I told my boyfriend that I love him three months into our dating and he didn’t say it back. I thought I was fine with that and just accepted that he wasn’t there yet. Also, maybe three months is too quick anyways? Every now and again, usually after a few drinks, I would say it again and he would just give me a kiss or a smile. He would acknowledge it, but he wouldn’t say it back. Jump to one year from the first date we went on. We went out to dinner and then he told me he loves me. At first I was very excited to finally hear him say it, but then it sort of hit me that he waited a year. I don’t know what to think about that. I asked him why he waited so long and he said, “I just wanted to wait a year. I figured that was enough time to know.” I’m really confused by this answer. Part of me is really happy that he finally said it but another part of me feels like maybe he was just waiting for some arbitrary time point and it has nothing to do with how he actually feels. Should I just be happy that he finally said it? I feel like I sort of ruined the moment and excitement of finally hearing it by second guessing it.
Thank you for the question- it actually hits very close to home for me as I’ve been in a very similar situation. What do we do when someone is waiting for a sign of something that is set for a different time point than we are? This could happen at so many different points in a relationships, not just “I love you”. These times might include moving in together, getting married, or having sex. People have different time frames and it can be really important to figure out if you’re on the same page, especially for large life decisions. However, these things are a bit different than what you’re asking because you’re asking about something emotional and something that is generally a prelude to all the other things.
What it sounds like you’re asking is if it’s possible that someone can have a predetermined time for when they say “I love you” and still have it mean the same thing? And, drum roll please… I’m not sure! It’s complicated. It’s possible that he was waiting for a time period because he thought that was the appropriate time to wait, he could have felt it for a long time but wanted to wait until one year, or he could not feel it but thinks he has to say it. I don’t think you’re wrong to wonder about his reasoning and I think you’re totally within your rights to ask him. But, I think you should ask in a way that is totally non-judgmental and comes from you being curious.
Not only is there a question here for him, but also one for you. Why do you need to hear it? There are a lot of different ways someone can show you they love you without it having to be through saying these words to you. I entirely understand the want to hear them, but do you have to have them? Are there other ways he shows you that he cares? Do those actions speak louder than the words? I entirely agree that yeah, it’s nice to hear. But why do you HAVE to hear them?
I've hooked up with this guy from Grindr a few times and now I'm thinking that maybe I'd like to hang out some time and not have it just be sex. I'm really nervous about bringing this up because I remember his profile said "looking for fun" and I don't know if he'd even want to. When we hook up the sex is great and I think we have chemistry, but he doesn't ever try to hang out or talk after. I'm not even 100% sure why I like him or want to hang out more, because I don't know that much about him. IDK- is it weird to ask someone you know from Grindr to be more than just a f*** buddy?
Online dating or meeting people from apps is extremely common now, it seems like anyone who is single can be found on one of them. There are a lot of benefits to apps like this. For example, they make it possible for you to meet people you might not otherwise, people that have the same sexual interests as you, and people who may want a similar connection as you. And, there are a million different things you might want. It could be dating, sex, or even friends. Everyone on there could be looking for something different, which can also be confusing. Here is this guy that you enjoy the sex with, but how can you tell if there is something else there? Is there the possibility that more could happen? It's completely normal to wonder about the potential of a relationship with someone when you're already having sex with them and enjoying it. I think there are a couple ways you can find out if any more cards should be placed on the table. 1) Just flat out drop him a text and ask him to go and do something. It could be as simple as "Hey, want to grab a drink?" 2) The next time that he's over, try to strike up a conversation when he arrives or before he leaves. If he doesn't respond or rushes out the door, that's probably a sign he isn't looking for anything more. 3) You could also just ask him if he wants to go on a "date".
Personally, I'd go with number 1. It gives him the opportunity to say yes/no and also an opportunity for him to offer a different time or event if he does want to but can't at the moment. Another reason I think this is a good idea is because it doesn't seem like you even know if you want to actually go on a formal date with him or not. It seems like you don't even really know the person, so maybe just hanging out where the focus of the event isn't just sex would be a good start. It's entirely possible that you might go and get a drink with this guy and find out he's terrible and you don't want to hang out with him at all. Which, could also mean you may no longer want to have sex with him. That's a risk you'll have to decide if you're willing to take. Is finding out who he really is worth potentially giving up the sex you're enjoying?
I'm sure there are people reading this thinking you should look at his profile and read what it says he's looking for. Yes, this could give you a broad indication, but I don't think it's necessarily accurate. You don't know when he last updated it, or if it's honest to how he feels today. It's entirely possible that it says looking for "fun", "friends", "now", "maybe more", but that doesn't mean it still matches what he thinks now. In fact, you likely have a friend in a relationship who met their partner on Grindr and at least one of them wasn't "looking for a relationship" when they met. I say, just put out some feelers and see how he responds. Yes, it is possible to meet a boyfriend on a hook-up app.
I was having brunch with a couple friends over the weekend and we started talking about hooking up. We are all single and mostly use hook up apps to meet guys. We live in a large city, but we sometimes still hook up with the same people without even realizing it until after. We were talking about how we decide who to hook up with and I mentioned that I always exchange nudes and then decide from there. One of friends said he does the same thing, but our other friend seemed totally shocked. He said he has never sent a naked photo because he didn’t want to "make porn". I thought he was kidding when he said it, but he wasn't. He basically said that taking a naked photo and sharing it was both creating and distributing porn. I had never thought of it that way, but I guess he does. I guess I think there is a difference between what I'm doing and what I'd call porn. But am I wrong? I never send anything with my face and my dick in it, plus I don’t' get paid. So how can it be porn?
