Can't get no satisfaction, or can I?
October 15, 2007 6:17 PM   Subscribe

Dealing with annoying, persistent sexual attraction . . . help!

A few months ago, after simmering in a bath of near-instantaneous sexual attraction for a few weeks, I got together with a man I had recently met. We had a great time (at least it seemed to me like we did, and he said he did, and I know I did), and although we left it that we would see each other in the next few days, he started suddenly having lots of "work commitments" and being very very busy. The long and the short of it is that to my disappointment, we never had sex again. I didn't mention it again, and neither did he. Still, because of (extracurricular) activities we both participate in, we see each other at least once a week, and after a few weeks of him being very cold to me, for the past month or so he has been extremely flirtatious (telling me how beautiful I look, hugging, kissing, holding my hand, and touching me at every opportunity). I should say that he is, generally speaking, rather tactile with women (although definitely more so with me, according to friends who have observed him), and that he lives with his girlfriend in a relationship that he claims is ending if not ended.

So, to make a long story short, I find myself extremely, hopelessly, (I want to say obsessively, but I'm loath to admit it) attracted to a player who appears to be messing with my head. I'd like one of two things to happen here:

Option A: I sleep with him again (he is definitely not boyfriend material, but the sexual attraction is extremely compelling and I would have no moral objections to being sexually involved with him). How do I achieve this? The time we did get together, he was very clear and very direct about it, but now I'm confused. Is this a "he's just not that into you, forget about it" scenario?

Option B: I want to kill the sexual attraction altogether (the amount of time and energy I spend fantasizing about this is ridiculous, and I have tried and tried to put it aside but . . . it hasn't worked so far). Any advice on how to do this? I know time eventually makes these crazy feelings fade, but I was really hoping they would have faded by now.

Possibly relevant details: I am a woman, he is a man, we are both well past our adolescent years. Removing myself from contact with him is not an option, for reasons that have nothing to do with this entanglement.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (22 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

If you don't feel that he is boyfriend material, and it sure sounds like he isn't, I'd sleep with him. BUT. I'd not be sleeping with a guy in a relationship, regardless as to whether it is "ending" or not. I've been on the receiving end of such shenanigans and it sucks quite hard.


Concentrate on how much of a douche he most likely is and enjoy the memory of the sex you had once.
posted by heavenstobetsy at 6:31 PM on October 15, 2007

Hmm. Let me give this a shot, and I hope it's helpful.

#1: He has another relationship. So you slept with each other, then he realized it might have been a bad idea where his other relationship is concerned, so he turned away from you. Then, over time, he realized you weren't going to make a big deal about it, and has decided that perhaps he can hit it again without consequences, just like last time. Lust outruns guilt, after evidence suggests that he'll get away with it. So forget the idea of the girlfriend leaving at some point, and accept that he just wants to sleep with you and get away with it -- which seems not out of line with what you want, too.

#2. You're an adult, but you seem to be suggesting that this needs to be an all-or-nothing thing, that you either have to have him again or kill your desire. What's wrong with letting your desire for him drive your fantasies and make life more interesting, no matter what happens (or doesn't)?

So option A is easy; the ball is in your court to be as clear and direct about it as he was with you the first time.

Option B is probably impossible, considering how you're representing your desire as the boss of you, at least until you find another person of interest.

There's still option C, though; enjoy his attention, enjoy the tension, and make a game of giving him opportunities to be alone with you for a few moments to see what happens.
posted by davejay at 6:36 PM on October 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Well, first of all, sleeping with someone in a relationship, even at the end, is a pretty dick move. Going after them is an even bigger dick move. So if you are thinking of him as an asshole player, well, congratulations, you are too and you're playing each other--except it's not all fun-and-games since his girlfriend is caught in the middle. Though apparently she is not important to you in this situation.

You know, if you want to start getting over him, you need to start by rejecting the advances that fuel your attraction. I can say from person experience, as long as "friendly", much less more-than-friendly touching goes on, the harder it will be to get over your lust. Flirt with other males in front of him. Shrug off his advances, pull out of his hugs--do it politely at first, but more violently if he continues. Tell him you're not comfortable with him being as touchy as he is when he has a girlfriend. If he brings up your liason tell him it makes you feel guilty and you wish it hadn't happened. Yes, you'll be lying through your teeth and it may initially result in him being more aggressive, but if you continue to be deadly serious he'll back off and the touching that adds fuel to the fire will end.

