Do my boyfriend and I have a chance at long-term happiness if we lack a hot "spark" when it comes to our sexual attraction for each other?
April 20, 2006 1:24 PM   Subscribe

Do my boyfriend and I have a chance at long-term happiness if we lack a hot "spark" when it comes to our sexual attraction for each other?

Sorry this is long...but I want to provide all info! I appreciate everyone's opinion on this!

HISTORY: BF and I met the end of 2004. It was love at first sight. We connected VERY well and almost immediately became best friends & started dating complete with a physical relationship. Although the sex has always been good, both of us admit, it's not as lustful or "hot" as it's been for each of us with previous partners. After a few months of dating, b/c of the sex issue, we decided we may be destined to be best friends. We stopped the sex and agreed to date other people, although we still spent several evenings a week together hanging at his place, going out to clubs, out to dinner and movies. We even spent many nights together just cuddling (no sex). During this time (about 4 months) we set each other up with other people too, although none panned out for either of us. Bottom line, I started dating a guy and a couple of weeks into it, BF/now friend came back from a business trip, invited me to dinner and proceeded to actually cry and plead for me to date him and him alone. He said he couldn't stand the thought of me with another man and he thought we were meant to be together. After 3 hours of conversation, and b/c I TRULY believed (and still believe) we ARE meant to be together, I agreed and broke it off with the other guy. This was in July of 2005. We now live together as of January 2006, but are still plagued with the sexual attraction issue.

Finally, I have NO ISSUE at all with the fact that our sexual relationship is about 85% and not 100%, but I'm a girl and I think guys are different. We are inseparable and mentally and emotionally completely in sync. I love him more than anyone in the world and BF says he feels the same. HOWEVER, the sex issue seems to have become more of an issue for BF in the last few months. During a discussion, he actually said he needed to figure out if he could "compromise our sexual attraction issue for all the things we DO have". I am about 30 pounds overweight and in the last 3 years have already lost over 50 pounds. I gained weight in college and finally am losing it the right way. Although I still have about 25-30 pounds to lose, I carry it well (5'9" - size 10-12) and am totally active physically, even ran a marathon last year. I am still losing weight (down about 10 lbs since January) and expect to be at goal by fall of this year. Although BF doesn't say that my weight has anything to do with the attraction issue, i think he does. ALSO, every other girlfriend he's had were seriously model-types: very thin and gorgeous. Just to clarify, when we DO have sex, BF doesn't have trouble keeping an erection or anything and he says he IS attracted to me. He says he's mainly concerned with long-term satisfaction because the sex isn't "hot". Both of us KNOW that SEX is a HUGE part of a relationship, no matter how perfect everything else may be. Also, in open and frank discussions, we have both said we can't imagine being happier with another person. So, the final factor of this issue is my insecurity with my current body. BF says he thinks that is the majority of our issue. He wants to be able to "tear our clothes off and be 'free' with each other". I admit I haven't been able to do that because I am not comfortable with my stomach and butt. So, i refuse to ever be naked with him. I always wear a shorty nightie or something. So, does anyone think that if I lose weight and feel more free and able to throw my clothes off; will that make a difference in his sexual attraction for me? Is it really as simple as that? I hope so. Just need a consensus of what other people think? Some say if you don't have "it" you never will. But a guy-friend told me that if we're having an issue with sex and are STILL completely committed to our relationship, we DO have a fighting chance. We ahve everything else, sleeping like pretzels every night, mutual friends we hang out with and we are healthy in that we spend time apart as well. We even talk abotu marriage and children int he future, but there's always the nagging feeling for both of us that maybe that won't happen.

Again, sorry so long!!! I appreciate your comments!!!
posted by VegasAnna to Human Relations (63 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
So, i refuse to ever be naked with him.

Erm...

You'll definitely need to both be okay with being naked in order to have a chance.
posted by odinsdream at 1:33 PM on April 20, 2006


I used to be able to be naked when I was thinner, so I'm sure I'll be able to once again. But will that REALLY change the sexual attraction issue? It just seems too easy... but are guys really THAT affected by that? hmmmm
posted by VegasAnna at 1:37 PM on April 20, 2006


My sex life got a million times better when I finally believed my partner's claims that my body imperfections didn't matter.

I guess getting a perfect body is another way to go, but that seems a hell of lot harder. That being said, you might find yourself feeling a lot better after even a little improvement.

My vote is that you start hitting the gym religiously, preferably with a workout partner. Even if it doesn't help, the exercise will be good for ya.

Sorry so short.
posted by I Love Tacos at 1:37 PM on April 20, 2006


On post, yes, the issue of partner comfort is huge.

With a girl who is totally at ease with nakedness and her sexuality, there's all sorts of possibilities.

But with a girl who doesn't want you to see anything... or who expresses nervousness... it's a big spoiler. Men are very visual creatures.
posted by I Love Tacos at 1:41 PM on April 20, 2006


While I don't have statistics for this, I would say a great, great many successfully long-term/married couples do not operate even at 85% sexual potential. They may have been at more than 85% at some point in their relationship... but it's awfully hard to make that last.

You don't say how old you and your boyfriend are, but the younger you guys are, the more likely, I think, that the boyfriend might be hesitant to do without the "100%" sex. He may not see the marriage and children thing as something to come soon, and thus still be more focused on having sex that's as hot as possible. (Not that husbands/fathers don't want hot sex, but there is a realignment of priorities.)

I don't think operating at 85% means you're doomed. At 60%, yeah, probably.

