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Your Call: Should My Fiance Throw Out Memorabilia of His Ex?

August 26, 2014

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We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your advice in the comments section. 

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Dear Em & Lo,

I hate that my fiancé keeps so many photos of his ex-girlfriend. They aren’t framed on the wall or anything, but he has hundreds of photos of their time together — beach vacations where she’s wearing a bikini, cute couple shots, etc etc. He also keeps love letters she wrote for him and things she made for him. I hate the idea that I sometimes come across this stuff when I’m hunting for an envelope or a pair of scissors, but he says he shouldn’t have to pretend that part of his life never existed. What do you think?

– Domestic Censor

What should Domestic Censor do? Leave your advice in the comments section below.

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5 Ways to Spice Up a One-Night Stand

August 22, 2014

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photo via Flickr

One-night stands are inherently pretty spicy, what with all the excitement of the unknown. But they offer a unique opportunity to expand your sexual repertoire without the possibility of being judged or shamed (at least not by someone you know and love). Next time you take a beautiful stranger back to your place for a one-night stand, take advantage of that opportunity to experiment with acts that you would consider out of character. (And no, we don’t mean letting them tie you up — remember, kids: don’t stare at the sun, don’t run with scissors, and don’t let strangers or vengeful exes tie you up in bed!) Whatever you end up doing, your one-nighter won’t think it’s out of character and therefore unusual — because you’ve only just met! One-night standers who fail to get it on a little naughtier are missing out on half the fun.

  1. If you normally let your partner take the reins in the bedroom, be bossy for a change. Or vice versa.
  2. If you and your previous partners’ clothes always quickly ended up in a pile at your feet, be a little bit more deliberate in the undressing this time around: undress your partner before you let them take off your clothes, or have them lie back and watch you strip ever so slowly, or you could even dare to do a little strip tease!
  3. If your usual dirty talk is limited to “don’t stop” and “oh god,” then try to expand your naughty vocabulary and verbalize a bit more (if the lights are out, they won’t see you blush).
  4. Try that ridiculous position you’ve always been curious about: the wheelbarrow, the jackhammer, doggy-style (remember, “kinky” is a relative term).
  5. If you’ve always wanted to role-play but were worried your ex-partners would laugh at you, tonight’s the night to embrace your inner superhero/farmhand/spanking professor.

Remember, it’s important to practice safer sex — even more so with one-night stands: always carry your own quality condoms and oral sex dams, discuss sexual history beforehand, let a friend know where you’re going and who you’re going with, and go with your gut (i.e. if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it).

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Dream Interpretation: I Dreamed My Boyfriend Was Two People

August 21, 2014

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Other people’s dreams are never interesting…except when they’re about sex. Each week, our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg tells one lucky reader what their dirty dream means. Got a dream you want Lauri to analyze? Click here to submit it (18 and older only, please). This week, a reader asks Lauri:

I had an interesting dream last night where I had been with my boyfriend for a while, but I had began to develop feelings for a new man. The current boyfriend I was with was stubborn, aggressive, impolite, and disrespectful, while the new one was generous, funny, sweet, gentle, and in turn, much more handsome and attractive to me, than my current, not-so-kind boyfriend.

The new man and I would passionately kiss and hold hands and talk about how nice it was being with each other, behind my boyfriend’s back. The thing was that my negative boyfriend and the positive new man were friends — since before I knew either of them. One day the three of us were all together in my room and all of a sudden I started kissing the newer man in front of my boyfriend! My boyfriend became enraged and I felt so guilty. He said I could never speak to his friend again and that he was so stupid for trusting the two of us.

It wasn’t until I woke up that I realized that my boyfriend of two years was both of these men. The current boyfriend I was with had all the less attractive qualities of my boyfriend, while the new man had all his amazing qualities that encourage me to be with him today.

Our relationship has been a little rocky lately and his bipolar sometimes gets in the way of his better qualities. I love him very much and I see us being together for quite some time. I feel this dream has to mean something though. Does it?

Lauri: It certainly does! Bipolar is a very difficult disorder to have and to manage. And that’s what you have to do: manage it, with medication, routine, etc. The loved ones of the individual with bipolar have to manage it as well, and that is precisely what this dream is trying to help you do.

