Should I be feeling upset/insecure about a change in my boyfriend's attitude towards certain sexual activities (NSFW)?
July 13, 2011 7:39 AM   Subscribe

Should I be feeling upset/insecure about a change in my boyfriend's attitude towards certain sexual activities (NSFW)?

At the beginning of the relationship, he was very into sex (even on my period) and going down on me (even when I hadn't shaved.) Those things didn't and don't disgust him.

But now, he tells me "it's (sexual activity) not worth it (the mess, the hair.) He told me his enthusiasm at the beginning has more to do with the fact that it was the beginning of his sexual life rather than the beginning of our relationship; that even if we broke up and he was with someone else, he would not become so enthusiastic again about sex that he wouldn't mind dealing with the clean up or the hair.

This seems reasonable to me, and I have no problem shaving or not having sex while on my period. But still the "it's not worth it" comment is still a little jarring. Thoughts?
posted by 2X2LcallingCQ to Human Relations (30 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, the comment's insensitive because it could be easily interpreted as "You're not worth it".

And how does he know how he'd be with someone else sexually? Of course he couldn't know.

But something is effecting his sex drive. While I can't say for sure, he is either bored with you and the novelty of sex (which he admitted to anyway), generally has a low sex drive anyway or is stepping out on you with someone else. The last one is probably the least possible, but it is something to consider.

If this isn't enough for you, even if you like him in every other way, it's probably best to break up and find someone more compatible with you.
posted by inturnaround at 7:46 AM on July 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


that even if we broke up and he was with someone else, he would not become so enthusiastic again about sex that he wouldn't mind dealing with the clean up or the hair.
This sentence/phrase appears internally contradictory--is it me orr the sentence. Is that definitely a "wouldn't" or perhaps a "would". I am trying to clarify if he is talking about all sex or just sex with you. Thanks
posted by rmhsinc at 7:47 AM on July 13, 2011


Response by poster: This sentence/phrase appears internally contradictory--is it me orr the sentence. Is that definitely a "wouldn't" or perhaps a "would". I am trying to clarify if he is talking about all sex or just sex with you. Thanks

It's a wouldn't. I think he was talking about all sex, that it's not only me but any other girl on her period or unshaved.
posted by 2X2LcallingCQ at 7:51 AM on July 13, 2011


This is tricky. On one hand, it is an insensitive statement and I understand why you might feel rejected and upset. On the other hand, I guess it could be a personal preference whether he enjoys the act or not.

Maybe you could compromise somehow? I noticed you said he gets annoyed about the hair. Would you consider getting rid of it? He might be trying to subtly tell you he would like to see you bare down there...
posted by katypickle at 7:51 AM on July 13, 2011


"It's not worth it" to who? That comment is insensitive because he's only thinking about what he wants, not what you want. He doesn't know what is and isn't "worth it" to you.

I don't like being with guys who are disgusted by female bodies ... but some people wouldn't mind.
posted by queens86 at 7:51 AM on July 13, 2011 [12 favorites]


Response by poster: @inturnaround, I wouldn't say he is completely bored of sex with me. But yes, the novelty has worn off. He seems to think this is a general sex thing, and not sex with me. And yes, things have been strained between us lately, so I do know that is affecting his sex drive.
posted by 2X2LcallingCQ at 7:52 AM on July 13, 2011


Response by poster: Sorry for all the updates, but just to clarify, it's not that he is disgusted and I have no problem shaving.
posted by 2X2LcallingCQ at 7:54 AM on July 13, 2011


Yeah - this sounds pretty insensitive.

Also, when I have sex with chicks, I find trimmed public hair kind of odd and have no problem with public hair in its natural state. So I'm having a bit of a "wait, *what*?" reaction to his entire problem. Plus, what's he doing to make things more awesome for you? Or is this just about you needing to change for him?

If this is his first sexual relationship, he may be running into the remarkable fact that porn is fiction and that's not The Way Stuff Is.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:02 AM on July 13, 2011 [13 favorites]


"It's not worth it" to who? That comment is insensitive because he's only thinking about what he wants, not what you want. He doesn't know what is and isn't "worth it" to you.

I don't think it makes a whole lot of sense that someone should have to do something they don't want to do just because the other person wants to do it. When he says "it's not worth it" he's saying he doesn't want to do it, and that seems like a reasonable stance (although one that is potentially incompatible with his partner).

I guess I don't see what the question is...

