You Need Help: Sex Meets Feelings, Has Feelings About It

Welcome to You Need Help! Where you seek advice and we try our very best to give it.

This has traditionally been done by way of individual Formspring accounts, Autostraddle’s Tumblr and a Formspring Friday column, which has all been very fun and insightful. But, because Formspring has a character limit and we’re wildly optimistic w/r/t our time-management skills, we thought we’d go one further and let you use our ASS private messaging to share advice-related feelings, too.

For more info on sending in questions, see the bottom of this post. Let’s get down to bossing people around on the internet! Today we’re gonna tell you what to do with unexpected feelings.



I’ve been hooking up with this girl for months. We had a serious no dating/no feelings clause. But… now I like her. Like REALLY like her. I think she might like me too but I dont even know and I’m TERRIFIED to say anything since our relationship has always just been purely sexual. But sometimes she holds my hand when we sleep. I feel so mixed up. I’m scared to ruin what we have, but I think I might want more?


Apparently in April I would’ve told you that these were your rules, and that trying to change those rules mid-game wouldn’t be fair; that you’d just have to play this game harder: she holds your hand while you sleep, you big-spoon her. For every inch of heart-breakingly adorable she is, you be a mile.

And I was well on my way to giving you this advice when my activity partner told me that was wrong. She said telling you to keep playing this game would be like “telling her not to leave her 8-tracks in the sun.” And actually I think she’s right.

The rules of your relationship were established when things were a certain way and you were on the same page. So it’s like you both had 8-tracks, and the #1 rule was that you didn’t leave your 8-tracks in the sun because duh they’ll melt. But now you have CDs, so the rules related to 8-tracks and the sun don’t really apply to you. The world is new! And while you could drop hints and send out feelers (figuratively/literally), I’d advise against playing any more games because I’ve just never been excited about having to wait for outcomes. The only way to know for sure if she has CDs instead of 8-tracks is to flat out ASK HER.

But wait! Before you do that, please sit down and get to know the big fluffy elephant in the room named This Could Hurt In The End — he’s a real nice guy, super down to earth. Also, it could hurt in the middle or the beginning, too! No promised rose gardens, etc! It’s really true that sometimes things become totally and entirely fucked, and yes that’s an off-putting thought. But the thing is, getting there was probably nice? And it’s the promise of new, unfucked things that keeps us going. Or our ability to unfuck the fucked things. I mean even your hair gets tangled, you know?

Right, but back to you specifically! If you really want to know how she feels, you’ll need to ask her. Don’t do it right before or after sex (or during, for crying out loud). Also I’d avoid broaching the topic when you’re either ovulating or about to start your period, and I say this with complete sincerity. Do it on a good hair day, when your bank account is relatively satisfactory, your house is clean and you have plans the next day. And you’re not bleeding.

It’s probably safe to say that things won’t go back to the way they were before you told her, regardless of her response, which is good because the way things are now probably isn’t a lot of fun for you, w/r/t those extra smushy feelings that you’re currently feeling in silence.

If your sexfriend has also upgraded from 8-tracks and wants to pet your face and meet your mom, congratulations! You will probably be as cute as these two cuties. However, if she isn’t ready for the relationship to move in that direction, please remember that you will live to see another day. She may need some time, or think that you need some time, and maybe you will. I highly recommend reading Grace’s Rejection 101: A Lesbian’s Guide to Getting Turned Down, Keeping Your Head Up.

Your turn! Have you fallen for a sexfriend? How’d that work out for you? What do you think our soft-hearted questioner should do? What are the chances this will turn into a discussion about polyamory / open relationships? Like 37%? Seems about right.


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For 100% anonymity, contact us through Formspring:  Riese | Laneia | Rachel

Please keep your questions to around, at most, 100 words. Due to the high volume of questions and feelings, not every question or feeling will be answered or published on Autostraddle. We hope you know that we love you regardless.

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lnj has written 310 articles for us.


  1. The video at the end of this is just mean… how could anyone stand a chance at making good choices after watching something so freaking ADORABLE. siiiigh…

  2. I think this is good advice… I would also add maybe don’t have sex again until after you’ve told her how you feel. Everyone is different I know but I would feel really sad after sex with someone if I knew I was really into them and I was going to tell them about it and sex with them meant a lot to me but they might have completely different feelings about it. Also she might prefer the honesty.