About the inability to be naked around him--he may see this as a general insecurity/low-self-esteem thing. And insecurity/low-self-esteem is always much more of a turn-off than a little extra weight. It really is. I know you may not be able to do anything about it. But it may be symptomatic of something bigger that's the real threat to your relationship. Keep working out--it's good for you, and of course it's nice to have a nice body. But work on your self esteem too. I would venture to say that that's the way to improve your sex life the most.
posted by fugitivefromchaingang at 1:41 PM on April 20, 2006


Have you tried being naked in complete darkness with eachother? This will allow you to not worry as much about your personal appearance, and can be fun in and of itself.
posted by odinsdream at 1:42 PM on April 20, 2006


I think confidence plays a large part in sexual attraction and therefore in sexual pleasure. If you think that losing weight will make you feel more confident, then that will probably help his attraction to you and make you feel more free with him.

I guess it can't hurt to try the weight-loss route, but I wouldn't bank it all on that either. Have you talked to him about your self-image and your concerns that it's affecting your sex drive? If he liked you enough to come back to you after you broke up, he really likes you. It sounds like he's attracted to you, but the problem is that you're having trouble believing it. Believe it! :)
posted by srah at 1:45 PM on April 20, 2006


Are you sure that it's his issue with your weight that might cause the lack of a spark? It sounds like he's really into you, and I know from personal experience that being self-conscious about your body can make you a little more (or a lot more) inhibited in bed, which can affect things for both of you.

I can't imagine that if he wasn't totally into you that he would be crying and begging for exclusivity. I also tend to believe that most normal guys (not frat-boy "no fat chix" types) don't have as many issues with a few extra pounds as the media might portray.

Also, sex is important, but during the course of a long term relationship, I think it has its highs and lows. I've been with my fiance for over six years. We have had periods where everything was hot and intense, and then things sort of cooled into a routine best-friend kind of feeling (especially right after we moved in together). I was afraid that would be it, but we have definitely gone back up into a "hot" stage and down into a "cool" stage and back again a few times. It depends on what else is going on in your lives. When you're both busy, or things are rough in your lives, sex might not be as important as it is other times.

Well, I hope some of that helped. I feel like I'm rambling, so I'll shut up now.
posted by tastybrains at 1:45 PM on April 20, 2006


In any long term relation the sexual intensity is going to decline over time, in what I would consider healthy relationships this is replaced in part by satisfaction and stability throughout the other areas of the relationship. Differing sex drives can be a major issue, sometimes this can be compensated for through masturbation, sometimes not. It is rather cliche' to say "go see a therapist", but it might be appropriate to see a couples therapist if this issue remains a long term issue.
I don't know what other people think, but his long term expectations may be a bit out of line if he thinks consistent "hot" sex is a prerequisite for long term relation stability. Sounds like you may have some body image issues, but are taking steps to correct that.

Of course you have a chance at long term happiness, but something may have to change, which is not an easy thing to do.
posted by edgeways at 1:49 PM on April 20, 2006


I was totally lost throughout the entirety of your long post as to what the real problem was, because you came up with a defense for why each thing wasn't a problem.

Then you said you refuse to be naked with him.

This is your problem.

Your boyfriend begged and pleaded for you to date him and only him. Get naked with him. He's not asking for a more free and enjoyable sex life and simultaneously not wanting to see you naked.

With everything else being so great - you're in good shape. This is an easy one to fix. Get naked, and keep on getting in better shape not only for your sex life but for your own health. You're on the right track.
posted by twiggy at 1:50 PM on April 20, 2006


He says he's mainly concerned with long-term satisfaction because the sex isn't "hot".

First, there is a natural ebb and flow of sexual attraction in any relationship. Sex won't white hot all the time, especially when you're older and have kids. Is he the kind of person who can deal with this?

Secondly, chances are that all of us will get older and fatter and more wrinkled. I know that you're trying to lose weight right now, but do you trust your boyfriend to be attracted to you later? Or is it that he is responding to your attitude about your own body? Is is you who is pushing for perfection or is it him?

A size 10-12 is pretty normal and you are causing yourself needless anguish by comparing yourself negatively to ex-girlfriends. If your boyfriend is not supportive of how you look now, then you deserve better. Your own attitude about your looks is another matter, possibly one for a professional.

During a discussion, he actually said he needed to figure out if he could "compromise our sexual attraction issue for all the things we DO have"

You seem to that hot sex is a big priority for the both of you. You broke up at one point because it seemed more important than your relationship. However, even after pleading to get back together your boyfriend sounds like he is hedging.

You both sound pretty young, so hash it out: hot sex vs. perfect companionship. Which do both of you want more?
posted by Alison at 1:53 PM on April 20, 2006


do you have to decide now? if you like being with him, stay with him. if in the future you want to stay together stay together if you want to leave then leave.

I would suggest, though, that you see the lack of physical attraction as an obstacle to overcome.

If you want to stay with him get over your fear of nakedness. He wants to see you naked. now. not in the future when you've lost weight but right now, tonight. Id find it hard to enjoy sex with a woman who didnt take off her clothes.

id also suggest that it is NOT different for women than for men. women need to be sexually satisfied just as much if not more than men..

heres the good news. as a woman you can learn to have extremely powerful, full body orgasms. check out www.ideagasms.com.

it sounds like you guys are great potential partners, its just that fear and insecurity are keeping you from enjoying each others bodies the way you should. This is your challenge Enjoy It! some peoples major challenge is finding enough to eat -- yours is learning how to have mind blowing, screaming, full body multiple orgasms!!!
posted by tranceformer at 1:56 PM on April 20, 2006


If the question really is Do my boyfriend and I have a chance at long-term happiness if we lack a hot "spark" when it comes to our sexual attraction for each other? then I can safely say "Yes, indeed".

