How can I tell my boyfriend that those things I thought were orgasms weren't?
October 13, 2004 4:04 PM   Subscribe

My boyfriend and I met when I was very young and inexperienced, and we've been together for almost 10 years now. I've always enjoyed our sex life, especially my ability to have multiple orgasms. But wait. Now that I'm older and a bit more in touch with myself, so to speak, I've realized I hadn't really been having orgasms at all. Because I'm just starting to now. My boyfriend thinks he's losing his skills because I'm having one orgasm with him, if at all, and I've skirted around talking about it by saying that it's just different now. We're really open with each other and we talk about everything honestly, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how to gently broach this topic since I didn't when I first became aware of it. How can I share the truth and preserve his ego?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (18 answers total)

Be honest. Tell him that as your sex lives have grown more practised and you've gotten to know each other's pleasure points, he has reached a new and different way of pleasuring you which you enjoy immensely.

Couch it as he has discovered what really gets you off and that it is the quality of your experience not the quantity.

It took me a long time to stop worrying about "how many" and move to the overall experience. Just emphasize that you were happy then and happy now.
posted by karmaville at 4:14 PM on October 13, 2004

well, karma nailed it.

His ego might not be dented at all. If you go with the approach karma mentioned, he might actually get a boast for being able to, after ten years, to make you feel different and better. The only problem I could see is that he might be more upset that it took 10 years to get you to this point.

if he struted a little after you told him this, I wouldn't be surprised.
posted by Stynxno at 4:27 PM on October 13, 2004

If he's already concerned, telling him the truth should make him feel better. Even if it doesn't, not being honest with him is a good way to make the great sex disappear. And you want the great sex to stay.
posted by eustacescrubb at 4:39 PM on October 13, 2004

Couch it as he has discovered what really gets you off

That's an awesome idea. Speaking as a guy that's just as insecure and vulnerable in this area as anyone else, I wouldn't feel offended if I heard something like that. I'd want to talk about it, and talk about ways of making my partner have an even better experience.
posted by mathowie at 4:45 PM on October 13, 2004

Yuppers, be honest, tell him what's what. But talk isn't the only way, show him, too.
posted by bakiwop at 4:57 PM on October 13, 2004

We hetero guys to get a bit hung up on pleasing women. I think it has something to do caveman politics and sexual hegemony. There's a PhD thesis in there somewhere . . .

In any case, it helps if a fellow is actually able to facilitate rafter ringing orgasms. Any awkwardness caused by bringing the issue to his attention will be wiped away shortly after he sees you really enjoying yourself.

All of which can only happen if both of you are comfortable talking it all over. You may find that he has some preferences that you weren't aware of either - you have to be willing to meet his needs too.

A slight derailment: Do our gay and lesbian friends have similar problems? Is it easier for two men or two women to discuss these things, or all we all in the same boat? I've always thought that because you've both got the same plumbing, it'd be easier to understand what works and what doesn't.
posted by aladfar at 8:14 PM on October 13, 2004

I'm really confused. You're starting to have real orgasms now, and your boyfriend thinks he's doing worse? Is it because your previous, fake orgasms were multiple, and your new, improved, real orgasms are single?

So he thinks he's gone from many to one? But doesn't know he's gone from fake to real?

Sounds like he's got all the bad info and none of the good. Perhaps he'd feel bad about being wrong in the past, but if you were enjoying yourself all that time, what's to feel bad about? If you've gone to a new level now, again: what's to feel bad about?

Be open. There's nothing bad here.
posted by scarabic at 9:10 PM on October 13, 2004

I think folks are missing a bit of what she's suggesting--that the new experience isn't necessarily the boyfriend's doing, but a matter of being "more in touch with herself". That being said, it's not necessarily something he would take as a compliment, which is why I think she's asking for the advice.

That being said, I do still think the only real option you've got is to be open about it. Even if he's no longer the main provider of your ecstatic joy, there's no reason that you can't basically position it as a lottery ticket you won on your own, and now you're sharing with him. ("Holy cow! Look what I can do! Wanna drive?")
posted by LairBob at 9:30 PM on October 13, 2004

Sex with your boyfriend provided satisfying but small multiple orgasms, and then down the road, sex with your hand provides big bang earthshatterers and does so with more predictability than intercourse. Except now you like the big bangs more than the little quakes, and your boyfriend feels disappointed about this. Have I got this right? I applaud your sensitivity to his ego. Not all women are so thoughtful.

