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‘No-strings sex leaves me miserable’

Having watched every episode of Girls, I naturally became "friends" with all the characters.

Having watched every episode of Girls, I naturally became "friends" with all the characters.

Published May 28, 2013

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QUESTION: I’ve been dating two men for the past year - with their knowledge. Neither wants a full-time relationship (all three of us divorced recently, so are still bruised). I know I should feel lucky with two lovers, but I’m starting to feel torn about having sex with one man, then another, with nothing deeper developing. What should I do?

 

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ANSWER: I don’t see why you should feel so “lucky”. You are having sexually intimate relationships with two men who show no desire to develop emotionally intimate bonds with you. I can see how that could make you feel twice as insecure, rather than doubly blessed. There are people who prefer uncomplicated sex-based encounters, but remarkably few of them are female.

I recently watched series one of Girls, the New York-based sex comedy (a grittier Sex And The City) and laughed in recognition at the central character’s predicament: Hannah is having sex with an actor who has no wish to declare her his girlfriend and she feels miserable.

Sound familiar? I find it interesting that a woman as young and as feminist as Girls writer Lena Dunham should acknowledge that most women find it frustrating when a man they adore wants a casual relationship.

If a woman likes a man enough to have regular sex with him, she generally thinks it would be great to walk hand-in-hand to the cinema, or to loll about on a sofa together reading Sunday papers.

It’s a question of respect - and here you are with two men who show scant interest in upgrading your status in their lives.

Added to this, you are having to cope with the emotional confusion of ricocheting between two men like a bagatelle ball. Dithering between handsome lovers may be thrilling in the early stages of the game, but it becomes less exciting when you find you have no real choice since neither man wants you for his partner.

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What once boosted your confidence can start to undermine it. It’s no wonder you feel torn apart.

I’m not making a moral judgment. The three of you are consenting, single adults. If you were happy with the status quo and a no-strings, two-lover life, then I’d say all the best to you. But you aren’t, and no amount of lecturing will change that disposition.

You also seem to have no clear preference, which would suggest neither Romeo is the great passion of your life.

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Given the casual basis of both relationships, couldn’t you suggest to both men that you take some time out from the encounters to reflect on what you really want? Use that time to see how you fare without sex.

It’s my hunch that you’ve been so preoccupied with your two sex-buddies that you’ve ceased to keep an eye out for the man who’s not afraid to say girlfriend, partner or wife. He’s out there, but you’ll never find him if you’re busy juggling lotharios. - Daily Mail

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