I always say, we are so much wiser when we dream; it is when we do our best thinking. Your dream is giving you a new perspective on your boyfriend’s disorder by showing him to you as two different people… two very different people that both love you. So if you can perceive him as the two boyfriends in your dream, and treat him as such, it may help you quite a bit in real life.

When he’s the aggressive, impolite boyfriend, try to be a calming force for him. When he’s the sweet and funny boyfriend, enjoy the hell out of him. But keep in mind, no matter which boyfriend you are with at any given time, that boyfriend loves you.

Oh, and the guilt you feel in the dream, and your boyfriend’s anger about you kissing and enjoying the other boyfriend — that is really YOUR own guilt. You may find yourself feeling guilty over thoughts of disliking him when he is impolite and stubborn. Don’t beat yourself up over it. That’s natural and it’s okay.

 

Visit Lauri’s brand new site, WhatYourDreamMeans.com, for even more dream interpretations! If you want to be able to figure out your own dreams every morning, then check out her latest book, Dream On It: Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life, which will give you the tools you need to become a dream expert, too. Check out all of Lauri’s books here.

 

 

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Why He Didn’t Call or Text When He Said He Would

August 19, 2014

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Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: Why didn’t he call  (or text/email/Gchat/et al) when he said he would?

Straight Married Guy (Matt): There’s a simple answer to this one: it doesn’t matter. Most women I know get very worked up over this, and it never helps anything. It could be one of ten thousand possible reasons, and there is no chance that sitting and discussing it with your friends ad infinitum or stressing about it is going to help anything. It might just be some reason that has nothing to do with you (family problem, work problem, some other unrelated problem), or hey, maybe he likes you and he scared off the last woman he liked, so he’s forcing himself to pull back a little — or maybe your worst fear is true, and he isn’t actually into you.

You won’t figure any of this out by sitting there and worrying about it or analyzing every tidbit of your last conversation or email exchange looking for clues, so what’s the point? My advice is to do everything possible not to obsess over the guy’s delay in calling. Distract yourself with whatever you can, even a date or flirtation with someone else if that’s what it takes. And if he never calls back, fuck him. At least you can feel good about not having wasted all that time sitting by your phone.

Straight Single Guy (Colin): Let’s be optimistic for a moment. Maybe he was debating how long he should wait to call so that he wouldn’t seem desperate. But now he’s waited too long and feels silly calling so long after the fact. Okay now let’s be realistic. Most likely this guy fell into the trap we all do sometimes, saying what we think we should say instead of what we actually think. Maybe the sparks weren’t there and he didn’t have the heart to tell you. Try to get in touch with him if you can. But if he’s still flakey, give him a quick kick to the curb and move on.

Gay Committed Guy (Terence): While tempted to say, “He’s just not that…” I think not calling is more likely because the alcohol has worn off and/or another woman is already on the side. When a guy wants to get laid, and let’s face it, if he’s asking for your number, then he’s that kind of into you, the first question running through his head after getting your number is why didn’t we just go home then? Calling sets up a whole ‘nother time-consuming process that sometimes just doesn’t seem worth it.

Personally, I think not calling takes real balls — not the good ones. Either you’re an over-confident prick, or you’ve got a girlfriend. You’re over-confident thinking you can get someone better (easier), or you know you may get a little somethin’ started and then have to emergency bail out of the situation. Solution: always, always take his number even though it’s just as shitty to wait around for him to return your calls.

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Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week they’re all a little shy.



What Are the Rules for Dating Your Friend’s Exes?

August 15, 2014

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As a general rule, we think it’s bad manners — not to mention bad taste — to date or sleep with a friend’s ex, a.k.a. “dating the floor model.” Why ruin a perfectly good friendship for a hook-up that, let’s face it, probably won’t last the season?

The ONLY way we think it’s acceptable to move in on a friend’s ex is to:

(a) wait until that friend has reached some kind of relationship closure;

(b) give the friend a heads up first so they’re not blindsided by the news; and

(c) only do this if you’re convinced that there’s some kind of deep love connection and that you’d be defying Cupid to ignore it.

