What happens when you figure out that a particular sexual practice really turns you on, but your long-time partner isn’t interested? Or worse, what if it isn’t something you can even talk to your partner about? Where do you go from there?
Well, you can try to explain your interest to your partner and hope that they won’t reject you or feel hurt or threatened by your evolving sexuality. You can end the relationship, give up everything you’ve worked for, and hope for an eventual good outcome. You can preserve your “normal” life, denying that aspect of your sexuality, trying to keep your desires from surfacing. Or you can explore on your own, without your partner’s knowledge, creating a world of secrecy and shame.
Sadly, I think many, many people find themselves facing these kinds of life choices. I spoke with a lovely man yesterday who, after years of marriage, has realized that he would like to explore cock and ball torture (CBT). He feels that he could not talk to his wife about it at this point. He wants information and a chance to gain some experience, hoping to slowly introduce her to the concept after he’s more comfortable himself.
I ache with the need to help him. I know what it is to yearn for something more in my sex life. I lived through a marriage desperately holding back a sea of unfulfilled desires, telling myself every day that sexual satisfaction wasn’t necessary to my happiness. I tried explaining what I wanted. I tried asking for exactly what I thought I would enjoy. I suffered through things I didn’t want. I offered to take classes together. In the end, not just because of the sexual issues, I left him. I needed to be a whole person and I couldn’t do that and stay in the marriage.
So I have some idea of what this man is going through. And while I really want to help, and I thought he was attractive, my own code of ethics keep me from engaging in CBT with a man whose partner doesn’t know. The situation sucks. I did my best to offer some options – good CBT porn, things to try on his own, information about the CSPC here in Seattle, suggestions about talking to his wife, and contact information for a few good pro-dommes. I hope he finds his way to happiness, whatever that is.
This is the work that I really want to be doing and what I think WholeSexLife is about at it’s heart – helping people to find a safe way to come into the fullness of their sexuality, preferably while keeping their relationships intact. I used to want to be a sex therapist or a sex worker who helped couples through problems of a sexual nature, especially around the time they had children and everything in their relationship changed. I’ve always been drawn to healing and helping people. Sex is so important to me (and everyone!) that we need to stop hiding and start dealing with sexuality with knowledge, honesty, and compassion.
Yes, I get a little bit ranty. It matters so much. I’m doing what I can to help people, but it doesn’t feel like enough fast enough. It doesn’t help the man I had coffee with yesterday. I just feel helpless.