This question is 0% about needing manual stimulation and 100% about that the wife is essentially only masturbating when they have sex and doesn't communicate her wishes and desires and her partner is completely emotionally unfulfilled. But then again, he's a male, so emotional fulfillment doesn't matter.


Originally published May 13, 2015.


The LW should google the "Eva" toy. Basically it's a vibrator that sits on top of the clit, hands-free, during PIV sex. It adds extra clit stimulation to normal PIV grinding, and basically makes a hands-free PIV orgasm possible for the 75%.


I also close my eyes (95% of the time) during sex, but it's not because I'm not attracted to my spouse or I'm fantasizing about someone/something else. I close my eyes so I can concentrate on the feeling and reach orgasm. (Though, now I'm going to be paranoid any time I catch my spouse closing his eyes during sex! haha) I guess I'm one of the lucky ones who can climax during PIV (or perhaps through fortunate/inadvertent clitoral stimulation during the act.) I find that slow and steady often wins the race (for me, anyway.) In the words of Samantha Jones: "When I RSVP to a party, I make it my business to come."


Yup, also close my eyes 95% of the time... I get easily distracted, and pretty much any distraction can pull me out of the moment. If i close my head i can just focus on what i am feeling and hearing, etc. Nothing to do with my partner, fantasizing, etc.


Also, touch my bits cause that shit feels good.


As a guy, I’ve had very few open-eye orgasms with another person as a top, bottom, when manually stimulating myself or when getting a blowjob. Even when watching a porn, I usually close my eyes during climax. Admittedly, I find it hot when a guy locks eyes when he cums while I’m giving a blowjob. But, they’ve been few and far between. When I close my eyes, usually I’m projecting a view of me and my partner so it looks like I’m watching a porno of us. So, it’s not like I’m even fantasizing I’m somewhere else.

The wife sounds like a typical person who may not even have kinky fantasies. But, LW should work to find out what gets her engine going when she cums. Maybe she just needs to block out most sensation except for her clit. Why not start with something easy like a blindfold?

Additionally, LW doesn’t say what kinks he is suggesting. Is he suggesting minor league kinks like blindfolds and vibrators? Or is he going major league with whips, paddles and restraints?


I want to know how point 4 works out for fantasies that the fantasizer knows aren't going to be realized and has /no desire to realize them/. In other words, it's just pure mental porn and that's all.


Ugh, why is this letter being re-run again? It was last posted barely 3 months ago, on April 4th:


Speaking from hard-earned experience, as a rule, a couple should explore their kinks and fantasies together before making any sort of serious commitment like living together or getting married. And by explore, I mean extensively, so that each partner is sure the other isn't just faking it while waiting for the commitment.


@9 off. I though 4 years back was a little short but acceptable, twice in the same year seems like a goof up.

I wonder who selects SLLOTDs? It can't actually be Dan, can it?


@11, I think Dan is very involved in selecting the SLLOTD! He often picks letters that are topical to other things that he has mentioned lately. But I have seen Nancy Hartunian (another OG Stranger staffer) posting on his behalf when he is gone.

Honestly, Dan's willingness to be involved at the local level (in Slog and in Seattle) is one of his most endearing qualities, given that he's kind of a big deal now.


Sportlandia @11, if it is Dan, I have to wonder about this marijuana-induced memory loss I keep hearing about...


Dan only went up to 5.
6. She's fantasizing. It's her fantasy. She doesn't want to tell you about it because she's afraid-- or rather, she knows-- that if she tells you, you're going to want to explore it, and she doesn't want the fantasy in reality, she wants to keep it a fantasy.

Here's what you do.
1. Stop nagging her.
2. Stop acting like your desire to push boundaries is more important than her desire to have sex in the tried and true way she likes.
3. If you have a fantasy or something you want to do for you, tell her and see if she'd like to explore that with you. Stop pretending that you want to do something for her when your motivation is really self-serving.
4. Pay attention to all the ways you can turn her on before she starts working on her clit until she comes.
5. Pay attention to all the ways you can make her feel fantastic after she comes.