This is actually question that I pose to my class every year while teaching about pornography and sex work. I begin the lecture by asking them to define pornography for me. Generally, someone will say pictures or videos of sex. I follow this up with, does it have to have intercourse? If someone is masturbating, is it still porn? They will agree that yes, seeing someone masturbate in either video or photography is also porn. Then I introduce cam sites. If you're watching someone masturbate or have sex live, is it porn or is there a prerequisite that is must be filmed. They will then agree that it is still pornography even if it's live. Then I ask about what if they are the one on cam doing the masturbating or having sex. At this point I will lose some people and they will argue that it's porn when they watch it, but not when they engage it. Similarly, I will pose the question about taking naked photos. Is that porn? Here, I'm usually met with silence. Why? Because the majority of people will have done this (it is 2017 and this is a college class, let's be realistic). Then I'll point out that if they send that photo to someone, is it not distributing pornography? I'll then ask what the difference is, and 9 times out of 10 someone will say that the people in porn are getting paid. Ok, fair- but what if someone in it isn't getting paid, is it no longer porn? Is the person who's in the scene that gets paid doing porn but the person who isn't getting paid but still engaging in the same act therefore not making porn? The students will usually come up with multiple ways to change how they view their own behavior and how their behaviors mean different things than the behaviors of others. In psychology, we would call this cognitive dissonance, or when someone experiences discomfort while concurrently holding two contradictory beliefs, ideas, or thoughts.
To get back to your question, is it porn? Sure. But, does it matter that it's porn? The sex work industry is HUGE and annually makes more money than all sports organizations combined (NFL, NBA, etc.) Our society is VERY comfortable with watching porn. But often people who act in porn report being treated poorly and looked down upon. Why is it ok to enjoy porn, but then look down on people who engage in it? I'm curious to know if you argue that it's not porn because you don't want to be seen as someone who creates porn? And if so, why? At this point, and I don't have the statistics on this, but I'd guess that the vast majority of people between 18 and 40/50 years old have taken a naked photo at one point. So, aren't we all just underpaid porn stars?
I went shopping with my girlfriend and a few of her friends a week ago and had a great time. At least I thought it was a great time. I'd never met these friends of hers before and we all packed into a car then drove to an outlet mall an hour away. On the ride, there we listened to music, chatted, and I felt like I was really getting to know her friends. Then we went shopping, grabbed food, the usual stuff. When my girlfriend dropped me off at home she was kind of cold and I didn't know why, but I just ignored it and thought maybe she was tired. When I saw her a couple days later, she broke it off with me and told me I was too self-centered. I was very taken back, and still am, because this came out of nowhere! I honestly don't think I'm self-centered at all and no one has ever told me that before. When I asked her what she was talking about she told me that it's something that has been on her mind for a while but apparently when we went shopping it all came out. She told me that I didn't let her friends talk at all, that I totally controlled the entire day, and that her friends thought I was out of my mind. I was literally dead silent when she told me this because I had no idea what she was talking about. I thought the day had been perfect and her she was telling me that everything I thought was wrong. I'm kind of hurt because I really liked her, but it had honestly only been a couple months. BUT, what I'm more afraid of is that she's right? Was my entire perception of the day off? Am I super self-centered and don't know it? If this is what's going on, I want to know because that isn't someone I want to be. Or, is she just not into me and used this as a reason to end it??
First, one thing that I loved hearing in your e-mail was that it's only been a couple months and you're not very distraught over it ending. It's honestly very rational and not always the easiest for people when they are feeling emotionally charged.
Second, there is nothing wrong with you. You stated this is the first time someone has ever told you this, so maybe it's just her opinion. We just aren’t going to like every single person we meet and that's ok. There is no reason she has to like you, or your personality. If you like yourself, then fuck it and fuck her. But, if this really bothers you, as it sounds like it might... there are some things you can do to find out. This situation is oddly similar to one I've been in myself and I 100% understand what you're going through. A few years ago, I dated someone briefly who told me essentially the same things as she seems to have told you. The way I handled it is I did some investigating. I asked a few friends about it and I got some mixed responses. Some people told me I was a good listener and some people told me that I wasn't, but that it was just part of who I was and that's fine. For me, that wasn't what I wanted to hear or who I wanted to be. So, I did some training and worked on listening better, asking other people questions, and not trying to continually interject my own thoughts, opinions, and stories. Now, I actually feel more confident in conversations and less like I need to entertain everyone. This worked for me, but it's entirely up to you if you want to investigate or not. Here are some tips on how to make a conversation about someone else (even if you really are the more interesting one, and sometimes that's just the truth).
1. Ask open-ended questions. This is key to every conversation in life. An open-ended question is one that requires more of a response than "yes" or "no". For example, suppose you're on a first date and want to ask someone where they grew up. A CLOSED-ENDED question would be "Did you grow up in XXXXX?" The response options are likely either "yes" or "no". A more open-ended question would be "where did you grow up?" However, even though this requires more than a yes or no response, it is still limiting. An open-ended question that might lead to conversation with the other person leading would be "What was it like where you grew up?" One thing I generally recommend to people who want to try this out is to write down the things they might want to know about someone and then write a question about how to obtain that information. Then, looking at the question, make sure it's open and not closed. This takes a good amount of work, especially if you're used to being the "entertainer".
2. Reflect back what people have said to you. Instead of just following up their response with another question, reflect back a part of what they've said that you'd like to hear more about. Going back to the first example, imagine their response was something like, "I grew up on farm in Iowa about 20 miles away from any sort of town." You could respond with "Oh, you grew up on a farm." This will likely send the message to the other person that you'd like to know more about what their experience was like on the farm, and it also tells them you're listening to what they're saying.
3. If you really want to dig deep and make some changes, go to a therapist that specializes in social skills training. Yes, there are therapists whose jobs are to make people better in social situations. It's extremely challenging, but also a lot of fun, and a great way to learn a ton about yourself.
My boyfriend cheated on me and it's destroying me inside. I've been with my boyfriend, XXXXX, for a little over a year. About a month ago we were watching tv and he got up to go grab a beer from the kitchen. While he was up his phone went off and I glanced down at it. No, I wasn't trying to snoop, just an FYI. Someone named XXXXX had sent him a dick pic. His phone was locked, so I couldn't see if this was the only message or not, but I was instantly upset. When he came back into the room I asked him what the fuck was going on. He grabbed his phone and said it was just a joke, that it's one of his friends from work and means nothing. I asked why I'd never heard of the guy's name before and he said that he was new and it wasn't a big deal. I told him I wasn't ok with it and then let it go because he denied that it was anything. We never talked about sending or receiving naked pics, but I just assumed that it was something we weren't doing since we're supposed to be monogamous. I didn't bring it up to him again, but I kept thinking about it and it was really bugging me. A few days later, I woke up and he was in the shower. I grabbed his phone and decided to see if he was still talking to this coworker or if he had sent more pics. I found way more than I thought I would. There were tons of messages, this guy wasn't a coworker and there were tons of pics. I was furious and stormed into the bathroom screaming. He was mad at me for going through his phone, but then he admitted he had been seeing the guy behind my back for a couple months. I freaked out, started crying and demanded he stop. He told me that he doesn't know what to do and that he doesn't want to stop. This was two weeks ago and I've been going crazy since. I have a ton of anxiety, I can't sleep or eat, and he still won't make up his mind about who he wants to be with. Sometimes he is late coming home and I know he's probably out with the other guy, but I don't ask. I don't know what to do. I really love him and I want things to work, but I don’t know how much more of this I can take. Please help me figure out what I can do to make him stay.
