Is my girlfriend making excuses?
November 24, 2021 11:20 PM   Subscribe

My girlfriend and I are both over 50. We've been seeing each other for over 4 months, and we still haven't had sex. In every other way it seems like a normal relationship; we hug and kiss, take long walks together, say "I love you", and spend much time together. But we still haven't had sex. I understand that a woman's libido goes down after menopause, but I would have thought that, in an exciting new relationship, the heart would be willing even if the hormones weren't. Is it possible that she is using menopause as an excuse because she doesn't find me sexually attractive? Should I cut my losses and move on?

She is under a lot of stress dealing with family things, so I have been very patient, but I really like her and I want to do it with her. If I didn't care about her, I would have given up long before now. But like I said, it seems like she really cares about me too, and it's really confusing. I mean, are the hormones really that important where it makes it difficult to do anything even if you want too, or might she have another reason for not wanting to do it and is just trying to not hurt my feelings? To put it bluntly, even if her pussy isn't getting wet, wouldn't she still be able to give a blow job or something? I want to believe that she is being honest with me, and that maybe it will happen when the time is right, but I can't get over the feeling that, until we actually do it, I feel like I'm just some sort of "emotional support boyfriend". If this going nowhere, I'd like to know it now before I put any more effort into building this relationship. If I try to talk to her about it, she gets defensive like "is that all you think about". Well I do think about it a lot because I think she is sexy, and her passionate kisses send me home frustrated every day. Don't other women in a new relationship at least make an effort even if they don't have the same sexual drive like they once did, or am I being selfish? Is four months an extraordinarily long time to wait? I don't want to be played a fool.
posted by ambulocetus to Human Relations (58 answers total)

There could be a whole range of things going on here. The good news is that already have some of the best information available to you, or the means to get it.

I’d start by asking yourself what your role has been in all this. How have you been expressing your desires and needs to her? How have you dealt with her responses to this? What specifically have you done to make her feel comfortable, listened to, appreciated, and loved? And most importantly, what does she say when you talk to her about these things? What do you say in response?
posted by iamkimiam at 11:58 PM on November 24, 2021 [7 favorites]

I suspect that regardless of the reason, this is who she is. Whether it is menopause or libido or she's just not that attracted to you probably doesn't make much difference for whether you can expect this to change in a substantial way. All of those things predict that, even if you at some point have sex, it won't be as frequent as you want and you'll feel like you're more into her than she is into you.

The question I'd be asking myself in your shoes is whether I could live with that frequency -- if the benefits of the relationship outweigh this downside. Based on what you say here, I'm guessing the answer is no: not only are you not getting your sexual needs met, but it's doing a number on your self esteem. If that's the case, you're not being a jerk and neither is she -- you just have different wants and needs.

I might be wrong, though: you're the one that matters. Think honestly about it.
posted by contrapositive at 12:10 AM on November 25, 2021 [36 favorites]

Not all people associate love with sex. That linkage seems to weaken when age advances, at least for some people.

If it is important to you, you will need to bring it up at some point... maybe just ask, "when's the last time you made love? It's been a while for me..."

And see how it goes from there. If you're hoping she'll bring it up... well... It may be while longer for your blue balls. :D
posted by kschang at 12:13 AM on November 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

I’ll also add that her defensiveness when you have tried to talk to her previously is there for a reason for her. She does not feel safe or comfortable talking about this with you just yet.

Her reasons for this may have nothing to do with sex. Or with you. Or they might. It takes time to build trust and you need to make sure you’re playing and active part in building it with her.

As to her defensive response, I’ll also add that when we criticise in a relationship, we are often actually expressing a wish. But we may not feel safe enough to express it directly, so we cloak it in armour or defensiveness. The statement “is that all you think about” in its defenseless form may actually be the desire or request something like: I wish you’d tell me that you think about other things besides sex when you think of me.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:15 AM on November 25, 2021 [26 favorites]

Without a true desire to do something, acts like what youre talking about are generally torturous. It isnt a matter of like washing the dishes when you dont want to. For many women, it’s a matter of doing acts youve been hardcore pressured (and often literally forced) to do all your life by entitled dangerous men. Its the internal desire that makes any of it make sense. Without that it’s hell. So no, I wouldnt expect her to ‘do it anyway.’ But personally I’d need openness/non-defensiveness to talk about it more. However there may be deeper reasons for her unwillingness to discuss it more.