Obviously the ex in question also bears the same responsibility, but whatever — we expect exes to act like assholes. That’s why they’re exes, after all.

By the way, before you swear up and down that this is Cupid-defying love: Make sure it’s not just a matter of the forbidden being all the more tempting, of obstacles standing in the way of love (or lust) –thereby making it all the more appealing?  We get it, we really do — that’s the nature of the beast. But there’s Romeo and Juliet, and then there’s Gossip Girl.

Remember, dating is hard enough on the heart when you and your friends have each other’s back. But when you don’t? It’s soul-destroying.

Want to get advice on your own love life? Click here to ask us a question!

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Dream Interpretation: I Keep Dreaming About My Old Classmates

August 15, 2014

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Other people’s dreams are never interesting…except when they’re about sex. Each week, our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg tells one lucky reader what their dirty dream means. Got a dream you want Lauri to analyze? Click here to submit it (18 and older only, please). This week, a reader asks Lauri:

All of my life I went to school with the same people, up until high school, when my family moved. So for eight years I had almost every class with the same 20 people, and these people from my childhood keep coming up in my dreams.

The dreams follow the same story line, where all 20 of us go on a field trip at our current ages (19/20). I always end up around my first ex and my first huge crush (J and B) and I always end up making myself look stupid somehow. (It may be important to note that I was always extremely nervous around J and B and I had a years-long on and off thing that wasn’t resolved before I moved).

Recently, there was a new addition to my dreams where, after the embarrassment, I find my old best friend, E, and we end up having sex somewhere quick, like a bathroom cubicle (I’m asexual and she’s bi). I just want to know why, after six years of not speaking to or seeing any of those people, I keep having dreams about them.

Lauri: It’s very common to dream of people from our past, even decades after the last time we saw them. The reason why this is, is because these various people leave an impression on us and become a symbol for some part of our self.

These people were a big part of your “coming of age.” So you may find that you dream of them whenever the idea or the question of getting into a relationship enters your mind.

The way you keep embarrassing yourself in front of them in the dream suggests that you are feeling embarrassed about some part of you in real life. Do you have a lot of concern about how being asexual may look to others? Is that something that is hard for you to share or explain? I would imagine that being asexual, whether it is something you are embarrassed about or not, could be a difficult thing from time to time, because of the societal pressure that you’re supposed to be in a relationship or at least looking for one.

What I think this dream is trying to show you is that the most important relationship you can have is being your own best friend (so many of us are way too hard and critical of ourselves, rather than being forgiving and supportive of our selves). That’s what your old best friend E symbolizes, the friendship you need to have with yourself: like yourself, enjoy your own company, forgive yourself, encourage yourself, etc. just as a good friend would. You have sex with her in the dream because sex symbolizes the merging of someone else’s qualities into yourself.

I think the fact that she is bi is also important. She’s attracted to both sexes, while you are not attracted to either. Society may be causing you to feel pressured to take on some sort of preference. I say for now, just focus on the friend quality that she represents and start working on liking all the wonderful, unique and even quirky things about you! When you like yourself, others can’t help but like the hell out of you, too!

 

Visit Lauri’s brand new site, WhatYourDreamMeans.com, for even more dream interpretations! If you want to be able to figure out your own dreams every morning, then check out her latest book, Dream On It: Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life, which will give you the tools you need to become a dream expert, too. Check out all of Lauri’s books here.

 

 

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10 Quick Ways to Spice Up Masturbation

August 13, 2014

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We know that masturbation feels like an easy lay, but just because you’re a sure thing, doesn’t mean you always have to treat yourself that way. Here are 10 simple ways to spice up your old routine:

  1. Dim the overheads and light some candles
  2. Pour yourself a drink
  3. Take a long bath (with a nice waterproof accessory, perhaps)
  4. Moisturize your entire body
  5. Play that album you’d never admit actually turns you on
  6. Read the dirty parts of Anne Rice novels
  7. Watch an erotic film (if porn is a usual part of your wanking habits, try something a little different than you normally would)
  8. Fantasize about your Fed Ex delivery person
  9. Use the really nice lube you save for special occasions
  10. Take your time and tease yourself


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Dear Em & Lo: Can I Have an Orgasm in My Sleep (If I Haven’t Had One Awake)?

