Dear Dr. Love,I am an 18 year old senior in high school, and my boyfriend is 18 as well, but he is a junior at a university about 50 miles from where I live. We met in high school, fell in love about a year ago, and have developed a very close relationship, emotionally and physically. This relationship is a first for both of us. Although we were both told growing up that we were mature for our age, we never quite found the right person to be with until we found each other.Despite the distance and our busy schedules, we make every attempt possible to see each other, we write e-mail constantly to ease the loneliness, and we drive our phone bills sky-high. In other words, everything is utopian in our relationship. . . except one thing.From the beginning of our relationship, my boyfriend made it very clear to me that he was not interested in a sexual relationship. I respected that decision, but in the back of my mind, I somehow thought that he would change his mind once he entered into an intense physical experience that was supported with strong emotional support. And he did change his mind – to an extent. Now our physical relationship is sexual, but only to a point. Whenever it gets to a certain degree of intensity, or if it looks like we ‘re heading towards intercourse, he freezes up and becomes frightened.I’ve tried to reassure him about birth control concerns, and I’ve tried to give him all the emotional reassurance that I can, but he shows no signs of changing his mind any further. In my heart, I want to respect his decision as much as I can, and make him as comfortable as possible with our physical relationship. Even if I were able to, I would never force him to do anything he didn’t want to do. There are times, though, when the frustration is enough to make me scream. This inward frustration is beginning to outwardly manifest itself through insecure behavior on my part, tense moments between us, etc.It took a lot of love and trust for me to feel comfortable with the idea of having sex, and now this love has to squelch these urges in order to keep us together. What can I do to show him all the love and respect he deserves, and put a lid on all the tension I ‘m feeling in our physical relationship?Caring and Confused
You ask how you can show him the love and respect he deserves. It sounds like you’re doing that already by respecting his need to not have intercourse. On that subject, I don’t think the problem is going to resolve with your ‘hands off’ policy alone. He seems absolutely terrified and we need to find out why.This isn’t a religious thing, is it? If not, then we are dealing with a terror of intimacy. Some men are afraid that if they give over to intercourse that they will disappear, be swallowed up, etc. This guy definitely needs to get into treatment. If you can get him to call me or e-mail me in my private counseling section, I can try to help him decipher where this fear stems from.Meanwhile, back to you. You ask how you can put a lid on all the tension you’re feeling in your physical relationship. I think that when you refer to tension, you mean that you are feeling sexually frustrated. Putting a lid on your sexuality will only increase your tension. So, what can be done? Are you adverse to masturbating? I hope not, for your sake, because if you don’t take care of your needs soon, the roof is going to blow off your house. And, we won’t be able to find your relationship in all the rubble.Since your friend is too afraid to have intercourse, can he at least give you orgasms through oral or manual stimulation? If he can’t handle that, no pun intended, then you must take care of yourself. I order you to have pleasure. You can’t go on like this. Since this is a complicated situation, I think we should talk more about it privately. So, contact me in my private counseling section and well make sure to get to the bottom of this problem.