Three-Week Drought

I have been dating this woman for about seven months. She's everything I've ever dreamed of in a woman, but for the past three weeks, she has been going through a "dry spell." She claims that she's always tired and stressed out and just doesn't want to have sex. We are engaged, and as far as I know, we are happy with one another. Any translation would be much appreciated.

Lt. Dan

Ah, the secret language of ladies . . . you realize that if I tell you what she really means, they'll have to kill me, don't you?

I know I'm going out on a limb here, but has it occurred to you that your intended might be telling you the truth? Is she having trouble at work? Is there something worrying her? We women don't have the same ability to compartmentalize our lives into distinct little boxes that you guys seem to have. In my life, anyway, the lines tend to blur and bleed all over and into each other. When one thing's shitty, pretty much everything is covered in a veneer of dark, murky brown.

For example, I enjoy bumping uglies as much (if not more) than the next gal, but there are times when I'm just not feeling the whole getting-naked-and-sweaty thing. For your edification, I'm going to give you a little list of times when I might not be willing to go at it:

• If there is anything stomach-related going on. We're talking gassiness, queasiness, constipation . . . if all's not right in my gut, don't even look at the lunch box.

• Oh, and speaking of bodily distress—even though nothing relieves cramps like a refreshing orgasm, I'm afraid I'm a no-go on heavy flow days, too.

• If anyone or anything I care about is sickly, my legs stay crossed. When Mabel the Cat was stuck overnight in the kitty hospital, there were no blow jobs, no naughty outfits, no nothing. But that drought paled in comparison to how I felt when my mom was dying. As inconvenient as it might've been for that now dearly departed ex, I didn't feel like doing it for months.

• There will be no knocking of boots if any of the following are on the TV: The L Word; No Reservations, starring the delectable Anthony Bourdain (mrow!); Rescue Me; any of the Law & Order franchises; and/or Dr. Phil (but that's just because he skeeves me so bad that my vagina seals itself shut upon hearing his voice).

• People who piss me off do not get the sweet love action. There is a whole line of thought that says you shouldn't withhold sex to punish your partner, and while I agree that you shouldn't use booty as a bargaining tool (unless that's your business), fury does not lead to fucking in this girl's house. If I can't stand to look at your face, I'm damn well not gonna put your dick in my mouth! I need to get over whatever I'm mad about first. And sometimes, depending on the transgression, that takes a while.

• When my bank account has a negative balance, the freelance job I've been guaranteed falls through, and my credit card charges me a late fee, which is a moot point because I can't afford to pay it anyway. Being broke makes me feel like a loser, which isn't really conducive to wrapping my ankles around the back of my neck.

• But there is no bigger turnoff than someone nagging, cajoling, and trying to pressure me into sex. In fact, my ardor dissipates exponentially according to how much whining I'm subjected to. There are few things less attractive than the leg-humping male. (Hopefully, you're not going there, Bad Lieutenant.)

My long, convoluted, self-absorbed point is that there are any number of perfectly valid reasons your girlfriend might not want to have sex with you at the moment. I suggest you calm down and try talking to her about it. Maybe there's something you can do to alleviate her stress. Be affectionate without expecting horizontal high jinx to follow immediately. Tell her you love her, and don't make a big deal out of this. It's only been three weeks. When it gets to three months, then you can panic.

Going through a dry spell? Write Dategirl at or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

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