The Talk

After the first time we had sex, she slowed things down. We see each other less, and sex is much less frequent. It's still great, just fewer and far between. I know it's summer and her software company amps up its production schedule, so this is part of it. But I'm getting hard up! You're a young woman professional: What does this slowing down really mean? I want to ask her why she's putting on the brakes, but I also respect her being independent and empowered. Please hurry your response—being confused only increases my needs.


It is not remotely unusual for one partner's sex drive to be vastly out of whack with the other person's. I had an ex who used to call me "Grabby" because I was always after him for the dismal little helpings of tepid sex he'd occasionally dole out. His problem was that he was a depressed, repressed alcoholic. Your girlie may just be overworked. Or she may have found the Lord—the big man upstairs doesn't like it when peeps get busy. I could sit around and speculate all day (which might be fun), but the only way you're going to figure out what's going on is by asking her. Telling her you're concerned about your dwindling sex life could not remotely be construed as an insult to either her in­depen­dence or empowerment (whatever that means!). Believe me, chicks dig it when a man actually initiates a discussion, so you might even get a blow job outta the deal!

I'm a 47-year-old woman, and after a lot of disappointments in love, I swore off dating. Eight long months later, I decided to post an ad and met a wonderful man. We've been dating for four months.

The sex is a little difficult. He has prostate flare-ups and has only gotten hard a few times. Despite this, he's very sexual and flirtatious and wants to have sex all of the time. He did get hard more often at first, and he keeps telling me it's a temporary thing. But it seems more permanent. Up until last weekend, when he suddenly stopped, he had been calling at least once every day. Up till now, we were sleeping together once or twice a week. I'd already decided that the sexual challenges were alright because he is such a magnanimous, kind, and sexy man.

I know he feels inadequate and suspect he may be trying to let me go for my own good. He finally e-mailed after several long, silent days and said he was having a personal crisis. He says he loves me very much but is physically and mentally "paralyzed" and will call me soon. I am trying to think positively, but this feeling of impending doom keeps entering my consciousness. I think he may be trying to let me down gently.

I don't know what to do. Should I stay away and let him go caveman and hope he comes back to me, or should I just show up on his doorstep and ask him to talk?

I think if it were me in crisis, he would come running, but I don't want to hurt his male pride even more. Help!

Very Sad Girl

I know it's tempting, but knocking at his front door—no matter how kind your intentions—screams "Stalker!" Unfortunately, he's made it clear that he's not up for talking right now. Who knows what's going on inside his noggin; you just have to go by what he's told you. The male ego is a delicate creature—even more fragile than the body part he's having trouble with. A well-crafted, even-toned letter expressing concern and assuring him that you love him would probably be the best tactic. After four months, he definitely owes you an explanation for his behavior, but he may be too depressed to articulate it coherently. Like it or not, you're stuck in the waiting room.

Last week I answered a letter from a man who'd been sexually abused as a child. I advised that instead of querying a dopey advice columnist, he seek the kind of help that comes with an advanced degree behind it. A kind reader sent in this resource: King County Sexual Assault Resource Center ( They have a 24-hour Sexual Assault Resource Line (800-825-7273), and all services, including counseling, are free.

Confused? Write Dategirl at or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

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