And for God's sake, start pursuing other sexual partners. Or buy a vibrator or use your hand. Stop convincing yourself this guy is the master of your sexual desires.
posted by Anonymous at 6:46 PM on October 15, 2007

I've been in nearly your position (the difference being that he hadn't told me he was in a relationship, but he turned out to be.)
I was pretty obsessed with lust over him. But that was because I had a completely twisted idea of what kind of person he was. Once his lies came out and with time, I stopped feeling attracted to him all on my own. Now when I look back on it I realise that for one thing, the sex wasn't that amazing, I just really wanted and needed it. But also: for me, sex doesn't have to be based in love, but it does need to have soul. So sleeping with a total creep will never be truly satisfying to me. It's just a shame I didn't realise he was a total creep before I did the deed.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that the sex you had is probably best just left to fond memories. The more you get entangled with this guy, the less enchanting he will be. He's already shown he can act like a total jerk -- ignoring someone or being cruel after you slept together is so lame -- and you know he's lying to at least one other person. I guess ultimately I don't know how to express it, but trust me that as someone who's been in your position, it's best to keep it an isolated but fond memory.
posted by loiseau at 7:03 PM on October 15, 2007 [3 favorites]

Oh, heavens no, don't sleep with him again. It won't make you feel any better, honestly. You will walk taller if you just move on. There are sooo many other fish in the sea.
posted by pazazygeek at 7:04 PM on October 15, 2007

What loiseau said. You seem to be aware that he's a creep; focus on this instead of ignoring it, and move on.
posted by agent99 at 7:14 PM on October 15, 2007

Don't let him into your head anymore. If you don't have the option of removing yourself from physical contact with him, remember "he's just that not into you" and find someone who is. Trust me, it's not worth the pain.
posted by wv kay in ga at 7:22 PM on October 15, 2007

He doesn't want a relationship with you either, and his hot-and-cold is a way of telling you this. Just make it clear to him that you feel the same way, and that you won't expect anything from him, and you'll get what you want.
posted by bingo at 7:22 PM on October 15, 2007

Option A: This is temporarily satisfying, but can you move on? Well, no, obviously you can't, or you wouldn't be here asking this question. So for that reason, I don't recommend A. Aside from that, I don't think you can actually pull A off. It's very hard to make someone want to have sex with you when they're already getting everything they want from you. (Most of us can probably remember at least one time when we were enjoying flirting with someone but had no real urge to have sex with them, remember what it was like. I'm not going to say he's just not that into you, but it does sound like he doesn't want to actually have intercourse with you.)

Option B: You have to do stuff with him, but do you have to do stuff with him? If you're in a group spend more time with other people. If you're not in a group, make it a group. In short, don't flirt, definitely don't touch. When he shows up in your fantasies, substitute someone else...cute guy you saw on the street, movie star, whatever. When your thoughts wander toward him, direct them to something else. Go on a few dates.
posted by anaelith at 7:32 PM on October 15, 2007

Avoid, avoid, avoid. Seriously. You do not want to get locked in a vicious cycle. Find a new one.
posted by SassHat at 7:39 PM on October 15, 2007

Something else is bothering you. You don't want to feel the emotions associated with that. So you obsess about this.

Try to think about something else that you don't want to think about--a work project, bill problems, whatever. Every time you think about him, think about something worse.

Your attraction should go away presently.

I would not believe the "ending" a relationship thing.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:43 PM on October 15, 2007

Or just keep the whole thing in your head, ignore killing the desire, file it away for use when you're alone.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:49 PM on October 15, 2007

People are focusing on the "leave him you'll feel better" too much, I think. In my opinion, this all seems to be a game of attention, and I think you should play to win. Right now he is in the power position, and he is turning on the flirt with you because you reciprocate and give him attention. You aren't really getting attention the same way you're giving it, though, so it leaves you feeling a bit dissatisfied. Clearly the thing to do would be just jumping into bed with him as that will give you plenty of attention, but here's the problem: as soon as you let him know you'd sleep with him again, he is as good as though he had already slept with you attention-wise.

So you need to be a little more cunning. Nonchalantly ignore the overt shit he tries on you. Will probably drive him crazy. Would drive him away, too, except you have to, every once in a while, take an innocent thing he does/says and push it into full flirt territory. Then you should probably smile wryly and go back to the whole "give me a break" attitude when he tries it on you again. I don't know how girls play their game very well as I am a guy, but this small step should take the power from him and give it to you and definitely drive him fucking insane with desire to hump you already.

Then you can choose whether or not YOU want to sleep with HIM.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 8:03 PM on October 15, 2007

To be honest, this guy sounds like an asshole. And he has a girlfriend who could get very hurt through your actions. There are plenty of single, non-assholes who are great in bed and who would love the chance to get some playtime with you. What would provide more enjoyment and satisfaction for you in the long run?
posted by orange swan at 8:59 PM on October 15, 2007

"Ending the relationship" situations have historically been known to drag on for months, sometimes years. I wonder if his girlfriend knows the relationship is ending? You know if they are living together that its likely he goes home most nights and sleeps in the same bed as his girlfriend, right?

