Advice from an “Expert in Failed Relationships”

Dear EFR:

I’m a 27 year old woman who loves having sex ─ the actual act of intercourse, I mean ─ but I hate any kind of foreplay. I just want to get right down to business because having an orgasm is my goal. I find it hugely relaxing, but then I just like to get out of bed and get on with things. I don’t like the cuddling after intercourse and I am definitely not into oral sex, either giving or receiving. You would think that men would find this a huge relief for the most part, except for maybe the not getting oral sex but at least they should be relieved I don’t expect oral sex. Nonetheless, my boyfriend of a year says he feels “interchangeable.” I don’t understand what he means and frankly, though I love him, I don’t understand why he can’t just go with it and just accept that I can’t stand to be touched or kissed during sex. It’s frustrating.


Quickies in Queensland


Dear Q:

This is an unusual letter for this column which is why I printed it. I think it’s telling that you wrote to an advice columnist rather than a sex therapist because to your mind, this is perfectly normal to feel the way you feel and so, you’re not asking for sex advice, but rather relationship advice. With that in mind, I can only put forth that you and your boyfriend are not sexually compatible and this will only get more frustrating with time, since he feels used and you feel pressured. There are plenty of men who would be thrilled to have the kind of sex partner you’ve described yourself to be, just as here are many women who would love to have your boyfriend cuddle with them and treat them to mutual oral sex (yes, I said “mutual” as many women enjoy giving oral sex as much as they enjoy receiving it) and any other number of goodies that a full love life can offer.  However, though I’m not criticizing or in any way calling you abnormal, I have to say that your sentence, “I just can’t stand to be touched or kissed during sex” gives me pause. To me, there seems to be something there that you might think about examining with a licensed sex therapist. If that doesn’t sit well with you and you’re happy to go on with your sex life as it is, then you need to cut your boyfriend loose so you can each find partners that will bring you both the joyous love life we all deserve.

Do you have a question for me about failed (or failing) relationships? I’m happy to read your questions and answer them in this column. Keep in mind that I’m a writer and licensed teacher, but not a therapist or a lawyer. However, I do consult these experts to answer my letters when necessary. Leave your questions in the comment box below, or e-mail and put “advice column” in subject line. For more information about me, visit

Please note: Questions may be edited for length and clarity.

Patricia V. Davis is the author of Harlot’s Sauce: A Memoir of Food, Family, Love, Loss, and Greece and The Diva Doctrine: 16 Universal Principles Every Woman Needs to Know

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