Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

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“Just for sex” Isn't Working
Was She Wrong?
Her Fantasy

“Just for sex” Isn't Working

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am 42 yrs old, divorced since 2000. I know I have a problem and don't know what to do about it. It seems as if all I am looking for is sex in relationship. Part of me tells me I would like more but the other tells me why bother setting myself up to be hurt again.

I was dating a 42 yr old man for 3 months. I started having feelings for him and decided not to sleep around with other guys. After I decided this, he then informs me he isnt ready for a committment and wants to see "other women" and be "just friends" with me. So we were no longer involved with each other, sexually or otherwise.

I now find myself back to my old ways of having 3-4 lovers but no one to love me. I fear I have probably already contracted a sexual disease but am not willing to go get tested. I had and continue to have unprotected sex with 2 or 3 different guys a week. They are all the same guys I have been involved with for the past 6 months to a year. I know they would deserve to know, but then again, why do they? After all, they are supposed to be responsible too but why not when they choose to take risks also!

I don't really know what to do anymore. I try to just be involved with one guy but that doesnt seem to work for me. Your advice is desperately needed, I have no one to talk to about this.

Dear Wanting More,

There’s nothing wrong with having men “just for sex,” if you can do it safely, and without wanting more. One problem is that we’re wired to want more. Just having sex makes you want more. Men seem to be able to have intimacy without necessarily wanting more, but give a woman a good orgasm and she begins to think she’s in love. Then she wants a full relationship. That’s why it’s so hard to have men “just for sex.”

However, if you were to choose lovers who absolutely, positively, never-in-your dreams could be husband material, then it’s easier to keep them as a sex object. I don’t think that’s what you do, though, and that’s why you get hurt.

Given enough time and patience and great sex, a “just for sex” relationship can become a real committed love relationship. But not in three months. Maybe in a year or so. So you jumped the gun with this guy by giving up all others after only three months.

The trick is not to give up all others until you and he both agree to be committed. If you do it first, unasked, you are giving the guy every opportunity to think, “Well, I’ve got her. I wonder who else I can have.” Men are competitive and will be more interested in commitment if they feel as if there is someone else who wants you too.

There’s nothing wrong with you having lots of lovers, but there is something wrong with your spreading a sexual transmitted disease. Start using condoms. See a doctor. Get treated. Tell the men you’ve been sleeping with that they should get checked as well. They deserve to know because you’ve shared your bed with them. They deserve to know because you’ve given each other pleasure, whether you had a love relationship or not.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Was She Wrong?

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I've just ended a long-distance relationship with a guy, and I could sure use some feedback on the way I handled the situation. I honestly don't know if I was overreacting by breaking up with him or not.

I have only seen this guy about four or five times, since we live in different states. So I probably don't know him too well in a lot of ways. He is about a year older than me. Last weekend, I visited him. The visit started out nice; we explored a historic town near his house, and then went swimming in a big lake.

After that, however, things seemed to go downhill. We went back to his house, and he started fixing things around his house and yard, completely ignoring me. He also fixed dinner for both of us, which was nice; I told him I appreciated it and offered to help him and he said "no, that's OK." After dinner, we watched sci-fi movies on TV and fell asleep. We had sex, but he couldn't ejaculate. He told me that was because it was hot, which it was (we had turned off the air conditioner earlier because it had gotten too cold), and he couldn't perform if it was too hot.

The next morning, I woke up before he did, and went to the bathroom. Then I went to the kitchen and had a little something to eat, since he was asleep. Then he woke up, went to the bathroom, and took a shower. We were spending the whole morning apart from each other, so I told him I was leaving and drove back home immediately.

The whole time I was with him, he made fun of me. Every little mistake I made, he would make comments about. I didn't mind at first, since he was always the type of guy who liked to joke around. Pretty soon, however, that became all he did when he was around me. It was the only way he would communicate with me. I would try to have a serious conversation with him, and it would be impossible. I didn't take his teasing personally, but I felt very alienated from him because he didn't seem to take me seriously at all. It was like we were on totally different wavelengths. I should also mention that he drank lots of beer, but didn't act drunk or slurry because he seemed to have a very high tolerance for it.

