this changes — one partner that is more vanilla begins to want to explore, or one partner that is super kinky winds down a bit and leans towards a quieter intimacy. For many people, their sexual preferences are hardwired in, and they are the way that they are. That’s just their sexual language.

On language, I pulled two interesting parts at the start:

1) I try to make him feel that way —

2) I don’t feel that he makes much effort to make me feel wanted —

Remember that what makes your partner feel loved, wanted, or sexy, might be different than what makes you feel loved, wanted, and sexy. It sounds like you might be communicating to him but he’s not hearing you, and maybe vice versa. It also sounds like communication about sex or during sex is falling flat, because your needs aren’t being met. It’s not unreasonable to want to use positions that help you get off or to have sex for a length of time to allows you to orgasm. If he can’t enjoy playing with you after he orgasms maybe he should focus on making sure you get off once before he gets himself off. Extending foreplay is a great way to help do that.

It all goes back to that first question, though. Are you sexually incompatible? Can you two bend to meet one another’s needs and find excitement in that middle ground? Are these things new in your relationship or has the sex always in some way been less than what you’d expected? There are lots of questions, and lots of potential answers.

Question

Falling Out

So anyway to get to my statement about being greedy about him. If I am not being sexually satisfied regularly and my attempts to get his attention and attract him don’t work, what the FUCK is he doing scrolling through the FB pictures of girls he doesn’t know, doing hell knows what to them, or checking out other women in public? It seems extremely unfair that I can spend a whole evening out being attentive and affectionate to him, wearing a low-cut dress that puts like 40% of my boobs right out there, and he leaves my at my place with just a few prolonged kisses, but apparently I’m supposed to accept his checking out other women as normal and healthy and not something I should want him to stop even if I feel constantly unnoticed, unfulfilled and sexually frustrated. I am jealous and distrustful. I am completely aware that these are problems I have. I don’t know how to work through them, I just don’t even know where to begin. I know my dissatisfaction with our sex life isn’t helping.

I feel like he isn’t open with me about what he likes, or what he doesn’t like about things I’ve requested, or anything really – so I feel paranoid and weird and sad and I don’t know what to do about any of this mess. If I don’t bring anything up, it doesn’t come up, and when I’ve mentioned things in the past he just gets sad and mopey and, stuff changes for a little bit, but it just feels so damn obligatory and forced it’s miserable. Sorry for rambling, I just need to spill to someone. I don’t expect you to have all the answers but it’d be cool to hear someone else give a take on this.

Answer

You mentioned that you were starting to get yourself off – resentfully so. I think this paragraph and that statement reflects that you’re starting to realize that this has been unwell for a while and it’s time to either fix it or end it. It seems to me that you’re frustrated with him and your lack of sex or lack of intimacy and that you’re getting extra agitated by outside stuff now because you’re simply not satisfied. It’s possible he knows whats going on. It’s possible he too is equally upset about it. It’s possible he’s also working through some stuff. The one thing that’s clear is something needs to change. I would suggest having more heavy conversations about your unhappiness. It might be helpful to use a couples counselor as an in-between to help you communicate with one another. When you’re upset it’s easy to use blaming statements like “you don’t care about me, you look at other girls, we never have sex” but these statements aren’t going to be helpful in finding solutions. You won’t be able to take on everything at once. What you will need is a partner who recognizes that things aren’t where they should be, and a partner who is willing to work with you to fix one thing at a time. I think this will require patience.

