Saturday, August 7, 2010

Giving and Mutuality

This reads a bit like a "poor me, give me sympathy" post. I don't mean it that way. Writing my problems down for the Web forces me to face them head-on; I can't be sloppy in my thinking or gloss over things. And conceivably, it could provide insight to someone else.

I am extremely giving sexually. I would absolutely prefer to give cunnilingus and get nothing than get a blowjob and give nothing, and I'm not saying I THINK I'd like that, I gave unreciprocated cunnilingus about twice a week for eight years. The chain of thought was started by Holly mentioning her fetish for serving fetishes, something I share. And to some extent that fetish increases when the service is more pronounced. For example, the idea of being penetrated in the ass is very unappealing in and of itself, but I have a never-realized fantasy to be fucked up the ass with a strap-on by a woman for whom that is a big fetish.

The good points of that are obvious. I care enormously about my partner's orgasm and overall experience. In me, though, there are a lot of bad points stemming from the same root. Like a tree with bad and good fruit.

One of the reasons I'm so giving sexually is that my version of the masculine self-image requires giving sexual pleasure. If she doesn't have a good time and a good orgasm, then I am a failure as a man. And it's pretty much always a bad thing to attach self-image to other's reactions. No one is actually in control of their partner's pleasure. That can make me feel bad about myself due to factors totally beyond my control; she isn't feeling well, she had a bad week, something I said that was perfectly fine in general brought up a bad memory specific to her, etc. Instead I should take pride in trying hard and honestly and intelligently to make it good for her, not whether it worked; when it doesn't work it's an opportunity to learn, not a failure.

As well as trying to correct that my self-image depends on her pleasure, I try not to show that it so depends. But a long-time partner picks up on those things. It puts pressure on her to enjoy it, which is a very bad thing for enjoying it. I don't think it's too serious a problem in my case, I think if it doesn't work out I hide my sense of failure well. And I'm not too proud to do something different, e.g. switch to a vibrator if today my tongue only got her hot and isn't getting her all the way off.

What is serious is that my hangup results in trouble appreciating any kind of normal, mutual sex. I like an exchange, one at a time; handjob then fingering, cunnilingus then blowjob. When it's mutual and simultaneous, like in penis-in-vagina or a 69, my own pleasure and sensation is an annoying obstacle interfering with the goal of getting her off. I fight it and resent it. And this forms a vicious cycle with two positive feedback mechanisms ("positive feedback" means "ever-increasing" not "good" here):

1) I avoid penis-in-vagina sex. One of my favorite kinks is footjobs for related but not so problematic giving reasons (which I think I explained pretty well in this erotic story). But if you've effectively trained yourself to get off when handled by the rough skin on the balls of normal, unpedicured, unlubed feet, then rarely-encountered hot, wet pussy feels dramatically different. It means a premature ejaculation problem. Which makes me avoid it more. Which increases the problem.

2) Subconsciously the resentment of the pleasure seems to exacerbate the PE problem. Somewhere down in my brain where things no longer answer to my conscious mind, something says "Let's get this OVER WITH and just CUM." Did you know an orgasm can be a bad thing that you dislike? It's hard to see it on my face or hear it in my breathing when I cum before she does. I just feel like my body's betraying me. I might as well be peeing my pants a little bit. (In contrast to other orgasms, where I make it as clear as possible how happy she's made me). Again, the PE increases the resentment, which increases the problem.

The problem is exaggerated in my head; with fingers or a vibrator, PE is not that disastrous. Or cunnilingus: though the right condom would be required. Spermicidal lube tastes revolting and I've had a vasectomy anyway so no spermicide is needed. Before I mention the next bit I should point out that every time I say "partner" I really mean "wife intended to be the only one forever", so people don't think I'm talking unsafe sex: eating creampie is one of those service fetish things where I'm grossed out for it's own sake and she'd have to get off on it for me to get off on doing it.

Similar psychology might not produce any problems for a woman; getting a guy off using p-in-v is not exactly known for trickiness, and if she orgasms before he does, it's not necessarily a problem at all.

I tried desensitizing condoms and I love them because I can't feel a thing, as in, my cock was so numb I couldn't feel pinching the skin with my nails at all. Great! It's like having an inanimate, unfeeling, plastic dildo attached to my hips! Score! Except a dildo is mostly supposed to be a substitute for a penis, not the other way around. A solution based on making my penis act like a dildo is not a real solution.

I think a kink that enables me to enjoy more things is generally wonderful, and one that enables me to enjoy things just because my partner does is even better. One that prevents me from enjoying normal things is not. My challenge is to keep the good aspects while losing the bad; alter the root of the tree so it only bears good fruit. And to do that I have to understand the root. So part of the root is another two-faced issue; I learn easily, but tend to take hyperbolic lessons literally and too far. While learning to solder pipe I was told that you can't overheat it; they said that because the most common problem is underheating it. I overheated it every time and the solder would bead and run off instead of coating the pipe and being sucked into the joint as it should.

One of the most common problems in sex is that the woman doesn't get to orgasm. See where this is going? Everything in an instructional vein except Cosmo talks about how to make it better for the woman, and Cosmo tells you to take the man's penis in both hands and give it Indian burn so Cosmo doesn't count anyway. (That's not actually true, there's lots of "how to give a blowjob" lessons, etc., but I didn't read them because I don't have much interest in knowing so they're irrelevant here.) Earlier in the process of writing this and figuring things out, I recited to myself the sentence, "My pleasure is as important as hers," and reacted to it like someone external was talking to me in a crazy moon language.

So, I think my first steps are these: While not forgetting that her pleasure is no LESS important, work on accepting that it's no MORE important. Incorporate that consciously into my fantasies. Try to add penis-in-vagina back into my fantasies. And on more physical terms, use a warmed, lubricated Fleshlight.


  1. You're going to find this weird, since I'm dominant and everything, but I attach too much importance to my partner's pleasure, too. My version of dominance has never been about making boys into sex slaves; it's about making them feel the way they want to feel (usually some combination of frightened and objectified). I want to reduce a boy to a sobbing, ecstatic heap, and I want to be the first and only person who ever managed it. It's a lot of pressure to put on myself.

    I hate simultaneous sexual stimulation, too. P-in-V is fine; I can focus entirely on my partner's pleasure during that (although it has finally occurred to me that this is weird and probably unhealthy, and Minx has sweetly offered to help me work on it). But 69ing and whatnot is just irritating. I've noticed, though, that as much as Minx keeps wanting to do these mutual acts, he always gets distracted in the thick of things and forgets to hold up his end. So I think probably most people aren't good at that kind of multitasking.

    I love reading people's brutally honest self-analysis posts, and this is a particularly good one. I think you're bang-on with everything you've said. I'd also like to add that I think most women like P-in-V not just for the sensations it gives, but because the guy is getting pleasure from her body. At least that's a huge turn-on for unless your partner is a total stone-cold bitch who just wants to be emotionlessly piston-fucked for an hour, you do her a great disservice by desensitizing your junk.

  2. "you do her a great disservice by desensitizing your junk"

    You know, I twigged early on to the value of making noise and making my enjoyment clear, in general. I have some clue how important the expression of my pleasure was to her. But despite that, I totally missed the contradiction inherent in numbing my dick. I guess it was part and parcel with my attitude that her pleasure is more important than mine; I guess it's just part of thinking that my pleasure is secondary. Thanks for raising that point!

    In fairness to me, I've actually only had the chance to use the things twice, so I didn't miss this contradiction too many times.

    Thanks for your kind words about this post! I wish you luck with your quest to enjoy your own sensations in P-in-V.