I told him, in no uncertain terms, how he had upset me…
This is just about the sexual issues, because I’m more sensitive about sex than anything else and I’m more sensitive about sex than normal people. Everything else we can talk about later.
I haven’t intended to be cryptic about “the conversation.” I am upset about everything you said relating directly or indirectly to sex, and since you were there, once I specified that I was upset by your complaining about the sex, I assumed you would know what I was referring to. Also last week I really wasn’t ready to talk about this, but since I’ve gotten increasingly upset the more I’ve thought about it, and since the thought of having sex with you kinda makes me want to projectile vomit, even if the actual act doesn’t, I guess it is time.
Issue #1) You gave me this speech about how you think the sex is mechanical and goal-oriented, and how I’m not affectionate at all. Then you conceded, “I guess I’ll have to get used to it.” So I’ve spent the past week repeating the phrase “get used to it” in my head and thinking about how awful it is that someone I’m fucking has to “get used to” fucking me. I feel stupid because I thought the sex was working and I thought it was something we didn’t have to worry about because it is good as is and will naturally get better. But I guess what I really think is good is the mechanical aspect, and apparently that isn’t what you are worried about. I’m not really sure I believe the “If I weren’t, I wouldn’t do it” justification, because I’ve has lots of mediocre sex that I’ve continued having; sex is sex and even mediocre sex is better than good almost anything else.
I think it is sort of unreasonable/misguided/demanding that you are complaining about my lack of affection. First of all, in terms of the sex I’ve had, the sex we’ve had together is pretty standard in terms of the level of affection. It’s kind of unfair for you to compare me to your other situations, most of which have been with people who have ended up girlfriends. I’m not sure exactly what you expect from me, but sex is just sex to me and nothing other than a physical, mutual exchange of pleasure. I like it that way, and it is safe that way; it would be emotionally exhausting otherwise. If you want a girl who is going to sentimentalize sex, then you obviously shouldn’t be fucking me and I think this should have been obvious from the sheer number of people I’ve been with. I give people nothing more than my body unless there is more between us, and I generally get along better with guys because we share similar sexual attitudes/expectations. Considering you and I started having sex after our third date, when I couldn’t have remotely had feelings for you yet, it is premature to expect affection. Relationship intimacy/commitment is a precursor to sexual affection, which is why sex progresses as feelings naturally do (and as people learn to physically coordinate).
I’m not sure what your goal was in complaining about this. If you thought it would prompt me to be more affectionate, then you are a huge failure because I could never feel any semblance of affection for someone who has to “get used to” fucking me. Also, since you seem to think you are a body who is interchangeable with other bodies and objects, I am never going to trust you. You’ve inadvertently demonstrated that we aren’t on a level yet where it would be appropriate to be overly affectionate. In general, though, sex and feelings are separate for me. The two don’t really equate to me except with very specific people. If this is a problem for you, stop fucking me and save me the humiliation.
Issue #2) There are two types of trust: basic and emotional. Basic includes believing that what people tell you is factual/not fabricated and emotional includes believing that someone wouldn’t purposefully do something to hurt you. Basic trust is something I grant everyone unless they give me particular reason for suspicion, and I expect others to do the same for me. I dislike people who are distrustful because either they have security issues that they impose on others or they are untrustworthy, themselves, and assume others are the same way. Fuck you for making assumptions about my intentions with you or my current sexual behavior based on my sexual past. Fuck you for ignoring what I’ve directly expressed to you: that I a) am looking for a boyfriend, b) have not hooked up with anyone recently who I didn’t think had any relationship potential, and c) because of this have pretty much taken a break from sex since the beginning of the summer. And fuck you for making assumptions about what I would act like with other guys around you when you have no basis for any of this and when I made it clear that I was upset by your previous assumptions and that you are just plain wrong. I’m not happy with the fact that you seem to think basic trust doesn’t come into play before people are dating seriously, I’m not sure that someone who doesn’t trust me at all would ever grant me a higher level of trust and I have no desire to get involved with someone who is distrustful, and I wonder if you don’t believe what I say to you why the fuck do I even bother talking to you? What a waste of my time.
There are three reasons why I’m particularly upset/frustrated by this:
First… Don’t think my abstinence has been easy. Refraining from sex with people I’m attracted to, who have explicitly expressed interest in me, is very counter to my nature. This has been hard/frustrating from a sheer physical perspective, which isn’t to say I get as much as I need normally, because I don’t, but in this case I only have myself to blame and any payoff is abstract and uncertain. Essentially, all not having sex has gotten me is bitterness. The second layer of frustration is that I have no social support and haven’t even discussed my decision with most of my friends because a) I’m not sure I would be taken seriously, and b) from a selfish perspective, they would be disappointed because I am the official orator of sexual ridiculousness. Then, after all the effort and willpower this has taken, all the trouble this has caused me, and all the self-doubt that has ensued, you don’t even believe me factually; that adds insult to injury.
