Tell Me About It: Bad sex with my beautiful fiancee has made me stray

I have made an amazing connection with another woman 15 years my senior

Illustration: Thinkstock

Illustration: Thinkstock


Q I’m a 30-year-old man engaged to a beautiful woman. Problem is, there’s no spark between the sheets. I think I’m intimidated by her unreal perfection. Also, the way she obviously doesn’t enjoy it is a turn-off.

I was worried about my virility, my confidence at an all-time low, when I made this amazing connection with another woman. She’s divorced with college-age kids and 15 years my senior.

She is carrying a few extra pounds and gravity has taken its toll, but who cares? She certainly doesn’t. Her body confidence and obvious comfort in her own skin is infectious. She has curves where she should, and no waxing, no plucking, no spray-painting. She takes care of herself and is a fine-looking real woman.

My virility problem doesn’t exist when I’m with her. She takes such delight in giving and receiving pleasure that my worries evaporate. She’s patient with me when I need her to be, and urgent when the mood is right. She knows her own body and is totally unembarrassed about her needs. I never feel under any pressure with her.

For the year this has been going on, I’m still with my fiancee. Not that I haven’t wanted to leave her, but my lover insists we keep up appearances. At first this added to the excitement, but I am falling for her and getting sick of the sneaking around.

She says I’ll grow tired of her, and if we’re going out publicly, she will end up humiliated. She’s worried her kids will be embarrassed that I’m so much younger. On top of that, she doesn’t want to give “ammunition” to her ex and thinks I’ll regret passing up the chance to have my own kids.

How do I convince her that I’m serious about us? I don’t want to waste any more time. I’d drop the sham engagement and move in with her in a heartbeat given the chance.

A While many would envy you your predicament, you’re miserable, full of longing for a sexual woman you can’t have, while engaged to a stunning but sexually distant woman you can’t perform with.

You go around in public with ego-boosting “unreal perfection” on your arm, while in secret you have satisfying sex with a woman whose imperfection makes her “real”. Her naturalness helps you perform sexually, boosting your self-esteem.

You are vulnerable and in a personal crisis, but to grow through it you need to realise this tough truth: you’ve sought out superficial relationships based on beauty or sex, and that’s what you’ve got: superficial beauty and superficial sex.

“Neither of these relationships is based on true intimacy – closeness, friendship, trust and vulnerability – and you do not need someone’s permission to end your relationship with your fiancee,” says Teresa Bergin, a psychotherapist specialising in sexuality.

“You and your fiancee don’t enjoy sex with one another and, it seems, you’ve never communicated about it. There are clearly deeper problems in this relationship besides unsatisfactory sex.”

You mention nothing about your fiancee’s personality or your feelings for her. Likewise, you describe the “other woman” only in terms of her appearance, sexual performance and age, which isn’t relevant where there is a deep bond.

It’s not true intimacy that has you falling for the other woman. She’s a turn-on partly because you don’t find her intimidating and partly because of the sexual frisson of an illicit affair, a thrill that never lasts.

“She may be worried that once the thrilling sex stage has passed, there won’t be enough to keep you together, and as a separated woman who may have already experienced the hurt of break-up, she is anxious not to risk more for herself or her children,” says Bergin.

This woman is concerned about you passing up the opportunity to have your own children, as well as her own children’s reactions to you. Why aren’t you worried about these things?

You need some space away from both women so you can spend some time looking at yourself and what kind of a relationship you want.

“Until then,” says Bergin, “neither of these relationships is going anywhere.” Indeed.

Email questions to or contact Kate on Twitter, @kateholmquist.We regret that personal correspondence cannot be entered into

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