Savage Love

Rings & Things

Comments

103
@93 (very_very_vera): I think this might well be what's going on here. It sounds like WTF gets the feeling from her husband that what they used to have (and what presumably used to make both of them happy) is not enough--not by a long shot--for him now and that her husband is constantly upping the baseline.
Perhaps it's not a question of the specific activities so much as how they're asked for or how often or the feeling that's behind them and how that is transmitted to her.

She's been the high libido partner in the past, and now she's feeling overwhelmed and a bit put off--I don't think that mere "ordinary-level" interest in porn or lingerie or toys could do that. It sounds like perhaps WTF's trying to describe an escalating scenario that is coming to seem like some sort of x-rated Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Baily Circus.

Also, she's not trying to tell her husband what he can do with his own body; she's expressing the concern that what he's doing and insisting on is affecting the sex the two of them have together and her feelings towards it.
104
@100: The rest of us add background to the letter based on knowledge we have built up with decades of experience with people, relationships and sexuality.

The rest of you also seem to ignore every other aspect of the letter. I'm not interested in doing so, and I'd have a lot more respect for this practice if you'd actually say "I'm deliberately ignoring all of the evidence that contradicts my read" when doing so, rather than just pretending it's not there.

You propose that she’s not normal.

I have not; attitudes like hers are quite common. Could you quote the part you're referring to?

Let's talk about normal, though; you say: "Neither can we tell if she is not normal."

Here is what she has written:
"We've had problems in the past with him staring at other women (everyone does it, but I do feel discretion in front of a spouse is required) and with him wanting more novelty in bed (watch porn, wear lingerie, use toys)."

In the future, would you consider either acknowledging the existence of the bolded parts--and that they show a really messed-up approach to her partner's sexuality--or at least admit that you're choosing to ignore it?

Incidentally, do you think someone who would write that sentence--and who would pathologize her partner that way--is normal?

We know that he’s out there — everywhere, even. Given that, it’s reasonable to hypothesize that he *might* be ‘this one guy.’

Since the evidence presented in the letter just doesn't support it, I'd have to disagree with you. It's reasonable to hypothesize it if you ignore the rest of the letter and even the rest of the sentence in which it appears.

If you want to play the game of "If the letter didn't include these other parts, what would it mean?" I'm fine with that, but it would be nice if you wouldn't present it as if you were talking about the letter that actually exists, because you are not.
105
SOUND: As a middle-aged person, I can tell you I don't care if you have noisy sex during the morning, afternoon or evening, but if you wake me up after 11pm - repeatedly - with the noise, I will curse you.
106
@102: Good try! This is a much more coherent effort than Philophile's attempt to shut down the conversation. It's still a failure, though, since you seem to be hoping that I don't remember what either of those posts was about.

I'll summarize it again for you on the very slim chance that you're participating in good faith:
Marrena described a person. I agreed, and pointed out that that person often attempts to shut down any discussion of their traits, and that those traits include "Enjoys nonconsensual D/s play."
Philophile invented a new person, pretended that Marrena had described that person, claimed to be that person, and claimed that my description of Marrena's description was wrong, because it did not describe the entirely-new person Philophile had invented and was pretending that Marrena had described.

I'm happy that you guys have decided to mischaracterize what was said, and then pretend that your mischaracterization was true, though. It's much less lazy than the usual tactics to keep anyone from talking about this stuff.
107
@106 The point is that Marrena described a person who has particular desires. You then equated having those desires to wanting to have nonconsensual sex. The problem with that is that Marrena's description did not require any desire for nonconsensual sex. Which meant you were mischarecterizing a subset of the people Marrena described. This seemed to offend Philophile, as someone who presumably does enjoy having a partner who is more sexually desirous due to having had less sex/masturbation recently, but does not enjoy anything nonconsensual.

I'm really not sure why you brought up the nonconsent angle, since it was completely unneeded for the discussion. But you brought it up, and of course some people are going to be upset at having their consensual desires described as nonconsensual ones.

Do some people with that desire also have nonconsensual desires? Sure. But that doesn't mean they all do. And you overgeneralized. Thus I felt you were unfair to Philophile. Also, unfair to anyone else in a similar category. Also, it's just generally bad to describe consensual sexual activities as having elements of nonconsent, since that promotes sex negativity and people having issues with those activities.
108
@103: "It sounds like WTF gets the feeling from her husband that what they used to have (and what presumably used to make both of them happy) is not enough--not by a long shot--for him now and that her husband is constantly upping the baseline."

How does it sound like that? It seems to be the opposite of what WTF wrote in the letter.

"We've had problems in the past... "
According to the letter, do you think it happened in the past--meaning not now-- or is it happening constantly?

This question should be easily resolved, because the LW helpfully answers it for you. Why did you decide she meant the opposite of what she said?

"It sounds like perhaps WTF's trying to describe an escalating scenario that is coming to seem like some sort of x-rated Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Baily Circus."

She describes a scenario in which her husband used to express an interest in toys, porn, and--gasp!--lingerie. Now, he's admitted that he masturbates regularly, and she finds this upsetting.

This is what is in the letter.

Can you in some way square your read with what is actually written in the letter?

"Also, she's not trying to tell her husband what he can do with his own body; she's expressing the concern that what he's doing and insisting on is affecting the sex the two of them have together and her feelings towards it."

This isn't in the letter; in the letter, she's expressing her horror that her husband has the temerity to--gasp!--masturbate. The idea that it's affecting the sex the two of them have together is something Marrena made up. It is not in the letter.

It's fine to make up interesting interpretations, but can we limit ourselves to theories that don't actively contradict what's in the letter?

Where are you getting your take? Can you quote some part of the letter that supports your interpretation? Can you address the parts I've pointed out repeatedly that contradict it?
109
You guys have been busy ; SeanDr, ah.. So sorry to spoil your stereotype.
110
Eudaemonic: Obviously, I think I can square what I've written with what is in the letter. And just as obviously, you read the same letter and come to a completely different interpretation and conclusion. I've got neither the interest nor the time to get into one of the arguments with you that I have had in the past or that I've witnessed with others, in which you accuse people of lying or bring up what you believe you know about my personal life (when I didn't initiate the topic and it had no relevance to the discussion at hand). I allow you your reading without challenging your intellectual capabilities.

I just would prefer not to engage with the level of vitriol I encounter in your tone and I don't see every letter about a problem experienced by a straight couple as a need for some sort of epic showdown in the Battles of the Sexes.

I thought my responses to last week's letter in which Ms. "post-mononormative" tried to shame her husband into going along with her poly plan while she simply ignored any boundaries they agreed to would be enough to establish my credentials as a non-knee-jerk misandrist, but it appears that if a woman is in any way sympathetic to another woman on this forum, it acts as a fire under you, and I've got no interest in fueling it. I respectfully decline to rise to your bait.
111
@107: Okay, point by point.

"The point is that Marrena described a person who has particular desires. You then equated having those desires to wanting to have nonconsensual sex."

Correct! I did in fact do that thing; you're making progress. Thank you.

The problem with that is that Marrena's description did not require any desire for nonconsensual sex.

Incorrect! Do you agree that nonconsensually attempting to maneuver someone into a D/s relationship is nonconsensual? I assume you do.
Do you agree that attempting to do this to your partner without that partner's consent is in fact nonconsensual?

I hope so, because that's what "nonconsensual" means.

"This seemed to offend Philophile, as someone who presumably does enjoy having a partner who is more sexually desirous due to having had less sex/masturbation recently, but does not enjoy anything nonconsensual."

Incorrect! Philophile just claimed to be one of the people who enjoys creating nonconsensual power imbalances, and demonstrated a willingness to lie to defend people who do so. Your assertions about Philophile's character have negative support.

