A healthy sex life that satisfies both you and your partner(s) is a vital part of relationships. Yes, even for asexual people; for whom "healthy and satisfying" might look a little different than it does for others.
It's pretty common for relationships to require some give and take, even in the bedroom. It takes time to learn one another's likes and dislikes and to get comfortable enough for fully open communication and experimentation. Plus sexuality is not a static thing; it's constantly evolving as we grow and change as people.
But what do you do when the people involved just flat out aren't on the same page as one another when it comes to sex?
One woman turned to Reddit after her frustration with her and her boyfriends sex life started to spill over into other aspects of her life.
"My boyfriend [26/M(ale)] has only gone down on me [28/F(emale)] three times in the past three years. I feel like like it's turning me into a Karen.He went down on me twice in 2018, then once in 2019 for a few seconds, and he hasn't gone down at me at all in 2020."
"I've asked him about it and he just gets all defensive and says that he likes to do it and that he will. But he never does. In September of 2019 I finally just bought a tongue shape vibrator (he was so angry about it for days, so I hid it and told him to just forget about it. Finally I think he accepted it). The sad thing is I don't want to use a tongue; I want him to do it because he's my partner and I love him."
Things took a serious turn after OP got the basics out of the way. As she continued with her story, her readers started to realize that what was initially presented as a difference about oral sex is actually so much more.
Oral was "just the tip" of the proverbial sexual iceberg.
"I always wanted to be with him forever, but honestly I think this is starting to mess with me emotionally now. I feel way more emotional and sometimes I almost find myself turning into a "Karen". This isn't like me......I hate this feeling. He also hates when I masturbate but that's a whole other story."
"Also he finishes in my mouth almost every time we have sex so I just don't understand why he won't return the favor. Even just once a month for two minutes would make me happy."
"Is this worth ending the relationship over? I don't want to but I just feel.....weird. I don't know how to describe it. Thank you so much."
"tl;dr My boyfriend has only gone down on me three times in three years and I feel like it's turning me into a bitch :("
Reddit was quick to point out that things were not OK in their relationship ...
"So, he won't go down on you, but he's upset you got a vibrator to make up for that? I understand not liking something, but the fact that he got upset when you got a vibrator to make up for what you were missing is a huge red flag. That seems like a perfectly reasonable compromise to me."
"I know that's not the same though. And if this is a really important thing to you, you should tell him that it's a deal-breaker. Sexual compatibility is incredibly important, and you deserve someone who fulfills your needs."
"Also, the fact you do it for him (AND let him finish in your mouth), but he won't do it for you seems a little unfair." - rayray394
"This is not even a compromise. Her having a vibrator costs him nothing. He's a selfish, controlling a**hole and she needs to stop letting him take advantage of her and control her in this way. The relationship sounds almost abusive and I think it is worth ending a relationship over. If he is this way about sex, I doubt he is better about other things." - bigrottentuna
"Never goes down on you. Hates when you masturbate. Got angry you got a vibrator for something he won't do. He c*ms in your mouth all the time?!?!?"
"...dump the c*nt already! How selfish of him! Your feelings are perfectly understandable. I bet he doesn't do it because it does nothing for him, its 100% your pleasure, which seems to be a common theme. Something sexual not benefiting him? Gets mad or makes empty promises."
"If he loved you he'd give you oral. It's magic for the recipient, and a selfless act. He just seems selfish and lazy." - ScaredPlatypus1
... but they had no idea how right they were. OP shared some more details of just how not OK things are in the comments.
"The worst part is that he cheated on me in 2018 and he told me they did 69, I was so shocked. Also she was a prostitute. It broke my heart and I couldn't look at him the same for a long long time."
"I've asked him if there's anything wrong with me, does it smell bad, or taste bad, etc but he always says no it's fine. And he's a very honest person so I believe him. But still I have bought so many special washes and shave myself and try to get it perfect but he still will never do it. I'm just so hurt."
"I've been with him for six years and I've done soooooooooo SO SO MUCH to try to be a good partner to him and work it through. He's very spoiled though. I grew up very poor (trailer park, welfare, the whole bit) meanwhile he grew up very spoiled and privileged."
"I met him online six years ago and moved away from my small town to be with him. His parents are rich attorneys who paid for his college and everything, he has lots of privileges in life. But I do love him and I always have. Even though sometimes his parents treat me bad (I don't think that they think I'll ever be "good enough" for their son. Also maybe they even think I'm a gold digger because I grew up poor?? They've said weird sh*t to me in the past."
"But I've told him that if we ever got married we can get a prenup, I really never wanted anything from him, I just loved him as a person). I hate to admit this but we do have other problems in our relationship, I want it to work out so bad though. I do love him so much."
