Hardcore Curriculum-5/05/09

Anna and Chris discuss sexual frustration over summer vacation and casual sex with a friend.

I am a gay man who has been sleeping with a friend on and off for nearly a year. Neither of us has defined the relationship; we mostly only see each other in group situations, and then we bone. Is something necessarily screwed up about this? In particular I’m worried that the promise of easy sex is making my drive to date other people dwindle!

Anna: I don’t see anything wrong with you and your friend having sex. The two of you are adults (presumably), and are making a conscious decision to have sex and be casual friends. There is nothing wrong with this if you’re not seriously looking for a long-term, intimate relationship. It’s tempting to stop looking for a traditional sort of relationship (dating, getting to know each other, etc.) once you start getting laid pretty regularly, but you can still be proactive about your relationship search. It’s hard, I know; I’ve been in this situation, and after a while, I just gave up looking for something deep. When I realized I was letting opportunities pass me by, I had to really think about what I wanted. It’s perfectly fine to want a purely sexual relationship with someone, and if that’s what you want, you should keep it going. Personally, I wanted a more traditional relationship, so I gradually ended my casual relationship to look for something that suited my needs. Take a hard look at what you really want—not what you think you should want—and then make a decision.

Chris: There is nothing screwed up about your relationship: casual sex happens. While you may have a good sexual relationship with this friend, being worried about dating other people is completely normal. Regular sex is great, and knowing you have a reliable source makes it hard to find it somewhere else. However, I would advise you that because the relationship with your friend is not yet defined, you might consider clearing up the terms of the relationship with him. By setting the parameters of your relationship, you may discover that the current set-up is definitely not what you want, which might make moving on to newer prospects easier. If you are both content in your relationship—even if it is not a “relationship” in the traditional sense—you guys might just be content with keeping things the way they are. Who knows, you guys already seem to have a good thing going, there’s no telling if it could become more!

My boyfriend and I are going to be apart this summer—our jobs are half a continent apart. We’ve had the same problem—sexual frustration and longing—over breaks too, but the usual things like phone sex just got us more worked up and didn’t ease the emotional, and to some extent physical, pain. It’s just not as good without the other person. What should we do for this summer?

Anna: Being separated for the summer is a bummer, I know, but luckily, couples before you have discovered some good techniques for keeping in touch that you can take advantage of. These alternatives may not be as good as the real person, but you’ve got to work with what you’ve got. Skyping may be your best bet in terms of forming a more life-like bond while you’re separated, because unlike a phone, you have both audio and visual stimulation. Also, it’s free (and phones are not). Honestly, there is no replacement for your sweetie, but with a little patience and a lot of masturbation, you will get through it. Be thankful that you live in the age of technology—you can see your beau on the screen and video chat, which is a hell of a lot better than a phone call. If you’re this concerned about being separated for an entire summer, you’ve probably got a good thing going—absence will make the heart grow fonder, and make for some awesome reunion sex in the fall. Keep the lines of communication open. If you stay a constant presence in your partner’s life, and vice versa, I’m sure you’ll be able to make it through the summer.

Chris: First of all, I’m really sorry. Parting is such sweet sorrow, and it can be a very arduous, and frustrating, ordeal. Although you might be very, very sexually frustrated, there are plenty of options out there for you. Though it may be difficult to afford flying to visit your partner frequently, you guys should consider planning on taking turns visiting one another, even once a month would be better than not at all. If you make plans right now, you will get reasonable prices, and you will also avoid the risk of overcrowding your schedules and missing a chance for a weekend getaway. I think it’s good that you guys are thinking ahead and preparing for the difficult months ahead. If you are interested in more concrete answers, an old friend of mine once suggested The Long Distance Relationship Guidebook by Sylvia Shipp. It’s an informative read and might answer even more of your questions. Try not to worry; odds are, you’ll both make it. I promise. Plus, you get to look forward to a lot of good-bye and reunion sex!

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