Ask Dr. Nerdlove: Help, My Sex Drive Is Out Of Control! (NSFW)

Ask Dr. Nerdlove: Help, My Sex Drive Is Out of Control!

Hello, Internet! Welcome to Ask Dr. NerdLove, the only dating column to conquer the Tomb of Horrors on the first try. One reader is having flashbacks to being a teenager as his libido has returned with a vengeance, while another reader is wrestling with trying to teach her boyfriend what it takes to make her happy. What's to be done?

Let's do this thing... and remember, don't stick your arm in the statue's mouth in Acererack's tomb.

Dear Dr. NerdLove,

I've been happily in a relationship for 4.5 years, we are engaged and expecting our first baby soon, however lately I've been having a bit of a confusing time.

I've started to feel like a horny teenager again. I've started looking at girls all the time. I don't really know when it started in earnest but I find myself checking women out a lot. It's recently progressed to the stage where I have began considering cheating (in the I want to get laid way, not an affair).

Other information that is relevant is that I've been trimming down and getting healthy again which has positively affected my confidence and I feel like is increasing my sex drive quite a lot. My fiancée and I tend to make love rather than fuck like animals, for various reasons, so sometimes I miss that aspect of sex, but that isn't really news and I'm happy with the sex we have.

This is far and away the longest and most committed relationship I have been in, before this I was always finding my way out of relationships before the one-year mark. So I don't have any context for whether or not our relationship is "normal". We both work hard and are tired during the week and then we have grown-up shit to do at the weekends (cleaning, laundry etc) so there isn't a massive amount of spontaneity or surprise romance in the relationship at present which also doesn't bother me. I don't feel like there is a significant flaw in the relationship that is related to my problem, is what I'm saying.

So I guess my question is this: What the hell do you think is going on? Is this some expression of a flaw in my relationship that I haven't recognised? Is it a reaction to the increasing grown-up nature of my life, some weird reaction to the ennui of being in my late 20s? Could it be as simple as my horny teenager hypothesis and if so how do I fix that!?


Seven Year Itch

SYI, you're a classic case where the problem you're dealing with isn't the problem you think it is.

The problem you're having isn't that you're horny as hell, it's that our culture sells us a line of bullshit about love and monogamy. Society has fed men and women the idea that love and monogamy is easy, effortless and natural and that once you fall in love with someone, you will never want anyone else.

The problem is: this is completely false. Monogamy is not our default state. Our bodies are designed for multiple partners. Now don't get me wrong: I'm not saying monogamy is bad or wrong. I'm saying it's difficult. Monogamy means that you've chosen to not sleep with other people; it doesn't mean that you won't want to.

So no, SYI, you're not dying to fuck other people because there's something wrong with your relationship; you're horny for other people simply because you're human, same as everyone else. The fact that you're lusting after other people's not inherently bad; it's perfectly natural. It's what you do with it that's the issue.

Now as for why this is happening, well, I'd say that the two biggest causes are a) you're working out more and getting healthier and b) your current lifestyle.

In the former case, your body is basically a big meat machine; you put garbage in, you get garbage out. Eating healthily and exercising means you feel better and look better, which in turn, makes you feel sexier. Losing as little as 5kg can make a difference. Exercise gets your blood flowing and your heart pumping which also increases arousal; anything that gets your heart rate up is going to make you feel hornier, too.

In the latter case, you're both busy and exhausted, which is cutting into your opportunities to do anything with this sudden bumper crop of boners you're producing.

(Interestingly, many men report a loss of libido when their wives are pregnant. It turns out pregnancy actually causes hormonal changes in men and spurs greater production of prolactin and vasopressin).

So what do you do about this? To start with, you're going to do something counter-intuitive: schedule sex with your wife. Letting sex just happen is a common mistake couples make; the longer you're together, the more responsibilities you have that take up your time together. This, in turn, cuts down on the occasions where you hit that sweet spot of mutual arousal, energy and time that add up to spontaneous bangin'. And when you're adding in the fact that your wife is pregnant and likely feeling exhausted and unsexy 24/7... well, it's hard to want to bone.

