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Because if you're coming on a regular basis, it's a lot easier to say that not having perfectly spectacular sex is a price of admission you're willing to pay for being married to this good man. But if your choices are theoretical future perfectly spectacular sex, and sex without orgasm at all, it starts to look like too high a price.
maybe they're Mormon or something. what a waste.
Given that, I do wonder what BIBFAULT, would find if she actually had sex with other partners, considering that she wasn’t able to figure out what to do differently when having sex with her husband. For instance, she talks about kink in really vague terms. If that’s how she’s trying to move her sex life forward, I think she needs to get a lot more concrete about the direction she want to take sex with her husband.
On a practical note, if BIBFAULT ever did decide to cheat, one of those hard to achieve requirements Dan mentioned should be a man who was screened for STIs at least three months after his last sex partner. There would be no easier way to blow up her marriage than acquiring an STI. And someone whose only had sex with one person might not think about that.
2. Bring the vibrator into bed.
3. Ask him how he’d feel to go thirty fucking years without an organism with his wife.
4. I hope she got some good sex. What a fucking loss of time.
"Neither of us has ever been unfaithful, and neither of us is okay with being unfaithful — I know he isn't. Even though I'm intrigued by the idea, I don't think I could pull off the lying and deceit required to do it behind his back."
So what she means is, she's not okay with her partner being unfaithful, though she's pretty okay with being unfaithful herself. That always annoys me in a Letter Writer. She's not against doing the thing herself that she's against her husband doing, she just doesn't think she can get away with it. Hypocrite.
That, and all the same comments from last time around. When she says, "when we are together" It sounds like she means "when we are doing PIV." I suspect that she may be one of the many women who don't orgasm from PIV alone, which means she is going to be disappointed if she thinks kink -- or some other guy -- is going to hit her button, at least if it's just new trappings or a new guy to try PIV on her. In keeping with Dan's "a kink too far" principle I reserve judgment on whether he's being a lazy withholding asshole without knowing what her "mild kink" actually entails. According to her narrative, it's not from lack of trying.
The obvious thing is to incorporate the vibrator into their "togetherness." If that's her "mild kink," then yes he's being an idiot. If it's something else, it's situational.
Matt @10: I had a similar idea: they should bring in a sex worker (together) to demonstrate to him how to get her off. Hint: Use the damn vibrator.
As such, I don't think BIBFAULT gets a pass to have extramarital sex in the quest for a PIV orgasm absent some evidence that her husband is unwilling to help her climax one way or another.
Absent that, if BIBFAULT wants to go on personal journey to find a man who can get her to climax from PIV sex only, then she needs to either get permission or seek a divorce. It is her life and her body, but that agency doesn't allow her to be dishonest with her husband.
He is being selfish if he will not play around with other kinks with her. He has been selfishly having sex that is fulfilling for him and not her for decades. He owes her, and should show a willingness to attempt all sorts of different things. If she decides also that she wants to have sex with other people, there are all sorts of ways they could do that. If he insists that he wants to maintain monogamy and she insists that she doesn't, she needs to tell him so. Being honest and respectful to your spouse does not mean you have to do what they say. It just means you can't lie to them about it. If he would divorce you because he refuses to try to do anything new in bed and also refuses to allow you to have sex with anyone else under any condition and also refuses to accept your honesty, then it's probably good riddance anyway, IMO.
All of this is easier said than done, I know that, but having sex with other partners behind her husband's back isn't going to solve the problem easily either. It's probably still going to be a learning curve and then she has a pretty good chance of coming home with an STD (a majority of people have herpes or HPV and condoms don't protect from either and neither have other sexual partners) and her husband will be exposed. Plus if he finds out later, the blow to the marriage could be much greater than if they negotiate it openly ahead of time.
This doesn’t sound like a selfish guy to me (although he may be), but it does sound like a couple that doesn’t know much about sex, even as they have worked on it over decades.
“I've suggested some milder forms of kink, but he isn't interested.” I don’t see how a reader of Dan’s would think oral sex and vibrators are kink activities, but if so, that would only emphasize how little about sex this couple knows. And while I agree that Mr. BIBFAULT should be willing to engage in some mild kink, that might make sex more fun, but it’s not a cure for her lack of orgasms.
