Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dudefile# 37 - A Question From An Old Fashioned Dude

Dear Dude Whisperer,

I'm a dude, and I'd like some help understanding myself. At the beginning of this year, I met a wonderful woman. She's brilliant, stunning, energetic, cultured, and thoughtful. She's crazy about me, and I can easily see myself spending years with her. But, I'm deeply uncomfortable about one thing about her: she's hooked up with a lot of people.

We've had roughly the same amount of sexual experience, but most of mine has come in the context of several long relationships. I've fooled around with a handful of people whom I liked a lot (without anticipating anything serious arising), but for me physical intimacy (of any kind) is most rewarding when it's partly an expression of affection, to the extent that the "hook-up culture" doesn't have very much appeal for me. Yet it did for her.

Sex with this woman is incredibly fun – the best that I've ever had. Everything that she's said suggests that she's satisfied, too. But I wonder whether it's as meaningful for her as it is for me. She's done many of the same things with people that she didn't like very much (or didn't know), meaning that the fact that she gives herself to me isn't that significant. And I want to be with a woman who regards her sexuality like I do my own – as something relatively special. In addition, I wonder whether the urges that impelled her to seek out casual involvement will, in time, make it harder for her to be loyal to me. If sexual satisfaction was so important to her that she would seek it from people that meant little to her, how will she respond to the inevitable lulls in attraction that arise during a long relationship?

Even though my attitude toward hooking up is dramatically different than most of the views that your readers (and you) have expressed, I've been consistently impressed with your advice and I hope that your thoughts will help me. I've talked about my feelings with my girlfriend on a couple of occasions, and she's emphasized that the past is the past and that her feelings for me are different. But, without very much experience hooking up (and, honestly, little desire to try it), I've struggled to understand and/or accept what she's said. The differences between our positions and pasts haven't interfered with our sex life, but I worry that I won't be able to feel as comfortable with her as everything else about our relationship suggests I should.

Here's hoping that you can help a dude as much as you've helped a bunch of "dudettes."

– Old-Fashioned Dude

Hi there OFD,

Okay, so this is excellent to have a question from a dude. And the DW is particularly glad that you are an upstanding young lad. If the site’s first question from a dude had gone something like “Hey, DW! What up brah! How can I get my GF to open her mind and try a threesome with this super hot stripper my cousin met last week in Reno?” that would have been seriously unfortunate. It seems horrifying enough to women to have everyday vanilla dude stuff spelled out frankly without heading into that kind of total animal territory. Seriously, once or twice a month the wifey looks up from The Dude Whisperer and says, "I mean, really?"

Anyway, if things don't work out with your current girlfriend, half the DW's audience is probably dying for your number, you nice guy, you.

As for your question, the DW thinks what's going on is pretty typical. Everybody, dude or dudette, has to get used to the fact that their other's life was full and rich and complicated and otherwise complete before they turned up. Some folks take this totally in stride because they're either extremely self-assured or utterly daft and incurious. Some folks never ever get over their own insecurities and freak out that the main squeeze’s high school sweetheart is gonna turn up any day now and sweep said squeeze away to the south of France so they spend their whole lives jealous and jittery and irritable.

You seem kinda in a normal middle ground. And the sex thing seems to be a particularly predictably dude thing to pin your uneasiness on and refer to when thinking of your need to feel special or better or the first or most important. Women (or at least the DW is basing this on trying to put himself in the wifey's shoes- remember, the DW knows nothing about women) are much more jealous of previous relationship experiences like traveling across Africa or learning to make Christmas cookies together. Dudes just can't handle the thought of other wieners interacting with their special relationship ladyfriends and will obsess over possible previous placement of balls and would usually just rather not hear about any of those pre-Me underpants adventures. But if we do hear about any of that stuff, they’d like to be told that the sex was boooo-riiing to the point it deserved heckling, the dude was clumsy as a drunken miner, and the penis was the size of a 4d nail.

Here's some advice about how to change your dude thinking to make this all a little easier.

First thing is regarding this part of your note-

"She's done many of the same things with people that she didn't like very much (or didn't know), meaning that the fact that she gives herself to me isn't that significant."

Not so! It is significant. It means something for her to trust you with the gift of her delicious velvety vagina whether you’re the first visitor to that wonderful land or the ninth or the seventy-eighth. Okay, maybe a little less if you’re the seventy-eighth, but you see where we’re going here, right? The mistake dudes make, the DW included, is thinking that the boning itself is the most significant part of your intimacy. If you were to ask the wifey what the most important part of an afternoon in bed with the DW was, she would probably completely leave out his revolutionary sexual techniques and her mind-altering orgasms and tell you instead about how easily she and the DW talk, hang out, and just be together. That's what sets the DW apart from the other dudes she's been with- all that relationship stuff and wonderful ease of being with the right person that dudes tend to gloss over. The enormous c*ck is just a bonus.

