Sex, OCD, and Conflict

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Q: I’ve been with my girlfriend for about three years now. We had a normal sex life up until about a year ago, when she started refusing to give oral sex, but still wanted me to give it to her. The thing that confused me at first was that she seemed ok with giving it for so long and then, all of a sudden, she’s refusing to do it. I talked to her about it and she said she never really liked doing it that much, but she did it because she wanted to please me. What I don’t understand is, if she was willing to give oral to please me before, then why is she unwilling to do it now. I feel that I have definitely given way more sexually than I have recieved, as I have given her oral sex every time we’ve had sex and she hasn’t given me oral in a year. I’ve tried to explain to her how frustrating this situation is for me, but she is extremely difficult to talk to about any kind of conflicts, as it is very easy to “say the wrong thing” to her. The only reason I’ve continued to give her oral sex is because I’m afraid of how she will react, as I consider her to be much less emotionally stable
than myself, and because oral sex is her primary means of orgasm. It is very
difficult for her to orgasm without a considerable amount of oral sex. I
fear that if I stop giving her oral, our sex life will completely go down the drain. What should I do about this? How should I approach her about the
issue? Am I expecting too much? Now, for the OCD question. Since she has
stopped giving me oral sex, I have been doing all the research I possibly
can and i’ve always ended up with no answers. Recently, my girlfriend found
out she has OCD. I began doing research on it and found that many of the
symptoms seem like they could have some correlation to her not wanting to
give oral sex. I was wondering if you know of any evidence of this or any
other OCD sex issues. Thanks for any help

A: The problem you present isn’t really about OCD or oral sex. The issue is a metaphor for how the two of you manage a conflict. Every couple goes through something like this. If it’s not about something sexual, it’s about something else. You two are only 19 and you’ve been together for three years so my guess is that this is the first time either of you has worked on developing a serious relationship. Part of becoming a tighter couple is figuring out how to resolve differences of opinion. Part of being intimate is finding out how to be sexual together in a way that pleases you both. It could be that when she was younger, she went along with what you wanted because she was afraid she would lose you if she didn’t. It might be that she is now feeling strong enough to say what really does and doesn’t like.

Relationships are one of the few places that you really can trade apples for oranges. If she isn’t willing to do oral, is there another way to give you pleasure? Could she, for example, give you oral just up to the point of ejaculation? Can the two of you be more experimental with sex so that maybe she also gets orgasms in a different way too? There are lots of ways to be sexual. Playing with options is part of the fun of being an intimate couple. If you want this relationship to last, you two need to learn to work as partners who are trying to discover what pleases you both – sexually and probably in many other areas as well.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Sep 2006

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2006). Sex, OCD, and Conflict. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/09/25/sex-ocd-and-conflict/