How Far Do We Go To Change Our Partners?

So from writing my last post about banging a chick other than my girlfriend, and the subsequent comments, a question has popped into my head that I thought was worth giving it’s own blog post.

It goes like this. I’m in this relationship for half a year and everything is great EXCEPT the sex is lousy. Every commenter suggested the first step towards dealing with this dilemma is to talk with her and communicate what I’m feeling and thinking. Great. In my mind, what exactly does that talk accomplish? I see three scenarios: A) The talk is going to accomplish nothing and possibly lead to breakup (possible), b) She acquiesces 100% and somehow lets me do whatever I want sexually (highly unlikely), or c) we compromise and meet somewhere in the middle (likely).

When I hear compromise, I think that we’re changing for each other. I’m all about change. I love change. My question is this: how much responsibility should we have for changing our partners, or perhaps a better way to phrase it is how big a part do we take in the change process? Should we even be trying to change our partners at all, or should we simply move on and find someone more compatible?

Her sexual values are different from mine. They’re not better or worse, they’re just different. I call it vanilla, she calls it normal. She thinks my sex values are freaky and a little weird. I think she’s immature sexually and unawakened. Who’s right? Is it my job as her boyfriend and her loved one to make her see the light about what my perception of great sex is? Is it her job to convince me that anal sex and money shots are disgusting and disrespectful? Should we be compromising on these issues or just agree to disagree, which is what we’ve been doing.

That’s a huge dilemma I have. I want this relationship to work and I want to have rockin sex with Heather, but how far do I go to bring her to my side. Or, perhaps I should just stay on her side and live in the realm of what I consider boring sex. I mean, the relationship is great and maybe that’s a worthy tradeoff. I’ve had several people, offline and online, suggest that I just live with the boring sex because excellent companionships are hard to find and sex is transitory. That to me is a shitty compromise. Sex to me is like eating and breathing and I refuse to have a shitty diet and breathe bad air. There’s something fundamentally wrong with that.

I think I can have a talk and tell her about my experiences and what I think is great sex. I can show her the porn I like, the books and blogs I read (except this one), and buy us sex toys. When is it too much? When does it become her responsibility to figure out how to orgasm from penetration and not just masturbation? If I draw the line somewhere, and it’s not enough, then what? We break up and maybe that trauma becomes a change agent for her to find better sex, but maybe it doesn’t.

For me, there’s no question that I’m more attractive, a better lover, and a better boyfriend because the breakups I’ve had have caused me to change. Those change agents were powerful and I’m glad they happened, but goddamn they were painful and it took YEARS. Can I in good conscience inflict that on her or would it be better to let her be and find her own path, whatever that is. I know she thinks fleetingly about having multiple orgasms and about getting fucked by a huge black guy, but will she ever go for those things unless I push her? Is it right for me to do that pushing in the first place?

One last thing. I’ve been re-reading Way of the Superior Man, which is like the best book on the planet, and our sexual polarity is screwed up. I’m hyper masculine in the bedroom and she’s neutral, like vacillating between fem and masculine, and I’ve noticed that her neutral vibe has the effect of moving me towards neutral. When that happens, no one gets off. How do you even talk about that kind of shit? How do you talk about any of it and not have it be bullshit?

  • Offwinger

    If sex is important to you and the sex is bad, you don’t have a great relationship. You have an *almost* great relationship. No one is right or wrong in terms of what kind of sex they want or like. It sounds like you’re incompatible with Heather.

    If you can’t figure out how to talk about this issue in a healthy, constructive way to see what compromises are possible, then you don’t have a great relationship. You have an *almost* great relationship. There is no one “correct” way to broach this subject. If you don’t have the kind of connection and communication skills to have a decent conversation about this that isn’t about blaming or hurting someone, then your relationship isn’t as solid as you are saying.

    Breaking up with Heather now will hurt her. You can be nice about it (we’re just incompatible sexually) or you can be a dick about it (it’s YOUR responsibility to learn how to have your own damn orgasms by penetration!), but it’s going to hurt.

