Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pride goes before a fall

This is a follow-on from my earlier post, Whore. The upshot is that I frequently made love to (word choice very deliberate) my first ex-wife when she wanted, despite the fact she was mostly treating me like a monster at the time and I really didn't want to, and that I am very proud of acting out love that way. Please don't read this post until you've read that one.

I think that bit of my history and the pride in it have a lot to do with the failure of my second marriage, and led directly to the thing I said that I'm pretty sure made it impossible for her to keep trying with me.

Back to the first marriage again. While I was still pretty happy with my first wife, while I was still sympathizing with the endless stories of persecution, I was very unhappy with our sex life. It was much too seldom. And too tame, almost all vanilla missionary, and I'm obviously fairly kinky. And she seemed to think even the vanilla missionary was dirty and shameful. It wasn't quite the classic marriage-destroying cycle, but it was horrible for me. Besides avoiding marrying a woman who was actually going to do horrible crazy things to me, I decided that though I'd survived the first time, I could not go through a marriage with that kind of sex deprivation again.

When I met my second wife, who we'll call T., she was in a very troubled first marriage. Among other problems, T. wasn't having sex with her husband. I told her about how I had felt; we had a lot of email conversations full of deep feelings. T. started coming on to her husband, but he objected to the idea that I had prompted her to. He left her and moved in with his best friend's wife. T. and I started dating.

I told T. all about what I'd been through with my first wife when we were dating. We talked about sex a lot; intercourse, oral, anal, manual. I licked the cream out of a cream doughnut for her a couple of times; she used to fellate baby back ribs. (This doesn't count as embarrassing for either of us because we both were really into it; it was embarrassing when I did it for other friends.) I thought I explained how I felt really clearly and repeatedly; that if you love someone, and are married to them, you have sex with them, in the mood or not. If you don't get the mood, you do it for love instead. She agreed at the time; but I guess it was hormones.

Many years later, we'd told each other all our stories. In a boneheaded mistake, I'd asked her not to tell me about the bad things from her work, because of the echoes of my first wife's complaints. She only seemed to talk to me about work; and not anything interesting to me, but procedural minutia, details of meetings, panels. I was interested in her field on the popular level, I'd read some of the classic sources on my own before I met her, but I'm nowhere near following her on a technical level; she couldn't really discuss the papers she was trying to publish with me. She said I only talk about guns, religion, politics, and sex, which is close enough to true; there's lots I'd like to listen to or talk about but those are the things I brought up. I guess a classic example of the conversational divide would be if she was taking a group of students on a trip to an historic location. I'd want to hear about the history and she'd want to tell me about what permits she needed to get and which other teachers were going along. Also I'm bad at small talk; I'm a pretty good listener but unless I imagine I'm imparting some information I don't talk much.

I made most of the money, she did most of the housework. I had some kind of problem with low energy that I thought was just depression. (Been to a lot of doctors about it since, found a borderline autoimmune reaction problem like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, only acupuncture seems to help). She'd ask me to help with the housework more, and I'd improve for a week or so then fall back.

We gave each other orgasms once every week or two, in a frequently great mutual scenario. I gave her orgasms at least twice a week besides that. Mostly cunnilingus quickies before she showered in the morning; sometimes she asked to make sure it was on a day that fit her scheduled but usually I offered. I didn't need a special mood, all I needed was that I loved her. I was really feeling sexually deprived and unloved; she was feeling unloved but not deprived. I told her sometimes in a painful scene how I felt, but she'd improve for a week or so then fall back. I considered ceasing to suggest the cunnilingus, in the hope she'd start to understand how I felt if she felt deprived too, but loving her is required of a Christian husband and besides, I really enjoyed it. I don't like to come before work, it slows me down too much, so we started out not doing anything for me on these occasions.

