Gross. I've been online too long today and I'm out. Sometimes I think some of this sex positivity stuff is just the modern version of the old story of dudes who liked to start relationships with women and then turn them out. How many times does she have to say she doesn't want to fuck other men? Before quantifying it with all sorts of other "are you sures" and "what do you means" and she'll probably be convinced to do it.
And meanwhile the bigger picture is why her husband would get off on watching her do something she doesn't have any desire to do in the first place. Gross, gross, gross.
There's always the old Dan Savage standard: she'll agree to sleep with another guy as soon as he sleeps with another guy
The fact that he's so insistent about his fantasy being fulfilled is what is most disturbing. No respect for her feelings whatsoever.
I wonder if this will help the LW clarify some things. Dan focused on the monogamy and the thought that maybe you are objecting because you are worried he will want to renegotiate the monogamy, and I feel like he missed everything else going on.
I see three emotions in this letter.
1 - She has no desire to have sex with other men. She's very clear about this.
I just am not interested in other men
I only want my husband
I do not want/did not sign up for either of us sleeping with other people!
I don’t really on my own want to have sex with other men
I am very personally satisfied sexually by him only
I don’t independently want to
I’m not necessarily actively desiring it
my partner’s desires are beyond my own
2 - Her lack of desire does not mean she is opposed- which really I don't get. She's basically just saying she's open to doing something she has no desire to do:
I am neutral at best
I don’t actively object to
I'm not actively opposing it
it's nothing I find inherently offensive,
3 - Her husband really wants her to do this thing for him and she wants to make him happy-
This has been his main fantasy over our ten year relationship and he has increasingly tried to escalate this.
I want to make him happy
I don’t want to shut down his fantasy
do I owe him to explore this?
I also want to satisfy him.
how much do I “owe” (very bad word but I’m trying to explain) it to him to explore this thing he very much wants to do
how far do you push your own comfort level for your very fulfilling and respectful partner.
Just how far to push myself within a caring and respectful relationship
TAKE AWAY- This dude has spent ten years trying to talk this woman into doing something she has zero desire to do and she's seriously considering doing this FOR HIM even though she doesn't want to and all Dan does is ask her to clarify her feelings about monogamy?
If he doesn’t hear your resistance to his fantasy, repeated, then how is he a great husband?
Just do it, get it over with. And you pick the guy. A well hung younger one, one you really fancy, and when you orgasm, make a sound you never have with your husband. Then roll over and ask for more.
No. You are not obligated to indulge this man’s fantasy. Tell him to stfu.
I swear some of these men take their cues from Bart Simpson. Nag repeatedly and you’ll get what you want.
He doesn't respect your legitimate and emphatically repeatedly expressed desires.
Move on now before it gets uglier.
And you don't owe him JackSquat.
You are and have been a good wife, don't let anyone put a guilt trip on you.
And ignore Dan's bullshit 'reasoning'; Dan's default position is adultery and fornication.
He literally has no comprehension of the joy True Love and monogamy and Real Commitment deliver; to him it is all ever just about sticking things in holes, the more the merrier.
Find a man who respects you and your values and your wishes.
You are a catch and shouldn't waste two more seconds where you are.
Anyone that shares this kink, honest question: let's say she caved and did this once. What then? Would that be enough, or do you suspect he's trying to crack the door open to make this a regular thing?
That aside, agree with @4 and think this a rare miss from Dan.
@ 8 - The 19th Century called. They want you back.
We feel sorry for you.
Yup. The faithful venerated good wife is as much a trap. But gosh some of what Dan wrote really did seem like he was trying to convince her to like it rather than questioning why this wonderful husband spends ten years "escalating" this situation when the woman is clearly not into it. I really don't know how someone could enjoy watching someone do something they don't want to do- that's the problem here. Is it the thrill of changing her? As gross as #8 's response is, I do wonder how much this is about the dude's fantasy of transforming his otherwise chaste wife into a lusty slut. Dan assumes the kink is about cuckoldry, but wouldn't that involve the wife wanting sex with other men? Like madonna/whore shit does exist, as does the idea that a woman must provide for a man's sexual needs in order to be a good wife which is absolutely what this LW sounds like. Cuckoldry is not the only kink in which a man wants to see his wife fuck others. There's a long tradition of men trying to get otherwise monogamous women to become highly sexual with other men- it's called "turning out" and it's not just for literal sex work and pimping but also because some dudes get off on turning madonnas to whores. I dont know if that's what's going on here, but the fact that the husband doesn't care that his wife has no desire for this and has been pushing for it for decades is what should be alarming. And Dan's response that her doing this to meet his "sexual needs" might be sexually satisfying for her too is just gross in this context (even though I know that's not how he meant it) since it's even denying her the reality of her own emotions. She is considering doing this FOR HIM- that's the only reason- and that "you might like it" or "you might get pleasure from meeting his needs" stuff in a context where she's doing something she has no desire to do sure does stink of "and you'll learn to like it" which is exactly what turning out is going for. I mean the whole thing is seriously gross.
His desire to see his wife fuck another man (once? how many times does his fantasy require?) is not a NEED. Let's be clear about that first. It's a fantasy, and when she told him that she has no desire to fuck other men he should have let it go at that. No problem with bringing it up from time to time to see if that's still where she's at, but she says he's been "escalating" the conversation, and all her language around what she "owes" him and how hard she should push herself to do something outside her comfort zone in order to meet his fantasies is just really bad news. Imagine being the sort of person who gets off on someone doing something that they find uncomfortable and knowing damn well they are pushing themselves to do soemthing they do not desire just because you spend a decade asking for it. What sort of person wants that? My guess is the sort of person who gets off on the idea of turning a "good girl" or a fully autonomous human partner into a little submissive cum slut, but maybe I'm being defensive on her part. Someone should be though.
(a decade, not decades)
BTW I'm saying the whole madonna/whore dichotomy itself is harmful and erases the actual human woman involved, not that I think it's bad to do any of the things cliched as madonna or whores. Arun's bullshit about good wives who deserve a man who knows the TRUE JOY OF LOVE is as much harmful bullshit as the husband who spends ten years trying to convince his wife to fuck other men even when she doesn't desire them. In both cases, it's about them looking to make the woman fit their idea of what they want rather than dealing with the real live human being in front of them who has desires of her own.
@EmmaLiz Love all your posts about this one.
This one doesn't feel right to me, L-dub. You aren't into it. He's not taking no for an answer. That's a bad dynamic.
A way she could check to see how her husband reacts is to fake it with someone. Lead him to believe you are going to fuck someone else, go off with them, and watch a movie or something together then come back and spin a great story about the great time you had in bed.
If after a couple days he's still excited by the idea and hasn't turned jerk you can consider making a real run.
I just can't take anyone who capitalizes "true love" seriously.
And EmmaLiz: sometimes people do do things soley for their partners, even extreme things. And sometimes they do get to like it. It's clearly super important to him. I'm not saying she should do it--it is, as the headline says, a big ask. And as you say, it's easy to imagine a creep on the other side of this ask. But that's not what this LW sees: she sees her husband, whom she loves and cares about. So I dunno. I'm not sure Dan's answer is that out of line.
I'll take the other side of this.
I had sex with a guy because Mr. P had been fantasizing about it and I wanted to be GGG. In over a decade of monogamy I hadn't craved outside sex at all. Thinking about it didn't upset me, but it also didn't feel like an itch I wanted to scratch. I was doing it for him and for our marriage.
