Get Real! My Partner Does Not Satisfy Me Sexually

Heather Corinna

If all we do with a partner is what feels good to us and what we want, and deny that partner everything which could feel good to them, we're not really having partnered sex: we're using that partner as a masturbation aid, and that's not cool.

Jessica asks:

boyfriend does not satisfy me sexually. He only lasts about 10 minutes,
he won’t rub my clit because he doesn’t want fluids on his hand and he
won’t eat me out because he thinks it’s nasty, but he thinks that I
should give him head. We have been together for 2 years and now it’s
really affecting me. What can I do?

Heather Corinna replies:

Ten minutes is actually a longer
time, not a shorter one, for an erection to last once intercourse
begins, especially for younger men. But even if he lasted a half hour,
it’s unlikely that you’d feel satisfied with intercourse alone or reach
orgasm that way, since the majority of women do not.

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Your boyfriend needs to understand that while intercourse alone may
work for him (though even for many men, while it may result in orgasm,
that alone is not all that satisfying either, something he may be
acknowledging by asking for oral sex), it’s not working for you and
won’t for most women. And if he’s unwilling to have any kind of contact
with your clitoris with his hands, mouth or a sex toy, what he’s
basically doing is ignoring the part of your genitals which is really
where most of your sexual sensation happens. Your vagina, for the most
part, is a secondary sexual organ when it comes to pleasure, and once
you get a couple inches inside the vagina, it’s often not even that
since there are very few nerve endings there. If he’s going to have
female sexual partners in his life, he’s going to need to understand
how our bodies work and that right now, his idea of what is sexually
satisfying is more likely to be satisfying for him only than for her
and his partners. He’s also going to need to be sure that he actually
enjoys women’s real bodies, whole bodies, and that he has the emotional
maturity to accept women’s bodies and sexual response as they are, not
as he’d like them to be.

Absolutely, plenty of people will have one or two sexual activities
that just aren’t their thing, and some may even have activities they
just absolutely won’t do or strongly dislike. We all have sexual
preferences. But if those preferences exclude all activities which our
partner finds satisfying, and only includes one which that partner does
not, that’s a real compatibility problem. And if those preferences tend
to exclude all the things which stimulate all partners we’ll have of
the group of people we date, that’s a pretty big problem, and one worth
investigating to be sure, for instance, we really are attracted to that
group of people and like being with them sexually, or that we’re really
ready to be a sexual partner to someone else, enjoying the whole of
their bodies and their sexual pleasure as much as our own. When someone
has a lot of strong preferences against many sexual activities their
partner enjoys, they should also be investing a good deal of time and
energy in asking that partner about what else they can do together so
they feel satisfied, too: if he wants to really be a partner, finding
out what he can do to make you feel as good as he does should be
something critical for him which he has a strong interest in.

Sounds to me like the two of you need to have a talk about the
reality of the female sexual anatomy, and also about double-standards.
If it’s not nasty for him to get oral sex, but it is for you, that’s a
double-standard. If his fluids are okay but yours are not, that’s a
double-standard. You both have genitals, they both have fluids, and
neither of your genitals or your fluids are "nasty." Sex is often
messy, wet, smelly and sweaty, for people of all genders. Both your
genitals and fluids are natural and normal, just like his. How about
asking him to talk about these double standards and where he got those
ideas? How about asking what he thinks he can do to adjust them since
he has a female partner? Mind, you can both use latex barriers
for oral or manual sex if you like — condoms for oral sex for him,
dental dams for you, latex gloves for both of you for manual sex. Some
people find that with manual sex, gloves used with lube even feel
better than bare hands because it takes away the roughness we can get
from fingertips and fingernails. Too, you can certainly use your own
hands on your clitoris with any sex you’re having. No matter what, if
you’re going to continue to have sex together, you’re both going to
need to find some middle ground where the sex truly includes and is
about both of you.

I’ll go ahead and be frank: sometimes, this is just an emotional
maturity issue. Not everyone has it. Some people will get it in time,
and some people never will. Sometimes, this is also an issue of someone
not understanding the difference between earnestly partnered sex —
that is about shared, mutual pleasure — and masturbating on another
person’s body. If all we do with a partner is just what feels good to
us and what we want, and deny that partner everything which could feel
good to them, we’re not really having partnered sex: we’re using that
partner as a masturbation aid, and that’s just not cool. It is actually
usually very demeaning and dehumanizing for the partner being treated
that way. You might want to ask him, to give him an idea, how he might
feel if all you were willing to do when it came to sex with him was to
straddle his arm and rub yourself on it. Would that be satisfying for
him? Would he feel like he was really an equal part of the sex you were

Maybe your partner just needs for you to talk about this with him
seriously, and make clear that for you two to have sex together — for
real — he needs to examine his attitudes here and the two of you need
to find a way for your body and your sexuality to be an equal part of
the sex you’re having. He may also just be ignorant about women’s
sexual anatomy and need some education in that regard. Maybe he needs a
little more time to grow up before he’s anyone’s sexual partner.

In either case, if during these talks, he either remains
unresponsive, or it just turns out that he just plain doesn’t like
anything but intercourse — and you know that isn’t going to work for
you — you may need to accept that the two of you are not sexually
compatible, and this may not be someone who’s a good choice of a sexual
partner for you (or most women, for that matter). Just because we love
someone and other aspects of our relationship are good doesn’t mean a
satisfying sexual relationship will necessarily follow. You may need to
have a big think about if you want to continue a sexual relationship
with him if it becomes clear that things aren’t going to change much in
this regard, which, if they’ve been going on like this for two years
and you’ve already had these talks, they very well may not.

Here are a few links for you to read, some of which you can pass on
to him, either directly or by explaining some of these things to him
yourself in a talk about all of this. Hopefully, if you otherwise like
being in this relationship, they, and the talks you have about these
things, will help. But if none of this does, then I’d suggest that it’s
time to move on to a partner who can really be a partner to you.

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