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Do I Have to Have Rough Sex to Keep Him?

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From the U.S.: The man I’ve been seeing (32) has been into rough sex for so long and told me his exs weren’t into it. I was open to it and so we had pretty rough sex often. Never dangerous. I told him I loved him one day and he got terrified and said because the sex got too rough it hurt him because it was too much for him to process so he had to numb his feelings for me to keep doing it. Later he said maybe I love you on another level, then a few hours later said I do love you, just not enough. Then kept whispering I love you the entire day which only confused me. He wanted to have sex again that night but it was so different, more emotional and loving.

The next day we parted cause he had to go back home and he was crying so hard and kept kissing my hands and forehead and wanted to just hold me.

I feel betrayed and dehumanized. What is wrong with him? Could rough sex really mess him up this much even though he’s always talked about how rough he wants to be with me? Was he telling the truth or just making up excuses? Could he actually be in love with me like he later said? We’ve been friends for a while and used to talk daily for hours for 7 months, he actually has to travel from to even see me.

He emailed me few weeks after we stopped talking and said he wishes he was more sincere and it hurts to think I’m moving on but he’s happy for me. He kept asking random questions about what I’m up to but I didn’t reply.

I’m confused, does he want me or not? What do I do? I’m still in love with him but I feel like whatever we had is now so ruined.

Do I Have to Have Rough Sex to Keep Him?

Answered by on -


You are confused because he is confusing. I can’t begin to figure out what he’s about on the basis of what you’ve told me. It does sound like maybe he has separated love from his sexual activity. I’m going to hazard a guess that his exes didn’t agree with that separation. I do think he needs to figure himself out before he is in any shape to offer you a solid relationship.

I can only suggest to you that you take a big step back. Before you get into another relationship (or continue with this one), please think hard about whether you are comfortable with sex, especially rough sex, without assurances of love. You absolutely should not capitulate to anything that makes you uncomfortable as a condition for being loved.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Do I Have to Have Rough Sex to Keep Him?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Do I Have to Have Rough Sex to Keep Him?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 13 Feb 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.