Just because you've had an excellent meal at a restaurant, does ten years of formerly tasty home cooking suddenly start leaving a chalky taste in your mouth? Or do you say "that was good, this is good, let's make both a part of our lives?" Those old multiples may have been minor, but it's a little ridiculous to whip out your new bedbreaker orgasms like Crocodile Dundee and claim "that's not an orgasm; this is an orgasm." Way to piss on a decade of sex you claim to have enjoyed!

Many men get a lot from keeping their mate satisfied. "It's different now" is an acceptable answer -- it obviously is different now -- so long as you make it clear he's hitting the spot in a way far better than ever before, that those little orgasms were nice but now there's something you like more and every so often you experience that with him.

Now that you like something else a lot, it's just a matter of adding that to your sexual mix. Turning around and categorizing everything you've shared with him over those years as not up to your new standard is likely to be the most direct path to disharmony.

It sounds like sometimes you have those old little ones, and sometimes the big ones, and occasionally nothing. Well, that sounds like a pretty normal -- inasmuch as anything is "normal" -- mix. If you really think he's doing you right, TELL HIM THAT. Repeatedly. Make it clear you like the sex more than you ever had, and as always, if there's some way he can help keep you satisfied, he'll likely be eager to know.
posted by majick at 11:27 PM on October 13, 2004 [1 favorite]

Have you ever experienced female ejaculation? By all accounts it's a very enjoyable way of coming and perhaps you can discover them WITH your boyfriend, so that you have a shared experience and he can feel he's part of your new accomplishment. Plus you'll now have three different types of orgasm.
posted by skylar at 12:07 AM on October 14, 2004

What scarabic said....let him know what's happening in a direct way. I think this kind of talk adds intimacy to a relationship - it's definitely not a secret to be hidden from him - he already feels bad now, so cheer him up with the news!

And don't be coy about it - that could actually sound like you're hiding something bad, when you're really not.

I guess the advantage of being a man is that we get to be "in touch with ourselves" at an early age!
posted by SpaceCadet at 1:44 AM on October 14, 2004

Tell him that before, when he was just a boy, he gave you many great little orgasms. And now that he's grown into a man, he's giving you one single huge orgasm, and you are very happy for it.

Trust me, he'll like that.
posted by eas98 at 6:33 AM on October 14, 2004 [1 favorite]

Print out this page and show it to him.
posted by grateful at 7:17 AM on October 14, 2004

According her profile, this poster, anonymous, has joined MeFi 2 days ago, on October 12, and since then posted 8 questions, all on Ask MetaFilter (3 questions on Oct. 12, and 5 questions on Oct. 13), all but one essentially about sex. What to make of that?
posted by semmi at 8:54 AM on October 14, 2004 [1 favorite]

semmi, assuming you're serious, maybe you should have a glance at metatalk.
posted by ook at 9:14 AM on October 14, 2004

ook: Thanks for offering me an "out," but I was serious, and ignorant of the anonymous set up. Thanks for pointing me to information.
posted by semmi at 10:14 AM on October 14, 2004

While I think it provides for a good conversation, the question is too generic for a useful response. You only have to recall the relatively recent case in Germany, where for mutual sexual gratification, two men made an arrangement whereby one killed and ate the other, to realize that there are endless ways to couple for mutual enjoyments.

Having said that, I want to say that while talking about sex may provide pleasure in itself, I don't believe in its usefulness to the extent it is assumed to be necessary. For one thing, talking destroys much of the prevailing mystery, creates self-consciousness, and destroys spontaneity, and inevitably codifies a hopefully fluid relationship into blind expectations.

In a relationship one should explore until there are things to explore--talk only speeds this up and takes one to the "knowledge" of the other, the end of having anything more to explore.
posted by semmi at 11:17 AM on October 14, 2004

You only have to recall the relatively recent case in Germany, where for mutual sexual gratification, two men made an arrangement whereby one killed and ate the other, to realize that there are endless ways to couple for mutual enjoyments.

You know, I recently took one of them political positioning polls and I said that what goes on between two consenting adults is none of societies business, but I think I just changed my mind.
posted by namespan at 11:49 AM on October 14, 2004

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