DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm in my early 30s and in a common-law relationship with my boyfriend for about 10 years. For the past year or two, I've noticed our sex life is pretty much going down the drain. I've been thinking it was because I gained about 10-15 pounds. I'm 5-foot-5 and 142 (pounds). I admit I do feel more comfortable with myself at around 130. So I finally got him to admit the reason that he's not "into me" is because of my weight. He's not attracted to me anymore. Although my BMI is still in the "normal" range, I am apple-shaped. He was tactful but I feel CRUSHED, hurt and angry. I'm determined to lose this weight and have signed up for a bootcamp. Why am I so hurt? I know other guys still find me attractive at the bar or on a "girls-trip." I feel spiteful, like he doesn't deserve me if the physical's so important. He also wants us to have a baby. But how's he going to look at me when I'm seven months pregnant? Also, for the past few years, he's been really healthy himself, quit smoking, has a six-pack. He still says he loves me and hugs me a lot. -- Hurt, Angry and Fat, BB
Dear Hurt: It's probably not just your waistline. "So I finally got him to admit" may be the clue. He needed an reason for his lack of desire and you pushed it on him. Twelve pounds over your perfect weight distributed over a 5-foot-5 frame is nothing. So what else could it be? Ask yourself these questions: 1) Is he over-training to the point of losing his sex drive? 2) Have you become inhibited because of self-consciousness, stopped wearing sexy underwear, hide in the dark? 3) Is there something, or someone else, going on with him and he's just having maintenance sex with you now? 4) Who was the sexual initiator in the nine years before this decline, and has that changed? 5) Does he need his hormone levels checked? 6) Is he stressed and overworked this year? This'd be a good time to see a counsellor, as you're at the baby-making crossroads. Pregnancies and young babies are hard on one's sex life for a time, so your total relationship needs to be in great shape beforehand. Training again may be good for your health, but it won't make you lose your anger -- you really need to talk things out with your guy.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Would you please pass on to Mr. Sad-and-Lonely the website www.asexuality.org for me? For years I had considered myself asexual and found this site informative. While I find this site somewhat militant in outlook, it was a relief to discover I was neither alone nor strange. I have many male friends and while I'm interested in some physical affection -- hugging, kissing, cuddling -- I've never been interested in sex. I was content to spend the rest of my life with platonic relationships only. When a friend approached me about a romantic relationship, I was very upfront about my lack of interest, and happily, my now-partner decided my being "A" could be worked into our life. Perhaps Lonely could look on the many online dating sites that exist and find someone who shares his goals, values and lack of interest in sex. I hope he finds happiness. -- Consider Me A-Plus
Dear Consider: I checked out the website and it looks reasonable. It's a far better thing to find a partner who is affectionate, loving and asexual than to resign yourself to not having any affectionate closeness all your life. You're lucky to have found someone who is OK with your situation. Since this column is anonymous could you please write back and tell us what situation you worked out that works for both of you? Asexual people are often so isolated they don't hear about variations in loving lifestyles that could work for them, too.