Dear readers: I'm on vacation for the next three weeks — but you won't be reading old columns while I'm away. You'll be getting a new column every week, all of them written by another Dan Savage. None of them will be written by me.
The other Dan Savage is a sports writer and the assistant director of digital content for OrlandoMagic.com. He will be answering your questions this week. This is Dan's first time giving sex-and-relationship advice.
I'm a straight guy in my 40s, and I've been with my wife for more than 20 years. I'm incredibly attracted to my wife. Recently, I've been a bit frustrated with us not having sex as frequently as I'd like. So I broached the subject with her. I tried to be easygoing about it, but maybe I fucked that up. Basically, I told her that I fantasize about her daily and would like to have sex more often. I cited two examples of frustration. Two weeks ago, I came on to her and tried to initiate, but we had a dinner party to go to and she didn't want to be late. One week ago, I was flirting with her but was rebuffed because we were going out to dinner and... she wanted to go to dinner more than fuck, I guess. I made my wife cry by bringing this up. End result is that she doesn't want to fuck more than we already do, there's nothing I can do to make sex more appealing for her, and it hurt her for me to bring the subject up at all. I dropped it, apologized, and moved on. I don't want to coerce her into anything (I want her to want me), so here we are. How can I communicate better in the future?
Using My Words
Communication in any relationship is key. On the basketball court, one of the first things young players are taught is to communicate effectively with their teammates. They're required to call out plays, offensive assignments, and defensive rotations in order to prevent breakdowns and keep the system working smoothly.
In relationships, the same principles hold true. You have to be able to effectively communicate with your partner in order to keep both parties happy. And just like everything else in life, timing is everything.
First, I'd make sure you communicate your needs at a time other than when you've just been rebuffed. You're then likely to be less emotional, think more rationally, and more effectively explain your needs without applying added pressure. Second, I'd try making your next move when other plans are not on the table. In both the examples you mention, UMW, the timing of your request appears to have been an issue for her.
Schedule some time for an intimate dinner at home or cap off an exciting evening out on the town with romantic advances. If she does not respond to your improved efforts, then she's not being a good teammate. A successful relationship is when both members' needs are met.
I've been hooking up with a good friend for about a year. We're both single, and he lives in another state but comes to town for work every month or two, and we usually hang out and have really great sex when he's here. One of the things I've always admired about him is his eco-conscious lifestyle... which includes showering only about once a week to save water. His BO is pretty inoffensive (it's actually a nice scent), but I find that most times we hook up, I get a raging UTI within a day or two. It's happened enough times that I'm wondering if his infrequent washing could be allowing bacteria to live on his junk, causing my infections. Is that possible? Do I need to have a talk with him about washing more frequently/thoroughly?
Hurts To Pee
The simple answer is yes, HTP. It's great to have an eco-conscious lifestyle, but not at the expense of your urinary tract. If he cares about you as much as he does about the environment, then with a quick chat, he'll probably focus a little more on his personal hygiene. Especially if you explain to him that the overuse of antibiotics contributes to creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can cause issues for the entire planet.
Follow Dan Savage, assistant director of digital content for OrlandoMagic.com, on Twitter @Dan_Savage.