If you've talked to him about it and he's given you reasons that you think are reasonable for his reduced sex drive, what's left? There are things he seems to imply you can do to help that and if you talked to him about it, there might be more things that are on the table or sacrifices he's willing to make if it's important to you, but at this point it seems like negotiation with him is what you need.

I don't think the comments are even that insensitive: if you're doing it right, sex is can be a lot of work. People don't mind because it's fun, but if it's not fun any more (or starts being less fun) for whatever reason, the internal cost/benefit analysis is going to come out in favor of not having sex.

So the options you have, if that's the case, are to a) deal with the reduced sexual activity, b) make it more fun, or c) make it less trouble. (or some combination thereof)

(There might also be medical / psychological explanations for the reduced sex drive, so that is worth looking into if he sees the reduction as a problem)
posted by toomuchpete at 8:02 AM on July 13, 2011


So he won't go down on you if you haven't shaved, like that day, and there's even a little bit of hair? Yeah, if I were you, I would be hurt and not so willing to keep sleeping with him.

Sorry.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:03 AM on July 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


My partner and I have been together 18 years, and sometimes we happily reminisce about how, when we first got together, nothing would stop us from having sex. Not periods, not being in a tent that was over 90 degrees. We both have this happy memory from when we both had, like, the worst colds of our lives and couldn't even breathe when kissing but we still had sex. Because it was that hot and new. I think there's some drop-off in that frantic drive that is normal.
posted by not that girl at 8:07 AM on July 13, 2011 [17 favorites]


Your questions makes it sound as though his going down on you is a favor of some kind.

It's not.

Do you go down on him? Does he expect you to? Does he shave? How would he feel if you stopped being interested in an activity he found pleasurable, for the same reason he gave?

It sounds as though he isn't thinking beyond his own feelings in the situation or does not understand that sex isn't just about his wants.
posted by noxetlux at 8:07 AM on July 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


It's one thing to ask in a loving manner for your partner to groom a certain way. It is entirely another to say "it's not worth it."

As to the period sex, that's an individual thing. Some men are grossed out by it, some are not. I am guessing he is the second type, and just went with it before because of the new relationship horniness.
posted by virginia_clemm at 8:13 AM on July 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sorry to hear about your troubles with your boyfriend. There could be a number of things happening here. In my opinion it sounds like your boyfriend has definitely lost interest in the relationship both sexually and probably mentally/emotionally as well. There's always the chance that he's just being brutally honest and maybe he really is sincere about his needs or lack there of for sex right now. Things you can do:

1. Take his words literally. Keep cleanly shaven and no more sex during your period.

2. Let him initiate sex for the next few weeks or just hold off from sex for a bit until he makes that first move. He may just need some time to "get back in the mood"

At the end of the day, this guy might not be worth your time anymore. To me, it sounds like you're going out of your way to please him. And that's great. He's a lucky guy. But it doesn't seem like he appreciates you at all. In a perfect world he would enjoy sex with you regardless of shaving, and periods. If he isn't going to change his feelings about sex then you'll have to accept them and him as is, or you can move on to someone else who will in my opinion....love having such a great girl who tries hard to please her man.
posted by ljs30 at 8:21 AM on July 13, 2011 [11 favorites]


He told me his enthusiasm at the beginning has more to do with the fact that it was the beginning of his sexual life ...

"The beginning of his sex life"? Does that mean he was a virgin before ya'll got together? If so, then I'd call this change natural. After a while, he's developing preferences for what he likes.

But still the "it's not worth it" comment is still a little jarring. Thoughts?

Talk to him about it, tell him how his comment made you feel.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:24 AM on July 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


...ok, the period thing is a hit or miss and really just depends on the dude. BUT

huh? going down town isn't "worth it" if you've got a little fuzz? he couldn't have found a better way to phrase that little nugget?

It aint just about him, chica. That activity is for mutual pleasure, but especially for YOUR pleasure. I'm totally cool with the idea of him saying to you "i love being with you that way, and it's so much easier and better when you're shaven. I love it when you keep shorn."

even tacking on "would you do this for me?" wouldn't leave you with a lingering ishy sense of him concentraiting only on himself.
posted by Blisterlips at 8:28 AM on July 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Personally, I do not think there is enough information or history in the post to make a judgement about anyone or the relationship. I am not asking for more information, I just do not think it appropriate to jump to conclusions based on several sentences. We do not know his (or their) communication style, articulateness re:sex and intimacy, the depth of their relationship, age, prior sexual history etc. I do hope you talk with him about your concerns--you know from reading ask mefi that the conversation will be most successful if it is non-judgmental, non-defensive, straight forward and truthful. I wish you the best and a bit of zest in your mutual passion.
posted by rmhsinc at 8:35 AM on July 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


My wife keeps her labia shaved and her mons neatly trimmed. This way, the mouthful of hair during cunnilingus is avoided, but she still has that "I'm a grown woman and not trying to look like a pre-pubescent child" look in the mirror. Best of both worlds.