"I'm really not sure why you brought up the nonconsent angle, since it was completely unneeded for the discussion."

Incorrect! Consent matters. There are no sexual situations where consent is irrelevant. None.
Even when discussing consent hurts the feelings of people who really really don't want anyone talking about consent, and when those people will do anything they can to shut down that discussion.

In fact, that is when consent is most relevant. I'm sorry if this hurts Philophile's feelings, but the above paragraph should demonstrate that I'm not too sorry.

"But you brought it up, and of course some people are going to be upset at having their consensual desires described as nonconsensual ones."

Correct! People with nonconsensual desires are also upset at having their nonconsensual desires described as nonconsensual ones. In fact, they have much stronger reasons to be upset!

Philophile does indeed seem upset. Interesting! Philophile also claims that attacking people with nonconsensual desires is attacking her. Interesting!

"Do some people with that desire also have nonconsensual desires? Sure."

Correct! Some people with desires for nonconsensual D/s power play do indeed have nonconsensual desires.

"But that doesn't mean they all do. And you overgeneralized."

Incorrect! All people who have desires for nonconsensual power play do indeed have nonconsensual desires.

"Thus I felt you were unfair to Philophile. Also, unfair to anyone else in a similar category."

Correct, for all I know. I assume you do in fact feel these things. Why you feel compelled to defend people who want to engage in nonconsensual power play, I don't know, but I'll accept that you feel it.

Wait... you're not assuming that I'm buying Philophile's false statement about what Marrena originally said, am I? Let me assure you that I am not, and that I am very much aware of what Marrena and I actually said, and unswayed by Philophile's attempt at deception. In fact, all of those words are still displayed on this very screen!

"Also, it's just generally bad to describe consensual sexual activities as having elements of nonconsent, since that promotes sex negativity and people having issues with those activities."

Correct! I agree with this wholeheartedly, which is why I would not do it, and have not done it. I also think it's generally bad to look at elements of nonconsent and claim they aren't there. Do you agree?

The urge to enable abusers is inexplicably strong in some people, but I'm not interested in indulging it.

Again: Marrena described nonconsensual power play. I identified it as nonconsensual, and pointed out that the people who liked it often try to shut down conversations about it. Philophile identified herself as one of the people Marrena and I were describing, and then lied about the initial description in order to make it something completely different. I'm not sure why Philophile decided to do these things, but I'll note that someone who wasn't one of the people described would have very little interest in attacking criticisms of nonconsent.

And when you describe one flavor of nonconsent, Philophile feels attacked, and then tries to pretending you were describing something you weren't. Interesting!
112
Well said nocute @110. I haven't dared to go back and read thru the issues.
And SeanDr, I wasn't discounting the Girl ( Woman)with pigtails scenario, just the timing of you expressing it.. This Woman's fantasy was about her being 9 yrs old..
113
[I was told I would be writing this from home by "end of business" today. I am not, and now the estimate is that it will be a month to fix.]

Ms Cute - the operative word is "feel". Wanting to *feel* GGG and wanting to *be* GGG are probably completely different animals. It reminds me of the vast majority of bridge players whom I made Life Masters. Most of them didn't want to learn and be able to implement what would be required to *BE* good bridge players; they just thought that, if they got the Life Master title, people would *CALL* them good bridge players, and the fact that less than half of them met my criteria for decent never entered the picture.

I have no real take on the letter yet and may agree with everything else you've said about that one, but, as usual when I'm in blitz mode as I am now, I can only pick up one or two points.
114
@111 I decided not to read very far, since you lost my respect when you insulted me. However, you are conflating nonconsensual actions with desires that can be either consensual or nonconsensual.

The basic desire described was a desire to limit one's partner's sexuality to mutual activities. This desire can be fulfilled either consensually or nonconsensually. The fantasy of this desire could exist within either a consensual or nonconsensual framework. For example, one might fantasize about a partner who simply chooses not to engage in sexual activity beyond those with the partner. This would involve no nonconsensual elements in either reality nor in fantasy.

You seemed to assume that those who fantasize about this limitation all fantasize about it happening in a nonconsensual manner, which is a pretty huge thing to read into what was said. You also are now discussing trying to push a partner into it nonconsensually, which is a very big leap. Having a fantasy does not dictate one's actions. As this fantasy can easily be realized with a consenting partner, if one can find a partner who is okay with it, I don't see any reason to bring up lack of consent unless it is relevant.

The initial letter writer might have such fantasies of power - we have no way of knowing, but it is a hypothesis that would be consistent with the letter and thus possible. But we have been given no evidence whatsoever that the letter writer has tried to force the partner into such activities in a nonconsensual manner. Obviously, if the letter writer does have such desires it would be useful to reflect on them, understand them, and discuss them withe partner. But the most relevant situation for the hypothesis would be to explain the letter writer's feelings - not actions. It would explain why the letter writer is uncomfortable about the masturbation. That would involve zero nonconsent. We have absolutely no indication whatsoever that the letter writer tried to bully the partner into not masturbating, so bringing in nonconsent is quite irrelevant.

The key point here is no attempt to maneuver anyone into a D/s relationship without consent has shown any evidence of happening. You can hypothesize that maybe it has happened. That would be adding info to the letter that did not exist. And maybe it did. A lot of maybes are possible. But if you exclude the far more likely possibility that it did not happen, then you should expect people to have issues with your reading of the letter and comments.
115
@110: "Obviously, I think I can square what I've written with what is in the letter."

I can't help but notice that you've made no attempt to do so, or to address the indisputable fact that the letter is not the way you describe it. I hope you understand why that makes me skeptical of your assertion that you can.

"I thought my responses to last week's letter in which Ms. "post-mononormative" tried to shame her husband into going along with her poly plan while she simply ignored any boundaries they agreed to would be enough to establish my credentials as a non-knee-jerk misandrist,"

I don't think you're a knee-jerk misandrist, as I have said repeatedly. I think you've made tremendous progress overcoming the deeply ingrained stereotypes common to everyone in our culture. You're about 90% of the way there.

..."but it appears that if a woman is in any way sympathetic to another woman on this forum, it acts as a fire under you"

No idea why you fight so hard to hang on to that last 10%, though. About once a week, you decide to go all-in on distorting the letter in order to support an absurd reading in which anyone female is automatically blameless for everything, no matter how much of the letter it requires ignoring or rewriting. I don't know why, but I promise that as soon as you stop doing it, I'll stop acting as if you're doing it.

And, in general: No, occasionally attacking people who are behaving badly doesn't win all the points. You also have to not accuse people of behaving badly when they aren't. The husband isn't doing anything wrong, and that's obvious from the letter. What is it about him that made you all attack him despite having no reason to do so?

All you know about him is that he's male, and that he's married to someone with gross ideas of what she's entitled to. Which of these things convinced you that he's the bad guy?

And for what it's worth?

(when I didn't initiate the topic and it had no relevance to the discussion at hand).

If I'd been acting the way you were in that thread, when you objected to this, I'd have denied it happened. That was what you were doing every time I objected to something you said, after all.

I don't know why you brought that up again, though. Should I make absurd attempts to gaslight you about it, the way you did me? "I never did that! I would never do that! You're misinterpreting things and being a misogynist! And rude!"

There. Now, if I kept doing that for a week, and kept saying things to you and then claiming I didn't say them, we'd be even. I don't imagine you'd enjoy being treated the way you treated me, though, which is one of the reasons I didn't do it.
116
@114: I decided not to read very far, since you lost my respect when you insulted me. However, you are conflating nonconsensual actions with desires that can be either consensual or nonconsensual.

