Q: My boyfriend refuses to do anything "extra" when it comes to sex. He won't go down on me. He won't touch me down there. When we have sex, it's ALWAYS what he wants. I go down on him, then we get down to business the way he wants. He doesn't seem to care what I want and makes me feel guilty when I argue about it with him. The rest of our relationship is amazing. He always compliments me and takes very good care of me. But when it comes to the bedroom, he's a completely different person and I can't understand why.
A: He won't go down on you? Or do anything you want? Even when you try to talk to him about it? Is he some interstellar time traveler beamed in from the Planet NoClue? What the f*ck?
So what do you do? The problem isn't just that he's refusing to give you what you want: You have been giving him everything he wants, repeatedly, before getting what you want. In basic business terms, you've lost your leverage. Now you need to get it back.
I'm not a big fan of tit-for-tat retaliation, but drastic times call for drastic measures. Tell him no more blowjobs until he goes down on you. And stick to it.
I know that's a bit aggressive, but in this case, it sounds like you've talked it out and he's being a selfish prick. I think it's worth the risk.
The thing is, I have trouble believing that the rest of your relationship is as healthy as you say. Does he really respect you and your happiness? He certainly doesn't in the bedroom. Does he really take your opinions seriously? He doesn't in the bedroom. Does he really want what's best for you? Again: Not in the bedroom.
Maybe if you go on a blowjob strike, it will be the cold slap of reality that will wake him up. If not, maybe you should take this as an opportunity to rethink the rest of your relationship.
Q: I found in my boyfriend's computer (while he wasn't home) that he has a video having sex with his ex girlfriend. I don't want him to know I looked in his computer, but it really bothers me! Should I tell him to delete it and get exposed?
A: This is exactly why people should respect each other's privacy. You snooped and now you're stuck.
Of course it bothered you to watch your ex have sex with another woman, but that's your own fault. He's not a Kardashian, but that didn't stop you from acting like TMZ. Now your jealousy is your own punishment. Sit with it. Think of how you'd feel if he read every text on your phone.
Every man has something on his phone or computer that will bother you, whether that's a sext, text, email, Facebook pal, Snapchat screengrab, GChat transcript, or web history. In other words, if you want to start some trouble, you can start trouble with any guy if you try hard enough.
But you couldn't help yourself. And what did you learn, really? That he had sex with his ex and had fun with a camera. Shocking. You know what's really shocking? That your girlfriend is digging through your laptop, searching through your files, and invading your privacy. If the worst thing you could find on his computer was a little sex tape made with an ex, consider yourself lucky.
So here's what you do: You never, ever say a word of this. You pretend you never saw the video. You take your own anxiety and guilt as your well-deserved punishment. And you never snoop again.
Q: When I was younger, I had zero social skills (a.k.a. no friends). Therefore I didn't go out much. That didn't help me learn the basics, like flirting or how to make a guy be interested in you. Now I'm 28, I look hot and I'm very social, but I have barely been on dates and I have never had a boyfriend. I know that this has affected my self-confidence, but I don't know what to do or what I'm doing wrong.
A: One thing you might be doing wrong is assuming that other people are dating right. There's no one right way to date, flirt, or get a guy to pay attention. Most people stumble into great relationships without any intention or idea of how they got there. (Usually, it's small talk; often it involves alcohol.) And despite the proliferation of contradictory advice books and dating gurus and consultants and advice-writing guys who only ever have half a clue, studying rules and observing protocol has just never been terribly sexy anyway.
I'd bet that you're overthinking things. And overthinking dating is bound to make it hard because romance is fundamentally illogical and weird: What's more ridiculous than sticking your tongue down a stranger's throat? What's nuttier than trusting someone—one person—for the rest of your life? Before our hormones kick in, we all think romance is yucky and weird and bizarre and totally gross—and I still struggle to find a rational explanation for why it isn't. Why are we wildly attracted to one person and not another? It's baffling. Love, says Joaquin Phoenix's character in Her, "is like a socially acceptable form of insanity."
As a rule, my friends who feel the most awkward about dating are generally the ones who seriously overthink it—and I've been my least happy when I'm overthinking it too. My friends and I sometimes get caught up in thinking about what it all means before it means anything at all. Overthinking can be an elaborate defense mechanism: You close yourself off to experiences before you get a chance to risk rejection, which, I think, is at the core of anyone's anxiety about dating: The reason we don't date, generally, is not that we don't know what to do. And it's not that we don't understand the so-called rules. It's that we don't want to expose ourselves and get hurt. It might be that it's easy for you to be social with friends because you expect less from them than you do from a lover; there's less at risk and you feel less vulnerable. Just remember that a lot of guys have the same basic anxiety.
You might be surprised to find how many people appreciate a little direct flirtation, a little attention, and a little honesty. Every time you flirt with a guy, you're taking some of the pressure off him, and making him more comfortable. Flirting, much like giving a compliment, is a little gift.
For further reading, the witty writer Katie Heaney just wrote a memoir, Never Have I Ever about her very similar issue, and you may find that she's a kindred spirit.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor changes have been implemented by Cosmo.ph editors.