    That said, spare us the bullshit about “can I in good conscience inflict that on her?” If you are not compatible for a great relationship, then that’s reality, and you need to deal with it and have a conversation about her with sex (actually a series of conversations), and if it turns out that you really do want different things in the bedroom, then break up like a freaking grownup and expect her to do the same! She’s not a child and you’re not her parent and acting like you need to “teach” her about sex or “spare her” the pain of the break up is infantilizing crap.

    You want to have your cake and eat it too. You want the relationship with heather while knowing that you can continue to have great sex as well. You can talk to heather to see if you *can* have that great sex life together (all signs so far point to a strong no, but if she’s really worth it for everything else, then it’s worth a try, you’d think) OR you can talk to Heather to see if you can have a great sex life by having sex with other people.

    If neither of these options can work and great sex is important to you, then BREAK UP ALREADY! It doesn’t get easier or better for anyone by waiting, and you’re too fucking scared and lonely to cut her loose, so you’re rationalizing and naval-gazing instead of actually doing some of the communicating and acting that needs to happen here.

  • Honey

    I think the real issue is that you don’t think that you’ll ever be in a relationship that lasts for the rest of your life. If you did, you’d know that compromise takes years or even decades, and you’d be fine with that. Since you don’t think you’ll ever be with anyone “forever,” your patience for putting up with anything that’s less than your absolute ideal is just not there.

    This isn’t to say that you haven’t been in relationships that are less than perfect – you have, many times, by my observation and your own admission. It’s more that you’ve never really tried to change the dynamic you’ve had with any of your exes – you’ve just convinced yourself to remain quiet and let the relationship go past its expiration date and then moved on to the next one. Sometimes the experience has changed you, but even as you admit above, it’s the breakups that have changed you AFTER the fact – you haven’t tried much to actively compromise while the relationship was still going on.

    The fact of the matter is that it’s not just your choice, either. You have an obligation to be honest with Heather about what you want, because if it’s not what she wants and if she IS looking for someone to be in a monogamous relationship for the rest of her life and nothing you do or say will change that (which is likely, both statistically and based on what you’ve said about her) then she has the right to know you’re not that man as soon as possible so you guys can break up and she can find the guy who is willing to give her that. Or maybe she’ll surprise you and be willing to meet you in the middle in ways that would satisfy you.

    Either way, I don’t think you have the right to steal possibly years of her life by keeping information that is vital to her ability to make a decision about whether you are someone she wants to be with.
    .-= Honey´s last blog …How Far Do We Go To Change Our Partners? =-.

  • Honey

    Also, every relationship of significance changes you in some way. At this point, it seems like your options are:

    1) be the man who sacrifices everything important to his identity to be with the greatest romantic companion he’s ever encountered,

    2) be the man who lies by omission to the greatest romantic companion he’s ever encountered and endangers her health on a consistent basis, or

    3) become the man who is willing to communicate openly and honestly and, if necessary, let her go sooner rather than later so you can both find what you want/need.

    You’ve tried the first two, how is the third looking?

    I suppose you could also remain the man who dithers endlessly while remaining in a circumstance that’s not right for either person.

    If you want.
    .-= Honey´s last blog …How Far Do We Go To Change Our Partners? =-.

  • Nicole

    maybe you’re just not anatomically “right” for her down there. haha! and i’m being serious. it’s easier to cum w/ certain men who are of a certain size.

    i already said your relationship is doomed. there is a lie between the 2 of you now that can never be repaired. to continue being w/ her, you’ll have to keep that lie for the rest of your relationship. to tell her will mean she’s dumpin’ yo ass! like the 1st commenter said above, you have an almost great relationship, but not quite there. she might be better than any other gf you’ve had in the past, but that sure as hell don’t mean she’s all that.

    and you probably just like her as a gf because she’s quiet and vanilla and boring and yet got her shit together, compared to those other skanks you meet, who are probably drunks and party girls and losers.

  • Lance

    Bahahaha! Did you just say I have a small dick?? She’s never cum before with any bf via penetration, so it’s reasonable to assume penis size isn’t an issue.

