Ask Dr. Darcy: ‘Sextpectations’ and ‘My Cheatin’ Heart’

Dr. Darcy gives GO readers advice on sex and relationships


Dear Dr. Darcy:

I am a senior in college and just had my first hookup with a girl. Although it was better than anything I’ve ever experienced with a boy, I feel like I wasn’t very good. She kept pulling away from me when I was, well, you know…and she didn’t finish. I’m sure I’m gay, but I’m worried I’m terrible in bed.

– What’s a Baby Dyke to Do?

Dear Baby Dyke,

Listen, the first time in bed with anyone can be a challenge, but I think your expectations of yourself are even further off the mark.

Women, as I’m sure you’ve discovered, are complex. I remember having a conversation with some friends a few years ago, one of whom was also nervous about her first female hookup. She turned to us and asked if we could give her any pointers. “Just do what comes naturally,” said the only gold star
among us. I said, “What will come naturally to her is doing a guy; she’s never been with a woman!” The fact is, hooking up with a woman isn’t second nature for everyone. Ease up on the self-judgment.

If your girl was pulling away from you when you were going down on her, she might have felt too sensitive (either in general, or just in that moment). That’s easy to rectify by using less pressure, or by holding off on heading south until she’s asking for it. It happens to everyone, Baby Dyke, so don’t critique your skills too harshly–at least until you’ve had enough time to really develop some.

I’m going to give you a homework assignment. Download some lesbian-produced porn, visit your friendly neighborhood sex shop to buy the toy of your choice (don’t forget the lube), then have fun. This is not a goal-oriented task. Stop focusing on the big finale and just enjoy the ride. n

My cheatin’ heart

Dear Dr. Darcy:

My partner and I dated for two years, but broke up last spring because we were fighting non-stop. In September we got back together and many of our issues seemed to have resolved themselves during our time apart. I’d never been happier in my life.

I somehow knew it was too good to be true.

Last week my computer crashed and she offered to reboot it. For some reason, old emails started reloading and she saw one of the notes between me and a girl with whom I cheated on my partner the day before we broke up.

My girlfriend was devastated and left me—again. I know I was wrong and I really regret what I did. I’ve realized that cheating was my default coping  mechanism for most of my dating life, but I know I can change because I have. Is there any hope?

– My cheatin’ heart

Dear Heart,

It just goes to show you that we never really get away with things. If you had been caught during the act, it wouldn’t have had nearly the impact on you that it’s having now. But because you’re newly invested in the relationship and you’ve already taken steps to correct your dysfunctional coping mechanism, it almost seems cruel.

But it needed to happen for your relationship slate to be wiped clean. When a partnership is built on lies, the foundation is about as sturdy as quicksand.

She may not forgive you—but it’s equally important for you to know that there are women out there who would. The last eight months have given her an opportunity to see how great the relationship can be. Hopefully in time she’ll be able to see beyond your cheat and evaluate the relationship in its most recent version.

You, on the other hand, have shown some introspection in your willingness to admit to using cheating as a distraction from problems, and it sounds as though you may have learned your lesson. Many people in your shoes would be defensive. That you’re not engaging in any of these deflective behaviors
gives you credit. We all make mistakes and occasionally choose inappropriate ways of soothing our egos.

There is hope for your relationship if she’s willing to work through this. More importantly, there is hope for you. You’ll walk away having learned some valuable knowledge about yourself. The only choice that she gets to make is whether she’ll reap the benefits of your education, or if some other woman will.

Dr. Darcy Smith is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Her practice, Alternatives Counseling, specializes in LGBT issues and is located in New York City. Dr. Darcy’s clinical style is very direct, goal-oriented and pragmatic. For years, the media has been drawn to her unique personality. She has provided expert commentary for networks including E! Entertainment and has worked with television producers throughout the nation. Her blog,, provides free advice to members of the LGBT community.

*This column is not a consultation with a mental health professional and should in no way be construed as such or as a substitute for such consultation. Anyone with issues or concerns should seek the advice of her own therapist or counselor. Email questions to:, or call 212-604-0144.

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