I respond with my often “out of the box” perspective to user-submitted questions. (*This should not be in lieu of professional help, nor seen as the only way to handle a situation. Find what works best for you – I’m just here to help along the way!)
I know how hard it is to show up as yourself in this world. It’s almost like you’re getting pushed back into your little corner every time you try to show yourself. Feel familiar?
You share something vulnerable with someone, and they don’t respond in a way that makes you feel accepted. So, your fears are validated, and you retreat. Know anyone like that? It’s like we’re meerkats that keep trying to come up out of our holes, and then quickly return to the dark tunnel underground where it’s safe.I want to share something with you that has given me the words to write this post right now.
About a year ago, I had done a few shows back to back where I interviewed a few gay men who also happen to be drag queens. I also interviewed a recovering drug addict, a trans man, and a woman who shared her story about living with Bipolar. Someone said something to me that made me reflect a bit. “Nina, I don’t know if someone’s mentioned this before, but for a white, cis hetero woman, you seem to interview people that are nothing like you.”I thought for a while, and I couldn’t come up with an answer as to why that was. Then, I realized why. Those guests actually were VERY much “like me”. I can see why, at the surface, there seems to be more differences than similarities. But, if you look deeper – that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Ya see, NONE of us lead the same life. That’s impossible. You know what’s VERY possible, though? Experiencing similar (or even exact) emotions as other people. True, they can be caused by different things – but as humans, the one thing we DO have in common, is that we FEEL. Am I gay? Nope. Trans? Nope. A Drag Queen? Nope. Recovering addict? Nope. Do I struggle with Bipolar? Nope. But, you know what?
I DO know what it feels like to fear rejection if I vulnerably shared a part of who I was.
I DO know what it’s like to wish that a part of me would just “go away” so I didn’t have to deal with it anymore.
I DO know what it’s like to have a brain that works in a way that isn’t “typical”.
I DO know what it’s like to wear a mask for so damn long that sometimes I even forgot who I was.
Authenticity is the greatest human filter out there. When you work through the fear, the discomfort, and the vulnerability, little by little you will start to attract others who have been waiting for someone just like you to connect with. Is it easy? Fu*k no. Will everyone understand you? Nope. Will everyone stick around? Nope. Will be people judge you? Uh huh.
I know it’s scary. God, do I know it’s scary. However, I’ve learned that people can only see each other through the darkness, when at least one of them holds up a flashlight. So, just know that mine is always on.
Although this email came to from a woman who is in a relationship with another woman, this is no different in heterosexual relationships either. Read her email below.
“My wife confided in me last night that she had sex with a man during the one time she and I broke up (about 2 years into our relationship; broken up for 3 weeks mostly as a result of some messed up things her family felt towards her relationship with another woman). I wasn’t mad. Not in the slightest. I was: Impressed? Proud? TURNED ON? So many things. I had/have this primal desire to reclaim her as *mine* (uh, we’ve now been together 11 years, married, kids, etc. She’s mine, ha!).
I don’t know what my question is. I enjoy this feeling. I feel like I’m seeing my wife differently – in a good way. We made out (just that) for the first time in YEARS (without leading to sex) and it was like we were 20 again.
And, another part of me is sad. She said “That’s it. I don’t have a single secret left.” And it dawned on me – those early butterfly stages are gone. This little blip (bomb as I called it) was the last little “BANG” she gave me. Of course there are other things in life (kids, etc.) that make me fall for this person over and over. But for a split second (that I’m still riding) I saw my wife as I saw her all those years ago – as an independent sexual person who I want to get in bed with SO badly!
Well, first and foremost – BRAVO for being open with each other, receptive, and non-judgmental. Extra bonus that it benefited your current sexual relationship!
Let’s start by defining the word, DESIRE.
“…a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.”
So, by definition, desire creeps in when we want something we don’t have. In this example, you may “have” her now, but when you found out that she slept with another person (especially a man, in this scenario), a few things may have happened…
1. In the absence of comfort and complacency, we often enter competitive mode! Your comfort and complacency were threatened (not necessarily in a “bad” way). Often, in long term relationships, we get comfortable and complacent. We forget the fact that, in reality, we can never truly guarantee that our partners will always stay with us. However, we do tend to fall back on that assumption after a while – especially in trusting and communicative relationships. The moment we are faced with the fact that our partner desires other people, it threatens that level of safety and comfort. Although we may assume that our partner obviously finds other people attractive, we may not talk about it often, and (in monogamous relationships) we certainly don’t expect to have discussions about who we’ve slept with outside the marriage.
That feeling of wanting to “reclaim” her, is a human response. I go over this in my blog on Hot Wives/Wife sharing as well. Think about when you were a kid and some jerky classmate stole a ball that you were playing with on the playground. What happened? Aside from probably crying, you may have found yourself angry, and even plotting ways to steal it back – am I right? The jerky kid threatened your level of comfort in knowing that the ball was in your possession. Once you got the ball back, how incredible did that feel? You probably appreciated it more, and may have even become more protective of it! See where I’m going with this? Sound familiar?
