by Dan Savage
I was shocked to read your response to Not Giving Up last week. Dan, how could you? For years, you have been our go-to guy for uncommon sexual knowledge. So it made me want to cry when I read your column about Joan Sewell's book I'd Rather Eat Chocolate: Learning to Love My Low Libido. How could you write these words: "And I'm saddened to report that, according to Sewell… there's no such thing as a woman who wants sex constantly. They don't exist." Sure, you put the phrase, "according to Sewell" in there, but you NEVER ONCE mentioned that there are tons of sex-crazed women out there. Is it possible that you don't believe we exist?
I am a sex-crazed woman! And I have heard it all, Dan. The excuses ("I'm just too tired!"), the insults ("You're like a fucking dog in heat!"), and even the breakups ("I want a relationship that's about more than just sex"). So set the record straight, Dan: WOMEN WITH HIGH LIBIDOS EXIST! Shatter the myth! Isn't that what you do best?
From Unsatisfied Cock-loving Kid Here In Maryland
I could have shattered the myth myself, FUCKHIM, and called Sewell on her crap. But what good would that have done? If I ranted about all the women I know out there with high libidos—including the female half of a straight swinging couple who came over for dinner last week—Sewell and her ilk would have shrugged it off. "Of course he would say that," they would have said, gripping their chocolate bars a little tighter. "He's a man."
Instead, I accepted the premise of Sewell's book—women have naturally lower libidos than men—and ran with it, addressing women with low libidos as if their condition wasn't just the "norm," also a debatable point, but the natural state of all women everywhere. I did this knowing that the response from women with high libidos would be deafening—and harder for the Sewells of the world to dismiss.
Love your column, love you. But your column regarding women and their libidos was dead wrong. My friends and I can vouch for the existence of women who think about sex constantly and who want sex constantly—and not just the handjob/blowjob variety. Straight-up, dead-on, penis-in-vagina—or wherever—SEX!
You are absolutely right in this regard: You cannot have monogamy AND a low libido. I have given quite a few MEN their walking papers because of this.
I wanted to chime in on women and our supposedly low libidos. I expect that this is true for many women, perhaps even most. However, it isn't true for me. On an average day, I would prefer to have sex twice. This is too much sex for the average man. Men THINK they want sex every day, but when given the opportunity, they start complaining about how tired they are after a week or two. I have always been this way, since I was a teenager, so it's not just some hormone surge or something. Past boyfriends have called me everything from a nympho (I am not) to a whore (I'm actually good at monogamy). A couple guys did behave as though they had discovered the Holy Sex Grail, which did help me to stop feeling so ashamed.
High Libido Lady
Jeez, Dan, you really are not helping us lesbians by continuing to write bullshit like all lesbians like to sit around and eat Doritos rather than have sex! I would sooner be seen sucking some random guy's dick on the street than eating a bag of Doritos! I like to have hot sex with my girlfriend all the time, and we've been together for over a year.
Skinny Sexy Lesbian
I am a 30-year-old woman with a strong libido, so I don't know if my advice to women with low libidos is very valuable, but I'm surprised that in that entire rant you failed to mention alcohol or pot. A glass of wine or a few hits usually have me ready to hump the nearest thing to a phallus in sight within minutes. And the doctor recommends a glass of wine a day!
One Of The Few
Oh, Dan, you continue to rock my world. So many of my straight male friends are trapped in marriages where the woman stopped having sex the day they said the vows (and stopped giving head the day she got the engagement ring). But can you warn guys that they, too, can't expect fidelity if they won't put out? Just because I'm a girl doesn't mean I don't have a healthy sex drive, and I'm tired of libido-flagging boys saying I'm a whore just 'cause I want it once a week. I'm expecting to hear more of that, thanks to Sewell's book.
Enthusiastic Not Pathological
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Dan! Your response to NGU was 110 percent right. I am a single woman with a high libido! Day after day, I listen to my married female friends talk like they would rather have a root canal than put out or give their husbands a handjob. The advice you gave is great: put out on a regular basis or be prepared for your husband to have flings with women like me!