In mainstream American culture there is certainly an idea that sex is a vital roll in a relationship, and that without hot, hot sex a couple is doomed. There are plenty of other viewpoints out there, and I think it's a mistake to assume that pornstarr sex is such a necessary part of the relationship for you and your partner.

Maybe you can't live without it, and you'd rather be with somone that you didn't quite click with so long as they were great in the sack, but maybe you've been had by Madison Ave. Alternatively, maybe you both really, really like having sex--but is 85% compared to 100% really enough to break up with what sounds like a great guy?

This answer (don't focus too much on sex) would be way out of line if the question has been "How can I have better sex?" But since the question was "Can our relationship still work?" I think it's fair.

If nothing else, make damn sure that you don't fall into the trap of living out of fear for what the other person will think--I don't want to read an askme from your partner saying "I think my girlfriend's going to break up with me because our sex life isn't hot enough", know what I mean?
posted by Squid Voltaire at 1:57 PM on April 20, 2006


We're actually both pretty mature. He's 30 and I'm 32, both college-educated, stable jobs/lives. Both with parents with sever medical problems that we deal with almost daily. Thanks for the comments so far everyone! I DEFINITELY have a self-esteem issue but it is much better in the last few years... and getting better all the time.
posted by VegasAnna at 2:01 PM on April 20, 2006


For this to be an amazing relationship, you need to trust each other enough to be naked (physically and emotionally) with each other.

Good sex is not about a perfect body. It's about willingness to try and experiment, to be spontaneous, to be inventive. It must be difficult to achieve this with your clothes on.

Try this. Tie your boyfriend to the bed with silk scarves, then strip for him and masturbate. I suspect his reaction will do a lot to make you not care about your body shape.

The 85-100% stuff, I wouldn't worry about. I married a man less sexually attractive to me than my previous lovers, and with a lower drive, and we have a strong bond, a deep friendship and unconditional love for each other - 16 years on.
posted by b33j at 2:01 PM on April 20, 2006


You don't have to be worried about your body!

There's a simple way to tell if your body turns on your guy. Does he get an erection? If so then he's turned on.

The 'model chick' thing is mainly about impressing other guys, not getting turned on. Don't feel uncomfortable being naked around this guy. He obviously loves you even though the sex isn't hot.

I could be with a girl who was 30 pounds over weight, but it would drive me nuts if she didn't want to get naked around me or 'be intimate'.

By all means keep losing weight though. You'll feel better about everything, but chances are you'll never be totally happy with your body. Just relax and let it all hang out. :P
posted by delmoi at 2:10 PM on April 20, 2006


also this woman offers teaching in similar sorts of full body orgasm techniques.

Also I dont know where you live, but if you can find a good reichian therapist (bioenergetics) that would probably help you.

But id email stephane over at ideagasms and see what he had to say about it.

The point is - sex is a skillset -- if you love each other for real you can figure it out.

Note i am NOT affiliated with any of these people.
posted by tranceformer at 2:11 PM on April 20, 2006


First, sex is not the most important thing in a relationship. Is it more important than money, religion, child raising, etc.? No, of course not.

Second, as others have said, expecting sexual attraction to be maximized at all times is unrealistic. Expecting to be 100% attracted to each other is just setting yourselves up for failure and disappointment.

Third, you have a mess of issues that are interconnected: you don't like your body right now, you are convinced that he doesn't like your body, you are comparing yourself to his past girlfriends. Any of these individually are bad enough all three together seem to be combining to dampen your enthusiasm for sex. Your enthusiasm for sex directly impacts his enthusiasm (and vice versa, of course). The less enthusiastic he is the more likely you are to beat yourself up with any or all three of your insecurities. See the nasty circle there? Perhaps losing the weight will make you feel better about yourself and thus feel more enthusiastic for sex and thus make him more enthusiastic too. Perhaps you might just listen to him and try to accept the fact that he's hot for you despite your belief that he can't really mean it. Perhaps, you'll stop comparing yourself to the other girls because, after all, he clearly would rather be with you than them.

But all of this is just armchair psychology, it seems that you would really benefit from seeing a counselor that specializes in body image issues. His (or her) could really help you work through your problems.


And remember a woman who is confident in her own sexuality is the most powerful aphrodisiac available.
posted by oddman at 2:17 PM on April 20, 2006


Have you ever tried being naked or seminaked in front of other people without it being about sex? if so, how did it feel? if not, would you find it horribly embarassing or would you feel more comfortable if the sex factor was not at play?

(And no I don't mean something crazy like running around drunk in the street after taking your clothes off! I mean something like going to the beach, or a sauna, something like that. A context where you expose your body but is not about having sex and where there's lots of people around also naked or semi-naked with all body sizes and shapes.)

I wonder if perhaps your considerations on weight aren't a rationalisation of the "not too hot sex" problem, maybe you're holding on to that as a reason that seems obvious to you, but it could be more about something else - like, I don't know, maybe the friendship element is stronger so you tend to see yourselves as friends more than sexual partners? That could be inhibiting. (Not that being friends itself is inhibiting, just that in this case it could be sort of 'taking over'!)

Anyway, this may sound cliched, but you should feel comfortable with your body for yourself first of all. Sure, if you feel losing a bit of weight might help in that respect then go for it, but don't put too much emphasis on that, there's plenty of people who are a bit chubby and are confident and comfortable with themselves, conversely, plenty of skinny people who aren't. Also, 20-30 pounds isn't that much really, and you say you are active, so it seems you already have some good degree of confidence with your body.

