My girlfriend and I had a major fight recently. She’s been crazy busy at work, getting home at 10 p.m., stressed and sleeping really terribly. Last weekend I tried to help her let loose and relax, by giving her a massage, oral sex, you name it. She made me stop after 10 minutes saying she couldn’t enjoy it. I tried again a few days later because she’s been stressed for a long time and I have needs too. This time it turned into a blowout and she accused me of having a sex addiction and not respecting her boundaries. The morning after we made up, and we had great sex, but now I’m confused and I don’t know whether I should initiate sex.
I’m not sure how your girlfriend meant it; if you really want to know, you need to ask her.
If you’re writing to me because you’re unsure if you have a sex addiction, try this self-assessment quiz from Sex Addicts Anonymous. Or read this post about attending sex addicts anonymous as a lesbian.
If these resonate with you, then you could attend a meeting and see how that experience feels.
Looks like you tried to help your girlfriend relax through sex because that’s how you relax—only it doesn’t help her mellow out when she’s super stressed. We all react to stress in different ways; some folks get horny while others shut down. She could have hurled the “sex addict” label at you because she was frustrated that she held her ground and you persisted a couple of days later. If she’s putting out fires at work, stressed over a major project, you putting the pressure on her at home (even out of honorable intentions) could have been too much. It sounds like she just snapped at you from stress.
From what you’ve told me it sounds like you could have a high libido and your girlfriend has a lower libido (at the moment due to stress, although it may naturally be lower than yours).
For mismatched libidos, you might need to spend more time meeting your own needs. Get a vibrator and enjoy your evening while your girlfriend is stressed out at work. Fantasize about things you want to do together. You could write her an erotic story or have an erotic photo shoot, then show her the story or photos when she needs a break. As you meet your own needs, you’ll take the edge off your libido and take the pressure off her.
While your girlfriend is really busy, you could schedule sex. Sounds like a drag, but if you can both look forward to a mid-week bang, then your girlfriend can focus on work and plan to enjoy the night off while you can amuse yourself thinking of all the ways you’re going to unwind together when sex is on the table.
Try talking things over when your girlfriend isn’t stressed about work, and without the pressure that the conversation will lead to sex. Make it about learning and growing closer, and hopefully everyone will be able to walk away a little happier than at present.
But if you feel like you’re constantly pressuring her to have sex more often, if you’re constantly thinking about sex or constantly masturbating, or if you’re cheating on her to get your needs met, it could be sex addiction, and you’ll probably find it helpful to continue going to meetings. Good luck!
Got a question for Lindsey? Email the editor at [email protected] with “Q for Lindsey” in the subject line.