Expert advice

Dr Gabrielle Morrissey: Sexologist

Dr Gabrielle Morrissey has been a sexologist — sexuality educator, sex therapist and sex researcher — since 1990. She is also the author a number of successful books.

Wanting more than just sex

Friday, February 23, 2007
To express your desire for more than just sex to your lover is not unreasonable after 18 months.

I have been seeing this guy now for around 18 months but our relationship has been based just on sex. We meet once or twice a week and it's all about sex only. He won't even kiss me. He has told me that there's no one else he is seeing or sleeping with. The sex is great, but I want more than that. Commitment would be great, but he has told me he's not looking for a relationship. He likes what we have now and tells me to just go with the flow. He has also mentioned to maybe start having unprotected sex. I'm not sure what to do with this guy. Am I wasting my time with him?

Hello! Wake up and smell the coffee! This so-called relationship is one big red flag, waving like mad to get you to snap to attention! Not only are you two not on the same page, you're not even reading the same book!

Short answer: are you wasting your time with this guy? Almost definitely, yes. Longer answer: this situation is one you both created and allowed to happen, so you must take responsibility for your part. For a year and a half, you've agreed — whether verbally or by your actions — to a "bonking buddy" sex-based relationship. It sounds as though he's been fairly clear with you that sex is what he has been wanting from you and for a long time, you've been providing it — and enjoying it. His expectation of this relationship hasn't changed. Yours has. You are not to be blamed and this situation isn't your fault — after all, it's nature's way for humans to bond through sex, particularly monogamous sex over time. It's very natural that you have become connected with this man and want to take the relationship to the next level. The problem is that he doesn't want to engage in a committed relationship with you.

You are at a crossroads with this man and a decision needs to be made. Do you move forward together into a relationship or do you split up? If you, as he suggests, "go with the flow" — meaning, keep the sex-only relationship, you will certainly be wasting your time. The general nature of sex-only relationships is that the partners involved stick to the physical level of the relationship and do not engage or involve their emotions. This man has been successful at this — and proof of the non-engagement of his emotions is the fact that he won't even kiss you. During one of the most intimate of acts we do as humans, that is, have sex, he won't extend one of the most affectionate behaviours we enjoy, kissing. This shows he is, and has been, operating on a purely physical level with you.

On the other hand, it sounds as though you have allowed your emotions to become involved over the time you have been intimate with this man. Again, this is natural and in many cases it would be unreasonable to think someone can be sexual with just one partner for such a long time and keep it just at the physical level. To express your desire for more than just sex to your lover is not unreasonable after 18 months. But if he says no and you continue, you are knowingly continuing in a relationship that is not going where you want it to go. You are knowingly sabotaging what you want. You cannot keep having physical sex only with this man, hoping to engage his emotions, when he has been very clear for a year and a half about what he wants and has stated to you that he wants it to continue as it has been. You are faced with the choice of either agreeing to this and always wanting more or splitting up, experiencing some heartache and moving forward into a new relationship where you have a hope of the fulfillment and commitment you want. Provided you don't start your next relationship as a "bonking buddy", of course!

As for the ludicrous suggestion that you start engaging in unprotected sex with this part-time partner of yours, I think you know better than that. Why on earth would you risk getting pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted infection from a man who won't even kiss you? You cannot trap this man into commitment and you deserve a generous love that is given freely. I say cut your losses, thank him for the great sex for the past 18 months and move on to someone who will engage with you emotionally, commit to you and make you happy.

For more information and to find about Gabrielle's latest book, Spicy Sex please see Dr Gabrielle's website.

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