The other thing is to remember that what you've got is exactly what will carry you through your "inevitable lulls in attraction". Because you have more than physical attraction! You have you, the dude she actually likes for more than a fling! As above, the physical part is only an element of what makes someone desirable and all that. Otherwise there's no way in hell our parents would still be f#cking each other.

Look, it seems like everything else seems to be going fine with this gal. Just stay open and up front with her about stuff and you'll be fine. She's probably got her own insecurties, too. Hell, she may well be paranoid you think she's a total leg spreadin' ho-bag or something. Keep talking and it'll all work out.

Remember, your member is only a part of what she likes about you.

the DW

Two brief odds and ends notes:

One- Here’s a follow up to the DOW #10. Interview with Cheeseburger Dude.

Two- The DW understands that you, dear readers, are antsy about the slow posting the last couple weeks. He’s been stripping paint and housepainting and other manly pursuits in preparation for moving this weekend. Bad news- that cuts into his genius writing time. Good news- he’s starting to get seriously ripped. Hang in there this month as the DW finishes moving, takes a trip for Thanksgiving, and does his best to keep up a good pace.


Anonymous said...

DW, you understand women much better than you think you do! That was pefect! The dude here needs to do exactly what he said he is having trouble doing--accept what she says. If you don't accept what she says, then you're basically telling her that you don't trust her, you're insecure and frankly, judgmental. Just let it go and the problem will go poof.

Amy said...

I believe that when you're in a relationship, the most significant thing you can do is make the other person feel special, and to recognize their little gestures. The world is filled with hate and anger, and anything you can do to express and hold on to those moments of happiness is what it's really all about.

The impression I get from OFD is that he is either not recognizing her gestures of 'specialness' or is rendering them insignificant. And the more he obsesses on the issue about sex, the more she's going to realize that nothing she brings to the table matters to him, and that this post is all about projection, and that he's likely be the one to stray in order to find a more "virginal" woman because that is what he defines as "special".

To be honest, when I read his letter, I could only ask..out of all of the things to focus on whether this person is right for you...really? seriously? Grow up.

Anonymous said...

I was with a guy for a couple years who had had a far less adventuresome sexual past than I, and he was very hung up on that. He didn't bring it up incessantly, but often enough for me to feel like I was being judged. And even though I feel perfectly fine with my own sexual history, it resulted in me not wanting to discuss my past with him. It also made me feel like he was childish and insecure for not being able to take my word for it when I told him that I was into our relationship and attracted to him and liked the sex.

OFD, I think your best bet is to reassure your gf that you're happy in the relationship in so many ways, that you think the world of her, and that (lest you've given her any impressions otherwise) you trust her. That's all.

Anonymous said...

The best indication of her honesty is the fact that she was HONEST about her past. You know how easy it would have been for her to lie about her sexual past and let you live in ignorance? Don't fall prey to some conventional notion of "special." If you have a good connection, great sex, and a good friend in this woman, then, guess what? It's special!

Jaq Fonte said...

Dude Whisperer, I am majorly impressed by this hamburger eating fella. That takes skills.

Thanks for the follow up.

Anonymous said...

Hook ups VS. realtionship sex are two different things. When you are emotionally involved with someone sex is so much more satisfying, in fact there is no comparison. But that doesn't mean a woman should shut herself away in an ivory tower in between relationships, and she shouldn't be punished for not doing so.

She probably feels very lucky to have a boyfriend she cares about. She's not with anyone else, she's with you, for more reasons than what goes on in the bedroom. Don't blow it by constantly bringing it up. If she feels judged and you constantly come off as insecure you just might lose her with your preoccupation of her sexual past. You'll bring your own fear to reality.

Charley said...

I think some of the female audience missed the point of that post. It seems that OFD has been open to his special lady, but he is still having issues with it. You chide him for being honest? He could also keep this a secret and not deal with it until it blows up at the wrong time.

I believe that he is handling this very reasonably. I have had similar issues with my love as well. We talked about my trust issues and we talked about her trust issues. It took some time, but I think we both feel better about it. Thankfully, I no longer think she is going to stab me in the groin with a broken wine glass.

If they keep an open dialogue about it, then it will be fine, assuming he tries to understands that the sack tussle is hardly the most important part of a relationship.

Also, note that it is no easier for a dude to "grow up" than it is for a lady to instantly "get over" any hang ups she might have about her special new dude. Words and phrases such as these are of little positive use to anyone. Rather, they are divisive and come off as sounding mean spirited.

Lauren said...

Many of us longingly dream of having longer sexual encounters that will leave us breathless. We see vivid and tempting displays of such pursuits on the television and in movies, read enticing depictions in books, and even hear others speak of long and enjoyable sexual experiences that blew their minds. Why then, aren’t you able to enjoy longer and greater sex? The good news is that, nowadays there are a number of ways apart from the impotence drugs (in case you want to know more on this you can check out this link http://www.buy-viagra-with-us.com/).