In the moment, with some alcohol to help with my inhibitions, it was fun.
We set up a few more evenings with strangers, with Mr. P along to help me feel comfortable, and then I went off on my own and had a lot of casual sex that first year of non-monogamy -- enough to determine that I actually don't enjoy it without Mr. P's excitement to energize me.
Mr. P is still up for me to have casual sex whenever I want it, but he's also gotten it out of his system and doesn't push for it (except as harmless dirty talk).
We did shift to polyamory, so it's worth thinking about whether you are willing to open doors when you don't know where they lead and which you may not be able to close again. On the other hand, marriages collapse from fear of change as often as they collapse from change itself.
Quick tip: If you decide to go through with it, I would start by giving a man a blow job (or a hand job, or just a massage, or just you receiving a massage), and then discuss that with your husband at home, with your clothes on, before planning an evening that might include PIV.
Agree with EmmaLiz here — it’s so clear she’s not into this; how could Dan miss that?
This is the third letter in the past 10 days in which a husband either nags his wife for approximately a DECADE to do something she doesn't want or seems to prefer his wife to be someone she's not, and every time Dan's response is to try to talk the woman into seeing why her objections shouldn't really be a barrier. And then on yesterday's podcast, the immediate advice given to the guy whose girlfriend wants to be the center of all attention and takes it personally when he can't stay hard is to DTMFA.
I think you blew this one Dan. For TEN YEARS she has said she doesn't want to sleep with other men. After 10 years of her husband saying "Are you sure?" Are you really sure?" Are you really, really, really sure?" and "Well how much do you object and WHY?" she is starting to think that if she doesn't have a clear, easily stated reason to not have sex she should do this just to make him happy. This is all kinds of messed up.
No one should have sex unless it is what they want, actively, definitely want, not because someone else wants them to have it. Does this sound even a little like what we have heard from #MeToo? Because there is a tinge of that in this letter. She has given soft nos for 10 years. We have all been learning about women giving soft nos, and we have been told to listen to them, not amp up the pressure.
The other thing is it doesn't MATTER why she doesn't want to have sex with someone else. Is it an ingrained feeling about monogamy? So? It's not making her unhappy. Does she not want to go through the hassle of finding someone who is safe and healthy? Or simply not want to have to worry about protection? That's a fine reason. Is she just not interested WHICH IS WHAT SHE SAYS? That is the best reason of all.
The guy is pressuring her to have sex when she doesn't want it and he does want it. This would be unacceptable from a date, an employer, a stranger a friend. It is wildly unacceptable from a spouse.
I think the answer is simpler than Dan's heavily qualified responses. She doesn't have to do this if she doesn't want.
Reciprocity in a relationship is important; but this shouldn't take the form of one partner asking of the other something that is psychologically impossible or uncomfortable for them. I'm trying to put this in a way not oriented by most people's unreflective assumptions of what acts are 'disgusting', 'ewww', 'immoral', 'perverted' or unreasonable asks (of course, to some degree our personal notions of sexual propriety, impropriety and unsettling incontinence will be shaped by cultural norms). The idea of 'owing' some kind of participation because your partner is a 'nice guy', a Mensch, has always been GGG for you, is a model parent etc.--that just seems off. 'Honey, I got a promotion! Lube the back-passage!' 'Did you notice the oven is clean? Squeaky-clean ... like squeaky latex!!' No. Sexual habits are things that develop in a mutual and (yes) exploratory way over a long course of being together. They're informed by what both people like (and feel they have to shun). OWED could carry on taking baby steps towards her husband's fantasy, but it could well be it's a 'no' from her.
Erica, I appreciate your insight on these things since it's from lived experience- aren't you in a relationship in which you live full time as a sub as well (by full time, I seem to remember you saying that's the dynamic in your marriage outside of the bedroom as well- I'm not sure what the right term is). Or do I have that mixed up with someone else? The reason I'm asking about you identifying as a sub (if that's true) is that it seems a lot likelier that someone who already has a submissive sexual and relationship identity would have a better chance of this working out. And yes, I doubt it wouldn't open the door to other lifestyle choices, etc.
And (Ciods) sure people do extreme things to please their partners. I think there are some people who are more down with that than others, hence again my reference to being submissive in the first place. But in either case- submissive or not- the alarming thing here is the person who wants his life to do something she is not into. Your every wish and desire is not a "sexual need", and the LW doesn't just describe a man she loves and cares about. She describes feeling like she needs to push herself beyond what she finds comfortable because she owes him the fulfillment of his fantasies even though it is outside the boundaries they both agreed to and even though it's not something she desires at all.
Litch, I think that is a great idea, assuming the kink from the hubby's point of view is not getting to watch. Or even if it is, they could compromise this way.
I've mentioned this before but in the years that my marriage was open, my husband wanted to know nothing at all about my own adventures. I wanted to hear every detail of his because I found it incredibly hot. I find it hot when he flirts too and I'd feel that I won the lottery if he wanted to bring in another man (which he doesn't and coercion does not seem hot to me) so I do get the appeal. In our case, so long as in real life he stayed within our agreed upon boundaries, I did not care if what he told me was the truth or not. So I know that some of the stories of his adventures that he told me were true and some were straight up lies and some were a mixture of the two, and I still to this day don't know many of the details for reals. It worked for us- I liked to hear about his experiences with other women, I liked to hear the plans he made and how it worked out. If the husband really just gets off on knowing she's fucking others, there's no reason she can't just make it up. Have a good night out doing whatever she wants and come back with a steamy story. The bonus would be that if she actually does want to fuck someone else, she can do that too. But this guy wants to watch. That's the rub.
I think Erica's advice about starting out with massages and blow jobs and stuff is a good way to introduce these experiences, but I still believe the problem is that he wants her to do something she has no desire for and increases the escalation towards it to the point that she's feeling guilty about prioritizing her own comfort over his "needs". Why doesn't he worry that he should prioritize her comfort over his fantasies?
To be fair to Dan, I think he asked for specification when the LW used monogamy 'on my side' / 'on his side' in a manner perhaps contrary to how we might expect i.e. 'monogamy on my side' meant for her 'my requiring that he be monogamous'. Dan did ask 'do you want to sleep with other men' clearly? enough. Otherwise, my feelings on this one are the same as EmmaLiz @4 & @12, Boubona @21 & percysowner @22.
Maybe get a sybian type contraption and he can watch you ride a dildo?
I don't think the answer to 'when am I released from the onus to be GGG?' is 'when the central or fulcrum position in society is that a certain act is extreme, disgusting or niche'. Granting that would be to make private relationships' moral arbiters people like @8. But there is a strong sense for me that the encouragement to be GGG isn't asking us to transgress the boundaries of what is imaginable or tolerable for us.
My big fantasy is for my wife to get fucked by a donkey on Times Square. Please, baby, please!
Seriously though, dude, how many times must she say it. She doesn't want to fuck another guy. Not here, not there, not anywhere. And it ain't like Dr. Seuss -- she doesn't want the fucking green eggs and ham. End of story, man. Get over it. We all have unfulfilled fantasies (I wish I was dunking in the NBA, or finding peace in the Middle East) but it ain't gonna happen.
OWE, you might be interested in this true story about a Florida Deputy Sheriff and his wife who indulged his fantasies of seeing her screwing other men. In fact, he would hide in the closet, taking pictures and jerking off while watching her performances. I'll let you read about Jeff & Kathy Willets for yourself to see how it all turned out.
