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.

Roundups Politics

Campaign Week in Review: Tim Kaine Outlines Plan to ‘Make Housing Fair’

Ally Boguhn

“A house is more than just a place to sleep. It's part of the foundation on which a family can build a life,” wrote Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA). “Where you live determines the jobs you can find, the schools your children can attend, the air you breathe and the opportunities you have. And when you are blocked from living where you want, it cuts to the core of who you are.”

Donald Trump made some controversial changes to his campaign staff this week, and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) noted his commitment to better housing policies.

Trump Hires Controversial Conservative Media Figure

Republican presidential nominee Trump made two notable additions to his campaign staff this week, hiring Breitbart News’ Stephen Bannon as CEO and GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway as campaign manager.

“I have known Steve and Kellyanne both for many years. They are extremely capable, highly qualified people who love to win and know how to win,” said Trump in a Wednesday statement announcing the hires. “I believe we’re adding some of the best talents in politics, with the experience and expertise needed to defeat Hillary Clinton in November and continue to share my message and vision to Make America Great Again.”

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Both have been criticized as being divisive figures.

Conway, for example, previously advised then-client Todd Akin to wait out the backlash after his notorious “legitimate rape” comments, comparing the controversy to “the Waco with David Koresh situation where they’re trying to smoke him out with the SWAT teams.” According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Conway is also “often cited by anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim organizations such as the think tank Center for Security Policy and NumbersUSA.”

Under Bannon’s leadership, “mainstream conservative website” changed “into a cesspool of the alt-right,” suggested the publication’s former editor at large, Ben Shapiro, in a piece for the Washington Post‘s PostEverything. “It’s a movement shot through with racism and anti-Semitism.”

Speaking with ABC News this week, Kurt Bardella, who also previously worked with Bannon at Breitbart, alleged that Bannon had exhibited “nationalism and hatred for immigrants, people coming into this country to try to get a better life for themselves” during editorial calls.

“If anyone sat there and listened to that call, you’d think that you were attending a white supremacist rally,” said Bardella.

Trump’s new hire drew heated criticism from the Clinton campaign in a Wednesday press call. “The Breitbart organization has been known to defend white supremacists,” said Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager. After pointing to an analysis from the SPLC linking Breitbart to the extremist alt-right movement, Mook listed a number of other controversial positions pushed by the site.

“Breitbart has compared the work of Planned Parenthood to the Holocaust. They’ve also repeatedly used anti-LGBT slurs in their coverage. And finally, like Trump himself, Breitbart and Bannon have frequently trafficked in all sorts of deranged conspiracy theories from touting that President Obama was not born in America to claiming that the Obama Administration was ‘importing more hating Muslims.’”

“It’s clear that [Trump’s] divisive, erratic, and dangerous rhetoric simply represents who he really is,” continued Mook.

Kaine Outlines Plan to “Make Housing Fair”

Clinton’s vice presidential nominee Kaine wrote an essay for CNN late last week explaining how the Clinton-Kaine ticket can “make housing fair” in the United States.

“A house is more than just a place to sleep. It’s part of the foundation on which a family can build a life,” wrote Kaine. “Where you live determines the jobs you can find, the schools your children can attend, the air you breathe and the opportunities you have. And when you are blocked from living where you want, it cuts to the core of who you are.”

Kaine shared the story of Lorraine, a young Black woman who had experienced housing discrimination, whom Kaine had represented pro bono just after completing law school.

“This is one issue that shows the essential role government can play in creating a fairer society. Sen. Ed Brooke, an African-American Republican from Massachusetts, and Sen. Walter Mondale, a white Democrat from Minnesota, came together to draft the Fair Housing Act, which protects people from discrimination in the housing market,” noted Kaine, pointing to the 1968 law.

“Today, more action is still needed. That’s why Hillary Clinton and I have a bold, progressive plan to fight housing inequities across Americaespecially in communities that have been left out or left behind,” Kaine continued.

The Virginia senator outlined some of the key related components of Clinton’s “Breaking Every Barrier Agenda,” including an initiative to offer $10,000 in down payment assistance to new homebuyers that earn less than the median income in a given area, and plans to “bolster resources to enforce Fair Housing laws and fight housing discrimination in all its forms.”

The need for fair and affordable housing is a pressing issue for people throughout the country.

“It is estimated that each year more than four million acts of [housing] discrimination occur in the rental market alone,” found a 2015 analysis by the National Fair Housing Alliance.

No county in the United States has enough affordable housing to accommodate the needs of those with low incomes, according to a 2015 report released by the Urban Institute. “Since 2000, rents have risen while the number of renters who need low-priced housing has increased,” explained the report. “Nationwide, only 28 adequate and affordable units are available for every 100 renter households with incomes at or below 30 percent of the area median income.”

What Else We’re Reading

CBS News’ Will Rahn penned a primer explaining Trump campaign CEO Bannon’s relationship to the alt-right.

White supremacists and the alt-right “rejoice[d]” after Trump hired Bannon, reported Betsy Woodruff and Gideon Resnick for the Daily Beast.