August 13, 2014

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photo via flickr

Dear Em & Lo,

It’s recently come to my attention that women can have orgasms while asleep, similarly to how men can have wet dreams. I was wondering: is it possible to have them before you’ve had an orgasm? As a 19-year old, I sometimes get turned on, but don’t do anything about it for fear of tearing my hymen and was wondering if I could at least experience an orgasm before I actually start having sex.

O-Curious

Dear O.C.,

First of all, why are you afraid of tearing your hymen? Often times the hymen gets stretched or further broken* long before intercourse for reasons that have nothing to do with sex: tampon use, gyno exams, lots of enthusiastic horseback riding, etc. This is no big deal. A hymen isn’t something that should be “preserved” or saved as a present for your husband to open on your wedding night. It’s vestigial tissue that you usually grow out of, with or without intercourse — the same way you grow out of crustless sandwiches and playing with dolls without really having to think about it.

You know another great way to “break” your hymen before sexual intercourse? Masturbation! If you sometimes get turned on, then you have every right to do something about it on your own. But even if you buy our argument against hymen preciousness preservation, we have a feeling you, O.C., might have some other issues with self stimulation: shame, guilt, prudishness, squeamishness, misinformation…Are we getting warm?

Well, we’re here to tell you there’s nothing wrong with a little quality alone time. In fact, there are only right things: satisfaction, stress-relief, bodily education, sexual confidence and autonomy, boredom abatement…the list goes on. As long as you don’t get so addicted to masturbation that you never leave the house and forget to eat (an incredibly unlikely scenario), then there’s no reason a healthy 19 year old shouldn’t do something proactive about her horniness, no matter what state her hymen is in.

As to whether or not you could have a sleeping orgasm before you’ve had an orgasm awake, the answer is yes. In your case, it’s possible to have so much sexual tension built up because you’ve refused to do anything about it, that your body might take advantage of your mind (and all its issues with sex) shutting down at night in order to get some much-desired sexual relief. Think of it as your body just going on auto-pilot.

As to whether or not you can experience orgasms (awake or asleep) before you’ve started having sex, the answer is another resounding YES! Yes, yes, yes, yes, oh, yeeeeeesssssssss! Again, we’re getting the feeling you’re under the impression that your sexuality doesn’t get ignited until some other person has sex with you. Not true. YOU are the owner of your own sexuality, and you write the manual for it. YOU are holder of the key that unlocks your libido. YOU are the master of your domain!

Women who masturbate regularly have more sexual agency in their relationships (once they choose to be in them). They know what they like, and aren’t afraid to ask nicely for it. They have open minds but know where their boundaries lie and aren’t afraid to defend them. They enjoy partner sex more, because it’s less intimidating and mysterious when you know your own body and how it works. In fact, their chances of having an orgasm with another partner are greatly improved! (Female orgasms from intercourse alone are not as common you might think — in fact, for a lot of women, those types of Os are non-existent. After all, the way a lot of guys have intercourse is often very different from the way a lot of women get off…but that’s a whole ‘nother column!).

Here’s what we suggest: Forget about your hymen, forget about Prince Charming coming to save your sexuality, get yourself a nice “my first vibrator” (for internal use or — if you’re still a little hymen-phobic — external use only), and have some sweet dreams while you’re wide awake!

Nighty night,

Em & Lo

*Hymens come in all shapes, configurations and thicknesses. The notion of an “intact” hymen is bogus, because most of them already have one or more holes in them naturally.

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Wise Guys: Do Men Ever Appreciate a Handjob?

August 12, 2014

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photo via flickr

Advice from four of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: I’ve heard that it’s not worth giving a guy a handjob because he can just do it better himself. Is that true?

Straight Married Guy (Jamie): Sadly, yes.  But I think the problem is just one of misconception on the part of most women.  In my opinion many women think, perhaps due to their lovers’ penchant for hard and fast intercourse, that a handjob needs to be a vigorous yank-a-thon.  Ladies, please, you’re not trying to inflate a bicycle tire here!  Despite popular opinion, the penis is a very sensitive organ.  And, with improper handling, and without lubrication, it can chafe.  The truth is, we’re just really good at it all by ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, we love it when you touch us and we appreciate the thought but, beyond a little foreplay grabby-grab, leave the heavy lifting to the professionals.

