I’m in a great relationship with my boyfriend of almost a year. We started out as a casual sex relationship and then started dating (breaking all the rules!). About six months in, he asked that we make the relationship official, meaning, monogamous and I said yes. Prior to this, I was practicing ethical non-monogamy. We have a good relationship. He’s been supportive during my underemployment and while I’m in school. He’s hard to read, so in the beginning, I wasn’t confident that he was even all that into me.
He’s very affectionate, likes to cuddle, touch, and be touched. BUT, and this is the primary cause of tension in our relationship, he doesn’t spend enough time on foreplay. For him, five minutes should be enough to get me turned on and wet enough for penetration. He also puts more emphasis on orgasm (climax) than I feel is necessary.
I’ve shared many times that if his goal is for me to climax, then we have to spend time on foreplay, otherwise, he’ll only frustrate himself (and me) to get me there. I invite him to initiate extended make out sessions and breast and booty play as ways to get me turned on. I’ve also explained to him that between school, work, and housework, I’m TIRED! and that it sometimes takes longer to get me going, so he has to be willing to make it easier for me to reach turn on.
I take herbs for libido and reproductive health and long showers (we don’t have a tub, unfortunately). I will admit that I’m not getting enough sleep or enough physical activity, and there are times where I’m just too tired to even pay attention to him, let alone take care of myself. I also find myself not wanting to have sex with him if it means we’re not going to take our time or if he’s only in it long enough for my climax.
I don’t know how else to tell him what I need in a way that doesn’t turn him off or make him feel inadequate. When I was non-monogamous, I didn’t take issue with this because I didn’t see him very often (we now live together) and I always had my other lovers to give me a varied and dynamic sexual experience.
I could really use some insight because everything else is good and I’d hate for this to be the deal breaker moving forward.
– Not Enough Foreplay
Dear Not Enough Foreplay,
Relationships are as layered as people. Love is not just love, and sex is not just sex. It’s so nuanced and particular. What works for one does not work for all, and that may be the hardest part. So it might be fair to say that you are the first woman who has ever challenged him to grow like this. And he’s resisting.
He’s done sex one way all this time and now here you are telling him that you want to “experience” sex differently. On the flip side, you’re accustomed to non-monogamy, which didn’t stretch you to grow in this way either.
What a beautiful predicament!
The best way for you to get what you need is to begin before you begin. Now that you are living together you are probably not as flirty as you used to be. When was the last time you sexted him?
Send him some pictures of your lady bits. Maybe an audio note with nothing but the sound of you pleasuring yourself. Tell him via text or telephone what you would like him to do to you when he gets home. Let him know that you desire him.
Building anticipation before he is there to do anything about it will shift things for both of you. Because it’s clear that the conversation about extended foreplay isn’t working. He cannot hear you. But if you start the foreplay before the show begins he’ll listen to that!
Relationships don’t maintain themselves so it’s easy to become complacent. We treat desire as if it has a shelf life. But if we want to have enduring long term relationships we have to keep igniting the spark. I know you’re thinking that you don’t want to be the one to keep it lit, but this is not about it being all on you. This is about creating the perfect environment to get your needs met.
By beginning foreplay before hand, you invite your body to come online in advance. Think of it as proactive pleasure, rather than waiting passively for him to turn you on. Not to mention, you’ll be inviting him into a conversation about foreplay and desire. And it won’t feel heavy with accusation and irritation. Instead, it will feel light and playful, which will make him a lot more receptive.
And don’t forget to slather on the gratitude. Not just about his sexual prowess, but about the relationship in general. Let him know that you are in this relationship because you want to be and that you’re happy to be in partnership with him.
Lastly, talk to him with your body. Words will only get you so far with a man, it’s not their preferred method of communication. If you want him to hear you, show him. When you are being sexually intimate take his hand and guide him. Invite him to follow your lead by slowing down. Soften your gaze and look into his eyes. Stroke him gently so that he can mirror your movements. Lead him to where you want him to go. Through non-verbal communication meeting your needs will become second nature to him.
Expanding the arena of foreplay, expressing gratitude, and using body language, will make the “goal”of climax less relevant. And eventually the finish line will fade in the distance. Because when sex becomes less of a performance and more of an experience, pleasure becomes more than a possibility. (tweet this)
Going through something? Wanna know what I think?
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