Clinton published an essay in Teen Vogue this week encouraging young people to fight for what they care about, learn from those with whom they disagree, and get out the vote.

“In calling for ‘extreme vetting’ of foreigners entering the United States, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump suggested a return to a 1950s-era immigration standard—since abandoned—that barred entry to people based on their political beliefs,” explained USA Today.

Trump wants to cut a visa program “his own companies have used … to bring in hundreds of foreign workers, including fashion models for his modeling agency who need exhibit no special skills,” according to a report by the New York Times.

A Koch-backed group “has unleashed an aggressive campaign to kill a ballot measure in South Dakota that would require Koch-affiliated groups and others like them to reveal their donors’ identities.”

Commentary Politics

Milwaukee Officials: Black Youth, Single Mothers Are Not Responsible for Systemic Failings—You Are

Charmaine Lang

Milwaukee has multiple problems: poverty, a school system that throws out Black children at high rates, and lack of investment in all citizens' quality of life. But there's another challenge: politicians and law enforcement who act as if Black youth, single mothers, and families are the "real" reasons for the recent uprising and say so publicly.

This piece is published in collaboration with Echoing Ida, a Forward Together project.

On the day 23-year-old Sylville Smith was killed by a Milwaukee police officer, the city’s mayor, Tom Barrett, pleaded publicly with parents to tell their children to come home and leave protests erupting in the city.

In a August 13 press conference, Barrett said: “If you love your son, if you love your daughter, text them, call them, pull them by the ears, and get them home. Get them home right now before more damage is done. Because we don’t want to see more loss of life, we don’t want to see any more injuries.”

Barrett’s statement suggests that parents are not on the side of their sons and daughters. That parents, too, are not tired of the inequality they experience and witness in Milwaukee, and that youth are not capable of having their own political ideologies or moving their values into action.

It also suggests how much work Milwaukee’s elected officials and law enforcement need to do before they open their mouths.

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Barrett’s comments came after Smith fled a traffic stop and was shot by authorities on Milwaukee’s northwest side. The young Black man’s death sparked an urban uprising in the Sherman Park neighborhood, an area known for its racial and religious diversity. Businesses were burnt down, and the National Guard was activated in a city plagued by racism and poverty.

But Milwaukee parents and families need more than a directive thinly disguised as a plea. And Mayor Barrett, who was re-elected to a fourth term in April, should know well that Milwaukee, the nation’s most racially stratified city, needs racial equity in order for there to be peace and prosperity.

I live in Milwaukee, so I know that its residents, especially its Black parents, do love their children. We want more for them than city-enforced curfews and a simplistic solution of returning to their homes as a way to restore calm. We will have calm when we have greater investment in the public school system and youth services; easy access to healthy food; and green spaces, parks, and neighborhoods that are free from police harassment.

In fact, according to staggering statistics about Milwaukee and Wisconsin as a whole, Black people have been consistently denied their basic human rights and health. Wisconsin has the highest rate of incarceration of Black men nationwide; the Annie E. Casey Foundation has found it is the worst state for racial disparities affecting Black childrenand infant mortality rates are highest among Black women in the state.

What we absolutely don’t need are public officials whitewashing the facts: that Milwaukee’s young people have much to protest, including Wisconsin’s suspending Black high-school students more than any other state in the country.

Nor do we need incendiary comments like those coming from Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who drew national attention for his “blue lives matter” speech at the Republican National Convention and who is a regular guest on CNN and Fox News. In an August 15 op-ed published by the Hill, Clarke has called the civil unrest “the rule of the jungle,” “tribalism,” and a byproduct of “bullies on the left.”

He went even further, citing “father-absent homes” as a source of what he calls “urban pathologies”—leaning on old tropes used to stigmatize Black women, families, and the poor.

Single mothers are not to be blamed for young people’s responses to a city that ignores or criminalizes them. They should not be shamed for having children, their family structure, or for public policy that has made the city unsafe for parenting.

Creating justice—including reproductive justice—in Milwaukee will take much more than parents texting their teens to come home. The National Guard must leave immediately. Our leaders must identify anti-Black racism as a root cause of the uprisings. And, lastly, creating justice must start with an end to harmful rhetoric from officials who lead the way in ignoring and dehumanizing Milwaukee residents.

Sheriff Clarke has continued his outrageous comments. In another interview, he added he wouldn’t “be satisfied until these creeps crawl back into their holes so that the good law-abiding people that live in the Milwaukee ghetto can return to at least a calm quality of life.”

Many of Milwaukee’s Black families have never experienced calm. They have not experienced a city that centers their needs and voices. Black youth fed up with their treatment are not creeps.

And what hole do you think they should crawl back into? The hole where they face unemployment, underemployment, police brutality, and racism—and face it without complaint? If that’s the case, you may never be satisfied again, Sheriff.

Our leaders shouldn’t be content with Milwaukee’s status quo. And asking the citizens you serve to be quiet in the ghetto is an insidious expectation.


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