Just because someone cheats once it doesn't mean the relationship has to end, but you're not talking about once. You're describing lying and a continued relationship when it isn't what you want. I'm going to have to be blunt with you- cut the cord. You're in your early twenties and its only been a year. It's clear this guy either doesn't want the same things as you, or just doesn't care about you enough to stop what he's doing. You said you have a lot of anxiety and can't eat or sleep because of this. Unless he's a total idiot, he must see how this is effecting you, and his decision to not stop or to end things himself just shows how little he must actually care about your wellbeing.
Although you didn't say it explicitly, it sounds like you're living together? Are you able to move out? Do you have friends you can stay with? If you want your anxiety to go down and be able to go back to eating and sleeping regularly, you need to get out of the situation and away from it as soon as possible. I'm not suggesting that the moment you leave the house you're going to feel 100% better, but it's a step in the right direction. You need to take back control over your emotions and one way to do that is to be active decision maker instead of waiting for him to make up his mind. This isn't his choice, it's now yours. Don't listen to him when he says "I don't know what to do." The fact is, he does know what he wants and he just doesn't want to do it. So, the question now is, what do you want? Do you want to wait around with anxiety and hope he picks you and never does this again? And even if he says he will never do it again, can you believe him? Or do you want to take control and move on? You're so young, and this is not going to be the last person to ever care about you. Break ups are rough, but the toughest part is pulling the Band-Aid off to begin with.
Best of luck,
I'm afraid I have an ugly pussy. A couple weeks ago I was having lunch with an ex, someone that I dated for a year (we broke up 6 months ago). We are good friends now, and everything is fine, but she sort of made a comment about my vagina that really hurt my feelings. She basically called it "meaty" while making a 'yucky' face. I didn't really know what she meant, so I just laughed. Full disclosure, I've only had sex with two people, I've never really been into porn, and I never saw my mom naked (at least that I remember). Maybe I just don't know what a vagina is supposed to look like, but I thought mine was fine. I went home and googled "what's a meaty vagina?" What I saw made me both hurt and angry. I'm hurt because it was meaner than I thought it was at the time, and I'm angry because yeah, I guess I do have a "meaty" vagina. She's the only person to say anything to me about how it looks, I just assumed mine was normal. The other person I had sex with had a similar looking one, but I guess maybe smaller, or more "tucked in" (another new gem of a term I found while googling). I guess I honestly didn't realize that people cared or paid attention what an actual vagina looks like. Following this google search, I started to watch some porn. And yeah, my vagina absolutely looks different than theirs. I fell into a rabbit hole and watched video after video- there was some variation, but a lot of them looked the same. Now I'm scared my pussy is ugly and I don't know what to do. I know this sounds ridiculous, but how can I tell?
Your ex is an asshole. Unless you directly asked her what she thinks of your pussy, which it doesn’t sound like you didn't, she should keep her mouth shut. And, even if you did ask her, making a face meant to reflect disgust is even more evidence that she sucks. In your e-mail, you didn't mention why you two broke-up, but I'm glad you did.
The truth is that everyone has different genitals, there is always natural variation. This applies to all sexes. What you see in porn is not real. It's like watching a big budget movie or flipping through a fashion magazine and thinking you're different or that something's wrong with you because you don't look like those people. We cannot compare ourselves to the unrealistic standards porn sets. I'm not saying porn is bad, but it's not representative of real life or sex.
About how you feel about your own vagina, it doesn't sound like you think anything negatively about it and it hadn't even crossed your mind until your ex brought it up. Just because one person said something to you, does that make it correct? Is she the ultimate truth teller and everyone is going to agree with her? The answer is " fuck no!" Lots of people have "meaty" vaginas and they love them. Similarly, lots of people love a "meaty" vagina as opposed to the ones you likely saw during your porn exploring. If you love yourself, then there is really nothing to do but tell yourself she's wrong and even if she's right, fuck it because you love yourself.
Every year in the class I teach I have my undergraduate students watch a video on labiaplasty. Labiaplasty is a medical procedure some females have to decrease the size of their labia minor and majora, which allows the vagina to look more "tucked in". The responses from female students always range from being 100% for the procedure to being 100% against it. Some students think that if you feel terrible about this part of yourself and there is a quick and easy way to have it changed, why not? Others argue that this is ridiculous, unnecessary, and only based on unrealistic expectations from porn. Myself, I'm somewhere in the middle. The point being, there are options if you decide for yourself that this something you want to change. The key here being, what you want, for yourself, not what someone else tells you. This is your body, your choice, and all people have natural variations to their bodies.
This feels super embarrassing, but here it goes. I'm not even 30 yet and I've been having a difficult time staying hard when I go to have sex. This has been going on for the last few years, but in the last couple months it seems to have gotten worse than ever before. In the past it was just sort of random, I'd be with a hook-up or something and it just wouldn't happen. More recently it's been pretty much every time I go to have sex. I can usually get hard to begin with, but maintaining it is the real problem. It doesn't matter if I'm getting head or trying to f***, it just slowly goes down. It's gotten so bad that I've just stopped having sex all together. I still jerk off, and that's fine. For whatever reason when I'm by myself I don't have the same issue. I've used Viagra, which I got from a friend, and it worked, but I don't want to start taking erection drugs so young. What's wrong with me?
Having a form of erectile dysfunction can be extremely distressing for some men; in fact, the fact that it’s distressing is what makes it a dysfunction and not just annoying. Although most men do not self-report having issues with getting or maintaining an erection, at any given time approximately 10-15% of men are suffering with some type of erectile difficulty. Luckily, there are tons of options for treatment that go beyond Viagra.