So I would try and see, apart from that, what in your relationship, from your point of view, feels like an obstacle to that kind of spontaneous sexual intimacy you both want. What are the thoughts that run through your head before you have sex? How exactly is the sexual feeling with this boyfriend different from sex with previous partners? How much are you attracted to him, and in which ways does that attraction differ from other attractions you experienced before, etc.?

Try and isolate other factors rather concentrating all on your appearance and weight.
posted by funambulist at 2:18 PM on April 20, 2006


It just seems too easy... but are guys really THAT affected by that?

I don't think it's nakedness per se -- it probably indicates to him in some (perhaps not quite conscious way) that you are not comfortable with him, or don't trust him, or don't feel confident about the sex, or feel inhibited with him, or something like that. It's hard to know exactly what he is thinking it indicates because it might not be very specific, and he may not have thought it through, but it seems very likely that he is getting some message from it. That is, the nakedness issue seems indicative of some deeper issue, either just perceived by him, or real.

By the way, the sex might not be "hot" _because_ one or both of you feels quite inhibited around the other.
posted by advil at 2:19 PM on April 20, 2006


Okay to clarify a little...I AM completely enthusiastic about sex. In fact, I have a man's sex drive (I'd like sex every day if it were possible). BF is the one that says he's "not in the mood" and then later admits (several times this has happened) that at that moment when I wanted it, he just didn't want to make the effort because he wasn't "feeling" attracted to me at that time. Also, we USED to watch porn sometimes during because it was fun. NOW he turns on porn about 90% of the time. I like it so haven't said anything, but lately wonder if he's doing it to keep an erection? I just haven't wanted to ask him because I may REALLY not like his answer.
posted by VegasAnna at 2:23 PM on April 20, 2006


I don't think this has anything to do with "guys being different." I'm a woman, and I can't in any way imagine having mind-blowing sex with someone who never let me see him naked. That's just... weird.

Not that *you* are weird, but that's a rather major sexual hangup, and if your sex life is turning into a huge relationship hangup, then... your lack of comfort with your body is a huge relationship problem.

As others have said, it's not about how much you weigh or how "perfect" your body is. You want a better relationship now, not two years from now, right? And you're never going to have a perfect body -- there's always more weight to lose, more toning to do, more flexibility to gain. So stop waiting for your sex life to be fulfilling until you've reached some external goal -- you're you now, you're beautiful now, he loves you now, he wants you now, stop overthinking it NOW.

Really. He's not critiquing your belly or your thighs while you're having sex. So stop doing that to yourself.
posted by occhiblu at 2:26 PM on April 20, 2006


Minor quibble: Wanting sex every day is not a "man's" sex drive. Plenty of women have high sex drives.

Larger question: Does he ever initiate sex?

Minor rant: You run marathons! You're strong! Your muscles have amazing endurance! How wonderful that your body can do that! And how wonderful that it can have orgasms, and give him orgasms! *That* is how perfect your body is!

Honor what you've accomplished, and what you can do, and what you can give. You don't have to achieve anything other than that.
posted by occhiblu at 2:32 PM on April 20, 2006


In case anyone didn't notice - MeTa. You probably oughta make a statement, VegasAnna.
posted by mistersix at 2:35 PM on April 20, 2006


I used to be able to be naked when I was thinner, so I'm sure I'll be able to once again. But will that REALLY change the sexual attraction issue? It just seems too easy... but are guys really THAT affected by that? hmmmm

I'm not even going to bother to preview, because I know that I'll be saying the same thing as lots of other guys. But maybe you need that many before you believe it.

Yes, it's that easy. Not just because guys are visual (though that's true, it's not really the meat of the issue), but because damn woman, how can you hope for 100% sex if all you're not even willing to try for 100% sex? ("Yes, I'm up to fulfill any and all of your wild fantasies, so long as they involve me wearing a nightie...")

Your boyfriend is right on. Trust that he'll find you attractive. Trust that he wants to be with you. Let go of your hangups already. Sex is about letting go of your inhibitions, not clinging to them and hoping things will still be super awesome fantastic anyway. I mean seriously here.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 2:37 PM on April 20, 2006


Waitwaitwait. Hold on a minute.

You've been able to run a marathon. You're 5'9' and a size 10-12--I'm guessing you're fairly slender, since that's my size, I'm shorter than you, and while I'm hardly a twig I'm no hurf-durf butter eater. You're kicking your ass trying to lose that extra 25 lbs, because his previous girlfriends were all "model-types." You can't get naked with him because you're worried about your stomach and butt (and a scar, from your previous comments).

Meanwhile, he's 40 pounds overweight and complaining that the sex isn't good enough. Is he actually working out to take care of the extra weight, or are you the only one in the relationship who needs to be concerned about being physically attractive?

You, it's pretty clear you're insecure about your body image. Stop worrying about the extra pounds. Worry more about how fit you are. If you're able to do the fit things you want to do, that's the important thing. And for the love of Christ, you have to get naked in front of him. Confidence is the sexiest thing a man or a woman can have, and if you can't even get naked with the dude that's displaying a severe lack of confidence.

Hot sex isn't just hot partners. The most beautiful women or man in the world won't give you hot sex if they're afraid of their own bodies. Hot sex is attitude. It is, as your boyfriend stated, the ability to rip off one's clothes and just go at it, exploring every inch of one another's skin without fear.

