I am on vacation for all of July. But I've invited Dr. David J. Ley to handle the Savage Love letters of the day. Dr. Ley is a writer and clinical psychologist who has written very smartly about sex, in his books The Myth of Sex Addiction and Insatiable Wives. Find his other writing at Psychology Today and his Twitter: @DrDavidLey. Dr. Ley will be answering your questions all this week. —Dan
I'm a 19 year old girl who has been married for over a year to an awesome 21 year old guy- I know, it's ridiculously stupid to get married so young, but so far, so good. I discovered your column a few months ago, and as a girl who grew up in a VERY repressed, VERY religious family, I've found it both fascinating and mind opening, which I guess is kind of the problem!
My husband had, at the beginning of our relationship, fantasies about me with other guys. Just fantasies-we would talk dirty about it during sex, and that was it, though I suspect he would have gone further with it given the opportunity. Fine. That's not a big deal, and after reading your column, I recognize it as an entirely harmless (pretty sexy!) innocuous kink. However, I did not enter this relationship with that mindset. I was strongly anti-porn, and defined monogamy as being STRICTLY between two people only ever. So I freaked out after any of these fantasy sessions, and after a few months into marriage, he dropped it.
But now my mindset is different. I want to open our sex life up to explore both my own as well as his desires. But now he claims he's not interested in anything other than the same boring, porn-less life that I (regrettably!) forced him into. As a result, I now feel closed off from him (no way he really actually stopped with the porn, right?) and am unable to get him to open back up. My questions-
1. Is it possible these turn-ons actually disappeared for him? Do kinks ever just spontaneously go away?
2. Did my closed-minded craziness ruin our chance for a healthy, fulfilling sex life?
Thank you for any advice you can give. I think you do great work. :)
Formerly Closed-Minded but Growing up Fast.
Dr. Ley's response after the jump...
At 19 and 21, you and your husband are growing up, learning about yourselves, your sexual desires, and each others’, and making up your own minds about things. That’s the way life and maturation works. That’s what being 19 and 21 IS. Lots of changes, good and bad, to things you thought were real, right, true and concrete, when you were a teenager.
Has your husband changed with regards to those desires? He could have. People do change. If he did, he very well might change back. This is a fluid time for both of you, in figuring all these things out. Don’t expect things to be set in stone, for yourself or for him.
By and large though, kinks and sexual desires like cuckolding, porn, etc., might sometimes diminish or be suppressed, but often come back. Almost universally, people try to give up masturbation at some point in their adolescence. And almost universally, everybody fails that and starts jerking off/jilling off again. Assuming your husband grew up in a similar background as you, he probably heard your concerns and took them to heart, concerned that you were right, and he needed to control and suppress those kinky sexual desires. When you bring them up now, he might even be ashamed of them or worried that if he admits he still has them, you will jump on him about it. Believe or not, some people DO set up other people this way, tricking them into revealing their sexual secrets, in order to shame them.
The sexiest thing for your husband, is you feeling confident and excited and interested in your own sexuality (and even if your husband is unique, and doesn’t find it sexy to have his wife feeling excited and stimulated, it’s still sexy for you – so somebody is guaranteed to win here). Worry less about your husband coming around, and more about using this time in your life to grow into your own sexuality. FCMGF, if you are masturbating, fantasizing, enjoying sex with him, telling him what you like to have him do to you, and obviously enjoying it, your husband will most likely start opening up about what he likes and enjoys.
I will say that y’all are probably a bit new in your relationship and sexuality to actually try to explore the cuckold fantasy or swinging in real life, and it’s probably smarter to keep this in (mutual, shared) fantasy for now. Most couples in that community have been together longer, and have more years of established relationship foundation. I’m sure I will hear lots of rebuttals from young non-monogamous types, but given that the two of you are coming from a conservative background, and that things in and between you two are still fluid, I suggest that for the time being, let these things stay as hot, exciting fantasies. Playing with cuckolding and non-monogamy, when you come from a conservative, traditional background, is like juggling with fire: start with glow-sticks first – you might get a few bruises, but fewer scars and burns. I’m sure you are excited about sowing some wild oats now that you are connecting with your sexuality, but for now, use that passion and excitement to build the sexiness in your relationship.
Communication, mutual respect, and sexual self-awareness are very often sexy aphrodisiacs. They are also the foundations for healthy relationships. Healthy relationships are what let people share their deep dark fantasies and desires with their partners (did you know that fewer than one out of ten people EVER share their sexual fantasies with anyone, much less their husband or wife?). Let your husband know that your feelings are evolving, that you want to explore your own sexuality, and invite him along for the ride.