Readers respond to the letter from "An Unmarried Woman":
Did I miss something here? Nowhere in An Unmarried Woman's letter did I read anything about how she's been trying to communicate her needs to boring-in-bed "Mr. Nice Guy."
Through the years, I've learned to communicate what feels good and when it's time to refocus attention to other areas of my body. If AUW isn't doing this, she's as much to blame for her lack of satisfaction as he is. MEN AREN'T MIND READERS!
And let me add one more thought about ending up with Mr. Nice Guy: You can have both at the same time, AUW. I was in a similar situation to yours: seeing a really great guy who wasn't doing it for me, while seeing another guy on the side who promised mind-blowing sex with no possibility of commitment. It finally came to a head when Mr. Nice Guy figured out what was going on. At that point, I had to make a choice, and I decided that he was too important to me to sacrifice for hot sex. Lucky for me, he figured out that I was not satisfied with where we were in our relationship—maybe he was taking too much for granted.
The bottom line is that we remain together 10 years later, our commitment grows with each passing year, and I have never looked back with regret. By making the time to learn what each one enjoys, by being GGG (to the extent that we both need it), we both experience the mind-blowing climaxes that were not there at the beginning of the relationship. It takes a willing and motivated partner, along with your own willingness to share your needs and desires. And a sense of humor doesn't hurt, either!
Still Crazy After All These Years
Every time I start to write you a letter, I dig a little deeper in the archives and find my answer! This week's column, however, prompted me to write—if only to back you up 100 percent on your advice to An Unmarried Woman.
She sounds a LOT like me, and if I can help her not make the same mistake I did, it would make me feel like maybe my misery isn't all in vain. I married the "nice guy" who was boring in the sack. I got my white picket fence, etc., but the horny slut in me has been denied for a loooooong time. I'm this close to asking for a divorce, but with children in the mix, it's been a tough decision to come to. Anyway…
To AUW: DO NOT SETTLE! Take it from me: All the comfort and security in the world won't make up for a man who doesn't satisfy you in bed. Better to be alone than stuck in a shitty marriage. You will be miserable.
Gettin' A Lawyer
I am usually an admirer of your advice, but with An Unmarried Woman you got it wrong, big time, on so many levels. She's the one who complained that her boyfriend was perfect in every way except sexually, where he was too vanilla.
First, you didn't challenge AUW to ask whether she might be unsatisfying to him, only suggesting she show him how to be good to her. Isn't it possible the reason he didn't show interest in her is because she didn't do what he likes—or in fact simply isn't very good herself? For all you know, he might never have had really good sex in his whole life, including now, so he might not know what he's missing. Then again, since apparently he's so sensitive, he might simply be intimidated by her, afraid he can't handle her Ferrari-type sexual engine.
Second, you suggest that if she can't get him to improve, she should leave him, because sex is obviously important to her. Yet his "ideal" qualities are also obviously important. If she dumps him for a guy who's missing those, she might simply be exchanging her present problem for one where she's pining for everything but sex—equally unsatisfying.
Third, your suggestion that she go out and find a guy who does it all is, to say the least, pretty naive. I think almost anyone would agree that the people they know who are the greatest in bed are also not necessarily the ones they can tell their troubles to. Sure, AUW might find a guy who's better in bed than her present guy, but suggesting she'll find someone who fully satisfies her both sexually as well as her ex-lover and emotionally as well as her bird in the hand is rather a flimsy basis for ending a relationship. You say guys who are both are "out there," but so are millionaires and guys who love ballroom dancing. It doesn't mean you should set your sights on them, any more than a kid should plan to be a pro athlete. Choices have to be made. She's not going to have the best of both worlds.
I just read your column for this week, and your advice to An Unmarried Woman was dead-on. While sex is not that important to some, it very much is to others, and being married to someone who does not share your enthusiasm can be a heavy burden to bear.
Twenty-five years ago, when I was a virgin Christian lad, I married a beautiful Christian woman—also a virgin. I would sadly discover that she had no interest in sex—or at least had no interest in sex with me. Lest I misspeak, I should say she isn't completely sexless. During the honeymoon period of the first year, we scorched the sheets at least twice a month with unbridled missionary-position sex that would end with me pulling out of her due to her being uncomfortably dry and her saying, "It's okay, it will get better. We have a lifetime for it to get better." After that whirlwind period, she settled into a nice, reliable quarterly routine of more missionary-position sex in the bedroom (sex in any other room would trigger her puritan morals), so I've had that to look forward to with each change of seasons.
Ms. AUW, run! Run now! Run as fast as you can and find someone who meets all of your needs, including the orgasmic and kinky ones. If the sex isn't good now while you are in the rush of the newness of the relationship, it will never get better. Living a quiet life of masturbation with someone who is boring in bed is not the solution. It's just sowing the seeds of discontent, seeds that will grow into a lifetime's worth of bitter feelings and potential adultery. Marry someone you love, someone who loves you back AND thinks indulging your kinky side is the best way to end the evening for the rest of your life.
Wasting Away In Spankeritaville
How come you didn't challenge An Unmarried Woman on her definition of a good "dating résumé," which included "never married" or "no issues"?! My marriage split up after only 18 months, very amicably and without a single hearing. Everything from the house to custody of the dog was negotiated in good faith and neither of us has tried to kill the other. As far as the latter is concerned, has there even been a person who didn't have issues? Like the proverbial sucker in a poker game, if you can't identify an issue, you are the issue. Maybe AUW's current official boyfriend doesn't know that he's a bad lay. Maybe she's faking her orgasms. Maybe she isn't going to find out by asking a sex columnist.
AUW should update her requirements to "understands fidelity" and "knows how to talk."
Divorced (With Issues) In NYC