Girlfriend rated me 6/10

All Woman

Dear Counsellor,

I am a worried 22-year-old Ghanaian. After two years of dating I recently found out from my girlfriend, who was a virgin, that I only rate at 60 per cent on her pleasure scale. For two years I've been trying hard to find out from her if she enjoys having sex with me, and asking her to rate me, and finally she broke this devastating news to me.

What pains me the most is that even when I ask her why it is 60 per cent and how I can make up for the lack, she keeps insisting that all she can tell me is that I'm only 60 per cent.

I insisted and she told me she would do some research, while emphasising that since I was her first, she doesn't know whether I'm good or not.

I feel like I'm no good at sex and can't satisfy her, so I want to break up with her. I'm very angry. Please help me.

For many men, sex is all about a grand performance and getting a standing ovation at the end. Interestingly, many women put undue pressure on their partners to deliver an outstanding performance, and then they are graded accordingly.

So for you a grade of 60 per cent is unsatisfactory, and now you are hurt as this revelation has no doubt impacted your self-esteem. Don't you think you might be overreacting to the information received? Is your partner complaining? Did she tell you the 60 per cent is a bother for her?

I assume your girlfriend is in your age range, and young adults in their twenties will never know all there is to know about sex. You need to think of lovemaking as a process rather than an event. If you see it as a test to be graded on, then one day you may suffer from performance anxiety where you are so preoccupied with going on stage and delivering a spectacular show that there will be a disconnect between body and mind, and you will fail to show up (erectile dysfunction) or fail to deliver on a timely basis (premature ejaculation).

It is commendable that you wish to please your partner sexually, but are you taking care of her emotional needs? Do you treat her with respect? Do you both communicate well and have a strong emotional bond? Do you see her as a long-term partner? If she were to rate you on this aspect of the relationship, what grade would you get? For many women, the emotional connection precedes the sexual connection.

If you both plan to be together for a long time, during the passage of time the lovemaking will improve as the emotional connection is concretised.

Spend less time worrying about what you are not doing right sexually, and focus more on ensuring that your girlfriend is happy in the relationship.

If, however, you are more concerned about achieving a passing grade of 100 per cent, then there are numerous books out there that can give you lessons on sexual techniques.

Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to agapemft@gmail.com; check out his work overseas on www.seekingshalom.org, e-mail powellw@seekingshalom.org.

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