I aint some fancy big city psychologist, but I think the LW has some rather rigid ideas ingrained about what sex is right and wrong. Not necessarily a bad thing to have, without that some people would be fucking sheep in the street. But in her case she may be letting her anxiety over violating mores and cultural expectations cloud her understanding of her own feelings. Like, does she really never want sexual gratification from another person or is her definition of love and commitment telling her that is how she should feel? I have been in her position a tiny bit and even as a testosterone soaked dick monster I still felt wary of going for it fully because despite having permission I felt like I was getting away with something.
Jesus drjones.. it’s not Right for her. And her child of a husband won’t respect that.
She has said No then No then No for ten fucking years. Is he deaf, stupid or just another arrogant man who thinks some women are so goddamn rigid.
Nope, Nope, Nope - if you don't want to have sex with other men, it's your body, your agency, and you shouldn't feel pressured into doing anything that you don't want to do. Being GGG doesn't mean you have to give in to your partner's every fantasy, it does mean having mutually respectful negotiations about each other's desires and boundaries, and being open minded - but open mindedness does not equal consent.
And, as Dan said, that man you'd fuck for your husband's sake is a human, not a prop - how do you think they might feel if they knew you were fucking them under duress (unless they were a sociopathic jerk, in which case they might not care, but why would you want to fuck that kind of a person)? I can totally understand your aversion to this idea, not only because it's not something you want to do, but also because of how much it could complicate your lives.
Me thinks miss Emmaliz has some personal feelings about all of this. I couldn't tell, could you? Btw: you should try some fornication. Do you some good. Take 2 fornications and call us in the morning. I'm guessing you already have though.... :D ;)
LW: Go with your gut and if he loves and respects you, you'll work something out. :)
I wonder what the discussion would have looked like if the husband had written in. "So far so good; don't like pressure her but do make it clear that talking and fantasy play aren't the real 'only thing you fantasize about'; if you keep asking for a little more maybe eventually she'll be willing to try it for you."?
This guy has pretty clearly been fixated on this since before he was even in this relationship. I have some sympathy for realizing years in that what you thought was dispensable is actually indispensable. But then to start you've got to own that you made a mistake in self-judgment -- not just escalate pleading.
Can you imagine the SadPandaPocalypse if she tried it once and decided not again?
Dan, Dan, Dan.... I expected much better from the man who gave us "monogamish" (which is a psychologically and emotionally realistic way for people to deal with and get beyond infidelity without automatically deciding that the Marriage. Is. OVER) as well as GGG (self-explanatory).
But, Dan, you also gave us DDD (Disclose, Downplay, Drop) which is much better than a DECADE of nagging, especially when OWED has never indicated she'd be interested in even pretending (as some commenters above have proposed as an alternative) to cuckold him.
Every time he asks, it's as if he didn't believe her previous replies in the negative and, if he just keeps pestering her, then she has to give in ... eventually.
This isn't even something fairly innocuous like minor watersports or doing something special that she'd otherwise react with "meh" - just as he'd reciprocate if she made a special request; her husband is basically wanting to pimp her out and has for a very long time. Considering that she's asking whether she "owes" him this, I call gaslighting.
EmmaLiz broke it down well. It seems like the more Dan questioned her the messier her responses were. But the original letter was very clear to me: I don't want to do this; he keeps bringing this up and his requests have become more frequent. She's not interested. This isn't a case of GGG. She only wants to fuck him. He needs to back off and find something else that they can enact together (that she agrees is hot).
When it come to hot wifing or cuckolding my advice is that woman should not have sex with other men if she does not want to have sex with other men.
Reading @EmmaLiz last night and again today, if felt that she had a lot more negative emotional reaction to this fantasy than OWED herself. I think @Dan developed a fair bit of clarity during their exchange around around whether OWED was simply neutral on this experience or whether this was really a hard limit. @EmmaLiz appears to read OWED saying this is a hard limit, but OWED herself concludes by saying this isn't her fantasy, but not something that is repugnant. @EricaP's experiences appear more in line with how OWED expresses herself: sex with other men was not something she craved, but something that was willing to do because of Mr. P's excitement.
OWED asks "how far do you push your own comfort level for your very fulfilling and respectful partner." To her, I would reiterate my general advice, but if you are genuinely neutral on something which really excites your partner, I think trying that activity because of their request is not unreasonable.
I do not dispute that going ahead with this fantasy poses emotional and physical risks, including OWED may not enjoy such an experience, while Mr. Owed would like her to give repeat performances, as well as Mr. Owed realizing that watching his wife with another man isn't the turn on he imagined, but OWED realizes that she doesn't want to go back to sex with only Mr. Owed. But by going slowly and communicating, which OWED and Mr. Owed seem to be doing, I think they can avoid really negative experiences, and OWED may gain better insight as to whether this is a fantasy that she is willing to fulfill or need to make clear will never happen.
Presumably, her husband is an adult. And presumably, as an adult, we do not have some inherent "right" to see our each and every desire fulfilled. Especially when it involves someone else - and someone else's body.
In essence, this asshole is treating his wife's body as a piece of furniture he feels he owns. It would have been different if she had been into the idea. But it has been 10 years, she has said she does not want to do it. She still does not want to do it.
This is not about not being generous. This is about her husband being a whiny little brat.
9 on the list of Ten Possible Answers To Any Problem:
Be careful what you wish for; you might get it.
Beachykeen @33: Yup. This is actually a pretty common complaint with "unicorns." It's deeply unsexy and actually quite uncomfortable to realize that you're having sex with someone who doesn't want to have sex with you, and is only doing it to make their spouse happy. Your third is a person, not a prop you bring in for a resentful sex act full of subliminal angst and resentment.
So unless you find someone to answer to the ad "Wanted: a guy to have sex with me because it's my husband's jerkoff fantasy - must be ok with my clear ambivalence towards you, and possibly running off immediately after to scrub myself in the shower" you might want to shut this down.
38 is where I'm at. She repeatedly said she wasn't against the idea. What many of you read as "I don't want to!!!" I read as "it's not a kink of mine." I also didn't think she was writing for advice to get out of it so much as she was for advice on how to navigate it and explore her own potential willingness. Like I don't want to give a footjob. It does nothing for me. But it also don't repulse me. So yeah, sure, whatever, I'll do that for my partner even though I have no intrinsic desire to. The main issue for me is that the ramifications of having sex with another man are a LOT worse if you/your partner turn out to hate it than footjobs. So definitely go slooooowwwww.
Good point Helenka @36, re DDD. Maybe Dan needs to have a list of his ‘rules’ next to him as he answers letters, he sure seems forgetful lately about his own words.
Yes nocute, @21. It was Dan who suggested to the guy with the hot Asian wife on last weeks’ SL to see if his wife wants to watch him being sucked off by another man.. then on Friday’s SLOG roundup, Dan asked should he give some guy the LW’s email, because the guy would like to suck the LW off in front of his wife.
Bad form, and dissapointing to see Dan ignore the wife’s stated wishes, a woman who is stuck with the LW, one way or the other, because they have kids together.
Agreed with all who have said OWED has said no often enough, especially with Emma Liz who spelled it out so clearly. Here's my (humorous?) take on it.
OWED agrees to have sex with another man under these conditions.
She chooses the man.
She takes as long as she wants to choose the man.
She can have any relationship with the man she (and he) want. They can go out, talk, watch movies, play tennis, meet each other's families, etc.
OWED and Mr. OWED divorce and have separate residences prior to OWED seeking the other man.
After having sex with the other man, OWED never again has sex with the ex-husband again.
