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Bedroom Routines, Presents, and Work “Friends”

I’ve been dating an incredible guy for almost six years (through college and beyond). He is caring, smart, motivated, funny, and all the other amazing qualities a girl could ask for. Except one thing: our sex has become… mediocre. At the beginning, we couldn’t keep our hands off each other, as is to be expected when people are first falling in love. But over all these years, sex is still the same as it always was — same routine, same place. I find myself getting bored, resentful and generally losing interest. This scares me, because I love him and don’t want to feel these things toward him. I’ve heard people say that losing interest in sex is the first sign a relationship is doomed — what are your thoughts? Is it normal, in a long-term relationship, to have lulls in sex-drive or could this be the beginning of the end? How can I get him to shake things up without making him feel criticized or embarrassed?
 Please help!

I’m just going to say this out front: Sex is overrated. There.

Don’t get me wrong, sex is important. Sex is enjoyable. Sex is something I need and want all the time. It’s just that, I have a whole bunch of other needs and wants that have come to replace my singular focus (i.e. Have Sex!) from when I wasn’t having any sex at all. This ability to expand my intellectual horizons has come, in no small part, from my wife who sexes me more or less whenever and however I want.

It may be the beginning of the end, but then again it may be the beginning of the beginning.


There is a whole group of professional sex writers and boink wonks who hold forth that if you and the missus haven’t yet invested in a foam wedge and a swing, well, you’re missionary squares. Like the couple that wrote the book “Just Do It” about having sex for 101 days straight, as of it was some kind of marathon. You know what, running a marathon sucks. You know what, fuck you 260-day couple.

You know what else, missionary positions is fucking great. She comes. I come. Why not do it every time? Tom Wolfe wears the same white suit every day and he’s loved for it. Comfortable repetition is classy and there’s no need to be ashamed of it.

That said, lulls are totally natural. Lulls sometimes last four years, coincidentally about the same amount of time it takes for a little girl to learn to not be scared of the night.

But if your lack of interest stems from not from outside pressures of what should be and more from inside yourself, then go ahead and take a little initiative. Who knows, maybe he feels the same way and is scared to bring it up for fear of coming across like a pervert.

Just don’t start with the butt plug.

I’ve known this guy for awhile. We were always flirty friends at work but just work. He had a girlfriend and even though I liked flirting with him, I never thought we’d date. Well he broke up with his girlfriend and instantly started talking to me tons more, asked me out, we made out. Then he basically dumped me and said he didn’t want me, that he was in a bad place and I even found out he was casually dating another girl. I cut him off for a week but then after that week we fell back into talking every day and hanging out periodically. A month later he told me that all the stuff he had said in the past wasn’t true. That he liked me and wanted to be with me. It was exactly what I wanted to hear. 
We dated for a month and then he completely flipped back to “I know I care about you, but maybe it’s just as friends.” I’m not stupid and I knew what was happening, so I tried to make it a simple transition back to just friendship. I guess that he just wanted to cut and run, cause it turned into “ignore her until we only have a 30 minute break-up phone conversation.”

The thing is that he can’t run very far because we work at the same company (though not in the same office) and we are both a part of the same very small social group of young people here. I have two questions: 1) I want to believe that he does actually want to be friends, but his dickish actions in the break up seem to say the opposite. Does he want to be friends or was he just friends with me before because he was interested in dating me? 2) How do I be friends with him when I’ve seen him at his most callous? Does he expect me to just brush it under the rug? He said that it was up to me if we were to be friends, which I feel is a cop out. I’m not the one who was a complete asshole, and if we are going to be friends, wouldn’t it be appropriate for an apology or an explanation of why he treated me that way when he said he was my friend. 
Just an FYI: I don’t want to get back with him, I don’t want to hang out tons outside of work, I just want that easy work friendship back where we talked a lot and got our friends together for lunch.

Run away. Or shank him first. But certainly run away.

FYI: You put more thought into this question that he’s put into you.

My boyfriend and I are approaching our two-year anniversary next month, and while I haven’t felt entirely secure in the relationship for a while, when he suggested that we not do presents, I started to panic (not because of the lack of presents mind you, but by what that meant).

He seems to want to completely ignore the day; just sweep it under the rug and hope it goes away. I don’t need him to be jumping for joy about it or anything, but it’s an exciting milestone for both of us (we are both each others’ longest relationships).

Oh, that being said — no, he isn’t going to “surprise” me with a gift anyway … the last two Valentine’s Days he asked for the no-present deal and that’s how it happened.

Part of my general paranoia is that he once talked about maybe wanting to live on his own at some point, wondering if he’s supposed to meet other people to learn and grow from them, didn’t see us getting married or having a long term relationship (…this was a year and three months in) but after some much needed communication found that he was just worried we were too much like his parents and we would only get divorced like them (we are similar, but very, very different than his parents, which I explained and enlightened).

He also, in our entire time together, has only ever spoken the words “I love you” to me in person once, instead of “I love you, too” (sometimes says it at the end of a phone call but not in person). I’ve never pointed this out because I know he would think I was silly, making it up and forgetting other times. He insists that he doesn’t want to say it too often because it will “lose its meaning”…personally, I’d like to say it at least once every day, and I don’t think that’s asking too much.

I love him very much and could see us getting married, but I’m wondering if maybe I’m being too understanding/patient about his inability to communicate how he feels about me. What should I do so that I’m not constantly in my head wondering whether or not I mean anything to him at all?

Is your boyfriend in the Tea Party? Because in our new era of austerity, we must look at across-the-board spending cuts. We can no longer afford to live beyond our means. Kidding! Tea Partiers don’t actually do any of the things they claim to support.

I don’t know how old you are, and that matters but… guys are utilitarian. And, they like to think, full of reason. Don’t say “I love you” too often because it loses its meaning? Duh. That makes perfect sense, because, you know, if I wear those shoes I like too often they’ll wear out. If he never said it at all, I would say you’ve got something to worry about. It’s far more likely that he’s just not very sensitive to your needs because he’s just not a very sensitive person.

Now, that might seem depressing, but the upside is that there’s room to work with that. It sounds like he has intimacy issues, maybe on account of his parents’ break up. Divorce can wreak havoc on a person’s sense of getting close to others, but it’s not an excuse.

I think you’re right to want better communication. I would suggest you find a way to be fun, or funny, about asking for more. Anything but an approach that he might perceive as you pushing him. Men respond well to humor; if we didn’t, all those beer commercials would just be a waste, right?

Previously: Living Together, Cheating Compulsions, and Marriage Smoke Signals.

A Married Dude is a married dude who doesn’t claim to know everything about marriage. Do you have any questions for A Married Dude?


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