Dear Miss Dinna –
I am a male, 38 years old. A couple of years ago, I met this amazing Australian woman (I live in Brooklyn) briefly and it was like love at first site. We stayed in touch (she works for Virgin Airlines), had some visits back and forth, and have basically developed a serious relationship.
Over the last two years that we have “been together”, it’s been amazing and simultaneously quite a struggle for me. We see each other maybe once every 4-6 months. We skype and talk every day. The plan is for her to eventually move to NY… hopefully in the next 6 months… but it means uprooting her whole life, finding another job etc. etc. She’s up for it, really wants to live in NY – but it’s going to take some time.
Here’s the issue: I CANNOT deal with not having sex for all the months in between not seeing each other. I don’t feel emotionally connected to any one else, and am very much capable of having sex with no emotions involved. I feel much better, way more focused etc. etc. when I have sex. I feel awful, anxious, unfocused etc. when I do not.
About 6 months ago the dreaded question came up if I have had sex with others, and my girl-friend was devastated to find out the truth. It created quite a rift. It ended with “I don’t understand it, but I guess I have to live with it” type of resolve.
I’ve tried to explain to her that if I don’t do it, I can feel myself winding up and feeling resentment towards our situation… and so in a sense it’s better for us.
I don’t want to hurt her, and I don’t want to feel like I am “cheating” on her, but at the same time I can feel myself about to explode and getting testy with her due to holding back.
Any advice would be appreciated.
About to Explode with Love!
Dear About to Explode with Love –
Your search for advice around this topic is an age old qualification of gender differences… Men often are able to compartmentalize sex in a way that women are not. Not always, but often.
Assuming that you embrace monogamy when in the constant presence of your partner, I can empathize with your struggle with in the present circumstances.
I actually agree with your reasoning. I do think, as a man at your age, that you know what you need and what feels right to you. I also do believe you when you say that you are able to have sex with out attaching to these women, and that your love and heart is with your girlfriend.
All that you can do is stay true to your word and to yourself. It is not realistic to think that two people who see each other twice a year, no matter how in love, are not apt to have sex with others in between.
The key is to act responsibly. What I mean by that is to make sure that whomever you have casual sex with, knows exactly what they are receiving from you…. not any more or less. Secondly, I would encourage you to watch your desires….eg: if you are finding that you have to have sex in great quantity at any time that you are stressed and are using it as a constant way to self-sooth, then that may be entirely something else to explore.
But, if you are having sex once a month, for instance, at the peak of your exasperation, with women that know exactly what they can expect from you, then I don’t think it should be a problem.
You’re girl-friend is right as well. She is not going to like it, nor will she ever like it, but she does have to accept it… or move on. It’s a reality of the circumstances, but not a definition of the worth of the relationship.
I am confident that once she is here and in your presence, sleeping with others will become a non-issue.
Wishing you lots of love and all the perks that come with it!
Ask Miss Dinna a question — any question– regarding relationships, sex and sexuality by emailing her at: email@example.com, Subject: “Ask Miss Dinna.” She may answer your question personally or in a future column (your name will be kept anonymous).
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