Ask M: Low desire, Tinder power struggles, & sex robots

Ask M: Low desire, Tinder power struggles, & sex robots

Dear Ms. M.,

How do I deal with needing more sex than my partner?

I don’t know your gender. But I do know high/low desire discrepancies are prevalent in relationships everywhere. It’s hard enough to agree on what color to paint the walls, which sofa to buy, and what your values are around everything from money to dietary choices. Being compatible sexually isn’t always natural or easy, and if you enter a relationship without giving it much consideration—because let’s face it, having compatible sex drives is typically not number one on the priority list—then you have to be conscientious about putting forth an effort. That goes for both of you.

Something to also consider: is it just the getting off from sex that you want, or is it the being wanted, desired, and chased that you crave? We’re all different. I encourage you to dig deeper into yourself to discover what need you are trying to get met with sex. For some, sex for purely getting off is like food—a daily need like daily bread. For others, sex is a source of validation, affirmation, reassurance, security, desirability, value, etc. For most, it gives a sense of connection, pleasure, and intimacy. If you can identify underlying needs you’re seeking to have met from sex, you can explore ways in which to meet them outside of sex too.

But to answer your question …

Get really good at seducing your partner and making sex fun, enjoyable, and a highlight of your life together. If you nag and complain about it, you’re doing the opposite of just that.

Get really creative about how you engage, not just sexually, but erotically. In every little moment, movement, and gesture—in every little thing you do. Pervy innuendo. Sexy surprise texts throughout the day. Don’t just let the world know you’re on fire. Be the damn fire!

Put the hand in handling your own needs—and invest in some toys.

Be brave, take risks, be willing to initiate and get rejected. Emotional resiliency is more important to erotic intelligence than lasting long in bed or squirting five feet.

If all else fails, ask your partner tenderly and genuinely, if they will simply hold you while you masturbate. There’s no pressure on them to perform, and you get to be intimate together. If you’re really brave, try looking each other in the eyes while you do it. I dare you!


Help Please,

Went on a date with an investment banker I met on Tinder. I’m a student. He’s 9 years older. He picked the restaurant and he chose the bottle of wine. After asking if I like lamb he ordered food for us both. Check came, I didn’t offer to pay. He called all the shots. Next day I get a crappy text from him saying I am a bad feminist because I didn’t offer to pay half. Said I should Venmo him $120. I would not have ordered the bottle of wine he chose. He said he’d like to go out with me again, despite the fact I didn’t pay my fair share. He knows I’m still in school. I feel really awkward about the situation. 

Oh Dear,

An investment banker who can’t negotiate dinner on the spot and has to make the coward move of texting after the fact. That should tell you a lot about how unlikely his future success will be.

This is a situation of power dynamics. He’s the big wig investment banker and you’re the student. If he expected you to pay half, it should have been discussed upfront, before he picked the place and before he started ordering. Period. You didn’t mention whether or not you had sex after, and while it totally shouldn’t matter, the reality is, there is almost always the unspoken negotiation of sex. He’s using money to hold over your head, to exert his power, probably because you have something he wants—young pussy.

For starters, when there is no longer a pay gap, a pleasure gap, and an investment gap in society, then you can consider paying half on a first date. Even if you did sleep together, odds of you having an orgasm the first go are very low, statistically speaking, so you may as well get a nice dinner out of the deal. Obviously, the pay and pleasure gaps don’t mean that all men should pay on all first dates. Everything is situational. There are, after all, loving and empathetic humans who aren’t swimming in the underlying currents of money and power on the first date, who genuinely want to get to know you. But overall, men benefit from the systematic privileges allotted to them in society, so until we have pay equality, don’t feel bad about not paying half.

You know how a dude shows you the metaphorical size of his dick? By enacting power dynamics on you that make you second guess yourself. Forget this dude and his bullsh*t. If I were you, I’d ghost on him and leave him to his hookers. Or you could simply say, “While I had a nice time, the lack of upfront communication with regards to who pays for what after you made all the decisions is a major red flag. I wish you the best in your career and romantic endeavors, and hope you learn to negotiate these issues upfront so there are no further assumptions or miscommunications.” Then block him. Life is too short to waste any further energy engaging with this clown.


Q: Will sex robots replace humans in the future? My boy and I made a bet on your answer.

I doubt sex robots will ever replace humans. As humans, we need to feel desired, and we cannot truly be desired unless the one desiring us has a conscious. We’re a long way off from sex robots with A.I. possessing consciousness—if ever. Will they be used as toys for some of us? Yes. Will they be companions for others? Yes, but it will be a very tiny fraction of the population. We get bored with human partners, so no doubt we’ll get bored with the robots too. Also, the point of relationships is to propel us to grow, evolve, and expand. Robots will fulfill a fantasy of projection, but they won’t be able to push our buttons and get under our skin the way we need another human to, in order to grow. If you want to read more about my take on sex robots and future of dating, mating, and propagating, you can read the talk I gave at TOA Berlin on our website centerforeroticintelligence.org, then click on the latest.


Mal Harrison is a clinical sexologist and the Executive Director of the Center for Erotic Intelligence. Have a question? AskM@centerforeroticintelligence.org or on Twitter @AdviceFromMsM


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