Tag Archives: Communication

You want me to do WHAT?

First Name: Beth
Age: 52
Gender: Female
Location: New Jersey
Your question or comment: My husband and I have swung in the past and have had an open marriage for a short time about 5 or 6 years ago. We have, for the most part, been monogamous for the past few years. He now tells me that the only thing that will make him interested in having sex with me is if I find men to have sex with and send him pics of myself in the act with other men. I have no desire to do this but am considering doing it if it will help my sex life with him. I have read about Candaulism (a sexual practice or fantasy in which a man exposes his female partner, or images of her, to other people for their voyeuristic pleasure) and am beginning to think he may be a latent homosexual or bisexual and trying to fulfill his desire to be with a man by living vicariously threw me. He says that the torment of knowing that I am with another man is exciting to him and I don’t understand how that can be a healthy thing for him. I am desperate for guidance in this area. Your thoughts??

Well then, Beth, things are gonna get very interesting in your life real soon, huh?

2477075029_d8e7e288c4Before I get to answering your query, let me ask you some questions. You say you and the hubby used to be swingers and even had an open marriage for a while some years ago. Why, after all that nontraditional relationship stuff, did ya’ll go back to sexual exclusivity? Did you both agree to go back to the straight and narrow, or did one of you decide for the both of you? This is an important point. If one of you decided for the both of you, the one tagging along with the decision may not have been totally on board from the get go. And when that happens, what looks like domestic tranquility is actually nothing of the sort.

It appears to me that your marriage has somewhat of a cyclical pattern to it. You guys have vanilla periods and kinky periods. Would that be an accurate representation of the dynamics? If so, let me ask a few more questions. Who or what determines the swing, you’ll pardon the pun, from vanilla to kink? Is it a boredom thing? And who determines the swing back to vanilla? And does that have anything to do with fear and jealousy? Do you guys discuss the transition before hand? Or is the migration from vanilla to kink and back again more of a follow-the-leader sort of thing? And who leads whom into kink? And does the same person lead out of kink back to vanilla? These questions are all very important and I would want to know the answers before I suggest a path forward.Candaulism

Now I know you are not here to answer my outstanding questions, so that means I need to punt. From what you tell me, I discern that the hubby is in need of a little spice. And maybe he is the one who traditionally leads the marriage out of vanilla into kink. You appear to be resisting this migration for whatever reason. Maybe that’s your traditional role in the marriage. I’m also guessing that you guys don’t talk things through before a momentous change is in the offing, but ya should. A lot of the heartache and misdirection could be avoided if you did.

I also think your husband is not veering into particularly dangerous or uncharted waters with his Candaulism. Seems to me you’ve been there already, at least in spirit, with your periods of swinging and open relationship. It also occurs to me that your hubby has a big fat cuckold fetish that he is trying to itch. And in terms of fetishes, this is a relatively harmless one, especially if everyone involved is on board for the fun and games. Check out my How To Video Library for some swell movies on that theme.

mr-honmaIs his cuckold fetish latent homosexuality? What a funny question to ask considering your relationship history. Isn’t it more likely that he might have a bisexual streak? And the fact that you are puzzled by all of this suggests, at least to me, that you guys don’t know each other very well. And that’s astonishing considering what you’ve been through together.

What I’m getting at though all of this is, if you want to restore some balance and harmony to your marriage, the answer is not simply hanging out at the vanilla end of relationship spectrum because it’s comfortable and safe. At least not until there is consensus on the part of both you and your husband. The big mistake many couples make is to assume that if one person is along for the ride, just to make peace, there is consensus. That’s not consensus; that’s conciliation.

Again, because you guys aren’t here to discuss this stuff with me, but I’d still like to help, let me turn you on to an exercises that will facilitate the open and honest discussion you need to have with your man and he with you. What follows comes from a workshop I developed called; The Gospel of Kink. I’ve also conveniently packaged this workshop into a workbook with the same title. You can find the book HERE!

GOK small cover

Both the workshop and book are designed to help people, like you and your husband, develop the skills they need to effectively communicate with one another and improve their problem solving skills. The workshop and book, as the title suggests, are specifically geared toward folks in kinky, BDSM, and alt-culture relationships, but even vanilla couples will find what I present very helpful.

