Saturday, September 26, 2015

Finding Sex and Intimacy with Men

Platonic friends with sexual tension
My last two posts have been about this weird guy, Cooper, with whom I've been spending loads of time.  In the past week alone we've gone on three hikes and spent anywhere from five to nine hours together each time.  Getting to know him has been quite the experience: he can't seem to spend enough time with me, yet he makes it very clear that I'm not allowed to touch him.

Over the course of four months and many hikes we've developed a bond.  For me it feels like we're in high school again and I'm crushing on him, my straight best friend.  We share the intimacy of spending lots of time together, but we must keep our distance physically, to be certain our connection stays safely straight.  This close/far dynamic is both titillating and frustrating.

In addition to Cooper, I've been seeing another guy, Yousef.

Yousef and Cooper are similar in that they're both highly educated.  Yousef has a PhD, two Master's, a Bachelor's, and many additional certificates.  Cooper has a PhD, three Master's, a Bachelor's and several Associate degrees.  Yousef was born and raised in an Arab country so he's much more worldly than Cooper.  He's also a teacher and a certified life coach so he's a better communicator and far more transparent.  Yousef has told me a lot about his family, friends and former boyfriends, whereas those subjects are mostly taboo with Cooper.

I like Yousef.  I enjoy spending time with him. He's very intellectually stimulating and he's led a fascinating life. Our conversations are deep and informative; I learn something new and significant every time we meet.  Also - and this is incredibly important to me - he is very much attracted to me physically.  He says I'm his ideal type and he "can't wait to rip my clothes off."

As I said, I like Yousef...and he likes me.  So what's the problem?

I'm not sexually attracted to him.

He's not an unattractive man, I just feel very ambivalent about him sexually.  Given his many other good qualities, I've been trying to relax and spend time with him with the hope that he'll grow on me, the way Cooper has.  Unfortunately, despite eleven dates and several long phone conversations, I don't feel any more attracted to him now than when we first met.  I haven't given up yet, but I am wondering how much more time I should give myself.  Do you have any suggestions?

Another thing with Yousef I'm puzzled about is sex.  On our fourth date he made dinner at his place and we cuddled and watched a movie afterward.  A week or so later, he told me he was very disappointed that we didn't have sex.  I felt that was a strange thing to say because I knew, when I agreed to the date, that the whole "come for dinner at my place" was a sexual ploy.  I therefore showed up that night mentally, emotionally and physically open to whatever might happen.  But as the hours ticked by, I never once got the vibe from him that he wanted to do anything other than cuddle.  It seems to me that, if he really did want to have sex, he would have ramped up the situation to something more intense but he didn't do that.

About three weeks and a few more restaurant dates later, I suggested that we go back to his place.  Once we were there, we did get friendly...but only a little...shirts off and nothing more. As with the first time at his house,  I found his energy level and playfulness to be surprisingly low.  If we're in the early days of a relationship, shouldn't there be some intensity??  He claims to be a very passionate man, and I've witnessed that passion in several ways, but never sexually.  I really don't get the disconnect.

Here's another odd thing: in the same conversation where Yousef said he was disappointed we didn't have sex on our fourth date, he asked me if I was "sexually anorexic."

Say what??

At first I thought it was a term he had invented but I looked it up afterward and sexual anorexia is a real phenomenon.  Wikipedia defines it as "a pathological loss of appetite for romantic-sexual interaction, often the result of a fear of intimacy to the point that the person has severe anxiety surrounding sexual activity and  an intimate relationship. The person does not have an aversion to sex but to intimacy."

What a stupid question for such a smart man to ask!  The one thing I *most* like about interacting with men is intimacy and I've told him that.  In view of his behavior, I have to wonder if he was projecting his own sexual anorexia onto me.  He denies it, of course.  He says he's sensitive to the possibility because his last boyfriend was officially diagnosed with the condition.  Hmm, OK.  But don't actions speak louder than words?

I'm also not feeling much of an intimate connection with him, especially compared to my totally platonic "friendship" with Cooper.  I find it incredibly ironic that Questionably Asperger's Guy is more skillful at developing intimacy than Mr. Communication Expert.

All this said, I remain open to whatever might develop with Yousef, provided his energy level picks up significantly.  With Cooper...who knows what will happen.  Every hike is a new adventure with him.

Thanks for reading and commenting!  I'm always open to insights and advice you'd like to share.  I value  your input. 

I'm sorry I haven't been good about directly replying to comments lately but part of that has to do with the fact that my posts have been lagging behind real-time events by several weeks.  This post pretty much catches me up.  Really, the only other information I could add is that I'm continuing to have first dates with new guys, roughly one a week  None of those connections have progressed anywhere interesting yet, but there's always that possibility.

Again, thanks for reading and commenting.