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Ask a Sex Goddess
Dear Sex Goddess~ My boyfriend doesn't know how to set physical boundaries with his friends. He kisses them on the lips as a way of saying hello and goodbye, he takes naps with them, and he lets other women sit in his lap. It is all very casual and almost never flirtatious, but I feel that he opens himself up to sticky situations. Recently he was at a party, and saying goodbye to a friend of his who was pretty drunk, he kissed her on the lips. She took this as an invitation to start making out with him. He broke off physical contact and told her that hooking up was not his intention and apologized. He told me about this later on in the evening and I am still mad as hell. I feel like he accidentally cheated on me, and its his fault for setting up this dynamic with his friends. I don't want to break up with him because I really love him, but I can't live in fear of being cheated on.
Dear Pissed Off ~ Well, you have every right to be. Pissed Off, that is. Your boyfriend is playing with fire. Its one thing to kiss family members and extremely close friends on the lips - folks with whom you share a trusted intimacy and who will not misconstrue the nature of the kiss. But as a habit with any old person off the street? Yuck. Also, the napping thing? Yeah, that's something sexually frustrated college students do.
It is possible that your relationship is missing a certain physical intimacy, and that your boyfriend is unconsciously making up for it elsewhere. You should talk about this and resolve it if it is indeed the problem. More than likely, he is just not mature enough to recognize that certain behaviors (kissing, sleeping together, and letting your ladyfriends sit atop the ol' cobblers) breed certain outcomes (having to physically reject your drunk and undoubtedly embarrassed friend). Tell him that if he wants to maintain a monogamous relationship with you, he needs to place a moratorium on the napping, kissing, and lapsitting. There are plenty of other ways he can share his affection with his friends. If he agrees, give him time to establish these new boundaries - some of his friends will not immediately understand the shift in reality.
If he wants to keep on keepin' on, though, you must either reconsider monogamy as the choice of status, or your boyfriend as the choice of partners. Responsibly engaging in a monogamous partnership, like any other type of partnership, requires maturity, discipline, and respect. If he can't hack it, let him go.
Do you have a question? Email SG at SexAndRelationships@WireTapMag.org.
1. I hate rules!
2. There are no stupid questions, only stupid hang-ups.
3. Pleasure came before political correctness, and so should you!
4. Love yourself first.
Who: Who I am is unimportant. I do, however, enjoy sex, dally in various relationships, and on top of that I am an organizer by trade, or perhaps faith. I declare here and now that I know as much as anyone about sex and relationships -- which is roughly nothing and everything.
Why: Organizers, activists, change makers, closet progressives -- people trying to save the world often have a hard time figuring out how to ... do it. Whatever it might be at the moment -- love, dominate, submit, indulge, deny, give, take, fight, let go, wonder, know. I secretly suspect that if everyone were able to find the freedom to really love and please themselves (not to mention each other), the world would be a much more peaceful place.