Highly Sexed Single Chick
Can't get enough letters from women with high libidos? Read on!
With nothing but time on my hands this week, I slipped out of the office and went to the movies. Have you seen 300 yet? It's about a handful of lightly armed ancient Greeks—the Spartans—who take on the mighty and massive Persian army. Some feel the film is homophobic; some feel it's a conservative, pro-war piece of agitprop.
Homophobic? It's Ann Coulter on a meth binge.
The Persian army is an armed gay-pride parade, a threat to all things decent and, er, Greek. The king of the Spartans—among the most notorious boy-fuckers in all of ancient history—dismisses Athenian Greeks as weak-willed "philosophers and boy lovers." The Persian emperor? An eight-foot-tall black drag queen—mascara, painted-on eyebrows, pink lip gloss. Emperor RuPaul is positively obsessed with men kneeling in front of him. Why gay up the Persians? So that straight boys in the theater can identify with the Spartan king and his 300 soldiers—all of whom appear to have been recruited from and outfitted by the International Male catalog.
What isn't up for debate is the film's politics. The only times the Persian army doesn't look like a gay-pride parade in hell, it looks like a crowd of madly chanting Islamic militants. And if the Spartan king has to break the Spartan law to defend Spartan freedoms? Well, sometimes a king's gotta do what a king's gotta do. Because, as the queen of Sparta points out, freedom isn't free. And, yes, she uses exactly those words. George Bush is going to blow a load in his pants when he sees this movie.
I am one of those women who does not exist. I want sex just as much as my boyfriend does. I want it every day, hard and rough. And if he doesn't want it? Well, that's what dildos and vibrators were invented for! I'm pretty sure that I jerk off daily more than most men do in a week. Oh, and I'm not the only one of these women that I know. My boyfriend's wife is the same way (we're poly). There's a reason he's called the Luckiest Boy In The World!
I'll be just one of many, and don't think I didn't miss your sarcasm, but I wanted to pipe up as one woman who has never—I mean never—met a man whose libido could match mine. If it were up to me, I'd be having sex twice a day. I've never met a man who could handle sex once a day (every day) after the first flush of lust. Several months in, everyone's slowing down. I spent a long time wondering what was wrong with me (or wrong with our relationships) before I accepted that I just have a very high libido.
Luckily, I know how to masturbate. And there's a certain freedom in knowing that no matter what, I won't be having as much sex as I'd like. It means I don't have to pick my partners based on their libidos.
Sex and relative libidos, like everything else in a relationship, end up in compromise. I pity the women—or—the men who don't get that.
I'm sure (or at least I hope) you're getting a flood of responses from women who want sex constantly—you do play to a particular crowd, after all. But I'm surprised you didn't make one particular point—especially since you alluded to it on the podcast just a few weeks ago!
Sewell's argument assumes that we women have lower sex drives because we have less testosterone than men—it's natural, game over, let's go eat chocolate. But she ignores the fact that testosterone levels are not static. Women can increase our testosterone production… and we should. Aside from the benefits of a higher sex drive (orgasms, intimacy, a happy partner, orgasms), testosterone increases energy, enhances immune function, and prevents osteoporosis. All that, and all we have to do is exercise, lift weights, and eat more protein and veggies. Even things like action movies and booze cause women's testosterone levels to spike, so maybe we should try Batman Begins and a vodka martini before giving up and reaching for the Hershey's.
Post-Gym Sex Beats Chocolate
Damn, your last column was depressing. The fat lesbians eating Doritos in lieu of sex is an image I could live without. Not that I have anything against happy fat lesbians, or Doritos, but because as a straight married woman whose husband is also unhappy about the frequency of our fucking, that's just not a category I want to put myself in.
