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.


  1. Say what?!? I think you should keep Cooper and Yousef as friends, if you want, but from what you described they are either playing mind games or not into you or vice versa. So keep searching for a real boyfriend. One of your dates is bound to turn up someone worthwhile.

    1. Hi Paul - What you're saying feels right. My destiny with these guys is to be friends. I need to keep meeting new people.

  2. I'm wondering if Yousef feels your ambivalence sexually toward him, and it is causing him to not be able to ramp things up. Keep em both as friends and keep looking. Smart interesting friends are not all that easy to find. I have noticed that the super smart people I know, all have issues with intimacy. Their logical brain can't shut off enough to let down and let someone else in. Try dating someone less educated who is fun and can be silly and playful.

    1. Hi Biki! I've thought about could definitely be true that Yousef is holding back because he knows I'm ambivalent.

      As for dating someone who is less educated, I'm certainly open to that. Intelligence and (not necessarily being educated) is a turn-on for me, provided they're interactive and not pendantic.

      I haven't been picky about who I see so trying to date a certain type hasn't been an issue. If someone wants to meet, I always say yes. I'm open to whatever might happen.

  3. I'm not going to tell you what to do, but I will tell you the first guy I dated was a great guy, funny, smart, cute, great career and sex was really good as well, however I never felt that spark between us. Even after two years it never developed. I felt a lot of guilt over it and anger towards myself for not being totally into such a great guy. I promised to never let myself get back into a situation like that again.

    1. This is very helpful to know. I'm giving the connection with Yousef until the end of October to move in meaningful and positive way. If that doesn't happen, we'll have to have the "let's be friends" conversation.

  4. My impression from reading your posts is that you don't have chemistry with Yousef, and you have chemistry with Cooper but it's not reciprocated.

    This is so frustrating. To find a guy where there is a reciprocal spark -- and then have everything else align too.

    Yousef sounds more promising. Cooper sounds weird, and if nothing has happened by now it probably won't.

    1. "My impression from reading your posts is that you don't have chemistry with Yousef, and you have chemistry with Cooper but it's not reciprocated."


      I would add that it's probably best that I not get involved with Cooper even if we did have mutual chemistry. I don't want to spend the rest of my life trapped in his odd universe.