April 07, 2016
I Don't Fuck My Boyfriend.
I just turned 30 and I've been with my boyfriend for almost 7 years — since I was a devil-may-care 22 year old teaching assistant. Now, I'm about to graduate law school. My boyfriend has seen me through this whole nutty journey and he's incredibly supportive BUT — he's no longer particularly sexually attracted to me, nor I to him. I just don't remember the last time we had sex. I do remember that it wasn't good. He's my best friend; we have fun; I trust him with my life (more tellingly, with my dog's life); we want the same things for our future; we have built an existence together that I fucking love...minus the fucking. He thinks this is the best we can hope for, that we should appreciate each other and stay together. I'm attracted to other guys in general - and one in particular - but that's neither here nor there. Still, am I supposed to live the rest of my life in a happy, intellectually fulfilling, emotionally nurturing, yet essentially bloodless partnership? I really do want to bang the hot guy who thinks I'm hot too. I miss that, deeply. But I don't want to hurt my boyfriend and throw away something I know I'm damn lucky to have. We've invested a lot in each other. Do you think I should just focus on counting my blessings and stop thinking about sex? Am I asking for too much? Is this just a symptom of turning 30 and realizing that I'm "settled down"? We have everything on your Nana's list down pat except the fervent sex life. (And not to be bossy, but please don't suggest I buy some sexy lingerie and ask him what his fantasy is).
Oh girl. Your question just hit me right where it hurts. I've so been there.
If lust is the wild-eyed vixen in a torn minidress and smoky eyeliner bar-hopping and having hot sex with randos, everlasting love is its sweet and humble sister sitting nearby in a chaste nightgown, meekly sipping mint tea and re-reading her favorite Jane Austin novel. Lust, love, eroticism, seduction... it's so very hard for them to all co-habitate. And desire is like a whack-a-mole. It pops its head up all over, sometimes in very inconvenient places.
Right now you're experiencing what every single person in a long-term relationship experiences, but rarely talks about: the difficulty of maintaining passion, eros and lust with your life partner. The person who’s supposed to be your lover, your best friend, your trusted confidant, all of it. It's a super difficult dance.
Short answer is no. Don't marry him. Here's why: you already want to have sex with other people and you're not even engaged. Put a ring on it and the whole thing just gets more complicated. You cheat; he finds out, it's a disaster. You cheat; he doesn't find out; you turn into a guilty neurotic mess. You don't cheat, you start to resent the sexless marriage you're in, and end up watching way too much porn in the bathroom after he goes to sleep. Then your relationship becomes a tormented shitshow of silent scorn and the only activity the two of you can endure together is sitting side by side on the couch with separate bowls of cheddar bunnies watching Breaking Bad wearing your grossest yoga pants with a period stain on the butt.
Human sexuality is a layered, tortured, textured machine — and it only gets more complex the older you get. You're thirty! You have decades and decades of sex in front of you. You owe it to yourself to truly explore your sexuality, to honor it and to give it the attention it deserves. Sex is like engagement rings: there are a million different types of it. There's cozy sex, comfortable sex, hot sex, dirty sex. There's boring sex, procreation sex, makeup sex, fight sex, the list goes on. But every gal needs to get fucked hard against a wall now and then. And if you're not getting it at home, you're going to start looking for it elsewhere.
It sounds like you and your lovely, dedicated, amazing, sweet partner need to gracefully accept the fact that you're not meant to be soul-mates and begin the long, painful process of separating your lives. It's going to suck. It's going to be really hard. Work together with a couples therapist to do it as gracefully as you can. Cry, hug, invite all your friends over for a "We're Breaking Up" party and celebrate the fact that you've spent seven great years together and now it's time to transition into your next journey. Now go graduate from law school, start your life, give the tattooed Task Rabbit guy a BJ, whatever. Your new life awaits you.