I have decided not to read past this point, partly because I've lost the last lingering hope that your purpose in talking to me was anything other than trying to present nonconsensual actions as consensual. I don't have a lot of respect for people who try to do what you're trying to do.

Thanks for demonstrating the truth of my point, though--that people like you would emerge as soon as the nonconsensual nature of your desires was mentioned openly, and that you'd try to shut down the conversation. I say "your" because if you weren't one of those people, you wouldn't have any reason to attack me the way you are.
117
My apologies to readers of the comment thread. This comment is for personal record-keeping, not to have a discussion with others. By commenting, I will be easily able to refer back and check, in case I forget that Eudaemonic has opted out of civil debates and discussions in comment threads. I have a very bad memory, so making a written note is of use. I wish there were a way to flag users with notes that would display in comment threads when I am logged in for my own reference. But if such a feature exists, I am unaware of it.
118
I love how you people always call it "uncivil" when someone points out that your nonconsensual preferences are nonconsensual. And it is! So very uncivil.

Civility is the shield you guys almost always use when lies fail you, as they did above. I don't like having to choose, but yes, I prefer to be uncivil to you than to the people whose abusers you're so intent on enabling.
119
I can speak only for myself, but I don't consider WTF's husband a bad guy. I just also don't consider her a bad guy.
I tried to figure out what inspired that letter (and I may have been wrong, like any or all of us may be wrong), but I didn't blame him for anything at all. I gave some ideas about why I could understand WTF's position if her husband behaved a certain way; I don't claim to know how he's done his other-women-checking out, or how he's phrased his desire to incorporate porn, toys, or lingerie.

Most of the focus of my comments have been on WTF herself: I tried to understand why such benign-sounding activities would upset her so much. And none of my hypotheses was that the husband is bad.

In fact, in my posts at 42, 46, and 103, I was suggesting that there be less blaming and finger pointing, and more suggestions for solving the problem, as well as more attempts to understand where WTF's reactions are originating.

Mr. Ven, you're point that WTF would rather feel GGG than actually be GGG is an interesting one and quite possible. I think many of us would like to be able to feel that we are any one of a number of things that actually being would take too much hard work to achieve.
120
@29 fif: Thanks for the information but personally, I'll stick to my morning cup of joe to stay regular, and yes, it's organic medium roast from a local coffee company out of Skagit County.
I'm still reeling from the thought of fecal transfusions.....eeeesh!
@40 sissoucat: Unfortunately, it appears to be so. I myself have been struck multiple times already. Ramparts!!
@44 Eudaemonic: Okay, thanks. I guess it isn't just me and my equally quirky Mac then. That's comforting to know.

WOW---there's a lot going on in this week's column!
121
@101 Holy crap. How did you get that essay out of my comment. If you don't like women who appreciate the attention of a really horny guy, don't date women like me. Fuck off if you're telling me I'm wrong for enjoying it. I think it's great to appreciate the extra energy when a compatible guy saves it all up for you.

Again, I, like many women I'm sure, enjoy the extra attention when a partner is all desperate and horny. Doesn't make me a nonconsensual D/s rapist kind of person. WTF. If you hate me enough to call me a rapist then you might want to refrain from replying to me and outing yourself as an asshole.
122
Whoa, I commute home and find WALL OF COMMENTS!!! Just want to say that I agree with Eudaemonic's main recapping of what I said, although too confused to follow the stuff he said about other commenters.



In other words, I was pointing out that I enjoy controlling my submissive's rate of orgasms (which by the way is completely consensual, spelled out, and upfront) for many reasons--the feeling of power, the improved splashiness, the extra-horniness and hardness (and I agree with Seandr that hardness and so forth is variable, but for those horny times I like the available extra-hard). And I my control IS power exchange, this is D/s, and a form that I think many women would like. The fact that WTF seems to be dismayed that her partner is having orgasms without her despite all the sex they are having made me suspect that she's one of those women. If she's turned on by the thought of restricting her man's orgasms so she can have all the cream to herself, that's a pretty good indicator. Was just putting out my POV, have no idea if it actually applies in this situation.
123
@119: Oh crap (or, given one of this week's themes I should say, "Oh fecal matter"): I meant to write "your point," not "you're point" in my last paragraph about the distinction between feeling some way vs. being some way. Unless, Mr. Ven, you are a point. Time to reread Flatland!
124
@122 I appreciated your contribution, just to be clear. I thought that was possible. I just didn't think having that desire implied having a desire for nonconsensual sexual activities. And I do think it is worthwhile for the letter writer to consider whether or not that is a turn-on, and if so, whether that can be discussed and incorporated into their sex life in some way.
125
@124, I think there's a difference between one's desires and one's expectations. If WTF is realizing that she desires her husband to stop masturbating, that is something she has learned about herself, and a kink that she might bring up in exchange for his lingerie/porn thingummy, a mutual GGG. In other words, ask for his consent.

On the other hand, if she is expecting him to stop masturbating because it's unseemly or some such thing, that is an expectation of non-consensual power exchange. So I can see both sides of the argument. But the fact that she is writing sheepishly to Dan in the first place seems to indicate the former.
126
@125 I agree. Basically, the letter writer never mentioned any attempts to stop him from masturbating. The only mention was feeling discomfort at the revelation. Feelings are one thing, how you handle them is what matters. And it looks like the letter writer's next step was to ask for advice, which is not a bad next step when you're confused and unsure. I do think spending time figuring out personal desires and then talking to the partner about them would be a really beneficial thing for them to do, if the scenario you describe is in play (or anything somewhat similar where the letter writer has a sexual desire without fully realizing it).
127
@122: I agree completely, and I think the all-important distinction here is this part:

"In other words, I was pointing out that I enjoy controlling my submissive's rate of orgasms (which by the way is completely consensual, spelled out, and upfront)"

D/s relationships in which the D admits what they're doing and gets the consent of the S in question (and asks for the control they have) seem like a completely different beast from D/s relationships in which the D pretends to be vanilla and tries to maneuver the S into a situation where the D has the same control but didn't ask for it (and without denial, minimization, or blame).

Those have less in common with an honest D/s top than they do with the husbands who believed that it's not rape as long as you're married. It's not just about the sex, though--I'd think the same about someone who anonymously sent their partner's employer compromising information, in order to make their partner unemployed and thus more easily controlled. Or someone who was into bondage and decided to just go ahead and tie up their partner while the partner was asleep, and then claimed it was an accident and those ropes just fell on. And that hey, let's have sex, and if you don't want it you can just push me off, right? Too bad you can't move...

The rule should be that if you're going to increase the amount of control you have over your partner, you should ask first, and not attempt to conceal what you're doing--not even from yourself. I wish I was surprised at how omnipresent the resistance to this belief is.

@Marrena: For what it's worth, I have no real idea how much it applies to this situation either, I was just pointing out that the women who try to do what you do without admitting it's a kink and getting consent are doing it nonconsensually--and that it was rare and somewhat courageous for you to be willing to actually mention it in public, since those people lose their shit when someone picks up the rock they hide under and takes a look.

I do think WTF is leaning hard on the assumptions that enable those people, though--and that the point of GGG is to combat those assumptions.
128
Marrena @97: lol

@Philophile: If I've satisfied myself earlier, more is required to get into the main dish.

Sure, this or something close to it is true of men, too.

I'm just saying that sometimes the effect of abundant masturbation is the difference between a boyfriend who can't stop humping your leg and one who's just horny.
129
Let me see if I understand.

Women who denigrate men for masturbating ("he shouldn't need anything but me") are applying intense emotional pressure to dissuade the men from masturbating. That intense emotional pressure is nonconsensual domination, because they didn't negotiate the right to apply such pressure.