I confess to using some of the "if only" excuses myself. I'm too tired, I'm too stressed, that kind of thing. It's true, to a point. You were right on about not wanting straight-up vaginal intercourse (no pun intended). Sometimes I really want a hard fucking, sometimes, you know, all that pounding is too much. I'd much rather give and receive oral. With no goddamn chocolate sprinkles, thank you very much. The sulking that ensues doesn't put me in a good frame of mind for a hot blowjob, however. How I would love to hear, "Hey honey, I hear that you're not up for some marathon fucking tonight. How about we just both masturbate together? Or go down on each other?" You're right: Men have to learn that this isn't a consolation prize. And I promise to do it cheerfully.
I love my husband. I love fucking him. I also know that I do say no more often than yes. I'm working on this. I wish he would cut down on the sulking. He'd get fucked a lot more "if only" he would.
Wants More Give And Take
I am writing in response to your advice to Not Giving Up in which you break it to him that women with insatiable libidos don't exist. While I agree that most women don't have as high a sex drive as men do, I vehemently counter your claim that women who want sex constantly don't exist at all. I am lucky enough to have one such woman. Her desire truly is constant. There has never been a moment when she has turned me down for sexual anything. Back when we didn't have any roommates, Sunday was sex day. We had sex every other day of the week, but on Sunday we woke up, fucked, got some lunch, fucked, got some dinner, fucked, and fucked some more until we passed out. This went on for almost a year. I myself sport a healthy libido (too much for my ex), but even I have trouble keeping up with her. Before I met her, she was burning through the one-night stands (and now threesomes) and estimates she's had about 60-plus women by now. Yes, we are lesbians, so maybe your assertion that straight couples will never have perfect libido harmony is correct, but don't go telling people that we don't exist at all.
Loving Lesbian Libido
My boyfriend tells me that I am a rare desert flower. I am ready, willing, and able to get it on nearly 24/7. My boyfriend occasionally has to spend a night alone at his place to give his body a chance to recover, because when we're together we have sex an average of two to three times a day. We are both total freaks and enjoy a variety of kinks, so it's constantly different and exciting.
To me, the real evil is the over-romanticized idea of relationships that movies and books often portray. Women view sex as an extension of love and romance, and I believe this gives them a warped view of sexuality from the beginning. The idea that we each have only one true soul mate with whom we will live in harmonious and uncomplicated bliss for all eternity is a crock of shit. If people would focus their attention on finding a partner who, while not perfect, shares most of their core values and at least a few of their personal interests, and then treat their partner's sexual desires with respect and an eagerness to ensure their fulfillment in whatever way that works for that individual, we'd have many more happily coupled people in this world. We have to not only destroy the idea that good sex is some kind of automatic bonus dropped in your lap when you meet Mr. or Ms. Right, we also have to destroy the idea that there is only one particular Mr. or Ms. Right for each person in whom all relationship problems will magically vanish.
Plays Well With Others
Thanks for your response to NGU about the differences between sex drives as men and women age. What is particularly frustrating to me as a straight guy is when women whose libidos have subsided suggest that a lower sex drive somehow implies a more evolved state, that they are now focused on more important issues: social justice, discrimination, pedicures for their cats. To them, middle-aged men who are still horny are simply hedonistic and immature.
Just My Opinion
Right on, Mr. Savage! I am a fully recovered former "sensitive man" who tried to empathize with women and their inane complaints about male sex drives, how we are such animals who think of nothing else and how we need to change. Got me nowhere. Ironically it only made things worse—they then saw me as less of a man. I have since learned to be a Man, respect myself, take charge, and not take this kind of crap from women.
And you know what? Women lap it up.
Guys, stop being her girlfriend and lay down the law. You are the Man and make no apologies for it. You have testosterone, and biologically you are wired to be continuously horny and banging away at as many women as possible as often as possible to spread your genes. With societal strictures, you are expected to contain this within a relationship. That in itself is a huge sacrifice women should be grateful you have made. If her idea of showing gratitude is laughing at your libido, show her ass the door.
