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He’s intimidated by my passion in bed

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a dirty shame movieposter

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Middle-aged, sexually repressed Sylvia Stickles is the subject of John Water's film A Dirty Shame.

QUESTION: I have been going out with my boyfriend for two years now and, in many ways, he’s perfect for me - with one caveat. Although he’s very loving, when we’re in bed he feels less engaged than I am and doesn’t seems to experience the heights of passion I do. He has admitted he finds my intensity a bit overwhelming and seems daunted by the fact that I often want to make love several times in a row (he never does). How severe is this problem and can it be tackled?

ANSWER: I often wonder whether any two people experience sexual passion in the same way. There are so many psychological, physiological, emotional and, for some, spiritual elements involved that it’s almost impossible to accurately evaluate one person’s experience of sex versus another’s.

Who is to say that the person who is experiencing a thrilling, yodelling physical burst of electric intensity is having better sex than the individual who is feeling profoundly, but quietly, affirmed, valued and reassured? Some people are very present, alert and ‘in the moment’ when they’re making love, but others retreat inside their heads and, perhaps, engage with sexual fantasies.

There’s no right or wrong, but couples run into difficulties if one or both partners in a relationship are made to feel their approach is inappropriate. This seems to be the state of play with you and your boyfriend. You are both being a little judgemental about each other’s sexual style: he finds you overwhelming and you think he’s underpowered.

Both of your critiques seem born out of insecurity, ie my lover doesn’t respond as I do, therefore their feelings aren’t as sincere as mine. If you and your partner click on most levels, it seems likely you can learn to reassure one another in the bedroom - but you both need to open up about your anxieties.

It sounds as if your boyfriend’s response to your sexual desire has made you feel both voracious and unfeminine. This is hardly uncommon. One acquaintance was told by a partner that she was “the greediest woman I know”, as if appetite in any form was reprehensible in women.

There’s still a widespread assumption that men who want lots of sex are the norm, while women who display the same level of desire are unnatural.

However, Mother Nature wants women to breed (even if we have no conscious desire to reproduce), and we can be as driven by our hormones and biological programming as any male.

It sounds as if your upbringing was free of the kind of cultural inhibitions that can sometimes stymie female desire and you have no fear of being yourself in bed. But perhaps the opposite is true of your partner.

It may be a generalisation to say that all British men are repressed, but certain national clichés exist for a reason. A lot of Brit males are inclined towards reticence, and you have to appreciate they are experiencing things with the same intensity you are, but can’t express it. Their ‘that was good’ actually means “mind-blowing”.

Your boyfriend is seemingly more insecure than you, since he finds your ability to have repeated sex in one session “daunting”.

You need to understand, and be compassionate about, the reasons for his current limitations and then gently encourage him to push out the boundaries a little so both his and your needs are met.

Of course, it might simply be the case your partner is not wired to experience high sexual voltage; many people, by their own frank admission, aren’t consumed by lust and sexual passion.

The real question here is: can you free one another to be who you need to be, with no guilt and recrimination attached?

The best sex is the sort where both participants get what they need from the experience, even if that’s very different things.

If you can make this true of you and your boyfriend, you will have an enviable sex life. - Daily Mail

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