    Also, I don’t date skanks…sluts and ho’s, yes, but not skanks. I have standards.

  • Mr. R

    Now I’m terribly curious: Can you see yourself committing to this girl for life, and not sleeping with anybody else, ever? Cause that’s what committment means, ya know.

    And if not, she probably does want that lifetime committment, so you better clear that up for her, one way or the other. Most girls do want it.

    Or you could be that guy who keeps stringing her along and stringing her along, for a long time.

  • Hammer

    Alright Lance, time for me to drop some truth on you. Ready? Here we go:

    Stop being a needy bitch. It’s funny, ironic even, because in the PUA community we tend to associate neediness with sex, but you’re dealing with intimacy neediness. You seem to feel like these “good girlfriend” qualities are something that you don’t deserve/cannot find, and are considering sacrificing your sexual happiness as a result of it.

    I think this relationship is probably done. You need to break this chick, and I just don’t think that it’s happening. That said, I think that there is a chance you can break her and save it, but you’re going to need to make some changes.

    You need to play some chick games with her. Be in a bad mood all the time, make up random excuses for why you can’t spend time with her. Get “turned off” during sex and go masturbate in the bathroom. Make it seem like she’s losing you. Maybe even dump her ass hard for no reason. The more you withdraw the harder she should work for you.

    You’re in a frame battle with her, a frame battle that she wants you to win. Do it man. There’s no compromising in relationships. No settling.
    .-= Hammer´s last blog …Swype Beta Reopens =-.

  • beforewisdom

    I don’t envy you Lance.

    The advice is always clear and simple when you aren’t the one who has to feel hurt by putting it into place.

    Going forward, stick to honesty.

    It will hurt less in the long run.

    Good luck
    .-= beforewisdom´s last blog …Ligting A Tiny Candle =-.

  • Jax

    Also, every relationship of significance changes you in some way. At this point, it seems like your options are:

    1) be the man who sacrifices everything important to his identity to be with the greatest romantic companion he’s ever encountered,

    2) be the man who lies by omission to the greatest romantic companion he’s ever encountered and endangers her health on a consistent basis, or

    3) become the man who is willing to communicate openly and honestly and, if necessary, let her go sooner rather than later so you can both find what you want/need.

    You’ve tried the first two, how is the third looking?

    I suppose you could also remain the man who dithers endlessly while remaining in a circumstance that’s not right for either person.

    If you want.

    Yep…. well said.

    Lots of good input, I would not reccomend the “break’ her approach.

  • Shannon

    Yep, definitely a dilemma, man. I think to a point, there is good in trying to “introduce” someone to something new, it’s how we find new interests (in and out of the bedroom). But some people won’t change their point of view, and there’s nothing you can do about that. The more you push, the more you turn them off to the idea.

    Going to have to parrot Honey’s number 3, be honest and make a clean break with it. Besides, why waste your time (and hers) playing silly “break-in” games when you could be spending that time much more efficiently – out there encountering someone that fits all of your needs much better?

    I think you’ve done all that you can do and the fact that you’re questioning everything certainly suggests you’re looking for a reason to stay amongst a dozen other reasons not to.

  • dadshouse

    Neutral women in bed are the WORST! How can you stay with her? I’m sure she has great qualities out of bed. But you’ll never change her sexually, it’s too deeply rooted in who she is. If the sex is really bothering you, and you’re nailing other women on the side, I think you need to be honest with yourself and look for a new girlfriend.

    On my sex scale, there are women who are neutral – yikes. There are women who are eager – ho hum. There are women who are in sync wiht you – rawr. And there are women who are vibrant and sexy and you’re just along for the ride. Oh my.
    .-= dadshouse´s last blog …The Bachelorette =-.

  • Jax

    Change? Compromise? Accommodate? Give in? Accept?

    Those are all givens in a relationship. If one can’t see themselves doing more for someone than they would do for themselves at times I would suggest the relationship will fail. Generalities of course.

    In your personal situation though and from I read, no one person will ever be all of it for you until… if ever.