2. The Madonna/Whore Complex is a thing. No, I am not calling anyone a whore here (although I challenge you to ask yourself why that would be seen as an insult if I did – but that’s for another blog.). It’s an actual concept that has been studied many times. Psychoanalytic (Freud) thinking was that men could not sexually desire a woman they loved (Madonna), and could not love a woman they desired (whore). Essentially, it’s the idea that women are seen as either “good” – pure, innocent, amenable Madonnnas, or “bad” – sexual, promiscuous, seductive, whores. I won’t get into the patriarchal BS of the concept now, but it does explain a lot of struggles people have in long-term relationships, sexually speaking. This happens with people who have children as well. When someone becomes a mother, sometimes their partner(s) have a hard time seeing them as sexual. Society has deemed motherhood and sexuality to be mutually exclusive (cannot go together).
In this specific example, the writer said in her own words, “But for a split second (that I’m still riding) I saw my wife as I saw her all those years ago – as an independent sexual person who I want to get in bed with SO badly!”
This is precisely what I’m referring to! We often “forget” how sexual our partner was in their life before us. We are so intertwined, and up each other’s butts (not in a good way), that it’s hard to remember how we saw them years ago.
But, guess what? I have REALLY amazing news!
You can create/recreate those feelings! Yes, even in a long-term relationship. It takes creativity, openness, and honest communication. It’s a dance between wanting to stay with what’s comfortable, and being willing to push the envelope a bit. From choosing activities that neither of you have done before, to bringing some fantasies close enough to reality to illicit that dopamine rush – it’s all possible!
I work with couples on this exact process, and each couple is so unique (which is what makes it so damn fun!).
Q: I’m a 54 yr. old male. I’ve had numerous partners, and lived out some fantasies. But my biggest one is to do a m/f/m or hot wife scenario. This gets me so hot. Is this common? (heterosexual, male)
A: If I had a nickel for every time I was asked this question…
For context purposes, I’m going to address this question in terms of heterosexual couples. However, partner sharing is by NO means, just a “heterosexual thing”. Also, I might use the term cuckolding and hot wifing interchangeably. Cuckolding is a term that refers to watching your partner have sex with someone else. Side note: “Cuckqueaning” is the female equivalent of cuckolding. It’s when a female enjoys watching her partner being sexual with someone else. Anywho…
I’m happy to report that you are, indeed, “normal”. As a rule, I tend to steer clear from the word “normal” when talking about humans, because it really doesn’t exist – nor does it validate or invalidate any of our emotions.
Back to the fantasy…
On a psychological level, there is so much about this fantasy that makes sense. The bottom line being that it goes against societal expectations. Period. Men are expected to be territorial and not want another man to “win their prize”. I know you can’t see me, but I’m rolling me eyes – big time.
When it comes to our sexuality, it should be common knowledge (although it is SO not) that the more taboo – the more out of the norm a thought is – the MORE arousing it can be. If the norm is that men should never look to share their wives, or actually desire (gasp!) to watch their wives be sexually pleased by another man, then guess what? The OPPOSITE is usually what would be more exciting to fantasize about. Rarely will a man (or anyone, really) tell me that his biggest fantasy is something that he does on a daily basis.
Let me parallel this for a hot sec. I am OBSESSED with prison and death row documentaries. Why? Because I have never been to prison or death row, and it’s a life that is so foreign to the one I lead. Does it mean I am secretly some serial killer who wants to be read my last rights as I sit strapped in a chair? Negative Ghost Rider. It actually has LESS to do with the ACTUAL content of the documentary, and MORE to do with the fact that it is so far from my reality. Sexual fantasies are no different.
There are a number of directions this could go as far as explaining why a man might have this fantasy (all valid, by the way), but what really matters most is that there should be ZERO shame around it. So, let me try to shed some light on this fantasy for anyone else who has it (and I know there are many).
Especially in long term relationships, men can start to see their female partner in a light that doesn’t scream naughty vixen (don’t be fooled, women are HIGHLY sexual). Often, their wife might also be the mother of their children. This dives into the Madonna/Whore complex – where men have a hard time seeing their wives as sexual.
With that in mind, seeing their wife with another man is like seeing her in a totally different light! It reminds the husband that his wife is indeed a sexual being, can easily shed that pure and innocent hat, and turn into the object of desire very quickly. Additionally, there may be a surge of competition that comes up for the husband while he’s enjoying the view of his oh-so-innocent wife getting manhandled from behind by another man (you’re welcome for the visual). There could also be an ego and pride aspect to it. You have this super hot wife, and other men want her. You’re the “King”, and all of these men are looking to you as this lucky SOB who has the hot wife (*pats yourself on the back*).
