Dear Dr. NerdLove,
I am a 24 year old gamer lady currently engaged to my very own gamer lad. We’ve been together for three years and decided about six months ago that marriage was in the cards.
He is the sweetest, most thoughtful man I have ever dated, and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with him. He’s funny and intelligent, protective, and an overall Good Person. I know he would do anything in his power for me. I aspire to be deserving of this and reciprocate it as best I can, but there is one thing that does bother me, and that is our sex life.
Prior to this relationship, I have had a number of boyfriends and lovers. Not a large number, but enough to realize that I am both a very private and very sensual person. Unfortunately, my fiance doesn’t have the benefit of that experience- I am his first girlfriend and his first lover. And he’s come to realize he just… doesn’t have much of a sex drive. At all.
At first, I badgered him for sex rather frequently, but then I turned it around and realized that that was wildly inappropriate of me to do- after all, a guy harasses his girlfriend for sex, that’s horrible! So I stopped doing that. Unfortunately, without me aggressively pursuing it… we almost never have intercourse. We’re talking two or three times… a month. In previous relationships, it was at least once a day, and it would have been more if I’d had my way.
I used to feel rejected and like it was my fault, as I am overweight. But I tend to think he’s really just not that sexual of a person. It’s taken some getting used to, to realize that men can be so disinclined towards sex, and we’ve talked about it fairly extensively, but I still worry that it really is just me or that we have poor chemistry.
We’ve found ways to compromise- we snuggle all the time, he’s very affectionate, we have lots of physical contact; he ‘helps’ sometimes, when I masturbate and he’s not in the mood. My own sex drive has died off quite a bit since we started dating, because in spite of logic I *do* feel sort of rejected. He frequently has erections but his head isn’t in the right place, which is frustrating for me because it’s hard to tell when it’s ‘okay’ to pounce without it being unwanted. We’ve even talked about having an ‘open’ relationship and he’s said he’d be willing to try it, but I really hesitate to even go there- I’m a very private person and I don’t like to open up to people like that without a very high degree of trust, and it just seems selfish of me and risky to our relationship.
I worry that maybe marriage is a bad idea, since our sex drives just seem incompatible, but the fact is, I love this man and I value him more than I value sex… but it’s a daunting prospect, to spend the rest of my life- not getting any, when it has, in the past, been so important to me.
Do you have any ideas on compromises? Anything?
Defying Gender Norms