I could have tried to talk with him about all this - and I probably should have - but I didn't bother because I felt it probably wouldn't do any good. Most likely, he wouldn't listen to me.

A few days later, after I was back home, I decided to end it with this guy. I sent him a very nice, polite email telling him that I felt it would be better if we didn't see each other any more, that I had a very nice time seeing the historic town and the lake with him, but I felt we were much too different to have a real relationship. We just didn't have a lot in common. I also told him that I was sorry it didn't work out, but that I would always remember the nice times we had together. He responded by sending me an email that said: "you suk."

It's not that I don't have a sense of humor; I am very outgoing and laid back. People have told me I'm fun to be with. I'm also not oversensitive when people joke with me. However, I would like a lover I can have decent conversations with, as well as jokes. I really don't think that's asking too much. I guess I felt this guy saw me as nothing than just this plaything he could rank on and play games with as much as he wished, and I resented it. That was why I reacted to him the way I did.

Did I overreact? Should I have given him another chance? I've had experiences like this with guys before, so I tend to be very wary about this issue. Would love to know your take on this.

Thanks very much, Not Interested In Being Anyone's Toy

Dear Nobody’s Toy,

Most relationships don’t work out. If that weren't so, we'd all wind up married to the first person we dated in high school. This is one of the ones that didn’t work. You have to try lots of different men before you get sensitized to the warning signals – the little things that make you realize “he’s not the one.”

You were right to listen to your gut when it told you to leave – that he’s just not the man for you. You say you want a man who can communicate. This guy’s idea of communication is “you suk.” He’s not a communicator and he definitely didn’t pass your tummy test.

What I’m wondering is why you didn’t communicate more. When he started fixing things around the house and totally ignoring you, you should have said something to him. Communication goes both ways. It’s also possible that if you had spoken up when he first started to misbehave, he would have changed, or you would have decided to leave sooner.

The best time to prevent a man from doing something you dislike is to stop him the first time it happens. If you don’t, he’ll keep doing it. Then if you try to stop him later, he’ll wonder why you didn’t tell him in the beginning and whether you are hiding your feelings and opinions. This goes especially for sex. If a man does something you don’t like in the bedroom, tell him immediately. If you let him keep doing it, you’ll begin to resent him and if you eventually tell him, he’ll resent you for not telling him sooner.

Sometimes a man’s bad behavior is so abusive that you need to leave immediately.

I think his story about the heat is weird. Men ejaculate in warm places all the time.

Don’t give this guy another chance. Find a new man and start over.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Her Fantasy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 23 year old bisexual female. I have a 24 year old straight boyfriend. I want to tell him that I would like to introduce other females to our bedroom, so we can be with them together. I don't know how to approach the subject. I'm not only scared that he will not want to do this with me, but that he may not like the fact that I want to.

Should I just be straight forward and tell him, or maybe that would be too sudden. If you have any advise I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you

Dear Bi Gal,

I am assuming your straight boyfriend knows you’re a bisexual woman. If not, then you really have to start there.

Before telling him anything, it’s a good idea to feel him out on the subject. Ask him how he feels about women who are sexually interested in other women. Talk about the subject. Rent erotic films with threesomes and ask him if it turns him on. Don’t just jump into “I wanna bring home some sexy ladies to join us in bed, is that okay?”

Then, before you go through with this kind of three-way (or is it more?), make sure you and he have the same idea of what should go on. If he thinks certain sex acts should be off-limits, it’s important to know that before you start. Find out how much he wants to be involved and exactly what his fantasy would be.

Have rules for the evening. When it will start, how long the visitor will stay, and of course, a special signal between the two of you that means, “I want to stop.” Some couples also have signals for “I feel left out,” “I’m not turned on by this,” and “Let’s do more, this is fun.”

Be prepared for feelings of jealousy and insecurity to come up. Even the most sophisticated swingers get jealous sometimes. And always assure your mate that they’re still the most important person in your life.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

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(Featured art from cover of Letting Go, by Zev Wanderer and Tracy Cabot, published by "Bitan" Publishers, Tel-Aviv, Israel)
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