Another reason could be compersion. Compersion is finding joy in witnessing another person’s enjoyment of something. A non-sexual example would be watching your child having a blast on the swing set, or seeing them win an award and being ecstatic about it. However, we’re clearly not talking about non-sexual things right now. Sexually speaking, compersion is finding happiness in witnessing your partner have a joyful sexual or romantic experience with someone else. This term is common in the polyamorous community, but is also a valid term in this hot wife example.
You wanna get clinical for a minute? Let’s talk evolutionary theory. Sounds fun, right?
Sperm competition is an evolutionary theory that when men suspect (or know) that their female partner is having sex with other men, it increases their desire to ejaculate inside their partner to, quite literally, compete with the other men’s sperm. It’s like a race to the egg! In the early 2000’s, there were two different studies done regarding sperm competition. One found that there was actually more sperm in the ejaculate when men watched cuckolding porn . The other study found that when men suspected their female partner to be unfaithful, they tended to thrust harder during penetrative sex . Some scientists argue that this may be a subconscious effort to force the other men’s sperm out of the woman’s vagina – or at least force the other sperm out of the damn way!
So, here you are thinking there is something “wrong” with you for being turned on by hot wifing/cucklolding, when in reality it may be an evolutionary response!
The moral of the story is this: Underneath the psychobabble rant I just went on, and far beyond the evolutionary theory that I just vomited, please know that YOU. ARE. HUMAN. Your fantasies are valid whether or not they are “normal”. Normal is not the goal with our sexuality. As a matter of fact, the word has ZERO place in the human experience at all. You know what is the goal, though? Consensual, safe, authentic, vulnerable, fulfilling, pleasure – and that will look different for all of us.
Q: I am a 45 yr old female and have been with my husband for 15 years. The missionary position is the only position I can have an orgasm. I tense everything up in order to have an orgasm. I have always done this. I’m in pretty good physical shape, but my hips are always sore the day after we have sex. I’ve tried to stay relaxed and it either takes much longer or doesn’t happen. I’m not complaining, but just curious. My question is: Why do we tense up our muscles in order to orgasm?
A: First and foremost – it’s AMAZING that you’re having orgasms during intercourse! Many women cannot, so kudos!
Let me preface this by owning that I am not a Doctor or medical professional. However, I am a woman with a vulva/vagina, and I research and read about sexuality for both personal AND professional reasons, so there’s that…#sexgeek.
Most people actually DO tense up as they build to orgasm! You are not experiencing anything abnormal or uncommon, whatsoever. Self disclosure: I am the same way! There are a few reasons this might be the case. First, when our bodies are aroused and working towards orgasm, blood flow increases to our genitals. By tensing our muscles, it helps that process happen faster. Many people (penis AND vagina owners) tighten their muscles – often from the waist down. There are, however, people who find themselves tensing their upper body as well!
On a totally different and possibly unscientific note (aka: me just speculating and making something up that COULD be true): When a woman tightens her Kegel muscles (think, the muscle that can stop us from peeing midstream), the glans of her clitoris (the man in the boat that we all see on the outside) sort of retracts a tad. I’ll give you a sec to try it…
Ok…we’re back. Now, follow me here for a hot minute…
Sometimes, if the pressure of the stimulus (tongue, fingers, toy, etc.) is too much for the clitoris and you clench to retract it a bit, the clitoral hood sort of buffers the stimulation to make it more tolerable to receive the clitoral stimulation.
How amazing are orgasms, right?! It’s as if our body innately does what it needs to do for our specific orgasm – “specific” being the definitive word. Women (with vaginas) tend to differ greatly in the manner in which they orgasm. From what arouses them, to the environment that needs to be created, to the actual mechanics. And it’s allllllll good!
In terms of your hips being sore, that is most likely from the constant tension during arousal while you’re working towards an orgasm. That may mean you’re tensing your butt as well (also super common) as one of the muscle groups to aid in orgasm. By tensing your butt muscles, your hips sort of drive forward as well.
Because I am not there in person to see how your hips move during sex, my other thought is how you’re moving your hips (or if you are moving them at all). Women often like to grind against the pelvic region of their partner during penetrative sex to make clitoral contact. If that’s the case, you may want to try asking your husband if he can position himself differently where HE is doing the grinding of his pelvis on your clit, versus the other way around.
Lastly, you could experiment with allowing yourself to go back and forth between tensing and then relaxing, versus staying tense consistently. It depends on how uncomfortable your hips are, and how much you want to change that outcome. I understand wanting to cut down on the time it takes, but if your sore hips are bothering you enough to want to switch things up a bit, then go for it!
Regardless of what you choose to try, just know that each of us has our own unique “orgasm formula”, and the ONLY goal is to make it work for YOU. It sounds like you’re ahead of the game! ENJOY!