All that aside though, I dont see how any of this would add up to being ‘played the fool.’ I wouldnt keep talking to, much less kissing, someone I didnt like and feel a spark for. And if you’re getting things out of the relationship, then I dont see how you’d be an ‘emotional support boyfriend.’ If youre getting companionship and connection and support yourself, then I don’t see how you’d be getting ‘used.’ That said, you’re allowed to look at the situation and simply decide it isn't for you, that it’s not sustainable. I’d assume absolutely nothing will change, and then decide based on that.
posted by asimplemouse at 1:11 AM on November 25, 2021 [68 favorites]

I at the age of 42 met a really awesome man id end up with for 8 years. We had a great love of each other and deep passion for the relationship but I could count on both hands our sex encounters. It stopped cold after year 5 but we still stayed together. Maybe she just isn't sexual. It doesn't mean you win if she is. You just might need to decide if you need her devotion or a blow job.
posted by The_imp_inimpossible at 1:58 AM on November 25, 2021 [7 favorites]

Could be a lot of reasons why she doesn't want to have sex but she does not want to have a conversation with you about it. That to me is the most worrisome part. Her putting it on you by saying that's all you think about is damaging. I would have an opening like this, "I want to have a sexual relationship with you and want to discuss our desires and needs ahead of time. Sex is just one part of our relationship but an important one for me. Please help me learn. What is important for you?" If she's still defensive and closed off reevaluate.
posted by DixieBaby at 2:15 AM on November 25, 2021 [14 favorites]

If this is important to you, which is entirely reasonable, and you're not comfortable with the status quo, which you clearly aren't, then you pretty much need to talk with her about it.

Be prepared for the possibility that she is either not into sex, or not into it with you, and the fact that this is also entirely reasonable. It may mean that the two of you aren't compatible, but there's not much you can do about a difference of desire apart from deal with it if you can, or move on if you can't.

As always, be gentle and mindful of the potential sensitivities many people have around their sexuality, and try to think of it as something you would like to work out with her rather than something you want her to do for you. If she isn't prepared to discuss it or you can't have a productive conversation for whatever reason, even when you are giving it your best in terms of being compassionate and non-threatening, then you probably don't have a great basis for a relationship. It's not unreasonable to want to talk about things and if your partner won't engage with you about something they know is important to you, then it's pretty hard to move forward.

Re the hormone thing, my last 3 lovers have been post menopause and they all had/have libidos in the same range as previous lovers.
posted by mewsic at 2:19 AM on November 25, 2021 [7 favorites]

If you need to have sex to enjoy this relationship, then it's not the relationship for you. However, you may want to spend some time thinking about your apparent belief that providing emotional support without receiving sex makes you a chump. This should not be transactional. Not all important relationships need to include sex, and a lot of women have spent so much of their lives being pressured into sex that at some point they decide they are done.
posted by metasarah at 3:28 AM on November 25, 2021 [86 favorites]

The first question for you to answer for yourself is that if there is a true mismatch in sex drive and she simply does not ever want sex for whatever reason, are you okay with that? Because if you aren't, you 1) need to say so and 2) you will need to try to find a more compatable partner. This can be frustrating but if it is that important to you, then it is and that is that.

Some people really do love their partners and find them attractive and still have very little to no sex drive. There are lots of options to deal with this from medication to help, to just not having sex, to the person with a higher drive having sex with a different person, more masturbation etc etc. She might be willing to explore some of those options during an honest conversation, she may not. Some people find satisfying intimacy in different ways, such as snuggling without clothes with no sexual activity, watching porn together, or simple things like hand-holding or reading books together. People just have a wide variety of tastes and preferences and sometimes you can find something that both feels good for you and is within each of your comfort zones and not be sex.

In general I really think you working on the thoughts that that paying attention to someone's genitalia is a reflection of an attitude or feelings towards the person would help you out. Sex can be super complicated and bring up tons of emotional thoughts and feelings for all parties, and sometimes those responses can be negative based in past experiences and such. It could simply mean she doesn't like sex like at all. It could mean that she just needs time. But her sex drive really isn't about you it is a mix of biological and emotional factors that can be really complicated.
posted by AlexiaSky at 4:28 AM on November 25, 2021 [5 favorites]

Cut your losses. I’m 52 and would have sex every day with the right person.
posted by Melismata at 4:57 AM on November 25, 2021 [16 favorites]

I don’t think it is odd that you haven’t had sex after four months, but I do think it is odd there is no mutual understanding of each other’s expectations. Haven’t you two talked about previous relationships? It doesn’t seem like you have built the trust and intimacy a lot of people need to move forward in a sexual relationship.

Not knowing the whole situation, her response seems a bit unfair, and could indicate someone who is maybe not in touch with her sexuality and maybe has discomfort discussing it.

However, I find your view of sex a little off putting. You seem to feel entitled to it. Not getting it means you are being played. You mention hugging and kissing, but there are many stops between that and actual sex. Talking about it must go beyond “When can I stick it in you”. She is not a receptacle for your penis. She doesn’t owe you an orgasm.