By scheduling sex, you're carving out time specifically for the act. You're choosing to make it a priority, which means you're arranging your day to make sure you've got the energy and knowing that you're going to get laid can increase the anticipation which helps spur the mutual arousal. You may not be able to screw like a couple of animals the way you used to, but you're going to appreciate the orgasms and the emotional connection that the sex will be strengthening.

Of course, the thing to keep in mind is that when your kid is born, there's going to be a prolonged dry-spell; between her hormones, breast-feeding and the time and energy it takes for the two of you to care for the new baby, the likelihood of the two of you having sex for the year following is going to approach zero pretty damn fast. So during those times, invest in a couple of toys. Get a Fleshlight or a Tenga and a YouPorn account; these will help keep you going until you both get used to the new status-quo.

For right now though: shift your schedules around and enjoy your raging libido. Your junk and your wife will both thank you.

Good luck!

Hey Doc,

I am in my late twenties dating a guy in his early twenties. Before entering the relationship or having sex, I knew (or sort of figured out) he was pretty inexperienced in the sex department, only really hooking up with girls when he was drunk. It wasn't until after I was already smitten that he admitted, after I straight-up asked him, that he was a virgin. Now, I had made it clear before I wasn't interested in being someone's first, (we watched Virgin Territory together) so it made me very upset that he deliberately omitted this information in order to get me to date him. Well, he was very persuasive that everything would be fine. So, fast forward to four months later, and the sex... isn't what it should be, in my opinion, which he blames on me not having sex with him enough to give him enough practice. But my desire is just not there, for several reasons.

1. He's a bad kisser. I have tried and tried to teach him how I like to kiss, and he's improved, but there's something missing. Other guys I've dated, I felt butterflies and weak in the knees for the first kiss. Not him.

2. He's much skinnier than me. I'm not overweight, but I have an arse and big thighs. He's 5'10 and 59kg. I find his skinniness attractive but getting naked I just feel like I could crush him. I'm very short, so I'm used to being picked up and tossed around by guys I'm dating. There's no way he could lift me. To be fair he is nothing but complimentary about my body.

3. I'm more of a submissive person when it comes to sex. He knows this, but since he has no experience I have to be the dominant one all the time and tell him what to do. I even had to explain that during making out you can kiss necks and collarbones and ears, etc. He claims he loves the feedback, but hardly ever puts anything into action unless I remind him.

4. He doesn't listen. I'll be watching The Strain and he'll start groping me and try to get on top of me. I just turn away and say, oh, I'm watching TV right now, but he doesn't listen, until I have to physically push him off, and then he'll keep asking why I don't want to mess around. My response, I don't feel like it, isn't good enough and he keeps asking until finally I tell him that if any other guy pulled shit like this, I'd be done, the only reason I'm give him any slack is that this is his first relationship. He's improved slightly on this.

So, I basically have two questions. Do you think the sex can be improved, and if so, how? And to digress a little, I'm returning to America (he's Australian) for the US summer and really would like to bone an old friend for some relaxing sex, and am more than happy to give him the freedom to do whatever he wants as well, but any discussion of me telling him he can "cheat" on me he shoots down immediately, saying he doesn't want anyone but me, basically making me feel like shit for wanting to fuck other people, which, to be honest, I wouldn't want to if I had the lust for him that I have had in other relationships.

I'd appreciate any light shed on this, Doc.

-Desert Down Under

You have two problems here, DDU. First and foremost is the fact that you're not sexually compatible. You like a specific kind of sex — being tossed around like a rag-doll, being the more submissive partner, etc — and he isn't providing it. The cold and hard truth is that if you and your honey aren't on the same page sexually, the relationship is going to fall apart sooner rather than later. No matter how emotionally compatible the two of you may be, if the sexual compatibility isn't there, then one or both of you are going to be spending your time feeling frustrated and annoyed.

Now it'd be easy to say that this is due to his inexperience and he'll grow and learn as a lover and be better able to give you the kind of sex you want... except for problem number two: he's being a selfish little bastard about this.

One of the things that people tend to forget is that great sex isn't all about endurance, experience or knowing tricks and techniques, it's about communication. Even a virgin can be a great lay if they have got a can-do attitude and a willingness to listen and take direction. This, you may notice, is what your boyfriend is not doing.

