Michele O'Mara

Sex and Love: Related ,Yet Not the Same

Filed By Michele O'Mara | July 10, 2007 8:38 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: immoral, love, relationship, sex partner

My sex partner has started putting limits where there were no limits before. Specifically, oral sex. When we first started, he was ok with it. Now he does not want to give but has no problem receiving. I feel hurt because he has put this limit where there was none before, and I want to call it off, but I really love him and it's causing problems. He said that it now makes him feel degraded and is below his morals. I don't understand why he was ok with it and now he isn't.

All relationships are based on agreements, and the agreements we make with one another are based on where we are in our life, what our wants and needs are, and what we have - or are willing - to offer. Over time some of these variables change, and we must update our agreements in order to stay in reality.

You describe the agreements in your relationship to be centered solely on sex. Now, after some time, he has changed his agreements, stating that he feels "degraded" by this act, and demoralized somehow. I can appreciate why you find this "confusing" that he was once okay with it, but now is not. I suspect, however, that one of the additional issues at play is the incongruence between your description of yourselves as "sex partners," and your admission of, "I really love him."

When you made an agreement to be sex partners, I am guessing that things are different than he expected too. If your agreement was based on sex, I suspect he did not anticipate that there would be feelings of attachment, like "love" involved. Because you are willing to continue in the role of "sex partner," yet you indicate that your feelings warrant a connection that is much deeper than sex, your behaviors within this original agreement may have also changed. Perhaps you have gone from just wanting sex, to also wanting more time together, more conversation, more intimacy outside of the bedroom, etc. If so, this could have also contributed to his wish to put some distance in your sex life.

I encourage you to sit with yourself a bit and really get in touch with what you actually want from this connection with him. Is sex all you want? If so, clarify what your expectations are and see if he wants to meet them. If not, consider canceling your agreement to be sex partners. If you discover your wish is to be much more than just sex partners, I encourage you to communicate your honest feelings to him - about how you see sex as an extension of your love and caring for him.

If he indicates that he also loves you, yet does not feel comfortable with this love because it is an "immoral love" or "immoral attraction," then you may want to get some books for him about homosexuality. Is it a Choice?, by Eric Marcus, is a great primer for those who are just allowing themselves to consider a gay identity. If the conflicts are about sin and religion, there are many other books for this topic as well. You could start with, Stranger at the Gate, by Mel White, or What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality, by Daniel Helminiak.

When you conclude what it is you want, tell him your feelings, clearly and honestly, and let your behaviors follow in line with what it is you say you want. If you want more than sex, say so. If he does not, then decide what is acceptable and what is not for you. Stay in reality about what this relationship is to you and what it is to him.

by Michele O'Mara, LCSW

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