I've been dumped after making a remark to my boyfriend about lasting longer in bed. Help!
A man’s sexual performance is always going to be a sensitive subject, and very much tied up with his ego, but that doesn’t mean it’s off limits for discussion.
I have recently been painfully dumped and although I don't know the full cause I have an feeling it has something to do with something I said.
My boyfriend (we are both in our early 40s) and I had been what I thought to be madly in love for about three months and I felt I could be open and honest with him. At what I thought was an appropriate moment I gently approached the subject of him lasting a bit longer during sex.
Unfortunately all he heard was that he was no good. I tried to convince him that that wasn't what I meant but he was deeply hurt. Was I an idiot? Should I have kept quiet?
How can I avoid making mistakes again when approaching the subject of sex with a man? I'm devastated to have hurt him so much.
No, you were not an idiot. You sound sensitive and thoughtful - even though you’re accusing yourself of being the opposite, and taking the blame for things ending. Hands up who’s never said the wrong thing at a particular moment?! And if that’s all it takes to ruin a relationship, then I’d question whether it ever had the potential to last.
Openness and honesty are key to any healthy relationship, and it’s good that you felt able to be that way. Unfortunately, you overestimated his ability return your openness. A man’s sexual performance is always going to be a sensitive subject, and very much tied up with his ego, but that doesn’t mean it’s off limits for discussion.
It’s just a question of choosing the right moment and approaching it in a diplomatic way. It’s perfectly reasonable that you wanted him to last a bit longer during sex - there would be millions of women with you on that one!
From the tone of your letter, I doubt whether you expressed it in a harsh way, but it turned out that he obviously had a big issue about this. Maybe he’d experienced problems before, or perhaps been ridiculed - who knows. The bigger issue here, though, is that there is no future in a relationship with someone so hypersensitive, yet at the same time unprepared to talk things through and resolve issues when they - or you - are upset about something.
I can hear how disappointed you are, but you’re going to have to let yourself off the hook and reframe this in order to move on. I suspect you’ll never get an explanation, so this is the way I suggest you look at it: a relationship you were hoping would last, turned out not to because your ex had a big problem with communication.
On a practical level, when discussing sex with a partner, it’s usually safest to approach it from the point of view of yourself and your needs, for instance that you need quite a long build-up to climax - or whatever - and ask for his help, e.g. can he focus on you for a bit longer before starting penetration…
As I’m often saying, most women don’t come through penetration alone, and need a lot of oral or manual foreplay. I’m sure before long you’ll find the right man who can enjoy supplying that - and communicating with you properly.
Refreshingly frank and funny, actress and presenter Julie Peasgood delivers practical information to transform your sex life. The Greatest Sex Tips in the World explores the world of eroticism, revealing secrets and techniques that will energise and enhance your enjoyment.