As far as blaming menopause--In my experience, post menopause, I have not had a drop in libido. I still experience sexual attraction, orgasms, etc.. But, more significantly, as an older person, I don’t do anything I don’t want to. You wonder “can’t she just suck my dick?” In my younger days I sucked dicks out of sympathy, out of kindness. I sucked dicks because I had no birth control, because it was expected, because he was a terrible lover and it was less arduous than having straight on sex….. I stopped doing any of that--- those days of satisfying the dude because that is the role of the gal are over. This may or may not be relevant here.

As others have said, you might just be incompatible. If she doesn’t want to have sex with you, it doesn’t really matter why. Accept it and move on.
posted by rhonzo at 5:58 AM on November 25, 2021 [96 favorites]

I also find your attitude a little off-putting and wonder if she's picking up on it in some way. Equating someone not wanting to have sex with you with "being played a fool" is really gross. So is the concept of "making excuses," which suggests that she somehow owes you sex. If that attitude has somehow bled into your discussions with her, she might just not feel comfortable with you around sex.

Or maybe she's just not interested in sex in general. Or she's feeling insecure because this culture is bombarding her with constant messages that only young bodies deserve pleasure. I do think she should be willing to talk to you about it. It's not wrong for it to be important for you to have a sexual relationship - but you'll only know that by talking to her. If she responds with "Is that all you think about?" you can say, "No, but it is important to me, and I need to know if you see this as part of our relationship." If the relationship is otherwise important to both of you, couples counseling might be in order.
posted by FencingGal at 7:01 AM on November 25, 2021 [56 favorites]

What you need to do is talk to her about it - respectfully and with the understanding that neither of you is "right" about the amount of sex you should be having. People have all different levels of desire and that's natural. People can sometimes connect in some ways and not in others. People can have trauma.

Unfortunately, that does sometimes mean that people that are compatible in other ways are incompatible when it comes to sex - it's just like if one wanted kids and the other didn't, or if one wanted to move overseas and the other didn't. It's not like there's a "right" number of kids to have, or a "right" country to live in. What matters is that you align on these important matters.

You need to put aside completely the attitude that she is in the wrong because she doesn't want to have sex with you. And then you need to have a mature conversation about it. IN. THAT. ORDER.

To put it bluntly, even if her pussy isn't getting wet, wouldn't she still be able to give a blow job or something?

This is gross. I don't mean because it's vulgar, but because of the entitlement and disregard for her own feelings. You should not even be thinking about expecting her to have sex with you when she's not enjoying it. I'm not going to repeat everything the comment above that explains why this is an awful thing to want her to do, but I do want to emphasize: This is awful. This is bad. It makes me worried that she's not safe in her relationship with you.

This entitlement is the seed of many unpleasant, unwanted sexual encounters. This is the kind of thinking that leads to partners pressuring each other for sex, to saying hurtful things when sex isn't wanted.

I think you need to take a good long hard look at yourself before you have this conversation and dramatically realign your thinking about this issue.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 7:16 AM on November 25, 2021 [91 favorites]

There is a world of a difference between “A mutually enjoyable, joyous, loving sex life is an important part of a relationship to me. How do you feel?” Vs “why aren’t we fucking yet/enough, and can’t you at least blow me even if your pussy’s dry, this is what dating is.” You may not be using those words with her, but that seems to be what’s actually in your head, and many people pick up on other people’s energies pretty easily, in which case it’s not surprising to me at all that she isn’t sleeping with you. Because it’s a totally gross, entitled way to think about sex.
posted by cultureclash82 at 8:00 AM on November 25, 2021 [56 favorites]

Incidentally, I’d also suggest that “I really care for this person” and “I wish she would at least do sexual favors for me even if she doesn’t actually want to” is paradoxical to say the least.
posted by cultureclash82 at 8:22 AM on November 25, 2021 [50 favorites]

I’m past menopause and have many female friends who’ve graduated as well. Impact on libido is all over the map, so I think the generalization about shifted hormones == less desire is too broad a generalization. Of course a whole lot of other stuff affects how women feel about and desire sex (you have read Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski, haven’t you?) and it’s not like those evaporate when you’re no longer fertile.

I think you’re learning that you are mismatched to this woman about something important to you. If she desired you sexually, you’d know it. If that’s important to you in a romantic relationship then this is not the one for you. Sorry.
posted by Sublimity at 8:26 AM on November 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

Maybe a good way to draw her out about this topic would be to ask her about her past relationships and dating? If she's unwilling to discuss the topic- regardless of whether you're broaching it in the most sensitive way, then I don't see a way forward. It would be one thing if she was able to discuss things and you could work towards a common goal of being physically intimate, but it's not clear that is a goal for her. It's her right to make that decision for herself, but it would be nice if she could communicate it so you could make a decision about the status of the relationship with all the cards on the table. Could be that she enjoys your company but is just not into sex (or sex with you) and is hoping that eventually you'll just let it drop. If you do end things over this, please be kind- sometimes people who struggle with intimacy have had trauma in their past.
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 9:04 AM on November 25, 2021

I think she really needs to know that you consider all of this a waste of your time unless she eventually puts out. Because she very well might never and will probably be quite upset to learn that this makes you feel played for a fool.