But after the cunnilingus, when I ached for a sexy touch from her, some confirmation that she wants to do me too, she'd thank me and start telling me about her meeting schedule. Evenings she'd always be too tired, though, so morning is my only choice. I told her repeatedly about how I wanted something after licking her; some touch, an invitation to a handjob or a footjob in case I wanted something in the morning anyway, but it didn't change. Sometimes I'd ask for some compromise in the evening; like I'd ask her to put an arm around me, or let me suck her toes, while I masturbated. I wanted to be sharing it with her instead of doing it alone; but despite her being polite and kind I always feel ashamed after something like that. Not like I was too servile, but like it was coarse and disgusting of me to ask when she wasn't in the mood. She was doing me a pure favor that she'd prefer to skip, and I felt it. I felt masturbating alone was less offensive but still an offense because of the porn. Porn was another thing that she told me would be fine before the marriage, but she began to dislike it.

I withdrew a bit. She didn't want to talk about sex, guns, politics, or religion with me. So I'd talk about something else that interested me. I'd say something like "Aw, I just found out the tuatara isn't really a living rhynchosaur. But maybe it's for the best because it made a really disappointing rhynchosaur; just a weird little lizard." (True example.) What was she going to say?

I tried not to withdraw. I'd walk into her home office and sit down and try to chat with her, but I was disturbing her from the work that seemed like the only thing she cared about.

At several points over the years I suggested we talk to a marriage counsellor, but she never wanted to. We got into the classic marriage-destroying vicious feedback cycle; insufficient sex made me feel less loved, feeling unloved made me express less love, me not expressing love made her feel less loved, feeling less loved made her less in the mood for sex. Repeat.

A bit before she left, I tried talking with her about the problems again. I talked about the sex problems, that I just wanted a handjob the same way I gave her cunnilingus, and she explained that she wasn't in the mood and didn't feel good about it if she wasn't in the mood. I know most people feel this way, and though I've really really tried, I just can't get it. You love someone, so you smile at them, put your hand on their genitals, and move it around. I can't understand not getting your spouse off, I don't sympathize. And she knew that, and it must have made her feel deeply judged and found wanting.

And that's where I said the really wrong thing. I'd been sensing she felt the necessity of the mood, but depending on mood was my nightmare that I'd tried so hard to make sure she didn't feel before we were married. When she said it I started crying and blurted, "Then I'm trapped." And that, I'm pretty sure, is where she gave up. She said, "No you're not. You could leave." I said "No, I can't."

I tried to resolve it after that, but her mind was already made up. With what I'd said, I made sure she wasn't doing it for me, but she wasn't. She didn't want to spend any more energy explaining the problem; the only thing I got from her was that she had trusted me with her emotional well-being and I hadn't taken care of it. (And I felt that was too damn much to put on me.)


  1. she explained that she wasn't in the mood and didn't feel good about it if she wasn't in the mood. I know most people feel this way, and though I've really really tried, I just can't get it.

    Yes! I've never understood people who not only turn down their partner's request for sex, but actually leave the room.

    I mean, maybe if the person was a victim of sexual assault/abuse; I can see how someone might have PTSD that sometimes made anything sexual seem horrible/dirty/etc. But I don't get how a normal, relatively well-adjusted person could be so turned off all things sexual that they can't even stand to be in the room with it.

    I will say that I don't force myself to have sex if I'm really, really not in the mood - that would cause me to start resenting Minx, I think ("Can he not tell that I'm ambivalent?! Does he know, but he's using my body anyway?"). But I've had sex when I'm in the vast gray area of not actively feeling like it, but not minding the idea either. And I'm always happy to snuggle up and cheerlead while he masturbates.

    I myself am extremely sensitive to feeling sexually rejected, thanks to being married to someone who treated my orgasms like a grim and disgusting semi-annual chore. I'm trying to get over it, though. Sometimes I've started wanking next to Minx after he's already asleep; so far, he's always become aware of what I was doing and ended up rolling over and moaning in my ear to help me over the edge. I'm so very grateful for this.