First, are you able to get naked in front of people who aren't your boyfriend, like in a locker room? If you can't, start with that. If the social system's right, anyway. I can't tell you how much more comfortable with nudity I got after attending a gym run by a hospital--people of all sizes and shapes there, and very few women in the locker room were worried about being seen nekkid.

Do you allow your boyfriend to touch you in the areas that give you the most insecurity? When you're cuddling, can he rest his hand on your bum or stomach? This is a good first step. Get to the point where you're comfortable with him moving his hand up your shirt or down the back of your pants. Once you're there, let him undress you in those areas.

I assure you, especially at the point where you're about to have sex there are very few dudes who are as concerned about how perfect their partner's body is as women's magazines make 'em out to be.
posted by schroedinger at 2:54 PM on April 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


A lot of couples lack a spectacular sex life. You might say this is even the norm. Don't frame the problem as "will our relationship survive 'ok' sex." You make it sound like a death sentence. Reframe the problem as "how can we spice up our sex life and have spectacular sex." If you look at it this way, the answers become a lot clearer.

Roleplay. It helps most couples and leads to better things.
posted by nixerman at 2:55 PM on April 20, 2006


Referring to http://metatalk.metafilter.com/mefi/11723, I just made a statement over there and now here. When I stated "I am the girl" I MEANT, I am the EQUIVALENT of the girls being discussed in that I am overweight and there is an attractiveness issue with BF. I guess that went over some people's heads. Sometimes I don't explain myself well. But I wasn't lying by CLAIMING to be THE GIRL in those situations. I had to wait SEVEN days before I could ask my own question and I explained that I am impatient and am VERY WORRIED about my relationship, so I thought if i posted comments to similar questions with MY ISSUE, I may on some random chance, get a response. Sorry. Im new here. Eight-day member today and eight days since I even found out about Metafilter. Wow...what a way to start.
posted by VegasAnna at 2:55 PM on April 20, 2006


Oh and also, the thing about his former girlfriends being "the model type" - keep in mind the way they looked doesn't really say anything about their personality and how they were in bed. I'm not saying this just to 'make you feel better' or anything, it's just obvious. His ex gf's could have been real sexy fascinating uninhibited women, or they could have been real bores, or something ordinary in between, you just don't know, you can't tell that only from their looks.

All you know is they are no longer together, and he came back to you, not to them. He says he is attracted to you now, so, why not just believe him? I mean, unless you really have reasons to believe he is not being honest, just try and avoid projecting your uneasiness on him.

He wants to be able to "tear our clothes off and be 'free' with each other".

There you go, doesn't sound to me like someone who is really that hung up about a little extra weight. Sounds like he just wants you to be more comfortable with it. But of course it's not up to him to give you that level of "tear our clothes off" confidence, you have to try and build on it yourself.

Just take it a bit easier, and when you do your sports activities, enjoy your body in movement, learn to appreciate your being "active" in itself, that should naturally help with the sex too. Don't do physical activity just with the "lose weight" (or "look more attractive to boyfriend") goal in mind; when you do it, concentrate on it for the pleasure it gives you. That will help giving you more confidence.
posted by funambulist at 4:58 PM on April 20, 2006


BY THE WAY...your comments are INCREDIBLY helpful!!! I do have some hope now that we will be okay!! I just need to work on being okay with myself. :-) THANKS AGAIN EVERYONE. Glad I found Metafilter!
posted by VegasAnna at 4:59 PM on April 20, 2006


Thanks funambulist... You're right about previous girlfriends. I really just mentioned it because I know some guys are attracted to any body type, but it seems that BF is onyl attracted to thin and thinner. As far as him coming back to me? I do worry. He's extremely shy and not very social, so sometimes I wonder if he says those things about wanting only me just so I don't leave him. I think he's scared to be alone. I AM happy with him and will be utterly devastated if we break up, but I will move on. It seems the general consesnsus is that this has alot to do with me and I agree. I know I can work on and fix "me". I was most worried that if a couple doesn't have that "spark" in the beginning, they never will. I just can't believe fate would be so cruel and give the two of us everything else EXCEPT the spark. :-)
posted by VegasAnna at 5:05 PM on April 20, 2006


it seems that BF is onyl attracted to thin and thinner.

From what you've said, I think you're making this up. He does not seem to have a problem with your body type at all.
posted by odinsdream at 5:12 PM on April 20, 2006


Your boyfriend will be fine if you just get naked -- he doesn't care about your weight or he wouldn't be begging to be with you and you alone, in other words, ditto what everyone else said.

I've answered the question, okay Jess? So please don't delete my post.

Now for the point: Please, VA, I'm begging you, please, stop with the smilies. You've only been around for a few days; you've only read a few threads; there's no way you could know -- so this isn't a call-out, but please stop. For me?
posted by The Bellman at 5:19 PM on April 20, 2006


odinsdream...in one discussion with boyfriend, I mentioned the fact that I am scared to take off my clothes in front of him, b/c I do have a scar and of course the few extra pounds. He said that if it would make me feel better to lose weight, then i probably should. He ADMITTED that he was scared that if he DID see me naked it may "take away the sexual attraction he does have for me". Therefore, since that conversation I've been even more insecure. But then again maybe because I HAVE made such a big deal about it he now thinks I'm hideous or something (which I'm not). I'll just keep working on it. I'm at the gym 5 days a week, I eat mainly protein shakes and egg whites with a few veggies and whole grains (few), I run about twice a week and bike 10 miles or so about twice a week and I'm on a weight-training program). I'm already seeing amazing results and I AM felling better about myself every day. :-)
posted by VegasAnna at 5:20 PM on April 20, 2006


Minor rant: You run marathons! You're strong! Your muscles have amazing endurance!

heh, exactly what I was thinking...