    There are multi aspects of your being unhappy with Heather. She is rigid in thinking, sexually in-experimental, singularly orgasmic(wondering if that’s real or she fakes it), she seems ‘safe’, cautious, responsible. Not character flaws but certainly has bored you already.

    Example: Deciding to go ahead and have anal sex one day isn’t necessarily ‘changing’ for someone or changing yourself. It could be an act of love, an act of curiosity, or an act of ‘let’s just get this out of the way’… I think the first two are okay and the last one is a waste and manipulation. Going beyond ones comfort level sexually or other wise is just a natural part of being a partner, especially a life time partner. Now, in your case, if Heather were to do that for you and then find out you have already cheated… well, how degrading. Talk about giving a piece of ass to a relationship. UGH! You can’t expect to have any real foundation of trust, true unconditional connection with the way you have set up this relationship.

    Were you ever, ever honest with anyone? Have all of your relationships had lies attached? I have this feeling every aspect of your life has lies. IE; call in to work with a lie, or a white lie to mom on why you are late, a lie to a friend as to why you blew them off last night, lies on the blog to simplify(in your mind)… Seems a common male trait moreso than for women. Sorry other men out there. I did read recently men lie 3 times more often than women.

    You can be accepted and loved and be honest too. You will also have this internal struggle unless you learn to be who you are and not make excuses or make make believe.

  • Kat Wilder

    You can’t change another person — we can only change the way we react to that person. And you’re reacting less than well.


    You need to be honest with her — that’s the key to a healthy relationship.

    And, you need to communicate with her, not in a way that makes her feel bad, but in a way that lets her know, “I care about you and us and I want to be with you for a long time. Sex matters to me, and I’d love to make our sex life better. How can we do that together?”

    You may not get everything you want, but you may get enough that you feel that you’re not compromising too much.

    We always compromise in life, but when we feel like we’re compromising too much, it’s time to move on. But not without trying to make it work first. You owe it to her and you.
    .-= Kat Wilder´s last blog …You bet women can do math =-.

  • Nicole

    So what’s the latest update, Lance? Nailed more non-gf chicks? Still with Heather? I’m here for the drama, the soap opera. Keep them comin’!

    PS: yeah, I know some women can’t cum via penetration, at all, ever. So what? Why is that so important?!

  • terri

    Thought about this some more.

    Can we have a show of hands?

    Personally, I think “Lance” is a woman. And I mean that literally. From the queasy-but-intentionally provocative euphemisms (“i *nailed* a chick”) to the expressions of male ego bravadocio (“porno moves”)…that’s _not_ a guy talking…that’s a woman trying to provoke in order to increase eyeballs to her site.

    How’s the tie-in with AFF working for ya, honey?

    There are a lot of legitimate questions being raised, here, and a lot of sincere answers. But let’s not be fooled. Either:

    A) Lance is a dick-obsessed “playa” who hasn’t the slightest idea what deep, personal, intrinsic, physical communication feels like..


    B) “Lance” is a woman who has been exposed to the vocabulary and absurdity of male prick worship and now would just like to jangle the chains. No harm done.

  • B

    What you want and desire is never bullshit. Bullshit is not expressing what you want and desire.

    Express to her what you want her to be, show her how to be it, praise her every move in that direction, and if at the end of the day she rebels or finds such activity a “yawn,” or “too freaky,” time to find a new gal.

    Your desires are not going away. In fact, more than likely they will expand rather than contract.

    Get a girl who’s desires expand along with you.

    I finally have a girl like that and never but ever do I regret it.

    Good luck, brotha!

    .-= B´s last blog …The Missy n B Show- What We Do =-.

  • Honey

    This made me laugh SO HARD, Terri. Unless something’s changed radically since I saw him last (which, to be fair, was 2003) it’s definitely A :-)
    .-= Honey´s last blog …There Are More Women At Work And This Is Why =-.

  • terri

    Glad to oblige.

    Am I the only one who wants to gag (so to speak) when some guy say he’s got “game”? It sounds ghetto and crypto-gay high school locker room at the same time. High fives all around, you nailed that one, dude.