Sasha: Dating impossible men, planning a foursome and finding an orgasm

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Dear Sasha,

I'm in love with impossible people. I always find myself chasing the people who aren't interested. I've missed a lot of good relationships and hurt a lot of really good people because of this.

I had a girlfriend who was really loving to me, but I lost interest and started obsessing over a guy who was clearly unavailable. It destroyed her, not only because I wanted to be with a man (how could she compete with that?), but also because I started to be a real bitch to her. Nothing she did was ever good enough, and eventually I dumped her. I really broke her heart.

And here I am, single and still chasing after the difficult ones. As soon as they're interested I lose interest, but mostly they just stay dysfunctional and uninterested, or they push and pull. And I keep on chasing.

I can't tell you how much of my day's energy is spent grabbing onto these slippery ideals, but it's a lot. I don't know how to change it. I'm aroused by the wanting. I guess I need tension in my life. Is there any way I can change and be healthier?

Maria

Maria, all people are impossible. Whether it's because they are unattainable, overly attainable, clingy, distant, loving or spiteful, they are just fucking impossible. And that includes you, my dear. Intimate life with other human beings is a never-ending compromise smattered with rationalizations and dashed dreams.

As Woody Allen says in his film Love and Death, To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But, then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer, to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love, to be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness.

What does all this exhausting double talk mean? This is how I see it: the way we choose to love is often directly related to the kind of suffering we can handle. We construct different paradigms of loving to accommodate our limits of suffering, not the other way around. For you, boredom is a brand of suffering you cannot handle. And sister, I am there with you. Come on over, let's watch some Bette Davis films.

Dear Sasha,

I am a young woman in search of information. My friend and I have decided to organize a foursome party, and we've each invited our own close friend. So in all we are two men, two ladies. We wanted to research some positions beforehand so that the action has more flow and we're not sitting there together trying to think of what to do next.

We did some googling but didn't find many good foursome positions. A lot had two couples simply mirroring each other. We want everyone involved in the action. We're aiming for a group activity rather than a voyeur party. Can you suggest any good resources that give suggestions on foursome positions and play?

Foursome Party Planner

Listen, babe, I don't know if you've ever had group sex before, but I can assure you that planning your moves in advance is kind of like getting Merce Cunningham to choreograph a mosh pit.

I wouldn't get too fixated on positions and routines. Sure, you say you don't want a voyeur party, but I think when two people are having sex three inches from your face you might just change your mind a little bit, because that is some powerful shit.

Just make sure you have plenty of lube, condoms, gloves and dams. Trust me, the moves will take care of themselves.

Dear Sasha,

I'm 24 and I've never had an orgasm. I've had my fair share of very awesome sex, so that's not the problem, and I've come close a few times (I think -- my whole body starting to burn up). I generally don't masturbate, and when I do I hardly get wet or turned on, even if I use a vibrator (a Butterfly), lube and porn. It just doesn't compare to being with someone.

The odd thing, though, is that three years ago I started to have wet dreams, so I actually do know what it's supposed to feel like (contractions and so on). The dreams themselves are becoming less and less sexual, and I'm more and more removed from what's happening. For example, the last two or three times I had these dreams I wasn't even touching myself, I was just lying or sitting there, and nothing else was happening.

Sometimes I think the problem is more psychological than anything else. At this point I find it embarrassing and I'm almost afraid to come, like a vein behind my eye will burst or that it'll hurt. Sometimes I'll have mild panic attacks and cry uncontrollably for five to 20 minutes.

I just don't know what to do. Are there any workshops or books you can direct me to? I read For Yourself by Lonnie Barbach, which was only somewhat helpful.

I generally know what I like and really do enjoy sex, and this is the one thing that's bugging me most about my sex life. It's something I'd rather keep to myself, but it inevitably comes up with new partners, and I'm tired of it.

At Wit's End

Isn't it amazing that you say the problem is psychological and yet it is your brain alone that is providing you with the only orgasms you're having? As I often ask, ever get that feeling that your brain is smart but you're not? Your brain, when it's not being oppressed by your fear of being vulnerable, is telling you, Come on, Wit's! Let go and have some fun!

So how are you going to do that while you're awake? I think you've got to let go of this ambivalence you have for masturbation -- the fact that you even compare it to sex says you're holding it, and yourself for doing it, in contempt. Masturbation is one of the best ways of learning to let go.

Believe it or not, this couldn't be more normal. The terror we all feel at being exposed stops us from doing many pleasurable things. We feel weak for wanting these things, yet so desperately attracted to them that they give us panic attacks. You need to first accept that pleasure is your ally, not your enemy.

Ask Sasha:

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