I feel for BIBFAULT, but I can’t blame MR. BIBFAULT without knowing more.
Skeptic @24: I was a teenager in the 80s and sex ed was pretty much "this is where babies come from, and this is how to prevent that from happening." Nothing whatsoever about pleasure.
Mr. and Mrs. BIBFAULT are a clear example of what often happen when you don’t experiment sexually with a few partners before entering a monogamous commitment. But at the risk of repeating myself, what seems odd is that the BIBFAULTs recognized their problem and tried to make changes. If they did so solely through the religious institutions that convinced them not to have pre-marital sex, then they only compounded their problems. In any event, the BIBFAULTs still seem to lack some knowledge about sex in practice.
“But even with what I now know about my sexuality, we have been unable to figure out how to get me to orgasm when we are together”
Couples toy like the Limon would help someone like the LW.
Do you think high schools in any state covered clitoral orgasms 30+ years ago?
It is still very curious that none of the books they read mentioned masturbation, oral sex, or vibrators. Do we imagine the BIBFAULTs’ foreplay involves her stroking him or giving blow jobs? Or do the BIBFAULTs not have oral sex at all? If EmmaLiz is correct, BIBFAULT believes that oral sex qualifies as kink, so who knows what they are actually doing other than PIV sex.
If we imagine things are one-sided then the answer is easy. BIBFAULT needs to press MR. BIBFAULT to do things that he hasn’t to date, or explain she will find a new sex partner. But if things are not so one sided then finding the right solution is more of a challenge, and introducing new sex partners isn’t necessarily a panacea, especially if BIBFAULT hasn’t learned to clearly ask for what she needs.
Also porn as we know it now is a relatively new thing (though humans have always found graphic sexual images arousing and made them). And still, even without porn and the internet, over the millennia, I suspect plenty of people have had satisfying sex.
The entirety of human existence isn't just the last 50 years.
There is a common ethical absolutism around cheating. That basically, no matter what the circumstances, cheating is an unacceptable response. Pure honesty in all situations. That's just not reality. Life is hard and full of internal contradictions. People need their outlets and their secrets, and it doesn't mean that 'everything was a lie.'
The husband sounds like a hopelessly bad lover. Why is her only option to blow up her entire life if she wants good sex, even just once in her life? Isn't being a sexual failure with your spouse a pretty shitty thing to do to them? Why is that not as bad as cheating? And the other partner's only recourse is to either be held hostage in the marriage because of the almighty command of sexual exclusivity or blow up her whole life to seek good sex?
Yes, it is 'selfish.' Yes, it could blow up in her face in a number of ways. But there's also a really good chance she gets away with it, she gets something she needs and has never had in her life and she doesn't blow up her family. Life is messy. Given the shitty options she has, cheating seems a reasonable choice.
This woman's husband, presuming that he isn't even trying, is the bad guy. But if BIBFAULT cheats, that makes her the bad guy. Like it or not, society considers cheating worse than being a crap shag. There's a third way: BIBFAULT can ask for an open relationship. And by "ask for," I mean "demand." She can say, "Look, it's been 30 years, and I've asked you over and over again for what I need in bed. [Presuming that's true] I deserve good sex, and if we're not compatible, I think we should open our marriage so that we can both find other partners." By being honest about what she's doing, she raises the chances of getting what she needs and not blowing up her family. And not being the bad guy, should she get caught.
Give your husband the chance to step up and be a better lover. If he can't or won't you'll have my blessing to cheat but be honest with him first and see how it goes.
I am currently cheating with a sweet, brilliant gent who does not want a serious partner. I get off. I feel beautiful. I go home and cook spaghetti.
There are worse things.
Skeptic @38: "Access to information" is not the same as "sex ed." I'm willing to bet very, very little of the sexual information you'd learned happened in a classroom. Yes, "The Joy of Sex" was published in 1972, this couple could have easily got hold of it if they had wanted to.
Skeptic @43: Presumably, it would work the way the recommendation for cheating would work: on the internet, with people in neighbouring small towns, in a "don't ask, don't tell" setup at least as far as third parties are concerned. Presumably she has a car; no one says her lovers need to live next door. And the husband could "accept being a cuckold" (what is this, the 19th century?) far better if he were aware of the situation and afforded the same opportunities to sow his oats elsewhere.