If a woman applies intense emotional pressure to get her husband to go to a funeral he doesn't want to attend, is that also nonconsensual domination, Eudaemonic? Or is masturbation in a different category because of its personal nature?
130
@113: the operative word is "feel". Wanting to *feel* GGG and wanting to *be* GGG are probably completely different animals.

This seems entirely correct. She says she wants to feel GGG "again," but describes a relationship in which there are no examples of her being good, several examples of her being anything but giving, and continuously being the complete opposite of game.

@119: In fact, in my posts at 42, 46, and 103, I was suggesting that there be less blaming and finger pointing, and more suggestions for solving the problem, as well as more attempts to understand where WTF's reactions are originating.

I agree with this part, but I think we differ on what the problem is. She describes being the kind of person who believes that her partner's sexual preferences are hers to dictate, and seems to be saying that this belief is causing her some discomfort--but she hasn't fully realized that the problem isn't that he masturbates, or wants to try toys, or anything else.

I can't read her mind; all I know is that I've encountered plenty of people who pathologize their partners this way, and they're never good people. Sometimes it's because they don't want to treat their partners well, and sometimes it's just because they've never learned that they way they've been taught to feel entitled to treat their partners is awful.

I mean, imagine if you asked a partner if you could incorporate a vibrator, and, later, he was telling someone that you guys had had a problem in the past with you wanting to use toys. I'd be pretty sure the guy was either an asshole or very steeped in a certain kind of asshole-inducing prudery, and would certainly be yelling "DTMFA" in the comment thread. I hope I'd get the same kind of support if I was in that position, but it seems very obvious that I wouldn't.

The reason I'm not saying her husband should DTMFA is that I have less sympathy for men who harbor that particular cultural disease, because we have more vectors for inoculation.
131
@129: Or is masturbation in a different category because of its personal nature?

Effectively yes. Masturbation is in a different category because the right to control your own sexuality is more important--and more frequently and severely violated--than the right to not go to funerals. Also, going to a funeral does not increase your partner's control over you, but giving them control of your sexual release does. It's probably also relevant that going to a funeral is something that happens once, rather than an enduring change in the power balance of the relationship.

Intent also matters a little here--if you're shaming him out of masturbating in order to increase your sexual control of him, that is either consensual or nonconsensual. If you don't have consent, it's not consensual.

To illustrate my definitions of terms by analogy: If I told my wife "I want you to quit your job, so I'll be better able to control your life circumstances ," that would be a consensual power play. If I told my wife she ought not to work because gender roles, and shamed her into going along with it, that would be a nonconsensual power play. If it was something more overtly sexual than a job, then I would be attempting a nonconsensual sexual act.

I have specific and unpleasant feelings about people who attempt nonconsensual sexual acts, and similar feelings toward people who want to defend those people's license to operate. These feelings are somewhat mitigated (but only somewhat) when the person trying to do it is clueless about what they're doing, due to cultural indoctrination.
132
To add: If a woman applies intense emotional pressure to get her husband to go to a funeral he doesn't want to attend, is that also nonconsensual domination, Eudaemonic?

Yes, I would say that is nonconsensual domination--but it's presumably not sexual, and it's much less life-altering. Nonconsensual sexual behavior draws more ire than other kinds of nonconsensual behavior, and I think rightly so.

Continuing the thought experiment, I would say that having your boss say "Going forward, your job is also to make me coffee every day"--in a bad job market, and without giving you the chance to say no--is also nonconsensual domination, to an extent, but that having your boss say "Going forward, your job is also to give me a blowjob every day" is far worse, even though they're pretty similar minus the sexual aspect.
133
Sounds like WTF is meat and potatoes when it comes to sex.

Two naked bodies getting all up in each others business. When she's horny (and twice a day is pretty goddamn horny), it's twisted, sweaty bodies fun. Her husband wants props and masterbates (from the tone, I'm convinced she rarely does if at all). I could be the husband and she could be my wife.

Communication is the only fix, with a counsellor or therapist, together. Not because of their sex drives, or anyone is wrong, but they both come across as very poor at it (her words and characterization of hubby),
134
Sorry Seandr; think I misread the letter. Disregard comments.
136
@78; That guy in the Speedo is our Prime Minister and yes, it's disgusting.. I do not want to see the outline of my Prime Ministers genitals. Having to deal with what comes out of his mouth is enough.
137
@Eudaemonic, thanks for explaining. It does feel to me as if much parenting is then "nonconsensual domination" -- and even "nonconsensual sexual domination" as I had to tell my young children that they shouldn't touch their genitals in public, and also that they shouldn't play "doctor" with other children.

I'm not totally persuaded that nonconsensual domination is the right word for what you're talking about, rather than pressure, intimidation, or just plain old "domination." I suppose all intimidation is "nonconsensual intimidiation" unless it's in a D/s relationship, but that seems a weird way to talk. So then we'd speak of nonconsensual torture, instead of just saying torture?
138
@93; good points.
139
@96; charming image. Oh it's you, Seandr..
140
There's been a lot of research into gut flora and fecal microbiota transplantation lately.





The research documents that the squick factor is higher for taking pills (literally eating shit, sometimes 40 or more pills per day of shit) than a colonoscopy or an intestinal scope, but it's also a hell of a lot cheaper and safer to the patient.





And given that there's a definitive link between damaged gut flora and food allergies, if I could eat (frozen, encapsulated) shit for 2 months and regain the ability to be in a room where somebody is cooking fried shrimp without my eyes turning red and watery, and starting to cough uncontrollably, believe me, I would be all over that like stink on a hog. Even if I didn't eat or touch any shrimp....just to be in the same room as it.
141
Mr E; when you start with "the lies "accusations..I'm guessing it's time to tune you out...
Marrena.. Untold orgasms a day. Geez..
142
@52: " She is taking this as evidence of a failure to satisfy on her part or evidence of him being unreasonably demanding."



Masturbating isn't being demanding, it's taking care of it yourself and leaving the other person alone. That is by definition not demanding. Duh.
143
@87: " A lot of women enjoy the sexual power they wield over men, whether they are into D/s or not, and if a guy is less horny from frequent masturbation it diminishes the woman's power."

I see absolutely nothing in the letter to indicate that the problem that Letter Writer has with her husband is one of diminished horniness.

That's an interesting perspective you throw into the mix; good color commentary (if fairly obvious projection), but really not applicable here.
144
@141 I wasn't boasting, just stating a fact to explain to Eudaemonic that my POV didn't come from feeling that being super-orgasmic was somehow wrong. I was on Dr. Oz, Rachael Ray and Real Sex as being Super Orgasm Woman, etc.
145
Boast Away- I'm impressed and envious.
146
WTF: i was in a relationship with a guy who masturbated 2-3 times a day. we also had sex 1,2,3 times when we'd get together. but the sex was routine and perfunctory. he CLAIMED he wanted to experiment w toys/porn/dressup. but it was all on HIS terms. it was less work for him to getoff in private than to share with me or pleasure me. DTMFA and get out while you can.
147
"My husband recently admitted that he masturbates once a day, sometimes twice. My confusion stems from the fact that we have sex once a day, sometimes twice. We've had problems in the past with him staring at other women"

Him (possibly disrespectful) ogling has nothing to do with his propensity for masturbating, and his masturbating isnt going to stop because he's getting his other needs met.
148
@146: Your situation involved factors not present in her story, really. It's a bit assumptive. Aside from what she sees as leering, what is put forth sounds otherwise pretty innocuous.
149
Ms Cute - Now everyone involved in attempting to solve my computer problem has either said the fault is something that has since been found not to be the problem or admitted to being stumped. And I have to decide what to do this afternoon with no knowledge or useful help. I don't know what I am by this time; I may well be a point.



