How Do I Get My Boyfriend to Go Down on Me? "He hasn't offered and changes the subject whenever I bring it up."

How Do I Get My Boyfriend to Go Down on Me?
"He hasn't offered and changes the subject whenever I bring it up."

By Ali Drucker
My boyfriend and I have been together for about eight months and the first two times we hooked up, he went down on me. He offered once more about two weeks later, but I had my period, so it wasn't good timing. Since then he hasn't offered and changes the subject whenever I bring it up. He does, however, ask for blow jobs, and I offer too because I enjoy giving them. I've asked a few people for advice about this but they always say "quit giving and he'll start giving." I have asked him if there's a problem with the way I taste and smell, but he said that's not the problem. I don't know what to do. We live together, have a car together, and have a dog together. This is our biggest problem, help!
The “punish your partner” game has never made much sense to me (at least outside of sex play). When one person freezes the other out, it doesn’t usually bring them closer together; it mostly makes matters worse. Generally, I resent it when my esteemed fellow advice columnists talk about people like pawns to be manipulated. I don’t play games when I have to, and I don’t want my partners to play me or consider me an opponent in some supposed war between the sexes. Nobody wants a war on the home front.

A lot of this dates back to the dark ages of relationship advice, which assumed that men and women spoke different languages, inhabited totally separate spheres, and could never speak directly and just say what they fucking mean. The idea that withholding sex is a solution dates back more than 2400 years, to when Aristophanes wrote the comedy Lysistrata, in which women stopped the Peloponnesian War by denying sex until their warmongering men declared a peace. In reality, I’m not sure that simply rejecting your partner has ever been the best way to get what you want in the real world. (A quick mental exercise: Flip it around and think of how you’d feel if your partner shut you out.)

In other words, I think this is unfair but I don’t think you have to take the low road to get your boyfriend to go down. I don’t think you have to trick him like he’s a dupe, play him like he’s a chess piece, or out-battle him like he’s an enemy. Deal with him like he’s your partner. You live together — and you say this is your biggest problem. If that’s true, you’ve got a great relationship so why play games now? Be direct.

As you talk about this, start positive. Instead of trying to anticipate or shoot down his objections (“I have asked if there’s a problem…”), be upfront about your desire. A lot of guys are hesitant about going down, so if you bring up more things to worry about, it might just reinforce his anxiety. Instead, reassure him by telling him it will be great, that it will feel good and be appreciated.

Tell him, in plain and obvious language, how much you want him to go down on you. Tell him how much he would turn you on. Tell him how much you crave him. To that end, don’t talk up oral orgasms at first; he might be afraid he won’t be able to deliver (which, let’s face it, he probably won’t, at first). Just focus on how much you’d like him to make you feel good. Maybe even show him what, exactly, you like the most. Sometimes, the hottest dirty talk is very, very specific talk.

You don’t have to withhold sex to remind him that it’s not fair that you’re going down on him if he isn’t reciprocating; you can talk about it. If he dodges the conversation again, make sure he understands this is important, that it upsets you, and that you feel it’s unfair. If he’s the good boyfriend you say he is, he shouldn’t need a threat or an ultimatum to care. Remember that we should always respect each other’s boundaries, and nobody should be forced to do something they don’t want, but also remember that you’re not asking for anything crazy here. There’s nothing wrong with asking for what you want, or even asking over and over. Don’t give up on him going down.

My boyfriend and I have been together for seven months and we're in love, but a question has been haunting us since the beginning: We have very different ideas about our futures. Although we both want to get married and have kids someday (and I believe we can both see us sharing that future), I want to continue to live in the same state as my family while he wants to travel — and live — around the country and around the world. Every time one of us brings it up, I end up bawling because I'm so afraid he'll break up with me (although he has told me before he'll never break up with me on the fly like that). Neither of us know what to do to discuss the problem or how to solve it. What can I do to be able to talk about this? And where do we go from here?

