I’m a gay man in my mid-20s. I’ve been seeing someone for almost two months and we’ve slept together a handful of times. Despite hanging out for the past two weeks, though, we haven’t had sex. The other night I tried to initiate and was rejected; they said they were tired. I brought up my frustration and queried whether they actually fancied me. They were shocked that I’d question whether they fancied me and brushed it off. I left that night and received a grovelling apology by text, but that just made me feel worse. I felt as if I was guilting someone into having sex with me, which isn’t exactly sexy. But I also recognise that my wants in the bedroom aren’t being met. I’m not sure if it’s worth carrying on with this relationship, but I really like the person. Are we incompatible?
You don’t yet know each other well at all, so it’s far too early to know about compatibility. Is it not possible that they actually were tired the other night? Fatigue, stress and overwork can greatly affect a person’s sexual desire and arousal. Let’s say you were oversensitive and took it as a rejection – ask yourself if this is a familiar pattern for you. If we are open to it, we can learn more about ourselves with each relationship, each experience, and this process of self-discovery is thankfully lifelong. Perhaps the lesson here is that you are expecting a lot for such a new liaison. Consider what it is you really want and need at this point in your life. If you are simply in the market for great, uncomplicated and brief sexual encounters with people who are always ready, understand that you are bound to be disappointed some percentage of the time. And you may also miss out on the pleasures of true intimacy in a deeper relationship. But you say that you “really like the person”. Let that be your guide. Try to get to know each other better generally. Sex can wax and wane, but likability can be a vital marker for relationship longevity.
Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.
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