Masters and Johnson argued that most sexual problems are due to ignorance, bad technique, or relationship problems. Granted, they were referring to sexual problems within a relationship, but you are in a relationship with yourself, so I think some of the same examples can apply. First, I’m wondering how well you know the people you’re choosing to have sex with. CBT would ask you to check in on the thoughts you’re having when you go to have sex with someone. Before the interaction even starts, are you already thinking about your ability to maintain a hard on? When you’re beginning to engage are you thinking about if you can get hard? When you are not physically responding are you beginning to beat yourself up over not being able to get hard enough? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then CBT may be a really effective treatment for you. Through CBT you can learn to restructure your thoughts so that you’re not so focused on getting hard and beating yourself up. It’s possible that cutting some of these negative thoughts out may bring down your anxiety level and allow you to enjoy sensations more.
Second, you said that you don’t have a problem getting and maintaining an erection when you are alone, that it’s only when someone new is brought into the picture. Some people are able to have sex with anyone and have no issue with erections, but not everyone. It’s possible that what you’re craving is a deeper connection with someone. There are a couple things here that might be helpful for you should you decide to have sex with someone that you have more feelings for: 1) you may be able to talk to that person about the issues you’re facing, simply talking about it can make it less scary; 2) you could attempt going slow and allow a large amount of foreplay, this includes just touching each other gently and enjoying the sensations; 3) don’t make the goal of the sex about you getting an erection. There are a million things you can do in bed that don’t require actual insertion. If you don’t view your erection as the “main attraction” then you can allow other experiences to happen that are not dependent on the appearance of the erection.
Third, go to a doctor and discuss what might be going on for you physiologically. It’s completely possible that there is something going on that requires some attention from a physician.
Best of luck,
I'm 33 and I've only had sex with one person. I was 21 at the time and thought I was gay. But, if I'm not having sex or dating anyone, does sexual orientation even matter? When I did have sex, she was great, but I just didn't enjoy it. I don't watch porn or masturbate, I really never even think about sex. My friends think it's weird that I'm not interested. They are always trying to either set me up someone or tell me that I'm missing out. I really don't think that I am though. I love my life, for the most part. I have a decent job, make decent money, and have a great apartment. But, my friends and mother are constantly asking me when I'm going to get married. I don't think I'm the only person in the world that feels like maybe they just aren't interested, but I've never met anyone who feels the same. I'm starting to wonder if maybe I should I just get into a relationship and fake it? Is that something people do? Is there something wrong with me?
When we think of sexual orientation there are really three different ways that people can come to a conclusion: 1) who they have sex with; 2) who they want to have sex with; and 3) who they have emotions for. For the majority of people all of these things are aligned, but not for everyone. Your situation is a little bit different because you aren’t having sex with anyone, you don’t want to have sex with anyone, and it doesn’t seem like you have a lot of romantic feelings for others. What you’re describing sounds very similar to what has been defined as asexuality or the lack of sexual attraction to others.
When people think of sexuality they often think of categories, the big 3 being gay, straight, and bisexual. However, there are others, asexual being one of them. Asexuality has been researched and it generally found to be uncommon, but not nonexistent. There are plenty of websites out there for people who think they may be asexual. Most of them allow you to talk to others and get feedback on your thoughts and feelings. If you’re curious, this may be a place for you to start and explore.
There is no black and white concept for what someone who identifies as asexual is supposed to be. Some individuals who identify as asexual report having romantic feelings but no urge to have sex whereas other report having no romantic feelings. Some asexuals date, some don’t. There really are no rules to what you are and are not allowed to do (keep in mind this applies to all sexual orientations). The bottom line, there is nothing “wrong” with you. It sounds like you’re perfectly happy on your own, and that’s fine. Often when family members or friends try to pressure someone into being in a relationship it is because they think or believe that you must be in a relationship to be fully happy. This says more about them than it does about you.
Should you fake it? Well, I just said there are no rules, so how can I give you one now? I don’t know, I mean, do you want to fake it? Does that sound like a good time to you? Would it make you happy to or just the others around you? And, is it fair to the person you’re dating if you “fake” it? I might suggest trying one out, go on a couple dates and see what happens, but if you don’t like, you just don’t, and that’s fine. With that said, there are plenty of people that are in relationships for a multitude of reasons- sometimes love, financial, shared interest, wanting a companion, etc. I don’t think a relationship should ever be someone’s main goal in life, I think they should add something to your already great life. But if you’re happy on your own, then I don't see the problem.
Let me start out by telling you that I'm not one of those people who instantly becomes obsessed with someone when they begin dating them. But, I will say that I'm often impatient. I sort of just want to know right from the start where they see the relationship going. I've been dating someone for 6 weeks, we see each other pretty much every weekend, usually Friday night, but I can't tell if he's really into me or not. In the past I think I've come on too strong and pushed people away because I wanted a commitment too quickly and I don't want to do that this time. It's hard for me not to though. When has it been long enough for me to bring up wanting to know where things are going? Even when we hang out on the weekends he waits until like the night before to ask me, so I end up leaving my Friday nights open, because I think he will ask, but he hasn't a few times and then I'm bored. I feel like a lot of the time I'm just sort of waiting for him to contact me, which I don’t want to do but I don't know how to stop either.
It makes sense that you'd feel like you're waiting on him to contact you because it sounds like you literally are waiting for him to. It's only been 6 weeks and you're still getting to know each other. I'm curious to know why you want to know right from the start where the relationship is going. One thing you don't mention is where YOU think the relationship is going, or where you want it to go. It sounds almost like you just want him to commit to you right away, but you're not even sure why. I don't think there is a correct amount of time to wait before bringing up where you think something is or is not going.
When you're just beginning to date someone, it's really important that you give that person enough space to see who they are. Allow that person to pursue you, or not pursue you. But don't force it or try to nail down a commitment too quickly. It's unlikely that after 6 weeks either of you know that the other is someone you want to be with long term. Often people rush past the beginning stages and are very focused on the "we're together" part, but I'd suggest taking your time. One way you can take some control back and not feel like you're waiting all the time is to make plans, with other people. Don't wait around until the night before and see if he's going to ask you out. Either ask him out yourself or make other plans with friends. If you stop waiting around for him to text or ask you out, won't feel like you're waiting, because you won't be waiting. Your life shouldn't entirely change when you start dating someone, so don’t let it. At 6 weeks, if you haven't had a discussion about the future, you should still be living your life exactly how you would if you weren't seeing that person. Stop waiting around and live your life, if he wants to join in and be a part of your life, he will.