Just another case of a woman saying no loud and clear, and men refusing to hear it.
WTF, Dan? It's her body, she doesn't have to do anything she doesn't want to do, end of discussion.
On the one hand, I agree with everyone here: guys can be pushy, and they shouldn’t ignore a partner’s reluctance. On the other hand, I don’t get the sense that the letter writer hates the idea or feels her husband is forcing her hand. It almost reads like she wants to give herself permission.
I always assume that for every one happy hotwife, there are 1,000 truly reluctant wives who get badgered into it and feel truly degraded by the experience. From the way she describes it, I think Dan nailed it: she might want to do this under the right circumstances. In which case, go slow, but it should be fully up to her and on her terms, if at all.
And unlike PPuP from a few days ago, it doesn’t sound like the husband is holding something over her head, i.e.: if you won’t do this for me, I’m leaving or I won’t help you through grad school or [fill in other thing important to her here].
No Centrists, he’s badgering her and escalating his demands. It’s been ten years of this, she’s worn down by it.
This is sexual intimacy, and she said clearly in her letter she just wants to have sex with her husband. Why is another question. He’s a rude and self-indulgent man.
Ms Cute - (General agreement that Mr Savage seems to default to the starting position that the Typical Woman is personified by Ms Erica. Some sense of this contributed, for those with good memories, to my casting of the pair of them as Lord and Lady Grantham in Savage Abbey.) I thought the takeaway of that call was that the couple ought to break up but that Mr Savage and the guest (who was decidedly far from expert) were trying to paint the caller as being as bad (or nearly so) as Princess Selfish and that they were grading her on a curve by presuming her to have had bad encounters with selfish men. They did say that, were the genders reversed, a Prince Selfish would get a nasty name appended to him, but that they weren't going to go that far with Princess.
As for this letter, I don't think LW and Husband are very good for each other. I suppose that, if something Mizz Liz or Ms Lava were to say could get through to her and cause her to detach from him, Justice Would Be Served, but I rather fear that he's the type of man she likes.
@49: Yes, Mr. Ven. In that podcast call, the man sounded pretty blameless to me. I really didn't understand the pile-on from Dan and his guest.
@48 - Yours is a totally valid point of view, but the letter writer said stuff like this:
“I don’t independently want to do but don’t actively object to”
“I’m not necessarily actively desiring it, but not actively opposing it either”
“how far do you push your own comfort level for your very fulfilling and respectful partner. I’d be happy either way.”
“Just how far to push myself within a caring and respectful relationship where my partner’s desires are beyond my own, but nothing I find inherently offensive, and what to think about in deciding how to navigate that, so this exchange has been helpful.”
That doesn’t sound like someone who’s being incessantly badgered.
Dan, thank you so much are "thirds aren't props, they're people." So many people with group sex/unicorn fantasies completely forget that. It's all about what the couple wants. Rarely do people put themselves in the shoes of the person they would be asking to, in this case, "Hi there, would you like to have sex with me while my husband watches? I don't have any desire for you, personally, but I might not find it that awful." I can't imagine answering, "Sure, that sounds like fun." Though the men on the board may differ -- men?
EmmaLiz @4: I don't think that's Dan's fault; OWED muddied the waters by mentioning "monogamy on my side" which could be read as implying a different understanding of monogamy on his side. I agree that was a red herring and should have been cut from the SLLOTD.
I completely agree that she has no interest in this and shouldn't be afraid to say so. As I said above, this is another human being we're talking about; this isn't "will you try peeing on me to see if you like it." So much potential for it all to go wrong. She needs to put her own desire, or in this case lack of desire, first. Why not suggest instead that they film themselves, then he can watch her having sex with a man -- him -- whenever he wants?
Commie @8: please fuck back off.
@52 was going to point out something similar. No, I would find the thought disturbing, especially if I learned of it ex-post. Emmaliz pretty much covered why this feels so wrong. Feels like the husband has been grooming his wife to eventually agree to this. Disturbing.
LW - If you can't think of any words to describe your feelings other than "I owe it to him", then that's how you feel. That a part of you rationally knows you shouldn't feel that way doesn't change a thing. Probably a good idea to process that before having sex you aren't interested in having with a stranger.
Helenka @37: I completely agree. The only thing I can say in the husband's defense is that OWED never seems to come right out and say no; she continues to say maybe, so dickful thinking continues to round that up to a someday-yes. OWED, you don't owe him, and you don't want to do it, so stop saying maybe and start saying no.
@12 I don't think that Dan was trying to convince her to do it. I think he was trying to get her to be clear about what SHE feels. Her statements were meh and seemed to be based on past decisions and not current feelings.
Just to be clear, I was confused by the monogamy line as well and I don't think there was anything wrong with Dan asking her for clarity. But why didn't he question why her husband would repeatedly push for something that she has no desire to do? Why doesn't the husband need to analyze and second-guess why he wants to see someone fuck his wife, but she needs to analyze and second-guess why she only desires sex with her husband? How is it GGG to priorities your own fantasies over your partner's comfort and desires? Why is it GGG for a woman to have sex she has no desire to have with someone she has no desire to fuck to please her partner? But no talk about how the husband could be more GGG by dropping this fantasy that requires her to "push herself" to do something she has no desire to do? Why not call out the "sexual needs" here? They aren't needs. They are fantasies. No one has the NEED for someone else to have sex they aren't into.
BTW she said "neutral at best" not neutral. All of her supposedly neutral feelings had qualifiers whereas her clear statements that she ONLY wants sex with her husband and that she does NOT want sex with anyone else are very straightforward. It's not a case of feeling neutral at best about the desire for others. The neutrality refers to her feelings of going through with this, not her feelings of desire which are nonexistent.
Especially when she describes it as feeling she "owes" it to him to "push herself" to do things that are "outside of my comfort level" which is not the same thing as saying "it's not my kink but I'm open to it" and I don't know why people are bending over backwards to pretend that's what she said.
And then the advice she gets is, that if she decides to do it, is that she might also like it (b/c it wouldn't be GGG if she only does it to serve her man right?) and that she needs to consider the feelings of the second man too. Uggh. Yes I take it personally.
More practically, she can probably go through with this sex she doesn't desire and it won't be any big deal. Women do this all the fucking time and the majority of us are not traumatized by it, and sure, sometimes you end up liking it. But look back at Erica's experience and consider that this man has been nagging for this for ten years. Do you really think that this will be a one time thing and then it's over? He is ESCALATING- that's her word- and it will lead to new changes in their relationship. Either it will push them towards some sort of nonmonogamy or it will be an unpleasant experience and they will have to deal with the fall out from that or it will truly scratch his itch and he can check that off his list of fantasy to-dos and they can go on back to normal. Which do you think is more likely to happen? How does she feel about any of these options?
And yes, I take it personally. I'm a woman. I'm familiar with men trying to escalate every single fucking encounter towards their own sexual gratification- it happens all the time though moreso when I was younger because I learned to be more clear about my nos. Because if you show even the slightest willingness to be considerate or compromise, men will often take that as a sign that actually you are really into it.
This woman will probably do it to please her partner. I'm curious what the results will be. Back down here on earth, I'm sure it will be ok in the long run. Change isn't always bad anyway. And Venn, I don't want this man to get divorced as a result. I'm not looking for a comeuppance. I just wish we'd stop prioritizing male pleasure over female comfort.
