Strap this on for size

Dr. Daley on Sex and Relationships

Strap this on for size

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photo / Anthony M. 

Dear Dr. Daley: I’ve been with my boyfriend for two years. We’re both 25, and things are great. We get along, fight rarely, and generally have a good time together. The only thing that I think both of us realize is that sex is starting to get boring. A few days ago, we had had a little bit to drink, and he mentioned that he’d like it if I fucked him with a strap-on – then he said he was joking. I’ll admit that I kind of freaked out when he said it, so that’s probably why he played it off like he was just kidding. Now I’m worried that he’ll leave me for someone who will do this for him, but the thing is that I am not completely opposed to it. It just feels like an incredibly awkward situation, and I don’t really know what to make of it.

Oh, I am so triste! This question arrived a few hours too late to invite you to my class’ sex-toy party, where you could have handled at least two strap-ons and evaluated a number of phallus-shaped massage toys for appropriate size. (You can’t sell dildos in Texas – they are “massage toys.” And some of them have clitoris-massage capacities as well. Yum.) Not to mention the new fabulous silicone lube, which may prove handy in your near future….

Your letter brings up a few interesting topics: passion’s inevitable ebbs and flows; the things we talk about when drunk; and what to do with our sexual fantasies. At the moment, I am crazy for a book by a sex therapist named Anne Hooper titles The Ultimate Sex Book. I recommend it, or one like it, for the step-by-step approach to situations just like yours. Not to mention a lot of really sexy photographs. Even shopping for a book like that can rekindle the fire – and then you get to go home and do homework!

While the two of you are engaged in the typical no-intercourse approach to rekindling passion, you will have ample opportunity to do touchy-feely in your sweetheart’s nether region. (No intercourse takes a lot of pressure off, you see, and you go back to paying attention to one another’s whole bodies. Remember high school? The back seat? Do kids even steam up car windows anymore, or do they just charge a night at the Four Seasons to Dad’s American Express?) Being as he is a boy, his front parts should be a pretty good indicator of his response to stimulation there. Do I need to add here that your fingernail must be very well-trimmed in order to provide a reliable result? You’ll both be talking about sex more too, so pushing various boundaries will no longer seem so intimidating.

A happy sex life is a big priority for many couples. It’s too bad no one teaches us how to get one, or keep it, or talk about what to do when the fire dims. When both people are interested in improving that part of the relationship, great improvements are possible in the areas of trust, affection, mutual giving, and just plain Hot Fun. If your efforts don’t pan out, I would encourage the two of you to visit a sex therapist for further suggestions.

And if your boyfriend really is the type to go elsewhere if you won’t fuck him up the ass, I suggest you clean your stuff out of his closet and medicine chest right now and RUN.

Worried, not happy

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photo / David Salafia 

Dear Dr. Daley: I’m a 39-year-old single guy who hasn’t had a steady girlfriend for about two years. My 40th birthday is just months away, and I can’t help but be consumed by thoughts that I’ve failed – I have no wife, no kids, no family. All of my friends and co-workers – even the much, much younger ones – have these things, and I’m sick of being the one who somehow missed the boat on this one. Am I just not cut out to be happy?

I have an idea: Why don’t you have a female friend videotape your “I’m So Lonely” monologue so you can play it and pretend you are meeting her for the first time? That way, you’ll know what being around you is like. It makes me want to join a convent, and here I am a happily married grandmother of three!

Okay, I’ll be nice. I understand loneliness. I know what it’s like to be alone while everybody else in the world is happily, sexily, romantically coupled. They are laughing and kissing and cooking fancy dinners together in a stainless-steel kitchen with splendid granite counters while I am in front of the TV eating microwave mac ’n’ cheese and drinking a $10 bottle of wine. Alone. Alone. Alone.

It’s good to get envy out of the way, I think, so I can move on to my favorite cardinal sin, gluttony. Or is it anger? Lust seems so long ago….

But wait! Why am I not out at the veloway, the gym, the classroom? Why am I not asking my friends what I could do to make myself more desirable, or writing my ex to ask why the relationship went south and what I could have done better? Why am I not volunteering at the soup kitchen, the well-baby clinic, the animal shelter?

People aren’t cut out to be happy any more than they are cut out to be miserable. Even people with horrendous lives and terrible emotional scars possess the potential for happiness; it’s just a whole lot harder for some folks than for others. It takes work, and it requires a willingness to do some things even when you don’t feel like it. Thinking and feeling are swell, but you’re going to have to take some action.

You see where I’m going: You can’t have a life until you have a life. The desire for a long-term mate is sensible and very normal, but it cannot be the center of your existence because that means you are incomplete and, sorry to say, boring. A therapist could probably help you figure out if you are clinically depressed, in which case medication and a few months of cognitive-behavioral therapy may help. You’ll want to rearrange those “I’ve failed” thoughts, for one thing, since such beliefs tend to smell bad and keep women away. Far away.

So. Figure out what you need to do to make your life a good one whether you find a mate, and do it. While you’re at it, please do us the favor of deleting the “I’m So Lonely” thing. We’ve heard it all before.

About the author Dr. Nancy Daley is a licensed psychologist and adjunct assistant professor who teaches Human Sexuality at The University of Texas at Austin. If you would like to submit questions for her to answer in this column, please send them to drdaley at thatotherpaper dot com.

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