Sometimes people just have incompatible needs in a relationship and that means the relationship has to end and no one is a bad person because of this. But even when relationships eventually end for such reasons, the people involved usually want to keep some fond memories of the good times, the things that did work - and you're taking that away from her too if you don't put your cards on the table now.

Maybe sex isn't _all_ you think about, but it's definitely a priority and dealbreaker for you, while it very well might not be for some other person, and she might be better off with that person. Give her that information, cut your losses and hers.
posted by sohalt at 9:04 AM on November 25, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Folks are saying you can still have good sex after menopause -- which is true for a lot of people.

But for a lot of other people, hormone changes can cause drastic libido changes. And having sex with no libido -- even "just a blow job" sex -- is pretty unpleasant. It's like forcing yourself to eat when you're totally full and have no appetite at all.

I'd assume that she's telling the truth about her experience, the situation isn't under her control, and it doesn't say anything about her feelings for you.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:06 AM on November 25, 2021 [9 favorites]

Is it possible that she is using menopause as an excuse

I think in her position, with the expectations you have expressed in your post, and knowing you only for four months, honestly i might use menopause as the handy excuse to get you off my back, and not bother with a deeper, personal explanation. Probably best to end it now, and find someone who will be happy to have sex with you. It seems you have a need she cannot fulfill. Neither of you is wrong. Just move on.

But if you feel you can love her without ever having sex, and be in her life, and are genuinly interested in her as a person (but not just a sex partner), talk to her, let her know how sex is very important to you. Find out how important it is to her, without pressuring her.
posted by 15L06 at 9:09 AM on November 25, 2021 [3 favorites]

If I were deciding how to move forward in a situation where I was in a new relationship, stressed out for other reasons, and working with a low sex drive, the way you’re talking about sex here would absolutely put me off prioritizing that as something to work on immediately.

I think you should assume the way things are now are the way they’re going to keep being, and you can either work on reframing the role of sex in your relationship and how you talk about it together to see if one or both of you feel differently after that, or you can move on to someone more immediately compatible with you in this way.
posted by Stacey at 9:27 AM on November 25, 2021 [5 favorites]

I think your attitude around this is pretty problematic. She doesnt owe you sex because you've been patient, or supportive. And if you've been bringing up your desires around sex the way you have in this Ask, no wonder she doesnt want to. You sound demanding, entitled, and petulant, and none of those are sexy. What have you done for her that *she* likes? Have you asked in an open, curious way at some point not immediately following bringing up your desires?

I think you need to drop your attitude, try to find out what's going on for her in a sincere and non-self serving way, and go from there. Or, if you truly feel like a 'fool' because you're going at a slower pace, break this off and find someone else.

Honestly, if I was dating someone with your take on sex I would break it off myself, so maybe have some gratitude that she's handling this with some grace and patience.
posted by ananci at 9:33 AM on November 25, 2021 [31 favorites]

You should not even be thinking about expecting her to have sex with you when she's not enjoying it.

I disagree. You need to be thinking hard about that. You need to examine your assumptions and work out exactly what it is that you think distinguishes sex where the desire for it is all on your side from masturbation.

To my way of thinking, the only difference is that in one case you're exploiting another human being's willingness to give you what you want and/or fear of not giving it, and in the other you're not. Personally, if those were my only options I'd take the wank every time.

I don't want to be played a fool.

Then, to be perfectly blunt: you're over 50 and it's well past time you grew up and stopped thinking like one.
posted by flabdablet at 9:49 AM on November 25, 2021 [35 favorites]

To put it bluntly, even if her pussy isn't getting wet, wouldn't she still be able to give a blow job or something?

I wouldn’t have slept with someone with this attitude when I was in my 20s and had a libido like a Sterno can.

If your sexual pleasure is not mutually about both your sexual pleasure, can it.
posted by clew at 9:51 AM on November 25, 2021 [34 favorites]

I’d also suggest that “I really care for this person” and “I wish she would at least do sexual favors for me even if she doesn’t actually want to” is paradoxical to say the least

"Paradoxical" is far too kind. What that is, is straight-up self-defeating entitled horseshit.
posted by flabdablet at 9:53 AM on November 25, 2021 [16 favorites]

To put it bluntly, even if her pussy isn't getting wet, wouldn't she still be able to give a blow job or something?

I was with you up until this sentence.

