Q: I met a guy right around the time my boyfriend dumped me. I met him on a dating site, but he was really only interested in my boobs and me giving him head. I really like having him in my life and he’s very attractive, but he won’t do anything with me other than let me give him head while he watches porn. I’m very insecure, so I feel like part of the reason this has been going on for so long is because I’ve never had someone so attractive be into me. He asked me to sign a “contract” that requires me to drop everything and send him pictures whenever he asks. I’m not allowed to have a boyfriend, but he can have as many girls as he likes. I do a lot of stuff for him, and he doesn’t do a single thing for me. I should have said no, but I was feeling very shitty about myself and thought I had nothing to lose. Currently he lives a two-hour bus ride away and he won’t pick me up. He’s also only available on weekdays. He keeps telling me to come out to see him, but I can’t justify a two-hour bus ride with nothing in it for me. I almost cut him out completely after an older coworker touched my butt—I confided in this guy, and he told me it would be hot if I showed my coworker a photo of my boobs. That he would say something like that makes my blood boil, yet I still haven’t cut him off. Maybe I’m just overreacting and expecting too much of him, as he’s told me multiple times that he doesn’t like sex and he never wants to see my lower half.
—Don’t Understand My Behavior
A: Stop seeing this guy—or stop servicing this asshole, I should say. This piece of shit swooped in when you were obviously feeling vulnerable (right after your boyfriend dumped you), and he’s been leveraging his good looks against you ever since. And it’s not just head he’s after, DUMB. He gets off on seeing you debase and degrade yourself—he wants to watch as you feed your self-esteem into a shredder—maybe because it affirms how attractive he is or maybe because he’s just that sadistic an asshole. And while you may think you have nothing to lose, this asshole clearly sees what you have to lose: your self-esteem, which he is disassembling bit by bit.
I know people with similar blow-and-go arrangements; they provide what’s called “no recip” oral to selfish and sometimes sadistic tops. But they do it for the right reason—they do it because it turns them on. If being this guy’s on-call cocksucker turned you on and got you off, DUMB, if this was a thrilling adventure for you and a break from your regular routine, a brief/erotic escape from the person you knew yourself to be (sexy, attractive, valued, etc.), this could be a healthy and playful release. The guys I know who do this—and they’re all guys—don’t have any illusions about the men they’re servicing catching feelings for them. And most importantly, they get off on it. It turns them on to be treated this way, to play this role, to have this kind of cocksucker-on-call arrangement with someone who plays the role of the selfish, domineering top.
But this doesn’t turn you on, DUMB, it makes you feel terrible about yourself. And I can tell you where this is headed: This guy’s assholery is going to escalate over time. Cut this guy off now.
Q: I’m a 26-year-old woman in a two-year relationship with a 32-year-old man. I love him and we live together. He recently revealed that he thinks the word “vagina” is disgusting. He likes the word “pussy,” but “vagina” turns him off and he hates when he hears the word. I think this is ridiculous, immature, and, honestly, a bit insulting. I am proud of my vagina—I love it, and I love what we do with it together. I don’t have a hang-up with names for parts. He assures me he loves my pussy, but vagina is a word that grosses him out. Am I crazy to be a bit upset about this terminology conflict?
—Vaginas Always Love Useful Erections
A: “First of all, VALUE is correct,” said Dr. Jen Gunter, an ob-gyn and author. “There is nothing disgusting about the word vagina. However, to many people, the word vagina has this connection because telling people that vaginas are dirty or gross or disgusting is a core tenet of the patriarchy. Vulva and clitoris have sadly been along for this societal shame-driven ride. I can see how a heterosexual man might have trouble with the word vagina because he has received that messaging since birth.”
But just because we can see how your boyfriend might have developed a problem with the word, VALUE, doesn’t make your boyfriend actually having a problem with the word okay.
“There’s an issue when a grown man finds the word vagina disgusting,” said Dr. Gunter “I am curious if her boyfriend’s inability to say vagina is a ‘bedroom-only’ phenomenon or an ‘everywhere’ phenomenon. If it’s bedroom-only, maybe she can help him work up to using the word by introducing it more. Exposure therapy! However, if his disgust at the word is an ‘everywhere’ phenomenon, then I can appreciate how that is a sticking point for VALUE. I wrote a whole book, The Vagina Bible, for this very reason. If he read it and appreciated how not saying the word vagina has been oppressive for women, maybe it might help? Again, exposure therapy!”
Follow Dr. Jen Gunter on Twitter @DrJenGunter. The Vagina Bible is on sale now—and on the New York Times best-seller list! Congrats, Dr. Gunter!
Q: My husband likes to give and receive enemas during sex. I was very inexperienced sexually when we met in our early 20s and very much in love. He introduced me to enemas, and I went along at first and almost enjoyed the novelty. But in time, it started to feel less appealing. After we had kids, there was less opportunity for this sort of thing, and I eventually realized I didn’t like anal play. The enemas began to feel physically and psychologically violating. He introduced anal plugs as an alternative, but I still felt violated and frightened whenever he put one in me. I went to a sex counselor who told me I had the right to say no. My husband began pursuing his anal interests alone. Now we’re both 68. My sexual drive has waned, but his has not. I don’t want to give up on the experience of PIV intercourse, but he doesn’t seem to understand that at this stage of life, sex for me is more about closeness and feeling loved and being held than about intense sexual pleasure. He is disappointed that I am not receptive to his need for anal stimulation. I have told him he is free to find people online who will do this, or if it is so important to him to have a partner who does this, we can separate. He would prefer that I be more accommodating.
—Absolutely No Anal Love
A: You can and you should continue to say no to any and all sex play—anal or otherwise—that leaves you feeling violated and frightened, ANAL. You can also say, “I’d like a divorce,” to a man who has proven himself incapable of taking “no” for an answer decade after miserable decade. And while your offer to allow him to find anal playmates online falls under the “perfectly reasonable accommodation” header, ANAL, I’m more concerned with your unmet need for love and tenderness than I am with your husband’s unmet needs. To that end, I think you should go find a tender lover—right after you find yourself a kick-ass divorce lawyer.