Not having sex during a woman's period isn't all that weird. I'm 42 and I still haven't earned my "Red Wings".

But if he's not interested in going down on you AND he expects to get blown, kick this boy to the curb. If he ask you why you're dumping him, tell him "It just wasn't worth it".
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:49 AM on July 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thoughts, yep I have some thoughts. There are kind of a lot of separate things going on here.

First of all, you can’t really decide to will away your emotions with logic. If you feel upset and insecure, you feel upset and insecure. You can then ask yourself what those feelings mean and whether they should dictate your actions, but it’s healthier to just let yourself acknowledge how you’re feeling and know that emotions are things that happen to the best of us.

So, actually, shaving for oral and no sex on period are very normal reasonable requests. Probably both things are more the norm than not. Just sayin'. I actually think that's a red herring and the real issue is some underlying emotional one you aren't articulating very well.

The phrasing of the comment “it’s not worth it” is very telling and speaks to a fundamentally selfish attitude. You are the one who should decide if oral sex for you is worth it. With sex on your period, he has a little more leeway to say that it’s “not worth it” (IE for HIS pleasure) but um, the other half of the pleasure is yours and he seems to be oblivious to that fact. Like, literally, stupefyingly oblivious. He does know that women like sex, right? No weird immature “she puts out for the man and always has the lower sex drive” bullshit rattling around in his skull? Especially if he said this totally casually and was surprised that you were upset with his judgment that sex was not worth it. That’s…sad.

Oh boy, he was a virgin, huh? This is harsh, but you do know that there’s a double standard and guys can be pretty desperate to lose their V-card, right? This whole “sex in general, not you” attitude makes me wonder if he’s always had that attitude…IE, your relationship started with his need for “sex in general, not you.” And will end that way.

There’s also the possibility, very probable actually, that he had great expectations for sex from porn and Maxim and you know, everything in popular culture. He’s almost certainly adjusting to that phase where he’s like “oh. Sex isn’t really like cocaine. It actually is more about the person and the touchy-feely stuff. I thought people just said that. Huh.”

As to what you should do about this: It can’t be helped. Seriously, you’re his first and the guy’s worldview just shifted a lot. It’s normal for him to be a bit immature, a bit of adjustment period is to be expected. I would give it a further trial run. Since you don’t mind it, shave and forgo the sex on the period. Think of it as an empirical study. It’s possible that he will overcome his prior attitudes, readjust and come out the other side more bonded and relaxed at some point. Or, it’s possible that even if you do these things, you’ll still feel upset with him and the sex will get worse and things will go south, so to speak. That’s the risk you take.

Give it some time, but don’t expect great things. Take back some power and change your attitude toward him enough to be able to walk if he's not making you happy. Especially emotionally, not just sexually.
posted by Nixy at 8:57 AM on July 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


A man who's grossed out by my period, and who expects me to shave, is absolutely not a man I would continue to have a sexual relationship with. But I've been around the block enough times to know how important those things are to me. It's hard to tell from this whether those things are important to you. If you need to know it's okay to prioritize those things, I will tell you: it's totally okay.
posted by milk white peacock at 9:28 AM on July 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


I was going to say he sounds a bit ocd, but when I saw that it's his first sexual experience, I realized it's probably not that. I'm not sure there's a lot you can do, except make it as ungross for him as possible. If he doesn't want to have more sex for a while, I'm not sure what you can do. There are people who just don't like sex. I try to avoid them.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 10:05 AM on July 13, 2011


i used to use these disposable soft menstrual cups sometimes. you can have sex with them in, and then there's no mess. or no bloody mess, anyway.

they really take some getting used to, though.
posted by JBD at 10:10 AM on July 13, 2011


There's nothing in the OP to suggest the boyfriend is "disgusted" by her period, and the OP actually specifically tells us that he's not disgusted. So we've got two personal preferences of the OP's boyfriend. If the boyfriend had written his own askme, "I don't like to do sexual activity X or Y, I just don't find those activities enjoyable, is it okay to stop engaging in these activities?" The answers would be near universal "yes, it's okay" with some "yes, but don't expect your partner to not dump you" thrown in.

