I seem to consistently end up with people who expect that it’s my place to make them feel desired and not vice-versa. Or they get insecure and need reassurance but they don’t realize I sometimes need it, too. Or they confuse desiring my “services” with desiring me. Or something.
When Minx’s and my sex life dropped off, I was quite clear that I felt the lack and wanted more action and also to feel more desired. One night she proposed we meet in the bedroom at a certain time and see where it led, nudge-nudge wink-wink. So we convened in bed and she immediately turned her back on me to get spooned. How exactly is her passively waiting for me to lavish attention on her supposed to make me feel desired?
The first time The Bunny had erectile issues with me, he texted me that night fishing for compliments. Buddy, I eye-fuck you and give you compliments constantly. You don’t really do that for me, and now you can’t get it up for me, so hey here’s a crazy thought MAYBE I’M THE ONE WHO NEEDS THE COMPLIMENTS RIGHT NOW.
The Pedant’s idea of sexting has generally been along the lines of “Pretty soon you get to touch my dick and it’ll be awesome” although in person he’ll sometimes tell me he loves how I feel/look/etc.
The Dandy usually initiates sex by showing me that his cock is hard (that’s how things happened the other night: we were sitting around talking – not even about anything sexy, I don’t think – and he randomly got a boner that he took out of the fly of his pajamas and waved at me while smirking). Which…I mean, I find his penis extraordinarily aesthetically pleasing and have told him so, and I guess the dick-waving is meant to excite me into a flurry of lust, but to me it comes off like I’m a cab he’s trying to hail. With his dick. “Hellooooo? My appendage is raised. That means you come here and give me a ride now.” Kinda presumptuous when aimed at a partner.
And seriously, as much as I like looking at and touching The Dandy’s penis (and I sincerely do), stimulating him is not an instant “OMG LET’S FUCK” level of turn-on for me. For me to get turned on and ready for sex I need him to stimulate me. (Even when I’m the one initiating the sex I tend to need a bit of touching, these days, to help my body catch up to my mind. I don’t get aroused at the slightest breeze like I did when I was younger.) And this never seems to occur to him.
So I feel like this is basically a repeat of the same old pattern. I tell The Dandy that the lack of sexual activity* is making me feel undesired, and the first time he gets a boner after that, he presents it to me like “Here you go – now you can do sex things to me. Problem solved!”
No, Dandy. You coming at me with a boner that doesn’t seem motivated by anything about me, and proudly displaying it for me to stimulate, does not make me feel desired.
Your responding to a direct request for sex with “I think I can do that” and apparently willing yourself into a boner out of pure sense of duty, then lying on your back with your eyes closed waiting for me to stimulate it, does not make me feel desired.
I don’t know if these things seem like expressions of desire to him or if he’s forgotten that particular part of my complaint and is focusing purely on “woman unhappy; must give her MOAR SEX” but yeeeah this isn’t really working for me.
On a related note, The Dandy (like The Bunny and Minx before him) has gotten in the habit of doing little things to tease me/turn me on. He knows I love his junk, so sometimes he’ll randomly hook the waistband of his pajamas underneath it and jiggle it at me. Last night as I was going to bed he appeared naked in my doorway, gave a coquettish full-body shimmy, then grinned and left again.
On one hand, these actions make me feel at least a little bit connected to him and reassure me that the relationship is still okay (we had a while where there was a sexual dry spell and he entirely stopped showing off for me, and that was terrifying indeed). He is catering to my turn-ons, which is nice. He cares about me finding him attractive.
On the other hand, it’s like are you fucking kidding me right now?! I’ve made my desire for him perfectly clear, I’ve said I don’t feel desired in return, and his response is to fish for even more compliments from me? I tell him I want more sex and his response is not to fuck me more often but to be like “oh hai! Let me taunt you with this thing you want that I have no interest in giving you!” That’s just plain insensitive.
And I’m pretty sure if I ignored The Dandy’s peacocking he’d be devastated, so even though I’ve been mired in self-doubt and undesirability and feeling disconnected from The Dandy and from sex most of the time lately, when he shakes his junk at me I still force myself to fake some oooohs and ahhhhs. Because if he ends up feeling like I’ve lost desire for him, too, that’s one pillar of the relationship entirely gone** and I worry the whole thing will just collapse.
This thing where men (and people who grew up thinking they were male even if they later realized they aren’t) demand attention and desire and don’t give it back, is that a common thing, an entitlement issue because patriarchy? Or am I just attracting a very specific kind of person?
*of any kind; I specifically mentioned that one of my issues is that he never initiates getting me off and I feel like he doesn’t care about my pleasure.
**I think in any romantic relationship between allosexuals the sex plays an important part, but also, every single time I’ve had an insecure patch and asked The Dandy to tell me a thing he likes about me, he says “the sex.” Not my sense of humour, not my introspectiveness, not that I keep us stocked up on chocolate, not that I make cool art, nothing actually about me. Just the fact that I fuck him (or perhaps that I fuck him very well). So you can’t blame me for feeling like sex is really important to The Dandy and that if we’re not having it he might not see the point of me anymore.