Relationships

My boyfriend wants me to top him: what do I do?

It can feel such a sexy thrill to submit completely to a dominant partner, to the point where we lock our cock and balls in a chastity device and give him the key. But what if he doesn’t really want us so sub-passive after all? Advice is given.

Styles of loving

In matters of partner selection, it hardly needs saying that different men pursue different qualities, but can be worth remembering that different people desire and love in different ways. Reflecting on how you love, and how others might love, can be beneficial when seeking a partner, or merely a date.

Hitting the scene – and thriving!

It can be like swimming with sharks when you first hit the scene, the sprawl of clubs and bars in whichever big city you’re nearest to. When you enter the bar, all eyes turn. They could be doing rather more than simply undressing you with their eyes – while they summon to their aid their long-rehearsed, terrible chat-lines and flex their paws. What are they looking at? Chicken.

One-on-one? Commitments

It’s the younger who often assume they’re in a one-on-one relationship just because they’ve had sex once. Expectations run sky-high and are often unsustainable – though sometimes our earliest relationships do indeed last into the long-term. For those with a little more experience, the various commitments made with another person take time and need to be discussed.

Anger Management

Usually when we fight, and especially in relationships, it is our own internal anger and conflict we are expressing. Yes, there are times in life when we need to stand up to ourselves with whatever degree of force is appropriate, but where people are in a relationship this should not be the case: if our partner requires a fight, as opposed to, say, a heated discussion, then the relationship needs serious work – or our partner has problems and might need your or someone else’s help. In ourselves, by recognizing the roots of conflict, we can obviate the ‘need’ to fight – and be happier.

Saying its over

You know it’s time for the relationship to end. You’ve closed off from him. You just no longer fancy him, find his presence and his (increasingly) irritating (stupid) habits downright oppressive. (Why did it never really bug you before, the way he’d pick at his toenails while you watched TV?) So you look for excuses – anything – to be anywhere other than with him, even vaguely near him, to shut him out of your mind and life. Meanwhile, he’s still blissfully living the dream. He believes, knows, you’re the one who’s going to last forever. You’re the big thing in his life that makes him happy. So what do you do?

Time to grieve

He’s dumped you. What advice is on offer here? Pick yourself up? Get over it? Life moves on? Well, it does, in the end. You will – but that won’t happen straight away. There’s more than a little unhappiness to get through first. Rule one: don’t be ashamed of admitting that and letting it happen.

Intimacy: loving your shadow

What draws us, even compels us, to love and desire one person rather than another? There will, no doubt, be a range of superficial similarities: points of connection, looks, attitudes and interests shared. But that’s the case with our friends as well – and we do not usually look at our friends in the same way we regard our lover. One convincing theory is that we see in our lover what could be termed a point of difference, or the embodiment of aspects of ourselves and of our own potential which are not fully accessible to us or with which we are not reconciled – and to which we feel closer when we are with that lover. It could be said that when we desire we see through a glass darkly.

Gender roles

We are (usually) trained in our sense of gender roles within heterosexual families. There, still, the feminine becomes associated with the female, the masculine with male. There are norms concerning how men and women may acceptably behave. Those norms remain and have, to a greater or lesser extent, been learnt and internalised by gay men. Within gay relationships, it is worth asking how differential gender roles may become manifest. To put that another way, does one partner become Da, the other Ma?

Naturism

It has been said – a lot – that a naturist camp or beach is about as sexy as, well, a very unsexy thing from the planet unsexy. How unsexy to see everything straight away… But some would counter: ‘How much better to see what you might be getting later and have a few lazy, beached hours to consider what to do with it.’