EmmaLiz @24 - it's true I was already Mr. P's lifestyle sub, which obviously made it easier for me to take the step. Still, I think if someone isn't grossed out by the idea, they might give it a try, even if that just involves dancing & kissing a stranger (rather than sex)
Mr Venn @49
"Mr Savage seems to default to the starting position that the Typical Woman is personified by Ms Erica."
I think Dan feels people in long marriages can use a nudge to broaden their experiences, because people tend to underestimate the risk of sticking with the same old same old (may lead to boredom and bed death) and overestimate the dangers of trying something new.
@52 BiDanFan To answer your question, I might find a situation like that fun, especially if I made it clear that she could stop the action at any point if she felt like it (emphasis on any).
The reason many of us feel Dan botched this one, is that he is essentially blind to monogamy as a sexual orientation.
He recently podcast his position that not wanting to fuck other people, desiring only the one you love "IS A LIE". His repeated claim is that everyone wants to fuck other people, but to remain monogomous we refrain from doing so. His belief is that we all constantly fantasize about others, and often flirt, and some of us can't help but cheat. That may be true in his horny head, and confirmed by his sample of anecdotal evidence (oh, and then there's his favorite book about Bonobo apes) but even here in this thread we have people, myself included, saying they don't have any desire to stray. In other words, monogamous people.
Dan seems to believe all these people are just expressing a repressive social construct, a ‘lie’ about ‘true love’; that they're brainwashed by Hallmark and romcoms; simply because what he reads and hears confirm his own feelings. I get it. It colors his advice, and in this case, he either fails to believe the statements of OWE, or dismisses them as ignorance.
(Would it be wrong to call monogamy — people who only desire the one they're with, the one they ‘love’ — a sexual orientation? Just like people who only desire those of their own, or opposite, sex?)
Here's a little anecdote: After being jilted by my wife, the only one I desired at that time, I ceased to find her desirable. She'd already come to the same conclusion about me. Now, after thirteen years alone, I still don't find anyone else desirable. Maybe Dan's right that true ‘love is just a thing you bought. It's just another little white lie that everybody got… taught’*. But in my case at least, and judging from the words of others here, it seems there's more thinking to do about singular, if not serial, desire.
*RIP, Klaus Nomi
@60 Yes, I think Dan is ignoring demi sexuality, i.e. the people who are only sexually attracted to someone with whom they have an emotional connection. It is an accepted sexuality. It's actually how I identify. So maybe not strictly monogamous, since that seems to affront Dan's sensibilities, but definitely not conducive to fucking someone because my partner thinks it's great.
This is not a kink within the relationship. This is asking her to let someone INTO HER BODY, not because she wants them there, but because her husband does. This isn't giving golden showers a whirl, or BDSM with her partner. This is asking her to do something incredibly intimate that she has NO DESIRE to do. That is a line that should not be crossed. If she was into this, I'd say have fun, but pushing her to do it is just wrong.
I did feel that Dan's questions were leading. Yes, he was trying to suss out her feelings on monogamy, but they were all geared toward why she probably didn't mean what she clearly said she meant.
She gets to not want to screw anyone she doesn't want to screw, even if it makes her partner happy. We get to put limits on who we fuck, full stop. The reasons don't have to match up with anyone's ideas of GGG. Your body is your body, no questions asked.
ThatOtherGuy @59: Yuck, I'm sorry I asked. Really? You could enjoy sex with someone who didn't actually want to be having that sex? I feel a bit sick.
I’m apparently (way) in the minority here, but I think she should probably give it a shot. No, she doesn’t “owe” her husband the fulfillment of his fantasy, and she has every right to say no. But having the right to say no doesn’t mean saying no is what is best for either/both of them.
So it’s not something that “does it” for her. Anyone in a healthy relationship winds up doing things for their partners that they don’t independently love doing. Do you think I love dragging myself out of bed 90 minutes early to take my husband to the airport? Hell no! But it doesn’t do me any harm and it means something to him, so I do it. He thinks the food at my favorite restaurant is “just okay,” but he eats there with me because I like it and he wants to do nice things for his wife and and he’s not actively opposed to it.
And that’s where we are with this scenario. She doesn’t feel drawn toward this particular type of activity, but she also isn’t shredded by the idea, either. Sure, there are risks. But everything is life carries some degree of risk. My sleep-deprived ass could crash on the way to or from the airport. We could get food poisoning at the restaurant. The LW could come down with an STI or the experience could cause problems in her marriage. But refusing isn’t risk-free either. That’s not a threat or a coercion, just a fact. If my partner had no objection to something I wanted desperately but decided not to do it for me “just cuz,” I would be hurt at minimum.
I’m rambling. In conclusion, I believe we should all err on the side of doing nice things for our partners, whether that’s a ride to the airport or dinner at a favorite restaurant or the fulfillment of a sexual fantasy.
@63 I think there's a significant distinction between fucking someone you don't want to fuck and driving to the airport.
@7 - Nowhere in her letters do I see anything resembling emphatic repetition, probably owing to the fact that it's not there.
Also, why do trolls use first-person plurals? Is it to emphasize the significance of having all the insane voices in your heads agree on something? Y'all need therapy.
She says, more than once, “...I’m not necessarily actively desiring it, but not actively opposing it either...I’d be happy either way...”
My advice... make a deal with hubby: Don’t nag me for (time period TBD) and thereafter, IF I DO IT, don’t ever nag again unless I specificallly state that I liked it and would be open to a repeat performance AT MY DISCRETION. I think this all hinges on hubby’s ability to stop badgering and let LW set the parameters.
BiDanFan @52 "Hi there, would you like to have sex with me while my husband watches? I don't have any desire for you, personally, but I might not find it that awful."
By the time I was in a room with someone, I had spent some time flirting with them online, had had a drink in a hotel bar with them, and found them attractive enough that my uninhibited self (after one drink) could envision giving them a blow job as a fun activity.
If the wife isn't turned on by the time they get close to having some kind of sexual contact, she should pull the plug. And, yes, obviously, don't say to people "I don't have any desire for you, personally, but I might not find it that awful." Just pull the plug if you're not feeling it.
SMajor @64: WORD.
SMajor @65: It's just one troll, who first appeared under the name Commentor Commentatus, and keeps coming back like a bad penny under new aliases. He's easily identified by his use of the royal we. And he definitely needs therapy.
EricaP @67: But OWED isn't you. As EmmaLiz points out, you were engaging in this activity as an act of submission to your husband, which is not the dynamic here. OWED has engaged in flirting with men, but is still "neutral at best" at the idea of proceeding, as opposed to being able to picture sex with them as being a fun activity. She's tried on the idea and has no interest, so indeed, she isn't feeling it and needs to pull the plug.
I think, the only possible way this can work is if OWED finds it erotic as well. Husband can help (by framing her being with others as part of their shared sex life, it can reduce the non-monogamy part of it which seems to important to LW) but he can only take his wife so far. What's the story, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink? Some fantasies just aren't for everyone.
She says: "I will try to think of the right situation for me, or decide it’s not for me at all."
Makes sense to me.
I am going to come more to Dan's defense here than the husband's, but she does consistently state that she is not actively opposed to it. I am also wondering, or assuming, that there has never been an emphatic no towards it, which is why the husband keeps bringing it up. If this is his MAIN fantasy, which she has been GGG about indulging in smaller ways (dirty talk and flirting with others, etc.) and is simply on the fence about, then it is not really surprising that he is pushing for it. That doesn't let him off the hook for pushing her towards something she may not want to do, but it is not surprising. I am concerned that there is enough equivocating that she really does not want this, but I do wonder if she has ever actually said no. In the beginning of the letter, she does state that she doesn't want this, but I wonder if that has ever been expressed to the husband.