There are a lot of people who will focus on the fact that he's a virgin and doesn't have any experience and that — as the more experienced partner — you may have to communicate more about what you want and how to get there. But the problem isn't that he was a virgin, the problem is that he's an arsehole. He's less concerned with you and more about what it takes to get what he wants. Hell, it started with his lying about being a virgin in order to get the relationship he was after, despite your stated preferences. Honestly: this was one of the first signs that your boyfriend wasn't gonna be a great prize, and this pattern has continued from there.

You've said it yourself: you provide him with feedback and information and he continues to not listen and just does what works for him. The fact that he insists that it's your fault that he's a lousy lover, despite the fact that you've been providing instruction and feedback, is another. And then there's the fact that he keeps pushing for you to fuck him when you repeatedly tell him that you don't want to. The fact that this his first relationship is not an excuse; the fact that he hasn't dated anyone before doesn't magically make him unable to hear you when you're turning him down. He knows damn good and well what he's doing and is relying on you to forgive him because of his inexperience.

So yes, the sex could get better… but it's not gonna with this guy. The only way it's going to get better is if he starts listening to your feedback and using it, which he's thus far refused to do and isn't showing any signs of changing any time soon.

Now just between you, me and the letter column, let's be honest: you know what you want to do right now; you're just looking for permission to do so. Between the lack of sexual compatibility and the aforementioned dickishness, I think you'd be happier just breaking up with him before you go home for the break and banging the ever-loving shit out of your buddy instead. So permission granted. Dump your boyfriend and enjoy some relaxing no-strings-attached quality fuck time with your buddy over the summer, then come back refreshed and ready to date someone who isn't being a self-serving dick.

Good luck.

Ask Dr. Nerdlove: Help, My Sex Drive Is Out of Control!

Do you have a story about learning to be a better lover? Have tips about how to make passion survive children and adult responsibilities? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments and we'll be back in two weeks with more of your dating questions.

Ask Dr. Nerdlove: Help, My Sex Drive Is Out of Control!

Ask Dr. Nerdlove is Kotaku's bi-weekly dating column, hosted by the one and only Harris O'Malley, AKA Dr. NerdLove.

Harris O'Malley is a writer and dating coach who provides geek dating advice at his blog Paging Dr. NerdLove and the Dr. NerdLove podcast. His new book Simplified Dating is available exclusively through Amazon. He is also a regular guest at One Of Us. He can be found dispensing snark and advice on Facebook and on Twitter at @DrNerdLove.

Illustration by Tara Jacoby.


    Interesting how you claim the virgin boyfriend is the asshole, yet Desert Down Under is the one annoyed that she has to feel guilty for wanting to cheat on him.

    Definitely a case of her needing to break up with him, but it's because she's the rubbish partner, not him. It's clear he doesn't have the body she wants, the personality she wants, the sexual behaviour she wants, but her logic is (maybe sleeping with someone else secretly will fix this) rather than her needing to break up with him and at least being honest and not betraying the trust someone has placed in you.

    Also, come on, what guy in his early 20s who's still a virgin would admit to a girl he likes that he is one, when she basically tells him this would mean the end of their relationship. He's probably already freaking out that it's never going to happen for him.

    Why don't we deconstruct the societal issues that tell teenage boys their virginity is something to be ashamed of, rather than treasured, like it is with girls, instead of blaming some poor skinny virgin just trying to learn a complicated process with a partner who's impatient and selfish?

    But yeah, good call telling her to break up with him, get this dude as far away from her as possible so he might eventually find someone who treats him with respect.

      Cheating is about dishonesty. She hasn't done anything dishonest yet, it sounds like she's been upfront with him. There's nothing to feel guilty about in pursuing what you want as long as you're honest about it. He can't give her what she wants (good sex), and she can't give him what he wants (monogamy), so it's time for the relationship to end. There's nothing rubbish about what she's done so far.

      On the other hand, he is a rubbish partner right now. Being inexperienced is irrelevant, not communicating and not being receptive to learning in bed is a cardinal sin. You can't learn if you don't listen and adapt, she seems to have done everything she can to guide him and if he's not taking that on board that's entirely his fault. Maybe he'll learn in the future, but he's clearly hasn't learned so far. Never mind the intentional deception on his part where he didn't tell her he was a virgin when she made it clear she wasn't interested in being with one.

