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old faithful

My boyfriend will only have sex with me at specific times of the week, and at specific times of the day. And even then, he goes through an extremely elaborate ritual of combing his hair and primping in the bathroom for what seems like an hour beforehand.

There is absolutely no spontaneity. I’m growing tired of this routine, and I can’t seem to get him to change. I love him, but can’t go on like this. What can I do? Help!


Barbie Girl says: Go get a new boyfriend!

The Third Policeman says: You might consider that he can’t go on like that forever, either. That sort obsessive behavior often is employed as a bulkhead against internal chaos, and inevitably the bulkhead gives way. Consider the story told by novelist Flann O’Brien about a man who was inordinately fond of the number three: “He went home one evening and drank three cups of tea with three lumps of sugar in each cup, cut his jugular with a razor three times and scrawled with a dying hand on a picture of his wife goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.”

The Practical Cogitator: First, I’d remove or cover all the mirrors in the place. Second, I’d remove all his primping items. Third, I’d make the bed. Next, go out on the town, go dancing, have some drinks, drive home and then jump him. Show him just how much fun spontaneity can be. Why are you living by his schedule?

Dining Out says: It’s nice when sex happens spontaneously and involves love, passion, and a deep emotional connection. It’s also common for couples to experience lulls in their sex lives, especially when they find themselves in long-term relationships and know they’re best friends as well as lovers. What really worries me is the OCD behavior your boyfriend’s exhibiting and his narcissistic routines before the two of you become intimate. If you really love this man and you feel the relationship is worth salvaging, you need to find out what’s bothering him and be honest about how his actions make you feel. If he’s open about his feelings and tells you he wants to work on himself and your relationship, give him one chance. If he’s defensive and hostile, it may be that your relationship has run it’s course and you’ll be better off alone so you can find fresh romance and a new boyfriend who doesn’t have to flex his muscles in the mirror and check his watch to see if he’s on time for your meeting in the bedroom.

Dr. Sigmund Fraud says: You may be surprised to learn that scheduling sex is a topic that comes up a lot in popular psychology. Some of my colleagues who are marriage counselors hear about this a lot. Seems that lovemaking is just one of those things that’s falling into the background in our cell-phoning, facebooking, twittering world. Nobody seems to have the time. If I were a marriage counselor, I might urge you not to assume that scheduling sex will make it seem tedious. Or I’d say, “Make a point of going away for a weekend, without the kids.” Or, “It’s all about compromise.”

But I’m not a marriage counselor, and you’re not married. You’re bored. Bored and unmarried to a dull narcissist. Why should you have to compromise? Life’s short.

Since you’re technically not a patient of mine, there’s really no ethical reason why I couldn’t provide you with all the help you need. Whenever and wherever you get the urge.

Ruthless says: I say cut him off. If and when he gets desperate enough he will probably be willing to take what he can get anytime, anywhere, anyplace. Just tell him it isn’t convenient for you at his usual times. Or, better yet, slip out the door while he’s in front of the mirror. He’ll come back expecting to find you waiting for him, and poof—you’re gone. All that trouble for nothing.

One thing you may want to consider though: If this is fetishistic behavior, the fact that he’s spending so much time with himself in front of the mirror may indicate he’s getting off on looking at himself for an hour before coming to be with you. If this is the case, it’s pretty creepy and you might want to forget the whole thing. But first, slip some depilatory cream into his shampoo and some shortening or oil into his facial cleanser. See him bald and broken out before you get rid of him.

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