What Would Zula Do
WWZD is where we answer submissions from our readers, from queries to confessions or even recurring dreams. While we are no experts in this thing called life, sometimes all you need is a listening ear from your e-BFF, anonymously.
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WWZD: Sex With My Boyfriend Is Boring
Hey Zula, I am currently in a lovely 2-year relationship with my boyfriend and things have been great. We face problems like every other couple and we have been actively resolving them. We have started making plans for the future but I am starting to realise a small problem… our sex life is bad.
Some context: my bf is my first sexual partner but my bf has been quite sexually frivolous. Our relationship was very rocky in the beginning so it never occured to me that sex was a problem. He is not a selfish person in bed, just not very adventurous.
There are a lot of things I would like to try but he would just brush it off by saying he has done it before and doesn’t like it, explaining why he wouldn’t want to do it again. I understand and respect his decision, but I don’t want our sex to be forever vanilla. I might not like the things I want to try but it would be nice to at least experience them. I have been trying to convince him nicely but he is unwavering. Because of that, sex has been getting really boring and almost obligatory. How should I talk to him or should I just drop the idea?
—Yk, female, 21
This submission has been edited for grammar and clarity.
Okay, there’s a lot to unpack here. Straight off the bat, it’s clear you treasure your relationship a lot and both of you seem to be in a mature relationship. That’s really wonderful! But the next glaringly obvious thing I noticed is you’re someone who values having a bangin’ sex life.
It’s great you respect your partner’s opinions, but it seems like he’s not listening to what you’re trying to tell him. If you haven’t already explicitly told him how you feel, you could perhaps reframe your approach to the situation.
Convey the message that you want to experience what life has to offer with him. Ask him: if he’s not willing to let you experiment within the confines of a relationship, what would he suggest to reach a compromise of yours and his needs?
If he cannot come up with a solution to your current dilemma, consider if you’re okay with having unsatisfactory sex for the rest of your life.
Ultimately, I believe romantic and sexual feelings for your partner will eventually fade. What remains is someone you’d want to do the mad hangz with 24/7. So if the friendship with your partner trumps bad sex, may God give you the grace to accept the things you can’t change.
If not, consider how this will become a recurrent issue of contention in your relationship.
And gurllll, if you don’t want sex because you’re not in the mood or feel it’s obligatory, stop having sex. You don’t owe sex to your partner just because you’ve slept with him before.
Hope that helps!
It’s great you are acknowledging the difference between your expectations and reality of your relationship. I’m wondering if underneath the unwillingness to compromise in your sex life is a symptom of deeper value differences?
For now, I can only guess.
A friend confessed to me that after being in a 3-year relationship, “real life takes over, you become more chill, you’re no longer an animal.” In that sense, I can understand your boyfriend’s sexual laziness.
I’m not trying to downplay your need for exciting sex; I think that there is clearly a disparity of priorities. Have you tried spelling it out explicitly as a last resort?
That being said, I doubt he will be willing to budge. As much as we advocate for sexual openness, sex is a very personal thing and people who aren’t turned on by certain things will probably not be turned on by them even after a discussion.
In that sense you are stuck, and I feel that as a young girl who wants excitement, he might not be the right guy for you, despite everything else going well. Maybe it’s the idea of ‘The One’ that poisons all our relationships. With everyone, there will be shades of compatibility and incompatibility, and your game is to figure out what you’re willing to settle for.
Does the idea of saying, “Hun, I love you, but I just can’t accept your vanilla sex any longer,” create a lot of shame for you?
If anything, that’s the one thing I’d like to empower you to say.
Cover illustration by Asher Mak