Dear Dude Whisperer,
I’m a dude, and I’d like some help understanding myself. At the beginning of this year, I met a wonderful woman. She’s brilliant, stunning, energetic, cultured, and thoughtful. She’s crazy about me, and I can easily see myself spending years with her. But, I’m deeply uncomfortable about one thing about her: she’s hooked up with a lot of people.
We’ve had roughly the same amount of sexual experience, but most of mine has come in the context of several long relationships. I’ve fooled around with a handful of people whom I liked a lot (without anticipating anything serious arising), but for me physical intimacy (of any kind) is most rewarding when it’s partly an expression of affection, to the extent that the “hook-up culture” doesn’t have very much appeal for me. Yet it did for her.
Sex with this woman is incredibly fun – the best that I’ve ever had. Everything that she’s said suggests that she’s satisfied, too. But I wonder whether it’s as meaningful for her as it is for me. She’s done many of the same things with people that she didn’t like very much (or didn’t know), meaning that the fact that she gives herself to me isn’t that significant. And I want to be with a woman who regards her sexuality like I do my own – as something relatively special. In addition, I wonder whether the urges that impelled her to seek out casual involvement will, in time, make it harder for her to be loyal to me. If sexual satisfaction was so important to her that she would seek it from people that meant little to her, how will she respond to the inevitable lulls in attraction that arise during a long relationship?
Even though my attitude toward hooking up is dramatically different than most of the views that your readers (and you) have expressed, I’ve been consistently impressed with your advice and I hope that your thoughts will help me. I’ve talked about my feelings with my girlfriend on a couple of occasions, and she’s emphasized that the past is the past and that her feelings for me are different. But, without very much experience hooking up (and, honestly, little desire to try it), I’ve struggled to understand and/or accept what she’s said. The differences between our positions and pasts haven’t interfered with our sex life, but I worry that I won’t be able to feel as comfortable with her as everything else about our relationship suggests I should.
Here’s hoping that you can help a dude as much as you’ve helped a bunch of “dudettes.”
– Old-Fashioned Dude
Hi there OFD,
Okay, so this is excellent to have a question from a dude. And the DW is particularly glad that you are an upstanding young lad. If the site’s first question from a dude had gone something like “Hey, DW! What up brah! How can I get my GF to open her mind and try a threesome with this super hot stripper my cousin met last week in Reno?” that would have been seriously unfortunate. It seems horrifying enough to women to have everyday vanilla dude stuff spelled out frankly without heading into that kind of total animal territory. Seriously, once or twice a month the wifey looks up from The Dude Whisperer and says, “I mean, really?”
Anyway, if things don’t work out with your current girlfriend, half the DW’s audience is probably dying for your number, you nice guy, you.
As for your question, the DW thinks what’s going on is pretty typical. Everybody, dude or dudette, has to get used to the fact that their other’s life was full and rich and complicated and otherwise complete before they turned up. Some folks take this totally in stride because they’re either extremely self-assured or utterly daft and incurious. Some folks never ever get over their own insecurities and freak out that the main squeeze’s high school sweetheart is gonna turn up any day now and sweep said squeeze away to the south of France so they spend their whole lives jealous and jittery and irritable.
You seem kinda in a normal middle ground. And the sex thing seems to be a particularly predictably dude thing to pin your uneasiness on and refer to when thinking of your need to feel special or better or the first or most important. Women (or at least the DW is basing this on trying to put himself in the wifey’s shoes- remember, the DW knows nothing about women) are much more jealous of previous relationship experiences like traveling across Africa or learning to make Christmas cookies together. Dudes just can’t handle the thought of other wieners interacting with their special relationship ladyfriends and will obsess over possible previous placement of balls and would usually just rather not hear about any of those pre-Me underpants adventures. But if we do hear about any of that stuff, they’d like to be told that the sex was boooo-riiing to the point it deserved heckling, the dude was clumsy as a drunken miner, and the penis was the size of a 4d nail.
Here’s some advice about how to change your dude thinking to make this all a little easier.
First thing is regarding this part of your note-
“She’s done many of the same things with people that she didn’t like very much (or didn’t know), meaning that the fact that she gives herself to me isn’t that significant.”
Not so! It is significant. It means something for her to trust you with the gift of her delicious velvety vagina whether you’re the first visitor to that wonderful land or the ninth or the seventy-eighth. Okay, maybe a little less if you’re the seventy-eighth, but you see where we’re going here, right? The mistake dudes make, the DW included, is thinking that the boning itself is the most significant part of your intimacy. If you were to ask the wifey what the most important part of an afternoon in bed with the DW was, she would probably completely leave out his revolutionary sexual techniques and her mind-altering orgasms and tell you instead about how easily she and the DW talk, hang out, and just be together. That’s what sets the DW apart from the other dudes she’s been with- all that relationship stuff and wonderful ease of being with the right person that dudes tend to gloss over. The enormous c*ck is just a bonus.
The other thing is to remember that what you’ve got is exactly what will carry you through your “inevitable lulls in attraction”. Because you have more than physical attraction! You have you, the dude she actually likes for more than a fling! As above, the physical part is only an element of what makes someone desirable and all that. Otherwise there’s no way in hell our parents would still be f#cking each other.
Look, it seems like everything else seems to be going fine with this gal. Just stay open and up front with her about stuff and you’ll be fine. She’s probably got her own insecurties, too. Hell, she may well be paranoid you think she’s a total leg spreadin’ ho-bag or something. Keep talking and it’ll all work out.
Remember, your member is only a part of what she likes about you.
Two brief odds and ends notes:
One- Here’s a follow up to the DOW #10. Interview with Cheeseburger Dude.
Two- The DW understands that you, dear readers, are antsy about the slow posting the last couple weeks. He’s been stripping paint and housepainting and other manly pursuits in preparation for moving this weekend. Bad news- that cuts into his genius writing time. Good news- he’s starting to get seriously ripped. Hang in there this month as the DW finishes moving, takes a trip for Thanksgiving, and does his best to keep up a good pace.