Even the strongest relationships go through periods of distress and turmoil. Disagreements, misunderstandings, and personal foibles can cause contention and conflict. So let’s see if we can come up with some practical tools and techniques to 1) handle common alt relationship related issues, and 2) successfully navigate our relationship conflicts.

EXERCISE 2 — Tools and Techniques for Navigating Alt Relationship Conflicts

Begin by jotting down a half dozen or so key words or phrases that identify the issues and problems you’ve encountered in your alt relationships. And then see if you can come up with a list of a half dozen or so key words or phrases that suggest possible solutions to those issues and problems.

Once both of you have completed your lists you’ll need to set up a time for a formal discussion of those lists. With a little luck, this exercise will help you identify the stumbling blocks that both of you see and help you develop a strategy to overcome them.

Of course all of this will depend on how well you listen to and absorb the message coming from your partner. Need help with that too? Never fear, The Gospel of Kink has exercises for that as well.

Good luck

Can’t Give It Away

Name: Dave
Gender: male
Age: 40
Location: Wisconsin
I have a boyfriend that I love very much. We have been together for over 6 years and we care for one another very much. The problem is that we never have sex. The last time was probably two years ago and that time he just took care of me and that was it. I haven’t seen him climax in years. I asked him if there’s a problem with me and he says no. I know he still has a sex drive because I’ve caught him masturbating once. When I bring up the subject he says he knows we need to work on it but that’s as far as it goes. I know he’s not cheating, but I can’t say the same about myself. Should I feel guilty for seeking sex outside our relationship without his permission? In the past I’ve felt horrible about this, but my frustration is overriding my guilt. But it still bothers me because I am not being the moral person I was raised to be. I’ve asked him about opening our relationship, but he doesn’t like that idea either. What am I supposed to do?

Sad to say there’s not much a couple can do to either beef up a sex drive or cool one down, when one or the other partner has no will to do so. And I would say that if you guys have been living successfully like this for four years, there’s little chance of turning this around. I understand your frustration about the sex thing, but I also hear you say that everything else is pretty OK.

So let me ask, is the sex thing with your partner so important that you want to risk upsetting the whole apple cart?oh-oh

If, as you say, you are feeling guilty about going outside your relationship to find the sexual satisfaction you need and want, then it is high time for you to have a chat with your partner and pound out some new relationship perimeters. The tension you are experiencing between your sexual desires and your moral compass is a real good thing. It ought not be denied. But like I always say, these can be very difficult negotiations to hammer out. However, not to try to come to some kind of accommodation to insure the sexual health and wellbeing of both is, I believe, a form of sexual abuse.

You might consider the upfront approach:  “Honey, I can’t live without sex.  You and I haven’t been sexual together for ages.  I can no longer abide the status quo.  Here’s what I propose. You are my partner; I love you very much.  I will always bring you the gift of my sexuality first.  And I give you the right of first refusal.  If you’re not interested, I will honor that and not pester you for what I need and desire.  However, if that’s the case, I intend to look for what I need elsewhere. Living without partnered sex is no longer an option for me.”

The important thing here is, regardless how you approach the subject, there’s no need to sink to the lowest common denominator.

But, for the sake of argument, let’s just say that your hubby is still interested in sex, maybe even sex with you.  Perhaps you could be asking yourself; is the sex you have with your partner is just boring? And you’re misinterpreting his boredom as disinterest? You say he masturbates. What’s in his mind (or on the computer) when he does? Would you even know? Ever thought of asking? Maybe he’s just too self-conscious to come right out with it and ask for what he wants from you. Is there any way you could entice him back to bed with a little spice? Would he respond to some porn, or toys, or even a three-way?

Maybe it’s just as well there’s no sex in your relationship, you seem to be getting along very well otherwise. But only a frank and open discussion with your man is gonna shed the necessary light on this situation.

See Dave, you have lots of options. It’s time to be creative, like the fabulous homo you are.

Good Luck!

Open Hearts, Open Minds, And Open Relationships

Name: Deborah
Gender: female
Age: 36
Location: Rome
I like your site very much. Thank you for some much honesty. I have a question; do open relationships really work?