And, finally

I should mention that aside from my ramblings in the previous ‘question’, by boyfriend is awesome. He’s smart and caring and outside of feeling angry about how some of his female friends seem to want to make me feel secondary, and feeling like he’s not as attracted to me or interested in exploring and growing sexually with me, we are typically happy. But sex is a big deal for me and I don’t want the highlight of my sex life to be when he wants to switch from missionary to doing it in a chair or something, haha. I just though I should add that he’s an awesome person, I’m just not sure what to do about all the awkwardness and weirdness surrounding sex and stuff. I mean, it’s been three years, after all…

Answer

This was submitted after your initial question and reminds me a lot of what couples do when they are unhappy. You can make a list of epic proportions about the things in your relationship that aren’t right and then end it with “but you know, he’s a good guy and I love him.” I don’t know why this is necessary for people to do. Of course, it’s because it’s true. I’m certain he is smart and caring and I’m certain you are too. These things don’t make a great relationship, though. Not all awesome and smart people can be sexually compatible with you. Not all awesome and smart people can make lifelong romantic partners. Sometimes relationships hit a wall where you realize they’ve lived their full life and either you or he develops needs or desires that extend past what that relationship offers. I don’t know if this is true of your relationship but it certainly seems that you are unhappy, and if I had to guess, he probably has some wants/needs of his own that he might not be sharing. Figure out if those are something you can work on together or if those are even things you want to work on together. If he’s unable or unwilling to work on those things with you, that’s a much bigger problem, and you’ll want to question where your relationship is headed.

These points are all really important and I hope others will chime in with their advice because there are lots of factors and lots of things to think about. I’m sorry you’re going through this and I hope that whatever the solution is that you are able to find some happiness. Best luck!

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Question: Ex-Sex Threesome

Question

My ex boyfriend (lover) about a month ago call it quits. And indicated that he proffered to stay as friends. During our relationship we had talked about fmf threesome, but, nothing happened. I’m bicurious but have never been with another woman. About a week ago he text to ask me about being in a threesome with him and a female friend who is also bicurious. I told my ex that I wanted to meet her and see a picture of her. I’m still waiting… Although I am curious and a little uncertain if I should proceed. A if so, What rules would be appropriate? What could you recommend?

Answer

This has potential for being awesome or awful. But then again, that summarizes most threesomes. Sometimes the chemistry works and sometimes the scenario is just right and sometimes, well, things go wrong. My initial hesitation is that you may still have romantic feelings towards your ex-boyfriend, since he’s the one who called it quitsies, and it’s only been a month. How are the emotions there? Was it amicable? Mutual? Has your friendship remained intact? If you feel that the emotional experience would be too raw (seeing him again, having sex with him again, seeing him have sex with someone else) or if you feel that it might be a possible door to get back together (maybe we can keep doing this, maybe we’ll date again, etc) I wouldn’t do it. 

If you two have remained close friends, and your relationship has always been pretty fluid, open, understanding, and you feel 100% comfortable with the idea of a threesome, it might be a fun experience for you. Having a threesome with someone you are compatible with and comfortable with can be a good experience. I think it’s great to have people you can “play with” off and on that allow fun that is more uncomplicated than complicated.

In general, I would advise against ex-sex, but blanket statements aren’t warm and cozy, and it’s up to you to decide whether or not that’s something that might work. I’ve met some people who would absolutely explode if they were placed in this scenario, as inciting as it might sound. Others have unique relationships that allow them this kind of post-dating flexibility with little issue. I’ve seen it work but it’s not for everyone.

What rules would be appropriate?

That is strictly a decision that the three of you would need to make together. It’s a question everyone who attempts to plan a threesome should think about. If the three of you decide this is something that you’re excited about and want to do together I’d recommend meeting on a non-sexy date once to see how the chemistry is between the three of you. Sexual experiences, I feel, are better off if you actually like the people that you’re with. Intellectual/emotional chemistry can really boost sexual chemistry. Knowing that you feel comfortable with someone makes a big difference, too. This could also be a time to talk about boundaries, concerns, and safety.

I’ve gone back and forth on the overthinking it part of threesomes. I think it’s good to consider comfort and goals, boundaries and safety, but I also think its important to sort of let go and just go into the experience with an open mind looking to have some fun.

Best of luck whichever way you go, and I hope it’s an experience you get to have sometime, even if this isn’t “the” time.