Also, to expand on my "getting naked in front of others" test. I have been on holidays more than once where it so happened we had to share beaches with nudists and you have no idea how ridiculous you feel having any hungups at all about your body when you see twenty- to eighty-year old women and men letting all their bits, thin or fat, small or big, toned or flabby, hang out freely in the open air under the sun, looking totally forgetful about it, as if they had been wearing clothes. They don't care how they look! so why should you? I'm not saying I recommend a nudist beach as a treatment to all body image insecurities, but it certainly isn't counterproductive. (Normal-nudist, not swingers-club-nudist).
posted by funambulist at 5:24 PM on April 20, 2006


For you Bellman. I'll stop the smilies - ONE MORE :-) - OKAY, now it's out of my system. Live and learn.
posted by VegasAnna at 5:36 PM on April 20, 2006


Thanks odinsdream...you have a point.
posted by VegasAnna at 5:44 PM on April 20, 2006


Maybe a sex therapist? I've thought about it and BF is open to it. At least he was a couple of months ago when I mentioned it.
posted by VegasAnna at 5:45 PM on April 20, 2006


Hey VegasAnna,

I dated actual models. And you know what? They were TERRIBLE in the sack. Up tight. Self conscious. Not to mention frail and bony. Few guys I have known have had much if any differing experiences with models and sex.

So do not think about that again. Remember the old saying: When sex is good, it's great. And when it's bad, it's still pretty good

Let me save you about $1500 in sex tharapy bills.

You want to have better sex? Naked or not: Hunger for each other.

Treat love making like you haven't eaten in three days and he/she are biggest yummiest bowl of Tirami su you ever saw.

Pretend it's the craziest hottest, silliest, thing you have ever done. Don't edit or judge. Indulge. You want to almost devour your partners with your lust.

Yeah you have to fake it a little. And you can't do crazy sex every time. Or even half the time. But when you love somebody there is nothing wrong with faking a little. Nothing at all. It's the rule not the exception.

And like karma - it will all come around. No pun intended.
posted by tkchrist at 5:53 PM on April 20, 2006 [2 favorites]


Aw. Who am I kidding? Pun intended.
posted by tkchrist at 5:54 PM on April 20, 2006


He wants to be able to "tear our clothes off and be 'free' with each other"

That's what he wants. When he lies on the couch saying he isn't in the mood, it's because he knows he isn't going to get what he wants. He's into you, but you're not compatible sexually because you're not giving him what he wants. If you think you can, you're set.

I mean really, go and do it now. Get nekkid, like.
posted by bonaldi at 5:57 PM on April 20, 2006


He said that if it would make me feel better to lose weight, then i probably should. He ADMITTED that he was scared that if he DID see me naked it may "take away the sexual attraction he does have for me".

It seems like this is digging more to the origin of this anxiety you have. It's clear, though, that he was saying the first thing to make you feel better about doing something to change an aspect of you that you're less than happy about.

The second part may just be a miscommunication, or some kind of way for him to make you feel better about keeping your clothes on. In a way to say "oh it's ok if you want to keep your clothes on because X."

Admittedly it's a bad way of putting it, but it's a possibility.
posted by odinsdream at 5:59 PM on April 20, 2006


I'm a thin guy, and I'm married to a heavy gal. The better your relationship, the better your chances of maintaining it. Sex is a part, but not a mandatory part, of that -- you can have a good relationship that's only about sex, or a good relationship that's about everything but sex, and both can last -- but the odds are better for a relationship that's about sex and everything else.

The bigger question is this: are your confort issues with your body about you, or about your fella? Specifically, if you're uncomfortable with your body, and he's supportive (but not necessarily drooling at the bit), you have a much better chance than if you're uncomfortable with your body because he constantly gives you a hard time about being overweight.

If your concerns are caused by your own mind, and he's supportive of you, you'll be okay; if your concerns are caused by his treatment of you, you probably won't be okay, and shouldn't be -- nobody needs to be in a relationship where there's a lack of respect; you're better off without the relationship in most cases.

Here's one more thing to think about: over the years, I had many girlfriends of various levels of inner and outer beauty. The girl I picked to marry is attractive on the outside, weight and all, and on the inside she's a more beautiful than any three of my previous girlfriends combined -- and I have tremendous respect for that.

And so I would argue that if your problem is lack of mutual respect, you'd in trouble. Good luck.
posted by davejay at 6:00 PM on April 20, 2006


gee whiz, I just can't type the right words today. too many wrong words to list. Dear AskMetaFilter: why can't I type right?
posted by davejay at 6:02 PM on April 20, 2006


Thanks Davejay (others too!). We do have mutual respect for each other. And BF never gives me any grief about my weight. I do believe after reading so many comments that this is mainly me and with this newfound knowledge, I think we'll be okay. I swear... I mean tonight. Because if I get naked with him and he is disgusted (I don't think he will be), we shouldn't be together. That's hard to say but I think it is true.
posted by VegasAnna at 4:23 PM on April 20, 2006


If you keep telling your boyfriend that he's going to hate your naked body, he's eventually going to start (just a little bit) believing you, and maybe getting a little bit of performance anxiety about this gigantic deal of your nudity. He loves you and he wants to see you naked, not his exes.

Sure, you think it's about your butt or your scar, but consider the possiblity that he thinks you won't get naked with him because you think he's too shallow to enjoy you and your imperfections. I'd bet that hurts him just a little bit.