Well gee, thanks for your kind words, darlin’; I appreciate it.

To your question about open relationships, I guess that depends on the maturity level of the people considering opening their sexually exclusive relationship. And how much work they are willing to put forward to communicate with one another through all the details that such a decision entails.open relationship

That being said, there are a few things us sex researchers know for sure. In most cultures, people claim to practice sexual exclusivity, which is commonly referred to as monogamy. Although I think that’s a misnomer. Monogamy literally means having one union, which, as we all know, tells us nothing about sexual expression of either or both partners.

Lifetime sexual exclusivity (being sexually involved with only one person for one’s entire life) is rare. Serial sexual exclusivity (having a series of exclusive relationships over one’s life) is much more common. And despite knowing that we humans do not mate for life, we continue to presume that sexual exclusivity, or monogamy is the only legitimate kind of coupling.

This, unfortunately, leads to our culture’s obsession with cheating — that is, having sex with someone outside of a monogamous relationship. And frankly, what I know about humans, human relationships, and human sexuality; I can say for certain that fidelity is not necessarily a genital issue. One can indeed be faithful to someone else and still have the freedom to express him/herself sexually with others. It happens all the time. In these cases, fidelity is to the relationship and the agreements, parameters, and boundaries mutually agreed upon by the partners. Which get me back to my opening comment about the need for communication. Of course, it’s much easier to presume that everyone in a relationship is working under the same rubric, but that kind of presumption is a fool’s paradise.

polyamory1Another shortcoming of setting up sexual exclusivity, or monogamy as the only legitimate kind of coupling is that it diminishes all the other types of relationships that flourish albeit in a more covert sort of way. And here I’m talking about an array of open relationship models and polyamory. The fact that we don’t hear a lot about these non-traditional relationships shouldn’t suggest to you, or anyone, that they don’t exist or that they aren’t practical or practiced my a lot of people. They are! It just means that most people in non-traditional relationships know not to go public in a society that would denigrate them for their lifestyle choices. That’s how things are here in the good old US of A; and I’ll wager it’s also true for you Italians. Am I right, or am I right?

Open relationships and polyamorous relationships work because the people in them adhere to some basic tenets about how to conduct themselves.

First among them is the notion that these alternative relationships must be chosen; they can’t be mandated. If one or another of the persons considering an open or poly relationship is being pressured to go along with the flow, or is fearful that he/she will be alone if he/she doesn’t comply with the will of the other(s), that kind of duress is not gonna work.

Each person in the relationship needs to take responsibility for the choices he/she is making. If you’re not up for the task, or if this kind of arrangement is not compatible with your personality type, don’t attempt to override that. You will only jeopardize the relationship for the other(s) involved. However if the idea appeals to you, give it your best shot. I can guarantee it will be a learning experience. Just remember, exploring something and having it carved in stone are two very different things.

Second, communication is key. The more complex the relationship structure the greater the need for open lines of communication. Know your boundaries and express them clearly. Ask questions; never assume you know something when you don’t. If you will allow me some shameless self-promotion, I’d like to direct your attention to my latest book, The Gospel Of Kink — A Modern Guide To Asking For What You Want And Getting What You Ask For. It’s a communication and relationship-building workshop, for folks in nontraditional relationships, in workbook form. I think you will find it most enlightening. GOK small cover

Third, know yourself! You must be able to deal with your emotions, particularly jealousy, in an up-front, adult way. This is often much easier said than done. If you need to be the center of attention just so you can feel good about yourself, or you have serious territorial issues — this is mine, this is mine, and this is mine! Alternative relationships are probably not for you.

Know what keeps you even keel in terms of what you need and what you are able to give. There has got to be a healthy tension between these two things. If you’re the kind who gives too much and resents not being rewarded for your gifts, stay away from alternative relationships. Or if you are so needy that you can’t stand it when someone else is enjoying his/her time in the sun; open or poly relationships are decidedly not for you.

You should also know that alternative relationships, of whatever stripe, are, for the most part, on the fringes of what society will accept. And some are outright taboo. This doesn’t mean you will have to slug it out on your own, in a vacuum of support. On the contrary, you will no doubt find that the people who are living contrary to the expectations of the popular culture are often a whole lot more generous with their support and compassion then those following all the rules.