Q: Hey Nina. So my husband and I have been married for 15 yrs and together for 22. Very recently, he’s talked to me more about me having either like a boyfriend or just another person that I have sex with and then come home to him. He has mentioned that he thinks it would be so hot to watch someone have sex with me. We’ve been talking about it more and more.
At first, I thought this might be a way of him getting to have sex with someone else. I’m the only person he’s ever been with. He says it’s not, and that he hasn’t really found anyone that he would be interested in anyway. He works with a bunch of people who are younger than us, in their 20’s, and I guess this is more of a thing with the younger generation. He says we have our relationship and our love and this would be just a pleasure/fun thing.
I’ve been thinking about it more and more and was confiding in a male friend of mine that doesn’t know my husband. He thought it was interesting too and we wound up sexting the other night. I must admit, it was really hot. And my husband thought it was hot too! I think I’m into it now and my friend and I are working on a meetup time to kinda Netflix and chill. He says there is no pressure.
My husband is an analytical person and says he has thought this through thoroughly. What are your thoughts on this? I’ve expressed my fear to my husband about this possibly ruining our marriage, but he says no. Is this just another way to spice up a long term marriage as long as all parties involved know the terms and agree to them?
A: Hi there! Ahhhh…the infamous hotwife fantasy! The desire for a man to see his wife with another man is usually referred to as “cuckolding”, or being a “hot wife”. It can take many forms depending on what you and your husband are seeking out of the sexual experience. Some men enjoy being humiliated as they watch their wife with another man. Some men love to see their wife as the object of desire of another man, knowing she is “his” to reclaim afterwards. My best advice for this is to think about what exactly you want out of this. If it is to “fix” a marriage, I would advise against – big time. If it’s to spice up a marriage, I would think about what could go wrong and see how you would both handle it.
Questions like: What sort of contact is allowed with the other men afterwards? Does your husband want to know these men, or do they have to be strangers? What happens if you start to have feelings for another man? How will you navigate it if you start to feel that this is pulling you further from your husband, rather than closer? How will you communicate negative feelings?
Bottom line is this – consensual non-monogamy is becoming more openly discussed as we learn more about human sexuality. It can absolutely spice up your current relationship and enhance communication. On the flip side, there is also a risk that it can go south (and not in a good way), and you want to be prepared for that before jumping in. I would suggest starting slowly. If you are both comfortable with sexting other people and sharing that together, then go for it! Talk about the next steps as you go. Always communicate about your feelings and be honest about what does and does not work for you.
Q: We have been seriously talking about opening up our marriage and I think I’m ok with it now. At 40 and having been out of the dating scene for 20+ years, I’m not even sure how to go about finding someone. I’ve been talking to a friend of a friend that may be interested and we have sexted once, but I’m not sure if he’s really down or not. Do you know other people that have open marriages? I’ve been hearing that the younger generation is more ok with open relationships. What are your thoughts?
A: Consensual non-monogamy seems to be getting quite the press lately, and I think a lot has to do with the internet. Although the idea of having multiple partners has been around for ages (think concubines, harems, etc.), it’s becoming less taboo because of the ability to connect virtually with so many others who are curious as well. I also believe that as we evolve, we are always looking to better “adapt” to new knowledge that we acquire.
A brief history lesson, shall we?
The truth, whether it’s easy to hear or not, is that sexual monogamy is not a biological “thing”. It’s a cultural and religious construct that many are content to align with. Marriage was more of a business/logistical decision to protect and preserve property and assets – it did not begin for love and sexual pleasure. Sexual monogamy was born out of wanting to control who women slept with so there was never a question as to who the child belonged to – again – this was important in terms of lineage and the passing down of assets.
So, here’s my own take on what’s happened to monogamous relationships…
The main reasons for creating marriage and monogamy have sort of gone away for most of us, yet the expectations have remained. If someone is royalty or insanely wealthy and they want to know who their biological child is, we have paternity tests now. So….there’s that.
Now, we have monogamous couples who are married and wondering where lust and passion have gone, or why they are struggling to be satisfied with one person for a lifetime. Humans are not designed to be sexually monogamous. As a matter of fact, there’s only about 3%-5% of mammal species (humans included!) that are monogamous for life.
The urge to stray will be there because of human nature, but what we choose to do with that urge is what makes the difference. I speak to so many people who are riddled with guilt over lusting after someone else, and I have to explain to them that I would actually be MORE surprised if they weren’t! So, what do we do?
We make a choice. Sexual monogamy is a daily choice that we make – oftentimes without thinking. The truth is, we all have the free will to walk out and be sexual with someone else. So, what keeps us from doing it? Well, we already know that there are many who DO choose to act on the urges, and the consequences can be devastating to the relationship. Some may remain sexually monogamous but feel bored and resentful, and others may not have any issues with being sexually monogamous at all! Then there’s the rest…
If you haven’t watched the Ted Talk by Dr. Jess O’Reilly, titled “Monogamish”, do yourself a favor and watch it. This is where I believe most people fall in terms of monogamy. Research has found that very few relationships THRIVE in 100% monogamous relationships, and very few THRIVE in 100% open relationships. The majority of us actually exist somewhere along the spectrum. Now, before you take that the wrong way, let’s talk about what I actually mean by “spectrum”. Relationships aren’t always black and white in terms of sexual behavior.
