Dear Papa Bear,
My best friend moved away and we used to fool around some, but casually and everything was cool. But now that he doesn’t live close anymore, I’ve fooled around with another friend, but not often and lately not at all. He’s never in the mood. I know I shouldn't pressure him, but my sexual drive is bad and masturbating isn’t cutting it for me anymore. I don’t want to fool around with just anyone. I just want to know if there is a way to control my sex drive so I don’t always want it?
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Dear No Name,
There are many things that can reduce or "control" your sex drive, including: 1) heavy consumption of alcohol, 2) stressing yourself out with hard work, especially at a job you hate, 3) gaining a lot of weight so you are in bad physical shape and sex is too much of an exertion, 4) getting a disease like diabetes or cancer, 5) depriving yourself of sleep for long periods of time (having children to take care of is a good way to do this), or 6) you can try what they do with sex criminals, such as aversion therapy (e.g., every time you see something that is sexually stimulating, expose yourself to an unpleasant smell or image) or chemical or surgical castration.
I’m being facetious, of course. The point is that you shouldn’t have to lower or "control" your sex drive to please someone else, and, yes, masturbation is not a satisfying substitute (been there!) There is nothing wrong with a person having a healthy sex drive, and you should not have to apologize for it (your sex drive isn’t “bad,” it’s active is all). You are entitled, in fact, to finding sexual satisfaction, and if your partner cannot or will not provide it, then you have a problem.
When it comes to your friend, you might, actually, investigate whether his problem has to do with any of the first five options above (hopefully 6 is waaaay out of the picture!) It might be, hard as it is to hear it, that he has simply lost interest in you or sex in general. Whatever it is, it is a problem with him and not you. Since the two of you are friends and not something more, there is certainly nothing wrong with your finding another partner, and yet still be friends with the first guy.
I understand you don’t want to sleep around with “just anyone,” but you don’t have to. You can find one or two other friends with whom you have a bond, people you trust, and come to an understanding that that friendship can also include a sexual component (sometimes referred to as "friends with benefits," but this always sounded a bit tawdry to me, so I don't like the term; there's also the term "f*** buddy* which is a bit more playful LOL—you'd think I'd find that one more naughty, but I find it more honest, actually). In fact, that is what you currently have with this friend you're writing about.
I have long felt that people put far too much weight upon the factor of sex, feeling guilty about their sexual needs because society labels people as “sluts” if they enjoy sex and don’t want to be limited to just one person. (There's actually a fascinating book on this topic called The Ethical Slut.) I find calling people names because they have a healthy sexual appetite to be juvenile, selfish, controlling, and manipulative (gee, you think I have a strong opinion on this?) There are all kinds of sexual relationships in this world. Sometimes, people wish to be fully monogamous with each other, and that’s fine; that’s great. Other times, people can agree upon a polygamous or polyamorous relationship. If all parties concerned are agreeable to it, then that is fine as well.
But if two people wish to have a relationship and their sexual needs differ greatly, then they need to talk it out and come to an agreement. It is unfair, for example, for one partner with low or no sexual drive to dictate to the other with a stronger libido that they cannot have sex because if they do they will be a "cheater." It is also wrong for one partner to force the other into a role he or she does not enjoy (e.g. one partner is dominant and wants the other to be subby even if the other partner does not want to be dom'd, or the opposite case, as in a subby insisting his partner be dom when he's not). When that happens, bitterness, unrest, and dissatisfaction will put that relationship at risk. Sexual incompatibility can be a death blow to even the best of relationships. (This is also something with which I am intimately familiar, so I know how emotionally painful this issue can be.)
So, No Name, if you are not satisfied with your sexual relationship, the answer is to first find out if there is a health or psychological issue with your partner that needs to be resolved; if that is not the case, then the answer is not to adjust your sex drive (nor is it right to insist that someone who doesn't want sex that they should crank up his or her libido just to please you) but rather to find an alternative to satisfying your own needs.
(I should reiterate here that much of this letter is geared toward relationships of a more serious nature than yours, whereas you were writing to me about what is really just a friendship with a side of sex, so your dilemma is not such a weighty moral issue.)
I cannot stress this enough: you should never have to apologize for wanting a sexually satisfying lifestyle; just be considerate of your partner’s feelings while insisting on your right to have your own needs fulfilled.
And remember what my buddy Critter says (imagine the voice of Towelie from South Park: "Always wear a condom!" (Sorry, Critter, you're becoming my spokesfurry on this one LOL).
Hope that makes sense. Good luck to you!
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