Hey BuzzFeed Community fam! My name's Hannah, and I'm here to offer you some guidance on the big questions plaguing your love life! Don't just think of me as a writer who covers various sex and love topics on this site. You can also think of me as your stand-in best friend who is here to listen to you (judgment-free) and offer some thoughtful advice. It can sometimes be hard to talk about these deeply personal things with friends and family, so I'm here to help be your sounding board!
So, I asked you all, the BuzzFeed Community, to send me any questions you had pertaining to sex, love, dating, relationships, etc. Here are some of the sex-related questions I received and my honest responses. This week, we'll tackle: new kinks, waiting until marriage, reviving your sex life, one-night stands, and questioning your sexuality.
1. Question: "I (cis woman) have been with my partner (cis man) for over a decade. I've always been the more vanilla one, but I've happily played whatever games my partner has been into over the years. Even when a kink doesn't do it for me, I'm happy to make my partner happy. But lately, my partner only has one kink, crossdressing, and it's a major turnoff for me. I have a negative, visceral reaction when he crossdresses. I'm worried because it's the only thing that seems to get him off lately. I told him how it made me feel, and he swears he's still very much into me and isn't interested in crossdressing outside of the bedroom. He also isn't interested in solo play or finding a new partner for this kink — I've asked!"
"I'm bothered that I hate this kink so much. I've always thought of myself as an open person. It doesn't feel 'right' for me to say I hate when my partner crossdresses. What do I do? I want us both to enjoy sex again."
My advice: Perhaps this is something you would both be willing to discuss with a couples counselor or a sex therapist? In the same way you can't help disliking your partner's kink, your partner can't help having the kink. That being said, no one should be made to feel uncomfortable when engaging in any sexual activity under any circumstances. Open communication and boundaries are essential. As long as you two are together, you and your partner will need to find a way to have a healthy sexual relationship where you're both safe, comfortable, and fulfilled. That all starts with clear and direct communication, listening, answering each other's questions, and potentially speaking with a professional who can guide your conversations and help you reach a conclusion. Compatibility can change, so you both need to be on the same page with how you want to move forward.
2. Question: "When is it too soon to tell someone that you don’t plan on having sex until marriage? Does it come off as sabotage to tell someone on the first date?"
My advice: In my opinion, being honest early on is probably your best course of action. No use wasting your time on someone who has different intentions or wasting someone else's time who may see that as a dealbreaker. It doesn't necessarily have to be the first thing out of your mouth when you start a date, but in a world where casual sex and hookup culture is more and more prevalent, I'm sure it's bound to come up at some point within the first few dates. If you feel yourself really connecting with someone and you think you want to see them again, it's a conversation to be had. If they aren't okay with your terms, then they aren't the person for you. That's certainly something you want to learn sooner rather than later.
I know you don't want to "scare" someone off by saying something so serious so quickly, but your values and your boundaries are important, and you want to find someone who has similar priorities and/or wants to be with you regardless. You may go on some dates where you don't envision yourself seeing the person again anyway, in which case you may not even need to start that conversation. But if you meet someone and there seems to be a mutual connection, it'll be up to you to decide when you're comfortable initiating that conversation.
3. Question: "My husband and I used to have an amazing sex life, but in the past few years, it's fallen off a cliff. I've gained a lot of weight and he has his own insecurities. We had sex once last year. I still think about sex all the time and most nights I lay next to him wanting to initiate a blow job, but at this point, it just feels too awkward. We're still physical in other ways (kissing, hugging, touching), but sex just seems off the table. Please help."
My advice: I think there are a few different ways to get the ball rolling, and they all depend on your comfort level and the dynamics of your relationship. It sounds like there's still physical intimacy occurring, but both of you seem unsure of how to escalate it, and now a lot of time has passed so it feels easier to avoid rather than give something a try and risk getting shot down. When you two face other obstacles in your relationship or in life, how do you solve them? Do you handle things from an emotional standpoint, an analytical standpoint, etc.? What approach does your partner typically respond to in other situations? Use that to inform how you want to approach this situation.