Thank you for mentioning the role that male privilege plays in marital relations. When men are raised to believe that sex is "getting some pu$$y" - it casts the matter as being for THEM. I am holding out hope that younger folks are seeing sex in terms of mutual pleasure.
I’m not justifying his behavior, but assuming that it’s inevitable that real world, non abstinence sex-ed would flow to anyone because you knew everything there was to know about sex as a teenager twenty years later (or whichever) seems a bit odd.
Reading the letter, I don't think that her husband sees any need to incorporate these standard forms of lovemaking in their sex life. Yes, we would all give different and more radical advice if we thought the LW was more like 'us'--more queer, more geographically mobile, better-qualified for work, more adventurous or poly. In context, however, this route might be most likely to be what will help BIBFAULT at last to have satisfying sex.
Probably not the best one to pick the show up on considering the arc of the season though, the first two seasons are recommended to get through first.
That comes off as more implausible than other options or having a conversation with him, directly. If guilt and shame of the wife isn’t enough and he’s stuck in this mindset shaming him at church and among that’s community isn’t going to make her life better (beyond hastening a divorce.) But that could backfire as well and more likely for her.
I think, I would chip away at the husband. It's like convincing my little niece from the midwest that sushi is in fact delicious. I remember being 12 and thinking "Nope nope nope nope nope" but I eventually came around. Our minds are incredibly strong, they create a reality more vivid than actual reality.
What do you think the solution is? My solution would involve his, her husband's, being nudged in some way towards realising his marital responsibilities are fuller than he supposed. Hopefully he'll like it too! Do you think she should leave him (that she should have left him)? That she should have an affair?
Husband refused to allow vibrator in mutual sex together, sex together w/o it was meh, he was not pleased she could orgasm w/o him (bc the storyline up to that point had been that she was the "broken" one and it was therefore not his fault in any way), he was uninterested in her pleasure, and their counselors had been of the churchy type (only avail where they were) which is why vibes hadn't been urged previously. LW would not be allowed to incorporate less threatening (i.e. non penis shaped/sized) vibrators either.
But a great marriage otherwise (cough, cough).
First, BIBFAULT made clear they went to a therapist together, so the idea that Mr. BIBFAULT hasn’t been invested in his wife’s sexual pleasure is counter factual.
Second, there isn’t any evidence that BIBFAULT has told husband what he should do differently in bed. A lover can’t say, “I’m unsatisfied, fix it.” You have to articulate something you want your partner to do. BIBFAULT has been reading books on sex for years, but only just discovered vibrators? What books has she been reading? And if that reflects her knowledge of sex, than it seems hard to blame Mr. BIBFAULT for not unilaterally making changes. EmmaLiz thought BIBFAULT believes that oral sex is kinky, if so, she might not be giving any blow jobs, so she may never have discussed oral sex with Mr. BIBFAULT.
So, BIBFAULT doesn’t get a free pass, not if she hasn’t articulated what she need to Mr. BIBFAULT, and it’s not clear that she knows enough about sex to explain what she needs or how to get there.
I don't think a child's palate maturing is analogous to a fiftysomething being expected to learn new sexual tricks.
No @58: Thanks for the additional information. Sounds pretty hopeless. Assuming any kids they might have had would be grown up by now, I'd go for DTMFA as a solution.
They haven't done that primarily because he's embarrassed and thinks it's not his role, or that such a degree of attention to detail is a put-down, meaning he's not a good lover.
About oral sex, many women of traditional backgrounds are socialized into thinking that there's greater transgression or impropriety or 'dirtiness' in their wanting it (or wanting to explore it) than men. The onus is on him to go down on her first and to make it apparent, verbally or through noncoercive physical suggestion, that he wants some too.
My strong sense is that the right thing to do as responders to this letter is to encourage the LW to be more lovingly demanding of her husband.
Rereading the original context it is clear she’s done everything within her power to try and convince him to prioritize her pleasure, something he is at complete personal odds to and feels threatened by. Thus we encourage her to find her own happiness when he denies her so.
But it's a bigger step--and it's maybe harder for her to take than it would be for us. (We don't live in small communities. We aren't married to men who think that women should be happy just with blundering PIV sex. We weren't virgins when we formed lifelong commitments).
I hope she finds her happiness any way she can as well.