So, what sort of behaviors can be found on this spectrum? Mind you, these would all have to be CONSENSUAL and AGREED UPON or else you’re risking betrayal, infidelity, and ultimately, the end of a relationship. To give you some examples (from more vanilla to less vanilla):
Flirting with other people (with your partner knowing)
Discussing people that you both find sexy, and maybe using it as fuel in the bedroom
Going to a strip club together and watching your partner get a lap dance
Sexting a third party (again, with your partner either participating or knowing that you’re doing it)
Exchanging videos or pictures with another couple online (there are safety tips to this, so please don’t do this if you haven’t thought it through. The internet can be amazing, but also very dangerous.)
Going to sex clubs to watch others have sex
Occasional make-out sessions with a mutually agreed-upon third person
Agreeing on specific parameters for consensual non-monogamy (i.e. must be in a different state or certain distance away, certain sexual behaviors being off-limits, not engaging in sexual behaviors with the same person more than once, no exchanging of contact information, etc.)
To answer the other questions – yes, I do know people who have open relationships. Does it work for them? Yes. Does it work for everyone? Nope. The younger generation seems to be more open to it, but they are also more open to other non-traditional lifestyle choices as well. So, I think as a general rule, younger folks seem to be likely to challenge the status quo, rather than roll with it.
My personal thoughts…
I think it can be a viable option for some long term relationships to keep the spice alive, and satisfy the sexual and emotional urge for variety.
I think people sometimes jump into it way too quickly, and unfortunately, it’s not something that can be erased. Remember that fantasy is almost always better than reality.
There MUST be agreements and parameters along the way
Take it step-by-step, and don’t go from sexual monogamy directly into sex with others – try the smaller steps first (see the list of monogamy spectrum examples above) and build a foundation as you go.
Communication is non-negotiable. Jealousy is a human emotion and not to be ignored. Just talk about it.
Opening up a marriage should never be done to save a failing one.
To remotely begin to navigate an open marriage, your CURRENT relationship should be as foundationally sound as possible.
I urge you to do your research first. Check out online communities of others who have been in the lifestyle for a while, and pick their brain. Sometimes, we get so excited about something sexual, that we neglect to think about what could go wrong. Seeking a sex therapist is also another option to help navigate this process.
Q: As a mother yourself, what age do you think is appropriate to teach your kids about the birds and the bees? I’ve taught my son, who’s 6, that half the baby comes from Dad’s penis and the other half from mom. Daddies have to plant their half in the mommy’s vagina. My family thinks I’m crazy for teaching that to him. I remember (over 25 years ago) I learned from a friend in 2nd grade. I just wanted him to know the truth from me and not another kid in school. And where would you draw the line? My daughter is 4 and I’m teetering on the idea of telling her, too. What’s your opinion??
A: This is such an amazingly powerful topic, and I would be a millionaire if I had the exact age and method of explaining sex to children. But alas, I don’t. Nobody does. You will find an infinite amount of articles on this topic, and depending on the level of progressiveness of the author, you will be told something different each and every time. I am happy to give my opinion on the topic, but remember that my opinion is just that…my opinion. Here it goes…
I personally think you did great, and I’m proud of you. I believe you should explain sex to your kids at whatever age they ask. That, I’m pretty set on. The difficult part is WHAT we’re supposed to tell them. Let’s be honest – even though we have heard the research time and time again that talking about sex does NOT lead to kids HAVING sex, we still believe it does. I am a former health teacher, I should know better. However, when it comes to my kids, all bets are off and I lose my rational thinking capabilities.
I am FAR from a perfect Mother (newsflash: perfect Moms don’t exist), but here’s how I’ve handled it: I always ask them what THEY think it is first. Often times they have heard some bogus explanation from school kids and I want to be the first to correct that misinformation. Every now and then, they will actually present you with ACCURATE information that they’ve heard at school, and you can literally confirm it, and be on with your day!
If they ask for further information, I use this line: “I am happy you asked. These are great questions and your curiosity is 100% normal. My job as your parent is to explain things to you that make sense for someone your age. As you get older, I can explain it differently because you will be able to understand even better. Deal?”
To explain my reasoning even further, I use the analogy of driving. I say, “You’re 7 years old. If I told you that we were going to go to a parking lot and I was going to teach you how to drive and parallel park, what would you say?” They will inevitably respond with something along the lines of, “But, I’m too young! I can’t even drive yet!”.
