Miss Information

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My girlfriend and I are both 30 and live with our parents. We never get to have sex.

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Dear Miss Information,

My girlfriend and I are both 30, and have been together for two years. We are an amazing fit. Before I get too far ahead of myself, I should probably mention that we both live with our parents. She's uncomfortable having sex in either of our parents’ homes, although that's where we have had sex in the past. She says it will change once we live together, and I pray it does.

We first had sex six or seven weeks into our relationship and continued to do so about three times a month. I respected her wishes and didn't push sex on her when our relationship started. I let her bring it up. A few months into our relationship, she got pregnant and lost the pregnancy. We had sex a few times after that, but not nearly as much as we once had. I admit I might have made it worse by pressuring her about sex, leading to a big fight. So I’ve done my best to leave the topic alone, which has turned into no sex in nearly seven months. 

Is it me? Something I've done? She also doesn't touch me the way she used to. I realize she’s stressed about work and money right now and she may not want to have as much sex because of that. I wish she could understand how hard it is for me not to be able to make love to the woman I want to marry. The reason I haven't talked to her about it lately is to avoid a fight — this is the only thing we fight about. Your advice, please?

—Sexless Before Marriage

Dear Sexless,

Dude, I have to tell you, you have the best pair of rose-colored love glasses I’ve ever seen. Only a man in love would look at a two year relationship, the first and last quarters of which have been spent without sex and in great fear of bringing it up, and say that the two of you are a perfect match and that this is the woman you want to marry.

Lest you and any readers think I’m faulting your girlfriend for her lack of sex drive, rest assured I’m not. Stress, the awkwardness of being adults trying to hide your sex life from your parents, and a lost pregnancy are buzzkills on their own, and together, they’re a deadly libido-crushing cocktail. You could say she’s got emotional whiskeydick. And hey, that’s cool, it happens to everybody. 

But here’s where the problem hits: if you’re a gentleman with literal whiskeydick (listen up folks, this is an advice twofer through the magic of metaphor): you still do your best to meet your partner’s needs, and if you can’t at the time, you make it up to them later. You don’t turn into a fussy baby and roll over in a huff because you’re mad at yourself. You accept that sometimes sex just ain’t in the cards and you give your partner some woozy cuddles or something. For the past seven months, your girlfriend hasn’t been doing that. She’s been a bit of a fussy baby. Not because she doesn’t want to have sex — that’s her prerogative — but because of how she’s behaving toward you because of it. 

From what you say, she’s been distant and uncommunicative, leaving you to try to puzzle out what’s got her so turned off. While some of the onus is on you to try to talk to her about it, she’s been biting your head off every time you bring it up. Only she can say for sure if you’re actually being a jerk, but it sounds to me as if you’re trying to be as sensitive to her needs as you can. I don’t think it’s you, but only she can tell you whether it is or not. 

My advice to you? One, if you really think moving out of your parents’ homes and into a place together will help, do it. Do it as soon as possible, because it sounds like the current situation is making both of you really unhappy. Two, think long and hard before you decide you want to spend your life with this person. If two years in you’ve hit a communication roadblock this big, that does not bode well for a lifetime of marital bliss. You should choose a life partner you can talk to about anything, not one you’re scared to open up to or who you have to hide things from. And three, stop being afraid of fighting. If this is the only thing you fight about, you’re not fighting enough. I’m not suggesting you roleplay as Sid and Nancy, but if you really want to spend your lives together you can’t be afraid of getting mad. You’re eventually going to get mad at anyone you spend that much time with, guaranteed. It’s how you deal with that anger and frustration that counts. It’s not worth it to avoid fighting — you’ll be so much better off if you learn early on whether you can both fight fair, and whether or not you can trust each other to make up. So bring up the sex issue (or lack thereof). Duke it out. And then see where you stand.

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