From my reading of this letter, it does seem that the husband is looking for a cuckolding/hot wife scenario, but her main concern seems to be twofold:
1. She is not really that into it.
2. She REALLY doesn't want him sleeping with anyone else. "I do not want/did not sign up for either of us sleeping with other people! I do not want to see or have him with other people, but he does on my side."
If her main concern is that she doesn't want him to be with anyone else, that is not often a factor with the cuckold/hot wife scenario, so it is probably not an issue.
She should absolutely not do anything that she does not want to do, but there is a difference between trying something that you are ambivalent about that will make someone else happy, and trying something that you are actively opposed to that may end up being traumatizing. If it is the latter, then I do wonder what would happen if she simply said "that is not in the cards, I don't want to do that and I won't". If she has explicitly stated that she won't do it, and he is still pushing, then that is a major problem. I just don't see any evidence in the letter that this is the case.
If she does decide to move forward, I agree with the other comments pertaining to this being a one time thing. Since it is his main fantasy, it may end up being something that is difficult to take back off the table. She needs to be 100% aware of and in control of the rules if she decides to give this a try.
@62 BiDanFan My requirement is continuous consent, verbal and physical. In my experience, people try out things all the time that they have mixed feelings about. And like I said, I'd make it easy for her to pull the plug anytime she wanted.
Arun Nayet @73 - Ew, just ew. Your version of "True Love" sounds controlling and abusive, not to mention bigoted. There's nothing wrong with a person having sexual needs and enjoying porn/erotica. And there's no reason why QUILT-BAG folks can't feel the same emotional range and human connection as het folks.
LW, looking at this another way, he has been consistent with his wishes for the ten years you have been together. Maybe you two are not as compatible as you think, if this fantasy is so persistent? Did you clearly state at the beginning this was not what you wanted.
I suggest you two do a few sessions of couples therapy, because you have both compromised on what you think you want.
@73: Ignore him, Erica. It's that Commetor Commitatus troll or whatever he used to call himself. He returns from time to time but his style is so distinctive that he's easily identified. There's no reasoning with him.
I definitely responded strongly to this and the reasons have mostly been said. I think het/bi women are used to men pushing for more. A loving/stable partner should know better/be better/care enough to not take "I'll try to push my boundaries for you" even further than their partner has been willing to push. It's been 10 years, and to me it seems like LW has internalized a lot of negative things. I'm naturally monogamous, and it's generally not something I've been proud of. I used to wonder if it meant I'm overly jealous, or lazy, or blind to what I've internalized from society. I still worry about these things, but as I've gotten older I figure that as long as my partner and I are on the same page , we are both happy, and Im not being any of those things I'm worried bring me to monogamy (jealous, lazy, etc) then this is one of many things about myself I'm going to accept and try to stop over-analyzing (and happy doesn't mean we both necessarily have every fantasy met). The LW seemed like she feels like she has to have a logical reason why she doesn't want to do something or it's not valid to not want to - that's the way I used to feel. She seemed to have more trouble being clear when questioned (which after 10 years I'm imagining she's been "questioned" a lot). I think the questions were a bit leading and she needed to be told that she, like any woman, doesn't need to have clear, inarguable reasons for not having sex/sexual contact with someone. Just not wanting to is enough of a reason that no one should ever argue with. What does she owe her partner? To think about it, and maybe dip a foot in (like the flirting), which she's already done. If she's still not comfortable, as has been said, no one gets every fantasy fulfilled and it is not a healthy relationship dynamic to have one persons boundaries continually pushed so another can live out every single fantasy (even if it's his "biggest" fantasy). I know how negatively I feel towards the guys who pressured me into having sex. I would not want to feel that resentment towards my husband. LW needs to evaluate how she really feels about this, without her husband's (or anyone else's) voice telling her what she "should" feel. Then she needs to be clear with her husband, (bc unfortunately he's not taking 10 years of her putting this off, but trying to go along and let herself be convinced that she's really ok with it) about where her line is.
There is a reason why some things should remain fantasies, and not reality. One example was a friend who views himself as polyamorous. But when they got to the point past talking about it and chat rooms and his wife actually started having sex with other men, he stopped feeling the same way about her. Unfortunate as they were married and had a child together. Otoh I know a couple who are basically swingers and they are tight as ever. This kind of ask can open to doors that may fundamentally change or even end their relationship. There are many good reasons why she may be hesitant to do this, apart from not being into this particular "kink".
As the female with a boyfriend who pushed her into doing something (someone) she did not want to do, I am seeing a lot of the same "I feel obligated to bend to this fantasy because do I not owe it to my partner to please them?" mentality that saw me participate in something I had to convince myself I was ambivalent or ok with.
Don't do something because you feel obligated to. It isn't worth it potentially haunting you for years.
The soft no's she is giving feel like the ones I give when I do not really want to do something but feel like I cannot give a firm no. It is coercive.
In the world of consent, consent should - in my eyes- be enthusiastic. If she does not feel enthusiastic about a penis in her vagina that doesn't belong to her husband, it is not worth the potential emotional damage it can do to her. Her husband can survive without this ask.
If not, they are not as good of a match as she wants to think they are.
Where does everyone get the idea LW doesn't want to do it?
She never said that. She said she had no particular interest in it, but didn't dislike the idea either.
I'm with Dan, seems like the LW has certain preconceived notions about "what this means" that it doesn't actually mean. It doesn't mean her husband wants to see other people and it doesn't really even mean they're even non-monogamous if it only happens with the husband's involvement.
It's just another way her husband gets off that doesn't have to be much different that any other way, like blowjobs, or pegging.
Now, if LW just really does not want to have sex with other men, then she doesn't and that's that. But that is definitely not what she said.
Kitten @78: Speaking as a poly person, you have NOTHING to be ashamed of about your natural inclination to monogamy. It's perfectly valid to only want one sexual partner; it doesn't belie any shortcomings (any more than wanting more than one partner does). People are different and yes, the solution is to match up with people who share your inclination. I think it's sad that the generally positive trend towards sex positivity has led vanilla, monogamous people to feel that there's something wrong with them! As they used to say back in the 70s, "I'm OK, you're OK." :-)
Part @79: Good point that following through with this, when she clearly doesn't want to, could end their marriage. Mr OWED needs to think about whether fulfilling this fantasy, which I will guarantee will NOT be as hot as it is in his head, is worth losing his wife.
Biggie @81: From her opening e-mail: "I just am not interested in other men"
"monogamy on my side ... is non-negotiable for me"
"I only want my husband!"
Seems pretty clear that she doesn't want to do it.
careful, Sport; True Love is the love that dare not speak its name...
@60. Gaspar. I think it's impossible to discriminate meaningfully between 'we want this form of sex because we were socialised to want it' and 'at our deepest personal level, we just want this form of sex'. One consequence is that when someone expresses an aversion, or 'hard boundary', like 'I have no desire to be anything but monogamous' or 'have no desire for any anal or peri-anal sensation during sex', the right thing to do is to accept it. The potential comeback, 'but you do really--you just have to break through your socialisation' is not available. This frames a basic principle of respect in relationships.