If anyone has addressed me in a comment that runs under "More", I can't follow below the scroll from the library.



I agree that wanting to *feel* vs wanting to *be* any of a great many things is much more common.
150
Fascinating how much conversation WTF inspired.... Personally, i think its simply a matter of her new perspective. Her identity has always been of being the partner who had the higher libido. Now she isn't. And her identity has been far more wrapped up in that concept than she ever realized. So really, she just needs to rediscover her self-confidence and stop demonizing her husband for being HER(in her previous relationships). Hi kettle.

Some people go thru this when they have always been the smarter person in their relationships...then they meet someone who is far more intelligent...and suddenly...they lack all perspective and feel stupid.

WTF... put yourself in your husband's shoes.(the same shoes YOU YOURSELF have inhabited in all your previous relationships). Did you ever appreciate your partners whining to you about your libido? guessing no.
151
Seandr @128: Ha so relevant to me right now. Yeah sometimes it helps, and sometimes it pisses a horny partner off, and it's so easy to misjudge. I've felt apologetic for my own indulgence cooling off partnered sex, upset at a partner who had trouble understanding (Or more likely I was not clearly communicating) that I liked the attention and it wasn't "nice" to calm down beforehand for me, and also felt stupid for not taking care of myself and coming across as uncomfortably needy. Fine line I'm still working on.

Eud - I caught a sentence I liked in one of your posts: "I have specific and unpleasant feelings about people who attempt nonconsensual sexual acts"

I strongly feel the same way. I also have specific and unpleasant feelings about people who judge others' feelings rather than their actions. I have a feeling this is where our disagreement really lies.

I also think that no one really does anything without feeling a desire to first. I don't think that anyone is GGG without feeling it's a good idea for them. That part of WTF's letter was not surprising to me, that she wanted to feel better about sex with her husband so they would stay together.

146 also seemed a valid hypothesis to me, I see nothing here that is really inconsistent with the letter, only more details that could be different (hypotheses) were added:
WTF: i was in a relationship with a guy who masturbated 2-3 times a day. we also had sex 1,2,3 times when we'd get together. but the sex was routine and perfunctory. he CLAIMED he wanted to experiment w toys/porn/dressup. but it was all on HIS terms. it was less work for him to getoff in private than to share with me or pleasure me. DTMFA and get out while you can.

It is a little weird that WTF didn't talk about wanting to be more GGG because Mr WTF took care of her sex needs so well. She could definitely use some more precise language about what puts her off and why this desire for novelty, the self restraint/staring argument, and the jacking off has produced an overwhelming feeling. My gut says she's worried about him cheating, (needs more novelty, overly distracted by other women,needs more than her sexually daily could have this common thread/threat that she is simply unable to satisfy him). But it's probably more likely that she can't vocalize her needs well which seems even more common than commitment insecurity. Or she could be a controlling douche who thought Dan would advise her to shame her partner out of masturbating (and into real women's beds prolly) because she's incredibly stupid. I guess.

I hope she got the point that Mr WTF is doing her vagina a favor and she's an idiot to complain if all her needs are getting met. And as the low libido partner she should expect that her needs are met, that's the perk. Her new priorities should be keeping tabs on Mr WTF's satisfaction. To be more clear. I think the high libido partner has all the natural motivation to satisfy the low libido one and mostly has to focus on good ways to deal with the excess, while the low libido partner has to develop the communication channels so it's done in a way that works well for both.
152
@144: Is your name Jaya?
153
Philophile @121, you're absolutely right, the deperately horny attention of a guy who hasn't masturbated for a while is GREAT. My husband likes to do this when he goes away for work - he'll sometimes get home and whisper (so the kids won't hear, that isn't probably something they need to know...) in my ear "I haven't come for a week" and then I know it's going to be one fantastically messy session!

I sense recently that he would like me to take it further and actively forbid him from masturbating, so we have that fun to explore.
154
@152 No, actually Marrena is my name. I wrote a book about my experiences and research and it pops up at the top of a google search on "Marrena". I probably should have used a pen name in writing my book.
155
Chairman, it would seem once Mr E joins the conversation.. The story takes on a different life of it's own. He does get hot and bothered when he's fighting the supposed
"bunch "of Females.
On a little more reflection, I think WTF maybe is just having to confront her ego a bit.
Used to being the hot sex girl, her husband goes shooting by himself,along with attendant fantasies. He wants a bit of steam in the bedroom.
Really not at all sure what her problem is. A princess, maybe.
156
@Lava.... yeah... i think it's ego too.... Though i also think her language is rather unfortunate... Specifically... her husband "admitted" to? Admitted implies guilt of some kind. Why should he feel guilty? Its a telling word in my opinion...but...who the hell am i anyway? Maybe she wrote the letter in spanish and the software translated it to "admitted"...when it was far less inflammatory in Spanish...and now some jackass will hop on to inform me of my ignorance. HAHA
157
@LavaGirl, ChairmanOfTheBored et al:
I think it could be a self-identity/ego thing, but I also think it could be something else. I'm probably projecting a bit here, but one thing I thought of was this: Everyone wants to feel desired. Everyone wants to feel that the reason the person having sex with them is having sex with them is not only because that person is horny, but that person desires them.

I have been in relationships with men who had incredibly high libidos (one old boyfriend masturbated at least once every day in addition to having as much partnered sex as time and schedules would allow, and had virtually no refractory period, being essentially multi-orgasmic at the age of 53), and even though I knew that they were frequently horny, I also had the feeling that when we were together it was me they were interested in. I've also been with guys who gave off the vibe of being horny, and it didn't matter who was there to fulfill that urge. I felt like they just wanted to stick their dicks into a hole, any hole in anyone, and I happened to be the nearest collection of holes to them. It's not an appealing feeling.

So maybe WTF's husband has been bringing up the idea of incorporating porn, toys, lingerie in a way that already makes her feel like it's not about having sex with her; it's just about getting his dick wet. Maybe he's been pushy; maybe he doesn't seem to care about connecting intimately with her. So she's already feeling a bit distant. He also checks women out in a way that is obvious and obnoxious in front of her. Maybe she feels compared to these other women, maybe it just seems disrespectful, or maybe she gets the feeling that he's just barely stopping himself from hitting on them. And then somehow she discovers--because it sounds like she didn't know before--that he also masturbates up to 2 times a day, even when they're having sex every day.

She's feeling put off, and this confuses her on an intellectual level, because, as she said, she, being a woman with a high libido, would be expected to be delighted with this super sexed-up guy . . . but she doesn't. She no longer feels GGG, and not only is she used to being the GGG girl, but she's upset that she doesn't seem to want him like she "should."

Perhaps the combination of all these things makes her feel like she's nothing more than a human fleshlight, like the available and accessible collection of holes. He doesn't want her; he just has a raging libido and a constant need to keep trying to sate that desire. It doesn't matter if she's there or not--and that extends to times when her body's there, but it's not really "her." It's just some vagina-haver who is next to him while he watches porn and then on (and in) whom he can recreate what he's just seen onscreen; it's just some pair of tits in lacy lingerie he can come on.

If that's how she's feeling, then that's the part that's missing from this letter, but if that's how she's feeling, no wonder she doesn't feel GGG; no wonder she's feeling overwhelmed and put off.