Straight Single Guy (Chris): The handjob is the single most underrated and underused sexual skill in the mix. I suppose it’s a self-fulfilling prophesy, that guys don’t like handjobs because they are generally bad, and girls don’t give them because guys don’t like them, so they never get any better at them. Well, I for one protest. A good, thorough, properly lubed, and sufficiently practiced handjob can be an amazing and deeply fulfilling sexual experience.

Let me be somewhat specific while trying not to be too crude. First of all, you have a range of options of position and technique, grip, pressure, lubricant, and speed. In my opinion, far more than with any other “technique.” You have significantly more control, drawing out the orgasm and the, how shall I put it, location of completion? All of the best blowjobs involve significant participation of the hands, so why would anyone believe the hands aren’t a good option on their own?

Please, please ignore the naysayers and their, “If I wanted a handjob, I’d give it to myself.” Practice, practice, practice, and cultivate this skill. Feel free to practice on me if you need to…

Just please consider the following:

1. Never, ever, ever do it dry, under any circumstances.

2. Consider aiming at yourself (anywhere, but some places are better than others) rather than at our belly buttons.

3. Try from behind and underneath. Trust me.

4. Control it. Bring it to the edge and back again. And again.

5. Don’t forget the surrounding area.

Straight Single Guy #2 (Joe): Absolutely, unequivocally, 100% NOT TRUE!  Any guy would much rather have a handjob from you than from himself. First of all, guys do it by themselves ALL the time, so having you do it makes it a special treat. Imagine running your fingers lightly over your own skin: it feels nice.  Now imagine someone you are attracted to doing it.  Much better, eh?  The physical act might be identical, but having someone else’s body heat / touch / scent / sounds / smile there and then not knowing exactly what they’re going to do adds so much more to it.

Gay Married Guy (Jon Ross): Nothing could be further from the truth, because there is nothing better than having someone do your work for you. While it’s true that guys can technically give themselves better handjobs than anyone else, it’s the thought — and effort — that counts. Gay guys don’t have a huge advantage over women here either: while having a dick does give you some insight into what works and what doesn’t, every guy is different and what blows my load may not get my man off. Personally I like a nice handjob to lead to a great blowjob, but if that’s not in the cards for whatever reason, a good handjob is wonderfully satisfying.

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Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Straight Married Guy is Jamie, a film editor in NY, our Straight Single Guy #1 is Chris DiClerico, and our Gay Married Guy is Jon Ross. To ask the guys your own question, click here.



BDSM Saved My Life, But Is Ruining My Near Perfect Marriage

August 11, 2014

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Okay, so this letter below from one of our readers is super long, and it’s not nearly as memerific as Kickstarter potato salad or photos of celebrities without makeup. But trust us, it’s worth the read. It’s from a man who is married to the woman of his dreams — they love each other’s company, they make each other laugh, they still have sex multiple times a day (even after six years), they can talk about anything, they have helped each other deal with past trauma… and yet something is still missing. We’ll give you a hint: It begins with K, and it’s the opposite of vanilla. Yep, once again, a kink imbalance threatens to ruin a near-perfect relationship.

If you have any advice or thoughts to share with this reader, you can leave them in the thoughts below. But we’re guessing you’re more likely to learn something yourself by reading this letter: What it means to compromise; what it means to really listen; the power of kinky sex to heal… and the power of kinky sex to divide.

I was reading these posts and had to drop in. I’m kind of sad and broken feeling right now. I have a wife who is a beautiful lady and best friend — seriously the one person in the world I can decompress with. But I have been spending all night researching divorce and psychology of dysfunctional relationship sites.

We’ve been together 6 years and honestly we always had sexual incompatibility problems but she is such a baddass that I stuck with it and compromised. I have had a lot of power play in my past as well as “vanilla,” though I hate that term.

I don’t need power play all the time, nor do I want it. I think there’s a time and a place. I don’t want to beat my wife or have her do what I say. I’d say 90% of the time in day to day life, I just defer to her judgment on things cause I love seeing her smile; the other 10 I instantly get my way cause she appreciates me giving her the rains most of the time. We don’t have kids, though we’ve tried. Stress for another day. Due to trying we have a ton of sex, and she’ll try almost anything I want.