You are right that I would be upset by the implication that you don’t take me seriously/think I have willpower, but I’m way more upset by your not trusting me when I have done nothing to deserve this except sleeping with lots of people in the past. This is entirely unrelated to you and is only half of my sexual history but the only half that guys seem to judge me by.
Which brings me to the second reason… You really now how to kick me where it hurts: My deepest sexual fear is that no matter how much I give myself to someone sexually, they will always fear that underneath it all I am just a slut.
And the third… Guys who are sexually insecure project it on me and are, therefore, particularly toxic to me. I’ve been through this with many guys and it has always resulted in disaster. I see a guy making unfounded assumptions about how I feel about/could feel about him and what I am doing/want to be doing with other guys as the biggest red flag possible and I’d like to spare myself from getting involved in a situation where inevitably I’m the one who gets hurt. You don’t believe the shit I say to you so I wonder why we even talk. I thought I’ve been honest with you, and you agree with this in some regards, but you don’t know how to take a compliment and reinterpret everything nice I say. Either you discount it entirely (e.g., my saying I have been taking a break from sex, and your assuming I was just saying that to make you feel special), or you change the meaning of the compliment (e.g., my saying that you were good with your mouth, and your assuming that I was commending you for your attentiveness.) It is stupid and nothing else that you don’t believe that you are good in bed and don’t understand why that would be the case. Um, statistically speaking some people have to be good. I assume you would believe that you are better at some things/more talented than other people in some regards and worse at some things/less talented than other people in other regards. Sex is nothing special. And this is all very weird to me because my initial impression was that you are confident sexually. You claim not to care what the girl has done and that what she has done compared to you doesn’t impact whether or not you feel sexually fulfilled/like you have tried everything you want. You are comfortable being naked/physically. But then you don’t think people want you/have a reason to want you/would even be turned on by watching you have sex. It’s kind of depressing, I think you are kind of pathetic, and I thought you were way hotter before you revealed all of your sexual insecurities and I realized that your sex life has been governed by fears rather than desires. And now I just wonder, why would anyone want to fuck someone like that—someone who doesn’t think he is desirable? Looks only go so far. I wanted to hook up with you, not nurse your wounds.
Issue #3) “You’ve certainly told me about things you didn’t like, and my response was to modify my behavior. If you’re concerned about something in this regard, you should definitely let me know, in no uncertain terms.” I’m a little confused about this, because I only remember complaining to you about 1) your apologizing/acting grossed out after you cum, and 2) your asking me “Is everything alright?” after I decline your sexual advances. There hasn’t been a chance yet for you to alter your behavior, but yes I would assume that this would be any reasonable person’s response. But there is a fundamental difference between my sexual complaints and your sexual complaints: My complaint was constructive criticism on discreet issues. The apologizing thing, at least, you were doing for an effect and you were not getting the intended effect, so it made sense for me to tell you to stop doing it. Also, to clarify that issue a little bit, it is true that part of my complaint was about how you treat cum, but part of it is about general self-awareness/inability to relax and lose yourself in sex, which is pretty much the best part of sex, physical pleasure and thrill aside. It drove me sort of crazy how last time when we were lying in bed post-coitally, you asked me, “what?” when all I was doing was looking at you. You seem to be concerned with showering, etc. afterwards and sexual initiation is always unduly awkward (which is partially because we don’t touch non-sexually). So it is a spontaneity vs. self-monitoring issue along with a cum issue. Like, you should not be thinking about the damage while/directly after you orgasm. In any event, I told you in no uncertain terms what I didn’t like about the sex because it wasn’t offensive/hurtful, was easily fixable, and wasn’t fundamental to the sex. The only thing I said to you that could be construed as at all offensive is that you take too long thing but I was hoping that you’d say you were holding off, which would make it a fixable issue and an issue that only existed because of a lack of communication. But what you told me is that you don’t like the tone of sex, which is essentially just saying that you think the sex sucks. Oh well. It wasn’t supposed to be sexual sharing time. Not to sound like a dude, but I really don’t want to hear what is going wrong if there isn’t a solution. Plus, in general I think it’s too early to worry about the sex, because mechanically it is pretty good (which I don’t say to everyone) and, like I said, I assume these things get better with time and a little work. I think we actually need to spend more time hooking up/exploring each other’s bodies without having sex, so we can learn each other’s bodies better. That would also make it seem less goal-oriented. I guess it is just sort of hard for me to not have sex with you pretty much every time I see you because we don’t see each other often. But, in an ideal situation, I wouldn’t want to have sex with someone every time we hooked up.