Have a question about sex or love? Need some third-party-advice on something going on in your life? Submit to the top by hitting ask advice and I’ll answer it on my blog. Like my blog? Like my response? Find ways to support the blog and the author by hitting support at the top of the page. Thanks for reading!

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Question: Bringing Up Escorting

A reader recently wrote in about a girl they are dating who they found was a sex worker at a previous point in her life. The question was: is it suitable to bring this up with her? I reached out to another blogger friend of mine who has more experience with sex worker activism as I felt she could shed more light on this difficult subject. You can visit her blog and seek out further advice directly from her on her page sexualityreclaimed. I agree with her advice and would really emphasize comfort when and if you decide to bring this up with her. It is difficult to say what her current involvement might be, how she feels/felt about it, and whether or not she was going to talk to you about this on her own time. 

Question: 

I recently found out that a girl that I’ve been dating for the past year was an escort at a prior time in her life. This wasn’t something that she revealed to me personally, but rather a fact that I was able to piece together based on gaps in her history and testimonies from mutual friends of ours. The final clincher was a strange email exchange that she had left open on my browser after using my laptop. Against my better judgment, I skimmed the thread and found what seemed to be an exchange between her and a sugar daddy penpal of sorts—with the content containing regular exchanges about updates in their lives, financial discussions, and his reference to her as “honey” (or other terms of endearment). She had always been pretty secretive about her recent past and sources of income, but has otherwise had me be privy to sensitive parts of her history—moreso than any of her other friends that she hangs out with. There’s this strange dichotomy between the level of trust between us concerning certain issues, for instance—we spent several months getting to know each other on a personal level before becoming intimate and she’s not the kind of gal who takes home guys for a one night stand. While I’ve read about sites like Seeking Arrangement, the whole situation is just really bizarre to be honest and I’m not quite sure what to think at the moment. She has otherwise been pretty good to me and despite our differences; she has shown a commitment to improving other aspects of her life that I’ve been receptive toward helping her with as she meets these goals. While I have some reservations about the whole ordeal, I’m open to hearing her take on it and am wondering whether it would be suitable to bring it up the next time I see her?

Answer:

(Guest Response by sexualityreclaimed)

It sounds like you are a sensitive and caring partner and as a worker myself, I appreciated reading your thoughtful question. It sounds like your question and concerns are not so much around the sex work itself, but around the level of intimacy you share with and knowledge you have of this person you have been seeing.

I think discerning for yourself why exactly you want to know about this girl’s past work experience is really important because it will help frame up your conversation if you do decide to bring it up explicitly with her. I am assuming that the situation feels bizarre because while you have developed some trust and intimacy with her around certain things, she has closed off other parts of herself to you. That makes a lot of sense to me. And it makes a lot of sense that you are curious and interested to know about her past as a way to further the relationship you have been building.

That being said, it also sounds like she has been, for the most part, pretty intentional about not sharing her past with you, for whatever reason. It could be that it just takes her a while to develop the trust she needs in order to disclose those experiences. Remember that sex work is a pretty stigmatized experience, and she may have had traumatizing experiences in the past with other partners or friends who belittled, judged, or looked down on her once they found out about her sex work experiences.

Perhaps a good way to approach the topic is to bring up something in the media about sex work (the Belle Knox pieces come to my mind right now) Offer your supportive perspective on the issue to show your interest. This may help to demonstrate to her that you are a safe person with whom she could share her experiences. Remember that different workers have different experiences in the sex industry; it’s definitely not a cookie-cutter experience. She may have had a wonderful time as an escort, or a horrible time. The important thing is to demonstrate that you don’t think of sex work as an immoral or wrong choice and that you don’t think of workers as victims or devils.

If you decide to let her know that you read through the email conversation, I would start off with the framing piece that I offered above. Let her know that you care about her and reaffirm why and how you enjoy being in relationship with her. Explain that you are asking her about her past explicitly because you want to know her even better and deepen the intimacy you already share. Also offer that you understand if she is angry or upset that you read through the email exchange, and that you understand if she needs time to process the fact that she didn’t intentionally disclose her experiences to you first.