I'm not saying he's a bad guy, I'm saying that if this is the feeling she's getting from his behavior, I can understand why she's pulling away, and I can further understand why she's upset by her own response.
158
Trust you perceptions, Mr Chairman. And yes, her language is weird.
" admitted" sounds like the world that a Roman Catholic would use in Confessional.
" Bless me Father, for I have sined". Think that's how those strange encounters begun. Many yrs since I walked into that little room.
159
Nocute; god I wish people would write what they mean in these letters,otherwise too much room for projection.
He's her Husband. They got Married. One assumes he has shown by this that he desires her.
Looking at other women can be a problem if it's done in a way to imply these women would be better to fuck then her. We don't know. She just might be the sort of Woman who expects her Man to never look at another woman. To never masturbate- and maybe fantasize about other People, other scenarios.
We don't know. She doesn't say enough.
160
@LavaGirl: You're right. We don't know. She could be a prude who has mistakenly thought of herself as a Ms. GGG and is only now confronted with the reality that she's not.

She could be the sort of woman you described. But I just keep thinking, based on her distress at no longer feeling GGG, and her history of having been the partner with the higher libido in past relationships, and the fact that she wrote into Dan and the fact that when she first discovered her husband's libido she thought she'd hit the jackpot, that there has to a reason I could understand beyond having her identity of sex-goddess challenged.

I do wish she'd been clearer and given more info. I would like to know how long she'd known her husband before they married and how long they've been married, too.

But alas! We can't know what we aren't told.

161
@159: "She just might be the sort of Woman who expects her Man to never look at another woman. To never masturbate-"

Right, I don't understand otherwise why masturbarion is causing so much distress no matter how often they have sex.

It's fun, and maintaining some sexual autonomy is still healthy even conjoined in a "family unit" or however she sees them.
162
@Nocutename 157 "I felt like they just wanted to stick their dicks into a hole, any hole in anyone, and I happened to be the nearest collection of holes to them. It's not an appealing feeling."

I know that feeling.

@LavaGirl 160 "He's her Husband. They got Married. One assumes he has shown by this that he desires her."

Don't forget men also have that social checklist they want to cross in order to be perceived as important adults. Wife. Kids. Conservative closet cases are a prime example. And, for someone with high libido and no empathy, an always available collection of holes is something they would marry in a heartbeat.

Not saying that LW's husband is that, but opposite-sexer marrying is not an absolute proof of desire, nor of love.
163
Like all the minions of Dan, I am permanently conditioned to only think of santorum as that famous frothy mix. However, something about the wording of that last answer had a peculiar scene popping into my head: My partner and I are enjoying some fun anal play, when – oops! – Santorum is present! He's sitting over there in the corner in our favorite overstuffed chair, making "tsk tsk tsk" noises and looking very disapproving. What a mood killer!

;-)
164
@162: sissoucat, I don't even think that wanting to fuck the available holes doesn't mean that a husband can't also love and genuinely desire his wife and have married her for love. I just meant that maybe WTF is getting the feeling that frequently it's not her that her husband wants to fuck; it's just that he wants to fuck and she's who's there.
165
@nocutename : maybe I'm not getting your point.

Do you mean that WTF's feelings about whose holes he wants to fuck (the closest ones at hands, which happen to be hers, but actually any holes he's familiar enough with will do, for instance the hole in his fist) do not align with his actual feelings about holes (he wants specifically hers, as often as possible, because he loves/desires her, and he only switches to his fist because he's afraid that asking for more sex with her will hurt her feelings/holes)?
166
@162: "Don't forget men also have that social checklist they want to cross in order to be perceived as important adults."

This is a huge assumption having nothing to do with any of the words of the letter I agree that people could marry without interest, but there's no evidence from her words that this was the case. He IS supposedly interested in having sex with her from her words. She's just as threatened by his self-love as she is his ogling.
167
Dan,
I am a married 28 year old het male. My wife and I enjoy a very active sex life and both of us are GGG. We have sex everyday, sometimes more than once. The problem is that my wife thinks i am too horny. She says she is game to explore watching porn, playing with toys, etc...but when i bring them up, her mood sours. Recently, she asked me how often i masturbate. When i told her "every day"...she immediately went quiet and has not been receptive to me since. I'm not sure what is going on for her...and she seems to now constantly judge me. Was i wrong to share my self-pleasure habits with her? Is that something that is better left unsaid? I don't know what to think at this point...but her attitude has left me feeling like I should be ashamed. Until now, i thought our sex life was the best i had ever experienced. Help!
Where's The Fox? (aka WTF's husband)
168
sissoucat: I guess I wasn't very clear before. I apologize. Let me try to clarify:
I don't think that loving someone and wanting to fuck anything that you possibly can all the time are two mutually exclusive ways of being.

There's nothing in WTF's letter that gives me cause to believe that her husband didn't love her when they married (or marry her out of love), or still continue to love her. It seems quite likely that he did and does love her, that he did and does desire her.

And he simultaneously has a libido so high that to WTF it makes her feel--especially with the recent discovery that he masturbates up to twice a day when they have daily (and sometimes twice daily) sex--as if when he's having sex with her, at which time she should expect and used to feel that his desire for her was the particular driving force, he's just in the mood for pussy and she just happens to be the nearest available pussy's owner.

I mean, yes of course he's sometimes just horny for anyone also (he's got "the general horn" as Georgia Nicholson called it), and she knew that, but you want to think that you are the thing making your partner horny, right? Most people get turned on (as well as flattered) by that thought. It's the beginning of a very positive feedback loop.

That is just my theory of how WTF's feeling and why, and it doesn't address whether or not the husband is motivated by any of that, or whether he loves WTF or not. I may be wrong about WTF's state of mind, but even if I'm right that that's what she feels, I don't necessarily mean that what she feels is going on is actually what the husband is experiencing at all. It is entirely possible that he both has an extremely high libido and is genuinely attracted to his wife, whom he loves and with whom he has a very different attitude towards and motivation for having sex than he does towards his masturbation.

I hope that makes my posts less confusing.
169
@CharimanOfTheBored (167):
Yes, that's exactly what I meant.

I know it's possible for one person to feel a certain way in reaction to something the other person isn't even doing.

But here is where I think it might be coming from, rather than WTF being a prudish control freak who is sexually stingy and selfish and thinks that masturbating is a form of infidelity.
170
@168, 169: And that's what my initial advice was aimed at: not defending WTF, but acknowledging and sympathizing with her insecurities and concerns and trying to reassure her that her husband's interest in all the "extras" doesn't mean he doesn't also want her.

Because that's what I believe is most likely true on both sides and I think that knowing that would really help WTF get her GGG back (which is what she's asking for help with) if it originated where I hypothesized.
171
@undead ayn rand

I don't make any asumption about LW's husband desire for LW ; I merely give a reminder to romantic souls that het marriage does not, by itself, show male desire for the bride (see LavaGirl @159).

As far as LW's problem, I have no clue. Were she sexually inexperienced I'd have an idea, but there, no.
172
Chairman, " Where's The Fox".. Good one.
173
Already this girl bores me. Why would she use the word " admitted"? Why would it even be something to share with Dan, unless she feels it is an inappropriate activity. And why does she feel it's an inappropriate activity?
174
well lavagirl.... she is "put off"..... lol. Not scared. Not worried. Not angry. Put off. Kinda says it all.
175
And she starts the letter with this qu re admitting he masturbates. Like, hello.. Mind your business young woman.
She's obviously not a prude. Or why want her GGG Mojo back. She reads and writes to Dan.
176
@nocutename So, if I get you right :

She's intimidated with his too high sex drive, to the point that it looks to her as if he only wants to wildly fuck anything on sight but has no special desire for her, which is not true : he just has higher libido. This insecurity made her lose her GGG, because subconsciously she's persuaded she should be quite enough satiate him, with no help from lingery, toys nor masturbating, so there is an emerging feeling of something wrong with him, or with his love for her, since obviously he is far from satiated.