    And I don't blame you for stating that you felt trapped. WTF can you do when you clearly state what you need and the other person just won't fucking do it? That happened in my marriage, too.

    It sounds like when you told your wife you felt trapped, it made her realize that she was flat-out not prepared to give you what you needed, and that this was patently unfair to you. No amount of counseling will save a relationship if only one person is actually willing to try to fix things, so I do think this divorce is for the best.

    Although of course it sucks.

  2. A resounding yes to both your caveats, perversecowgirl.

    If the person was the victim of sexual assault or abuse, as I believed of my first wife, I would not resent it (I didn't) though I did still feel the lack of course. I may have felt the lack more because I was incredibly careful not to emotionally push even a little bit, and so I was super diffident in suggesting.

    And if you're not in the mood, when not in the mood is an unusual condition, that's just fine, and I totally sympathize, and feel the same way. I don't sympathize at all when not in the mood is the normal condition and in the mood is a special condition.

    I'm so glad Minx is helping you with your feelings of rejection. The moaning in your ear when you're wanking sounds wonderful. I hope I can find a woman who will enthusiastically do the same for me.

  3. I hope I can find a woman who will enthusiastically do the same for me.

    I hope you do, too. Or even a woman who would wake up the rest of the way and enthusiastically climb aboard. :D

    As you may know from some of my blog posts, I believe that the universe brings you the partner you think you deserve - so once you've healed from the pain of your divorce and know right down to your bones that you deserve someone who appreciates you and makes you happy...that's when she'll come into your life.

    For a long time, my dating angst was drawing unsuitable people to me. I realized it here: ...and worked hard at getting out of my own way. Two months later, I met Minx.

    I bet that with enough soul-searching, you too can "de-bug" yourself so that your next wife is the forever one. It just takes time and self-awareness - both of which you have in spades. :)

  4. perversecowgirl, Yes. You know I have a different set of beliefs about the supernatural, but I think the same kind of preparations will affect which women are attracted to me in terms of the way people work.

    Right now I'm set up for nobody but friends. This is a good thing in itself, right now when friends are what I need, and I'm glad to attract wonderful people like yourself to be friends. But some of the reasons are bad.

    Right now I have too much in the way of emotional insecurity to be really attractive to anyone as a lifetime partner. One can forgive some in a partner, and a lot more in a friend; I have too much for a partner. I'd probably tend to attract predators in real life but I'm not nearly rich enough for the most skilled and honestly I think I'm too old and smart for most.

    I've been sitting and thinking about the implications of what you said. There's a lot to think about, way too much for me to put in this comment. I was just thinking of posting today on how, with the way libido adapts, I have to be careful not to settle, which ties in.

    Or even a woman who would wake up the rest of the way and enthusiastically climb aboard.

    My first thought was, "Oh no! with me already started like that, she won't come!" But wow, what if she knew that and did it anyway? What if she thought her pussy could sometimes decently be used for a purpose other than her orgasms, (which was true of my second wife)? What if she was enthusiastic about it and willing to talk to me and make me comfortable with how she felt (which was not)? I talked about handjobs and footjobs in this post, but it's not actually so much because I think hands and feet are so great but that pussies are so sacred. Certainly when I was the one doing the giving I was never reluctant to use my cock to do it. Maybe it's that pedestal we talked about, preventing intimacy. What do you think?

  5. perversecowgirl, by the way, when I scrolled down this post to read your comments and add mine, I thought you should get some kind of "Willing to wade through long personal story" award. :)

  6. Maybe it's that pedestal we talked about, preventing intimacy. What do you think?

    Yeah, I think the pedestal is getting in the way a little bit. Or maybe you just have some unrealistic, idealized views of how sex should go.

