Savage Love | Opinion | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Savage Love 

You may have to accept that this is how you get off, and let go of the shame.

I am a 38-year-old woman. My husband of 18 years is 22 years my senior. I credit my husband for giving me a good life and helping me pursue goals. But he's a type-A professional, and that has played out in the bedroom. He has always been disinterested in my pleasure. When our kids were little, I did not want sex as often as he did. I suggested that he masturbate in the shower if he wanted a quickie. His answer: A married man "should not have to pleasure himself." If I ask for oral, he tells me to "clean it really, really well," then he'll "think about doing that." This makes me feel disgusting.

I have tried to spice up our sex life. For years, it has been missionary position or doggy style. It can feel pretty "rapey" a lot of the time, as he typically comes at me rounding third base and it's over in five minutes. A few months ago, I told a friend that I had never received "enthusiastic oral." She said it made sense that my husband didn't enjoy doing it because it was a "domination thing" that mostly submissive men enjoy. I started visiting online domination forums, and my new "online friends" would love to orally service me. Two of these "sub males" want me to "own" them. I have spoken to each on the phone and exchanged hundreds of emails. This is the happiest I have been in my life, and I want to act on these desires. My husband is my only concern. He is my best friend, and I don't want to lose that. I feel like I can't even tell him about the online stuff. How do I deal with this?

Don't Offend My Man Ever

On the one hand ... a man who demands "rapey" sex on his schedule for 18 years, makes his wife feel bad about her genitals and isn't open to trying new things is begging to be cheated on.

On the other hand ... you say your rapey, pussy-disparaging, sex-shaming husband is your best friend (baffling!) and you don't want to lose him (equally baffling!). And a guy with his retrograde attitudes about sex, gender roles and "wifely duties" would divorce you if he found out you cheated on him. So you probably shouldn't take this into real life.

But on the other other hand ... your husband sounds like the type of guy who would regard your secret online life as cheating — the emails, the phone calls, the lurking on domination websites — and divorce you just the same if he found out. So you might as well fuck those subs, because if you get caught — and you probably will — you'll be in the same trouble whether or not you got enthusiastic oral.

I'm a 25-year-old woman who can only get off lying facedown and rubbing my clit against a pillow. The orgasms are great, but it limits the ways I can get off with my husband. The only way I can orgasm during sex is being on top and rocking back and forth on him in a similar manner. I've never climaxed during oral or hand stimulation, or in any other position. My husband has been very understanding (he even finds the way I masturbate "hot"), but I want to be able to do more. I'm also concerned about this being bad for me in the long run, like how the "death grip" is for guys. How can I teach myself to masturbate correctly? I'm currently abstaining from masturbating for a week to become more sensitive and then trying to get off only with my hands while on my back. I've been reading online and hearing conflicting suggestions. Some say to take a month off of sex, too? I'm terrified of never being able to get off the conventional way.

Can't Really Use Direction

Forgive the mixed messages I'm about to send you, although they won't be nearly as mixed as what I just sent DOMME.

I've advised guys with Death Grip Syndrome — a.k.a. Traumatic Masturbatory Syndrome — to keep masturbating but to use a lighter touch and a lot of lube. (Not all of these guys are clenching their dicks too hard; some are rubbing up against pillows like you or — my personal favorite — sliding their dicks between mattresses and box springs.) But here's the difficult part: If they can't come with the lighter touch and more lube, they don't get to come. No reverting to a tightly clenched fist (or a pillow) after 20 minutes of "trying." Allow the pressure and frustration to build long enough, and a dick will adapt. But they may have to keep at it for months, plural, not a month, singular. Go ahead and have sex but, again — no death grip, no pillow.

If you want to get off in other ways, masturbate regularly — constantly — but without the pillow. If you don't come, you don't come. Focus on the pleasure you are able to achieve, and give it at least three months. It's a good sign that you aren't entirely dependent on a pillow — you can get off with/on your partner. Most people with TMS aren't so lucky. And it's less awkward to grind on your partner pillow-style when you want to come than it is for a guy to shift from penis-in-vagina sex (PIV) to penis-in-between-mattress-and-box-spring sex (PIBMABS).

That said, some people with DGS/TMS simply aren't able to retrain their junk. But you don't have to live without orgasms, or view yourself as damaged. After giving your junk a chance to adapt, you may have to accept that this is how you get off, and let go of the shame. Enjoy the fingering, enjoy the oral and enjoy the fucking, and when you want to get off, maneuver your husband into a position that works and shamelessly grind away.

On the Lovecast, hear how rich girls slut-shame poor girls on college campuses:


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