(Only now realized this letter had been published before.) Interesting to see what I said originally. It's pretty close to the same thing.

I close my eyes and think of my own answer before scrolling down and reading Dan's. For CAYA I want to ask: Do you want to explore other ways of making your wife come for your own sake or for hers? Because it sure sounds like she's doing everything she can to please you, and you're still complaining. Worse, you're making it sound like you're doing something noble (this is all about her) when you're doing something selfish (it's really about you). For Chrissakes, don't tell her that she comes wrong. All this talk about pushing boundaries boils down to that. You want her to come differently. She doesn't think so.

Now if there was something you wanted to try for YOUR benefit, and you were honest about that, I'd tell you to tell her and see if you could get her to go for it. You might be pleasantly surprised.

One of the best sexual partners I ever had LOVED watching me get myself off. He'd request it. (I'd oblige.) My advice is to think of your own wild fantasy and work that into watching her. (That guy I just mentioned would imagine a number of scenarios in which he was forcing me to masturbate though I didn't want to. He thought it was hot. I didn't mind what he was thinking.)


Fuck off Sportlandia, stop being so one dimensional. It Is Boring.


No one here ever says that men don’t need emotional fulfilment. Puerile statement, what are you twelve Sportlandia.


@15 tell it to Dan and the commenters who routinely ignore that fact. If you have a problem with me, no one's stopping you from leaving


It's really too soon for another reprint of this letter, but I can see why they chose it.

The letter writer is conflating two different things here:

His wife needs one specific kind of stimulation in order to orgasm and this hurts his ego because he's one of those guys who still hasn't realized that at least some of his exes were faking it.
His wife doesn't appear to be interested in doing anything during sex that doesn't directly contribute to her own orgasm and he's feeling unfulfilled.


@9 I didn't even need to re-read the letter. I just read it a couple weeks ago when I was catching up on a couple months I stopped reading. Fresh in my memory. Glad someone else mentioned that it had been run recently. I thought I was losing my mind a little with the deja vu.


What Sportlandia? People routinely tell you your views are one dimensional. You living in a parallel universe or something.


"I can't help but wonder if the work it takes to get her to orgasm is part of the reason she's not interested in exploring"
It's possible. Are you suggesting exploration that at some point still involves direct clitoral stimulation? How much of what you have in mind ends without an orgasm for you, where you put away the anal beads and wipe down the kitchen counter and go on your way without coming? If you're assuming that you get to come, make sure she knows she gets to come too (and mean it).


Sure seems like vibrators are the first things to explore if they haven't already.


Does he really call her sexually repressed in the last paragraph? Or is he saying that in a 'hey - maybe she's sexual repressed' kind of way. Because whoever originally wrote the would just take one look at that sentence and run with it as his advice.


ARRRRGHHH! How many times has this letter been rerun and how many times have female commenters debunked this theory that the wife is fantasising? Yet Dan keeps perpetuating this harmful misinformation. Closing one's eyes when close to climax is EXTREMELY common; many of us cannot climax with our eyes open, and it is NOT AT ALL about not finding our partners attractive or needing to think about something else, it's just about closing off the sense of sight to focus on the sensations It's not even conscious. ARRRRRGHHHHHH!


I've moved on to just ignore Sportlandia. His views are so one-dimensional to either be trolling or to show him beyond the reach of human discourse. He's been lost, completely lost, to incel brainwashing. Even Lava sees it now. Eye roll, move on.


Do people come with their eyes openl? I thought it was like sneezing, impossible to do. This letter is so weird.


Yeah, I thought I just read this letter, too, but I took a stroll--a lengthy one--down memory lane and read all zillion comments from the original column, which were very interesting, and I was shocked to discover that there was at least one time where for at least a little while, I was agreeing with the departed-and-not-missed Eudaemonic.

