The selfish lover: a grave and serial offender in the world of sex and relationships. Not only does this person have no idea what foreplay is, they've never seen an “O” face unless they look in the mirror. You've probably experienced the type; they may be smooth and charming when it comes to conversation, but when you get them in bed, you suddenly feel like a first grade teacher reminding her new student that sharing is caring. When it's finally over for them, chances are they will role over, say something that epitomizes stupidity, fall asleep and leave you there with the female equivalent of blue balls. What's more, if they're really bad, they may tell you to have a good night, and sending you packing.
One night encounters with these grievous individuals do suck, but at least you can brush them off, and spread the news via social media that so-and-so is the world's worst lay, and that no one should ever sleep with them again. But what happens if its your significant other that's being the selfish one? What can you do if the person you're with is selfish in bed, and what does this potentially mean for your relationship?
What Does A Selfish Lover Look Like?
According to Dr. Gracie Landes, a sex, relationships, and family therapist based in New York, a selfish lover may be harder to peg down than you think. “I see [selfishness] as existing on a spectrum that runs from not showing very little care or concern about others (not relational and absolutely not okay) to knowing what you want and being able to ask for it (relational and okay as long as you ask respectfully and negotiate rather than coerce),” she said in an interview with Bustle. The latter, as she points out, is highly advised; you are aware of what you want, and you are taking initiative to get it in a healthy manner. The former, however, is the attitude that presents a problem.
When someone you are intimate with is not responding to your needs in and outside of the bedroom, this is a huge red flag. It is true that every once and a while, bae may be a bit tired, reach their peak and fall asleep right after, but that doesn't mean they're a Serial Selfish Sexer. But, if this is a frequent occurrence this person is very likely “not relational” as Landes says, or someone who has a hard time understanding and sympathizing with another person.
So what does this person look like so you can spot them in the wild? Like I said before, they're not very concerned with whether or not you finish. Yes, we women are complicated temples of hidden mystery that need the right amount of worship and respect to reach nirvana. And it is true that not every person is Indiana Jones, but what matters is that they try. If your guy or girl is all about theirs, and does not care about yours at all, well you have a problem. Most importantly, it is likely this person does not initiate any sort of fourplay. For them, it may be extra unnecessary work if they're already in the mood, which means they are not concerned with putting you in the mood. In my humble opinion, this is a greater degree of selfishness than omitting the orgasm; not only are they completely disregarding your big moment, they don't care if you're even ready to start. They're already turned on, and that's all that matter to them.
As I mentioned, if “foreplay” is not a part of their vocabulary, chances are that romance is not either. Not every woman is like this, but for me, I need to feel appreciated both romantically and physically if I'm going to be intimate with someone. But when it comes down to it, this person most likely cannot read your needs in any capacity, whether it's the hole you are burning through their head because they finished up solo again, or your need for Friday night bingewatching. Most people who are selfish in bed are likely selfish in other facets within the relationship, and this can be even worse than an under-treated lady boner.
“Relationships are about relating [meaning] negotiation, give and take, making adjustments and working with the other person, not just getting what you want for yourself,” says Landes. At the crux of every relationship is the ability to recognize another's needs, and compromise your own every once and a while for the good of that person. Whether it's your significant other going to a sushi restaurant for you even though you know they hate it, or that person giving you a nice massage before getting down and dirty, an outward representation that this person cares is necessary to feel validated. But if you're not getting it, they most likely do not know you need it, or are not concerned with giving it to you.
Chances Are, There Is A Lack Of Communication
This may be the major problem when it comes to your partner being selfish in bed; maybe you just haven't told them, and they don't realize that you aren't cool with what they're doing. If this is the case, a more open dialogue about how things have been going between the sheets must happen, like yesterday.
“People entering new sexual relationships should have 'the talk' before actually becoming intimate, and should continue to talk about their desires and those of the other person, realizing that they will not always match, but each but by working together and communicating well, a mutually satisfying sexual relationship can be created,” says Dr. Landes.
Sex in a relationship, in the least sexy of metaphors, is like a nonbinding contract. Two parties negotiate what they want, and are willing to give, but every once and a while it needs to be revisited if something is not working for one of the people involved. All relationships need maintenance in order to grow, especially when it comes to the intimate side of things. If you haven't had this conversation to start, you might want to get on that. But if you have, and now your partner has strayed into solo-sexy time territory, it's time to renegotiate.
There is always the chance, however, that this conversation you're having is becoming pretty one-sided. If you've voiced your needs to your partner, both sexually and romantically, and they're still neglecting you then that's a problem that takes complete reevaluation. Like I said, selfishness in bed is indicative of selfishness in general (in some cases) and ain't no body got time for that.
Be Aware Of How This Makes You Feel
This is the most important part, always. You may feel like the last few times your man or lady finished without you is no big deal, or you may feel like that one time they forgot the role play is a deal breaker. Whatever works for you, is what matters.
According to Dr. Landes, when someone is involved with a selfish partner, their own well-being may take a hit. “Some people's self esteem with suffer from being with a selfish lover. Others will have the self-esteem not to let someone take advantage of them.”
It's true that if someone keeps taking without giving back, you may start to feel used. This can be a serious problem, as a cycle may start to occur where you don't regard your own feelings as significant, and only regard the feelings of your partner. Often in this sort of dynamic, the selfish person will invalidate the other person's needs to keep getting what they want. If you already recognize this happening in whatever respect in the relationship, do not let it get to this point; as Dr. Landes says, be true to who you are, and do not let the other person take advantage.
Like I said, being selfish in bed can be a one time thing, or it can be turning into the norm within your relationship. If that's the case, that person is most likely not giving you what you need in other aspects of your relationship, and this can become a problem. Many people do not realize the mental and emotional repercussions of being with someone selfish, but once you recognize the signs, it may be time to get out. After all, you're way too good for that, and there are plenty of other people out there more than willing to ring your chimes, in all areas of your relationship.
Images: Mitya Ku/Flickr; Giphy (4)
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