When we started I was clear on my past. I was abused as a child. Not sexually, just choked out, bottles broken on my head, tossed down stairs. You know the usual… sorry, bad joke. I inappropriately joke a lot, wife does, too…we like it. Anyway.

I’ve never hit a woman though I have remodeled a couple walls next to them under extreme provocation. I met a Dom in my early 20’s and that was my first adventure into the world of kink. She was kind and cruel. Heartless and all encompassingly caring. Over time, she broke me down to the point I snapped and regressed to that scared little kid in a corner with the 300 lb gorilla cracking his bones over and over. But she’d bring me back. And did that over and over. One day I didn’t cry. Another I didn’t scream. Another I didn’t flinch and magically I lost my fear. I have not once even had to fight back rage since then.

See: My rage was really fear of being powerless. I thought power was either given or taken with no in-between. Now I know true power is restraint, courage, and conviction. The man who takes 5 to the gut but still defends his family and friends ignoring the pain, not the shooter. My dad had no power, just fear dumped onto a little defenseless child and his mother. My Dom gave me this gift and set me free.

I went back to vanilla — no, I’ll just call them straight relationships. I’m still friends with my Dom. We’re both doing awesome in life, kicking ass and taking money. Confidence and a lack of fear is awesome! All that said, I wouldn’t have married her. We just weren’t compatible in other ways. So back to the now.

At first my wife would try anything, but she isn’t into kink at all. In fact she loves sex but only quickies. Takes her maybe five min tops to get off then she’s done. She’ll let me finish but it’s all me at that point. She can have more but they hurt her — 3 or 4 and she’s hating life. She just seizes up too hard when it happens. Me, I’m an all-night man. Quickies are fun, but I love foreplay. She is getting better, but honestly doesn’t see the point. Her hitting on me is turning and saying we should fuck. I like dirty talk, and she tries that too but basically I need to tell her what to say most of the time and she always feels and sounds awkward.

But the biggest thing is the BDSM thing. We used to try. Couple times she started crying. I’d stop but she’d say keep going, get what you need. Sometimes I was like, fuck this (not out loud!), and tried to cool her down. She was broken for days thinking she failed. Couple times I was like, ok, I got this, and pushed her through it. No dice either. She basically said you’re an asshole and locked herself in the bathroom to cry… I don’t like feeling like I actually raped my wife.

I eventually stopped trying. I want her to smile. She doesn’t like blowjobs, or even me going down on her. All she wants is missionary or doggy quickies constantly. 2x a day on average. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

We fought a lot at first which for us is calmly talking — we don’t yell. And almost split, but settled on me going slow and her having time to grow into it. But she just instantly gives up and makes me feel it’s hurting her. Well that’s supposed to happen, but not that way, a bad way. This made me stop trying to push her and stop trying. But we stayed cause we’re as close to soulmates as I’ve ever even met in a woman anywhere. The best friend ever out of everyone.

But 6 years later our sex is stagnant. I have trouble keeping it up sometimes and mostly just get her off then just tell her I’m tired and we stop. It’s starting to distance us. I don’t even know how to talk about it anymore cause we have, over and over, and she always just says sorry, I’ll try harder, and nothing happens.

I don’t know what to do anymore. I can’t see BDSM as evil or an addiction: It saved my life. and I have friends that have entire play rooms dedicated to roleplay that have wonderful kids and happy compromising lives. To me, it’s a physical statement of love, saying, I want to control every aspect of you, you beautiful person. Or, I want to give myself to you cause you are the one I chose to control my everything.

I don’t think I can meet anyone like her again… but I know on this road I might eventually cheat, and I hate cheaters. Or I’ll just continue to die inside. Which I feel like I’m doing. Shriveling into slow isolation cause I can’t express myself the way I need to, to the only person I care to express myself to. I just can’t lose her but I can’t stay this course.  I can walk from anything but I can’t walk from her… or myself.

Share your thoughts on kinky sex vs. vanilla marriage in the comments section below.

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