BINGO! It makes no sense for me to bog their brain down with things that truly have nothing to do with their experiences at their age. I ask again, “Now, what if you were 15 years old and I told you we were going to practice driving?” They get it at that point. I explain that as they get older, I PROMISE to explain things to them in a way that is relevant to their age. What I DON’T want my kids to feel is that I am hiding some Holy Grail secret from them. The truth is, they will find out regardless (Hello, Internet. Ugh), and I’d rather it be from me.
I try not to use words that have a negative vibe to them because I don’t want anything about sex to be negative for my kids (although I’m certain I’ve already messed that up). I don’t want anything to seem wrong or taboo – I just focus on the TIMING and depth of information I share. I rarely, if ever, say, “You’re too young to understand.” I think that actually creates a dynamic that doesn’t lend itself to open communication. Your child will see you as doubting their ability to emotionally handle something. Although that may be true, it doesn’t feel so great to a kid.
Educate them on the basic biology when they ask – sperm meets egg, and a baby is made (sometimes). If they want to know how the sperm meets the egg (which is what happened with my child), I told her that when two adults who are in love want to make a baby, the penis goes into the vagina. Did I wanna die at that moment? Yup! Was I totally irrational and fear that she was going to go out the next day and get pregnant at 8 years old, even though it’s borderline impossible? Yup! I could barely sleep that night and feared she’d be the next star on “I’m a Teen Mom”. Welcome to parenthood.
Depending on their age, you can even go on to say that sometimes adults need Doctors to help make it happen, but that’s up to you. I’ve had to explain that to my kids because we have cousins who have two mommies, and we have cousins who have been pregnant many times, miscarried, and required reproductive medicine.
As they get older, I think it’s important to introduce pleasure education, because they won’t EVER get it here in the US unless they take a college course on it (mega eye roll). If you’re four-year-old is asking, go ahead and explain the basics about the sperm meeting the egg. Chances are, she will not be very interested in it and she’ll move on.
Again, it’s more about how well you know your children. You’re their mother and you will always be met with opposition – that’s just life. I think most of us are fighting more of a cultural war than anything else. The truth is, the less of a deal you make of it, the less intriguing it will be.
Q: I love tickling women in bondage. It’s a huge sexual fantasy for me. My wife isn’t into it at all. I’ve sat down with her and told her how much it means to me but she really doesn’t want to try it. If I tickle other women and just not tell her about it, am I justified?
A: Good for you for being open about what you want! The downside is, our partners are not always going to be game for what we want, and that’s ok. There are a plethora of fantasies that we have, and to expect our partners to entertain them all would just set us up for disappointment, right?
So, here’s where we make choices in relationships. In my personal opinion (and that’s all it is…an opinion), I would highly discourage engaging in behaviors behind your partner’s back. That rarely, if ever, ends well. It also starts to place a massive wedge between the two of you, and intimacy is about connection, not betrayal.
When I work with clients, I try to get to the psychological experience they are seeking. After all, sexuality is actually more about our psyche than anything else. So, what about tickling a woman in bondage gets you excited? What feeling does it create that is arousing? Often we can find several other activities that can elicit a similar response that your partner may be up for!
I would also be curious as to the reasons your partner is not comfortable doing it. Is it being tied up? Is it being tickled? Maybe there’s a middle ground that you can meet on. For example, let’s say she doesn’t like the idea of being tickled, but she is ok being tied up. Maybe you can use a feather on her to cause pleasure, but not tickle her. Maybe you can use temperature play and rub an ice cube on her body.
Often we are uncomfortable with what we don’t know. If this is something foreign to her, maybe show her what it looks like. Show her a clip of the fantasy you’re seeking. I’d also challenge you to think about how you would react if she wanted something sexual that you were not comfortable with. What sort of ways would you try to navigate the situation to try to satisfy her desires without doing something that makes you uncomfortable?
My first line of defense will always be honest and open communication with your partner. If she is adamantly against it, and you feel like this is a deal-breaker for your marriage, I would explain to her that your desire for this is strong, and you want to work together to figure out a way to experience this without jeopardizing your marriage.
If it’s something that isn’t a deal-breaker for your marriage, I would either try to find a happy medium, or you may just have to chalk it up to the fact that our partners aren’t always going to be up for what we want sexually! I’m pretty confident that if you can try to dig and figure out exactly the feeling you’re looking to experience, you’ll find a million other sexual things you can do to get that desired feeling – and who knows – she may be ready to explore it with you!
Question: I watch porn 2-3 times a day, and get off as well. Is that considered a porn addiction?
My usual caveat here, folks: I am not a Psychiatrist or Therapist. I am, however, a human being with very strong feelings about being exactly that…HUMAN. My opinions are not gospel, but if they provide a different perspective that helps you reduce or get rid of shame and guilt, then I’ve done my job.
