We love chatting with Stoya — writer, thinker, on-screen-sex haver — about all manner of sexual, sensual, and feminist topics. In fact, we had so much fun talking with her, we asked her to write a monthly sex and relationship advice column. Have a burning question? Send any and all queries to email@example.com.
My sort-of girlfriend and I have been in a long-distance relationship for the past year. We have learned to make it work by spending as much time as possible with each other and staying up all night on the phone together. The distance isn't a problem; the problem is age. I'm 20 and she's about to turn 25.
She still sees me as an immature child, no matter what I do to try and change that opinion. It gets extremely frustrating when we talk because she always assumes I'm lying to her or simply gets upset at me for no apparent reason. Usually, I take the blame for every fight, even if I'm not wrong, so that we can make up and move on. But, there are times when I tell her she's the most beautiful girl I've ever seen and that I love her — and hearing that makes her so upset at me. And, she won't say why. Each time, she simply says I'm wrong or that I'm lying, and then she leaves.
There are also times when I tell her how perfect I think her girl (pussy) is, and I'm met with the same response of anger and distrust as before. She's told me how perfect my guy (dick) is to her and how my appearance is just what she's always wanted. I simply don't know what to do anymore. I know I've just rambled a lot, but if you can, please help me!
I’d like you to please take a deep breath and prepare yourself for something you may not want to hear.
It is very likely that you are still immature. There’s scientific evidence that the prefrontal cortex of a human brain isn’t finished developing until around 25, which means that parts of a 20-year-old person’s brain are not mature yet. The meat-hardware in your skull hasn’t finished being built.
That particular meat-hardware is believed to be what handles things like planning, consideration of long-term consequences, and moderating social behavior. Being good at these things looks a lot like what we call being mature, adult, or grown-up.
When you were seven, you were probably weren’t as tall as you are now. You might have found that frustrating. Maybe you were even upset at having your height pointed out, but you probably continued to grow. Now, your body is finishing the development of little details like your prefrontal cortex. It will be fully developed at some point, and you will be more mature than you are now.
But, that’s not the only issue in your question. You’ve also described trust issues, communication issues, and conflict resolution issues. So, why are you pursuing a long-distance relationship with so many issues?
If you can’t answer that question, you might want to think about ending this relationship. If you can answer it, then you should probably get ready to do some serious work. All those things you’ve argued about — and have then taken the blame for so you can move on — are still there, keeping your relationship from moving forward. The two of you are going to need to find and address your actual, root problems and figure out how to do a better job of coping with them. You’ll need to un-learn bad communication habits and strive to replace those habits with good ones. None of this is easy, and the relationship might not work out anyway.
The upside of putting in that work in the hopes of improving the relationship you’re in is that you’ll have those skills forever and can apply them to relationships in the future.
My boyfriend and I have been dating for four years. When we first started dating, he told me that he watched porn every night, pretty much since puberty — and that he has this fascination with facials, or a guy ejaculating on a woman's face. I personally find that degrading and uncomfortable. I can't help but blame porn and feel bad about myself, because I can't be like all those girls he's seen online. It makes me feel insecure, and I can feel my self-esteem crumbling every time we talk about it, because I can't do this for him. But, also, it's not like I haven't tried it. Every time I do, I honestly feel disgusting about myself, like a hollow-inside feeling? I don't know how to describe it, but I think it's my gut telling me that I didn't like what happened because I feel like I was just used.
I've tried variations of facials, like him coming into my mouth, and then some of it just gets around my mouth, and I've tried him coming in my mouth and then taking his penis out and "smearing" his cum around my mouth and around my cheeks, although if I'm being honest, that is pushing my boundaries. We always talk about it after we do these alternatives, and he always says the same thing: He wants to point-blank just shoot it into the middle of my face. Ugh. It's not even like I like vanilla sex — quite the opposite. I like rough sex, I like to be tied up and spanked, hair pulled, thrown around, choked, dirty talk… HELP! Do you have any advice for me? Because, honestly, I don't know what to do, and there is very little literature out there about this stuff.
Stop doing that thing that makes you feel disgusting and hollow inside. In your case, you’re saying it’s having your face on the receiving end of male ejaculate, but this applies to anything that your gut is against. You do not have to force yourself to participate in any sexual act that is beyond your boundaries.
It doesn’t matter if all your friends do it, if everyone on TV does it, or if it’s so novel it may have just been invented. It doesn’t matter if someone else really really really wants you to do it. If someone doesn't respect your boundaries and limits, that person probably doesn’t have your best interests at heart. And, whether they do or not, it is still always your job to take care of yourself.
Since it is possible that your partner doesn’t fully understand that this specific activity is so uncomfortable and upsetting for you, I suggest that you pick a time when the two of you can pay full attention to each other. At that time, make it very clear in plain words that facials are on the other side of a line you are not willing to cross because of how your feelings are affected when you receive them. Try to explain your feelings to your partner without blaming him — or porn, or romantic comedies, or anything else.
This conversation could go a number of ways. He might not care about your feelings. He might so strongly need to participate in facial ejaculation for his sexual gratification that he’s unable to be happy in a relationship without it. Those outcomes might hurt, but you’ll have my sympathy and the sympathy of a lot of other people who’ve ended otherwise wonderful relationships over a major incompatibility.
He also might not have understood how much you’re against facials. He might feel incredibly remorseful over the whole thing and drop the subject forever. Or, he might at least be willing to back off the facial topic for a while, giving you space to de-stress, do some introspection, and maybe be able present him with options for compromise that you’re comfortable with. I encourage you to prioritize your comfort level over compromise, though, because it sounds like you’ve already compromised your way past your limits.
You won’t know anything until you have that conversation, though. And, seriously, stop doing that thing that makes you feel disgusting and hollow inside.