I still would go with what I wrote back in 2015 (where I was allowed to use italics):

As others have pointed out, CAYA is conflating three issues that should be teased apart: his wife doesn’t come the way he wants her to, she seems not to have any “fantasies, kinks, or fetishes,” and she is reluctant or unwilling to change up what he feels is a stale routine in their sex life by introducing certain acts or whatever it is he defines as pushing boundaries.

So let’s start with the first issue: that CAYA’s wife doesn’t come the way he wants her to, which actually breaks into more than one component: (1) He wants her to come through PIV sex alone (all his previous girlfriends seemed to be able to climax hands-free). (2) She seems to turn inward more than he’d like, focusing on the stimulation she needs to climax and closing her eyes. (3) He thinks that the fact that it is an effort for her to orgasm is what might be keeping her from being more experimental with the sex they have.

I have to agree with Dan that it’s suspicious that none or CAYA’s prior girlfriends needed anything more than his penis in their vaginas to orgasm. If he’d had only one that was able to come that way, that’s one thing, but given that all of them were able to come from PIV alone is too much of a coincidence. Given his attitude that his wife is somehow doing sex-and-orgasm wrong because she needs digital stimulation, I can imagine that those earlier girlfriends felt pressure to give him what he wanted and realizing it wasn’t going to happen for them anyway, just faked it. CAYA, one way of looking at it is that while you can never be sure that your previous girlfriends were actually orgasming, you know beyond a doubt that when you have sex with your wife, she ends up satisfied. Either your fingers and her thoughts or her fingers and her thoughts are bringing her to orgasm. That’s great.

For what it’s worth, up until recently with the sex I have with my current boyfriend, I needed to go really inward and focus on my own thoughts--I didn’t mind sharing them with my partner in theory, but in reality, in the moment, it takes too much energy and moves the focus away too much to start to articulate the thoughts as I get closer to orgasm. Sometimes in the earlier phase of a relationship, before we really knew each other’s responses and had developed our own patterns, I had to actively shut him and what he was doing out of my mind if I wanted to come, not because I wasn’t attracted to him, because I really was, but because even hearing him say things that weren’t part of my fantasy could throw me off. My orgasms were sometimes a bit elusive and took a lot of work—and if I was interrupted in a variety of different ways as I neared the approach, everything risked being thrown off. Happily, I was fortunate enough to have been with several partners who didn’t take it personally, who realized their contribution to my pleasure and orgasm was significant and substantial, even if it was my fingers or my hand holding the vibrator, and who found my orgasms arousing. As we got more comfortable with each other and more in sync, I was able to keep my mind more with the man himself and what he was doing, which was great. But until quite recently, I couldn’t come from PIV alone, and until several years ago, I needed to go into a more inward mental state to get all the way to climax. Most of the time, my eyes were/are closed at orgasm. Sometimes it’s part of the way I focus on the mental state I need(ed) to be in, blocking out distracting even if not unwelcome sights; sometimes it just helps intensify the physical sensations; sometimes it’s involuntary.

But really, CAYA, this is how her body works. She might be unable to come any other way (at least for now); she might be unable to keep her eyes open at the moment of orgasm. So the question you have to ask yourself is do you care more about her genuine pleasure or do you care more that she conform to whatever it is that you think her pleasure should look like?

As far as the other issues go, there is no reason to assume that because she doesn’t orgasm on demand from PIV she is unwilling to explore more boundary-crossing activities. If indeed she isn’t willing or enthusiastic about exploring less vanilla acts or using more unusual props it likely has nothing to do with the way she ultimately comes. And she really may not have any fantasies, kinks, or fetishes. Or not any that she’s willing to share with you yet (she may be embarrassed). Or she may not have any yet, but that doesn’t mean that someday she won’t. I’ve found that some women, me included, didn’t have any fantasies, kinks, or fetishes when we were younger and we’ve kind of grown into them in middle age—say starting in mid-30s. Maybe she’s just not there yet. Again, I think you need to decide if your wife as she is—with her attraction to you, and all the things that make her uniquely herself—is exciting enough for you or whether you care more that she conform to whatever it is that you think she should be and want.

