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Hey Woody!

My boyfriend is so insecure if we don’t have sex for more than a couple of days he thinks I’m losing interest and will end up breaking up with him.  On top of that he’s so insecure about his looks he constantly wants me to f–k him in front of the webcam for people all over the country to see.  Growing up he was an overweight geek and people used to make fun of him.  Now he’s a buff, handsome guy.  On the webcam, guys are always saying something complimentary and he feeds off that.  He admits his desire for constant sex is tied to his insecurities.  I don’t want to be a killjoy about the exhibitionist thing but I’m beginning to feel insecure about our relationship—that the webcam is so important to him if I say “no more” it’s going to endanger our relationship.  Help!

—  Ready for our close-up

Dear Ready:

Healthy relationships are driven by love, not fear.  You guys are so fear-driven you’re making Stephen King a little nervous.  You guys are both afraid you’re going to leave each other for NOT doing something.  He’s scared you’re going to leave if he doesn’t give you sex and you’re afraid he’s going to leave if you don’t give him sex in front of the camera.

My first piece of advice is to turn the f–king cam off.  It’s exacerbating both your fears.  Chasing sex, getting it or showing it off online is for secure couples that want to add excitement to a stable relationship.  Your relationship is about as stable as a Kardashian marriage.  There are abandonment issues on both sides.  You can turn it back on once you guys feel confident nobody’s going anywhere.

The webcam (or any online meat-procuring method—chat, email, etc.) carries with it a subtle threat that’s adding fuel to your fears.  And the threat is, “Look at all these guys who want me.  If you don’t do what I say there’s plenty of guys who’ll take me.”  He’s emotionally blackmailing you.  And it’s working.  Subconsciously you’re probably saying to yourself, “He’s preparing to leave by hanging out in places where single people meet each other.”

Turning off the cam is just step one.  The next step is to stop confusing sex for love.  Sex is not going to keep you guys together—love will.  Problem is, he believes, wrongly, that sex is the only valuable thing he has to give you.  You believe, wrongly, that giving in to sex is the only valuable thing you have to offer.  Your homework:  Twice a week you have to give each other a non-sexual demonstration of your affection. It doesn’t have to be an expensive store-bought gift.  Now, if you were dating me, that’d be a different story, but you’re not, so your wallet’s safe.  Example: On your bathroom mirror, use shaving cream to spell out, “I Love You.”

The point is to build a solid structure to your relationship before you add adventurous but potentially risky sexual behavior. Don’t confuse a side dish for the main meal.  Cover your bases before you uncover the camera.