Don't let him control you and do not have sex with him. He has demonstrated that he will fuck women over and he will do it to you too...he will lie to you, he will cheat on you. It's likely that you are not the only woman he has slept with recently.
posted by pluckysparrow at 9:09 PM on October 15, 2007

One of my college professors once said that the most dangerous part about sex wasn't the diseases or babies or anything like that, but that it caused bonding. So tread lightly.
posted by pwally at 9:34 PM on October 15, 2007 [4 favorites]

#1. be careful with your emotions. the fact that he has cheated on a girlfriend with you means he doesn't care about other people as much as you might hope. the relationship being "nearly over" or suffering troubles is not an excuse, and is likely only a half truth. he's not earned the right to get your benefit of the doubt.

#2. if the sex is good, and you can say honestly that you don't feel too "couply" with him, then sure, if you want, go there again. it's not too hard to seduce a guy, but in this situation, you don't want to appear too needy. it's a turn off, especially if the guy is a "player" because he likely gets more of a thrill out of pursuing a girl than "having" one. it's all attitude, if you really want to shag him it shouldn't be too difficult.

#3. chances are he's a jerk, and the sex isn't worth it. if you want to play it safe, the best thing to do is start to nit-pick his personality. try to find a social situation where you'll both be there, small groups work best, and get your analysis hat on, and rip that cunt (think negatively :P) to shreds - in your head. don't worry about being too harsh, it's a bit of a game you play with yourself to counteract the attraction you're feeling.

#4. from what you've said, i think he is playing you. it's the on-again-off-again demeanor that convinces me. he's hedging his bets and getting you in a position where if he decides he wants you he can "have" you, but not getting to a stage where he has to "deal" with you. i imagine he's not ready to settle down yet, sowing his seeds while he may - which may sounds like a fair enough strategy but it often goes hand in hand with ignoring the consequences. my advice: get away. stop fantasizing about him, stop hanging out with him. think about what a jerk he must be, etc. don't take a risk with a guy who's obviously not boyfriend material anyway.

well, good luck. there's no hard and fast rules to this sort of thing, so just try and be conscious of your emotions throughout. don't try to ignore them, just be aware of where they are taking you.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 10:56 PM on October 15, 2007

er, and what goose said. i know it may sound childish and animal playing these kind of games, but he's playing them with you, and unless you engage on his level, well, you lose by default.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 10:58 PM on October 15, 2007

'Look, pal. I enjoy this flirting/hugging/kissing business, but at this point it's put up or shut up. I have better things to do with my time and energy than to waste them guessing whether you wanna fuck again. So do you wanna fuck again? If not, have a swell day, I'm through with games. If so, meet me in the broom closet in five minutes and bring a map because we are going to have a goddamn adventure.'

He sounds like a douchebag, yeah, but if you're already at the Total Blithe Amorality stage of not even being curious about whether he's still in his relationship, then go for it. You've given up the high ground anyhow. So enjoy!
posted by waxbanks at 11:10 PM on October 15, 2007

The worst part of your story is that he was cold to you. If you sleep with him again, he'll turn cold again.
posted by wryly at 11:13 PM on October 15, 2007

...........regardless of your choice, you need to try to shift the power dynamic in this relationship so it's a little more favorable to you.
As suggested above, take some of those small things that you dislike about him (despite your present obsession if you sit down to write a list you WILL find a few things) and magnify them, out of all proportion, really go to town on them.
So he talks a little too loudly? Imagine taking him to that special whatever and he embarrasses the hell out of you. Mouth-breather? Go to town on it! Some small thing he did in bed that wasn't great, again, magnify it.
Being in regular contact simply feeds the obsession so some kind of counter-tactic is necessary.
Also as above and for emphasis, for most women sex is very much a bonding thing, so more of it will draw you in further. Are you are capable of treating this as a sexual liaison only?
It may be important to tease out what the source of your obsession really is. Think about the kinds of things you obsess about. If it is the orgasm and vivid images of you two getting it on, fine. You just want to use him up. If it is more about how being in the same room with him lights you up, you feel excitment even though you're not getting any from him now, or certain things he's said to you that stay in your mind and make you feel special, beware. You're probably looking for more than he can offer.

The relationship with his girlfriend is primarliy HIS responsibility, not yours. It would change my mind about further actions but YMMV and no-one here should moralistically tell you what you should be feeling about that.
posted by Wilder at 12:38 AM on October 16, 2007

He is in a relationship, leave it alone.
posted by MiffyCLB at 7:14 AM on October 16, 2007

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