Just relax and try not to focus on the future so early on. Enjoy getting to know the person and let him be himself. That's the only way you're going to see who he really is and decide if who he is happens to be someone you want to be with long term.
My boyfriend of a little over a year asked me to come and spend Thanksgiving with his family in Texas this year. He has a huge family and they are all very close, he's always telling me about all the great times he had growing up there. I was very excited to say yes, but now I'm second guessing it. I started to look up his family members on Facebook and I'm shocked with some of the stuff that I saw. A large amount of them seem to be Trump supporters. When I scrolled through some of their feeds, I saw a lot of memes about hating black people, immigrants, how feminists are stupid, and even some stuff about how gays are ruining the country. I was honestly shocked because this does not seem at all the way he described his family. We met in Boston, where we both currently live, and I grew up about 15 miles from here. I'm NEVER around people like this, at least that I’m aware of. I'm very concerned about how to handle it and even how to bring it up to my boyfriend. Do I just tell him "no, I'm not going"? Should I ask him about these family members? Should I just go and try to ignore it if anything comes up? I can attempt to bite my tongue a little, but it's not always a skill I have. I think the biggest concerns I have are not wanting to upset my boyfriend, and the possibility that I might get into a fight with some of his family members and make the whole thing awkward. On the other hand, I can't believe he'd invite his boyfriend with him if his family potentially hates gay people, right? I really want to go. What can I do?
What you're writing about it something that a lot of people will be dealing with this holiday season. There are few households I can imagine where everyone will have the same political point of view. As you've laid out, the first thing for you to decide is if you should even go and it seems like you really want to go. I think it would be in your best interest to talk to your boyfriend about some of the things that you saw on Facebook. Ask him what he makes of it. It's possible that he hasn't seen the things you have, or that he has a different take on what they've posted. Because he did invite you, and he knows his family, I also can't imagine he would want to bring you if it was going to be uncomfortable or if he anticipated them being mean to either of you.
After having the discussion with your boyfriend, if you still want to go, have a talk with him about how you guys are going to handle it if something comes up that makes you angry. Come up with a game plan that you can both agree on, that way you guys can be a team and support each other. The plan you come up with could be to engage in the conversation should it turn to politics, not engage at all, only engage in certain topics, whatever you guys decide. A couple of things to consider: 1. Is the argument worth getting into? 2. It's only a couple hours, if things go south, can you just grin and push through? 3. Are there any positives to getting to know someone else's point-of-view? And can you be curious instead of being angry?
If you decide that you're going to go and engage in talk around politics, have a break out plan just in case. Meaning, have a predetermined plan around what you'll do if you need to leave. How will you get out? Where will you go? What will you do? The last thing you want to do is feel "trapped" in a place where you are uncomfortable and unable to leave. If this was your own family I might say something different, like "just don’t go," "take a year off," or "stand up for yourself." But it's not your family (yet) and sometimes you just have to suck it up if you want your boyfriend to be happy too.
Talk to your boyfriend about how you're feeling.
Last week I went through my girlfriend's phone and found some messages back and forth between her and her ex. They had been together for 4 years, then she started dating me a week after they ended it. We've been together for about 3 months now, but I'm afraid she's either cheating or thinking about cheating. The messages didn’t say anything super sexual, but there was some stuff about missing each other and wishing things hadn’t ended the way they did. I haven't said anything to my girlfriend about it because I know she is going to be pissed if she finds out I went through her phone. She has complained to me multiple times about how her ex used to do that and how much she hated it. I want to trust her, but I'm afraid I can't and I really don't want to get hurt. Should I ask her about it? Keep checking the messages to see if there is something to be concerned about? Should I just suck it up and keeping acting like I didn't see anything? I really don't want to rock the boat, but I have so much anxiety now every time I hear her phone beep thinking that it's the ex. I'm driving myself nuts and I don't know what to do! PLEASE HELP!!
"The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club." And, the first rule about relationships is that you trust your partner. Point blank, if you don't think you can trust your partner, maybe you shouldn't be dating that person, or anyone. It's one thing if a partner has betrayed your trust, but if you just automatically don't trust people, that's about you.
Rule two, do not go through someone else's stuff. The fact of the matter is that if you're looking for something, you're going to find it. In your situation, I'm curious what would have happened if you would have talked to your girlfriend about contacts she has with her ex before checking her phone. However, you did look through her phone, found some stuff you don't like, and now you have to deal with it.
So, what do you do? Well, you could simply tell her. Yes, you'd be risking her being mad, possibly breaking up with you, but at least you would be being honest. You could just straight up ask her about her contacts with her ex, ask if she still has feelings, does she miss her, is it hard for her? All of these feelings are normal and don't necessarily reflect on how she feels about you. But, she was just with someone for a long period of time and then started to date you, there are of course going to be some feelings left there. It would be ridiculous to think that they would all just disappear because you came into her life, no matter how amazing you are. Relationships are very difficult to let go of and it takes time.
As for wanting a guarantee that you won't get hurt, there is unfortunately nothing you can do. The fact that you may get hurt at some point in a relationship is a risk factor for being in a relationship. A more productive focus would be to tell yourself that even if you did get hurt, you'd be ok, which is true. People get hurt in relationships all the time and they survive. Sometimes it is really difficult, but if you're constantly worried about getting hurt and focused on protecting yourself, then you're not allowing yourself to be vulnerable, which stops a relationship from growing.
The bottom line here, do not go through her stuff again. Talk to her about your insecurity that she just got out of a relationship and about her feelings for her ex. Be open to allowing her to tell you that yeah, sometimes she misses her. That might be hard for you to hear, but it's normal. And lastly, don't try to protect yourself from getting hurt all the time, it happens, it's life.