I understand where you’re coming from. We’ve all read the story about the city mouse and the country mouse who learn that they’re really just different creatures who need to live different lives. That’s a real thing: Some people just want different things. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s important to be aware of your own personal deal breakers, and to trust that gut feeling that says you’re not right for each other. That’s hard but that’s also healthy.

But we should all remember that every healthy relationship requires loads of compromise. From military personnel to grad students to regular folks following work, couples negotiate long-distance stretches apart, drastic life changes, sick relatives, crying babies, setbacks, and transformative triumphs. As you talk about your hopes and dreams, don’t just look for differences that could pull you apart. Look for flexibility, compromise, and core values that might keep you together. If you’re going to roll with the punches, you’ve got to recognize that change is the state of the world and the state of every relationship. If you burst into tears every time you imagine one of the million ways you might disagree or life might pull you apart, you’re going to need a lot of tissues.

But let’s slow things down. (And, really, that’s my big advice: Slow down.) It’s only been seven months. You don’t have to make sure that all of your hopes and dreams match up right now The good news is that it’s only been seven months, and you already agree on marriage, kids, and, it seems, each other. That’s a pretty damn solid start. And that’s probably enough for now. You two don’t need to commit to some 50-year life plan; any such plan would probably fall apart anyway.

But, honestly, I’m reluctant to give you much advice about how to talk this through now, since you may both change your minds as you get older anyway. Mostly, I think you don’t have to talk about this too much right now. Don’t let hypothetical plans for the decades ahead derail the good thing you’ve got going now. Life’s always going to change, and there’s always going to be some future decisions to worry about. You can spend your whole life sacrificing todays to worries about tomorrows. Whenever you can, decide to make the most of what you’ve got right now.

I have a question about my boyfriend and our sex life, and what I believe are his insecurities. We’ve been together three years. It's all great. We have a wonderful relationship and we have a 16 month old daughter as well. When it comes to sex, I like it a little rough; hair-pulling and butt-slapping are usually as far as I'll take it. However, trying to get him to smack my ass is damn near impossible and incredibly frustrating for me! I've tried approaching the subject with him in different ways and it never seems to work. Something I should note is that he is quite shy and kind, by nature. I definitely suspect that this has something to do with him resisting but I have basically run out of ideas. It does frustrate and upset me because it makes me feel like he doesn't care about my sexual needs, while I always exceed his. I don't know what to do or how to get through to him.

I get where you’re coming from: It’s hard when you want something in bed that your partner is uncomfortable providing. And I’m sure that you’re frustrated because you can see it from your boyfriend’s perspective too: Nobody should ever be forced to do something against his or her will. You’ve got to respect his limits, just as you’d expect him to respect any of your boundaries. So where do you go from here?

You say “trying to get him to smack my ass is damn near impossible and incredibly frustrating.” But I don’t know what you’ve been trying, so before you give up, make sure you’ve explained yourself clearly.

First, make sure that he knows that you’re open to his desires: Ask him if there’s anything he’d also like to discuss, since this isn’t just about getting what you need; it’s about making the whole sexual relationship better for both of you, together. Then try to help him understand why you want him to lay a hand on your ass. Even mild masochistic desire can trigger folks — and, perhaps, especially a certain sort of man who can’t square a woman’s desire to be spanked with his vision of her as his loving partner and mother to his children. There are so many physically abusive assholes in the world, it’s no wonder some “shy and kind” guys like your boyfriend might shy away from that kind of behavior. Be sure to respect his opinion and let him know that you get where he’s coming from.

Then explain where you’re coming from and what makes this kind of slapping different. Tell him, specifically, what turns you on about being spanked and having your hair pulled. Acknowledge that it doesn’t exactly make the neatest sort of logical sense. Then explain it. Describe, in the sexiest detail you can muster, how it feels and why you love it. But also clarify your limits by playing Goldilocks: Tell him what’s too much, what’s not enough, and what’s generally just right. Also explain that a little ass-smacking is just a little ass-smacking; it’s not some kind of gateway-drug that will usher you two into a Fifty Shades lifestyle of dungeons, dominatrices, and weird feathered masks

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