So, the final factor of this issue is my insecurity with my current body. BF says he thinks that is the majority of our issue. He wants to be able to "tear our clothes off and be 'free' with each other". I admit I haven't been able to do that because I am not comfortable with my stomach and butt. So, i refuse to ever be naked with him. I always wear a shorty nightie or something. So, does anyone think that if I lose weight and feel more free and able to throw my clothes off; will that make a difference in his sexual attraction for me?


You just said the issue is your insecurity, and then you turned around and blamed him for not being sexually attracted to you. He's in such a shitty situation right now; he's attracted to you and has sex with you despite not getting to enjoy looking at you (which is, I think, a fairly strong component of male arousal) and you're sitting there thinking he's not attracted to you enough. He can't really win here, can he?

Your body issues are getting between you and a good relationship. Get therapy if necessary, but don't continue to believe that if you just lost some more weight, your love life would instantly get better; it's wrong, and it's really insulting to the man who loves you for who you are inside.
posted by stefanie at 4:54 PM on April 20, 2006


Get nekkid for the guy. Newsflash - he already pretty much knows what you look like, but trying to hide because you don't match some self imposed level of perfection is just hurting you.

My partner turns me on like crazy, but thinks I'm weird because she's not the skinny model type. Women are meant to be soft and curvey, damnit!

Plus, if you are losing weight (and congratulations for that!) he'll get to see progress more directly!
posted by tomble at 5:17 PM on April 20, 2006


Women are meant to be soft and curvey, damnit!

Women aren't meant to look like any one single thing, dammit. Some women are naturally soft and curvy. Some women are naturally long and angular. I'm one of the latter -- not curvy, bony knees and hips, and barely an A-cup in the bust department. Guess what? Still a woman.

The point, Vegas Anna, is that almost none of us look like models or porn stars -- truly we're not. It's you your boyfriend wants to see naked -- as you are. I truly understand having body issues, but they don't go away -- for you or for him -- by hiding your body. Moreover, they won't go away the day you reach your target weight. They begin to go away by embracing your body, as it is, lumps/scars/warts and all. For all but the most shallow among us, "perfect" looks are less interesting, sexy, and appealing than being confidence and enthusiasm, no matter the flaws we all may privately notice.
posted by scody at 5:37 PM on April 20, 2006


gah! "being confident and enthusiastic." time to go home.
posted by scody at 5:39 PM on April 20, 2006


in one discussion with boyfriend, I mentioned the fact that I am scared to take off my clothes in front of him, b/c I do have a scar and of course the few extra pounds. He said that if it would make me feel better to lose weight, then i probably should. He ADMITTED that he was scared that if he DID see me naked it may "take away the sexual attraction he does have for me". Therefore, since that conversation I've been even more insecure.

OK im the guy who suggested you look into tantric sex etc. But now i read this. If this guy says this to you, this it not a healthy situation for you to be in. full stop.

and also this:

NOW he turns on porn about 90% of the time. I like it so haven't said anything, but lately wonder if he's doing it to keep an erection? I just haven't wanted to ask him because I may REALLY not like his answer.

and especially this:

He's extremely shy and not very social, so sometimes I wonder if he says those things about wanting only me just so I don't leave him. I think he's scared to be alone.

If this is really the situation this is unhealthy for you. You are nobodys fall back plan.. you are the first choice of the right man for you.
posted by tranceformer at 5:57 PM on April 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


and dont listen to any of these fools who say that you dont need good sex for a relationship. just cause lots of couples do it doesnt make it right. lots of couples do lots of foolish things.
Dont settle - go for what you want.
posted by tranceformer at 5:58 PM on April 20, 2006


Wow tranceformer. You hit the nail on the head. Your comment backs up my plan to just get naked with him. If he doesn't like it, then he's not the one I need to be with, no matter how well we mesh. It's just so hard to imagine finding someone that I'll be as connected and in love with. But, time will tell. You're right. I have only recently begun to realize that I deserve to be with someone that loves me wholly and completely. Thank you tranceformer. Now if I can find the courage and strength to get nekked. haha
posted by VegasAnna at 6:07 PM on April 20, 2006


If I were in your shoes, I would only end the relationship under one of the following two circumstances:

1) you or bf are unwilling to work on making things better. (They don't have to BE better right now, but the relationship should be important enough to both of you that you're willing to work on it.)

2) you (both) HAVE worked on it -- really hard -- doing everything you can think of, and things still aren't working. AND, soberly facing the fact that this aspect of the relationship may never get better than it is, you don't think the good points of the relationship are worth settling for.

These are not my "rules" for any relationship. I'm specifically responding to the picture you paint. It sounds like a relationship that millions of people would kill for. It sounds like you two love each other enough to work on any problems.
posted by grumblebee at 6:50 PM on April 20, 2006


First, sex is not the most important thing in a relationship. Is it more important than money, religion, child raising, etc.? No, of course not.

You might want to stop speaking for the entire population. Newsflash: Some people/couples couldn't care less about religion and having children. Many are happy with just enough money to get by. I'll take a great sex life and just getting by than being rich and lonely anytime. Sex may not be in the top three for you, for many, it is.

And remember a woman who is confident in her own sexuality is the most powerful aphrodisiac available.

Again, maybe for you. Does confidence help? Sure. Most powerful aphrodisiac available? That's funny.

I dated actual models. And you know what? They were TERRIBLE in the sack. Up tight. Self conscious. Not to mention frail and bony. Few guys I have known have had much if any differing experiences with models and sex.
posted by tkchrist


Actual MODELS!!1 OMG! Honestly, why is it every time this topic comes up people feel the need to put down thin women to make larger women feel better about themselves. The whole cliche of "real women have curves" is so tiresome and lazy.