I've been dating the same person for about 6 months and everything has been great, aside from one thing. The only time he really only wants to have sex is in the morning, in the shower. We've done this a few times, and I've survived, but I NEVER enjoy it. Oral sex is the worst, I also feel like I'm going to drown because of the water. I've asked him to stand on the opposite side of the shower head so that there isn't so much water, but then he complains he gets cold without it on him. When it comes to anal sex, the water is even worse because it washes away the lube and attempting to have anal sex without lube is terrible. Also, I always feel like I'm going to slip and fall, which I've done before and It was super embarrassing. Staying hard in the shower and cumming is always extra difficult too, I think because of the heat and water. I'm not sure what that is about, but it just feels like there is too much going on and I don't enjoy the sex at all. What can I do to make my boyfriend want to stop banging in the shower?
Shower sex is absolutely one of those things that just doesn't live up to what we see in TV and the movies. However, a lot of people still really like it. Why? I have no idea and actually agree with everything you've mentioned above. But, that doesn't really solve your problem. The issue here is that your boyfriend is into something that you really have no interest in. Sometimes this happens with sex in relationships. The first question you need to answer is can you do this anyway? If you absolutely cannot ever have sex in the shower, then you need to tell him that. This might mean you break up; it depends on how important it is to him. Is it something you can handle sometimes, but not all the time? For a relationship to work there has to be some give and take. Can you negotiate with him so that both of you are having your needs met?
If you've decided, "fine, I can handle it sometimes, but not all the time," there are a few things you can do to help. Lube is a big deal and water can make it difficult. I'd recommend a silicone based lube, the water won't rinse it away. You mentioned oral sex, which is difficult in the shower too. You absolutely need a soft mat for the floor, this should be a no brainer. But, also make sure the mat has some texture to avoid falling (again). If you're having a difficult time staying hard and cumming in the shower, then make sure he knows that after he cums in the shower, he's going to have to help you outside of the shower. I'm guessing that he isn't having the same difficulties with maintaining an erection and cumming in the shower, because if he were he probably wouldn't want to be doing it.
Be safe, sex in slippery places can be dangerous!
Is it possible to watch too much porn? I basically watch porn every day for probably an hour. Most of that time I'm just watching different videos and stuff, not jerking off the entire time. When I've talked to my friends about porn they've said they only watch it when they jerk off, so a few minutes at a time. There have been periods where I've watched it more than an hour a day, but right now that seems to be about it. Is there anything wrong with watching it too much? Is that like even a thing? I googled it and there are a lot of different things saying someone can be addicted to it, some people think you can't be. What are your thoughts?
You're absolutely correct that there are different views out there about porn and if it can be addictive. Similarly, there are arguments on both sides about rather sex itself can be addictive. More so than addiction, it seems like you're concerned about how much is too much. Scientifically there are no cut offs that determine when you've watched enough porn or a point that no one should ever surpass. However, you can self-assess if you need/want to cut down. One way of thinking about this is to address the negative outcomes of your behavior. What are the down sides of watching the amount of porn that you do? Is it keeping you from accomplishing the things you want to? Have you ever lost a job or relationship because of it? Do you spend more money than you can afford on it? Have you noticed negative changes in how you feel when you watch more compared to less? Do you notice yourself thinking about it throughout the day when you'd prefer to be thinking about other things?
To change any behavior, it's important that you notice what that behavior is keeping you from achieving. If it isn't keeping you from anything, then you may not have a problem with it. But, if it is keeping you from connecting with others or yourself, or achieving any goal you may have, then it is something you should address via a sex positive therapist. If you can't find a therapist but want to cut down, set goals for yourself. To begin with, this might be something like setting a timer and stopping for the day when the timer goes off. Then slowly give yourself less and less time until you're within a desired range. If you're unsure if you want to make a change, monitor your daily activity a little bit more. Note when you are watching, for how long, and also when you're not watching but thinking about watching. This will provide you with more information about really how much time you're spending thinking about it. This may also provide you with ideas about other ways you can cut down if you think that's something you want to do.
Another thing you may be concerned about is if porn is "bad" for you. The answer is actually really complicated and there is no "yes" or "no" answer. High amounts of pornography consumption have been linked to both negative (e.g. poorer body image, sexual risk, negative affect) and positive outcomes (e.g. sexual knowledge, increased enjoyment and pleasure). Porn can be a problem if it interferes with how you perceive yourself, others, or sets unrealistic sexual expectations. Also, you must remember that porn is like any other films, it's not real life and shouldn't be treated like it is.
All of that said, if you're just concerned an hour is too much, get a new hobby and cut down.
About 6 months ago I was out drinking with my best friend and his boyfriend. Around 2am the three of us went back to their apartment to have another drink there. The three of us were having fun and watching TV until about 4. At that point my friend had fallen asleep on the couch, snoring, like just totally passed out. I said I was going to head home and put my coat on. When I headed for the door his boyfriend stopped me and said I should stay. I said I was really tired and totally ready for bed, so I needed to go. He then leaned forward, kissed me, and told me to stay a bit longer. I was still pretty drunk. It's not an excuse, but I was. I've always thought he was very good looking, but what happened next shouldn't have. We ended up having sex in their bed while my best friend was asleep in the living room. After we both came I left right away and felt totally guilty. Ever since then I've felt awful and I don't know what to do. I want to tell my friend, but I'm afraid he's going to hate me, and I also don't want to get his boyfriend in trouble. As far as I know they don't have an open relationship, but maybe they do? I have no idea what their agreement is. I don’t know if I should say something or not, but I feel terrible and every time I hang out with him I have to stop myself from telling him. What should I do?
You have to tell him or you run the risk of hurting your friendship even more. You got yourself into a messy situation and now you have to get yourself out of it. Some people might be able to not tell their friend and never feel bad about it. But, that's not you and it sounds like you're not going to feel better until you come clean. Although you may have been drinking, you made a poor decision and I think you should tell your friend. I can't tell you that he isn't going to hate you, it's impossible to know how anyone is going to respond. At the very least I'd imagine he will not be happy about it, but fear of him being mad at you can't stop you. If you don't tell him, he may still find out, and how awful would that be?