Don't know what her deal is but yours is indifference to her pleasure.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 10:14 AM on November 25, 2021 [37 favorites]

You expressed your situation clearly: how it's working for you. But, unfortunately, I see not much about how it's working for her. Your flagship is insecurity, but it's a little more complicated than that. It's not her job to satisfy your sexual needs. Maybe your job is to get to know her better. Achieving synchronized libidos is a process, and pity blowjobs are not the most helpful aspiration when working on a loving relationship.

In any case, your needs are not unimportant, and it seems to me that you've laid them out for her to see. She has given you her response. It would be best if you respected it.
posted by mule98J at 10:30 AM on November 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

I'm going to politely say that it's reasonable to ask if she ever wants to have sex after 4 months of dating and cuddling. Like, just flat out ask if you haven't before (not sure if you've totally spit it out from this). However, I do suspect she may be asexual or at least not into the idea, and you may have to mentally reconfigure your idea of the relationship (i.e. be just friends) and/or break up if this is the case. Better to know now rather than wait around for her to want something she'll never want. If you want a girlfriend who wants to get laid, this is probably not the one for you and given how monogamous relationships go, having a different opinion on this is an issue.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:39 AM on November 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

Have you tried asking her how she feels about fucking you, rather than just asking her to fuck you?
posted by sm1tten at 11:02 AM on November 25, 2021 [11 favorites]

"Even if she isn't into it, surely she should be willing to stick my smelly hairy dick in her mouth and suck it until it ejects some bitterish goo?"

This is a really weird attitude for someone in their 50s to have (as is the fear of being an "emotional support boyfriend," as if...emotional support isn't a huge part of most good relationships?). You're entitled to consider sex an indispensable part of your intimate relationships, to have respectful conversations with your partners about your needs, and to break up if you're not getting what you need. You're not entitled (sans prior negotiations of a pretty specific nature) to be indifferent to your partner's enthusiastic consent to sex. Her comfort and pleasure should always be a top concern for you during sex. Sex isn't a chore she should know she owes you.
posted by praemunire at 11:14 AM on November 25, 2021 [24 favorites]

I think you’re learning that you are mismatched to this woman about something important to you. If she desired you sexually, you’d know it. If that’s important to you in a romantic relationship then this is not the one for you. Sorry.

That paragraph above from Sublimity nails it exactly. I've dated a number of women in my late 40s and early 50s and found to my surprise that they were far more interested in sex early in the relationship than back when we were young. It's not an age thing, it's an incompatibility thing. Keep looking and take in the other messages on this thread about entitlement.
posted by tillsbury at 11:15 AM on November 25, 2021

Response by poster: Apparently some of you misunderstood my statement about oral sex. Allow me clarify. What I meant was, even if a person isn't horny per se, isn't it still fun to do other things? Can't there be fun things to do in the bedroom that don't culminate in mutual orgasm?
posted by ambulocetus at 11:17 AM on November 25, 2021

posted by probably not that Karen Blair at 11:28 AM on November 25, 2021 [23 favorites]

Can't there be fun things to do in the bedroom that don't culminate in mutual orgasm?

Of course there can. Point is, everybody in that bedroom has to be into it. If that's not what's happening then it's not sex, it's chores.
posted by flabdablet at 11:29 AM on November 25, 2021 [41 favorites]

I said it before, I’ll say it again: if she wanted to get sexy with you, she’d already be getting sexy with you. In any capacity, PIV or no.
posted by Sublimity at 11:30 AM on November 25, 2021 [7 favorites]

Hit post too soon. Sex without libido is gross. Cuddling, but you don’t want that.
posted by probably not that Karen Blair at 11:31 AM on November 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

Sex without libido is gross

I'd argue that it's not even sex, merely something that might superficially be mistaken for sex by somebody watching the filmed version, and even then it would need some pretty competent editing.
posted by flabdablet at 11:33 AM on November 25, 2021 [5 favorites]

There's a wide range of sexual activities that could be fun outside of intercourse, but having said that, it doesn't seem like she wants to have sex. This calls for a direct conversation where you make clear what you want and ask her if she's open to having a sexual relationship or not - and if she is, what activities might be desirable for her. Let her answer honestly and then make the hard choice about what you want: are you open to a loving but non sexual relationship? If not, it's important that you also are honest about that and then decide what to do next.

Sounds hard.
posted by latkes at 11:36 AM on November 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

Maybe I'm a bit old-fashioned/out of it, but is four months really a "long time" to wait for sex in a new relationship? It feels like this is one of those unrealistic expectations arising out of media when some real people actually do take more time before they become sexually intimate. I'm in this demographic and it doesn't seem unrealistic to me that your partner may prefer to take things slowly and it could have nothing to do with her libido levels but instead with how long it takes her to feel comfortable becoming that intimate. This is doubly true if, as it seems from your question, you have not had open and respectful discussions about your mutual needs. You also mention that she has been under a lot of stress, and a person experiencing stress may have no interest in sex and her asking you if that is all you think about indicates to me that whether that is true or not, that is her perception.