Sex and relationship experts will often point to the bedroom as the arena in which other relationship problems are played out, and this sounds no different. Reading through her comments is like playing red-flag-football with a teammate who has a severe case of affluenza.
OP's partner is engaging in behavior that endangers her health - both mentally and physically. Her post indicates gaslighting, dishonesty, controlling, manipulation, sexual abuse and more.
Reddit is absolutely not a certified psychologist or relationship expert, but they kind of didn't need to be here. Some people were more gentle than others in their delivery, but the overall message was the same.
"Oh okay I see. Your boyfriend is a piece of trash and you took him back and he's still trash. I got you. I mean, OP, please just have even a small shred of self respect. It'll be great when you're able to look at yourself in the mirror again."
"If someone does crappy stuff, you're supposed to leave them. Wake up, OP. All you've taught him is that you'll take him back even though he's munching down on hookers." - usernotfoundplstry
"Just a piece of advice, a man doesn't cheat and at the same time be "a very honest person", it doesn't go together. You don't deserve someone like this, nobody deserves someone like him, only a girl of his kind and you don't seem to be this kind of a girl."
"I know its hard, letting go of 6 years of investment in the relationship, its hard to throw everything away after 6 years, but I wouldn't say this if the only problem was just in the bedroom, but, he cheated. This is unacceptable, and if you accept this there will be much more in the future. This is him testing the waters."
"Men are different than women in this way; he pushes the boundaries a bit and see how you react. If you accepted, then he will push some more and some more. Eventually he will be having other relationships besides you and in the end he will get bored of you and dump you.To him, you're not a person who is worth it."
"I'm a guy and I understand. I'm sorry to say all this, and it maybe hurtful and my apologies for everything that happened to you. You need to take care of yourself as nobody else will do it."
"Also, please understand that when you try to break up, he'll become manipulative and say that he'll change or couldn't live without you etc.. So be prepared."
"Or he'll say that it's your fault and will put all the blame on you. Spoiled guys are brought up to never see that they are at fault, unfortunately. I was exactly like this 😞"
"In the end, please don't compromise your own integrity for someone like that; if you stay with him then in the future it will come to that.There are few bad people in the world and some good people, it's just your bad luck to be with him, so think about it please and understand that there's someone out there for you who actually deserves you." - Sipoli
"Girl can you not see that he doesn't give a sh*t about your pleasure? Actually scratch that, he actively doesn't want you to have it. And he's using it to keep you on the hook. Why keep having sex with him? You're just playing into his game."
"He's got you humping through hoops. You've got to gather your self esteem and realize that you would be good enough for another partner. Stop trying to please this one so bad." - wubbalubbadubdubitydo
"He isn't an honest person at all! You need to leave him."
"He is the most vile and disgusting person. He isn't doing it bc you smell; he is doing it to exert his control over you and make you paranoid that there is something wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with you."
"You are in an abusive and unhealthy relationship. Please know your worth and leave. Then seek therapy to regain a sense of what constitutes a healthy relationship and learn proper boundaries and how to enforce them."
"He is manipulating you into thinking there is something wrong with your vagina.
He tries to dictate if you can masturbate or not.
He expects blow jobs every f*cking time, so you aren't even getting vaginal intercourse."
"Oral sex is very important to a lot of women, you might not make it something to end a relationship over, but there are a lot of women who would. For many women, oral and manual stimulation is the only way they reach orgasm."
He continues to lie and promises he will go down on you, but doesn't.
He cheated on you with a hooker." - loujules17
"Your words make me really sad. I hope you will choose yourself and leave him and rebuild the self esteem he has succeeded in eroding. You deserve peace and wholeness and happiness." - chrysavera
"it is enough to break up with him, but not because he won't eat you out. let's review.
"he hates when you masturbate/use your vibe- this is extremely controlling and a big red flag. wanting to be your only source of pleasure without any negotiation beforehand is not acceptable behavior."
"despite being irrationally annoyed with you for giving yourself pleasure, he refuses to do it for you, even when you ask. also a red flag and very manipulative- the defensive attitude is a way to make himself into the victim despite him being at fault."
"insisting he "likes" going down on you but refusing to do it- this plus #2 toe pretty close to the gaslighting line, by making you feel crazy and demanding for making a totally reasonable request."
"he's lying to you, manipulating you, and trying to control you. this seems like a very small issue on the surface, but the red flags that end up pointing to serious abuse often do. get out now, you deserve better than this manchild at best, abuser at worst." - kissentea
OP has not updated, but we sincerely hope that whatever she chooses to do involves some sort of therapy, counseling, or emotional support.
Recovery from mental and emotional abuse is a difficult process. In some cases, like this one, even acknowledging the abuse can take time.