There are a couple things you may want to keep in mind when you tell him. First, take responsibility. You may have been drinking, his boyfriend may have initiated it, but you still stayed and had sex with him. You were not an innocent victim, so make sure you own up to your own decisions. Second, be prepared for any response he may have. Remember, you're not just telling him that you had sex with someone, you're also telling him that his boyfriend *cheated on him. He might be mad at you, mad at him, or mad at both of you. I put an * above because, as you mentioned, you don't know the rules of their relationship. Granted, if he is your best friend you probably have some idea, but unless he has told you directly what they are, you simply don't know for sure. Third, don't do this again, ever. Unless a friend has specifically told you that it's ok to hook up with their significant other, just don't do it. There are plenty of people out there to have sex and you just don't need to put your friendships in jeopardy, ever. There will always be someone else to have sex with, and your personal relationships are worth so much more. It sounds like you already know this, but I can't not say it.
I had sex for the first time a few months ago, and then with a second person last week. Both times the condom broke and I'm not sure why. The school I go to doesn't have a sex ed program, so I'm sort of just guessing at how to use one the right way. Neither of the people I've been with really knew the right way either. I watched a video on youtube, but it wasn't super helpful. I understand how to put one on, I think, but they still break. Any ideas?
1. It's great that you're really focused on using condoms. 2. Condoms can be tricky! Penises come in different size, so do condoms. You may have to try a few different brands and sizes to find the one that fits you best. In terms of breakage, condom size can actually make a huge difference, mostly if it's too tight. It's also possible for the condom to be too large and the latex rubbing on the latex can also cause the condom to break. Are you making sure to squeeze the tip of the condom while putting it on? It's important that the tip be there not only for ejaculate and pre-ejaculate, but also for space inside the condom to allow for movement.
What about lube? Lube is extremely important. When using a condom, either latex or polyurethane, ALWAYS use a water based lubricant. Oil based lubricants can cause a condom to break. The vast majority of lubricants will make it extremely clear what kind it is, usually it says so right on the front of the label. Make sure to use plenty of lubricant as the condom getting too dry can also make it break.
How are you opening the condom? This seems like a silly question, but it's possible to tear the condom when attempting to open the package. One way to ensure you're not tearing the condom when opening is to push the condom all the way down to one end of the package, then tear open the top, where the condom isn't. Do not open the package with your teeth. I know it looks super sexy in porn and in movies when someone casually opens a condom with their teeth, but you're also risking tearing it with your teeth.
Do you check the expiration date? Condoms have expiration dates in tiny print on each pouch. Make sure and check the date as older condoms are more likely to break.
If none of these things seem to help, then I suggest trying an experiment. Wear different condoms when you masturbate and see if any of them break that way. If some do and some don't, investigate why. Is it the type? Size? Lube? A little bit of trial and error on your own won't put you or your partners at risk.
Hello. I'm 16 and gay, living in a small town in Wisconsin. No one in my family knows that I'm gay. And I think I want to tell them, but I don’t know how they will react. My father is a Trump supporter, as is most people around here. He's made comments about "faggots" before, but I don't know if he actually thinks there is something wrong with being gay or if it's just something he says. Either way I've kept my mouth shut. The reason I want to tell my family is because we're close and my brother is my best friend, I feel like I'm hiding from them. My brother actually has a gay friend, so I think he'd be fine with it, but I also know he might respond differently when it's his brother and not a friend. Thoughts?
Coming out is complicated. Thankfully, there is no standard for when someone is "supposed" to come out, and sadly there is no way to know exactly what people are going to think when you decide to. Everyone is different and everyone is in different situations. Here are a couple BIG things to think about.
1. Will coming out hurt your living situation? You're still a minor and l assume living at home. Would your parents kick you out or make your life miserable? If so, don't rush the process. You didn't say anything about them putting pressure on you to tell them or them asking you tons of questions trying to get you to say anything. I'm not suggesting you "hide" but if coming out can have a direct negative effect on your immediate life, just wait. You're 16, probably close to finishing high school, which means you can go off and do whatever you want with your life. Is college in the future? If not, why not? What can you do to make it a possibility?
2. Are there other people you can tell? You didn't mention if you have friends that know or other people in your life that you've talked to about it. Having a strong social support system has been shown in research to have HUGE positive outcomes for people dealing with a multitude of life issues/changes. Is there a LGBTQ youth group anywhere near you? If so, this may be a great place to meet other people your own age who are dealing with a similar conundrum. Stay off sexual networking apps (Grindr, Jack'd, Scruff), because you're 16 and it might not be safe, not because there is anything wrong with the apps.
3. If you've decided that your family is not going to kick you out or make your life a living Hell, and you do come out, give them time. Not every family is going to react the same and some may need time to come around. Even the best parents can sometimes react poorly to new information about their offspring that was not anticipated. It may be necessary for you to provide them with some information about having a child that's gay. A great place to start is PFLAG.org.
4. Always have a backup plan. You never know how someone is going to respond and this is not meant to scare you. But, if the shit should hit the fan, have a friend you can stay with for a few nights until things cool down. No matter what happens, keep your head up. You're very young and you have your whole life ahead of you. Research has also shown that how the first people respond when you come out sets the tone for expectations of responses in the future. Keep in mind, this isn't ALWAYS true. Even if your family responds badly, it doesn't mean everyone else will in the future too.
Best of luck,
I live in a large city and I know there are plenty of different guys to date, hook-up with, or whatever, but it feels like everyone I meet is just another version of the same person. For the past month I’d been “dating” a guy, I guess I don’t really know if I’d call it dating or not, we weren’t exclusive. We went from texting all day every day to him just not responding. I don’t think anything really happened, he just stopped. I was really pissed for a few days and told him how I felt, which in retrospect was all via text message and probably not the best way to handle it. He didn’t seem to care and responded he didn’t know why I was acting so mad, he thought we were just having a good time. His response just prompted me to lash out more and eventually he stopped responding all together. This isn’t the first time this has happened and I’m just so tired of it. I always think that I’ve met someone special and then they just end up acting like everyone else. I don’t know if I’m dating the wrong people or doing something weird. How can I find out what my problem is?
It could be a couple things. Let's address the one that is the most obvious and probably true for a lot of people. You really are dating the same type of person over and over again.