There is a lot of good advice upthread about taking some time to look inside yourself and realign your thinking to be more respectful of BOTH your needs. Please take it.
posted by Preserver at 12:01 PM on November 25, 2021 [19 favorites]

even if a person isn't horny per se, isn't it still fun to do other things?
Sure, it's fun to do "other things" (also depends on what you mean by "other things"), but even if "other things" are not defined, if it's not fun for one person, then it's not fun.

Can't there be fun things to do in the bedroom that don't culminate in mutual orgasm?
Again sure, but if "fun things" in this case means a blowjob for you (and maybe given unenthusiastically) that results in your orgasm only, then that’s not fun for her. And why should something be fun for only you at her expense. Not saying that this is what will happen, just speaking hypothetically.

Like others, your post made me uncomfortable too. There IS a lot of entitlement here and you’re basically saying, she SHOULD want to do sexual activities with you because it’s an exciting new relationship, she should push away the stress, push away the potential lack of hormones and just do it anyway. You’re also saying, that by her making you wait, that relegates you to “emotional support boyfriend – so she’s just using you for emotional support, and that you’re being played for a fool if she doesn’t put out.

You need way better communication because if your entitlement is coming out in your post, it’s coming out in talking to her, and that’s likely why she’s defensive. As another comment suggested, ask her, “I want to have sex with you. How do you feel about that? Is that ok with you?” And be honest. Tell her that sex is important to you and why. Be sure to tell her that her pleasure is important to you too. Ask her to be honest with you. That if sex isn’t important to her, then it’s best that you part ways. No harm no foul, people are incompatible; it happens. Or, maybe she needs something to help her feel comfortable having sex with you. Ask her, and then do your damndest to give her that. Definitely apologize for making her feel pressured to put out.

I’ll be blunt as well: since you care about her, put her safety, comfort and pleasure first. Stop making it about your dick. And yes, you are being selfish.
posted by foxjacket at 12:30 PM on November 25, 2021 [14 favorites]

What I meant was, even if a person isn't horny per se, isn't it still fun to do other things?

People are reading your statement the way they are because there is literally nothing in your question that shows care for what she wants and why. You didn't ask if it would be fun for her to give you a blow job or if it would be pleasurable for her to give you a blow job, or what you you can do for her that doesn't give you an orgasm, but that that should "be able" to give you a blow job. Like, yes, she can probably "make an effort" and crank her jaw open so you can stick your dick in it but that sounds awful. If you can't see that it sounds awful because it ends in an orgasm for you, then she might be picking up on that.
posted by Mavri at 12:52 PM on November 25, 2021 [23 favorites]

I'd love to be more physically intimate with you than we have been so far and there are a lot of different things I'd enjoy - are there things we can do together besides penetrative sex that you'd feel good about? is a completely different beast than even if you don't want to fuck, can't you just blow me, so I feel appropriately repaid for my emotional effort spent on you?

I'll take you at your word that you meant the former but expressed yourself poorly. But perhaps the reception you got here is an indicator of what your girlfriend might be hearing when you express yourself, whether or not it's what you mean, and therefore why she might be reacting defensively. Assuming that's the case, taking a huge step back and approaching the whole topic more slowly and sensitively is still your next move, unless you want to just say "this is more negotiation than I want in a brand-new relationship, let's break up and look for people we're each more compatible with."
posted by Stacey at 1:33 PM on November 25, 2021 [12 favorites]

You have 50 years’ worth of experience as a human being relating to other human beings; sex is important to you in relationships. Why are you saying, “I love you” to this woman?

There are a couple of potential scenarios I can imagine here.

1: You have actually fallen in love with her, despite the fact that, even four months in, you still have not openly, honestly discussed your mutual needs and preferences around sex.

2: You said it because she did, or because you felt expected to, or because you think it’s just something people say in relationships.

3: You said it because you think that this is a way to get a person to have sex with you.

None of these potential scenarios is a healthy or mature approach to relationship. I strongly recommend that you break up with this person and talk to a therapist about why you would be willing to fall in love or use the rhetoric of love with someone without establishing baseline sexual compatibility.
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 5:05 PM on November 25, 2021 [6 favorites]

What I meant was, even if a person isn't horny per se, isn't it still fun to do other things?

Sure, sometimes. I've been in a monogamous relationship for... a long time and there are times where I'm not feeling super horny where we might do... other things. But I think the two of us understand the occasional ebb/flow of libido and yeah I'm at about that age where menopause is a thing and it's not nothing but it's not a huge deal either. But we make it work and most importantly, we are a team, we are monogamous, and we talk these things through.