She's unused to see a male having that much sex and still looking for side-thrills like toys, because she's always exhausted her partners under her, with no help from side-thrills whatsoever. Maybe those partners felt they were not enough for her, and it ate at their self-confidence, but she never experienced such interrogations, so this feeling of not being enough comes as new, unexpected and unpleasant.

The way to help her is to tell her that his higher libido than her alreday high libido is quite normal, libidos come in all flavors, and that she should stop worrying about it and enjoy the ride, and encourage the masturbation, toys and whatever as another sexy activity that he can do alone or they can do both by her just watching - normal stuff that lower libido GGG partners do when the higher libido partner hasn't got enough sex and the lower libido partner has already has quite enough.

So, broadly summarized, she used to think she was the ultimate vixen but she landed the guy no vixen could ever tame, and she's slowly starting to feel nothing like a vixen, but like a lame duck. She needs to hear that she's still the ultimate vixen, and Dan's advice is that she's lucky to be the ultimate vixen who'll never go hungry for sex again.

If I can give an advice, if she needs herself this unsatiated feeling to get back to a good GGG vixen mood, they can play at that, since she now knows he masturbates daily ; so they can go without sex with one another for one day and then she can jump his bones and they can play pretend she's the hungriest one.
177
@sissoucat: Yes!
178
Our highschool latin teacher told us that "amore, more, ore, re" was about reasons to get married :

amore : for love
more : for social acceptance
ore : for money
re : for "the thing", aka sex

Of course it's an obvious fake since "ore" has nothing to do with money, but we were too poor latinists, and too impressed with the wisdom of the Ancients, to catch him on that.
179
And he stares at othe women cause he's suddenly become aware this hot woman he's married has turned into someone who won't play in bed and now gets on his back re his masturbation!
I say to LW, pull your finger out and enjoy your Mans attentions
( and stay out of his private masturbation business) before the staring turns into a lot more.
180
@177 Cool, my brain is not done for yet :-)
181
I have always been the partner with the higher libido....always wanting more...inadvertently making my partners feel inadequate... Sometimes it left me assuming i was gong to get rejected on a daily basis...so i would reel myself in....wait for her to make a move of some kind...and when that made no difference...i would attempt initiation...only to get rejected again. My point in this...is that it is VERY difficult to know what is in someone else's head at all times...and there is a point at which there is TOO much communication...and it kills it for both people. I just get the feeling that with this particular woman... this husband is screwed either way. He will either be not virile enough...or he belongs in a sex-addicts group....and there is very little chance of a goldilocks outcome (juuuuust right).
182
I should add... i recently dated a woman whose libido FAR outpaced mine.... I would go so far as to call her relentlessly horny...haha.... and suddenly...my perspective is much broader and i actually know what my past partners have felt.... (for shame!). :)
183
@Sissoucat , nice.
184
LavaGirl, if nocutename is right, LW won't improve with more insecurities.

The staring part bothers me though. Staring should be allowed, as long as it's not making the stared one feel creeped upon (and it's not family, close friends, etc.)

Do you feel masturbation business should always be kept private ? I like to watch/cuddle with/give a hand to a man masturbating. It's a nice experience, to be there to see and share and enjoy his pleasure. I wouldn't harp at someone who prefered to masturbate alone, but when offered the possibility of me being there, in my experience the guy accepts.
185
Masturbation is ones own business, one can share or not.
I don't get from the tone of this letter this young woman is insecure. And I feel she needs a good kick up the bum. So I gave her one.
Saturday morning here, beautiful day ahead- I'm off to the ocean .
186
@LavaGirl Thanks ! Talking about sex alleviates the depression symptoms, don't know why. Maybe because it forces the old brain to work, while being a totally pleasant subject.

An unwelcome consequence of commenting on SLOG for some years is that when I think anything related to sex or dating now, I think it in English. And I have to translate it back in French, and I have to pause to overcome how appalled I am at my own vulgarity.

I was "raised right", that is, with an immoderate distaste for words having anything to do with the mechanics of sex - only the coarse boys used them. But us girls, never ! We weren't doomed sluts ! Of course, now I see that ingrained hatred of words as another way to prevent us females from having any say on the sex we would partake in. If just uttering the words is a dying shame, one is not likely to be very active in the bedroom decision making.

@ChairmanofTheBored I'm usually the lower libido person, so although I'm quite horny right now I wouldn't risk it with you :-)
187
@LavaGirl - saturday 11pm here, and I'm off to bed. Nighty night.
188
sissoucat - i also think masturbation is one's own business... BUT... i am always up for my partner joining in. Where i would have a problem is if she was upset with me if she found out i had also done it without telling her or asking if she wanted in...so to speak...

as to the other part: I feel much empathy for anyone who is ashamed of their own sexuality. My dirty mind keeps me sane....
189
Chairman: (@182): Ha!

@181: I'm sorry your relationships have always had that trajectory, those actions and reactions and re-reactions. Sometimes it does feel like any attempt at having a successful relationship puts us into a two-person version of the Sartre play No Exit: ("Hell is other people").

I'm often quick to say a couple is sexually incompatible, tell them to break up, and leave it at that. And you may be right that this couple will never achieve compatibility. However, if that is the case, I still wouldn't put all the blame on either one of them. Lack of compatibility is a two-person issue, and with the persistent staring at other women he's doing in his wife's presence, despite her having made her displeasure known (and, fwiw, most any woman so stared at by a man, especially a man in the company of his wife, is not going to appreciate it, either; it's a piggish thing to do), she's hardly the only one with a demerit on her card.

But I actually think this couple has a chance to make things better and it comes from more and deeper communication. I don't think there is such a thing as too much communication, but that this is a case of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. The way to fix that, I think, is to have more knowledge and more empathy on both sides.

So I'd advise that the wife be absolutely explicit with her husband about just what it is that bothers her. Why she's bothered. How she feels. Why she's pulling away--because she is indeed starting a vicious cycle. And then without getting defensive and saying it's his body and she shouldn't try to control it, and it's none of her business, I'd have him hear her, and then explain his perspective, why he does what he does, what he means (or doesn't) by it. And how he didn't realize how her interpretation of his behavior was affecting her reaction to him. Then, once they thoroughly understand each other, hopefully they can reach a solution, or a compromise. Sometimes just the mutual understanding alone is enough.

If the wife's issues are those I theorized, the script I'd write for the husband would be:
"Honey, I love you so much. I love being your husband and I want to stay married to you for the rest of my life. I love you for many reasons, (list some non-sexual ones), and I also love you for your sexuality: you're so gorgeous and hot and you always drive me crazy. One of the things I have loved about you and our relationship is that you're not uptight, that you have a strong libido, that you are adventurous. That's why I was so excited to share some of the ideas I have that turn me on, like porn, or those toys, or having you dress up in sexy lingerie with you. I look forward to a lifetime of shared sexual adventure and trying new things. I love it when you wear sexy lingerie, and I also like it if sometimes when you wear it, we can pretend that you're someone else--that we can role-play.

I'm sorry that I offend you when I stare so overtly at other women when we're together. I'll try my hardest to stop doing that and to be more sensitive to your feelings.
(Then he needs to mean that and to really try.)

But Honey, I don't think you realize how often I'm horny. It's like all the time. Sometimes I just have to come so I can get my mind back to other things I have to do. Sometimes, I just like to indulge some fantasies by myself or that you don't share or which I don't want to share
which is normal, and to just masturbate. It's fun and harmless and no threat to you. I need the sexual release, and I want the quick selfishness of a jerkoff, but it's not because you don't satisfy me. You satisfy me as completely as any one person every could and you absolutely satisfy me emotionally, but no one person--not you and not anyone can fully satisfy me sexually. I just have a really high libido and it's no reflection of my love or lust for you that I get horny throughout the day."
190
Nearly 200 comments and most of them about WTF's letter. This is definitely one time when I wish the LW would choose to comment to clear up some of our questions.