If the situation feels bizarre because you are unsure of what kinds of relationships she is maintaining with past customers, I think it makes sense to bring up sooner rather than later. I am a proponent of having clear agreements in relationships about boundaries so that all parties involved can give an informed “yes” to the relationship. If she wants to have pen-pal relationships with past customers, and you are not comfortable with that, I think you both deserve to have an explicit conversation so you can both go on to have the relationships that will make you happiest (whether that is with one another or with other people). It will give you both a chance to actually negotiate the boundaries of your relationship, and that seems pretty important. I can offer from my experience as a worker (albeit as a stripper and not an escort), that the worker-customer relationship can be fairly complex. Relationships with “regulars” often evolve into caring friendships, although they are rarely wholly romantic. With past regular customers, the relationship can often parallel caring relationships with ex-partners- a close friendship with someone you used to share sexual and erotic energy. If you can be comfortable with something like that in her life, it would be worth offering that kind of understanding. That relationship may offer quite a lot of support to her, and it would suck for her to have to choose between her current romantic partnership and a friendship. Again, though, that is a boundary that is up to you two to negotiate and discuss.

It seems to me that the worst that can happen is she will be so upset that you read through the conversation and asked her about it that she will never want to talk to you again (and is that really likely?). It seems that a far likelier option will be that she is uncomfortable or deflects the conversation, and the best outcome is that you two are able to have some honest conversations leading to a more robust relationship between the two of you however that manifests.
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Question: “Is this normal?”

Question: Follow up to MESSES OF SEXES. Thanks for clearing that up for me. Your assumption was right, however, we do use condoms sometimes and for lubrication- saliva and the same thing happens. Could it be anal squirting?

Answer: The anus doesn’t produce the same fluids as the vaginal canal does. If you’re using condoms and semen isn’t a factor, I’d say it’s likely just a combination of mucus and whatever you used for lubrication. I wouldn’t be concerned unless you are noticing other symptoms like bleeding, pain, soreness, or anything else that feels out of the ordinary. Hopefully you wouldn’t continue anal sex if you experienced these things – and if they continued – I would advise a checkup for things like hemorrhoids.

Question: I got my period a couple days late and when it came it didn’t last as long as it usually does. Is this a sign of something? Should I take a pregnancy test?

Answer: It’s unlikely that anything is wrong. Sometimes things like diet, exercise, or stress can alter your cycle. Sometimes you may just have a heavier or lighter flow. There are lots of scary articles on the internet about spotting, heavy periods, light periods, and what it all means. Unless you are particularly alarmed by something you see your body doing, I wouldn’t be too concerned. (It might just throw your cycle off even more!)

Keep track of your cycle so you can spot these abnormalities. How long is your cycle? What day did your period come on? Did you just start taking birth control? What kind of birth control are you on? Those kinds of things are useful to know. It might be important to note if your period continues to be super light or if you notice any other symptoms that are new/different/uncomfortable.

As usual, you know your body best. If you’re worried, make a list of questions to ask your doctor the next time you see them. You can also keep note of where inexpensive pregnancy tests are located near you and where you can access plan b if the situation arises where you need it.

 

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Q/A: Messes of Sexes

Question: 

Four hours after having anal sex with my boyfriend and properly cleaning myself, I got the urge to use the toilet. instead of feces, a clear liquid comes out. This happens every time I have anal sex. Is this normal?

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Answer:

If anyone ever said sex was clean and pristine, they were lying to you. The same goes for anal sex. I’m making the assumption that you and your partner were not using condoms. If that’s the case, the liquid you’re seeing is probably the flowback. The semen coming back out, with the force and position of you sitting on the toilet. That might be combined with any other mucus or lubricants that collected during your sexual romp. There’s quite a bit more room for those fluids up there, and it’s a bit more closed off than the vaginal canal. They’re going to leak out more slowly – which is probably why you see this happening when you see it happening.

