Girlfriend or Girl Friend, Part 4


by The 4-Way Panel

Dear 4-Way,

I have a girlfriend that I’m casually seeing and we get together occasionally. Things can be fun and hot when we’re together, but there’s one thing. She’s had some trauma in the past (which we haven’t really delved into), and wants nothing to do with touching me. (No hands, and forget about mouth.) It’s OK for the most part, but it’s become clear things aren’t going to change. Any thoughts on what I should do? A guy needs some love.—GQ

Jody    The gay woman’s perspective: Jody Fischer

Wow, there are some big and important issues here. First of all, a healthy relationship includes giving and receiving—in ALL aspects of the relationship. You mention that this is just a casual thing, but if you are hooking up—albeit casually—it’s a relationship of sorts.

I’m assuming here that this woman has been sexually abused and isn’t really talking about it with you. GQ, she needs to be working with a professional about what happened to her. Perhaps she feels safe somehow as the one being touched, but not as the one doing the touching. I am unsure if she is using your connection to recreate what happened to her with her abuser(s), or to play out the opposite scenario. Either way, I don’t think it will bring her healing or closure or trust. You don’t need to be her therapist here, but you should let her know that she needs to talk to a therapist, preferably one who specializes in abuse.

Also, are you the only guy she’s set up these “hands off” boundaries with, or is this just how she does relationships? I would certainly want to know that.

Now, GQ, as for you, what’s so hot about sex when you’re not being touched?! Really ask yourself what makes it so appealing for you. I assure you that it can be twice as hot when touch is given and received.

It’s interesting to me that you mention that “a guy needs some love.” It doesn’t sound like you two have a love connection at all. I’m feeling more of a power exchange taking place, with you as the one who does all touching and her being in a submissive role. And while you may find that hot for a while, it ain’t love.

GQ, if love is what you’re looking for, you need to find a woman you can reach out and touch and know that she will touch you back. That’s the way loves goes.

Check in next week for another Q&A series with The 4-Way.

The 4-Way is published monthly. If you have a question for our 4-Way panel, please send it to them in care of the editor at To read more of The 4-Way columns or to listen to our podcasts, visit The 4-Way now.

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