You're describing a situation where, charitably interpreted, the woman you are dating is giving you passionate kisses but also kind of shuts you down when you talk about taking the relationship further. There could be a lot of reasons for this but I agree with some of the above people, it really seems like you're on different wavelengths about this stuff. I know for me and my partner, we definitely slept together after one of our first dates. I've also in the past dated men in the "Passionate kisses and no other uptake" category and I decided to stop with the passionate kissing because it wasn't meeting my needs. It's okay for you not to like this just because it's not what you want. It's also okay for her to be responding the way she is because maybe that's what she wants. No one's wrong here but it does sound like you have a mismatch. I'll leave it to other people to discuss the tone of the way you're describing this because it does sound like it might be part of the problem.
posted by jessamyn at 7:00 PM on November 25, 2021 [7 favorites]

are the hormones really that important


if hormones aren't important why don't you just turn yours off, shut up about sex, and stop wanting to have sex? but your own hormones are so important to you that this hasn't even occurred to you as an option.

what you mean is, is what she wants as important as what you want.

the answer is yes.

posted by queenofbithynia at 7:06 PM on November 25, 2021 [56 favorites]

Like why should she want to have sex with you? Are you approaching her with any kind of sensuality? Are you trying to help her relax? Are you exploring her gently? All you talk about is how much you want it. Your insistence and pressure and self-centeredness on your own pleasure radiates through your question at every level. No doubt this is radiating through your relationship with her as well. "Sex" with you would probably be a profoundly lonely and degrading experience for her, so no wonder she's avoiding it.
posted by PercussivePaul at 8:12 PM on November 25, 2021 [9 favorites]

"To put it bluntly, even if her pussy isn't getting wet, wouldn't she still be able to give a blow job or something?"

Have you ever thought about trying to please her orally? Give HER the blow job? This statement reeks of someone who has never even considered how to lovingly coax a partner into waves of sexual excitement that could (but should never have to) lead to something more than just oral sex. Perhaps even of someone who finds cunnilingus on a woman to be disgusting, even though he wants it for himself? It may not be, but that's not the point. The point is, if you want it, YOU might have to work for it. Why should it be her that just gives you oral? If you want that, can you not start by offering what you want --- TO HER? Has she refused this type of thing? Have you shown willingness to attend to her needs and desires?

Here's a guide if you need it.

Sex starts in the brain - especially for a woman stressed, as well. Show her that you're willing to assist her so that she can feel like she has enough time to relax a little and let go of those stresses first. Offer to do some little chores that might be in the back of her mind all day that she doesn't want to pile up and just make tomorrow even more overwhelming. (Stuff like daily household chores, or fixing something that broke but she hasn't been able to get around to it or pay a professional... or perhaps something even more substantial if you are up to that - like offering to drive a frail parent to an appointment? - but it seems to me that you haven't reached that level of trust yet. Start small to see what she is willing to relinquish from her responsibilities - because she's going to need to know that whatever she relinquishes will be well taken care of so that she doesn't have to double check.) If she's stressed, she needs to see that you are helping her - not adding to her workload.

And then! You may find when you are just as tired as she is, she feels quite willing to relax and share more physical intimacy with a true PARTNER who cares about her as a whole person first - sex goddess second.
posted by itsflyable at 10:03 PM on November 25, 2021 [4 favorites]

I personally think you should break up with this poor woman and work on yourself, including yes, your selfishness and entitlement and gross disregard for your partner's pleasure and your expectation that your partner do sexual things that they don't want to do just because you're whiny and you want it. Also, this kind of attitude in a man is honestly one of the least sexy things that exists and I personally as a woman would never want to have sex with a man who thought and acted like this because it is just so immature and toxic. Go read some books and see a therapist and excise these awful beliefs out of your brain and relearn how to be a dude in relationships and then try again later.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 11:51 PM on November 25, 2021 [13 favorites]

.What I meant was, even if a person isn't horny per se, isn't it still fun to do other things?

I mean, no, not if they are sex things. If I am not horny and do not want sex, I don't want *any sex*. No oral. No handjobs. Those are all sex, which I do not want! When I don't want sex, I don't want to *be sexual*. Which is not to say I've never given a blowjob instead of sex, but that's more of a "my brain is up for sex but my body isn't so much, let's do something less demanding."

With the menopause talk, maybe what you actually meant was "If we can't have penetrative sex due a medical issue, aren't there other things we can do that are still fun for both of us?". Which, yes. But that sentence is such a long way from "even if her pussy isn't getting wet, wouldn't she still be able to give a blow job or something?" I hope you can see that, and that the way you talk about sex may be why she doesn't want to talk about it with you. I mean, she should, but I suspect you're really not coming off well. I don't think you two are suited for each other either way.

