Hi Gigi

My boyfriend of two and a half years never seems to want to touch my body during foreplay or sex, preferring to touch himself down below. Me, on the other hand, love to touch, kiss, lick etc every bit of his body which makes me feel like I’m not enough or unattractive to him. The only time he really touches me is when he wants to finger me or if I insist.

I have tried taking his lead and touching myself but i feel like the whole experience is so impersonal and he doesn’t care about me or my pleasure. In contrast, the honeymoon phase was great, lol.

A few weeks ago he suggested we go on a sex ban for 2 months which surprised me, but it could be a good thing, what do you think?

-L

Hey sweets,

Thanks for your letter – I’m excited to delve into this juicy topic with you!

Foreplay is a huge part of sexual activity. It shouldn’t even be called foreplay. It should just be a part of the sexual ensemble cast, always. By calling it foreplay, we reinforce the idea that penetrative sex is only kind of “real sex” that exists. This is bullshit. Foreplay is its own sexual act. It is extremely important for all genders, but especially for women. It gets us wet and makes us feel connected to the person we’re having sex with.

We need foreplay to be warmed up and ready for penetration. If we’re not, sex can be painful and uncomfortable. This is not fun for anyone.

You say your partner only wants to touch himself. This has no chill. Only touching yourself during foreplay is selfish and not sexy. Put yourself in that position: Would you ever insist on only touching yourself? Wouldn’t you be worried about how that would make your partner feel?

These questions don’t seem to be on his mind and that is a big problem. It means he doesn’t care about your feelings or your pleasure.

And you’re not just asking for foreplay, you’re asking for basic intimate touch. He’s your partner. When he won’t touch you, it causes a rift in your emotional and relational bond.

Kissing etc. is the baseline for what you should expect. It is truly unfair to you and you have every right to be upset about it. It’s frustrating that despite having discussed these things with him, he isn’t willing to open up the bounds of sexual exploration.

Women are constantly told to take what we can get. It’s a socially inscribed myth. You shouldn’t give into behavior like this. You are not someone whose sex life should be dictated by her partner.

Kissing, licking, and even nibbling someone’s body are a part of sex, especially in a long-term relationship. It’s hard enough to keep the spark going for a long period of time. When you won’t even do simple things to make the other person feel wanted, it’s a serious problem.

A sex ban might be a good idea to see where the two of you net out desire-wise. I’m a little concerned that this is his first instinct. I feel like taking a break from sexual contact is a good idea to calibrate at certain times during relationships, but what you’re asking for is very simple.

Instead of giving you what you need, he wants to take sex off the table entirely.

I have to wonder what the motivations for this really are and why he’d go right to: Oh, you want more foreplay? OK, let’s just not have sex at all.

I’d say go along with the sex ban. For now. Not for him, but for yourself. I think you need some serious time to think. Honestly, I don’t know if this person is going to change. It sounds like touching and being intimate are an emotional block for him. He could benefit greatly from therapy, as there appear to be some psychological issues that are influencing his ability to be an egalitarian lover in the bedroom. If he won’t go to therapy and has no interest in working through his own issues, that’s a red flag. If he puts the blame on you, that’s another enormous red flag.

Take some time to think about what you want. Is this something you could live with? Do you really want to fight someone for the rest of your life to acquire the basic things you need out of sex and intimacy? Do you want to tell someone constantly how upset you are that they won’t kiss you? Really?

It’s difficult to see outside of a relationship and to give up on something you’ve invested a lot of time into. I’m not saying you should end the relationship, I just think you need to take some time to sort your own priorities. What do you want out of a relationship? Do you feel appreciated by this person and feel like you’re in it with the same amount of relationship tenacity?

Because it sounds very much like you’re giving a 100 percent and your partner is barely giving 50 percent.

It takes two equal partners to make a relationship work. If both people aren’t obsessed with each other and aren’t completely committed to making it work, it won’t work. You can’t be there always asking for the bare minimum, which he won’t even provide.

Even then, these are not great signs

Think it through.

Hope this helps and sending lots of love your way!

XOXO

Gigi

Gigi Engle is a feminist writer, sex educator, and speaker. A book with St. Martins Press is forthcoming.

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