The truth is that there are skinny women who are confident, easy going, healthy, athletic, and great in bed. Some, I'm sure, are bad. And the same goes for larger women. Let go of your silly stereotypes and condescending attitude. Perhaps it wasn't them, but you. Maybe you're just a little lost in bed with a thin woman. Of course, it's easier to just put them down as a group.

He ADMITTED that he was scared that if he DID see me naked it may "take away the sexual attraction he does have for me".

And he wonders why you're not getting naked in front of him? Look, you've got your fill of 'feel good' psychobabble. My opinion won't be popular. But I think you're bf is an ass. Work on your body? You need to work on your self esteem.

Sure, it could work out. But I doubt it. Chances are he'll one day cheat on you and then make you feel responsible. Either you're enough for him or not, it's that simple. If I were you I'd figure out sooner than later.
posted by justgary at 8:54 PM on April 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


Thanks grumblebee. I do agree. In fact we are the envy of our friends. I know noone that has the connection we have. But in the meantime, I definitely need to get the truth from him. I don't want to waste time with him, if we're just going to break up when he finds someone he's more sexually attracted to. As he said, he's not worried about next month, he's worried about 5 years from now... whether this lack of hot sexual attraction will effect us long-term. I tend to agree. But it's definitely something I don't want to sit on either. Thanks again! Most people would do anything for the kind of closeness we share. That's why it breaks my heart to think that this one issue may break us apart.
posted by VegasAnna at 8:58 PM on April 20, 2006


okay, he's shy, overweight, but only dated model-types before you? something doesn't add up here. Are you sure he's telling the truth?

Many guys without much real-life experience build up unhealthy images of female beauty through an overactive fantasy life. Are you sure that isn't his problem?
posted by lemur at 9:08 PM on April 20, 2006


Would it be possible for him to lay off of the porn for a while? What he found at thirteen snooping through his--or friends'-- dad's things isn't what sex really is.
posted by brujita at 10:57 PM on April 20, 2006


Women aren't meant to look like any one single thing, dammit. Some women are naturally soft and curvy. Some women are naturally long and angular.

Nothing to add, just, that needed to be said, and repeated.


The "scared that if he DID see me naked it may "take away the sexual attraction he does have for me" does sounds crappy. You are already having sex, and it's pretty hard to imagine that doesn't involve exploration of each other's bodies. I mean unless you're wearing an anti-radiation suit, hands have eyes, right? He cannot possibly not have a good idea by now what your body is like.

If he says he is attracted, wants you to get naked, and reassures you it's not about weight, but then has to come out and say he's afraid of seeing you naked, and watch porn all the time to get aroused, sounds like he's sending out mixed signals there. You have to separate these from your own insecurities and understand which one is the strongest obstacle. Don't let him reinforce your anxiety and don't let the closeness friendship/companionship aspect make you forget about your own needs. It could be that you're just too anxious abour your body, and projecting that on him, but it could also be you're being too forgiving towards his contradictory attitude. Only you can know which is which.
posted by funambulist at 12:32 AM on April 21, 2006


Please don't make the mistake of losing yourself in trying to be what your boyfriend wants you to be! If I were you, I'd fling of my nightie and tell him "look, this is how I am. If you like it, great. If not, that's your problem. Now, lets fuck because I want to!" Then either he can deal with it or he can't. If he can't, it's over.

I don't know whether he's going to get over his sexual issues or not, but if you choose to spend a lifetime obsessing about what HE thinks of you or what HE wants you to be, instead of accepting yourself how you are and finding a man (either him or someone else) who can do the same, you're going to be in for a lifetime of pain and rejection.

Women still make the mistake of subsuming themselves for a man and then wondering why it doesn't make them happy. Don't be one of them. If you want to exercise and lose weight for yourself, that's great. But stop obsessing about how he's going to react to it. There's no way that's going to lead to happiness.
posted by hazyjane at 1:53 AM on April 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


I am also 5'9", wear size 10/12 and I am not overweight. So I'm wondering if you actually are, either. What you've said about your exercise habits actually makes me think that perhaps you weigh more than you expect to because muscle is heavier than fat.

Also, while it was looking more like your problem (as in, one you can solve by yourself) in your initial post, your comments have led me to worry more about him -- the having to watch porn, not being into sex very often, and wanting to not be alone more than he wants you, are all worrisome. Something to look at while you assess if this is the right relationship for you.
posted by Margalo Epps at 4:46 PM on April 21, 2006


UPDATE: OK people...I did it... flung it off and said that's it...right now. No porn. Just he and I in the daylight too! I have never had better. Was I uncomfortable? Hell yeah! But I think it worked. It was the best friekin' sex EVER. Holy cow! Anyway, guess what happened...5 minutes later, BF rolls over and proceeds to do it again. Amazing because about 15 minutes later...again. Yeah! Not kidding. Then he looked at me, kissed my forehead and said "Who are you? and where did my girlfriend go?" I think this is a new beginning for us. I really do. Amazing. You guys are the best. And

MARGALO...thanks, you read my mind. I won't stay with him if things come back to the way they were again. All the things I posted ARE worrisome. Thanks.
posted by VegasAnna at 7:58 PM on April 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


I think our work here is done.

Fly, monkeys!
posted by odinsdream at 2:49 PM on April 22, 2006


let us hope he does not overdose on Viagra
posted by matteo at 8:31 AM on May 13, 2006


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