Porn Addiction. Is that a thing? All the stuff out there on this, in my opinion, is just that – opinions. You want mine? Here it is…
I don’t care if you watch porn 763 times in an hour, or once a day. The ONLY question that should ever come up is whether or not it is negatively impacting your daily life – and I don’t mean some moral dilemma you’re having based on outside influences. I’m talking whether or not you are literally missing out on life because of it. Are you staying home from work just to watch porn? Are you skipping all social events just to stay home and watch porn? Have your expectations changed so much that you no longer find pleasure in non-porn activities? Has your view of your current sex life plummeted because of the unrealistic portrayal of sex in porn? Even if you answered yes to any of these – it just means that you need to reevaluate your porn-watching habits. It doesn’t mean you’re some sexual deviant who needs to be quarantined. And if that IS what it means, then you’ll have millions of other “deviants” right next to you in the cell (insert sarcasm and eye roll).
Do I think that porn contains chemicals that are addictive when ingested? Clearly not. Although, that would be pretty cool if you could actually ingest porn…but I digress. Do I believe that your brain enjoys the good vibes (pun intended) that it gets when watching porn? Absofreakinlutely. However, if you watching porn gets you horny, feeling good, into orgasm land, and no one is hurt in the process – WHY. THE. HELL. NOT?
You want to watch porn while peeing? Go for it. Doing the laundry? Then, too! While you’re on a conference call? Sure – live on the edge! (ok…maybe go easy on that one due to potential screen share accidents.)
So much of our guilt from watching porn is instilled in us via outside influences (religion, family, culture, etc.). However, if you remove all of that and take it for what it ACTUALLY is, it’s pretty straightforward. Porn can be exciting, stimulating, and for many, a NECESSARY component in orgasmic sessions. So, go ahead – keep rocking it. If you find it starts to negatively impact your life, take a step back and make some changes. Maybe it’s the type of porn you’re watching. Maybe it’s the types of bodies you’re getting used to seeing.
When I work with clients who openly enjoy porn but are having trouble separating it from reality, the first thing I tell them to do is to watch homemade porn for a while and see if that shifts. Additionally, I recommend (especially for those who have a vagina), to watch porn that you can actually connect with. If you typically orgasm by using a toy, then watch porn where the performers are using toys. If you have a curvier or softer body (all genders), then search for porn with similar body types. If you want to take a break for a little bit completely, then go ahead and take a break! It will be there when you return from your porn hiatus, so never fear.
So go easy on yourself, ok? Getting off 2-3 times a day is an amazing self-care routine and one that is both physically AND mentally healthy for you.
Question: How do we start anal play? I want to make sure it doesn’t hurt and that we do it correctly.
The awkward hurdle of bringing up the topic of anal play has been cleared…now what? Aside from the mental uneasiness surrounding the idea of anal play, many fear the physical “uneasiness” as well. This is a legitimate concern and one that absolutely needs to be considered. The downside? It can be uncomfortable if not approached carefully. Upside? There are ways to make anal play extremely pleasurable. Let’s be honest…that’s the goal here, right?
The anus is naturally tight and does not lubricate in the
same way a vagina does, for example. I know what you’re thinking…how can tight and dry ever work together? And you’re right – if left alone,
those two adjectives do not lend themselves to pleasurable anal play. However, with a few other “ingredients”, you
have the makings of one HELL of a recipe!
Anal play can be mind-blowing if done correctly. What’s “correctly”? Well, here are a few tips to help ensure a pleasurable experience and one which your partner just might be open (pun intended) to trying.
1) WAIT: Yes, you read that correctly. Rushing right into anal play is not the best idea. Getting worked up and waiting for your inhibitions to fall away is when your mind and body will be more receptive to engaging in something that may be new or uncomfortable. Pay attention to your partner’s body movements. Are they tense and reserved or are they relaxed and inviting?
*Caveat* I’m a huge believer in trying things on yourself before trying with a partner. There are many anal “starter kits” that can help you adjust to the sensation and figure out how you like it, which can then be explained to your partner.
2) BABY STEPS: When you and your partner have been going at it for a while and you can tell they are totally into the moment, start by grabbing and/or rubbing their ass. That simple move will start to wake up that area on their body. Next, try licking your finger to lubricate it and slowly rub up and down the crack of their ass and over their anus. The anus has a high concentration of nerve endings, so rubbing gently over it is rarely protested. Again, you’re moving slowly to gauge their level of comfort each step of the way. If you get the green light, then it’s time for your next move. When in doubt, ASK! Consent. Is. Sexy.
3) OPTIONS: To take it to the next level, you have several options. Your next move will depend on your ultimate goal at the moment (oral-anal, genital-anal, toy-anal, digital (fingers)-anal, etc.). The “safest” bet is to start with one finger – the thinner the better. Making sure it’s lubricated (saliva works and doesn’t interrupt the moment, but lube is preferred!) and start to focus on rubbing directly around the anus applying a small amount of pressure. Slowly (keyword here!) insert the tip of your finger inside. Their natural reaction will be to tense up – that’s ok. Leaving your finger in there as you continue to kiss will allow their body (and mind) to begin to relax around it. If you’re looking to add another finger or move to something larger, just ASK! It doesn’t have to be clinical or corny. It can be sexy! Like, “Are you ready for something bigger?” “Do you want more, baby?”