The best fix would be to have your partner use a condom (which is a great idea for anal play regardless) or to have your partner pull out prior to ejaculating. You sound perfectly normal. Pick up some wipes to keep by the bed or in the bathroom and have fun.

Do you have a question about sex or sexuality? Do you need relationship advice? Submit your question to ask advice at the top of the page and I’ll answer it on my blog. 

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Finding Intimate Sex

How can I get gentle intimate sex out of a boyfriend who can’t slow down? Me and my boyfriend have been having sex for about 5 months now and he’s fast and hard, it feels great and I love it, don’t get me wrong.. But I just want slow gentle and intimate love making. I talked to him and he said he can’t go slower if he’s on top but I can be on top and go slow and be intimate. The thing is, I don’t do well on top because I’m a bit of an ametur and he has experience. I don’t know what to do about this. Advice will be very appreciated!

This is a fantastic question, thank you!

One thing that gets really hardwired into men is performance. Sometimes this means that sex is rough, fast, hard, and powerful. This could be combined with the fact that they are horny, want to get off, and think you’re banging. What is important to remember is that all kinds of people like all different kinds of sex. Sometimes that preference changes every time they have sex, depending on their mood! It’s also good to remember that sex can be a whole body experience. Something that takes both body and mind, a connection forming between people. You can achieve this connection through that rough type of sex, but it can be a different and sometimes more gratifying experience to slow down.

It can take serious effort to change behaviors that are hardwired into us like that. Especially if, well, we like what we’re doing! But just because he might really like that rough sex, doesn’t mean he can’t change, and doesn’t mean he won’t enjoy the slower type of intimate sex that you are looking for.

This is especially important for women who might take longer to warm up. Kissing, touching, licking, biting, caressing, dirty-talking, lighting the room with dim light or candles, making the bed, putting on lingerie, and making sex an experience that stimulates all the senses can help. 

When he says he can’t slow down, he’s full of it. Either he doesn’t want to slow down, or he doesn’t know how to. He might have experience, but guess what? He’s not able to give you what you’re looking for, so what good is his experience there? You’re going to need to learn to work together so you can both have the experience you want in bed. That might mean for you that you ask him what types of things he likes that you can incorporate into slower and more intimate sex. For him, it might mean calming down a little bit and learning to listen to your body. Seriously, very important.

Being on top is a great suggestion because it will allow you to pace the sex to your liking. It’s okay to feel a little weird at first. Giving it a shot and practicing is what will make you feel more secure being on top. Try it in a variety of different positions. Sitting up on him, laying down flat, or even sitting up in a chair or on a couch. Sitting up can be great because you can grab onto the back of a couch or chair to help pull yourself up and down. Make a game out of it, maybe. Get on top and and get your man. It sounds like he has consented to giving it to you.

If he really doesn’t know how to go slow and be on top, tell him. And help teach him. There’s always room to learn, no matter how experienced you are. Maybe play a game where you see how slow you can go or how long you can go without orgasming. Maybe get into bed with the intention of not having penetrative sex. At all. The whole night. Try different types of sex like grinding against one another, oral sex, and more of that touching and kissing I mentioned earlier.

Here’s the tricky part: If he doesn’t start working with you, and you two don’t start working together, it’s not going to change. You want to do this as a team. So get working together. If he’s not willing to change, are you willing to give up the kind of sex that you want? (The answer is hopefully no.) Not all people are sexually compatible. Some people really like X type of sex and some people really like Y type of sex. If you can’t give up what you want, and if you’re not willing to change, that can be a big problem for your sexual compatibility.

Sit down and talk to him about it (when you’re not naked and in bed) and see if you can get excited about trying these new things together. Be willing to try on top – but also make sure that he puts in his fair share of the effort too. Good luck.

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