You're not the only person to make the statement and honestly, you probably are, but that doesn't mean that there is no one else to date. What it does means is that you're simply selecting the same type of person repeatedly, possibly without even realizing it. Go grab a piece of paper and a pencil. Seriously. Now, I'll wait…. Turn the paper horizontally and across the top write the names of the last few people you've felt romantically attached to- the ones that really got under your skin and it bothered you when the connection was over. It doesn't matter how long you hang out with the person for, some of the people might be one date and others five years. In my past, I've absolutely gone on a single date, had a great time, and then had it bug me for years why it didn't go anywhere- if you have anyone like that, write it down! Ok, after you have a few names, go one by one and list their negative qualities, be specific… Now, take a look at all of them… are there any similarities? Are there a lot of similarities? When I first did this exercise, it dawned on me that all of the people I listed were "absent," they never gave me a lot of attention and often left me waiting for calls or replies to messages. I also noticed that to some degree they were not "available" (which doesn't necessarily mean in a relationship, but also emotionally available) or didn't have their lives together. Now… list the negative qualities of your parents… Do they match up with any of the same qualities you listed for those you dated? If so, there is a good chance you really are dating the same type of person over and over again. As people, we are often attracted to those that feel familiar to us- those that give us a feeling of "home." But, the feeling of "home" is just what's familiar and not necessarily what's familiar. Last, look at the negative qualities that you listed and notice the ones that came up multiple times. Think about what those qualities look like- how do you know what someone has one? Next time you feel yourself becoming interested in someone, look for that behavior or quality- then walk away. Force yourself to go on dates with people who don't have the negative qualities you're usually attracted to. Give them more of a chance than maybe you would have previously. You have to give yourself the opportunity to be attracted to things you're not used to being initially attracted to. But, if you do this, I guarantee you will be able to break the pattern of dating the same people over and over again.
On a side note: yeah, don't do the text stuff when you're mad or want to make a point. Do it in person. And if that can't happen, at least do it over the phone. It's simply too easy for messages to get misconstrued via texting.
Best of luck,
A few years ago I noticed a small bump at the shaft of my penis. I waited a few days before going to the doctor because sometimes I just get weird bumps and they disappear on their own. Anyways, this didn't and it turns out I have HPV. I had the bump removed and a few months later had another breakout. That was the end of it, but I still go back every six months or so to make sure. After all this happened I took a break from sex, mostly just because I felt really unsexy and like there was something wrong with me. Part of me also doesn't know how to tell people about it. I feel sort of confused because my doctor told me that chances are low I will pass it on, but I know I could have another breakout. I've been seeing a guy for a few weeks, we've messed around, but we haven't actually had sex yet and I want to. I feel like I should tell him before, but I don't know how and I'm afraid he's going to not want to have sex with me. Do I have to tell him?
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. Current estimations for prevalence vary between 45-90% of the population- and the CDC goes as far as to say "HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active people get it at some point in their lives." Basically, you're not alone. BUT, you didn't say you feel like you're the only one. You asked if you have to tell him. I think honesty is always the best policy when it comes to relationships, especially in the beginning when you're setting the ground work for what could be something long-term. Even more importantly, it's about health and your partner should be able to make decisions about his own health. With that said, how do you have the conversation? One thing you said is that you're afraid he won't want to have sex with you after you tell him. Unfortunately, it's true, he may not want to have sex with you after. But, that doesn't mean he may never want to have sex with you, he may just need a bit of time to wrap his mind around it and maybe do some research of his own. People generally just think, "oh, I won't get an STI, that only happens to those other people," they don't know how to react in the actual situation. When you bring it up, be open, honest, tell him you're nervous, and also do some research of your own- present the facts. If you're concerned that he's going to be an asshole, call you gross, make fun of you, tell all your friends, or something else equally as mean- THEN DON'T HAVE SEX WITH HIM. If someone is going to treat you like you're broken or there is something wrong with you, then better they are left in the dust, just keep walking.
Furthermore, you should be proud of yourself. You noticed there was something going on with your body and then went to the doctor to have it taken care of. Part of the reason the prevalence rate is so high for STIs is because people are embarrassed and don't seek treatment. You're on top of it, you're getting checkups and taking control.
Keep up the good work,
Ever since I was a kid I've had a kink for all things foot related. In the past, I've had troubles with boyfriends not really getting into it, but I've still been able to make it work. It has been easy to get a boyfriend to let me rub his feet, but I inevitably get rock hard every time and then I want to do more, like kiss, lick, and tickle them. So, that's sort of the problem now. My current boyfriend doesn't like it when I touch his feet at all and it's driving me crazy. I've tried to talk to him about it, but it doesn't seem to help. I tried reassuring him that I don't want anything done to mine, as I've had boyfriends in the past think they were going to have to do it back, but he just won't budge on it. I asked him why and he said that he just doesn't like it. I don’t know what to do. Do you have any thoughts on what might make him come around?
Not everyone is going to be into the same things sexually, and it seems like you know that. From what you've said, it sounds like your boyfriend may just not be into this and there are really only a few things you can do. 1. Accept that he's not into it and be ok with that. 2. Accept that he's not into it and not be ok with that. Dan Savage often talks about the "price of admission" and you have to ask yourself if not being able to touch his feet is the "price of admission" you're willing to pay to be in this relationship. However, there are other things you might be able to do. First, does he know how much this means to you? Have you expressed to him how much it turns you on? It's possible that he might be more into it if he knew what it did for you, and the same could be said for something he may want to do that you're not initially into. Second, if he's not into it and won't "budge", but wants to be with you, is he willing to let you get this thrill from someone else? If so, what would that look like and what would and wouldn't be appropriate? Third, if this is something that you feel you MUST have and you'd rather leave the relationship than not have it, then maybe it's best you let the relationship go. It's hard to hear, but if your needs aren't being met sexually and the other person isn't willing to work with you on both meeting each other's needs, then the relationship simply isn't working.
A few things you don't mention are how long you've been dating this person, how serious the relationship is, and how your sex life is otherwise. If this relationship is new, it's entirely possible that somethings he's not ok with right now he may be ok with in the future. Of course, that doesn't guarantee it. And how is your sex life outside of foot play? I understand your main concern is that this kink you love isn't being met, but how frequently do you think you need it? Is it once every six months, once a month, once a week, or every day? It's also possible that he's concerned if he allows you do this once then it's going to be expected all the time. I'd suggest you lay it all out on the table. Tell him directly what you like about it, what it might include, and what your expectations are. Listen to what he has to say about it, there are likely some very real concerns he has beyond simply not liking it. But, if he just doesn't like it and doesn't want to do it, you have to accept that and plan your next move.
Best of luck!