This week’s Dear Prudence – “My boyfriend is pressuring me to have sex I don’t like.”

I mostly liked Prudence’s answer to the woman whose boyfriend is pressuring her to have Teh Butt Secks, but I think her answer (“Don’t date someone who requires that one thing when you don’t like that thing”) focused too much on the act itself and not on the other red flags in the letter. She’s trying really hard not to be judgmental about the act by invoking the gays and the fetish community, but her language choices – and “Surely he’s aware that it’s the kind of thing that could make someone want to turn tail and run” – (Ha ha, hilarious!  Turn tail!  Get it?  Get it?) betray that she shares the letter writer’s distaste.

Repeat with me:  It’s not the kink, it’s the pressure. If you’re in love with someone and having a great relationship in the bedroom and out of it, you don’t make one act a “make-or-break” factor in your relationship.  You don’t pressure people into having sex- any kind of sex – with you.  It’s manipulative and crappy.

Okay, let’s say that these two really are in love and this guy is not normally manipulative and crappy and doesn’t mean to be that way.  He just really wants what he wants.  But at what cost?   Would he be okay with having sex with someone who wasn’t enjoying herself in order to satisfy this need?   It sounds like she likes him enough and is adventurous enough to gamely try it out a couple of times.  There are a million possible reasons that she didn’t enjoy it, from “Eh, just not into it” to “Ow!  Ow!  OW! OW! OW!”   The possibility that he is just not good at it is….extremely high, especially if he’s trying to recreate something he saw in porn for his own pleasure instead of trying to create a good experience for his partner.  There’s this whole gross other layer going on about entitlement and about sex as something that women “give up” to men instead of participating in enthusiastically (which may also point to why she’s not enjoying his pee-pee in her no-no), but I’ll leave that to better qualified bloggers.

It can be scary and vulnerable to ask for That Weird Thing You Like In Bed, and in a good relationship both partners will be GGG and try things out, or, at least not ridicule each other’s desires.  But the way to talk someone into getting a-little-freakier-than-usual is not by demanding, cajoling, manipulating, or threatening to break up with them if they won’t.  The Freakier Partner (TFP) has a duty to make things really, really, really, extraordinarily pleasurable so that the Less Freaky (For Now) Partner (LFFNP) will enthusiastically give it a go,  to monitor the response of the LFFNP, and to stop immediately if the other person is not enjoying it.  The LFFNP really has only one job:  To communicate honestly, especially if that means saying “I’m sorry, I’m not enjoying this, please stop.”

Listen up, Freakier Partner.  With Great Kink comes Great Responsibility.  If the LFFNP enjoyed your little trip to Freakytown the other night, he or she will let you know.  And bring it up.  And maybe do it again. Without a lot of pressure from you.  Because sexy people having good sex try to make each other happy.  If things don’t go well, your partner is just not into whatever it is, and you decide you really need whatever it is, maybe the answer is to break up and find someone who is more compatible.  You get to break up.  But you don’t get to threaten to break up in order to manipulate someone into doing something they don’t enjoy. It’s not the kink, it’s the pressure.

If your boyfriend threatens to break up with you over your refusal to do something you don’t enjoy in bed, take him up on the offer.  Someone who makes one sex act out of 1,000 more important than literally everything else about you can’t be trusted as your Partner In Freaky Exploration.

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