But lastly in response to the issue of her unadventurousness , yes, it appears that she’s not being ggg. Have you really let her know how much you want to try some of these boundary-crossing acts? Don’t mix that desire up with the way she comes or the fact that she doesn’t appear to have any unexplored interests herself; just have a conversation about what you want to do. Pick an activity that interests you that doesn’t seem too threatening for her to start. Tell her that you have always wanted to explore this and you are excited at the idea of doing it with her. Listen to her response and don’t nag her, but if she continues to put you off with some vague offer of someday, realize that that probably means it’s never going to happen. So if that is what she gives you, you have some other decisions vis a vis your marriage to consider.


@Sportlandia: I responded to your last comment over on the thread about the woman who requires the men she dates to have deep voices.


@26 Squidgie
"Do people come with their eyes open? I thought it was like sneezing, impossible to do."

Easy, certainly not impossible, for me.


Curious, I don't know Squidgie's gender, but I'd say BDF's point is that WOMEN very frequently find it difficult to orgasm with their eyes open- not that everyone does. Since female orgasm is less mechanical and usually involves getting into the right mental state, shutting out other stimuli is important. I can orgasm with my eyes open but I don't know why I would- but certainly when I'm going to have an orgasm from sex (as opposed to from masturbation) it helps to shut my eyes at the moment I feel that it's starting to happen and then focus intensely on that sensation (as well as to keep physically doing whatever it is that is bringing it on). I'm not fantasizing at all in that moment- in fact I'd find it impossible to think about anything so complex as a fantasize, I'm literally focusing on a sensation to the exclusion of all other stimuli- internal and external.


Also I agree with BDF that it's frustrating that Dan keeps running this letter + response with no edit to mention that while it's POSSIBLE she's fantasizing, it's more likely that she's just shutting her eyes because this is an extremely common practice for women when they are bringing on an orgasm. The assured way he says she is fantasizing is simply wrong, and the follow-up (that she's trying to block him out) isn't just very likely wrong but also harmful. While both of those things are POSSIBLE, neither are likely.

Also if a guy tried to get me to tell him what I was thinking when I shut my eyes while bringing on an orgasm, I'd be hard-pressed to tell him. I'm not thinking. I'm FEELING. I'm FEELING as hard as I can. It's literally the opposite of thinking. It's almost a single-point concentration type meditative thing.

Surely guys aren't thinking while they orgasm? Or in the moments building up to it?


@31 EmmaLiz
"Surely guys aren't thinking while they orgasm? Or in the moments building up to it?"

I often am...though it's a rather primitive sort of "thinking" (but different than "feeling").


Interesting gender differences. Like Dan being a guy, I can say for myself that I absolutely might likely be fantasizing if my eyes are closed.

(I don't know if this is related to that I have Aphantasia. [I see nothing in my imagination, I'm unable to produce visual images in my mind's eye. Approximately 1 to 3 percent of people have Aphantasia. (I bet none of us are architects, for example.] I do think this contributes to how much I love actual visual input.)

@32 EmmaLiz
I had no idea what Squidgie might be responding to, I was just responding to their ungendered wording about "people".


EL @31 "Surely guys aren't thinking while they orgasm? Or in the moments building up to it?"

While, certainly not. In the moments leading up to it, if "thinking" happens for some reason that breaks the concentration on the feeling and hinders orgasm or even stops it from happening at all. It's not so mechanical as implied in @30. Maybe also because I'm in my mid-fifties.


I'm getting pretty impressed with my ability to recognize repeats from the first sentence, but other than stroking my memory-based ego, I'm still not sure the repeat notice at the end rather than the beginning is helpful.

