The Hook Up: 11-2-2011

My girlfriend and I have been together for nearly two years. It’s been amazing, no major issues to report. We recently decided to spice things up in the bedroom by buying a strap-on, for the fun of it. We were having sex around once a week, and figured it wasn’t enough, so why not try something new? Anyway, we got the appendage, and I find myself being strangely ambivalent about it. I don’t know what it is. My GF has assured me that no plastic object will be as good as I am, she doesn’t want it all the time, etc., but I can’t help but feel disconnected from the whole situation when we use it.

This morning I started crying in the middle of everything, because I couldn’t physically feel what was going on with my girl and she was having a great time. Is it weird to react so strongly, to be almost jealous of a dildo? I guess I just need to get used to having my hands free for other things and engage with her in other ways? I dunno, maybe I’m one of those lesbos who don’t like fake penises! What do you reckon?

Anna says: I reckon maybe you feel a teensy bit threatened by something you perceive as a hetero sex act. I reckon you think that your girlfriend getting pleasure from said sex act detracts from your bona-fide, au natural bedroom skillz. I also reckon that these fears couldn’t be further from the truth.

Remember that it’s you giving your girlfriend pleasure, not the inanimate object attached to your pelvis. You’re controlling the depth, the motion, the groans, moans, sighs and earth-shattering orgasms coming out of her. You’re the director. The dildo is just a prop.

It’s totally common to experience some awkwardness when you’re learning the ropes of strap-on play. And the lack of sensation does take some getting used to. (Suggestion #1: Get a vibrating o-ring. You’re welcome.) But jealousy is a less common response. This isn’t to say that you’re “weird.” Strap-on sex is never going to be everyone’s cup of lube. But I hope you know that you are in no way competing with silicone for your girlfriend’s affections. You totally win every time, hands-down. (Hands-free?)

Just because you can’t physically feel what’s happening inside your girlfriend’s bizness doesn’t mean you can’t focus on other aspects of the experience. The visuals, sounds, smells, and hey, you have two whole hands (presumably) that can be put to work. Not to mention a sweet, glorious mouth. The tactile parts of sex are virtually limitless with a little open-mindedness and dexterity. You might find the experience to feel less detached if you’re in a position where more of your body parts are touching, so don’t be afraid to change it up if something’s not quite working.

Of course, at the end of the day, it’s up to you whether you want to make strap-ons a regular part of your sexual diet. I personally fall into the camp that finds pleasing someone else to be the ultimate turn-on, so the fact that my partner found it hot would be reason enough for me to indulge from time to time. But seriously, there’s no use crying over spilled silicone. Trust your girlfriend when she says how awesome you are. And trust yourself that you’re giving her a rollicking good roll in the hay, regardless of whether that’s with fingers, mouths, or toys.

If you want to feel a little better about things, you can watch me tell the embarrassing story of my first strap-on experience. It’s a wonder I ever had sex again, really.

(Warning: Contains some NSFW language)

Hailing from the rough-and-tumble deserts of southern Arizona, where one doesn’t have to bother with such trivialities as “coats” or “daylight savings time,” Anna Pulley is a professional tweeter/blogger for Mother Jones and a freelance writer living in San Francisco. Find her at annapulley.com and on Twitter @annapulley. Send her your Hook Up questions at askthehookup@gmail.com.

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