    It's nice to have an orgasm during the actual p-in-v, but it's not a requirement and in fact there are lots of reasons why I prefer not to orgasm during sex. Sometimes Minx's thrusting is so pleasurable in and of itself that clitoral stimulation is a distraction; sometimes I want to really feel the closeness and connection with Minx, and would prefer to be fully present and making eye contact than concentrating on making myself come; sometimes, yes, I just flat-out want to watch him get off. Often, lately, my own orgasmic responses are a bit "off" and my most reliable turn-on - the thing that will boost me up enough to "get there" is watching Minx orgasm.

    "Oh no! with me already started like that, she won't come!"

    I think you're so used to your wife's reactions that you forget how turned on some women can get just from hearing/seeing their partner masturbate. Yes, in this scenario you'd already be "primed" and won't last as long as usual; but quite possibly, the same is true of her.

    A "friend" of mine once left an orgasm on my voicemail. The message lasted perhaps three minutes, maybe less. When I began listening to it I was not in a particularly sexual mood, but that first little flurry of breathing hit me like a fuckin' hammer and by the time the boy in the message had come, so had I. Twice.

    Don't think of your wanking as an oddity or hilarious foreign ritual to a woman. Think of it as sexy, because it damn well should be!

    I thought you should get some kind of "Willing to wade through long personal story" award. :)

    Only if I can give you a "graciously tolerates LONG rambling comments" award. :D

  7. Your comments are the best! I think maybe when I start dating again, I'll write "it damn well should be!" on the back of my hand as a reminder.

    As long as I'm making a long, detailed list of what I wish for in a woman, it would be great if she thought it was hot to make me eat my own come out of her pussy. Then if I came before she did, it would still be hot for her. That would be perfect for taking the pressure off that I feel in p-in-v and helping to get me over those issues.

  8. I'll note there's a huge difference between someone choosing to use their body to get their partner off- which can be a pretty powerful and arousing decision in and of itself- and a person feeling their partner wants to use their body to get off regardless of how they feel about it.

    As to the post itself, it's a sad story and one I feel is probably not an unusual one. T sounds like someone who was to some degree avoiding self knowledge and introspection that could be painful.

  9. LabRat also gets the "Willing to wade through long personal story" award. :)

    There's something I don't get about the second one, and a person feeling their partner wants to use their body to get off regardless of how they feel about it, in the context of a loving relationship. It's that when that's my body being used, "I love you" is how I feel about it. Unless I'm sick or had a miserable day or something, that's it, that's my answer, of course I want to get you off. So I still don't get it.

  10. Yeah, it's that "sick or had a miserable day" thing, and apparently it extends to 'at all times I was not already aroused" to folks like T.

    It's "I love you" to me too if I feel fine, "I don't want you to use my body" when I'm feeling far too off to perform.

  11. Oh well. I'm going to try to make sure it's never again something I NEED to understand.

  12. My first thought was, "Oh no! with me already started like that, she won't come!" But wow, what if she knew that and did it anyway?

    Yes! Oh, yes! And it is so sweet of you to think like that.

    We sometimes agree that Wonderboy can fuck me the way he likes and come, because worrying about me orgasming and trying to make it happen obviously changes the whole dynamic. It's the sexiest thing to be on a ride with someone doing what they absolutely most want to do. And I definately get off on him taking advantage of me "not caring about my pleasure". Usually I come when we have a deal like that. :)

    And I don't even think about it, and neither does he, he goes down on me every time I don't orgasm during intercourse. We also kiss after.

    I do think you should be open to sexual situations and at least try to play with the other one if not in the mood for full play. But that is one thing that's going really good in our relationship now. We play together and apart and cuddling but doing it ourselves, like Perversecowgirl and Minx. Everything is good an welcomed. It breeds happiness and more sex, it does.

  13. That's awesome, Rogue Bambi. That's why reading about your relationship gives me hope for one for me in the future.

    I've got to confess something; I have a problem with the texture of semen and vaginal fluid mixed. Either one is OK in my mouth, but both together bothers me a bit. But as you read in my more recent post, if she thinks that's hot then the exact fact it bothers me becomes my joy.

    I never thought so many people would wade through this story.