Issue #4) More about this mechanical/lack of affection issue: It takes two to have an issue like this, and I’m not sure why you are blaming me. Sex is about interpersonal dynamics more than individuals. As I mentioned, you aren’t affectionate with me at all. Will we never feel/demonstrate affection for one another? I don’t know. It is possible that it is a personality type incompatibility thing. The guys I’m naturally, madly attracted to are all ENFPs. They are puppy dogs; they make horrible boyfriends. I am too old to deal with people like that. But we are great in bed together because they bring me out of my shell and I respond to them. I am excited by them/connect with them in a more visceral way. They are sweet and charming, and I get attached to them. I’m not sure if putting two introverts is a recipe for disaster sexually, might just be a problem in terms of going out, but we just sit at home together, anyway. Putting two thinkers together might not work, though. I’m not sure I’ve ever dated someone who wasn’t more touchy-feely before so I’m not sure if after a while things between us will feel stoic and dead. Personality types that are viscerally attractive to me come at an expense, because they tend to include negative characteristics like effusiveness, impracticality, unreliability, over-spontaneity, etc. It is impossible to construct the perfect guy and I’m not sure exactly which pieces are critical to me. So, yes, effectively I think you are “just good enough” for me, but I’m not sure there is really anyone better. Lastly, in terms of the mechanical issue being part of our dynamic, rather than about me, things are very mechanical/goal-oriented because you put so much orgasm pressure on me. I’ve already complained about this, but you persist. You treat sex like it is some kind of puzzle, and that makes it less fun for me. Then after last time we had sex you said something like “You are so hard to crack,” which is just kinda offensive in addition to being annoying. It isn’t often that I have to complain about a guy focusing on me too much physically, but you treat sex like it is your job. And half of the time you seem totally disengaged. I wish we could focus more on you. After last time when I asked if I was always going to get off first, you said you thought it was better that way. Did I ask for that? No. Another reason it seems mechanical is it takes you so long I get bored. And I’d really prefer you came first. It’s more exciting for me that way and takes the pressure off me. Although I have to say that I’m not thrilled by the prospect that you’ll never want a round 2.
Okay, I’m done. I’m bored writing. There are a few other things, but they are minor, mechanical, and sort of incidental.
Jake responded with an extensive, 5-point e-mail broken down into an introduction and the following sections:
A. The Sex is Mechanical
B. I Am Not Sexually Insecure
C. Any Pressure You Feel to Orgasm is Imagined or Self-Imposed
D. I’m Allowed to Have Sexual Preferences
E. I Trust You
For hilarious quotations from each section, as well as my exhaustive (unsent) response, refer to “Fling Flung, Part 4: The Wrap-Up.”
I was torn. One thing was clear: The sex may very well not work. I stayed up all night contemplating my options, wondering whether I wanted to stick it out a few more weeks or whether it was time to wistfully cut my loses. I decided to sleep on it. Either way, the sex as an impediment needed to be discussed imminently. Before I made a hasty decision on other matters, this is the pressing point I decided to address. I felt as if other matters were contingent upon it.
Ick. This might be even worse. I’m not sure the sex is going to work.
I was blindsided when I woke up to his swift and piercing response (to my unfinished thought):
“‘Ick’ is precisely what I would expect from a twenty-six year old child who still suckles from mommy’s teat. Though, I suppose your infantile response is somewhat understandable, considering you’ve just been notified you simply aren’t so good at the only thing that defines you.”
With one last, jabbing sentence he put me out to pasture (that’s where unicorns live, right?), I mean, kicked me to the curb:
“In all honesty, good luck finding somebody who will take you with even a modicum of seriousness. I imagine you’re more likely to run into a pornj unicorn than such a mythical creature.”
What do you do when your time is up before you’ve been given a chance to state your case, when you’ve received a response to an unfinished thought and are told it is your last?
G: If i elaborated on my one sentence response, which i was planning on doing in a conciliatory manner before reading your parting email, would you bother…
J: Whatever you want
G: reading it, or should i just fuck off and die and hope to meet a unicorn?
J: Just send the email.
G: Well in my view this is an issue of compatibility and nothing else. i do like most things about you and im not going to pretend otherwise just because…
G: you are apparently done with me and cant take me seriously. so id like a chance to explain. but if you aren’t going to consider what i have to say, I don’t…
J: I’ll consider whatever you say.
J: Without such banalities as ‘ick’
G: need to have the last word for personal validation
J: I’m sure you do
G: If you want me to write you bc you actually take me seriously i will. but if you are going to be snarky and dismissive i can fuck off. its as easy as that.
J: ‘I take you seriously.’ Just send it.
G: Fine i need to sleep badly but well talk tomorrow. goodnight.
The next evening at 2:30 am…
G: Are you still awake?
The following morning…
J: If you want to send an email, send an email. I’m not going to have a drawn out text exchange with you like I’m some tween.