I'd be willing to bet that your partner also lies in bed at war with themselves about whether or not to initiate intimacy. Are you willing to be the one who makes the first move, whether physically or verbally? I don't know how you two typically communicate or how you used to start your physical encounters, but could the old approach work? Could you initiate something (with your partner's consent), in a way that used to work for you both/feels familiar?
Or are you ready to start a conversation that addresses your new reality and expresses your desire for physical intimacy again? It sounds like the lack of communication and fear of speaking up and getting rejected is keeping you two from connecting. They may feel just as scared and awkward as you do and don't want to initiate out of fear of doing something wrong. It may be scary to lay it all out there, but this is your partner. You got together and have stayed together for a reason. Just because things aren't exactly how they were a year ago doesn't mean they're broken. The relationship may just need some TLC and some more open communication.
Though addressing the issue may be scary, sitting in silence and stewing in your own mind only causes you pain and pulls you away from your partner more. Though I'm sure it would take some pressure off of you if they brought it up first, no one wins when you play the waiting game. You got this!
4. Question: "Not too long ago, I had a drunken one-night stand. When the person asked if I wanted to 'do it again sometime,' I stupidly said no (letting my insecurities get the best of me), and now I regret it. I DM'd them a few days later but never heard back, so I deleted the messages thinking they were trying to drop a hint. Now I can't stop obsessing over them and I keep hoping we will run into each other or that the universe will send me a second chance. The more I think of them or see their pictures, the more I'm catching feelings and have no idea if it's at all mutual. Our only mutual friend is someone I'm not close with and who is kind of an old, gossipy coworker who I don't particularly trust. Should I let this go (and if so, HOW)?"
My advice: Unfortunately, the moment may have passed. Though you didn't reject them for anything they necessarily did (as you stated it had more to do with your own insecurities), they still had to take and process that rejection. It might've been hurtful or embarrassing for them, or they might've just shrugged it off and moved on. Either way, you reached out and gave them a fresh opportunity and they didn't take it. This sounds more like an internal conflict for you than it does a missed connection. You're falling down a rabbit hole of "what could've been," and that's probably not a healthy place to go. That's prime territory for hurting your own feelings.
If you need to take a break from this person to help get them off your mind, maybe mute their social media. You don't have to unfollow or block them, but muting may help get them "out of sight, out of mind" and that may lessen your temptation to check up on them and watch every story the second they post it.
As far as the mutual friend goes: don't do it. If they can't be trusted, don't get them involved. That just creates a layer to the drama that nobody wants.
Be gentle with yourself because I know this hurts, but you can't force it to happen. Maybe you will run into this person organically and there will be a chance to chat, but I think you need space from the situation. It sounds like it's consuming you, and that's not healthy or productive. Unfortunately, it happened, you made your moves, and there's not much else to do but try and forge ahead. If something's meant to happen, they can reach out to you. You were the last one to initiate conversation, so you've done your part. I'm sorry you're hurting and I hope you find the clarity you need to move on from this!
5. Question: "I’m 47 and on my third heterosexual marriage. I think I might be gay. How do I know?"
My advice: Plainly, I know I'm unqualified to try and give you answers. So, instead, I'll ask a few questions, and hopefully those will help you do some introspection and find some clarity. What do you think spurred this questioning? What do you think was missing from your past marriages? What, if anything, is missing from your current marriage? What would you need to do in order to feel fulfilled? Have you discussed this with your current partner? What do you want for yourself moving forward? What attracts you to someone? When you picture yourself in love, what do you see? What steps do you need to take to live an authentic, happy life? I truly hope you find the answers you need!
If you have any questions pertaining to dating, relationships, love, sex, etc. and you want advice, I'm here to help! You can add your questions/queries to this anonymous form, and I may answer them in a BuzzFeed Community article or video.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.