Male And Normal
Why didn't you just tell NGU the truth? If he wants more sex, he needs to get a divorce. I am straight, married, a woman, a mother, and my husband has the libido of a gnat. We have sex about 12 times per year. I am 30, he is 42. Our sex is good when we have it, good enough that I haven't left yet—but I know in time I will. It is the only way out of this. I have spoken with him numerous times about how unsatisfied I am and how ridiculous this all is. It's not his fault, it's mine. After 10 years in this relationship (four of them married) I get it. It is never going to change, he is never going to change, we are never going to change. If I want more sex, I need to divorce him and move on. He is a good man, a great husband, and an excellent father. This is all so sad, but you know, life is shitty sometimes. I just keep working out, I am looking better every day, and as soon as I feel ready I will jet.
I fuck my boyfriend about once a day on average (sometimes more). I'm addicted to it, mostly because of the emotions that come with it. True, I do have some of the reluctance you mentioned about having my holes pounded so often it becomes uncomfortable, but I've never heard my boyfriend complain about the blowjobs because he knows how much I love giving them. And watching him jerk off is one of my favorite things in the world! And I get so fucking sick of the "women would rather have chocolate/shoes/purses/etc. than sex," stereotype that I want to vomit. Chocolate's nice, but it doesn't hold a candle to what it feels like to suck my boyfriend off, then have him cuddle up with me and fall into a post-orgasm nap knowing that I've reduced him to a blissful puddle of goo.
Yes, biology gives us lower libidos, but that's not the real issue here. The real issue is that we live in a culture that punishes women for being sexual and has been doing so for centuries. We have to deal with a world where a third of us get raped (then blamed for it); where politicians are trying to take away our reproductive freedom, our right to life-saving sexual health measures, our right to buy sex toys (for heaven's sake!); and where above all we're taught that what is normal is for sex to be enjoyed by men and tolerated by women. But whereas in the '50s, women were taught to tolerate as a matter of duty, we now have women who have stupidly taken feminism to mean that the more a man wants to have sex with you, the more he sees you as an object. With all of that working against us, there aren't many of us who are capable of seeing sex as something that's going to bring enjoyment to our lives.
But there are certainly some.
Raging Feminist Slut
Ewww. Doritos, cheese, and salsa are fine for a stoner snack, but as a ritual? My partner and I have been together six years and don't always have as much sex as we should. Unlike lazy straight women, however, we can't blame men; it's clear that our occasionally lousy sex life is our own fault. We fall into ruts that are hard to break out of, but we do it. And surprise, when we start to have sex on a regular basis again we realize how unhappy we were without it. Maybe you're right; maybe author Joan Sewell isn't blaming men. At the end of the day, though, she still suggests that straight women take no responsibility over their own sexuality, and it is just sad that reviewer Loh "credits" lesbians with such a defeating proposal.
I am a straight vanilla woman who wants to have sex all the time. If women got boners, I would be embarrassed constantly. But I have a problem: I want more sex than the man I am marrying. We have great sex on the weekends: intimate, sweet, slightly dirty vanilla sex. But during the week, he would much rather curl up with a terrible reality TV show than have sex with me.
Needs More Lovin'
I used to feel the same way—that women have naturally low libidos and men just have to be creative with their wives. But after my wife had several affairs last year (she says there were only two men she was physical with, but I believe there were more), I don't believe it anymore (I still feel humiliated and angry). Women really only have low libidos for their husbands—but they are insatiable and uninhibited with lovers on the side. I'm a helpful husband, affectionate, GGG, and intercourse is not my main goal every time we get intimate—and I was like this before she messed around. You should read Women's Infidelity: Living in Limbo—What Women Really Mean When They Say "I'm Not Happy" by Michelle Langley—that book will give you the real reasons why women don't like marital intimacy.
