Sex + Love Advice

Ask Slutever: I Love My Boyfriend, But I Think He’s Low-Key Slut-Shaming Me

June 28, 2017
tumblr_omttc8cTxp1te6kr7o1_1280

What happens when your relationship is ~chill~, except that your partner is insecure about your #trueslut identity? By Karley Sciortino.

Image by Mayan Toledano

I used to be pretty wild and free with my sexuality. I went to sex parties, had fun with whomever I liked, and was open to experiences with men, toys, women—all sorts. Now I’ve met the man of my life. We’re gonna get married. It’s amazing. However, he isn’t quite as experienced as I am, and I can tell that it’s bothering him. I suppose it’s the classical slut-shaming, but in a loving way. He’s very insecure about my past and he told me that he has a fear of not pleasing me enough. But he does—at least, most of the time. But I must admit I’m missing something else beside plain vanilla, and I think his insecurity blocks him. How can I introduce some toys or some wild, crazy sex once in awhile, without intimidating him? I don’t like to be the dominating one, so for me to take the control every time would kill it for me. A committed slut, Anna

Dear Slut,

This question particularly resonated with me, because—as a committed slut myself— I have been in your position like a million times. Not to the point where I was marrying the guy, but I have repeatedly found myself in relationships with people who I loved and who loved me back, but who were basically like: “So it’s cool that you’re a sexually curious maniac or whatever, but now that we’re together, can you like… tone it down?” It can be a bit of a bummer.

What I’ve found is that, while there are lots of people out there who are drawn to people who are wild, fun and sexually free, even if they appreciate those qualities in theory, in practice it can be a struggle for them to handle. Sometimes, the things that attract us to someone initially end up being problematic later on.

And that goes both ways. I’ve often wondered why I repeatedly find myself in situations where I am, in your words, being “lovingly slut shamed” by the person I’m dating. I wonder if it’s because, initially, I’m attracted to the fact that the person is different from me—that they’re more conventional somehow, and therefore harder for me to get. It’s no secret that people are attracted to the idea of “turning” someone—whether you’re a lesbian who’s trying to turn a straight woman, or a kinky girl who’s trying to coerce your nerdy boyfriend into tying you up, or a more conventional guy trying to tame a wild woman, or whatever. But often, these efforts don’t work in the long run. There’s some truth to that old adage that, in relationships, try as you may, you can’t change someone.

I’ve talked about this a lot with my shrink. She’s told me that, in relationships, people often seek what’s comfortable, rather than what’s “good” for them. Essentially, we form relationships that replicate relationships from our earlier life—whether that be a relationship with an early sexual partner, or the relationship model that we learned from our parents, or our own relationships with family members—because it feels familiar to us. And if you’re someone who’s been slut shamed in the past—either by boyfriends or your parents or both—then you might end up in a never ending cycle of Slutty and the Beast. And it can be hard to break out of. I have personally been critiqued for my sluttiness quite a bit, by both boyfriends and parents. And only recently have I been like: “Hello… wake the fuck up! This whole dating thing would be so much easier if you were dating someone who actually accepted you, duh!”

For instance, my longest relationship was with a guy who I dated between the ages of 18 and 23 (kinda on and off, but still). It was during that time that I started writing Slutever, and he really hated it. Like your relationship, my boyfriend was also way less experienced than me, and he got really resentful and jealous that I’d had—and was documenting—previous sexual encounters and fantasies that he couldn’t relate to. In the end, we ended up breaking up over it.

I have this friend “Colette,” who’s a polyamorous psychologist and dominatrix. Last year, I interviewed her for one of my Vogue columns, and she talked about going through a similar experience. She told me: “In all my previous relationships, my partners said I was ‘too much.’ With Dan [her current partner], we obviously have issues that we have to work through, but I’m so happy to finally be with someone who radically accepts me for me: a weird, polyamorous sex worker.” The key, Colette told me, is not entering a relationship with someone who’s fundamentally trying to make you more normal than you want to be. And this is certainly a mistake I’ve made time and time again.

What I’m saying probably sounds dismal, but I don’t mean it to. I guess what I’m saying is that, it’s impossible for you to conceal or downplay your true slutty identity for the rest of your life. So really, you just have to own it. And the key to owning something is being confident about it, and accepting it, rather than dismissing it as “just some slutty phase I had when I was younger.” It’s harder to shame someone for something that they are confident about. And if he can’t accept that part of you, then he’s not the right person for you. And also, he needs to grow up probs.

I would suggest, before you intro your boyfriend into more wild and kinky stuff, that you might want to have an “incubation period” where you build trust, don’t fuck other people, and basically just get really close to each other. Because once you build trust, it becomes way easier to be like “Hey, maybe we should have a kinky threesome,” because it will feel like something you are doing together, rather than something his slut girlfriend needs because his vanilla dick it’s enough for her, ya know? I have this other friend who’s been married to his wife for seven years, and only in recent years did they start going to sex parties, and then they went full-on open, and they are closer than ever. And I think they are a great example of how relationships can evolve, and that you don’t necessarily need to start off every relationship with an S&M anal threesome in order to eventually have the progressive sexual dynamic that you’re after.

Comments

Comments

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply