Ms. Q & A: He’s Lousy in Bed

Dear Ms. Q,

I’ve been dating a gentleman for a couple of months. I’m a widow and he’s a widower and we’re the first people we’ve been with since our spouses died. (It’s been about two years for both of us.) He’s an absolute sweetheart of a man except that he’s lousy in bed. He’s unskilled and clumsy like a teenager the first time with a girl.

It’s frustrating for me because my late husband and I had an incredible sex life. We were spontaneous and adventurous. Plus, I didn’t meet my husband until I was 28 and there had been a few other men before him.

I don’t know much about my new guy’s sexual history except that he got married when he was 21 and his wife was the only woman he ever had sex with. He’s never talked about their sex life except to say that they were a happily married couple.

I don’t get that he’s shy or has a lot of inhibitions about sex. Every time we’ve been together he seems incredibly happy and uses words like “incredible” and “amazing” with me. But I don’t see him stepping up his game and I don’t know if I want to play the role of teacher with him. I really adore him and enjoy his company, but I really want a sexual equal. Is that wrong of me?

Doubtful Donna

Dear Donna,

Right now, you’re just as enamored with his attention and companionship as much as he is with yours … not to mention your skills in bed. You’re both new to dating. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a man’s company. Men like that are called friends.

It seems as if you already get the idea that your new beau started out knowing nothing about sex and never took the opportunity to learn more beyond the basic instincts. I also get the feeling that he or maybe the both of you aren’t comfortable talking about sex with each other. Perhaps you’re uneasy about revealing your true sexual self to someone who is rather sheltered?

My point of view is if you’re comfortable enough to get naked in front of each other, you should be comfortable enough to have some naked conversations.

In this case, I would find some books or articles about sex or sexual techniques that he could improve upon. Tell him what you’re reading and what you’ve learned. See where the conversation goes. If he’s interested or engaged in the conversation, send him a link or give him a copy of the article or the book.

I suggest this approach because of two words that you used to describe the sex life that you had with your late husband: spontaneous and adventurous. People like this are intensely curious about sex and other interests will gobble up new information. They want to understand it. They want to try new things.

If he shies away from the conversation, I guarantee that you’ll be stuck with someone who isn’t like you temperamentally or in personality. Those things will likely lead to other problems in your relationship down the road.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting your sexual equal. It’s no different than wanting a partner who’s your intellectual equal. I know it sounds crass and shallow to break up with someone because he’s a lousy lover, but you don’t have to settle down with the first man who’s nice to you. If you decide to move on from this guy, take some time to meet and date several guys before you find one worthy of getting under the sheets.

Ms. Q

Got a question for me? Email me at msquote2(at)hotmail(dot)com.

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About Bobbie Morgan (1247 Articles)
Bobbie Morgan is the beditor-in-chief of A Good Woman's Dirty Mind. When she's not blogging or having the best sex ever, she's putting out writing and social media services for adult businesses. Use the contact link to reach her by email.

4 Comments on Ms. Q & A: He’s Lousy in Bed

  1. I have a slightly different take on this. Maybe he’s fumbling because he knows you’re not his deceased wife, but sex with her was all he knew, and he honestly doesn’t know what to do with you. Maybe he’s fumbling because he’s not getting the cues from you about what you need.

    In either case, instead of rushing to give him articles or a book on technique — which is as much as saying, “You’re lousy in bed,” try telling him gently what YOU would like him to do. Tell him or show him. Keep the conversation gentle, e.g., “I’d love to show you how I’d like you to touch me.”

    Our lovers can’t read our minds, and we’re all different in what we like and need to get aroused. So make it just between the two of you, and give him a chance to learn from you.

    Joan Price
    Author of Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex

  2. Well, I’ll have to disagree with Joan Price, and somewhat with Ms. Quote, even though I adore her.

    First, Joan Price, fumbling is either due to lack of experience or confidence, neither of which are bad, but neither of which can solved with a talk. It is not due to the fact that it’s a new partner. If you have experience and confidence, you can try a number of different things to tickle your partner into a moan.

    Second, Joan Price, turning the table on somebody asking for help and telling her she might be sending the wrong cues is not good advice.

    Third, Dear Doubtful said she wasn’t really interested in taking a teaching position. That doesn’t leave much room for advice this side of a breakup, but it’s understandable. I’ve known a number of women who told me they had enough about teaching men how to behave in bed, and that their next lover would know what to do.

    Lastly, a talk is definitively due to put the facts on the table. Like Ms. Quote said, somebody you get along greatly with without the benefit of sexual intimacy is usually called a friend. Some adjustment will be made or some tears will be shed.

    Dear Doubtful, I think you did not find what you’re looking for. You most probably want to be absolved of leaving a nice man just because of sex. There’s nothing to wrong with doing that, good men have been left before for any number of reason. Yours is just not as socially accepted, however silly that is. That being said, don’t despair, society is silly on a regular basis.

    Sex is part of well rounded life. You don’t need to do it like rabbits or a porn star, hell, you can even be abstinent, but you need satisfaction. It’s just one of those needs of life. If your partner denied you tenderness, nobody would argue the validity of the breakup.

    Sexual satisfaction is part of the equation. If you have the courage to speak up about it to Ms. Quote, then it’s something that has some importance to you. We might not consciously or deliberately do it, but in each of our relationships (with friends, lover, coworkers…) we establish parameters that will determine the level of interaction with the other person. What do you need? What can you give? Like: love, sex, tenderness, companionship, strength, understanding, money, stability, adventure…

    Think about what you want and what you don’t, but remember two things: you can’t change somebody else and your own capacity to adapt has limits. First take care of yourself and be well, then you can turn toward others.

    I hope this helps.


    • The both of you offered some good advice, and I’m sure there are an infinite number of ways this situation could be handled well.

      The reason why I took somewhat of a devil’s advocate about this is because I know of a woman who married the man of her dreams except he had a lot of different hangups regarding sex. In their case she was able to get him to open up about why he held back in bed through some very loving and nonjudgmental communication. However, I also remember my first year or so of being divorced and not knowing what kind of man I wanted in my life. In general, my advice to the newly single is to take some time to meet and get to know others, especially since there are so many life factors involved when people are in middle age than when they’re in their 20’s. Sex isn’t the only factor, but it’s a big one.

  3. If your friend was able to help her husband work through his issues then I can only be happy for them, it’s big.

    However, I think that embarking on a relationship thinking that you can change somebody in anyway is a surefire way to end up being unhappy, and passing on a good life with somebody else.

    That being said, it’s not the same thing as working through something that comes up during a relationship. Although that might be just as futile, there’s at least something to work from.

    In the end, it all comes down to what you want, and the kind of person you are. The decision is very personal.

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