LLs: can't or won't?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2007
LLs: can't or won't?
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Sat, 11-24-2007 - 9:38pm

I'm new to the boards but I've spent a lot of time reading and re-reading posts about a lot of ML issues. I honestly don't know if this has been formally addressed (I may have missed it if it has) but there was something that I noticed and wanted to bring up.

I see many an LL here say that they "simply cannot have/initiate/enjoy sex the way my SO does." "Can't" is a very powerful word, meaning that is IMPOSSIBLE to do something. I ask LLs whether it is a lack of ability that keeps them from enjoying sex, or simply a lack of willpower.

Now before everyone jumps on me over this, I want to say that the question of "can't vs. won't" is something I've dealt with before. I've struggled with my weight for years, at one time being 30 pounds overweight. After trying to lose the weight, and being angry and disgusted with myself, I decreed that "I just can't lose this weight." I saw other people lose weight, work out, diet, exercise and mumbled "If only...", then sighed and said "I can't do that."

Then, I finally decided to try the diet/exercise thing again. It was incredibly discouraging at times and very hard to do. Many a time I felt annoyed and embarrassed and threatened to quit once again. But it worked and, in time, lost 20 pounds of that weight. I'm still working on that last 10, but I learned an important lesson: it wasn't that I "couldn't" lose the weight; I just simply "didn't want to" do the work! I didn't want to exercise and diet, cut out candy and soda, and run around a track getting nasty and sweaty. Could I do that? Sure! But I just didn't want to!

This concept is probably nothing new to some people, but I want to apply that logic to LL folks. Is it that you "can't" enjoy/initiate/have sex with your SO, or is it that you don't want to go through the embarrassing and painful self-examination required to do so, similar to what one has to do to lose weight?

Is it that you "can't like sex as much as s/he does" or that you "don't want to like it"? Are you "just not wired to enjoy sex" the way that some people are just "wired to gain weight" or is that the wiring is just not being tended to?




Edited 11/24/2007 9:44 pm ET by workingman2112

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-10-2007
Sat, 11-24-2007 - 10:14pm

On the surface your questions seem logical, but you can turn them all around and ask instead:


I ask

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2007
Sat, 11-24-2007 - 10:38pm

I realized that this could be turned around after I posted it, and your changes make complete sense to me.

I started this thread because I noticed that LL folks seem to get the most defensive when someone asks why they don't enjoy sex with their partners more. And I could be wrong, but it also seems like HLs are more willing to compromise than LLs are. I see plenty of HL posters write, "I want to talk about it but s/he gets angry if I do."

So, I definitely understand that this is a two-way street, but it just looks to me like some LL folks are more apt to say they "can't change." I just think it's a defeatist attitude that I don't see as frequently among HLs.




Edited 11/24/2007 10:53 pm ET by workingman2112
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-10-2007
Sun, 11-25-2007 - 2:50am

Of course, it's not necessarily about *frequency* alone in many ML situations, but let's leave that aside for the moment......


Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like many of the frustrated HLs we see on here are living a similar scenario:

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2007
Sun, 11-25-2007 - 8:08am

Nicely said Vixen, and my point exactly.

Our relationship went from great, regular sex to now completely downhill and my GF just refuses to see that anything is wrong. I'm sure that my situation wouldn't bother me as much if my GF would simply tell me, "I know things have changed and I'm sorry if you feel hurt by it. I need you to help me figure out what's wrong so it can be changed." But when the response I get is, "You selfish @$$ - all you want is sex!" then it's pretty much obvious that someone is in denial.

"...when I hear workingman's (Rush fan, btw?)..."

It's that obvious huh? ;-)




Edited 11/25/2007 8:26 am ET by workingman2112
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-10-2007
Sun, 11-25-2007 - 8:46am

>>>Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like many of the frustrated HLs we see on here are living a similar scenario:

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2007
Sun, 11-25-2007 - 9:22am

I can relate that to myself:

"I got much more confident about saying I CAN"T do these certain things TO LOSE WEIGHT and still be true to myself. I CAN"T EXERCISE under certain conditions and enjoy it."

Replace the sex stuff with weight stuff, and you have me from about 2 years ago. That's what I mean when I say that "can't" is a very powerful word. The list of things we CAN'T do is very short compared to the things that we THINK we can't do or just don't want to do.

Didn't mean to sound rude but there you have it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-10-2007
Sun, 11-25-2007 - 9:50am
I believe
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2007
Sun, 11-25-2007 - 9:58am

Well that's great! I'm glad that both of you were able to come to a conclusion that satisfies each of you!

See, where you are is where I'd like to be. I'm attempting to get my GF to see things from the other side of the fence. Not in the immature ways we've been describing, but still trying. I guess part of the reason this irks me is because she's using "I can't, I can't" as an excuse for doing nothing at all, not for doing certain scenarios she doesn't want to do.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-21-2003
Sun, 11-25-2007 - 10:00am

<>

I do think there's a fundamental difference between "can't enjoy sex" and "can't lose weight." The first is about a feeling, and the second is about a behaviour. Just about all people, regardless of metabolism, can lose some weight if they consume less energy (calories) than they use. It's just physics. Granted, such weight loss will be much harder for some people than for others, but it's still a matter of putting one foot in front of the other.

I don't think it's possible to manufacture enjoyment through force of will, though you can certainly try to create conditions that minimize the barriers to enjoyment. I believe enjoyment of sex comes from being responsive and arousable. (For example, some people get so excited by GIVING (not getting) oral sex they can have an orgasm. Other people find it does nothing for them sexually. It just doesn't fire them up.) If you're not responsive or arousable, there's not much to enjoy. Can you make yourself responsive and arousable if you're not? Not reliably, IMO. I think arousability is a matter of neural circuitry, which gets laid down in childhood and adolescence and is pretty much wired in by adulthood. A lifelong LL just MIGHT find herself in the right circumstances, with the right person, to feel an irresistible pull toward sex. But it can't be engineered.

In a sense, your proposition (that you can will yourself to enjoy sex) is no different than the proposition that homosexuals can will themselves into heterosexuals. If it were simply a matter of MAKING yourself enjoy hetero-sex, all gay people who were struggling/unhappy with their sexual orientation would cross over. Doesn't work, though.

Now, initiating is another matter. Initiating sex is a behaviour. So of course it's possible for a LL to initiate when not in the mood, though the LL might find it somewhat difficult to summon the motivation to initiate without the fuel of desire.

JMHO Freelance

p.s. My perspective is that of a LL female who's always wanted to be HL. If it were just a matter of will, believe me I would have taken the steps.




Edited 11/25/2007 8:00 pm ET by freelancemomma
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-10-2007
Sun, 11-25-2007 - 11:51am

Annie, it was not my intention for you to personalize any of this.

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