Ask Wendy

How Do I Handle an Unsatisfying Sex Life?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
unsatisfying sex life
Hey Wendy!

I received this text from my boyfriend today.

“Is having multiple sexual partners a requirement for you in our relationship?”

My short answer is no. The longer answer is that I would like to try it to see if it could be a way to get my needs met and not lose this awesome guy that checks off all the other boxes.

This comes because in the last year he has not often been able to satisfy me sexually. I'm also interested in the BDSM lifestyle but relatively inexperienced. The lifestyle is not his thing at all. We have talked about this subject, seen a counselor, done some education and our sex life has improved but it's not where it needs to be.

I asked that we have the conversation in person when neither of us is tired or hungry. Text is a poor medium for us and creates misunderstandings. I would welcome your advice and input.

Lynnie N. – Dallas, TX

Hey Lynnie,

I’d start this conversation with your boyfriend by asking, “Hey, so about what you said in your text, is that a real option for us?” because the two data points about your sex life that stick out to me are “it’s not where it needs to be” and how BDSM is “not his thing”. Based on what you’ve expressed in your question, it sounds like you’d basically be denying your own sexual needs by staying in a relationship with just him, and girl, I’ve seen it over and over—that never works out well.

Here’s the short answer: Don’t stay and downgrade the sex you want and need to “not important”. At the same time, don’t leave without seeing if open communication and potential agreements for sex outside the relationship can come to fruition.

In my experience, when BDSM calls to you, it’s a call that usually can’t be ignored. Whether it becomes your new normal or just a phase you work your way though, the pull is alluring—and often relentless. I know a woman who, after getting her first taste of it, knew she would never be the same and would most likely not be satisfied in a relationship without a touch of that element in my—um, I mean her—sex life. There may be no turning back once you’ve sampled the goods.

Talk to your partner. See if he can give you everything you want. And if the answer is “not quite,” see if you can stay together with an understanding that you might head off to a BDSM dungeon with a play partner every blue moon. This is one of the beautiful things about living in 2017: you have all kinds of options here. You could try being monogamous with strictly platonic play, or consider an open relationship with just a slightly cracked-open door that allows you to pursue play partners, friends with benefits, or one-offs to have the experiences you need to satisfy your sex life.

Good luck!

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