So the only matter, I think, is the boyfriend's indelicate phrasing, which I think OP understandably found hurtful. But there's so many different ways to interpret that statement, it might indicate underlying selfishness, or just a poor choice of words too hastily chosen. I think talking to the boyfriend about what he meant, and explaining why that might be hurtful is the first step.
posted by skewed at 10:42 AM on July 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Sex in general can drop off a lot during a relationship and many people don't or can't even articulate why to their partners. Your boyfriend's probably being more upfront than he ought to; "it isn't worth it" is pretty bad phrasing and is more than a bit insensitive, but at least he's being honest with you. Most people just "don't feel like it" and don't investigate or say why.

He has certain preferences and they might not be compatible with what you need. There is some level of sexual incompatibility in nearly all relationships. He needs to be more sensitive about discussing it with you and also probably needs to realize there's some give and take involved, but trying to get someone to do something they don't want to do isn't usually a road to happiness.

The decline in oral sex and sex during a woman's period over the course of a long term relationship is absolutely not uncommon. You're ahead of the game by talking about it.

You are the one who should decide if oral sex for you is worth it.

What? That's not really how consensual sex works.
posted by ODiV at 10:54 AM on July 13, 2011


My partner and I have been together 18 years, and sometimes we happily reminisce about how, when we first got together, nothing would stop us from having sex. Not periods, not being in a tent that was over 90 degrees. We both have this happy memory from when we both had, like, the worst colds of our lives and couldn't even breathe when kissing but we still had sex. Because it was that hot and new. I think there's some drop-off in that frantic drive that is normal.

I agree with not that girl. Yes, it is an insensitive comment that's implicitly saying "You're not worth it." But at the same time the drop off in unrelenting passion is pretty common for relationships. For him, sex on periods is now not worth the hassle. For other people, it might be "I want to be rested tomorrow, not tonight honey" or "It's too damn hot with the air conditioning off" or "I'm too stressed out right now." In new relationships your mind is all "SEXY SEX SEX SEXY TIMES SEX" and it overrides all of the inconveniences and annoyances that can sometimes be a by-product of having it. As you get used to a person, they become more a part of your normal life and those inconveniences and annoyances start taking a little more precedence.

It isn't a good thing and it is why so many marriages end up sexless. But it's quite possible with any boyfriend you'd end up running into the same drop-off in drive, only the other ones might have different reasons.

That said, it is totally worth pointing out to him that it makes you feel like shit when he says that stuff.
posted by Anonymous at 1:38 PM on July 13, 2011


One man's point of view:

1. It is reasonable of him to express disinterest in having sex while you are on your period, even if he used to be OK with it.
2. Assuming he's OK with oral sex in general (and it sounds like he is), it is unreasonable of him to require shaving as a prerequisite to oral sex.
3. In either case, his particular form of expression seems insensitive.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:04 PM on July 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Period sex? No thanks.

Oral sex with hair? More please.

Sorry, but this guy sounds like a superficial dick who has gotten caught up in the silly idea that bare=clean and that women who don't go bare aren't taking care of themselves like they should.
posted by eas98 at 2:29 PM on July 13, 2011


I will agree with the above, a guy who won't have sex during periods=perfectly acceptable (I don't like it myself but I have issues). Guy who won't go down with stubble=ridiculous. Can you imagine if a girlfriend refused to make out with her boyfriend unless he was cleanly shaven? Unless he's a model who must attend a photoshoot after he goes down on you there is no excuse.
posted by boobjob at 6:33 PM on July 13, 2011


I think the message he's trying to send you has little to do with whether you've shaved or whether you're on your period. The idea that he was expecting a porn-type sexual relationship makes sense to me, but in that case, it's time he learned that real life isn't porn. All in all, I'm sorry to say this, but it seems to me that he's entirely focused on himself and doesn't seem to give a good flip what matters to you - which means you have a serious problem.

I'm 65 and I've been around the block a few times and it would be my feeling that this situation is a goner. You're young and full of life and you shouldn't have to be trying to earn a kind word from this oaf.

You can definitely do better.
posted by aryma at 8:32 PM on July 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Mod note: this is not a debate about pubic hair, do not make it into one, thank you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:13 AM on July 14, 2011


« Older Please save my pesto!   |   How to deal with back handed comments over daycare... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.