      Where are you getting this "impatient and selfish" stuff from? The description above suggests she's been more than patient with teaching him, and if you think her rejecting sex sometimes because she doesn't enjoy it is "selfish" on her part, you have a deeply disturbed view of sex and consent.

      Last edited 17/05/15 10:03 am

        No I think her personal preferences of being subdued and his hesitation in dominating her is where her selfishness lies. It might not be a matter of him not listening and adapting but in him being uncomfortable with domination in the bedroom.

        That's not selfishness, a lot of people, especially inexperienced men, would have very mixed feelings on a society that tells them one thing and a woman telling them the exact opposite in the bedroom. Even enthusiastic consent flies in the face of the current trend of websites like this to criticise this male domination of women in society (which is a completely fair criticism).

        All she seems concerned with is her own preferences. Has she ever asked what he wants? Maybe he hates the idea of using force during sex? The way she talks about him makes it clear she considers him beneath her, and almost undeserving of being sexually fulfilled himself because of his virginity when he entered the relationship.

        And while we're talking about deception, did she make clear that she wanted a domination based sexual relationship? If someone I was dating kept that information from me until we had sex I would be more annoyed than if they told me they were a virgin. Virginity means nothing, as Harris says above, but a sexual preference (although here it sounds like a sexual necessity) will affect the relationship indefinitely. No, she omitted the truth because it didn't suit her to disclose it right away. Just like him, except it was about a bigger issue.

        Point four, is definitely selfishness on his part, I was in no way talking about that when I said she was the selfish one. I could get into a big rant about how Hollywood especially has blurred the idea of consent (in a very negative, but very affecting way), but that's a conversation for another time.

        Finally, she's already planning a way to cheat on him. Her being honest would be flat out saying "I'm going to sleep with someone else over there", but instead, in her unending selfishness, she's trying to make that his decision, so she can feel comfortable with herself and her premeditated infidelity. Imagine if someone you were with was planning to have sex with someone they knew, maybe even you knew, behind your back. How would you feel?

        It's cowardice and deception to try and get him to agree to something and put an idea in his head purely for the benefit of herself. It's the definition of selfish.

        Does that clear up my stance at all regarding why I think she's selfish?

          It doesn't really matter whether we think being a virgin is important, that's her choice and she has a right to feel that way. She made it clear to him and he had the opportunity to tell her he didn't match her expectations and he didn't. That's a betrayal of trust.

          On the submission thing, she does say "he knows this", so it seems like she's been clear about her preferences. There's no mention of whether he's cool with that or not, which could be because she hasn't told us, or could be because he hasn't told her. Not enough info to make an assumption about either of them in that instance.

          The wording on whether she's told him her intentions about the person in America are vague. We don't know if she intends to sleep with her American friend while she's still in the relationship with her boyfriend, or if she only intends to do that if either her boyfriend consents to it, or the relationship ends. I don't think your view is supported, but my view that she's been honest with him isn't either. So I'll reword: as long as she is honest with him before any actions are taken, there's no foul. It's clearly not what he wants, but that's the nature of relationships; what each person wants doesn't always line up.

          I've been cheated on, I know how it feels. Having a conversation before anything happened would be infinitely better than finding out afterwards. Not every couple works out. There's a difference between a break up (ending trust) and cheating (broken trust). From my own experience, the former sucks but is a normal part of finding the right partner, but the latter is completely avoidable and hurts a whole lot more.

          I think your stance on the issue is clear. I don't agree with you is all. Thoughts aren't crimes, as long as everyone involved is honest before any actions take place, everything is above board.

            Ok, as long as i've made clear that my opinion of her selfishness has nothing to do with lack of consent. That was the main thing I got hung up on in your comment.

            With the submission point, it's not whether he knows now or not, it's whether he knew before he was, in her words "already smitten", that she had those specific fetishes. And that's what's unclear. One is fine, the other is less than fine and on par with his undisclosed virginity.

            I think we can both agree at least that these two should not be in a relationship and are a terrible match.

              That was a hasty assumption on my part, I apologise for the offence.

                What's this? Well written responses from two parties of different opinions on the internet, yet ends with polite respect for each other's opinions and view? When did I enter the twilight zone and how do I stay?

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