The Sunday News
Hi Sis Noe
MY boyfriend has been sexting with some girl in South Africa. They have never met but they send each other nude pictures and videos. He says it does not qualify as cheating because they never got physical. — Confused.
He is cheating, period. Sex with someone else, even in a virtual scenario, is sex with someone else. If your boyfriend wants to engage in a second life online he can’t really expect it to run concurrently with the one in which you two are dating.
He may like to cast himself as an avatar, out there on a great big solo cyber adventure, but it’s his real brain and his real body that are engaged in these acts of infidelity.
Although the internet offers us all far greater opportunities for expanding our sexual horizons, it doesn’t absolve us of our accountability.
Your boyfriend is making a choice when it comes to his sexual activities that is as real as if he were having sex with some woman living down the road. He can’t expect to continue with one foot wedged in your front door and the other tangled up elsewhere. Don’t accept his nonsense.
Hi Sis Noe
I have a girlfriend and I love her, but I want to have a threesome. — Worried.
Just because you fantasise about something doesn’t mean you have to do it — or there wouldn’t be a long-term union left intact. But if cerebral adventures are not enough, then prepare yourself to make some compromises.
There is nothing wrong with monogamy, but if you are lusting for further stimulation and your girlfriend doesn’t want to partner you down that road it’s time to reconsider for both your sakes. There are plenty of women around who could enjoy a role in your sexual adventures.
Whether they would also provide you with a “sweet” and “happy” relationship is another matter. There is nothing wrong with your fantasies — they’re pretty pedestrian by today’s standards — but you need to be comfortable with your desires and with a willing playmate.
Only you can gauge how imperative it is to you to physically explore your erotic dreams, but the answer needs to inform your choice of partner. We all have red lines in our relationships and monogamy is not always where the buck stops. Establishing individual boundaries is an important part of getting to know each other and learning to live together.
Accepting that living out your fantasies requires a partner who wants to accompany you is a must here. What you shouldn’t do is betray your girlfriend. There is no right or wrong, it’s all about making a mature decision about what you value most. But “having it all” in the field of desire is the most delusional fantasy of all.
Hi Sis Noe
I have been trying to find love through your column but I am failing. What’s wrong with me? — Lonely.
The problem with internet dating is you both know why you are at the table and that sets the stakes quite high from the outset.
Far more important than securing dates is setting about your own life with enthusiasm and appetite. If you are busy, stimulated and engaged you are at your most attractive, not just to those around you but also to yourself. Internet dating can actually present a reduction in choices and chances.
It turns partner-seeking into a process better suited to casting a movie than forging lasting connections.
I know even as I write that there are plenty of people who have met, married and made a life together as a result of my SOUL MATE column. I’m delighted for them all, but also impressed by their good fortune. It’s often more of a test of your resilience than a romantic journey.
I advise you to plough your spare time not into interacting with your smartphone as you seek out love but investing in the life you currently have. After you know who you are you will know what you want. That way it will be easy for you to get someone using my column or in any other way.
Hi Sis Noe
My best friend’s husband bought me a dress and told me it’s just a gift but I should not tell my friend. I don’t know what he is trying to do but I suspect that he wants me. — Confused.
My hunch, like yours, is that your friend’s husband has ulterior motives. That said, this man’s only misdemeanour at the moment is to have asked you to keep your friend in the dark. It could certainly have been a spontaneous act of kindness and God knows we could do with more of those in the world.
But even if it was a genuinely compassionate gesture, the fact that he is embarrassed about it and trying to make you complicit in covering up suggests subtler, potentially shadier sensitivities at play.
In this instance I don’t think you need to shine a torch on his motives, but if he makes more advances then you will need to put him in his place.
Should a similar advance be made with the expectation of secrecy you should tell him you are uncomfortable about deceiving your friend and offer him a few days in which to explain himself to her. This is not your mess and it’s certainly not your job to tidy up after him. If he fails to come clean you will be left with no alternative but to tell your friend, but I’m sincerely hoping it doesn’t come to that.
Hi Sis Noe
I am 35 years old and married to a wonderful man but I don’t want to have sex with him anymore. I love my husband but I just don’t want sex. My husband says sex is connected to love and says if I don’t have sex with him it means I don’t love him. — Help.
I think you are being selfish and childish. Your husband is right; sex is a way of expressing love. That said, your husband sounds like a decent, understanding man who has failed to read your mind. You have gone from doing what was required to a full shutdown and, judging by your text, with not much in between.
That makes you neither unusual nor unreasonable. Then again, sex is never just sex. Expressing physical passion and withholding it is part of any relationship and is as much about control.
If you want to remain married then sex is part of the package, unless you and your husband decide you prefer a less inclusive deal.
Eroticism is generally something we have to create for ourselves and whether you turn to sexy films, or stories, time alone in your bedroom or active participation in achieving sexual satisfaction, there is a lot you can do for yourself. I can’t magically make you feel aroused by your husband, but I can urge you to delve deeper into your own desires, discover what does turn you on and try to bring that sense of adventure and excitement back into your bedroom.
If you don’t want to move on, or redefine your marriage as a friendship, appreciating your husband’s positive virtues and developing new ways to ignite old passions is the only alternative.