You will find that your support system will shift from more traditional sources like family, church, and community to alternative sources like clubs and social groupings of other like-minded individuals as yourself. A common mistake made by those in non-traditional relationships is to take their problems and issues to their traditional support systems. This rarely works because the traditional support system will inevitably blame the non-traditional relationship setup for the problem. This is not true, of course, but how would those in traditional relationships know otherwise.

I always suggest that those in non-traditional relationships bring their issues to their non-traditional support system. Here you are less likely to encounter judgments about your life choices and more help with overcoming the problems at hand.

Good luck

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A Budding Kinkster’s Dilemma, Part 2

So I heard back from Todd. I shared his first message to me last Monday. You can find that exchange HERE!

Name: Todd
Gender: Male
Age: 21
Location: Oregon
I took your advice and found a local club of like-minded people. I went to one of their mixers. I met so many amazing people. Among them was this woman who is about 16 years older than me. She’s a mistress and a Dom for women only. She was kind enough to take me under her wing. She’s married to this guy who also attends these mixers, but is not really part of the scene. This woman has been so amazing teaching me and letting me sit in on her sessions. Her submissives have also been amazing and so patient with me as I find my footing.

So this leads me to my problem. I’ve only dominated with her 3 times. Each time it gets easier and more comfortable and I love it. And strange as it sounds, now this mistress has invited me to dominate her. And I understand that this is a huge honor for a seasoned Dom to invite a novice to dominate her. The one thing that tears me is her husband. She also has a child. So I need to know what the etiquette is what the boundaries are on this. I can’t hardly go up to the husband and say, “hey, is it ok for me to spank your wife.” I guess I feel a little taboo about that.

My friend, you are bringing your traditional middle-class vanilla value system to this new alternative and very un-vanilla situation that you now find yourself in. This conventional value system and its accompanying boundaries may serve you well in your “regular” life, but here in this new life, they are outmoded and cumbersome.

gentleThat is not to say that in the kink world anything goes. On the contrary, it’s just that the value system here is way different and thus so will the etiquette be. Here’s a rule of thumb that you can live by. When someone, particularly someone of exceptional stature in alt culture, like this dominant woman, invites you to participate with her in a scene; she is letting you know that these are the boundaries. You’ll rarely go wrong if you allow your more seasoned partner to lead you, even if you are going to be the Dom in an upcoming scene.

Regarding her husband, he’s not the one who authorizes or prohibits the encounter. It is the woman who is in charge. I mean it’s conceivable that he could be a cuckold for his wife. Much stranger things have happened, don’t cha know. And if you don’t know about the cuckold fetish that so many men groove on, then you have even more remedial study ahead of you.

I do appreciate that you continue to check in with me about your adventure. I am so proud of you for being humble enough to submit to a woman’s tutelage. That marks you as an exceptional fellow indeed. Keep it up and keep me posted.

Finally I want to encourage you to check out my podcast series called Sex EDGE-U-cation.  This is the series where we take a look at the fascinating world of fetish sex and kink. In fact, you might invite your new Dom woman friend to listen in with you. I chat with amazing guests from around the world, and each of them offers a unique perspective on live on the edge.  Of particular interest will be my conversations with these marvelous professional Doms:  Mistress Katherine, Mistress Matisse, Lady Lydia, Lady HotchKiss, Claire Adams, Eve Minax, and Cleo Dubois.

Good luck

A budding kinkster’s dilemma

Hey DR

Well, I don’t know where to start, my name is Todd I’m 21 and from Eugene Or. I need to know if feeling the way I do is OK?

Well I’ve had a thing for voyeurism and BDSM for a some time now. I guess it started out by me just liking to push the boundaries of what was the norm, you know like wanting to do it in a movie theater or the park. However, things like that soon stopped giving me the same feeling, so I started to look more into bondage and kink. I liked what I found but at some point I passed what every one else I know thought was OK. Every time I feel like it’s OK to tell a girl what I want they just look at me like WHAT? They all say that they will go along with it, but I can tell that they’re not in to it. I don’t want to make any one feel like that.