Too often, I feel people believe that asking for consent has to be this super professional and formal moment. Not true! You are technically asking for a level of consent to do something/continue to do something every time you ask your partner if something feels good!
4) TALK: Aside from paying attention and being in tune with your partner’s body language, check in with your partner. A simple, “Does that feel good?”, “Do you like that?” or “How’s this?” can not only add to the sexual atmosphere, but it allows your partner the chance to let you know how they’re feeling. Remember that anal play does not have to be painful and, if done right, can be immensely pleasurable. Take your time, check in with your partner, make sure to lubricate, and ENJOY!
Introducing anal play into the bedroom requires sensitivity and tact. Best case scenario, you are 100% positive that your partner is down for it and, in that case, what the hell are you waiting for? Stop reading this and go play!
However, if you are one of the many who are in a
relationship where the idea of anal play has not come up yet or it’s come up
but you’re still unsure about your partner’s feelings on the topic, then listen
Let’s take an all too common situation and break it down. You’re with your partner and it’s getting heavy. You’re both turned on and crawling out of your skin. Clothes are off, moans are loud and the smell of sex is surrounding you. In the midst of your animalistic lust, your senses are on overload. You’re enjoying touching each other’s “fun parts” and all of a sudden…WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?! Your partner decides that it was a good time to slowly slip the tip of their finger into your ass. No warning, no preparation, nothing. Your body tenses up, you laugh awkwardly, panic sets in and the mood is…well…gone. Nothing like ruining a porn style moment with an unexpected finger in the ass. This, my friends, can be avoided (and it really should be avoided…).
Here are some tips for communicating about anal play:
1) Bring it up OUTSIDE
of the bedroom. If you’re in a relationship and comfortable enough to be
sexually active, you’re probably comfortable talking about sexual topics. Even something as simple as asking if
your partner has ever done anything anally (not just anal sex). If the answer
is yes, they will most likely say how they felt about it. If they don’t
volunteer the information right away, it would be totally natural to respond
with, “Oh really? What did you think?”
If the answer is no, it would also be completely ok to
follow up with a question like, “Oh really? Not your thing, huh?” Approaching
the topic without judgmental statements or opinions is crucial here. You can even use THIS BLOG as a conversation
starter and feel out their reaction.
2) DO NOT attempt to try
it and just, “see what happens”. Not only can this cause some serious
awkwardness, but with a topic that is as sensitive (pun intended) as anal, it
really is important to respect the fact that your partner may not be
comfortable with it at all. Contrary to what you may see while watching porn,
the stealth ass hole poke is not highly recommended.
3) Be careful with your response. Regardless of your partner’s answer, be conscious about how you respond. If you find that they are open to it, don’t automatically assume they are ready for it right then and there, or even that night. I know, I know…you’re excited and I just popped your bubble, but trust me – there are ways to initiate anal play that are more successful than others. Contrarily, if your partner is not interested in it, do not attempt to shame them into it or make them feel bad. “Different strokes for different folks” is spot on when it comes to sex, and getting your partner to do something by pressuring them with guilt is a surefire way to negatively affect your relationship (and then anal will be the LEAST of your worries). There are plenty of people who have started out being uncomfortable with it and, over time, the tides change. If the tides don’t change, you may just have to accept that and find other fun ways to enjoy each other.
Let’s review, shall we? The topic of anal play can be uncomfortable for many people for a variety of reasons. So, approach the conversation in a neutral environment, steer clear of the spontaneous finger jab and love on your partner regardless of where they sit (get it?) on the anal comfort continuum.
Ahhh…the infamous threesome question. First and foremost, you are NOT ALONE whatsoever in your desire to have a threesome. This is one of the more common porn scene searches for both men AND women, and a fantasy that most have had at one point or another. Whenever you’re discussing fantasies with a partner, the most important piece is to go slow (don’t spring it on them the moment they walk in the door). Timing. Is. Everything.
One “rule” I try to stick with is not to have uncomfortable sex chats in the bedroom, or directly following a sexual session. We tend to be super vulnerable during and after, and we want to approach the topic at a neutral time (and even a neutral location!). If you’ve already watched porn together, try watching threesome porn together and see how your partner reacts. Maybe even ask them, “What are your thoughts on threesomes? Did you think that clip was sexy, or no?” Sometimes it’s easier to have a laid back conversation about the idea in general, versus flat out asking them for a threesome.
Their answer will determine whether or not to take the conversation to the next “phase”. If your partner says that they think it’s sexy, you can say something like, “Yeah, I think so, too. Would you ever do that in real life, or is it more of a fantasy thing?”
If you ever decide to have a threesome, there are a number of questions you want to ask yourself before making it happen. But that’s for another blog post…