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Dear Fifi: Is a bad sex life just my cross to bear?

Dear Fifi has not been sacked.


I looked up the exact dictionary definition of self-indulgence. Officially, it’s “tending to do exactly what one wants, especially when this involves pleasure”. And on that note, here I am sharing a short piece of writing I did last weekend.

Is self-indulgence always a bad thing? In the proper measure, moderate amounts of it can be a welcome respite from the maelstrom of shite we all deal with every day. Any port in a storm, I guess.  


I’m completely, totally and utterly in love with my girlfriend and cannot imagine living without her. But our sex life is so utterly appalling, I feel like I’m never going to be satisfied again.

Is this just my cross to bear or should I leave?

Open, honest, frequent communication about how we feel and what we need. The holy grail. It’s elusive in relationships because it’s fucking hard. And I’m sorry to say it, but it tends to be even harder when it comes to sex.

From my year of doing this gig, I’ve noticed that a lot of relationship problems have their root cause in miscommunication, or plain old no communication. People – even those we hold dearest – can’t read our minds. Difficult conversations need to happen to move things forward. They’re worth it, especially when you consider the alternative.

You don’t mention whether or not you’ve raised your concerns with her. I’m not sure, either, what the issues are: a lack of sex altogether or differing expectations about it when it does happen. Regardless, talking about it is the only thing that will change anything.

It may be hard, especially at first. Understand that she may not be ready to talk about it straight off the bat, so be tactful and sensitive. You adore this woman, so treat her gently. Explain how much you want to be with her. Leave her in no doubt. Let her know that this isn’t a criticism of her or your relationship, but rather something you want to fix, together. Frame this as something you want to work through as a team and come out the other side happier and stronger, very much a unit.

A person you love is worth the work, so put it in. Try to have constructive conversations where no one is blamed or made to feel bad about themselves (that includes you). Figure out what kind of sex you want and what kind she wants, then work towards it.

Now, you may have done all of this already. It may be that nothing has changed despite promises, or your girlfriend won’t engage, or doesn’t want things to change, or any other number of issues I can’t foresee here. You may need to explore other options, like couples counselling.

That said, despite your best efforts, there may come a time when you’ll have to accept that your sex life is something that will not change. So where to from there?

In that scenario, it’s time to decide if it’s truly a sustainable prospect for you. If sex is important to you and forms an integral part of how you see your romantic relationships, then this may be a dealbreaker. However, it may not. You’ll have to do some challenging, potentially painful self-reflection here to answer that question. No one can tell you what the right answer is. Living the rest of your life with your current sex life is something you’ll have to honestly assess and either make peace with, or not. Don’t feel guilty for your answer, either way. A life without fulfilling sex is not a decision to make lightly, by any stretch of the imagination. Make a decision you know you can live with long-term.

If it does come to that, my advice would be to actively make the choice. Don’t let the decision be made by making no real decision and continuing to float along in interia and realising years down the line that you’re silently unhappy. Either go and find someone more compatible for you in this way to love, or actively decide your sex life is okay and truly commit to staying and making it work.

This is your life, so take control. It won’t be easy, but you’ll wind up in a better place at the end of it all. Good luck. I really hope it works out for you.


Want to talk?

Confess a story, ask for help or just shout into the void for a bit and see if that helps. All welcome. Anonymity totally guaranteed always. 

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