I agree with many of the sentiments above, but will still state my impressions in my own words. First of all, I believe WTF is jealous ... and a little petulant that she's lost her supremacy on Mount Libido. She's not used to not being the "horniest of them all". So she's jealous that her husband wants sex more often than she does, now creating a different balance of power, whether it's overtly exerted or not. Sometimes, it's just knowing that's unsettling.

The other thing is that having a higher libido doesn't automatically mean that one is interested in more adventuresome sex. It might be that some standard sexual positions along with a couple of orgasms are all she used to need to feel fulfilled.

I'm actually going to give her some advice instead of blame. First of all, stop feeling pressured by the fact that he wants to get off more than you do. That's just the way he's wired and trying to shame him (as in "he admitted") for having solo sex daily would be a bad thing that could backfire on you to the extent where he won't want to have sex with you because you're being unrealistic. And unreasonable. What was also unspoken was how did you manage to contain your higher libido in previous relationships? Did you masturbate or did you suffer in silent resentment?

Secondly, now that you know what other enhancements he's interested in (lingerie, etc.), surprise him every now and then. Once or twice every two weeks should not inconvenience you and will bring a spark back into the physical relationship. If you've only been having routine sex, add some new positions. Vary the day. This is something that you can control, so he won't know when you might surprise him. And, now, you've regained some of the supremacy you may feel you lost.

Thirdly, there's nothing wrong about speaking up when he's being too obnoxious in his appreciation of other women when he's with you. That is rude. Just as you have your homework, this is his.

You CAN change the way you feel about sex with him and your relationship. If you need to, recite a mantra silently during the day to bolster your determination.
191
@190.... a very well stated and reasonable summation in my opinion. Petulance is a word that came to mind for me too...as it doesn't come across in the letter that she wants to raise her game...but rather wants him to accept that his libido is unreasonable. Veruca Slut? hahaha
192
I gave this young Woman advice.
I suggested she take her finger out.. Sexual/ intimate/ marriage type relationships are way too complex to actually " blame" either party. I look at attitudes.. How shifting them, can then lead to changes in behaviour.
The attitude of the LW re masturbation just seems wrong to me. Implies assumptions she has about her husband, that I find way too intrusive.
Her feelings of being overwhelmed, can shift, can change.
Be nice if these two could find a common ground and have fun.
193
So they go to bed, have sex. He is a nice guy, doesn't just fall asleep. They cuddle. Ten minutes later he is ready to repeat. She agrees. Morning comes, he wakes up with morning wood. She says I need to get ready for work, no time for sex. He takes care of himself.

Is this a believable scenario ?


194
LW2: I don't think that your husband's masturbating has anything to do with you at all, really. Women may see masturbation as a substitute for sex with a partner when the latter is unavailable or inadequate, but men often use it as a way to relive tension and relax that has little or nothing to do with their intimate relationships. It's great that he is open with you about his private habits, but just because your man sometimes needs a release without the ritual of finding mutual satisfaction with a partner is not a reflection on you or your marriage.
195
Dan, you have yet to answer the question: whence this feeling? Actually, you neglect to answer that question in any of your replies; so makes your column mere entertainment and not all that helpful.
196
Nocute @189; Can you really see a guy talking like this?
I think, of course for serious issues, a couple need to communicate thru issues. This issue, though, really a discussion topic? Masturbation.
Looking at other women, depending how he does it.. Yes, she should express her discomfort.
Over talking , I don't know. Whatever that energy is that is between a Man and a Woman.. And really it's a hard call a lot of the time, can be extinguished by too much talking. Too much " looking at the issues".
Hence Women check with other Women and I assume(?) Men check with other Men. Pandoras Box I'm opening, no doubt.
197
@LavaGirl: I don't know if anyone would say exactly what I wrote. I grant that my script was clunky and perhaps unrealistic. But those are the points I think the husband should cover. And yes, I do think a man can talk about them, and that in this case, she might need to hear from him and not merely us that his masturbation isn't because he feels that the sex he's getting from her is inadequate.

You say: "this issue, though, really a discussion topic? Masturbation." To which I say, this issue and the way they don't each understand the other's response to it is threatening to send this couple into a spiral of further and further emotional and sexual estrangement. So not only do I think it is a valid discussion topic, I think it's a crucial discussion topic if they want to stay happily together.
198
Well that's where we disagree.
She can see other ways of understanding masturbation- if she does read these comments. She then could drop it as a problem. She could hear, from some Women and Men here, that her way of perceiving the issue could be erroneous. Then, not contaminate her Mans private world with her fears.
Same goes for his trying to sex up the bedroom. Look at why it is overwhelming her, really ask herself what is wrong with her Mans requests. Hence her asking Dan and his Team.. Deal with some of these problems away from the bedroom and not with him. Then take back to him, the shift.
At no point does she say he's pushy or gross - she sees that the problem is hers.
200
@93

I agree totally. When I was reading the first letter, my thought was: "These folks both need to put their clothes back on and have an honest conversation."
201
I feel that Dan has wonderful advice on most scenarios but the advice to WTF was biased. Just like sexual orientation, sexual frequency/ibido is also a spectrum and not completely under the control of a person. Dan is great at championing the cause of those who are at the higher end of the libido spectrum, telling them to DTMF their partner if he/she is not giving them frequent enough sex in so many of his columns. But when the opposite scenario presents itself: person with the lower libido is stuck with a partner with a very high libido, and it is making them not be fully present and into the sex, Dan doesn't place any blame on the high libido partner. Yes, it is absolutely correct not to blame the high libido partner, but the same should be done for the low libido partner too. Instead of "deal with it" or DTMFA as advise in such scenarios, a better advice would be to stress that libido is a spectrum and one should accept and respect one's own level, ranging from asexuality to hypersexuality. And if one finds that they are a mismatch with their current partner/s in terms of libido then they should either "Try to match the libidos through give-and-take/price of admission" or respectfully have an honest conversation and leave the relationship for a better match.
204
I think Whence This Feeling is confused because she thinks she's under some sort of obligation to satisfy all his sexual needs such that he would never need to masturbate. And so, if he's masturbating that means she's not meeting her goal and she's feeling overwhelmed at not meeting the goal. But it's a stupid goal. She's not under any sort of obligation. It's okay that he meets some of his own needs himself. Now if they were only having sex once a month, that would be different but it's daily for crying out loud.
205
@201, How are they incompatible? He seems happy masturbating once a day and having sex once a day. He's not the one complaining. She's complaining because she thinks him masturbating means he needs sex more often, but he didn't actually say that. Maybe he's fine with taking care of things himself half the time.
206
TOLD: I'm a married ftm who is non-monogamous, is on growlr, goes to gay bars, had hooked up via both, and normally wears a wedding ring. I am 110% open about being ftm and what I have below the belt and that I'm happily married in my profile and before things go too far at a bar... more for me than them, no sense wasting time with someone who won't be interested after I disclose. The point is to get laid after all. Anyway I do take my ring off, but not to hide being married. I just look too straight as it is and the ring adds too much doubt and seems to ward off approaches. :) ps. If you're at all into bears, go hunting in that community. Super nice guys with a much higher percentage of guys who seem to be attracted to ftms, or just don't care as long as you're furry. My growlr profile starts with disclosure and I get msged all the time (not bragging just saying).