Warren Beatty

Dear Steve,
I really enjoy spending time with my girlfriend. But as she was molested (repeatedly) when she was eight, anything past kissing and light fondling between us is a problem. I’d like to help her not have to associate her sexuality with what happened to her. Though petty in comparison, this whole thing is difficult for me too because she really turns me on.

First, and you probably know this; your girlfriend should see a therapist (if she hasn’t already). People who were abused as children often experience post-traumatic stress, depression, low self-esteem, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or some combination of these things). As suspicious as I am of psychology, it is a fact that therapy has helped many people deal with these issues. If she can’t afford a therapist, most communities have rape crisis centers that provide free of sliding scale therapy for victims of sexual assault. It doesn’t matter if she was molested three minutes ago or 30 years ago – these services would still be available to her. The best thing you can do is respect her boundaries, listen to her, and encourage her to seek counseling.

Secondly, no matter how attracted you are to her, you should give the sex thing a rest. It is important for her to feel non-sexual love. In the long run, that will lead to deeper trust between you, which will ultimately lead to better sex. Still, sex should not be your goal. You have to accept that as she begins to deal with these issues, she may experience some changes, and it is a possibility that her feelings towards you may change.

However, you sound like a decent guy, and if you do the decent thing, you will be the happier and better for it. Good luck to you both.

Dear Steve,
Do men, who are non-monogamous, even in very good relationships, ever “grow out” of their unwillingness to commit? If so, what would it take? And I don’t mean YOUNG men?

I have two words for you: Warren Beatty. Warren Beatty was a non-monogamous kind of guy who dated every hot chic in the world before he settled down. But, eventually, he did settle down. However, there are two important things to remember regarding the taming of Warren Beatty. Thing one: he really sowed his wild oats. We’re not talking about a few dozen affairs with ordinary people. We’re talking about shagging hundreds of the world’s most beautiful women. I think it’s easier to commit to mint chocolate chip if you’ve actually tried all the other flavors.

Thing two: when Warren Beatty did settle down, he settled with Annette Bening. Annette Bening is a totally hot movie star who is not only extremely talented, but she is also willing to do nude scenes in her movies. It must be somewhat easier to settle down with one woman if that one woman is a talented, gorgeous babe who likes to get naked.

I suspect that you have one particular guy in mind. It’s also my guess that he’s not Warren Beatty. But there could be a connection. Has your particular guy sowed his wild oats, and I mean really sowed his wild oats? If not, you should avoid him until you think he’s gotten all that out of his system. Also, do you believe that you could make him happy all by yourself? I know you’re going to say yes, because every woman thinks she’s “every woman” and that she can make any man happy – but you should still think about it.

So, my long-ass answer to your question is this: Yes, some men grow out of their unwillingness to commit, but only when two conditions have been met. One, they’ve done a thorough job of letting their libidos run wild. Two, they find a truly extraordinary woman. When I think about it, it sounds like a lot of pressure – pressure on him to hurry up and sow his oats, and pressure on you to be Annette Bening. In the end, I think it’s probably better to find a nice guy who never had any oats in the first place, like Ned Beatty.

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