We can't know what urges we would have if we weren't civilised. Would humans observe the incest taboo, for instance? Would older men jerk off in public when seeing a female performer, public speaker, waitress? Almost certainly, people acting in desublimated ways would do things we'd find distasteful. At the same time, I don't think it's pointless to speculate about what has been repressed, or excluded, in the process of our being formed into social persons. I would believe in primitive bi- or polysexuality, for instance--the idea that, as infants without a gender identity, our sexual object-choices are more labile or polymorphous than an attraction to people of any one sex/gender; and that this is something that gets repressed in a child's acquiring a social identity. And in some people--bi- and pansexuals--it gets imperfectly repressed, or a version of the earlier sexuality can be recovered or reemerge.
On a point you raise more tangentially (and a fraught, difficult area), I think psychiatry, sexology and people talking about sex generally need to retain the idea of dysfunction and impairment. Some people not having sex, for instance, are unimpaired asexuals and some impaired (traumatised, wounded, recovering) sexuals. It’s a mistake to me to say that either group doesn't exist. To my mind, a psychologist would not necessarily be reading you insensitively a
to think that, after thirteen years, you might be ready to try to overcome the trauma of your lost partnership. Equally, you might be a demisexual person, who was exclusively oriented to your ex, or a minimally sexed person with no urge for further partners.
@81: She's had 10 years; if she really wanted to do it, you'd think she'd have done it by now.
@81 - read @80's post.
LW certainly comes across having difficulty being assertive and also seems to put her own needs pretty low on her list of priorities - it's hard to square the idea of genuine consent with her continuing to say that she owes it to her husband to fuck some stranger. She also says with some emphasis a couple of times that she only wants to sleep with her husband.
Reading the comments here makes me think about how we interpret things differently.
This woman says she has no desire to sleep with other men and that she only wants to sleep with her husband. She is perfectly clear about that and does not equivocate at all.
She also says she is neutral "at best" and not offended by or actively opposing sleeping with another man (for whom she has no desire) in order to please her husband. And that's she's sure things will work out fine regardless.
So it seems we interpret this in roughly two ways- the first who say she shouldn't do a thing she has no desire to do, and the second who say that her willingness to do a thing she has no desire to do means she didn't say she doesn't want to do it.
That fascinates me.
What seems so unfair about all of it is that it feels like the only way to actually be GGG is for her to have desire for this fantasy too. Like she's supposed to work (baby steps like flirting, dancing, kissing, discussing scenarios) to develop that desire or else try to find sexual pleasure in doing something neutral FOR her husband's gratification.
It's not enough for her to just clearly say "I have no desire to do this but I'll do it anyway because I feel I owe it to you and I feel neutral at best about going through with it to please you".
She's willing to have sex she personally has no desire to have solely in order to please her husband. She feels neutral at best by the whole thing and everything will be fine in the end. This isn't new or sex positive- it's literally what women have been doing for centuries- the only difference is that now, she has to be positive about it too. So we reinterpret her words so we can pretend it's all GGG and give her tips on baby steps- perhaps she'll learn to like it, perhaps she didn't really mean she had no desire to do it, perhaps she will find sexual pleasure in providing it for her husband.
So she has two choices: a hard no (denial of her husband's fantasy, line in the sand) or learn to like it (GGG baby steps, start with flirting, start with kissing, she's picking the guy and what they do). Her actual reality- that she's willing to have sex she has no desire to do just to please her husband- that's not an option under the worldview of sex positivity.
That choice of going along with something you are "neutral at best" about vs having to take a firm strong NO!- that's a feeling almost all women are familiar with. And you negotiate it by considering the fall out from each choice (which would be worse). Your own desire isn't even factored into it because what you actually want (for the man to be be concerned about mutual desire and not escalate towards his own pleasure) is not an option. So it's not an option here that the man could take the initiative to stop asking his wife to fuck other men since it puts her in this uncomfortable situation. Nope. So she has to choose: hard line in the sand, or go with something she feels neutral about. And unless you really believe that this fantasy would be a one time thing and everyone will walk away satisfied (checked off the old bucket list) then both of her choices have consequences including the possibility of ongoing nonmonogamy, regular interest in her fucking others (maybe even her own interest), disappointment, resentment, etc. It's a stressful situation to be in and my heart goes out to her.
Best case scenario, she'll go along with it and take Erica's tips and really and truly learn to like it and they will be happy GGG sex positive folks forevermore.
@88: EmmaLiz, you are my hero. Everything you say in this comment (all throughout this thread, actually) is spot-on and worth thinking about. I really hope that Dan reads your posts.
Thanks to smajor82, Jeishii, Kitten Whiskers, percysowner, and Gamebird for their comments, too.
EmmaLiz, your post @88 has convinced me. I'm switching sides. She shouldn't do it.
I did think initially that her hesitation might be more about her perception that it would lead to non-monogamy on his part--she slept with someone else, so he gets to, too--than it was about not wanting to do it herself. Somewhat in the vein of things Harriet said @85 (great comment, Harriet). And I admit that, in general, I probably err on the side of thinking ethical non-monogamy would solve lots of problems, and it's just so rarely discussed (outside of SL, which, sadly, not the whole country/world reads). So I tend to read letters in that light.
But now, looking at the letter again, I think she is fundamentally uninterested. And although I do not agree with various statements above that assert every sexual encounter you have has to be with full 100% enthusiasm from everyone involved, this one seems risk-prone enough that it should require more enthusiasm than she's giving. He needs to back off now.
Unfortunately, as you say, I think that means she needs to lay down a hard no.
Honestly I don't know if she should do it or not- that's up to her. As I said, people have sex they have no desire to have (but feel neutral about) all the fucking time, especially women, and it's not usually traumatizing or disgusting. The repercussions are more diffuse than that- it's the feeling of being worn down slowly and constantly negotiating that is exhausting, not each individual encounter which can sometimes even surprise you with being pleasant. That's why I think it was really a misinterpretation (on Venn's part) that I think she should dump the husband and give him a comeuppance. I never said any such thing or even implied it.
In my opinion, she is being remarkably honest and clear thinking about this. She doens't have any desire to do it. She's willing to do it anyway to please him. It will probably work out ok in the end.
What I'm consistently concerned with are two things here.
First, why isn't the focus on how the husband is NOT being GGG - surely repeatedly pressuring someone to have sex with someone when they have no personal desire to do so is not a very GGG thing to do? Why does sex positivity lean towards her learning to expand her desires about who she fucks rather than him learning to respect her sexual comfort and exclusive pleasure (especially in the context of a marriage that was established on these terms)?
Second, why the desire to reinterpret her words. She's facing the situation honestly, and I think an honest answer takes it for what it is without trying to dress it up with all these she might like its stuff- regardless of whether or not she does turn out to like it. The fact is that she's considering fucking a man she doesn't want to fuck just to please her man, and I feel like people who call themselves sex positive are uncomfortable with admitting that. She's thinking clearly about this, and I feel like Dan's questions were trying to obscure this reality.
Real advice? If she's going to do it, just be honest with herself and her partner about it. Back at square one, I can't imagine why her husband would not respond with "Thank you, but I would not receive pleasure from you doing something you have no desire to do". If that is not his response, then I think it's a good idea for her to ask him to be more clear about his desire to see her do something she has no desire to do. HE should be expected to analyze it as well. Is it the thrill of making his wife a slut? (obviously she's not a slut irl, but I mean is that his role play thrill) Is it the kink of cuckoldry? Is it a control thing like turning out a woman, or a dominance thing like making her submissive? Is it to nudge her along the way towards nonmongamy long term?
If I had to give her short advice, it would be that she's thinking about it perfectly honestly and she should either decide to go for it or not on those terms or she should pressure him to be as honest about it. There is no reason she should be expected to reflect and he should not.