Don't other women in a new relationship at least make an effort even if they don't have the same sexual drive like they once did, or am I being selfish

Ha. No, they don't, or they shouldn't. I have sex when I want to and I feel safe, that's it, which in the past has taken months. All women should feel safe to do that, actually, they should never feel obliged to "make an effort" by having sex they don't really want. You should think seriously about what you're asking for there, because it's gross.
posted by stillnocturnal at 12:32 AM on November 26, 2021 [33 favorites]

I find it both priceless and telling that your response to these messages was effectively: “sorry everyone misunderstood my blunt language, which I originally used to express what I really feel. Let me soften this. More politely what I meant was, even she’s not actually turned on and not in the mood, wouldn’t it be really fun for my girlfriend to perform sexual favors on me that result in no orgasm for her?”
posted by cultureclash82 at 12:43 AM on November 26, 2021 [28 favorites]

Don't other women in a new relationship at least make an effort even if they don't have the same sexual drive like they once did

"At least make an effort." See how that's regarding sex like something she more or less owes you?
posted by slidell at 8:00 AM on November 26, 2021 [13 favorites]

Right, so you're comfortable with someone forcing themselves to do sexual things even when they're 'not horny' - ie they don't want to?

You do realise that's not only gross, to expect someone to do that, but also why would you want them to? Does it feel okay to you to have sex with someone who doesn't want it? You know that's rape right, to force yourself on someone? You're basically expecting someone to do that to themselves out of some sense of obligation.

Do you really want someone to touch you out of politeness? Surely that's kind of tragic, if you don't agree it's a violation?

You're really making me feel uncomfortable here.
posted by starstarstar at 9:44 AM on November 26, 2021 [14 favorites]

What I meant was, even if a person isn't horny per se, isn't it still fun to do other things? Can't there be fun things to do in the bedroom that don't culminate in mutual orgasm?

"Wanting an orgasm" and "having a sex drive" are two different things. They may be linked for you, but they aren't for everyone.

If I'm not in the mood for an orgasm but I do have a libido? Yeah, sometimes doing something that gets my partner off is really fun. I do that a lot, actually.

When I've been in hormonal situations that totally kill my libido? Nope, doing sexy stuff is deeply un-fun, whether I want to do it or not, in the "eating with no appetite" way. You know how you can have a delicious-looking meal in front of you, and really want to enjoy it, but if you're nauseous and unappetized it isn't going to happen? I can, uh, have a really delicious-looking cock in front of me, and really want to enjoy it, and my body can just say "sorry, no, not even a blow job, this isn't going to happen." I've learned from experience that pushing myself to do just give the blow job in that situation leaves me feeling terrible — not just bored or neutral but really upset — so I don't do it.

It's okay that you didn't know this. A lot of cis men don't have much first-hand experience with the kind of hormonal variation that can cause physically low libido, and when you've been in one hormone situation your whole life, it's hard to really picture how different other people's experience can be. But so ok, here's your opportunity to learn it.
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:23 PM on November 26, 2021 [8 favorites]

One thing that I haven't seen addressed here is that if your partner has had any sort of bad sexual experiences or any sort of trauma at all, or even if she just feels as if she's weird for not being more sexual, pressuring her for more or to talk about it or to set a timeline will have the opposite effect if what you want.

Do you care about her as a person? Not just spending time together, or having sex together? Are you willing to live with the status quo, maybe forever, or say, "You know, I've really been pressuring you about this, but I really want to understand where you're coming from?" and accept that she might not want to tell you right now? Or ever? And if she just doesn't like sex or whatever, are you willing to listen, really listen, and come up with a workable situation for you both?

It doesn't sound like it from your post, honestly.
posted by dancing_angel at 4:13 PM on November 26, 2021 [4 favorites]

If I am not horny and do not want sex, I don't want *any sex*. No oral. No handjobs. Those are all sex, which I do not want! When I don't want sex, I don't want to *be sexual*.

I know you've gotten enough responses to get the general point across, but stillnocturnal's response made me think of times I've been with someone and done "other things" when I wasn't in the mood for PIV, and eventually still got urged by him to progress to PIV... "are you sure you don't want to?"... and I'd say, ask yourself if you might be trying at that too? And whether your girlfriend suspects that might be what would happen?
posted by Recliner of Rage at 11:12 AM on November 27, 2021 [3 favorites]

Without intimacy you lose the social contract in the relationship. The relationship will die in reasonably short order. Move on.
posted by ptm at 3:28 PM on November 28, 2021

I suggest that after the age of 50 both parties should be experienced and no-bullshit enough to be able to have a straight up and honest conversation about what is, after all, a critically important part of many relationships (as is the case for you). Four months is certainly long enough for both parties to be comfortable with sharing their bits. If she isn't, and it's what you want, then yeah you both need to move along.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:38 PM on November 29, 2021

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