We like to think that we know what kind of problems we'll have when we grow up. We think we're aware of everything that can present an issue in a relationship.
After all, we've seen so many romances play out on television and in our lives. We know what can happen.
We've catalogued the challenges we'll face, and we're ready for them.
But as we dive into the treacherous seas of real-life romance, we find ourselves colliding with sh*t we never anticipated. We must face obstacles we never considered.
Let's talk about sex. We're told that, in straight relationships, the woman is the one who usually wants sex less. The guy wants it; the girl says yes or no. That's how the game works, right? He wants us to put out, and we accommodate.
We ladies are the gatekeepers of male pleasure.
But what about a woman who enjoys sex?
I mean, shouldn't it be every guy’s dream to have a girlfriend who is always DTF? Isn’t a female who is in touch with her own pleasure someone to be desired?
If a woman wants to f*ck all the time, shouldn’t she be getting f*cked all the time? After all, women are the ones staving off constant penetration, right?
If guys are supposedly so horny all the time, shouldn’t a highly sexual woman be a wonderful surprise?
The answer is often no. And that's a problem that few people expect to have in a relationship. What happens when the tables are turned -- when a woman's claim to power (sex-withholding) becomes a man's territory?
If, as a woman, you compromise your sexual needs for your boyfriend, what happens?
You feel like you’re crazy for having needs.
Even though you know it’s okay to want sex, you can’t help but feel crazy. What is so wrong with you that you have a sexual desire that is so much greater than his?
You're letting this destroy an otherwise perfectly healthy and happy relationship. You're letting this one thing eat away at the fabric of something great. That seriously sucks.
Society tells women that having a higher libido than men is a problem. You're told that you're insane for believing that he should satiate your needs. You are the problem. You are being unreasonable.
You’re in a constant state of frustration because you can’t just make your sex drive go away. There is no healthy way to lower a sex drive. (Why would someone even want that?) You’re in a constant state of push and pull.
Somehow, it’s always your problem.
It’s your problem for wanting sex too much. It’s not his problem for not wanting sex enough. It’s never he who is giving it up too infrequently; it’s you for wanting it too often.
You’re the unreasonable one, and he's just a normal guy. Why do you want sex so much? What is wrong with you?
The solution can never be that he should pick up the slack. No, that simply couldn’t be it. The only thing you can do is busy yourself with other things and hope it gets better for you. (It won’t.)
You’re a vibrant, confident woman. And yet here you are, feeling like a failure because your boyfriend doesn’t want to have sex with you.
Compromise feels like the only solution, but it’s a dirty solution.
Relationships are all about compromise. You make concessions so that the two of you can find some semblance of happiness. You deal with his love of Phish; he deals with your love of rom-coms. He deals with your neuroses; you deal with his ADD.
But sex is such a different animal. How can you possibly compromise on sex? Nothing could feel worse than having to negotiate for sex. Think about it.
You’re going to have sex because he feels obligated to f*ck you to make you feel happy? That would make you feel disgusting. It does make you feel disgusting. You’re essentially reducing a beautiful thing into a form of currency. You're treating sex like a commodity -- when really it should be something that brings you two closer.
You don’t want to feel this pathetic or this needy. Begging is not attractive. You want to have sex because you’re wanted -- not because someone wants to appease you.
You have to secretly get yourself off while he’s sleeping.
Doing this feels so desperate that it takes everything inside of you not to cry. You feel a deep and profound sense of guilt when this is the only way you can keep your head on straight.
It’s strange, because you feel so satisfied in every other part of your relationship. But you just can’t seem to come to terms with this glaring problem. You wish you didn’t feel like this; you wish you could just chill the f*ck out about the whole mess.
Yet here you are, masturbating in the dead of night like a bandit in the dark.
You complain about it to everyone you know.
Your friends are sick of hearing about it. It’s a constant drag on your happiness. You know that everyone is tired of hearing about it, but you can’t stop. It eats away at you like a bacteria. You have to talk about it to stave off the infection in your soul.
You don’t want to talk about it with him constantly, because it hurts him to know you’re upset -- and it hurts you to see no resolve. You don’t want to hurt him, but you’re the one who’s hurting.
You always quietly wonder if there is someone he’d rather be with.
Or if there is some weird, kinky fetish that he likes but isn't telling you about. You question your sexual appeal, your looks and your skills in bed. You’re constantly questioning yourself. Your woes manifest in the back of your mind and devour your senses.
Feelings of unease creep upon you like termites in wood.
Are you bad in bed? Are you ugly? Is there something he wants but is too embarrassed to ask for? You find yourself daydreaming about his exes. What did they want? Does he wish you were more like one of them?
You overanalyze small comments he makes about other girls. You overthink everything he says and does. You’re desperate to make some connection and to find some solace. You dutifully and obsessively look for answers -- all while being terrified of what you might discover.
You’re so tired of having the same conversation.
You want sex, and you ask for it. That’s how you’ve always been, because you own your sexuality. When you ask for it, he turns you down. You feel worthless.
Talking about it feels like a broken record. You know communication is important, but what is the point of talking when nothing will change?
Bringing it up isn’t going to make him want you more. Telling him how sad and empty it makes you feel isn’t going to inspire him to have with you. All it does is make you feel sadder and more desperate than you did before.
It really f*cks with your confidence.
It doesn’t matter how divinely confident you are. Being sexually rejected as a woman is an especially severe and painful experience. It cuts you deeply. You are already going against the grain by wanting sex in the first place.
You’re here, and you're owning your sexuality. You’re standing out on the edge, fearless. You're uniquely hurt when you step outside of society's expectations for women only to have a man reject you.
You don’t want to be this shell of a woman -- this female who needs the validation and acceptance of a man to feel whole. But here you are.