Wow, so many comments. I'm amused by the one where driving one's partner ro the airport or dining in q not-so-fave restaurant as a kind gesture is equivalent to sleeping with another person.
OWED has mentioned that she only likes to have sex with her husband. But, if she accedes to fulfill his greatest fantasy, she will not be having sex WITH him, she'll be doing it FOR him.
That's why I made a deliberate distinction between fulfilling a particular fetish or sex act with your partner and this. He can apparently be fulfilled by being a voyeur or perhaps a director of the eex. But she has to overcome the hurdle of wanting monogamous sex with him even before she gets into the requirement that it be while her husband watches.
Any neutrality she's expressed is drowned out by the lack of enthusiastic consert, leading me to wonder whether she was raised with the notion that it's a wife's duty to unilaterally please her husband in sex.
EmmaLiz @91 "repeatedly pressuring someone to have sex with someone when they have no personal desire to do so is not a very GGG thing to do"
It depends somewhat on how she has been acting.
If she plays along enthusiastically and gets off while he talks to her about fucking other people, then the line between continuing that shared enjoyment of the dirty talk versus pressuring her to do it in real life may not be clear to him.
What you calling a "hard no" could be seen as just the reasonable expectation that she say what she wants and what she doesn't want.
Furthermore: having a partner like the husband here who is willing to express enthusiasms -- that can be a good thing in a long marriage. People do sometimes acquire sexual interests from their partners (I have!), and that can mean some repetition over time, assuming your partner doesn't reject it outright.
Okay, i only read up to comment 70 or so before deciding to post, so I may have missed a comment that addressed this, but my biggest concern, if I were the wife, would be the concern that Dan brought up, namely that my husband might resent me afterward for doing what he spent ten years begging me to do. I’m in a long term monogamous marriage and have no desire to change that (hey @60 I agree, Dan has some sort of personal stake in pretending that no-one is naturally monogamous, but he’s wrong. There’s tons of us) but I know more than one woman who has had exactly that happen to them.
There’s even a very old joke to that effect:
It’s the fifties in middle america. This guy has a sweetheart, a “good girl” and they’re in love. Guy wants nothing more than a blowjob, but every time he asks, girl says “no, you won’t resoect me if I do that.” Eventually they get married. On their wedding night, guy asks again for a blowjob. He says “honey, you’re my wife now, I will love you forever.” she says “I can’t, I know you won’t resoect me if I do.” Time goes by, they have children, the children are growing up. They’re in their forties now. Guy says “my sweetheart, I love you so much,you’re my dream woman, won’t you please give me this one thing I want?” She says “I would, but I just know....” and he says “oh forget it.” He doesn’t ask again until they are little old people, in their eighties, retired. Ine night he says “my dearest wife, we’ve been together for sixty years, I’ve never shown you anything but love and respect, you’re the mother of my children, the grandmother of my grandchildren... surely by now you k ow I’d never lose respect for you just because you kissed my penis. Won’t you please? Before we’re dead?” And the last thinks a while and says, “I guess you’re right, dear, it’s true you’ve been a loving and respectful husband all these years, and I really ought to trust you by now. Okay, let’s do it.” And she does. When he’s done, she shyly looks up at him and is about to ask how it was when the phone rings. Husband answers the phone, listens for a minute, and then holds the phone out to his wife and says “it’s for you, cocksucker.”
@91 EmmaLiz - Yes! Thank you! I have been struggling to put into words exactly what you said here. The very thing that bothers me so much and that I'm seeing reflected in her no-but- only-just! responses as Dan kept seeking clarity is what you said... the expectation not that she have full agency to pursue what would actually make her happy but that she do it even though she doesn't truly want to with the expectation that hey she may like it.
Another thought along those lines. While I understand the "try it you might like it" mentality on say... food, a new flavor of drink, hell even weed or alcohol... it has always bothered me. It is peer pressure. The comments clamoring for her to "just give it a shot" are like peer pressure. The cool kids scoffing at the prudish one for not being into the same thing as they.
It isn't usually cool to push people onto alcohol, drugs, or smoking. When did it become ok to push women into sex with people they don't want to sleep with?
Except... the reality is, it was never not okay.
And that is probably what is bothering me most in the back of my mind.
@91 exactly, there's so much parsing of her words, but the elephant in the room is that her ten year escalating husband is not being a good "partner in boundary-stretching" at all. He's being a quite bad one. DonnyKlicious's idea that to have any chance he has to stop nagging is on target, but it's bigger than the act of nagging.
Would you trust him to hold up his end of responsibility and sensitivity, to see and do what needs to be done when he doesn't like it?
(As far as her words, could be wrong but my guess is that "soft nos" on this are what's necessary to continue in this relationship without friction, or at least that's what she's internalized. For ten years. So it comes in her letter.)
Seems OWED needs to educate herself in the ways of Fuck Yes or No.
I agree with the people who doubt this will be a one-time thing. He's been badgering her about it for 10 years despite her obvious absence of enthusiasm. If it goes well once, he'll want to do it again. "Do it once just to shut him up" is not an effective strategy in my experience. She should tell him to shut up and not bring it up again. She knows very well that he wants this. Should she ever meet a man she wants to have sex with, SHE can initiate the scenario. Until then, he should consider it off the menu.
Ciods @90: I think it was just that clunky phrase "monogamy on my side" that led Dan down the false road of him wanting to have sex with other people. I don't think there's a danger that she does this and he suddenly demands a "fair" hall pass to sleep with other women. This is all about a cuckolding fantasy, from what I can see.
Emma @91: "I can't imagine why her husband would not respond with "Thank you, but I would not receive pleasure from you doing something you have no desire to do"." I can't imagine it either, but see comment @59. Some men truly want what they want and don't care whether the woman involved wants it too. She's told him repeatedly that she doesn't want this, but he does want her to do it anyway for his sake. I agree 100%, that is not sex positive -- sex positivity should indeed include respecting boundaries as a fundamental axiom.
Helenka @92: "leading me to wonder whether she was raised with the notion that it's a wife's duty to unilaterally please her husband in sex." Yes. I also noticed a complete absence of anything he's offered to do for her in return.
Mtn Beaver @96: Indeed. I wonder if she is the sort of person who has a hard time saying no to anything.
Just flagging that OWED wrote back and said nice things about the comment thread:
"Thank you for sending this! Wow. Your readers have been so helpful, thoughtful and compassionate in their comments, too. The different perspectives are giving me a lot to think about. But I really want to express my appreciation for you responding to my letter and for all your readers' responses too. I don’t have anyone I can really bring this up to “in real life,” so this has been so helpful. I’ve read your column a long time and know you have good readers, but it still is scary putting yourself out there for judgment, even anonymously, so I appreciate that the commentators were clearly trying to genuinely help and were empathetic."
I would like to thank EmmaLiz for her comment.
While in this particular situation, I do stand by my earlier comment, because the husband has been on about this for so long and is not taking equivocating for an answer; I do regret that I didn't state the unfairness of the situation more clearly.
She will probably have to state a hard no to put an end to this, but she shouldn't have to. It does seem like the letter writer is being worn down and is trying to convince herself that it will be OK, not because she wants to, but because he isn't listening. I wouldn't (and don't) push for things that my partner is not enthusiastic about and I don't know why I was giving him a potential pass just because she seems indifferent.
The onus SHOULD be on the husband to notice that she isn't into it, not on her because she hasn't shut it down forcefully.
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