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Parallax - Advice

February 18, 2002

One-track mouth

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!I'm in a relationship right now, and I'm not interested in the actual sex as much as conversation on the topic. You see, right now sex isn't part of the relationship, but I would like it to be a topic that we can talk about. The problem is that my partner (I don't know why) doesn't seem to have the same desire or need to talk about it. I believe it is healthy for it to be a topic, isn't it? How early is early? Perhaps I'm rushing the topic. At what level of the relationship is talking about sex a good time? Finally, how do I go about trying to make her lose her fear or whatever it may be that is holding her back? Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Small Talk,

First, I'm sure all your talk is seen as a proposition. If it's not meant to be, you should be quiet about it. And let's be clear - it's not about talk, it's about progress.

Frankly, with all that discussion there won't be any…progress that is. She probably thinks you're a sex fiend who can't wait to get in her pants. Therefore, all your hard work needs to be undone.

You'll need some new topics and she'll have to be convinced you are interested in more than sex. Unfortunately, you'll need to be interested in her, which is much more of a challenge.

I suggest you avoid the nookie topic like the plague, even if she brings it up. You should be a perfect gentleman for however long it takes. You will need to go overboard on the 'hard to get' play - be almost too platonic. Eventually she will warm up to what is denied her, and her interest will be piqued.

But don't cave in right away - maintain your charade until she is really wondering if you're even interested. Then move in for the smooch and slowly...

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His view:

Dear Small Talk,

Your questions, while interesting, are hard to answer because any generalization will probably fail to apply to your specific girlfriend.

It may be true that talking about sex is healthy, and an important contributor to the overall experience. It may be proper to entertain this topic at the stage in the relationship where sex enters the picture. And, it is possible that talk, without the accompanying action, is too abstract a concept for most warm-blooded mammals. But all these hypothetical statements don't solve your problem.

My impression is that your girlfriend thinks it's too early to discuss sex. Or, despite your claims to the contrary, she believes that your push to discuss the subject is just a clever ploy to get her to do some show-and-tell before she's ready. In either case, forcing the issue is not going to work.

Don't try to psychoanalyze her fears or 'whatevers' to death here - get off the subject and don't come back to it until she brings it up.

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