I’ve tried to have a normal relationship but no matter how hard I try it just can’t work out, like my ex, she worked so hard to get where I was coming from. Any man would be lucky to find a girl as amazing as her but no matter how much I loved her I felt like I was empty. To her, kink was doing it in the morning; I soon found myself numb and board. Is there something wrong with me? I don’t know where to find someone like me.

I hope you can find time to help me DR.
TODD

From what you tell me there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with you besides being rather sexually precocious. Most people your age are just finding their way through more traditional expressions of sex. You simply have much more advanced predilections. BDSM sex is indeed an acquired taste and it is often acquired and practiced by people more senior than you. So nothing too out of the ordinary there.

that kinky stuffI suspect that you will continue to be frustrated in your search for like-minded partners in your peer group. And being in a relatively small college town doesn’t help matters all that much either. Your only salvation will be the internet. As you probably know, BDSM sites abound on the web. But before you launch your search for prospective partners, you’d probably do well to learn some of the lingo. There are plenty of resource sites out there that can help you identify who you are and what it is you want. Do a search using keywords like Dominant, Master, Domme, Mistress, Submissive, etc.

Most kink sites, like FetLife feature bulletin boards and/or member profiles. Once you get your bearings and have a grip on some of the vocabulary, you could set up your own profile. Be as clear and candid about what it is you want as possible. I encourage you to immerse yourself in this subculture, because the more information you have the more enlightened your future partner choices will be.

When connecting with other pervs online, be courteous. You’ll no doubt encounter an array of lifestyle choices and sexual proclivities, some of which may be off-putting to you. Remember, you are a guest in their world. Leave your uptight judgments and provincial attitudes at the door. You’ll have to earn the trust and respect of this community if you ever hope to be taken seriously by them.

You don’t really say what sort of BDSM you are into. Nor do you identify yourself as either a Dom or a sub. But how you identify yourself and what you say about what you are into will, no doubt, color your search for partners and playmates.

I have another resource for you. It’s a communication and relationship-building workshop in book form and it is written specifically for budding kinksters, just like you. The title: The Gospel of Kink; A Modern Guide To Asking For What You Want And Getting What You Ask For. Gospel of Kink

The Gospel of Kink’s innovative and interactive format presents the reader with numerous situations and dilemmas that arise as people embrace their kinkiness and integrate their eroticism into daily life.

The Gospel of Kink is on the cutting edge of the sex-positive and kink-aware movements. This workbook helps the reader break free from the painful silence the dominant culture imposes on alt culture and those of us on the sexual fringe.

The Gospel of Kink provides an opportunity to learn from people just like you. Its on-the-page workshop features a group of ten fictional characters who are your fellow participants. In addition, it includes a panel of actual seasoned kinky, BDSM, and alt culture practitioners who share their expertise and life experience with you.

The Gospel of Kink engages you with numerous exercises and homework. As a workshop participant, you will complete A Personal Alt Relationship Inventory, discuss the Essentials of Effective Communication, identify Tools and Techniques for Navigating Alt Relationship Conflicts, and learn how to Keep Things Fresh and Interesting.

The Gospel of Kink provides a safe and secure place for you to air your concerns without fear of being judged for how you live your life or with whom you choose to live it. You will learn within a framework of honesty, activity, alliance, support, and humor.

its_only_kinky_the_first_time_post_card-r8cd39596681e48d4b13fd87f07c01435_vgbaq_8byvr_512In the BDSM world, being a Dom or sub is a state of mind. It isn’t necessarily about a particular sex act, it certainly isn’t a game, it’s not merely role-playing; and for the most part, it is not gender specific. The best Dom/sub relationships are those that express a mutuality of care, concern, and trust.

Finally, I caution you against so easily dismissing your partners when they don’t immediately live up to your expectations. This young woman you mention sounds like she might have been able to rise to the occasion with a little support, encouragement and tutelage. You can’t be throwing the baby out with the bathwater, my friend; that’s just not gonna be helpful. In fact, you might consider inviting someone, this woman perhaps, to read The Gospel of Kink along with you. That way you both could learn together. I can assure you your time will be well spent.

Good luck

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