    Don’t be scared to ruin what you have. If telling her means your sexual relationship comes to an end it doesn’t mean it’s ruined. It just means that aspect of your connection is over and you get to move forward with your lives taking the beauty of what you experienced together with you. I hope I’m not being hurtful when I say maybe that time is already over for you. Because now you’ve acknowledged you care deeply about her, you can never really go back to the awesome feelings free sex you were enjoying before.

    • I realize this may be unhealthy choice, but i would have sex with her again at least once more in case it doesnt happen again. Unless u think u’ ll get emotional during, in which case u should listen to every one else.

      • I like your thinking, I was going to suggest she has sex a few more times at least to be sure.
        She can tell her wanting to process brain to back off until later as decisions made while she’s holding your hand while sleeping after sex may cause regret, like many made under various influences.
        Then keep that date with your processing self and do the right thing.

        UNLESS you have been feeling like this for a long time and are totally messed up everytime you have sex now. Then like Tee said, listen to the others their advice sounds really more mature anyway.

  3. Ugh, how cute was that video. I want to vomit a little, in a good way.

    Also, I totally agree with Riese. You should tell her, but pick an appropriate day…don’t let it come out in a fit of emotion. That rarely works out well.

  4. For the love of all holy things, write out what you want to say before you have this conversation. It’ll save you from the, “Well… Ummmm.. So I know we had that rule butidoNOTwanttodothatanymore.”

    Also, tell your friends what you’re doing. That way they can pick up the pieces or jump for joy.

  5. The falling for a sexfriend is much less a question of “if” and so much more a question of “when” with me. Usually I go into things understanding that this is an inextricable function of me rubbing up on other people. One day, I’m just gonna roll over in bed and the hungover, tartar/whiskey/sex smelling face I see is gonna be EVERYTHING I NEED FOR REAL, GIRL.

    So the way I look at it is this: it’s like ripping off a bandage. Just do it right now. Get it over with, because three months down the line when they’ve moved to Portland, have made a million new friends and are posting pictures of their adorable new gf on Facebook and you’re busy listening to some Cut Copy song you made out to while wearing their old t-shirt you’re going to feel like one big giant creeper asshole.

  6. a) PLEASE tell me I’m not the only who read this and thought of Britanna.
    b) I find it funny how this is sort of the inverse of how most girls seem to realize they’re gay (britanna excluded). Instead of we’re-so-emotionally-close-but-oh-god-i-want-in-her-pants, it’s i’m-in-her-pants-but-maybe-want-to-kiss-more-than-her-******. It’s like it’s all come full circle, y’know?

  7. I had a friends with benefits situation that turned into a relationship, and it only worked because we talked about our “status”, monogamy and feelings almost every single time we met and had sex. luckily for us, we were on the same page. I think she had developed feelings earlier than me, but I was always honest with her so that she could chose wether or not she wanted to keep on “doing this” with me.

    so: talking and honesty, no games. that would be it.

    • ALSO: when we first met I said that I absolutely under no circumstances wanted a relationship, and that changed, so it does happen! even if there are strict rules in the beginning.

      • Same thing happened to me. We started out as “Friends with Benefits” after having issues with previous girlfriends. I swore it wasn’t going to turn into anything but after a few months, we had some long conversations and it turned into a monogamous relationship. We’ve been together 12 years now :o)

  8. Been there, done that. Didn’t work, got hurt. Still, other people’s comments indicate that it can work, so it’s gotta be tried, no?

  9. I was all set to comment with sympathy and whatnot, but then I watched the video and now all I can think is, “Why has it never occured to me to set fire to a dandelion?”

  10. i’m gonna also go out and say that sometimes when you ask for a relationship and not a sexytime arrangement, you’re gonna get exactly what you asked for. think about that.

  11. My “sexfriend” and I are now engaged, my mom likes her and we spend many happy hours watching TV and cuddling our cats. :) So sometimes sticking your heart on your sleeve is worth it, especially for the right girl. Good luck!

Comments are closed.