Dear Yana,

I’ve been in a relationship for the last five months. Our relationship is hard for me to describe — it isn’t full of issues nor passion. I’m used to being in relationships that are explosive and demanding, volatile. This relationship I would describe as generally okay — we have our moments of laughter and general happiness, but also moments of disconnect.

I feel we’ve never had this “can’t keep our hands off each other” kind of relationship from the beginning. We had sex often but it never was fulfilling for me. I’ve tried to have conversations regarding the non-existent foreplay, and the actual sex we have. The response I generally get is, “I’m tired and I just want to do the deed.” I’ve suggested sex at different times as well as my desire for other sexual acts to be integrated in our sex life. None of my suggestions are received and they are never put into action.

I have also tried just engaging in other sexual acts on him to hopefully invite him to interact and usually that leads to him grabbing the lube and heading straight in. And when the sex does happen sadly it does not last long. I can’t help but feel as though my needs or climax are not important to my partner. It’s a touchy subject for me to navigate having with my boyfriend as I know talking about lasting time in terms of sex might negatively impact his ego.

I would also like to add that in addition to our sex life together, I have always been open to him and I individually fulfilling our sexual needs [via masturbation] and have encouraged him to play around on his own. I hope this would build his stamina and make him more comfortable in sexually exploring with me. I am at a loss and although sex isn’t everything I am feeling as though there’s a deeper disconnect.


Should I Cum or Should I Go?


Dear Should I Cum?,

Okay, waaaaiiiiit. So this dude is hearing your requests for a more pleasurable and attentive sex life, blatantly ignoring them, and then, as a result, is getting more blowjobs from you? Seems like a good (though unsustainable) deal for him and a realllll short end of the, er, stick, for you!

Woof. I don’t envy you for having a lackluster sex life, despite taking proactive steps to change this, nor for feeling responsible for protecting his sexual ego (a trap many women in particular are socially coaxed into). I don’t envy him, either, because whether it’s from you or from some future partner, he’s likely in for a rude awakening about what his blatant relational dismissiveness will ultimately get him in his sex life (spoiler alert: not much, especially in the long term).

First, allow me to validate your feeling that your climax and needs are not important to your partner because from what I’m reading from you here, it certainly seems like they are not. Second, I urge you to consider reordering your priorities in this relationship, especially in protecting his ego over yourself.

Your sexual needs and pleasure are important. You are entitled to having wants and boundaries around how your romantic and sexual partner interacts with your sexual body and experience. No, we cannot force anyone to give us foreplay or orgasms, obviously. But, we can be like “Sorry, bro, I don’t really want to keep having this kind of penetrative-only sex with you after which you roll over and take a snooze — it’s not working for me”.

Of course, these issues crop up in otherwise sexually healthy relationships: people have erectile dysfunction, don’t last as long as the other partner would prefer, have differing tastes in sex acts, etc. However, how a couple chooses to engage in these differences and obstacles makes a big difference in long-term compatibility and sexual happiness. Your boyfriend seems unwilling to engage, strategize for mutual pleasure, or consider your experience beyond “grabbing the lube and heading straight in” (literally, *cringe*).

So, should you cum or should you go? I vote cum but, seeing as it’s not seeming likely that a climax will happen with this particular boyfriend, I also definitely vote go.

Yana Tallon-Hicks is a relationship therapist, sex educator, and writer living in the Pioneer Valley. You can find her work and her professional contact information on her website,