I'm not sure if this is what I said last time, but CAYA seems to be misidentifying the two distinct issues here. The first issue - and the primary/sole issue from his perspective - is that his wife isn't kinky and he is. Work out a compromise (hey, four years later, I think there's a non-zero chance they're still miserably married with nothing having changed) per amount of "push[ing] the boundaries," or don't and either accept it a s a price of admissionor split up due to sexual incompatabilities. If the latter, one piece of advice for future relationships is to avoid vague euphemisms like "push the boundaries" and instead be specific and clear about what you're interested in doing; this avoids cases where everyone is acting in good faith but different people have very different intrrpretations of what a vague/euphemistic phrase means.

The second issue, which is more a problem for his wife (but a problem he's causing) is his hangup about her focusing on getting off herself. This doesn't have to be a problem - the optimal solution, if what she needs ro do bothers him or what he wants to do bothers her, is for them to take turns focusing on getting one of them off, then the other, doing the things that work well for each partner (this is happily compatible with a compromise re: kink - where he indulges her clit-focused, eyes-closed sex and she indulges whatever he's into that she's willing to do). Dude just sounds selfish and/or unable to engage in clear, direct communication to work out compromises; or his wife is, and we're missing that info. He/she/they shod work on that and get past it or break up over sexual incompatibility and an inability to communicate effectively to resolve differences, if they haven't already done so in the last four years.


I actually agree with Sportlandia's comment @1. When I read the letter, it seemed to me that LW's frustration stemmed from not feeling like he was a full participant in their sex life. For one, he mentions her needing a lot of manual simulation as a relevant fact -- it's not what he actually complains about. That doesn't mean he has the right reaction, just that I think Dan has misdiagnosed the intent of the letter writer -- and like Sportlandia, I think Dan often applies different criteria to straight male letter writers.

Suppose a woman had a male partner who needed a lot of manual stimulation -- she couldn't make him come, and he spent a lot of their sexual experiences masturbating with his eyes closed. Are we really supposed to believe that the overwhelming majority of women would be totally okay with that -- that in those circumstances there wouldn't be a significant percentage of women feeling left out, insecure, sexually excluded?

Dan's advice would probably be to encourage the woman to accept the way her partner's body worked, but I doubt it would be packaged with the same condescending and lecturing tone.


Pythag @36: I think the difference stems from the LW's not knowing that women's orgasms originate in the clitoris, not the vagina. During PIV sex, the clitoris is not being stimulated. The penis is. If a woman wrote in complaining or not knowing that her male partner needed direct penile stimulation to come, I suspect she would be treated with similar derision to this LW.


Pythag, the letter doesn't give us enough info. Does he feel left out because A) in the moment of her orgasm, he is not involved? OR because B) Most of the time they spend having sex, he is just watching her masturbate?

If it's the first- that they have a varied and mutually engaging sex life that INCLUDES her masturbating with her eyes shut when it's time for her to get off, then he needs to get the fuck over it.

If it's the second- that in a 15 minute session (let's say) he's spending 10 minutes watching her masturbate- then he has a legit thing to complain about.

The same would be true with the flip-the-gender scenario. We've had plenty of letters in which the guy needs to jack off in order to cum. If it's the guy asking how he can change this, Dan usually gives suggestions, but when it's the woman, he goes to his "this is how his dick works" answer with other suggestions to elaborate. Again, the question is- is this what he is doing most of the time (just jacking off) or is this what he does when it's time for him to get off after other more engaging things?

To me, that's the frustration with this letter- that missing info. Dan's answer is also frustrating because his last two points are just wrong.


Yes. Point 4 is also wrong. If I'm close to coming and I have my eyes shut to eliminate distractions, if you then start distracting me with dirty talk or worse, expecting ME to form words, you will ruin it. Dan, if you're going to reprint advice, chose from the thousands of columns of GOOD advice, not this terrible advice! Again!

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