Living In Marital Hell
I was in a four-year relationship with a low-libido woman; I am a high-libido (i.e., Italian-American) man. While she tried to be accommodating, and I tried to be monogamous, we both eventually failed. Now I am with a high-libido woman. She wants it least twice a day, multiple orgasms for her every time. Hungarian ancestry—do you think that has anything to do with it? Or am I a sex racist? Either way, after reading your column today, I am feeling like the luckiest man on earth
'Nads On The Warpath
DAN HERE: In my column about Joan Sewell's book, I addressed a retort I always get when I run a letter from a guy complaining about his female partner's low libido: The guy must be doing something wrong. The assumption, it seems, is that all women have naturally high libidos and all women want sex constantly, daily even, so if a woman doesn't want sex, well, that's proof that the man is guilty of some libido-killing infraction. In my response to Not Giving Up, I called these "if only," letters:
"For years, whenever I printed a letter from a guy who wasn't getting any, or wasn't getting much, mail would pour in from women insisting that he had to be doing something wrong.
"I called them 'if only' letters: If only she didn't have to do all the housework, she would want to have sex. If only he would talk with her about her day, she would want to have sex. If only she weren't so exhausted from taking care of the kids, she would want to have sex. If only he didn't ask for sex, she would want to have sex. Now, thanks to Sewell, straight guys everywhere know that it doesn't matter how much housework you do, or how sincerely interested you are in her day, or how much of the childcare you take on. She still won't want to fuck you."
You might think that, having read that, no one would have the nerve to send in "if only" letters addressed to NGU. Some women, like Sewell, have low libidos. Some, like the women we've heard from this week, have high libidos. NGU's wife has a low libido, and that sucks for him. But is it his fault? Some women think so—some women think it must be. Here are a few of their letters, with my translation in bold.
As a lesbian, of course I've heard of lesbian bed death. However, I've never participated. Unlike Loh's friends, I'm in a long-term relationship with another woman in which we have sex ALL THE TIME, nearly every day, sometimes multiple times a day, NEVER more than three or four days without. In which case, we're most definitely both masturbating.
That said, I can recall a time in my life when I was not so constantly eager for sex: when I was with a guy. NGU? Maybe your wife doesn't just have an incredibly low libido. Maybe she just doesn't know how to explore what actually DOES turn her on (AKA not you). Maybe she's a dyke.
Happily Horny Homo
If only NGU had a pussy, she would want to have sex.
If straight men want sex so much more than straight women do, why are women the ones devoting all of our time, money, and effort to being sexually desirable? We wear makeup, color our hair, wax in places too sensitive to mention, spend 10 times what (straight) men do on our wardrobes, wear ridiculous lingerie, ride the elliptical machines, get the fat sucked out, and the Botox and silicone pumped in. Shouldn't we be able to just sit back, get chubby, and wait for the men to come crawling? Maybe, just maybe, if men put half the effort into attracting and pleasing women that women put into attracting and pleasing men, men like NGU would have less to whine about (and less time to spend whining: after shopping, the gym, and the salon, who has the energy?).
Of course biology makes a difference, but at the end of the day we're socially constructed beings: A few givens like testosterone are easily outweighed by a million other factors that you CAN control. NGU, ever notice that "mutually insatiable" gay men are a hell of a lot better dressed and better groomed than you? Coincidence?
Getting It Requires Labor
If only NGU took better care of himself, she would want to have sex.
I read your letter to Not Giving Up about his wife and her low libido and was shocked and annoyed by your response, and that of the author discussed (Sewell). I call bullshit! I hate this entire division of the sexes thing (boys are like THIS, and girls are like THIS). I, for one, have never had a partner who could quite keep up with me. And I'm (gasp!) a woman.
In my experience, what has happened to cause me to lose interest is pure and utter boredom. A lot of men seem to have a certain arsenal of tricks. After a certain period of time, they just want to get in, get off, and get out. The joy goes out of getting their partner off and it's all about them.
I can't imagine I'll be the only one writing in about this. I sure hope not, anyway.
Woman With Libido In Spades
If only men had more tricks up their sleeves, she would want to have sex.
A new Savage Love podcast is available for download every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.